Iron Fist: Rolling Thunder Cannon Punch
March 20, 2017 3:44 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Joy proves herself a shrewd buisnessperson, Danny recalls a painful memory, and Colleen puts her talents to good use.

"Listen, I can help you get your business back, but I can't help you make friends... Do you have any money for new clothes? Because this homeless hipster thing isn't working for you."
-- Jeri Hogarth, correctly identifying Danny's personal problems in episode 3
posted by Jugwine (12 comments total)
Carrie-Anne Moss is back as Jeri Hogarth, riding to Danny's rescue as he takes the first sensible steps to try and prove his identity. Those dastardly Meachums are ready to thwart him at every turn in the copious spare time that being CEOs? Owners? Presidents? of Rand Corporation allows. Meanwhile Colleen Wing takes up fighting for money under the name Daughter of the Dragon to make ends meet.

The Good: Danny's "sweep the leg" moment in the dojo and the brief flashback to getting hit with sticks in K'un Lun might actually indicate he has some internal struggles with having become a living weapon. Might there be a character arc in his future?

The Bad: How does some mook cold cock the Iron Fist? Why are there so many flammable things in the records room? How many cuts can a fight scene have before it starts to resemble a strobe light? Also, Hogarth tells Danny not to reveal himself but checks him into her suite under his own name?

The Other: Colleen Wing's Daughter of the Dragon vs Man-Mountain fight did provide a moment of drama where you could think that maybe she's gotten in over her head. The "Thank goodness Danny Rand showed me this specific punch earlier this episode that wins the fight for me" denouement kind of took the air out of it, though, I thought.

Was that Kyle who pushed him out the window at the episode's end? I hope it was Kyle. Kyle, you deserve so much better than this show is giving you.

One thing about the structure of the show is that it seems to really be begging you to binge it. I guess that is the Netflix model, right? The way the first three episodes have ended -- Danny gets drugged, Danny punches through a door, Danny falls off a building -- seem to be calculated to get you to start the next episode. I don't feel like I've noticed that this was that obvious in the other Netflix MCU series, but maybe it's because more was going on during the course of the episodes in the other shows.

Speaking of other MCU series, by the end of episode 3, Luke Cage tanked through an entire gang, rampaging through the Crispus Attucks center and was hit by a rocket launcher. By the end of this episode, Danny Rand has fought a couple of security guards & mental patients (also, one door ). Don't try to tell me that all the Marvel Netflix shows are slow paced.

Bonus Quote:
"I wonder why it has to be so complicated. I really wish that I could find something in Danny to hate because it would make things a lot easier for me."
-- Joy Meachum, obviously watching a different show than the rest of us.
posted by Jugwine at 3:45 PM on March 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Iron Fist trained in a mystical realm for 15 years so that he can usually get the better of a random corporate henchman, after a prolonged struggle, but not without taking some serious licks first.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:37 PM on March 20, 2017 [9 favorites]

The more I think about that records room fight the more angry I get about it. Now I'm imagining Daredevil in there & he's heard the guy's heart start beating faster and the brass knuckles coming out, so he doesn't get caught unawares and cold cocked by Johnny Henchman. And I'm thinking about the conversation afterwards where the hospital administrators are asking about the cause of the fire and they are told that the oxygen tanks they keep stored next to the ethanol jugs in the paper records storage room mysteriously exploded. And why was Danny himself there anyway, did he go up to Hospital reception, ask for his records, and they said "They're in room 405 next to our supply of nitroglycerin for the heart patients. Help yourself, but be careful."?
posted by Jugwine at 6:05 PM on March 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

I don't know what's less believable: the siblings as corporate titans, or Danny as mystical ninja. I have super low standards for this sort of thing and I'm having a really hard time keeping up with this show.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:29 PM on March 20, 2017

I have no idea what Iron Fist is like in the comics and I haven't watched past this episode.

