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YMMV / Iron Fist (2017)

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    Season 1 
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Some fans take the much-maligned scene mentioned below in Unfortunate Implications as actually being a good-natured debate between Danny's Chinese martial arts knowledge and Colleen's Japanese, similar to fans of different sports teams griefing each other.
    • Up for debate is how much of Bakuto’s kindness toward Colleen was genuine.
    • Was Harold Meachum really always a bastard to Ward? There are things in the show that suggest that Harold only became a bag of dicks after his resurrection (Joy and Danny only have good memories of him; Joy and Ward doting on him when he was sick), but at the same time, there are other things that make it seem as though Ward was definitely being abused in some form as a kid (Ward's treatment of Danny as a kid, Ward saying the day Harold died was the best day of his life, Harold recounting his own childhood abuse and saying it made him better).
    • Why does Ward save Harold in his contacts list as "Frank N. Stein"? Is it because he thinks of Harold as a zombie, or is it because Ward thinks of himself as being akin to Frankenstein's monster due to being under Harold's control?
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Characters spend several episodes acting skeptical that Danny is who he says he is, to the point where some critics got the impression that the show was actually trying to make the audience question it.
    • Early reviews, which cover the first six episodes, have criticized them for focusing too heavily on corporate politics without making them particularly compelling.
  • Ass Pull: After learning his identity, Joy spends the rest of the first season sympathizing with and supporting Danny Rand. Even in the season finale, this is what ultimately awakens her to Harold's true nature and turns her against him. Therefore, it feels like it comes out of nowhere when, during the last few minutes of the season finale, she apparently agrees to listen to Davos's proposal to kill Danny. While this is in line with her arc in the comics, the abruptness is what throws many people off.
  • Author's Saving Throw: After the second season of Daredevil got heavy criticism for depicting the Hand as a bunch of random stereotypical ninjas, this show features several members with distinct personalities, and a much more diverse Hand cast, with Hispanic, African-American and Caucasian agents on top of the Chinese and Japanese members.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Harold Meachum. Netflix MCU has set the bar very high with its villains, from the likes of Fisk, Kilgrave, Punisher, Cottonmouth, and Mariah. However, Harold has been met with mixed reception. Some believed he was up there with his predecessors and thought of him as a charismatic Contrasting Sequel Antagonist with multidimensional personality in his own right. After all, he was a mere businessman willing to challenge ancient mystical organization to get what he wants from the position of a hostage with little to no resources of his own. Not to mention the complex relationship he had with his children and sheer intensity that David Wenham brought into this role. Others found him annoying with how he's stuck in the penthouse pretending to be dead and seeming to pull the strings but kept being inconsistently shifting from being a sympathetic pawn to the true mastermind pulling at the strings. Then there's his immense creep factor (that's not in a Creepy Awesome way) in the way he behaves towards his children. But nearly everyone will agree he's a better antagonist than Bakuto.
    • Speaking of Bakuto. Most will agree he didn't really work as the Big Bad given his abrupt introduction with little foreshadowing, but there's also a group who didn't dislike him as a character. Looking at his more nobler qualities as a Benevolent Boss who wants to do good for the world in his own way, he could end up passing off as a Designated Villain.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • Madam Gao's reveal as the one behind the Hand's heroin operation at the end of Episode 5 had all the hallmark of a climactic reveal: Face Framed in Shadow, Face-Revealing Turn, dramatic, ominous music and lightning in the background. Except it's obvious to anyone who watched Daredevil (2015). It's even better if you're watching with the descriptive audio, which never makes any bones about just calling her by name. That's assuming one didn't watch the trailer for season one in which she appears quite a few times.
    • Davos turning against Danny. Even if you're unfamiliar with his identity in the comics, he does practically nothing but argue with the other heroes and perpetually looks like he wants to murder someone.
  • Catharsis Factor: Harold being given a Rasputinian Death can be very satisfying given how much of a self-righteous prick he was the whole season after everything Danny did for him, and how he was responsible for messing up Danny's life to begin with.
