Netflix UK TV review: Iron Fist Season 1 (Episodes 3, 4 and 5)
Chris Bryant | On 21, Mar 2017Reading time: 2 mins
After some shrug-worthy establishing episodes, Iron Fist gets the ball rolling. A little. The characters are given a semblance of depth in Episodes 3 to 5, as well as reintroducing some familiar faces on both sides of the board.
These episodes serve to flesh out the show to some extent, revealing Harold Meachum’s penthouse to be a prison, as opposed to a fortress, as well as attempting to provide an overview of the pressure Ward faces under his father’s confined exile. It doesn’t make either character more likeable, but it gives their limited characterisation some explanation.
Where Danny Rand is concerned, meanwhile, it is business as usual. Fighting off henchmen (who are almost always Asian), taking the most obvious path towards any breakthrough, and being outwitted at every turn, Rand might make some progress with his mission, but does so through dumb luck. Having realised that Danny could be of some use, Harold (an cartoonishly chilling David Wenham) brings Danny in on his problems in order to make it easier to manipulate him. Superhero origins often contain heroes faltering with their powers, growing accustomed to the task they face, but rarely do they appear to be outright moronic in the process.
However, opposing the flimsy structure of the show, these episodes also help provide a wider context for Iron Fist. Audiences are reintroduced to street-smart doctor Claire Temple (a no-nonsense Rosario Dawson), crack lawyer Jeri Hogarth (an even-less-nonsense Carrie Anne-Moss), and ultra-mysterious evil organisation, The Hand (last seen in Daredevil). These three links to the Marvel Universe help guide Iron Fist a little, their gravitas reminding viewers that this story is headed somewhere big.
While the episodes may not change how you feel about Iron Fist’s tedious pacing or sigh-inducing leading role, they do bring Colleen Wing to the forefront. Episode 5’s showdown at the docks is the first really interesting action sequence, as well as the first surprise from Iron Fist’s unfolding story – avenues for Iron Fist’s story are starting to open up.
All episodes of Iron Fist are available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.