But Danny Rand is a pretty consistent character so far. He punches things. He's not smart, cunning, well adjusted, mature or wise. He wasn't a well adjusted kid and 15 years later doesn't show the slightest grasp of understanding how other people think. This starts in the first scene when he decides violence is a rational way to approach someone he thinks is like a brother, goes through his interactions with Colleen and the dojo, the psychiatrist, the cluelessness in the records room and pretty much everything else. He's not believable as a mystical ninja because he's not mystical and he's not ninja like. He's good at fighting. That's it.

At first I thought the explanation would be he was with beatific monks and didn't learn how people acted, but this episode makes them look like child abusers so maybe that's it. Either way, home schooling in the home of the very rich followed by isolated religious freaks educating you doesn't make for a well adjusted young man.

I'm more positive on this than most posters so far but I won't exactly defend it and I'd be completely unshocked if there's no payoff.

OTOH I was wondering how he'd be different than Daredevil in the Defenders--two acrobatic hand-to-hand combat specialists seemed like they'd have the same role. But they're not similar at all. Danny will be the dumb one on the team.
posted by mark k at 10:54 PM on March 21, 2017

How does some mook cold cock the Iron Fist?

He doesn't have spider-sense. And he very obviously doesn't have the street smarts to guess that the Meachums may be one half-step ahead of him.

Why are there so many flammable things in the records room?

Because it's not time for the annual Joint Commission inspection? Or the henchman brought them in as a back-up way to destroy the records if he couldn't find them before he was interrupted. Or space in NYC hospitals is at a premium, because crazy real estate prices (they don't have the same options for expanding that hospitals in less-expensive cities do), so they put stuff where there's room, not where it's safe.

Overall, I agree that Danny isn't "smart, cunning, well adjusted, mature or wise", and he certainly isn't Daredevil, who after all grew up and was trained in his home town, and operates in his old neighborhood. Danny is half a world and an entire dimension away from the place where he spent more than half his life like some hothouse flower. I think he'd beat Daredevil in a straight-up fight, but Matt would probably figure out that a straight-up fight wasn't the way to go with this guy, and figure out an angle to come at this guy that he wouldn't expect.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:21 PM on March 24, 2017

Again, I'm exasperated on Colleen Wing's behalf. She specifically told Danny to not bother the students, right?
posted by RobotHero at 4:42 PM on March 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, are we supposed to be annoyed with Danny's behavior or not? I can't really tell what the intent is.
posted by ODiV at 7:48 PM on March 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Leg-sweeping the kid I think is definitely played as Not Okay.

With the frequent flashbacks and specifically to getting hit with practice swords as a kid, I think their intent is a "poor judgment and impulse control as a result of traumatic/abusive childhood" take. So the leg-sweep moment might be a "cycle of abuse" thing.

Some of the other things he's done that are just obnoxious it's less clear that the narrative disapproves, or whether it's attributed to his childhood rather than he has an annoying personality.
posted by RobotHero at 7:30 AM on March 29, 2017

I'm getting more of a "mischievous scamp with a troubled past" vibe, but I can't tell if that's what I'm bringing to it or not. Like I suspect some of the harassment of Colleen and Joy in these first three episodes is supposed to be read at least a little flirty, but I'm not 100%.
posted by ODiV at 9:29 AM on March 29, 2017

In the comics he's often a lovable goofball, but I think they were tempted by the prestige of deep serious themes. And somehow his wacky moments so far can come across as saying cringetastic things to women.
posted by RobotHero at 4:56 PM on March 29, 2017

So.. I turned this off halfway through the episode and I think I'm done with the series.

Maybe it gets better but so far everybody's acted like total idiots and it's hard to believe any of them are competent at anything. Except maybe Joy, I guess, who has somehow come up with an illegal organ-trading side-deal and found a perfect tissue match to sweeten the faltering business acquisition she's been assigned within just a few hours after she's been given the mission. It's despicable but you have to give her credit for effectiveness -- that can't have been easy.

Oh, and I guess Carrie-Ann Moss seems to be a lot more sensible than everyone else running around but she was literally introduced to the series in this episode (as the world's most devoted ex-intern, no less) and has been around for about five minutes, so good luck Carrie-Ann -- I suspect you're gonna need it -- but I'm not sticking around to see how this ends.
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:01 PM on April 5, 2017

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