Iron Fist (season 2)
|Iron Fist (season 2)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original release||September 7, 2018|
The second season of the American web television series Iron Fist, which is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, follows Danny Rand / Iron Fist, a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the Iron Fist. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films and other television series of the franchise. The season is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, with Raven Metzner serving as showrunner.
Finn Jones stars as Rand, stepping up to be the protector of New York following the events of The Defenders, with Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Stroup, and Sacha Dhawan also returning from the first season to star; they are joined by Simone Missick and Alice Eve. The season was ordered in July 2017, along with revealing that Metzner would replace Scott Buck as showrunner. Filming for the season began in late 2017 in New York City, and continued until May 2018. Each episode in the season is named after the issue title of various comics Danny Rand has appeared in.
The season was released on September 7, 2018, and consists of ten episodes. The season received mixed reviews from critics, but was considered a major improvement over the previous season.
|Title [a]||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|14||1||"The Fury of Iron Fist"||David Dobkin||M. Raven Metzner||September 7, 2018|
|Following Matt Murdock's apparently final wishes, Danny Rand protects the streets as Iron Fist. He fights to prevent a Triad war between the Golden Tigers and the Hatchets to fill the vacuum left by the Hand. The Golden Tigers runs a protection racket, shaking down local business owners like restauranteur Henry Yip, while the Hatchets control the docks. Colleen Wing is doing volunteer work at the Bayard Community Center where she discovers a donated box that contains her family's crest and decides to search for the original owner. Danny meets Mary, a quiet young woman who just moved to New York. Joy Meachum has decided to take a divestment from Rand Enterprises, which Danny supports but Joy's brother Ward is furious about. Ward attends an NA meeting where he has begun a relationship with his sponsor, Bethany. Davos meets with Mr. Yang, the leader of the Hachet Gang, regarding the increased price of a shipment. Joy has secretly teamed up with Davos as she feels resentment towards Danny and Ward about her father. Davos meets with Danny and voices his frustration about Danny gaining the Iron Fist and abandoning K'un-L'un. Danny and Colleen investigate the box and end up fighting a young gang led by Ryhno.|
|15||2||"The City's Not for Burning"||Rachel Talalay||Jon Worley||September 7, 2018|
|The Hatchet Gang continues with its protection racket. Danny has an odd encounter with Mary, during which she visits his home and meets Colleen. Colleen tries to inspire Ryhno and his gang to turn away from crime, and makes a connection with one of the members, BB. After Danny fails to convince Mr. Yang to end the war with the Golden Tigers, he and Colleen meet with Mr. Yang's wife and convince her to change her husband's mind. Ward learns that Joy is working with Davos. Davos and Joy blackmail Joy's old friend Mika to acquire an ancient copper bowl. The next day, Davos cripples Mr. Yang after the Triad leader refuses Davos' money to bring in a mysterious shipment. In a recurring flashback to K'un-L'un, Davos and Danny fight to determine who will try for the power of Iron Fist. Danny outwits Davos, prompting Davos' father Thunderer to declare Danny the winner before he is forced by the rules of the contest to kill Davos.|
|16||3||"This Deadly Secret"||Toa Fraser||Tatiana Suarez-Pico||September 7, 2018|
|Ward informs Danny about Joy working with Davos. Ward convinces Danny to invite Davos and Joy to dinner to mend fences, but to keep Ward's involvement a secret. Colleen and BB break into Yang's restaurant and find a ledger. Mary reveals to Danny that someone named Walker is watching him, providing surveillance photos as proof. At dinner that night, Ward is a no-show. Colleen tries to get everyone to air their feelings, but it all falls apart and Davos and Joy leave angry after Davos discovers Mary's photos. Danny and Colleen support Mrs. Yang when she meets to negotiate peace with the Golden Tigers. Danny sees something suspicious and ends up starting a fight, wrecking the meeting. Mary is revealed to have DID when Davos and Joy confront her tough alternate personality Walker about Danny's possession of her photos.|
|17||4||"Target: Iron Fist"||MJ Bassett||Jenny Lynn||September 7, 2018|
|Davos and Joy continue to interrogate Walker. She assures them she will succeed in helping them against Danny. Joy learns about Walker's alternate personality, and that is was Mary who gave the photos to Danny. Ward and Bethany spend a happy night together. Colleen and Danny meet with Mrs. Yang and discuss why the parley between Golden Tigers and Hatchets went wrong. Danny finds Mr. Yang in bed and spots evidence that Davos used a technique to induce a stroke. Misty Knight drops by to tell Danny and Colleen that an undercover NYPD officer in the Golden Tigers was hurt by Danny in the fight after the failed parley. Danny realizes it was the NYPD moving in that spooked him at the parley. Davos opens the shipping container Mr. Yang was delivering, which contains the corpse of a long-dead Iron Fist. He cuts the dragon tattoo from the body and leaves. Walker confronts Danny on a subway platform. She outmaneuvers him and injects him with a tranquilizer, then takes him to Davos. Three women (Crane Sisters) use the tattoo from the dead body, the copper bowl, and Danny's blood to ink a Serpent tattoo on Davos's back with steel pens, which transfers Danny's chi energy into Davos.|
