Iron Fist (season 2)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original release||September 7, 2018|
The second and final season of the American streaming 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 was produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, with Raven Metzner serving as showrunner.
Finn Jones stars as Rand, who protects New York following the events of The Defenders. Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Stroup, and Sacha Dhawan also return from the first season to star, and are joined by Simone Missick, reprising her role from previous Marvel Netflix series, and Alice Eve. The season was ordered in July 2017, with Metzner replacing Scott Buck as showrunner. Filming for the season began in late 2017 in New York City, and continued until May 2018. Focus was placed on improving the fight sequences for the series after criticisms of the first season, with Clayton Barber taking over as fight coordinator after doing so for the MCU film Black Panther. Each episode in the season is named after a comics issue that 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. Netflix canceled the series on October 12, 2018.
|Title [a]||Directed by||Written by||Original release date |
|14||1||"The Fury of Iron Fist"||David Dobkin||M. Raven Metzner||September 7, 2018|
|Billionaire Danny Rand moves in with his girlfriend Colleen Wing, living in her Chinatown, New York City dojo. At night he fights criminals on the streets using the magical power of the Iron Fist, and sees an increase in crime between gangs such as the Golden Tigers and the Hatchets following the destruction of the Hand. Colleen finds a box bearing the kamon of her family, who pushed her away years earlier. She begins investigating where the box may have come from, and comes to believe that furniture shop owner Frank Choi may know of its origin. He goes missing when he is unable to pay the Golden Tigers for protection. Danny and Ward Meachum—who runs Danny's company—meet with Ward's sister Joy, who asks for them to buy her out of the company; Danny agrees. Joy is working with Davos, who was raised with Danny in the mystical city of K'un-Lun. Davos confronts Danny, revealing that he has discovered a way to take the Iron Fist from Danny. Davos believes it is his birthright, but Danny refuses to give it up.|
|15||2||"The City's Not for Burning"||Rachel Talalay||Jon Worley||September 7, 2018|
|Years earlier, Danny earned the right to gain the Iron Fist after being named the winner of a duel against Davos in K'un-Lun by Davos's father Lei Kung, though Davos had not conceded defeat to Danny. Now, fighting between the Golden Tigers and the Hatchets escalates and Danny is unable to convince Hai-Qing Yang, the leader of the Hatchets, to look for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. On the streets, Danny meets a strange newcomer to the city, Mary, and helps her by giving her directions and trying to protect her from the gang violence. She develops feelings for Danny in response to his kindness. Joy and Davos use blackmail to acquire an antique bowl from Mika Prada, an old acquaintance of Joy's. Colleen convinces Hai-Qing's wife Sherry to talk her husband into peace. Davos later meets with Hai-Qing regarding shipments that he has coming into the Hatchet's docks, and when he learns that the group can no longer secure his items given they now plan to share the docks with the Golden Tigers Davos gives Hai-Qing a stroke.|
|16||3||"This Deadly Secret..."||Toa Fraser||Tatiana Suarez-Pico||September 7, 2018|
|Learning of Joy and Davos's partnership, Ward asks Danny to invite the pair over for dinner so they can all discuss their differences. Despite Davos's protests, Joy agrees to avoid suspicion. Mary leaves a set of surveillance photos showing Danny and Colleen at the dojo, and when Danny confronts her about them Mary says that they are being watched by someone named Walker. Ward believes that someone at his Narcotics Anonymous meetings is working for Joy, and becomes paranoid. He ultimately does not come to the dinner. Joy and Davos feign niceties until Colleen demands that they discuss their grievances with Danny. Davos finds the surveillance photos, which he and Joy had arranged to be taken, and the pair leave. Danny and Colleen come to a parlay between the Golden Tigers and the Hatchets, now represented by Mrs. Yang. Negotiations appear successful, but Danny believes that the Golden Tigers have set a trap and attacks them. Mrs. Yang escapes with Colleen. Davos and Joy confront Walker, who appears to be a violent Mary.|
|17||4||"Target: Iron Fist"||MJ Bassett||Jenny Lynn||September 7, 2018|
|Joy learns that Walker has dissociative identity disorder, with Mary being an alternate personality; Walker insists that she can control Mary. Danny attempts to reignite peace talks between the triads, but the Golden Tigers have already seized the docks and the Hatchets are preparing to fight back. Danny visits Hai-Qing and realizes that Davos had caused the stroke. Hai-Qing is able to tell Danny what Davos was having brought in at the docks. Danny and Colleen are met by Detective Misty Knight, a friend who Danny gave a robotic arm to after she lost hers fighting the Hand. Misty explains that the trap Danny had seen was actually police officers watching the parlay, and asks Danny to stay away from now on. He instead goes to the docks on his own, but Davos has already killed the Golden Tiger soldiers there and taken what he wanted: the tattooed skin from the corpse of an old Iron Fist. Danny is attacked, drugged, and taken by Walker to the site of a ritual in which the bowl, skin, and Danny's blood are used to transfer the power of the Iron Fist to Davos.|
|18||5||"Heart of the Dragon"||Mairzee Almas||Declan de Barra||September 7, 2018|
|Bleeding out, Danny is found by a group of local kids who have started their own triad. They plan to give Danny to the Golden Tigers in exchange for a bounty. Colleen and Misty attempt to find Danny by tracking down Walker, and get Ward's help to quickly run a fingerprint search on the surveillance photos. Davos looks to become the Iron Fist that Danny never was, starting with ending the triad war himself. He goes to a nightclub owned by the Golden Tigers and kills their leadership. Joy begins to fear what Davos may do to her, and hires Walker for protection. One of the kids holding Danny, BB—who Colleen had run into several times before—is convinced by Danny to call Colleen. She and Misty find Danny, and Ward gets his NA sponsor Bethany to tend to Danny's injuries. While Ward stays with Danny, Colleen and Misty go to ensure that Joy is safe and find her with Walker. Colleen and Misty overpower Walker, and take the two back to the dojo where Joy confirms that she knew what Davos planned all along and had wanted to hurt Danny.|
