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Fridge Brilliance

  • When Danny returns to New York, he acts very much like a child would in certain situations and does not understand the way society works. This makes sense, given how he was a kid when he left, and has been gone for more than half of his life. His Character Development throughout the series is in line with someone maturing.
  • At first, the Meachums appear to be a case of Playing Gertrude, since there's only a 17 year age gap between David Wenham (Harold) and Tom Pelphrey (Ward). But Harold hasn't aged a day in thirteen years since the Hand resurrected him. Meaning the trope is actually getting averted.
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  • The reason Danny's powers feel so weak compared to what the Iron Fist is supposed to be is because this is a young, untrained Iron Fist. He left K'un L'un before he learned how to use his powers. That's why he can only use one fist, he has trouble summoning it, he can't maintain it for long, etc. The Doylist explanation is that if Danny were to fully and truly be the Iron Fist, he would be in a totally different league from the other Defenders. This is evident in what we see of the 1948 Iron Fist. An older, more experienced, more powerful Iron Fist would either defeat any threat the Defenders face, or would have to face threats too powerful for the other Defenders. At that level it would be increasingly likely that the Avengers would be trying to recruit Danny, not guys in the likes of Matt, Jessica and Luke.
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  • In the first four episodes, Danny gets easily overpowered by the other patients in the asylum, and is curb-stomped by the guy who attacks him while he's recovering his x-rays. His fight choreography is a lot different from Matt Murdock's because they have different motivations at this point in time. Matt is proactively trying to stop criminals. In the above mentioned cases, Danny didn't come looking for a fight and that's why he didn't display any aggressive moves then or during the elevator fight. Until he starts actively engaging members of the Hand, nearly every fight Danny gets into has someone else is the aggressor and Danny is reluctantly fighting back.
  • Bakuto and his students are all clothed in various shades of red and black. They're revealed to be a faction of the Hand, whose ninja outfits are primarily red and black, which makes it a bit of subtle visual foreshadowing.
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  • Jeri Hogarth and Joy Meachum are both clients of Jessica Jones, meaning that one (probably Jeri) most likely introduced the other to her.
  • A recurring theme that's prevalent throughout the Netflix shows is the theme of legacy. Daredevil (2015) is about the legacy of our fathers, with both Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk trying to avoid becoming their fathers and failing. Jessica Jones (2015) is about the legacy left behind by abuse, demonstrated by Jessica Jones and Trish Walker through their respective abuse from Kilgrave and Dorothy Walker. Luke Cage (2016) is about the legacy of the urban environment, with the culture of Harlem, for better or worse, seeped into every major character. Iron Fist is about the legacy of a title, with Danny Rand being the inheritor of the mantle of Iron Fist and the inheritor of Rand Enterprises. These are titles/names that come with expectations, and the show is about him trying to transform what they mean while living up to them.
  • Although Danny chastising Colleen's students as being "Chattering Monkeys" is racially insensitive (to the point of earning a spot on the Unfortunate Implications), the line is likely a result of Danny being raised in a society that is oblivious to America's racial politics. The Rands, an American couple, likely would have used the phrase "Gossiping Hens", whereas Lei Kung, a martial arts teacher who was born and raised in a village near a rainforest, likely would have had his meditation interrupted by raucous simians numerous times and compared equally rowdy students to said simians.
  • The ethnically diverse nature of the Hand as depicted here actually had been foreshadowed in Daredevil (2015), as Stick mentioned in his first episode that the Hand was "Japanese, mostly".
  • It's mentioned that Karen Page is the reporter that leaked Danny's decision to shut down the chemical plant before he notified the board about it. This would be very fitting for Karen, since from her perspective, those cancer patients are no different from herself and everyone else that Wilson Fisk victimized. And of course she'd like Danny's decision because she sees him as just like herself and Matt: someone who is compassionate to those who have been wronged by an injustice. On top of that, Matt Murdock is her boyfriend, and if we're to resume she and Matt resumed dating after he revealed his secret to her, she probably knows a bit about the car accident that gave him his abilities and Rand Enterprises being the owner of the truck involved.
  • Ward's initial Arbitrary Skepticism makes more sense once one realizes how paradoxical his life is: he is powerful but powerless. He is in an incredibly powerful position as the public head of Rand Enterprises, while at the same time completely powerless to both drugs and his father. Both of these things are those elephants in the room that he cannot talk about, especially with his sister. In comes Danny, and the flashbacks show that Ward had always been a dick to him, so it is understandable that he would slip naturally into the position of being contrary with Danny. In addition, if Ward accepted Danny and his stories, it would mean he'd also have to accept that there is another uncontrollable force which he will be unable to prevent from influencing his life (The Hand). Given what he's heard Harold say about the Iron Fist and the Hand, he knows that he would also have to submit to Danny, the only person who can deal with the Hand. His life is falling apart, with his addiction to drugs and his servitude to Harold escalating to the point where a breakdown was inevitable. It's not surprising at all that he would refuse to rationally accept Danny's complications. Ward may even be dimly aware that Danny's presence will push him over the edge.