  • Critical Backlash: The overwhelming criticism thrown at the series has prompted backlash from fans who feel the negativity comes more from the surrounding racial controversies than the actual quality of the show.
  • Critical Dissonance: Professional critics loathed the show, which currently has a measly 18% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the average viewer gave mostly positive reception and the audience rating sits at a passable 75%, which is on par with (although the second-lowest of) all the other MCU episodic series, broadcast and Netflix alike, and it's among the most binge-watched shows on Netflix. Unfortunately, only the first six episodes were screened for critics before release and the series' Slow-Paced Beginning meant that many did not bother watching the rest or updating the scores. Regular viewers had the whole series to binge at once and thus were able to judge it as a whole. Seeing as how the first season of Iron Fist ranked as one of the most watched shows within 30 days of it's debut, beating not only Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and the first season of Daredevil, but also Netflix's powerhouses Stranger Things, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, and that, as mentioned above, the fan ratings for the show are positive, it seems the critical panning of the show worked to make Iron Fist a viewing hit.[1]
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Scythe strangling a man with a microphone cord is horrifying. Taking the time to sing "Take On Me" to the man before is hilarious.
    • Ward finding his father smashing in the faces of two dead guys and racing to the bin to throw up? Horrifying. Find his father's severed finger in the bin and being so grossed out, he can't even throw up anymore? Hilarious.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Then there's the Drunken Master Zhou Cheng who Danny fights, distinguished not only by his amusing personality but by being one of the few Hand members to not only nearly win against Danny, but show a degree of honor while doing it, something his compatriots were clearly lacking.
    • Scythe is also very memorable due to his introductory scene being strangling a man with a microphone while singing karaoke (of "Take on Me" no less) as well as being a badass Hand warrior with a snide sense of humor who nearly matches Danny in combat.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: The name of the Hand's Drunken Master who nearly owns Danny in a fight is Zhou Cheng, not Joe Chang. Referring to him by the latter name is a good way of getting yourself flamed to a crisp on any Marvel-related discussion board.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Due to the Mighty Whitey casting controversy, with Into the Badlands, a martial arts show starring an Asian American lead.
    • Similarly, many critics of the show have often brought up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., who has not one, but two Asian-American women (Daisy Johnson and Melinda May) as main characters in the main cast, as a comparison of what Iron Fist should have done.note 
    • An intra-MCU rivalry with Luke Cage (2016), for the Mighty Whitey casting controversy and Finn Jones' claim that Iron Fist was the most "diverse" of the Marvel-Netflix shows. Cage fans are openly dreading the very likely Luke Cage-Iron Fist team-up and Iron Fist/Misty Knight romance, given both relationships are key parts of Iron Fist's comic lore.
    • The MCU vs. DCEU rivalry appears again with many DCEU fans gloating that the MCU has its first critical failure and that fans have resorted to defenses similar to those used by DCEU fans, such as turning against reviewers and Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Fight Scene Failure:
    • Many reviews complain that Finn Jones is stiff and entirely unconvincing as a martial arts expert, made worse by his not wearing the costume so it's harder to put in a fight double like in Daredevil. Due to their tight schedule, Jones did not start practicing the fight scene choreography until fifteen minutes before shooting.
    • Poor editing is also a problem. One fight scene in particular contains 56 cuts in the space of 35 seconds.
    • Some reviews have also been critical of Colleen Wing's cage match scene, similar to her actress' Fight Scene Failure example in her appearance in Game of Thrones.
  • Growing the Beard: The RZA-directed sixth episode has been pointed out by some as a major shot in the arm to what had been a horribly leaden and dull first half of the season.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In this video by Sketches From Superheroes, Luke Cage says that Iron Fist's origin story, which involves dragons, is very Game of Thrones. Finn Jones (Danny) and Jessica Henwick (Colleen) are from Game of Thrones.
    • RZA directs episode 6 of the show, which is a mystical Kung Fu series. What was his directional debut? A mystical Kung Fu film called The Man with the Iron Fists.
