Although cancelled, Iron Fist‘s most recent season is still available, and it’s a definite improvement on season one. I would not allow myself to start the next season of Daredevil until I finished this. Now that I have, you can expect a review of the third season of Daredevil in the next few weeks.

Cast and Crew

Finn Jones as Danny Rand / Iron Fist
Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing
Jessica Stroup as Joy Meachum
Tom Pelfphrey as Ward Meachum
Sacha Dhawan as Davos
Alice Eve as Mary Walker
Simone Missick as Misty Knight
Christine Toy Johnson as Mrs. Yang
Natalie Smith as Bethany
Giullian Yao Gioiello as BB
Fernando Chien as Chen Wu

Adapted for the television format by Scott Buck, who was not directly involved in season 2. M. Raven Metzner is the new showrunner for this season.
Scripted by Rebecca Dameron, Declan De Barra, Melissa Glenn, Jenny Lynn, M. Raven Metzner, Tatiana Suarez-Pico, Matthew White, and Jon Worley
Directed by Mairzee Almas, M.J. Bassett, Sanford Bookstaver, David Dobkin, Toa Fraser, Julian Holmes, Philip John, Jonas Pate, Daniel Shattuck, Stephen Surjik, and Rachel Talalay

Original Airdate

The season launched on Netflix on Friday, September 7, 2018. This season is only 10 episodes.

Synopsis

Davos is back, and is working with Joy on an unknown plan. Meanwhile, Danny is having a difficult time keeping the promise made to Matt Murdock at the end of The Defenders.

High Point

As far as the season ending episode is concerned, there are (by my count) 8 major events, and I did not see 6 coming at all. One I predicted based on comic book knowledge, and another because it was introduced in the second last episode, though it was a surprise then.

Low Point

It still feels like the writers don’t really know who Danny Rand is, which makes it hard for Finn Jones to get a handle on him. To be fair, I have the same issue in the comics, which is why the character seems to work best as a part of an ensemble. While that is the route this show has taken, shifting the emphasis to the larger cast, and taking advantage of the fact that the title is Iron Fist and not Danny Rand, it still makes the overall package less compelling.

The Review

This feels surprisingly original for an adapted story that draws from the previous season heavily in some places. While I admit I am not as well versed in this character’s lore as I am with many other Marvel characters, they also told a story that I have not seem in the source material. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects are in line with the rest of the Marvel Netflix shows. While the budget is high for location shooting in New York, it still can’t compare to movies on a “dollar spent per minute of screen time” level. The creators seem to plan for this, limiting the number of effects more than the quality, so each individual effect still looks good. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is very well paced. The shift to 10 episodes from 13 was a good choice, tightening in places. It still feels like one big movie, so the early episodes are slower than the last as the entire season fits on a single “rising action” curve instead of setting that up on an individual basis, though. Sure, you get a climax to each chapter, but the earlier climaxes pale to the later ones. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is more consistent than the first season. You can still “catch” Finn Jones acting at times, but that’s usually in expository speeches that seem impersonal, so he didn’t have a lot to grasp on to as an actor. Pelfphrey has improved as Ward, and the women on the cast (including both Jessicas from season one and Alive Eve as a new character) are still spot on. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was poor at first, but by the end, this was riveting. I think that’s more a sign of the slow build than an actual flaw. Again, my comic knowledge cheated me out of a reveal as far as Alice Eve’s character is concerned. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is spot on, as we’ve come to expect. 6 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a worthwhile addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe pantheon, and well worth checking out, even if you did not enjoy the first season. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Iron Fist: Season Two receives 35 out of 42.

Additional Notes

For the record, this is how I would personally rank the Marvel Netflix shows to date:

  1. The Punisher: Season One
  2. The Defenders: Season One
  3. Luke Cage: Season One
  4. Daredevil: Season Two
  5. Jessica Jones: Season One
  6. Daredevil: Season One
  7. Jessica Jones: Season Two
  8. Iron Fist: Season Two
  9. Luke Cage: Season Two
  10. Iron Fist: Season One