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TV Review: Marvel's Iron Fist - S1 Episode 12 "Bar the Big Boss"

03.30.2017

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EPISODE 12: "Bar The Big Boss"

SYNOPSIS: Ward receives an offer with strings attached. Davos advocates for an extreme solution and a deadly duel gets personal.

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REVIEW: The penultimate episode of every television series has the difficult duty of tying up lots of plot threads in order to prepare viewers for the finale. Finales these days rarely mark the end of the story but rather teases for what comes next. For Marvel and Netflix, they know that Iron Fist will be leading directly into The Defenders, so the series not only has to finish this season's main arc but also set up the inevitable second season as well as the big crossover event this summer. Despite some really good action sequences, Iron Fist doesn't quite stick the landing here but does give some vital developments that will help the show grow beyond this uneven debut season. It also gives us the Harold Meachum we have been teased with all season with David Wenham finally getting justification for all of the scenery chewing he has done for the last dozen episodes.

The episode starts off with Ward going through withdrawal while strapped to a bed in the psychiatric hospital. It is somewhat ironic that where Danny had a vision of Harold visiting him at the same hospital, it filled him with positivity whereas Ward is terrified at the thought of his father murdering him. Ward pleads with a nurse to release him but she refuses. Eventually, Bakuto arrives and uses a drug to clear the heroin from Ward's system and offers the younger Meachum a deal to turn on Harold. Ward accepts and heads to the penthouse where he learns that Joy knows about their father. Trying to get her free, Ward is stopped by Bakuto and his men who gun down Harold's security guards and video call Danny. Bakuto shoots Joy in the abdomen and tells Danny to turn himself over to them within 30 minutes or Joy dies. Danny and Davos argue but Danny decides that he has to save his friends.

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As they wait for Danny, Bakuto taunts the Meachums and reveals to Ward that Harold can be truly killed if he is decapitated. With Joy bleeding out and Bakuto readying his sword to separate Harold's head from his body, Danny arrives. Just before that moment, Harold delivers a brutal insult to Ward which you would assume would linger between them should things end up alright. Bakuto takes Danny and Joy pleads but Harold silences her and lets Danny make his sacrifice for them. Bakuto seems happy to now have the Iron Fist as a weapon for The Hand and teases Danny by offering to help him regain his abilities. Handcuffed, Danny briefly summons the Fist and breaks loose as Davos and Colleen arrive and fight The Hand. For a single moment, that cool split-screen technique not seen since the early episodes of the series returns and injects some cool to the otherwise bland fight. It feels like every fight this show has had takes place in a narrow hallway or a lobby. Aside from the drunken master fight and the grand duel, I was hoping for a little more variety.

As Bakuto runs, the trio of heroes follow him to a rainy park where Colleen insists that her sensei will be her responsibility. The two commence their sword fight and it is pretty damn impressive. The one thing to note here is that Bakuto is supposed to be this great leader of The Hand and on par with Danny's fighting skills and yet Colleen is able to best him. Kicking her broken sword blade into his leg and eventually stabbing him, Davos urges Danny to finish him off. When Danny refuses, Davos stabs Bakuto in the heart. Danny and Davos argue as Danny says things in New York are different than K'un-Lun. Davos questions Danny's duties as Iron Fist and the friends fight brutally. In the end, Danny bests Davos and summons the Iron Fist, again briefly, and declares that he is not just a guardian but both Danny Rand and Iron Fist. Danny feels guilt at lording his weapon over Davos who departs in a forlorn mood at the loss of his friend and brother. In a not so shocking twist, when Danny and Colleen turn, Bakuto's body is gone. Is he alive or did The Hand just take his body?

Iron Fist, TV Review, Netflix, Marvel Studios, Superhero, Comic Book, Fantasy, Drama, The Defenders, Finn Jones, David Wenham, Rosario Dawson, Iron Fist TV Review

Danny and Colleen return to her dojo believing their battle to be done. At the same time, Joy is in surgery while Ward and Harold fill out forms at the hospital. It is a funny scene to see Harold back in society and disgusted by the sick and infirmed surrounding him in the waiting room of the ER. Harold applauds Ward's conviction in trying to kill him a second time but seems to have forgiven his son and says the three Meachums will retake Rand now that The Hand are defeated. Ward questions what will happen to Danny and Harold says his role is finished. At the dojo, Danny gets an urgent text from Ward says Harold set him up. Armed soldiers storm the dojo. Danny and Colleen fight them off but they are neither Gao or Bakuto's men. Instead, their vests read DEA. Danny and Colleen run off into the street to escape.

I don't think for a minute that The Hand are finished. Even if Bakuto is dead (which I guarantee he is not), Gao will retake her role as leader. Plus, I would be sure that neither of them are the true leader of The Hand. Still, I like to see that Harold is finally coming into his own as the primary villain of this series, something that you could see coming from the very beginning. I am also pleasantly surprised to find that Ward is turning out to be a better person than the AMERICAN PSYCHO clone he has been all season. Despite the good string of fight scenes in this hour, I just cannot help but feel that this show has been too inconsistent all season to really deliver a satisfying conclusion. This hour ended up feeling pretty anticlimactic, so the finale has a lot of work ahead to wrap up this season effectively.

NEXT ON MARVEL'S IRON FIST: "Dragon Plays With Fire" - In a desperate search to clear his name, Danny learns a terrible truth that places him on a new path.

Source: JoBlo.com

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