Iron Fist 1.05: “Under Leaf Pluck Lotus”
As Danny looks into his company’s ties to a new synthetic form of heroin, Colleen uses her talents to help him. Rand Enterprises fights off liability allegations when a high ratio of citizens that live near their plant are diagnosed with cancer and the Meachums both show a human side.
Joy struggles with being a decent person and a good business person as she faces down people asking the same questions she had when Harold “died.” It’s clear that job mode is in juxtaposition with her morals, as much as she tends to put the company first.
Meanwhile, Ward’s psyche and substance abuse are getting the better of him. During childhood flashbacks in the opening episode, I assumed he was merely a rich brat that treated people poorly. Typically a fairly easy stereotype to pinpoint, but in this episode the source of his strife becomes clear. Under his father’s heavy hand, he’s been driven to a point of no return. It bubbles and brews and he’s not prepared to handle the things he’s actually thinking and feeling.
Dedication to Self or Career
Going back to the legal issues of Rand Enterprises for a moment, Danny did have a nice moment with the mother of a sick child. One of steady empathy, with a promise of righting wrongs in his community. That is where his efforts should have been headed instead of regaining his name and father’s business.
Unfortunately, directly following that moment of genuine good-heartedness is a moment of ignorant privilege. Disrupting Claire’s lesson, Danny not only interrupts a paying customer’s session but attempts to steal Colleen’s time and focus away from her in order to prioritize his needs. Then, after a dinner scene that Rosario Dawson’s holds down as a terrifically awkward third party, he basically says Colleen owes him because he bought her building. I understand there’s naivete fogging his actions but, on a meta level, it’s just not a good look from outside the lens.
Mystical Story Should Still be Story First
On the plus side, plot does finally start to congeal and flow in Under Leaf Pluck Lotus. The focus on Danny’s resurgence caused severe pacing issues for me over the first four episodes. Danny and Colleen investigating felt somewhat like Daredevil’s first season and that’s a very welcome tone. The Hand comes to the forefront and their chemist-under-duress is Danny’s best shot at information. Granted it’s re-establishment of coercion-via-kidnapping in Marvel’s Netflix shows, but I’m thankful nonetheless.
The truck fight wasn’t so amazing but that’s sort of something that I’ve resigned myself to learning to deal with in Iron Fist. The choreography and edits just can’t hold a candle to those of Daredevil, which is disappointing, but I’ll take that hit if the story keeps moving.
Plot picking up isn’t the only positive, as we also got an incredibly intense Madame Gao moment as the episode came to a close. Never fail Madame Gao. Lesson learned, again.
And at least we got Claire being Claire, however minimally.
Head to the next page for a review of Iron Fist 1.06: “Immortal Emerges From Cage”