  • The show plays a lot with Family of Choice: Danny has two people he considers his brothers, Ward and Davos. One from "the real world," the other from K'un-Lun. Danny also looks up to Harold as a surrogate father, and Harold even considers himself Danny's honorary uncle (and it's implied he thinks Danny would make a better "son" to him than Ward). What's brilliant is the way these relationships change. Ward and Danny start out antagonistic (and it's revealed very early that Ward basically bullied Danny when they were children), but by the end of the season, they open up to each other, and Ward asks Danny to help him run Rand Enterprises, basically asking Danny to be his corporate conscience. Meanwhile, Danny and Davos started as the best of friends, but by the end of the season, Davos is plotting to kill Danny (with Danny's surrogate sister Joy no less!) And we all know what Harold Meachum was really all about. Finally, Danny outright admits he's been looking for a replacement for his dead parents his whole life, but finds true meaning in his romantic relationship with Colleen Wing. Is the message that nothing can really replace true family? Or that your chosen family has to be worthy of the choice? Or that you have to mature and find the romantic love to replace the childhood filial love? All of the above? None of the above?
  • It's pointed out by Claire that that the techniques taught to Danny in K'un L'un to deal with his emotions-namely, centering himself by bottling them up-isn't a particularly healthy way to approach anger or emotion in general. But then you think-there's apparently more to K'un L'un than just the monks and the monastery, presumably there are ordinary people living there as well, for a given value of ordinary, so not everyone there is likely raised to be a warrior. Then think about how many times Danny and the idea of the Iron Fist as a person in general is referred as a weapon, to the point where he was outright told not to consider being anything else. K'un L'un doesn't want its warriors to be well adjusted people, they want living weapons to guard themselves, and what better way to ensure that than to teach the protectors in question techniques that make them bottle their emotions until they're asked to unleash it in service to K'un L'un?
  • Ward saves Harold in his contacts list as "Frank N. Stein," and it's quite fitting when you consider that Ward sees himself as Frankenstein's monster. All but made explicit when Harold tells Ward that he's 'his creation'. And much like the original Frankenstein and his creation, Ward eventually turns against Harold.
  • It might seem odd that Harold became such a health freak after being granted immortality, but The Defenders (2017) reveals that the immortality provided by the Hand does not grant immunity to illness.
  • How did Claire so easily locate Jeri Hogarth on the street when she needed to relay a message from Danny? Well, The Defenders (2017) reveals that Claire had hired Foggy Nelson to defend Luke, and with Nelson & Murdock's demise, Foggy now works at Hogarth's firm.
  • Some detractors of the show called attention to the fact that Danny doesn't use the iron fist all that much, despite Iron Fist being his title and the title of the show itself, however for people who actually read the classic Iron Fist comics, the reason is evident: When Iron Fist debuted as a hero, his control over his chi wasn't completely masterful, with almost each issue he was learning new things about his chi powers. In the beginning, he only used his Iron Fist punch as a finishing blow, last-resort kind trump card, which would reliably defeat his enemies, but would leave him severely drained afterwards. As time went on, Danny learned how to use his chi for curing (as he does in the series) or to use it without exhausting himself, but it took him decades in real world time to become the Iron Fist we have today, capable of destroying explosive trains and felling Helicarriers with a single punch.
  • Ditto for Danny's attitude during the series. Yes, he often acts immature and is very naive, however, in the comics themselves, Danny also doesn't have a single clue about how to act in the modern (or rather, 70's at the time) society he arrived to. He did things like buy yachts on a whim, ask if he was using "hip" expressions appropriately and ultimately went into work for Heroes for Hire so he could learn the value of money, away from his fortune.
  • Why does Danny let his emotions control him, namely his anger? It's goes far beyond growing up away from modern society, however if you read the old comics and think about it, it will suddenly hit you: Comic book Danny was a good, well-meaning kid, however, even as a child he is consumed by his hatred and great thirst for vengeance... on Harold Meachum, the man who murdered his parents. In the comics, Harold was present during the Rand's fateful trip and actively murdered Wendell Rand and left Danny and his mom for dead. Danny knew the entire time just who was responsible for the death of his family, and channeled his all of his rage against Harold for years. However, in the show, Harold is not present during the trip nor does he openly kill the Rands, resulting in Danny growing up with that same anger and frustration but without having someone to blame for it, therefore his anger is manifested quite differently and openly. It's first directed towards the Hand, then Bakuto and Madame Gao specifically, and only then on Harold, a man he had seen his whole life as a second, loving father figure. Danny doesn't get years to process his anger like in the comics, instead he's thrown into a rollercoaster of emotions and betrayals from almost everyone he holds dear (Harold, Ward and Joy at different points, Colleen who deceived him and even his best friend Davos by the end of the show). No wonder Danny doesn't take it too well in The Defenders when Matt, Jessica and Luke decide to gang up on him, inadvertently putting his life in greater risk.