    • When early reviews of the first six episodes started coming in, Finn Jones notoriously started a Twitter controversy by claiming it was "for the fans" and criticizing the critics in turn for making their minds up without watching the whole season. It was promptly written off as an actor trying to salvage a trainwreck of a show. Then the show actually premiered and its audience reviews (on Rotten Tomatoes, at least) are on the low end (only Inhumans is lower) but otherwise on par with most other Marvel series.
    • Given the negative critical reception, some who were originally in favor of an Asian lead are actually relieved, since the negative publicity of the show could have actually been harmful for Asian American representation.
    • Say, wasn't there a Davos in Game of Thrones as well? Sacha Dhawan himself actually voiced a character in Telltale's Game of Thrones.
    • Speaking about Sacha Dhawan, he later plays the Master, the Doctor's Arch-Enemy. And the Doctor's other Arch-Enemy's name is Davros.
    • On the subject of medieval tales, it's very darkly humorous that Faramir is guilty of Parental Favouritism now.
    • Danny says he can drive without a license because he's rich. A week after the show's release, the first full trailer for Justice League (2017) had Bruce Wayne say being rich is his superpower, also in a car.
    • Davos once said "Wow. You're the worst Iron Fist Ever". Many critics and viewers would agree with him.
  • Ho Yay: All of Danny's good stories of K'un L'un start with "Me and Davos." Davos also acts personally hurt that Danny would have left K'un L'un, and really doesn't like Colleen.
    Danny: None of this is because of K'un Lun. It's because I left you!
  • It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars: Finn Jones addressed the scathing pre-release reviews by explaining that Marvel made the show for fans of the comic books, not for critics.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Ward Meachum. He is a huge ass in the start, but the series is far from kind to him and it's not hard to feel for the guy and wish someone would just give him a hug.
  • Les Yay: Quite a lot between Claire and Colleen; heck, when Claire first meets Danny, she basically cock blocks him from having a "not" date with Colleen. When its revealed that Colleen was a member of the Hand, Claire defends her without even a second of hesitation and is quick to forgive her after they have a talk, a talk that came off like they were a couple.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • #AAIronFist: The rallying hashtag and cry of the fan movement pushing for an Asian-American Iron Fist.
    • Early publicity photos got heavy mockery online, with users turning Danny into a stereotypical "enlightened" hipster bro.
    • Ward Meachum flipping twin middle fingers. It's also been the common fans' response towards the negative critics.
    • "Sounds like a sex toy."explanation 
    • "56 Cuts". A fight scene featuring 56 camera cuts within a 35 second time span has gone viral.
    • "Cut off the head and the body shall die."note 
      • This immediately lead to comparisons with HYDRA who follow up with the line "and two more shall take its place".
      • On Reddit, this phrase was then coined: "cut off The Hand and two more shall take its place."
  • Mis-blamed:
    • A number of comic fans blamed "social justice warriors" for the series' bad reviews, ignoring that many complaints reviewers made (bad pacing, uninteresting characters, bland action scenes) had nothing to do with race or culture. Furthermore, many of the outlets panning Iron Fist gave more favorable assessments of Doctor Strange (2016), which faced similar criticisms of white-washing and appropriation, indicating that the show's racial/cultural controversies aren't the only cause of its negative reception.
    • Much of the criticism of the show's lackluster fight choreography was levied at Finn Jones's lack of physical skill. While this was a noticeable issue, it wasn't helped by the tight schedule that interfered with the stunt crew's preparations, with one scene requiring Finn to learning the choreography only twenty minutes of prep time before shooting.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Harold definitely crossed the line at some point. Where he crossed it is debatable: when he brutally kills his assistant Kyle over daring to ask for another ice cream flavor? When he kills Lawrence as part of a coup to allow Joy to retake Rand? When he sets up Danny after he defeated Bakuto in order to get Rand for himself? If that wasn't enough, then probably the revelation that he was the one who engineered the death of Danny's parents will convince you what an irredeemable scumbag he is.
