Following the death of Matthew Murdock / Daredevil (Charlie Cox) in The Defenders, it was his final wish that Danny Rand protect his city from those who would do it harm. As rival mobs, the Golden Tigers and the Hatchets, battle to fill the power vacuum left by The Hand, Danny (Finn Jones) and Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) meet an old friend. Whilst doing volunteer work at Bayard Community Centre, she discovers a mysterious box containing her family’s crest. She decides to search for the original owner. Danny meets Mary (Alice Eve), a newbie to New York, whilst Joy (Jessica Stroup) and Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey) have at it as she decides to leave Rand.
Season two is very much a step above its predecessor, and I liked that season as well. Much akin to other Netflix shows like thirteenth-century period drama Marco Polo, the fight scenes are glorious to watch. This season wasn’t rushed like season one and it’s all the better for it. It may not have the viewership of say, Daredevil, but it’s still a good time nonetheless. He comes into this season filling in for Matt Murdock, the man without fear, Hell’s Kitchen’s Daredevil, following his “death” at the end of the Battle of Midland Circle in The Defenders. Additionally, Danny is coming to understand his privilege and how that defines him, despite choosing not to live off his billions.
In “The Main Ingredient” (Luke Cage), Luke shows Danny his privilege. Walking into Mariah Dillard’s club Danny was untouchable. The concept of White privilege was portrayed simply; he was untouchable and even then, Danny still refuses to live off his father’s money. Being rich (and White) in Harlem is kind of like being bulletproof. In the Netflixverse occupied by a bulletproof Black man, a kickass PI, a blind ninja and a man who picks off gangsters with military grade weaponry from city rooftops, the addition of a rich White guy skilled with kung fu is weird. However, it’s a great balance to Luke Cage, and he might be the only person who could actually make a dent in him.
The best thing about this season is perhaps its seamless ten-episode length. All these shows should have been ten episodes from the beginning. The shorter season is an improvement, and it sorts the pacing issues that most of these shows have as well. The Defenders was eight episodes but that was the final phase of what could be defined as the Marvel/Netflix Phase 1. All these shows, maybe except The Punisher, have suffered from the thirteen-episode season model. This is more notable in season one of Luke Cage and season two of Daredevil. If there were ten episodes instead of thirteen in the latter, the arc with Elektra and The Hand would have been more bearable.
Overall, this is a superior season, and puts the spotlight on women, especially Detective Misty Knight (Simone Missick) and her totally badass… I mean mechanical arm which is half a season plus worth of fun. Jessica Stroup continues to slay as the compelling Joy Meachum and I loved her scenes with Davos (Sacha Dhawan), and Colleen Wing is on screen a lot more too. From her epic fight scenes to trying to street children who have fallen on hard times, young people who have been manipulated and don’t know any better. When are we getting a Colleen Wing and Misty Knight spin-off? This needs to happen; either that or Luke Cage and Iron Fist in their own show?
Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Mary, or as comic fans would correct you, Typhoid Mary, is fantastic. A woman ailed with DID AKA Dissociative Identity Disorder, a very real condition that is often portrayed as cartoonish and frequently falls into disorder stereotypes. But Eve gives one of my favourite performances of the year. Simultaneously, Davos is the lead villain and a compelling one, who poses a very real threat to Danny and everything he’s tried to build. Dhawan delivers a brilliant performance, and honestly it’s really the antagonists that steal the show, as they often do within the Netflixverse. From Mary to Kilgrave to Fisk, heroes always get out-acted by the big bad.
From warring siblings to allusions to fighting dragons (gimme an actual dragon next season), Iron Fist is truly the underdog of these shows but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. I love all these shows and they continue to go from strength to strength. Next stop, Daredevil on October 19. I can’t wait.