TV Review: Marvel's Iron Fist - S1 Episode 11 "Lead Horse Back To Stable"


EPISODE 11: "Lead Horse Back To Stable"

SYNOPSIS: Claire uses her improvisation skills, and Colleen gets conflicting information. Danny yearns to be more than just a destroyer.

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REVIEW: Since Danny Rand is all about rebalancing his chi in this episode, it should come as no surprise that the writing on this series once again needs some more energy. Like episodes in the early part of the season, the eleventh hour of Iron Fist feels like it is treading water and suffers from rehashing points already driven home in prior episodes. With most of the action taking place in the apartment of Claire Temple, we are left to ponder how Danny Rand will be able to regain his abilities. We also learn more about Davos and why he has animosity for his childhood friend. These memories are conveyed through the first flashbacks to K'un-Lun we have seen in a while but we still don't have much more to the origin of Danny becoming the Iron Fist.

Injured in the prior episode by Bakuto, Danny is clouded by anger at being betrayed by Colleen and has lost the clarity needed to summon the Iron Fist. He has Davos take him to Claire's apartment where the nurse removed a metallic bolt from inside Danny and then staples his wound closed with an old school paper stapler. Danny reveals to Claire that Colleen is with The Hand which shocks the nurse into silence. Danny is in need of antibiotics, but Claire is out thanks to her repeated run ins with the future members of The Defenders. She lends Danny a bullet hole-ridden shirt that belonged to Luke Cage and Danny retreats to the roof to medidate and try and recenter his chi. Claire spends some time with Davos and tries to learn about how Danny gained his abilities but Davos instead delves into how he and Danny came to a crossroads in their own relationship.

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In the brief flashbacks and from Davos' retelling, Danny was selected by Davos' father Lei Kung to become the Iron Fist. To do so, Danny had to defeat an immortal dragon in a cave. We see the aftermath of Danny's battle where he gained his chest tattoo and became the guardian of K'un-Lun. Guarding the pass to the monastery was boring and Danny being a quick tempered young man took the first chance he could to leave the city and return home. Now, at the mercy of The Hand, Danny is unsure of what comes next. Davos resents Danny because he felt becoming the Iron Fist was his birthright. But Davos is still loyal to his friend and believes that once they end Bakuto and The Hand that Danny will return home. Colleen comes to try and apologize to Danny and talk some sense into him but what follows is a rooftop variation of the same argument they had in the previous episode. Danny believes Colleen is blind and she believes the same of him. Danny refuses her apology and sends her on her way.

Colleen begins to question whether her faith in The Hand and Bakuto is warranted. Her sensei visits her trashed dojo and tells Colleen if she finds Danny to tell him immediately. When she instead goes to the hospital to try and get antibiotics for him instead, Bakuto sends former students of Colleen's to bring her back and give her a consequence for not following his directions. Colleen clearly is starting to see that Danny may have been right about The Hand but it makes one question why only now is she realizing this cult-like gang have ulterior motives that bode well for no one. Colleen somehow stopped getting written as a strong female hero and became a cliche supporting role a few episodes back. I want the cage fighting Colleen Wing back on screen, damnit.

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Danny and Davos head to see Harold Meachum where Danny learns he has revealed the truth to Joy. Harold also shares that Joy found that Bakuto has been transferring the funds in The Hand's accounts to an offshore bank and that since they are in Rand's corporate control she can stop them. Danny and Harold agree to make a move on the funds and then Danny will kill Bakuto and therefore end The Hand. Harold is supportive of this but Joy begins to question not only what her family is involved in but whether Harold is what he seems. Danny and Davos head to The Hand compound and as they wait for Bakuto, they see Colleen escaping into the night. Colleen had just been imprisoned and was going to have her blood drained in a manner that seemed very reminiscent of the process being used for Black Sky in Daredevil. After beating former pupils, Colleen escaped and broke down into tears. Danny forgives her and the two embrace while a clearly angered Davos looks on.

With only two more episodes in the season, this hour of Iron Fist falls prey to the same last push stumbles almost every Marvel Netflix series has faced so far. Clunkily written and overly repetitive, this hour further cements that Danny Rand may be the worst realized hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After only spending days with her resurrected father, Joy Meachum is already sensing there is something seriously wrong with Harold. Danny is totally ignorant of this. He also doesn't seem to realize that Davos, a warrior almost on par with Danny, is as troubled and spiteful of his friend as he is. There really should be more of a setup for the final episodes her but instead we have our characters arguing about good, evil, chi, and New York style pizza (Davos thinks our food is poison but tolerates a good slice from Joe's).If this were set five episodes earlier, I may be a bit more tolerant, but with the end game approaching, this series really needs to step it up.

NEXT ON MARVEL'S IRON FIST: "Bar The Big Boss" - Ward receives an offer with strings attached. Davos advocates for an extreme solution and a deadly duel gets personal.

Source: JoBlo.com



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