    • Bakuto either crosses it when he plans on draining Colleen dead after she refuses to help him find Danny or when he shoots Joy just to draw Danny out.
  • Narm:
    • Danny spews so many Koans (bordering on Ice-Cream Koan at times) in his dialogue it goes from supposedly uplifting to laughable pretty quick. Several reviews described him as sounding like a hipster trying to act deep after he vacationed in Hong Kong for a week.
    • When Claire says "You two need to calm the eff down" and "This is so effed up." It's silly enough that Marvel's Netflix shows avoid the word "fuck" despite being rated MA and using every other swear word, but to draw attention to it to the point that a grown-ass woman talks like a third grader...
    • Ward's bullying of Danny when they were young. Why did he even sit down to play Monopoly if that's how he would act? It's not even like he is a Sore Loser; he just wanted to cram every petty bully cliché under a minute for the sake of the scene. What was supposed to be a serious flashback of painful childhood memory looks like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon.
    • The "fight" scenes are underwhelming to say the least. One particular example can be seen here.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
  • Older Than They Think: The discussion of whether Danny Rand should have been Caucasian or Asian American has been around since he debuted back in the '70s. While a lot of the blame is shoved onto people who don't even read the comics, there was a lot of people calling for an Asian Danny who were big fans of Iron Fist and many spoke quite warmly of the character, in-spite of the racial issues (Gail Simone, for instance, identified Iron Fist as her favourite Marvel character, while being a big proponent for casting an Asian actor).
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Zhou Cheng makes a rather memorable appearance during Danny and co's trip to China, where he and Danny partake in one of the series' best fight scenes. Zhou also gets some characterization regarding his alcoholism, regarding it as 'sedating the beast.'
    • Madame Gao's trio of saleswomen for her heroin, who only show up in one episode's especially stylish opening sequence.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: By now it's impossible to talk about Iron Fist without mentioning the controversy around whether a Caucasian or an Asian-American should have been cast as Iron Fist. Finn Jones's less-than-empathetic behavior towards critics has made the show's reputation even more toxic.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: "Ironwing" (Danny Rand / Colleen Wing)
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • An odd case across two shows. Jessica Henwick was best known as Nymeria in the much-ridiculed Sand Snake storyline in Game of Thrones, especially infamous for its Fight Scene Failure, which led some fans to dread the news of Henwick being cast as Colleen. Here she shows that she actually can believably fight (the earlier scene was a victim of a Troubled Production where none of the actors had any time to practice with each other) and even the many negative reviews single her out as the best part of the show.
    • In a more straightforward example, the Meachum siblings, especially Ward. During the more universally-panned early episodes, they're often called a generic Corrupt Corporate Executive duo overloaded on Arbitrary Skepticism, with Ward in particular getting flack as a Big Brother Bully. Meanwhile, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who didn't adore Ward and either love or Love to Hate Joy by the season's end. Ward's popularity had a big turnaround starting with flipping the bird at his father's security camera, followed by him stabbing his father to death. His popularity steadily grew as he became more sympathetic after his Heel–Face Turn and he decides to side with Danny. Their father, Harold, escapes a lot of this by being generally liked as a villain the entire time.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Danny gets quite a bit of this. While he can be entitled and a bit stupid, he's still a decent, good-natured and heroic guy who is sincerely trying to help the city, even if he's still learning. But a lot of negative reviews tend to paint him as a spoiled rich kid and ignore his more positive traits.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • When Danny first unleashes the Iron Fist in the second episode.
    • And then in episode 13, when he truly unleashes it.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: In sharp contrast to the Ending Fatigue of the other Netflix shows (Jessica Jones and Luke Cage in particular), this one is widely considered to get better in its second half. Unfortunately, this resulted in its disastrous critical reception when they only had the first half to go on. It's best exemplified by the fact that the first time Danny's actual abilities as the Iron Fist are seen is at the very end of the second episode, and prior to that his powers are only vaguely hinted at, meaning that viewers unfamiliar with the character might assume him to be a Badass Normal who just happens to be very skilled at martial arts.
