Alrighty, it was a slow start but it was the first episode so it get’s the B of the D. The one thing I miss about network TV is that these episodes would only be 44 minutes instead of a full hour; I never thought I would miss commercials.
Last we saw, a socially-stunted, filthy Danny Rand was strapped to a hospital bed getting an injection of what is hopefully too much Fentanyl.
Episode 2: Shadow Hawk Takes Too Long
SMASHCUT! We are in the snowy mountains and the snow turns into the sheets of Danny’s bed at Birch Psychiatric Hospital where he is being interviewed by an unnamed doctor. The doctor immediately informs Danny (or perhaps the viewer) that “You need to kill yourself. It’s really the only solution for any of us.” Which is pretty jarring for Danny and funny for us. You the realize the “doctor” is actually Simon, a fellow mental patient who basically just shooed out of the room so they can drug Danny and we can change scenes.
Back at Rand Ent. Joy and Ward talk business which sort of sets up some shady dealings to come, more on that as we go.
Cut to Danny on a mountain top looking at a flying hawk like “WTF does that mean?” I know this look from my own face. He wakes up and is now being interviewed by a real doctor who serves for way more natural exposition than Big Al from last episode. Young Mr. Rand was rescued by 2 monks named Chodak and Toshi who apparently rescue the lad. I guess lucky for Danny that it wasn’t priests that found him.
Meanwhile back in downtown NYC we see Colleen being hunted then attacked by unknown assailants, but oh, it’s just her students from the dojo trying to prove worth to their sensei. They are quickly defeated by Miss Wing in broad daylight in front of tons of public onlookers who neither comment or pay attention to 4 people attacking a young woman. What follows is Colleen’s awkward attempt to lambaste the students with some of the lamest and frankly bizarre insults I’ve ever heard; this scene feels like it was improvised by the actress but she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Back to the hospital, Danny is given a tour of the facilities by his previous suicide-encourager, Simon. We are introduced to a bunch of who-gives-a-fuck inmates and learn that while Danny thinks he is only there for 72 hours, that is pending the doctors approval and it is likely he will be there indefinitely. The hospital keeps Danny all drugged up which he alludes are affecting his yet-unseen abilities to escape. Danny manages to get a phone call to Colleen to ask for help to which she seems rightfully miffed that he keeps bothering her and dismisses him. Luckily she is still smoking hot and makes my peepee warm.
Back at the casa de Harold, we find Harold leaning towards the theory that this is, in fact, Danny Rand after watching footage from the hospital cameras of which he has access. He sends Ward on a mission to talk to Colleen to try and get her on their side of keeping Danny locked up as a threat. It’s a short scene with some OK Kyle prodding, which is good because that guy is an A-one weenie.
At Chikara Dojo, Ward talks to Colleen and comes off about as greasy as humanly possible, without being Italian, this leaves Colleen thinking there may be some credence to Danny’s story…which is about the opposite effect that the Meachum’s intended, naturally.
Back at the hospital the doctor tries to prove that Danny is not who he says he is but Danny keeps saying things that only the real Danny Rand would know which the doctor confirms later with Joy.
We enjoyably cut back to Harold watching the previous Danny interview and laying into Kyle beautifully and without mercy. If you listen closely you can hear Kyle’s balls shrivel up. Harold asks Kyle to ready the car as they are going somewhere which is unusual because Harold hasn’t left the penthouse in 12 years.
Turns out Harold is going to visit a drugged-up Danny to confirm his identity and feed him some spooks just because he is a dick. Danny divulges some information and we finally hear the name Iron Fist and learn he is the sworn enemy of the Hand which sounds silly if you didn’t know better.
“Who is the enemy of the hand?”
“Lol the fist?”
Anyhoooo, Harold gets back to his penthouse a sees a spooky message of his own, clearly from the Hand themselves. Oh Harold what have you done?
Viewers will remember the hand from the Daredevil series.
Next day. Joy, being curious after her call with the psychiatric doctor, decides to send Danny a test of her own using a delicious sack of M&Ms. Presumably M&Ms didn’t want to miss out on any more product placement since they blew it with ET. Sorry M&Ms your give-a-shit meter ended with Van Halen which is mirrored later in the episode.
Back at Chikara Dojo, Ward shows up to be weaselly to Colleen, tries to ply her with $50k and gives her some papers to think over that would keep Danny incarcerated.
At the hospital Danny has I think his 4th seizure flashback and receives Joy’s test which he quickly knows what to do with and gives the package of M&Ms (sans brown ones) to Colleen who is there to visit Danny and see what in the fuck is going on. Colleen (wearing a dissapointing frumpy jacket & un-tight pants) delivers the package back to Joy who instantly realizes it is Danny which tips Colleen off to not signing Ward’s papers.
In the hospital the doctor confirms Danny’s identity and seems keen on releasing him until Danny explains where he was the whole time: K’un Lun, one of the seven principle cities of Heaven, existing in another dimension which only appears on the earthly plane every 15 years. This is basically record scratch for the doctor who now believes he truly is Danny Rand but also has PTSD and is delusional. Danny continues to explain that he needs to be able to focus his Chi so he can channel it into his fist…his Iron Fist. It’s actually a pretty good scene.
Turns out Harold is watching the whole thing and arranges with Ward to have Danny moved and secured to another location because he is an enemy of the Hand which could prove valuable to Harold. Ward reluctantly agrees but has other plans. He also alludes to holding some warehouses and property that his Dad is making him acquire through Rand Ent. After the call, we see Ward take some pills which seems to be leading into an addict storyline which is all we need, I cared far more for Big Al.
Danny is taken put in a straight jacket and put in a room with some inmates who proceed to beat on him until he finally is somehow able to center his Chi which makes his hand glow in the dark. Finally! Will we get to see him Iron Fist some punks? Nope, he kicks their ass using normal Kung Fu. But he does use his new night-lite fist to completely eradicate a door, to which he gives a smirk as if to say “Yeah. Fuck you door.” He runs off into the night like someone shined a flashlight on a cockroach and this episode mercifully comes to a close.
This episode was the perfect opportunity to expand on Danny’s training in K’un Lun and explain how he became the Iron Fist, which so far is the most intriguing part of the story. I get the have to establish that people need to believe he actually is Danny Rand but it takes too long. Daredevil had some of the same problems but was way more engaging in other areas.