Review: Iron Fist S1E1

“Snow Gives Way”

In the very first episode, we are introduced to most of what will probably become the ‘main’ cast. We have the lead, Danny Rand (played by Finn Jones), returning home to New York. His first order of business is heading straight for his father’s company and seeking out his father’s old best friend, Harold Meachum (which he quickly finds out passed away six years prior).

Problem is, everyone from his past believes that he and his parents are dead from an airplane crash fifteen years ago. Not only is he faced with disbelief from friends he always felt were like family, he is faced with constant judgment by all of those around him.

Dressed simply in dirty sweat pants and a rumpled shirt, he also seems to find comfort in walking around barefoot. This immediately makes the world view him as a homeless man and he is treated as such from the get-go, even though his demeanor is nothing like that of a homeless person (as represented by the gentlemen we later meet in the park when Rand encroaches on his spot—the man is the only one to treat Rand with kindness because he too assumes Rand is like him; homeless).

We meet the Meachum’s, Ward (Tom Pelphrey) and Joy (Jessica Stroup), Danny’s childhood friends and now the ones in control of his father’s company. Both openly face him with skepticism but Ward with outright hostility (which makes perfect sense since the ‘real’ Danny owns 51% of the company).

While Joy can see the resemblance of a younger Danny, Ward absolutely refuses to believe it and thinks it’s some competitor company attempting to sabotage theirs. Doesn’t take much for Joy herself to agree with her brother, and both treat Rand with cold indifference, which he accepts with disbelief and sorrow.

It is clearly not the homecoming he had been expecting. He can’t grasp why they can’t believe he is being earnest (he has a very innocent nature about him—which I see becoming one of his superhero weaknesses).

We also meet Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), the martial arts sensei of a small/struggling dojo in a shady neighborhood. It is weird how he is quickly tossed into her life and this felt really odd. I think they could have developed that a little better and made it a bit more smooth.

The episode is definitely slow as it is setting the stage for what I have a feeling will be a few running themes; power struggle, misinterpretations, sense of belonging ( and lack of), living in the past while attempting to move forward, the ‘hand’ in the shadows, the internal battle that Danny will face on a daily basis of biased views from both sides of the spectrum, his constantly having to prove himself to those around him, his almost annoying innocent naivety (like he is still that child that disappeared 15 years ago) which I am sure will get him in trouble often (not ‘getting’ how the world is, but valid in how it ‘should’ be).

I feel like the dialogue in the first episode was definitely strained. This can happen with a first episode though and I have seen it in a lot of shows. Doesn’t mean the show will be bad. I can say that the second episode greatly improves on this (still strained, but better).

The few fight scenes in this first episode were bad. I was really not impressed. It felt very sluggish and almost robotic. As an ‘expert’ raised and trained for the last 15 years by a ‘Master‘, it does NOT show. Sadly, this did not improve in episode two, but I am hoping it does as the show progresses. This show is about martial arts so hopefully, they put more effort into the choreography/training for these scenes.

For being the very first episode, I felt it was definitely more on the ‘meh’ side, but I decided to go ahead and watch the second one, which had improvements. I’ll post a review of that tomorrow.