  • Spoiled by the Format: Episode 12 tries so hard to act like it's the end of the story, but there's just that pesky last episode to ruin the vibe.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The show had a steep hill to climb due to the controversy surrounding the casting of Finn Jones in the title role.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Purists expressed disappointment when Scott Buck admitted that the writers came up with "no good reason" for Danny to wear his signature costume in the first season. For some of those purists, their disappointment went From Bad to Worse, when soon afterwards in that same interview, Buck listed one complication for Danny (the likelihood of criminals and onlookers recognizing Iron Fist's face) that sounded avoidable by sticking him in a costume. The show eventually does feature the 1948 Iron Fist wearing a similar costume, implying it could still appear.
    • A lot of fans of the character actually agree with the negative reception of the show, since while it kept the character's ethnicity very little else was kept; besides the costume, Danny also loses a great deal of his skill and power, was significantly more angsty and toxic, and the more interesting aspects of the show were demoted in importance and put Out of Focus seemingly for the sake of being cheaper.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: One major complaint reviewers had was of Danny Rand's "wealthy white guy travels to nebulous East Asian location to learn mystic martial arts and comes back to his hometown to become a superhero" storyline, which felt heavily derivative of earlier works such as Oliver Queen, Bruce Wayne, and Stephen Strange. In fact, the show actually changes aspects of Danny's backstory in a way that makes them closer to Oliver'snote .
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Gao, who is almost universally considered the best member of the Big Bad Ensemble. She was easily the most intimidating and the biggest threat to Danny all season long. Yet she was usurped from her position midseason and replaced with the more divisive Bakuto and later Harold Meachum.
    • The first member of the Big Bad Ensemble introduced, Harold Meachum, could've easily gotten the better part of a second season's mileage out of his plans that were compressed into the first season finale, and is often cited as one of the most consistently entertaining characters, villains, and actors of the show's newcomers. To add insult to injury, the penultimate episode of the season deliberately set itself up to be a perfectly workable finale, and then Ward texts Danny a warning that his father is backstabbing him. From there, by the end of the next episode he's being cremated to ensure Resurrective Immortality never comes into play.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Danny Rand punching Shou-Lao, the very event that granted him Iron Fist powers, has become an Offscreen Moment of Awesome, as opposed to a hook for viewers who never read an Iron Fist comic before. Apparently showing the dragon this early in the show's run would have made the special effects budget become too high for Marvel.
    • Returning to the racial controversies discussed under Broken Base, some critics such as The Verge, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety felt the series failed to rise above or even examine its roots in racial and cultural stereotypes, falling into those cliches instead.
    • One of the arguments for an Asian-American Danny was the potential storylines such casting provided. After the success Luke Cage and Jessica Jones had in exploring social injustices such as sexism and anti-Black racism, commentators like The Nerds of Color argued that with an Asian-American Danny Rand the series could have followed a similar track and explored issues facing Asian-Americans, issues which would be difficult if not outright impossible to explore with a white protagonist.
    • Despite Claire saying that Danny shouldn't face the Hand alone, she doesn't contact Matt, great martial artist with a grudge and impressive fight record against the organization. Jessica Jones (2015) already had two of The Defenders (2017) teaming up, so there was already precedent. It turns into What an Idiot! when she insists on going to fight them herself. The closest explanation to why Claire doesn't seek out Matt is that, as seen in The Defenders, Matt has been busy grieving Elektra's death and likely has cut back on his Daredevil activities. On the other hand, Madame Gao’s plan to flood New York with drugs of new caliber could be a reason good enough to bring Matt back into action anyway.