|19||6||"The Dragon Dies at Dawn"||Philip John||Matthew White||September 7, 2018|
|Joy reveals that the ritual was carried out by three tattoo artists called the Crane Sisters. Hoping that they can reverse the process, Colleen and Misty go to find them leaving Ward to watch over Danny, Joy, and Walker. Walker agrees to take Danny back to where the ritual took place to confront Davos, leaving Ward and Joy to discuss their relationship. Joy refuses to forgive Ward and leaves him. After explaining that they are accessories to a crime, Misty gets the Crane Sisters to agree to reversing the ritual. Walker reveals to Danny that she actually plans to kill Davos before running away to live in a secluded cabin in peace. This would allow her to avoid any of the triggers that bring Mary to the surface. Danny convinces her to take Davos hostage instead, and when he returns from his killing spree across the city Davos is subdued. He manages to break Danny's leg before falling unconscious. Walker calls an ambulance for Danny, but Davos is left behind when Mary is triggered and runs away after hearing that Walker plans to keep her trapped.|
|20||7||"Morning of the Mindstorm"||Stephen Surjik||Rebecca Dameron||September 7, 2018|
|With the help of a state-of-the-art leg brace, Danny begins to recover from his injury but is unable to fight. Misty hopes to gain the help of the local police precinct to stop Davos, but Captain William Pike is unwilling to do so since Davos is putting an end to organised crime in the neighborhood. In addition to continuing his killing spree, Davos recruits the gang of local kids and plans to train them as soldiers to help fight his war against crime in New York City. Danny also wants to begin training again, hoping that Colleen will re-open her dojo for teaching. She does not want to take the responsibility for a student who could fight and die, but eventually relents and begins training Danny to fight with his injury. Misty learns the requirements of the ritual from Prada, and goes in search of more help. Ward turns to alcohol to drown his sorrows, despite the protests of Bethany. Ward later hears her reveal in an NA meeting that she is pregnant with his child. Joy visits Mary, who realizes that she is protected by Walker. Mary leaves an encouraging message for Walker.|
|21||8||"Citadel on the Edge of Vengeance"||Julian Holmes||Melissa Glenn||September 7, 2018|
|Walker watches Mary's message, and is confused when Mary thanks her for breaking them out of a Sokovian prison where they were a prisoner-of-war for years while serving in the military. Walker always believed that it was Mary who broke them out, and psychiatrist Paul Edmonds suggests that they may have another alternate personality; Walker dismisses this idea. Joy attempts to undermine Davos by searching for the bowl, and asks Ward to take over a business venture that she is carrying out in the memory of their mother. He worries that she is in danger, and Walker agrees to help him kill Davos. BB helps Joy steal the bowl, while Davos unsuccessfully tries to convince the wider community of the nobility of his crusade. The remnants of the triads band together to stop him, and all Danny can do is try and stop him first. Colleen tries to teach Danny to overcome his emotional bond to Davos, allowing him to realize the negative impact on his life that the Iron Fist has had. Danny suggests that Colleen should take the power from Davos.|
|22||9||"War Without End"||Sanford Bookstaver||Daniel Shattuck||September 7, 2018|
|Colleen refuses to take the power of the Iron Fist. Misty returns with a police taskforce ready to capture Davos, as well as Frank Choi who had cut a deal to turn on the Golden Tigers. From Choi's information, Colleen deduces that her mother came to New York and could still be in the city. Davos discovers the missing bowl, and critically injures Joy by pushing her off a balcony. BB contacts the rest of his gang, hoping that they will see reason, but they tell Davos that he has gone to a community center where Colleen volunteers. Danny and Colleen go to the center to stop the combined triads from mobilizing to attack, but Davos and his gang arrive. BB faces his gang, and is killed. Colleen fights the rest off until Misty and the police can arrive. Danny overpowers Davos, and meets the Crane Sisters at the dojo to undertake the ritual again. Mourning BB, Colleen agrees to take the Iron Fist, but the ritual is interrupted leaving both Davos and Colleen with the power. Misty, Ward, and Walker find Joy, and Ward takes her to safety. Walker then attacks Misty.|
|23||10||"A Duel of Iron"||Jonas Pate||M. Raven Metzner||September 7, 2018|
|In pain from the interrupted ceremony, Davos flees back to his hideout and is pursued by Colleen, also in pain, and Danny. Walker waits for Davos to return and attempts to kill him, but Danny warns that killing Davos will kill Colleen as well until the ritual is complete. Misty wakes up, escapes capture, and helps Danny stop Walker by triggering Mary. Colleen fights Davos, and is able to draw the rest of the Iron Fist power out of him. With Davos arrested, Danny is unsure of his purpose in life. Colleen prepares to protect the streets of Chinatown as the new Iron Fist, while Joy attempts to return to her normal life. Walker, considering the possibility of having another, more violent identity, decides to stay affiliated with Joy and her influence. Ward attempts to reconcile with Bethany, but she chooses to raise their child on her own. Danny decides to leave New York to find Orson Randall, the man from whom Davos acquired the Iron Fist corpse. Ward travels with him, and months later Danny has stolen two guns from Randall with which he can form Iron Fists.|
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 comics 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.
Robert Lydecker composed the music for the season.
Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins
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 comedic 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 review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 55% approval rating, based on 47 reviews, with an average rating of 5.69/10. 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." Metacritic assigned a score of 39 out of 100 based on reviews from six critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
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