Who would guess, one year ago, that Iron Fist would be so good we simply can’t stop watching it? This is what episode 4 felt like: The turning point that changes the whole story and thickens the plot in ways that we just weren’t expecting. Not only that, as it consolidates the amazing technical work behind the cameras. Scenes are tense, well-directed and the cinematography, with its steady, wide shots, is just mind-blowing. How far has this show come between one season and the next, huh?

The episode opens up with Danny on the ground, bloody and beaten by a now full-on combat mode Mary. The subway scene near the end adds up to what we’re seeing here: She is able to beat the heck out of our dear Immortal Iron Fist, something that makes her a threat not only to Danny but to any other Defenders that might cross her. Especially after watching the scene at her house, with Joy finding out about the dissociative disorder, it really feels like Mary grows more disturbing the further we get to know her, and that is largely due to Alice Eve’s superb acting so far. There isn’t a scene in which she doesn’t seem to be battling her inner demons, which makes her look like a perfect fit for a Jessica Jones villain. Considering season 2 lacked a great villain, it would make a lot of sense to see her in that position. Anyway, we’ll have to wait and see where this season of Iron Fist takes her.

Next, we move on the Meachums. First of all, Joy blaming Danny and plotting to have him killed for what was clearly her father’s fault is getting a little annoying. Also, the whole deal with her selling her share of Rand but keeping a bunch of useless patents, then Ward buying some company as a gift to her has not yet been clarified. It sure is better that they do that until the end of the season because thus far it just looks like a very confusing subplot leading to nowhere. It doesn’t seem to be connecting to Ward’s plotline with the NA nor with Joy’s thing with Davos.

Oh, Davos. We finally learn what is his goal in all of this, and things get weirder and weirder as they unfold. Towards the end of the episode, we see him finally get what he wanted when he made a deal with The Hatchets. Inside container Hancock 212, Davos opens a coffin and we see a very old (yet very preserved) Iron Fist corpse/mummy, with the mask still on and everything. After being hinted by the dying Mr. Yang (and despite Misty trying to stop him), Danny arrives at the scene only to find the corpse without the mask and the piece of its chest that cointained the same dragon tattoo he’s got. It sure gives a very dark magic feel to a show that didn’t use to have it.

This is when two subplots connect, and they connect so smoothly you can hardly believe is the same show from last year. After being beaten by Mary, we now see Danny taken and being forced to give blood to Davos’ ritual. A group of strange, unknown women use the ashes of the previous Iron Fist tattoo and Danny’s blood to tattoo Davos’ back. And it is a… Steel Serpent! That’s right, we finally see Davos become what we all knew he was going to become, and seemingly finding a way to get an Iron Fist of his own. Does that mean Danny and Davos are now equals or is Danny literally giving Davos his powers? Only the time it takes for you to get to the next episode will tell.

VERDICT

4 OUT OF 5 tattoo needles

Despite the script doing an amazing job at connecting multiple plotlines and the cinematography making every shot look better than the previous, we’re nearly halfway through the season and the fights are still looking pretty boring. Which for a martial arts show is a serious problem. That cannot, however, diminish the great work done by the actors and the soundtrack, giving some scenes a tense atmosphere that we just weren’t expecting to be that good. Target: Iron Fist is a very good episode, and probably one of the best this show has had to offer. Let’s hope the season keeps getting better and better as it has been.

ONE-SHOTS

  • Danny and Colleen talking about how nice a normal life would feel is quite a sweet moment, the kind that these two rarely get.
  • How great is it to see Misty, huh? And it’s even better to see her and Colleen interacting. Here’s to hoping this season gives us another Daughters of the Dragon moment like Luke Cage season 2 did.
  • How exactly does Davos’s Steel Serpent connects to Madame Gao’s drug stamp from Daredevil? Do they connect at all?
  • Misty telling Danny about the undercover cop and trying to get him to back off from trying to end the war between The Hatchets and The Golden Tigers is a way to remind us how much more complex is street-level New York than what a guy who spent most of his life abroad would know.