  • Unexpected Character: The Bride of Nine Spiders is featured in episode six as a Hand assassin. However, given how In Name Only she is, this has actually been rather negatively received by her fans.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • After three previous heroes struggling with financial hardship and deep personal traumas, it's rather hard to sympathize with Danny trying to decide whether to take a giant buy-out for his parents' company. It doesn't help that during his first interactions with Colleen (who is going through hardships of her own) he comes across as condescending and pretentious.
      The Hollywood Reporter: Rather than being a man who found enlightenment through tragedy and disassociation from his upbringing, Danny comes across like a spoiled frat boy who took a comparative religion class and spends a few months picking up coeds by telling them he's totally into meditation and tai chi now.
    • Danny's attempts at being an honest businessman can come off as more arrogant and childish than noble, despite the praise he gets. He demands a new drug be sold at cost, despite Ward having a very valid point that the profits would fund further drug research and that the World Health Organization would subsidize the cost of the medication for third world countries. Danny repeats this later in the series by apologizing for (and effectively accepting responsibility for) incidents of cancer that were blamed, without any proof, on a Rand chemical plant. This leads to the company being effectively blackmailed and rather than admitting fault, Danny doubles down, and shuts the plant down against the board's recommendations. It's hard to tell if we're supposed to root for the ascetic monk in this case, or recognize how out of his depth he is. At least by the end of the series, Danny admits he is not a good businessman and no one tries to refute it. By season 2, he's running his own moving company in Chinatown and has left Ward to run Rand Enterprises.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • Among all the stuff mentioned in Broken Base, particular ire has fallen on the Mighty Whitey overtones of a scene where Danny lectures Colleen about East Asian philosophy and the true nature of martial arts in her own dojo. Bad enough in-universe, and worse when you consider that everything he's saying is based on a fictional martial art made up in the '70s.note 
    • As The AV Club put it, "It blows my mind that despite the sheer number of people who worked on this episode no one flagged that it would be a bad idea to have Danny chastise a room full of black and brown students by calling them 'chattering monkeys.' It's stuff like that that makes me hesitant to give the show the benefit of the doubt when it comes to issues of representation. If the creators aren't even aware of basic racially charged language, how am I supposed to trust that they've thought out the racial politics of their show?"
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The actual Iron Fist itself. It truly looks like a light coming from inside Danny's hand, throwing all the blood vessels into relief.
  • The Woobie: Danny Rand is a traumatized orphan who grew up being beat to a pulp, trained to become a literal living weapon without any desire. He's as tragic as they come.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Danny’s first action in the series is showing up at the corporate building dressed as a hobo proceeding to ask a receptionist if she can arrange a meeting with the CEO for him, an attempt which goes as well as you could expect. Despite this, he may not really qualify for this trope because this behavior is not an isolated case but rather one of the many times when he acted without even attempting to think things through. Danny’s propensity to act on impulse is repeatedly acknowledged by his allies and exploited by his enemies.
    • Ward, when you are unarmed, alone and completely at the mercy of a seemingly insane man whose clearly an expert fighter, it would be wise not to insult and taunt him. Good thing for Ward that Danny was a good guy, or he could have injured, mutilated or killed Ward right there. After nearly getting killed, he threatens Danny again. One of the best examples in MCU where arrogance completely supersedes common sense.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Oddly enough, an example from the cast itself: Finn Jones blamed the poor early reviews on the show premiering after the election of Donald Trump, arguing that a white American billionaire coming into power was less appealing to critics at the time of release. The AV Club's review of "Eight Diagram Dragon Palm" admitted that it didn't help that both Trump and Danny craved a powerful title, then overcame their detractors' skepticism to get them, only to gain even more detractors who didn't think they were ready for the responsibility.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • As noted under Broken Base, Finn Jones's casting as Danny Rand. Race issues aside, he's a non-American actor who has zero martial arts background. Then again, Charlie Cox, a British actor, plays Daredevil, and most of his action scenes are performed by stuntman Chris Brewster.