  • Alice Eve's heterochromia might not have gotten her a role on this show, but it sure is perfect for the character.
  • Foreshadowing at its finest, but Coleen's cage match moniker "Daughter of the Dragon" becomes this in the season 2 finale when she gains the Iron Fist, and it is revealed she is a descendant of the first female Iron Fist, thanks to her family crest having the symbol of Shao-Lou on the reverse of it.

Fridge Horror

  • When Harold is being cremated, one can only hope it had been done quickly enough and he didn't resurrect while in the coffin and get burned alive. Then again. . . do we care?
  • The Hand forbade Harold from seeing his daughter. This is likely far more merciful than it seems. The revival makes people destroy what they love. The Hand might very well be doing this out of mercy to prevent him from killing his daughter. It also explains why Ward was made the Secret Keeper instead of Joy.
  • Look at the book that Joy is reading when she's in the hospital after getting shot. It's The Warmest December by Bernice L. McFadden.
    • Kenzie Lowe, the protagonist of The Warmest December, is a young woman struggling to overcome alcoholism, and is compelled to visit her dying father, a pathetic and contemptible alcoholic, and a wife and child abuser. She is compelled by impulses she herself can’t explain. Through flashbacks to her violent and miserable youth, Kenzie recalls her family’s past: Hy-Lo, the violent abuser; Della, the compliant wife; and Kenzie and Malcolm, the submissive children, until adolescence. She, at least, escaped for a while to boarding school. Her family, however, didn’t escape the deterioration until a tragedy broke the bond between husband and wife. Kenzie has waited practically her whole life for her father to die, but now that the time has come she finds her hate changing to compassion and forgiveness. She learns the secret of her father’s childhood, one much like her own, and begins to understand, forgive, and heal her own sickness.
    • Joy's situation at the end of season 1 is identical to Kenzie's in many ways. Joy’s own father was abusive toward her brother Ward. Ward, on his part, partially sought to deal with that through adopting unhealthy coping skills such as downing alcohol and popping various pills. Throughout the show, Joy expressed concern for Ward and pressed him to get help for his issues. This changed somewhat when she realized that he had known for years that their father was still alive: Joy’s response to Harold being alive is one of happiness, one in which she pays little attention to how ‘wrong’ Harold seems to be by now in spite of Ward's warnings, and she is seen distancing herself from Ward and becoming more of a possible antagonist (likely meaning that Joy will become an antagonist to protagonists Danny, Colleen and Ward come season 2). Joy reconnects with Harold in a way that Ward does not, and is genuinely distraught at the thought of losing him again. Harold dies twice within the show (both times at the hands of Ward, who rightfully and accurately considers his father to be monstrous), but not before he expressed his love for Joy and his disappointment in Ward, because his last words before he thinks Bakuto will decapitate him are an utterly vile thing for a parent to say to his two children:
      Harold Meachum: Ward, I invested my life into you, to raise you to be a great man. You've been the biggest disappointment of my life.
    • Put it another way: Joy is reading a book that deals with the themes of abuse within a family, perpetrated by the father, and also takes on issues such as alcoholism. Given the state of the Meachum family by the end of Iron Fist season 1, it seems like The Warmest December is a very appropriate book choice for Joy, especially given that she will have to come to terms with the loss of her father all over again now that her brother and Danny have murdered him (and yes, it was technically self-defense the second time, but still...)
  • Just how many teenagers joined Colleen's dojo, and indoctrinated into the Hand and how many schools are there like that in New York City? Based on what we saw at the compound, there way be more.
  • Knowing that Harold spies on Ward through cameras in his office ceiling, you realize...Harold watched his son become a drug addict and did nothing about it, and probably enjoyed it because the weaker Ward was, the easier it would be for Harold to manipulate him.
  • Danny's decision to sell that life-saving medicine at-cost wasn't as Stupid Good as the board members framed it. Real Life drug companies excuse charging exorbitant prices for their drugs to finance R&D on newer drugs, as the board members claim, but this is nearly always a lie, as the profits are instead used to buy back stocks to make them richer. If Danny had swallowed their lies, they'd have screwed over other people who needed medicine like that in the future.
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