|18||5||"Heart of the Dragon"||Mairzee Almas||Declan de Barra||September 7, 2018|
|Davos uses his new Iron Fist power to attack the Golden Tigers triad and kills their leader Ho. Ho's right hand man, Chen Wu, switches his allegiance to Davos to help rid the city of its crimes. Walker releases a gravely injured Danny and films him for Joy. Afterwards, he is captured by Ryhno's gang, who plan to hand him over to the Golden Tigers for money. Davos tells Joy that their work together is not finished, forcing her to contact Walker for help. Concerned about Danny's disappearance, Colleen and Misty search for and eventually rescue him from Ryhno's gang. Ward has Bethany tend to Danny's wounds, and later he and Danny have a heart to heart talk. Colleen and Misty head to Joy's apartment and discover that she is working with Walker. Misty and Colleen take Joy and Walker to Danny and Colleen's apartment for answers. In a flashback, Davos' mother Priya berates him for losing the Iron Fist to Danny, and Davos swears to redeem himself and leaves K'un-L'un.|
|19||6||"The Dragon Dies at Dawn"||Philip John||Matthew White||September 7, 2018|
|Misty interrogates Joy and Walker. She learns about the ritual that Davos used to steal the Iron Fist, including the copper bowl and the tattoo artists responsible, the Crane Sisters. She and Colleen visit the Crane Sisters at their parlor. The Crane Sisters attack and attempt escape, but are defeated. The sisters agree to undo the ritual under threat of arrest. Walker frees herself from Misty's handcuffs and offers to lead Danny to Davos. Danny wants to talk Davos down, but Walker plans to kill him. Chen Wu and Davos continue to hunt and kill Triad members. Davos notices Ryhno's gang and takes an interest in them. Joy and Ward try talking, but end up arguing over their ruined relationship and their father's instability. Danny and Walker find Davos, who invites Danny to join him. Walker attacks when the talks break down, injecting a sedative into Davos. Before passing out, Davos breaks Danny's leg with the Iron Fist. Walker calls an ambulance for Danny, but is triggered by the rain to switch to Mary and leaves the scene, allowing Davos to recover and escape.|
|20||7||"Morning of the Mindstorm"||Stephen Surjik||Rebecca Dameron||September 7, 2018|
|Danny is hospitalized and fitted with a special Rand leg brace to speed his healing. Misty learns that the police plan to steer clear of the Triad situation. Joy meets up with Mary and tells her that Walker does not want to "run away" from her, but is trying to protect her. Mary decides to stop taking her pills and lets Walker take control, and records a video for her alternate. Davos offers training to Ryhno's gang, recruiting them as his army. Ward gets drunk and is confronted by Bethany, who then gives up on him. He secretly follows her to an NA meeting and learns that she is pregnant. Misty visits Mika, who allows her to take pictures of a scroll written in ancient Tibetan. Danny reveals that it is the formula for the Iron Fist transfer, and plans to reclaim the Iron Fist from Davos once he has healed. Joy tries to get Davos to reveal where he left the bowl. Colleen reluctantly decides to help train Danny for his next fight, but they mutually decide to end their romantic relationship.|
|21||8||"Citadel on the Edge of Vengeance"||Julian Holmes||Melissa Glenn||September 7, 2018|
|Danny continues to train with Colleen and learns to overcome his anger towards Davos. They rescue Mrs. Yang and hide her at the Bayard Community Center. She and the Golden Tigers make peace around a plan to kill Davos. Walker wakes up and watches Mary's video about their time in Sokovia. Walker notices an inconsistency with Mary's story and realizes that she may have a third, much more violent personality. Joy convinces Davos that he needs to sell himself to the public so that he can be more likable, but in actuality she teams up with BB to retrieve the bowl. She also calls Ward to get him to purchase the abandoned spot Davos is hiding in. Realizing what Joy's plan is, Ward hires Walker to protect Joy from Davos, agreeing to recover files about Walker's time in Sokovia as payment. Davos kills Henry Yip after wrongly accusing him of being in league with the Golden Tigers. This prompts Ryhno to reject Davos, but he is killed by another gang member, leaving all of the gang except BB loyal to Davos. After another sparring match, Danny reveals to Colleen that he had become addicted to the Iron Fist power and believes that she should claim it from Davos rather than himself.|
|22||9||"War Without End"||Sanford Bookstaver||Daniel Shattuck||September 7, 2018|
|23||10||"A Duel of Iron"||Jonas Pate||M. Raven Metzner||September 7, 2018|
Cast and characters
In January 2015, Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos stated the series was "eligible to go into multiple seasons for sure" and Netflix would look at "how well [they] are addressing both the Marvel fanbase but also the broader fanbase" in terms of determining whether additional seasons would be appropriate. In July 2015, Sarandos said some of the Defenders series would "selectively have multiple seasons as they come out of the gate." At San Diego Comic-Con International 2017, the second season of Iron Fist was announced, with Raven Metzner taking over as showrunner from Scott Buck, who served that role for the first season. Marvel Television head and series executive producer Jeph Loeb explained that Marvel had known Buck would be unavailable for the next season of Iron Fist due to his commitments to another Marvel series, Inhumans, so the studio began looking for a replacement showrunner. Metzner pitched a story for the season that excited Marvel, and Loeb compared the change to a new writer taking over on a comic.