    • In a similar vein, Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing. She, too, was in Game of Thrones... and her sole fight scene in it is considered the epitome of Fight Scene Failure of the show (the scene in question had been the victim of Troubled Production). Casting someone associated with the nadir of fight scenes as a skilled martial artist in a work about skilled martial artists raised more than a few eyebrows before release. But unlike Finn Jones, Henwick's performance has been almost universally praised.

    Season 2 
  • Ass Pull: Colleen happening to be the great-great x20 granddaughter of some previous Iron Fist and this somehow meaning that she's not only entitled to the Iron Fist but that Danny's entire role in life and the purpose of his years of training, hard work and enduring physical abuse were only so he could give the Iron Fist to Colleen who didn't have to do any of that. None of this has any basis in any version of anything even resembling the source material.
    • Related to, but parallel to the previous point, is the reason the plot gives for the forced switching of protagonist status from Danny to Colleen. Colleen and the plot really strain themselves telling the audience (and Danny) that Danny could not ever hope to face Davos himself because he's too emotionally invested since Davos is like a brother to him. This excuse becomes an Ass Pull when you realize virtually every Hero-Villain dynamic is like that.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Season One of Iron Fist was the first MCU-related work to be met with negative reception, with a lot of the blame being focused at showrunner Scott Buck. So naturally, Buck being replaced with Raven Metzner was met with open arms by the fans.
    • As part of the show's Troubled Production due to being cast relatively late, Finn Jones only had two weeks to train before production started. For season 2, he started training four months ahead of production, ensuring he'll have better mastery of martial arts.
    • Season two looks to address many of the first season's criticisms, as well as implement elements from the comics that could bring people back on board. These include replacing showrunner Scott Buck, introducing Typhoid Mary as an antagonist & deemphasizing The Hand (after their apparent defeat in Defenders), and borrowing Misty Knight from Luke Cage to officially introduce the Daughters of the Dragon with Colleen. We also actually get to see K'un-Lun rather than just constantly hear Danny talk about how awesome it is.
    • Season 2 has drastically improved fight scenes from Season 1, featuring increased and more creative use of the Iron Fist power, as well as longer and better-staged takes free from Jitter Cam or ridiculously heightened editing after the infamous "56/36" fight from the first season.
    • In a more wide-ranging one, fans had complained for years about the MCU Netflix shows suffering from Ending Fatigue as each season was saddled with a thirteen-episode count even as it became more and more clear that hardly any of them (with rare exceptions) actually had enough story to fill that time. With Iron Fist season 2, there were only ten episodes. At the same time, it's debated whether the shorter episode count has anything to do with story, as it is also possibly a result of them needing more budget for CGI, considering that Daredevil season 3 filmed concurrently with Iron Fist season 2 and that had 13 episodes.
    • The corporate politics of season 1 were largely seen as boring and without any emotional depth or impact. While season 2 still has a bit of a corporate plot, it's more downplayed and directly connected to the story arc.
    • Season 2 addresses the complaints about Danny Rand being a Mighty Whitey head-on, revealing that Danny's becoming the Iron Fist wasn't so much a case of his being a better martial artist than all of K'un-Lun as Davos's father calling the fight where he and Davos battled for the right to face the dragon early, without Davos yielding. It ends with Danny ultimately realizing he did not deserve to be the Iron Fist and deciding to pass on his fist to Colleen Wing, who becomes the new Immortal Iron Fist (like many people clamored in the first season).
  • Continuity Lockout: Misty Knight appears after she met Danny and Colleen in The Defenders and Danny gifted her with a robot arm in Luke Cage season 2. Admittedly, you don't need to watch Luke Cage season 2 to understand her part here, but The Defenders is still required viewing to understand how Danny and Colleen know her.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Mary Walker. Already a fan favorite from the comic, here Mary was played to perfection by the talented Alice Eve who managed to effectively play two contrasting roles. Even more impressive is that each alter is a Rounded Character with different motivations and is not defined by their relationships to each other. Prior to news of the series' cancellation, both reviewers and fans were clamoring for more of Mary in season 3 and the inevitable debut of Bloody Mary.
  • Ending Fatigue: The last episode resolves the plot about 20 minutes in, and spends the remaining half-hour setting up sequel hooks for later seasons.
  • Growing the Beard: Compared to the infamous season preceding it, the sophomore outing for Iron Fist ends up correcting many of the issues that the first season had (likely due to the fact that it was not a rushed and Troubled Production this time around, and there's no Arc Fatigue due to there being fewer episodes) and significantly improves the fight scenes and overall story. While the consensus is that there's still room for improvement, quite a few people consider Season 2 to be a Surprisingly Improved Sequel overall. It ended up with a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, up from the first season's 19%, setting a new record for the most improved score on the site.
  • Ho Yay: Danny and Ward get a lot of this during this season, especially during the heartwarming scene in episode 5 where Ward tends to Danny after he's injured and they have a long heart-to-heart talk that ends with them basically admitting they love each other. They now refer to each other as their brother, just like Danny does with Davos (whom he also had quite a bit of Ho Yay with last season), and at the end of the season, they end up Walking the Earth together when Danny persuades Ward to join him in a journey of self-discovery.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • Even if you could buy that Misty would be killed off, no one's thinking it might happen on this show rather than Luke Cage.
    • Some were also quite doubtful Danny Rand would lose the Fist in a show called Iron Fist. In a bit of a surprise, he actually does and Colleen becomes the new Iron Fist by the end of it, though he does regain the Fist as shown with his scene in Japan.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • Narm: Joy's Face–Heel Turn was considered something of an Ass Pull at the end of the first season, so the second one tries to smooth this over by emphasising how much she loved her father and that she hates Danny for taking him away from her. Unfortunately, this is done by having Joy explaining this over and over and over again. It reaches the point where it comes across more as if the writers have realized how flimsy her motives are and are desperately trying to convince the audience that she has good reasons for turning evil, which only becomes less convincing every time she does it.
  • She Really Can Act: Though Alice Eve is a very capable actress, her most high profile role in the US was as the Ms. Fanservice in Star Trek Into Darkness. Here, seamlessly playing both the Nice Girl Mary and ruthless Action Girl Walker earned her praise comparable to David Tennant's Kilgrave, Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk and James McAvoy's Kevin Crumb. Eve can convincingly portray the precise moment of switching between two personalities entirely in facial expressions and body movements, to say nothing of vocal inflection. And both personalities come off as equally genuine, even though we meet Mary first and spend more screen time with Walker.
  • Spoiled by the Format: Just like last season, the show tries its hardest to make us think everything's been wrapped up when there's still an entire episode to go, making it obvious some big twist is coming: Colleen getting chi powers from Davos, and both her and Danny being able to harness chi through weapons like guns and katana.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Specifically, the main one. The conflict between Danny and Davos has been brewing since the first season and they have years of unresolved issues between them, loving each other as brothers but being in a heated rivalry for the Iron Fist ever since meeting. The stakes keep getting higher when Davos steals the Iron Fist and now the viewer assumes Danny must face Davos without his powers, and with a broken leg, to boot. All of this tension and emotion is sadly wasted and left unresolved when Colleen gets the Iron Fist and resolves the plot by herself. After the point where she gets the Iron Fist, the plot loses all power, stakes or relevancy, since Colleen has no actual connection to Davos and no personal stakes in anything that is happening. Wrapping up the season's plot feels more like a formality, revealing that the actual goal of the season was just to transfer Danny's power over to Colleen.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Colleen becoming the Iron Fist generated complaints that she was unconnected to the main plot and that her ancestor being the Iron Fist didn't entitle her to the title or its powers, especially considering Danny's hard work to get the title.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Season 2 meets the fans' demand to see a comics-accurate Iron Fist mask by having it be worn as a ceremonial mask for the flashback fight between Danny and Davos... and it looks kinda like a cheap Halloween costume. It even got some accusations of being a Take That, Audience!, deliberately made to look bad after the crew got so annoyed at the constant complaining about it.


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