The season begins after the events of The Defenders, and sees Rand fulfill his promise to protect New York following the supposed death of Matt Murdock at the end of that miniseries. For the season, Metzner also wanted to explore more of the mythology of K'un-Lun than was shown in the first season by spending more time there. Each episode is named after the issue title of various comics Danny Rand has appeared in, after the first season named each episode after Shaolin Kung Fu sequences.
When asked how the season would be influenced by the criticisms of the first, Metzner said that Marvel had allowed him to tell his own story rather than follow on from the first season and so he just approached the project as a fan of the comics and characters. He described the second season as an "evolution" of the first. Jones felt that Rand would be more relatable for the audience in the second season after moving in with his girlfriend and spending less time around Rand Enterprises. Metzner described this approach as "holistic", wanting the series to feel like being on the streets of New York.
Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Stroup, and Sacha Dhawan reprise their roles as Danny Rand / Iron Fist, Colleen Wing, Ward Meachum, Joy Meachum, and Davos, respectively. They are joined in the season by Alice Eve as Typhoid Mary. Metzner had previously written a different version of Typhoid Mary for the film Elektra (2005), and was always interested in that character and well-versed in her comic story. Eve described her introduction in the season as an origin story that explores the mystery of the character's multiple personalities, while Loeb said, "We meet her at a certain point in her life and then cards get tipped over as you go."
With the announcement of the season, it was revealed that Simone Missick would appear, reprising her role as Misty Knight from previous MCU Netflix series. This allows for the exploration of the Daughters of the Dragon team that Wing and Knight form in the comics. James Chen had also joined the cast as Sam Chung, a role loosely based on the supporting character of the same name.
Filming for the season was expected to begin "soon" after it was announced at San Diego Comic-Con, with actor Sacha Dhawan saying then that "they're hopefully starting" by December 2017. By December 13, filming on the season had begun, in New York City where the production wrapped on May 10, 2018. Jones described this as the end of a "long and physical 7 month winter shoot". Extensive filming took place in New York's Chinatown. Niels Alpert served as cinematographer for the season.
Clayton Barber took over as the fight coordinator for the season, having also served in the role on Marvel's Black Panther (2018), after the fight choreography of the first season was widely criticized. Barber was inspired by "old school kung fu" such as the works of Jackie Chan, and wanted to make the fights of the series feel like "a punk rock song". Metzner noted that Jones had months of lead time before work on the season began to "hone his skills" with the fighting and stunts, and said that he and the rest of the cast along with Barber "really pushed themselves" with the fight sequences in the season. Jones added that all of the fight scenes have "an emotional standpoint" so that they drive the story forward rather than simply being "awesome fight scenes" for the sake of having fights.
Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins
The episodes "Morning of the Mindstorm" and "Citadel on the Edge of Vengeance" feature flashbacks from Mary Walker's past as an operative in the fictional country of Sokovia, which debuted in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Jones, Henwick, Missick, Eve, Loeb, Metzner, and Barber promoted the season at San Diego Comic-Con 2018. Charles Pulliam-Moore of io9 felt the footage shown at the panel left him optimistic for the season, since "It finally feels like Iron Fist may have figured out what people wanted out of this show in the first place." He felt the clips showed "how drastic an improvement" there was to the fight choreography, thanks in part to new fight coordinator Barber joining the series. One clip that showed Rand facing Davos in K'un-Lun felt "brutal and bloody" while also being "fluid and elegant in a way that feels fresh, new, and exactly like what you want from Iron Fist." At the panel, Loeb appeared in a karate costume, as part of a comic bit with Henwick, who later appeared on stage telling Loeb to remove the outfit. Some criticized the outfit as insensitive and "several layers of bad".
The second season received mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 51% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 5.57 out of 10 based on 35 reviews. On September 7, 2018, Rotten Tomatoes revealed that the second season of Iron Fist broke the Tomatometer record with "the biggest sophomore bump", up 33% over the prior season. The website's critical consensus reads, "Better action scenes and tighter pacing elevate Iron Fist's second season, but it remains a lesser light among MCU shows."
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