Episode Title: Shadow Hawk Takes Flight
Originally Aired: March 17th 2017
I haven’t decided if the episode titles mean anything or if they are just supposed to sound profound. A hawk seems to be Danny’s spirit animal or guide because he sees it several times while focusing his chi. I think it would have been better to title this episode, Shadow Hawk Takes Flight over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Most of the episode takes place in a mental institution as Danny tries to convince anyone that will listen that he is Danny Rand and not John Anderson from Canada and not some homeless person who lives in the park.
Most of this episode is a downer for Danny as he is being constantly drugged and accused of being a liar by a Dr. who wants to sure him over 72 hours or agitate him so he breaks and can never leave. He gives some of his background while being visited by a ghost telling us about being the Iron Fist and what that means for his future. A few hip tosses and powered up punches are about all the action we get from Danny this week but he wouldn’t be much of a hero if he was beating up orderlies and fellow patients. Finn does a good job acting in this episode especially during a conversation with the Dr. about the circus. The effect of the Iron Fist is just ok in my opinion; in some scenes, it even seems to enhance the size of his hand while making it glow.
Colleen is given her first test of the season. She can be loyal to an honest stranger or betray Danny to make ends meet. Her arc this episodes show how much of a struggle this is for her. She believes Danny but she loves her students and wants them to be the very best. Her training extends outside of the dojo’s walls into real world tacking and warding of attacks from multiple assailants. Yes, practicing your kata, an hour a day will make you great at them and help you learn the movements but without these simulations of real world situations, you never know how good you can be. She also has the two best fight scenes of the episode when her students on the street are attacking her. The direction is good in the street scene as well; they make you believe that it is something much more sinister than a training session. She feels the market eyes darting around while she tries to figure out if she is right or if it is just her imagination that she is being followed. The way she dispatches them physically and with her critiques were probably the highlight of the episode for me.
Joy gets to carry the emotional weight of the episode. She has to express; guilt, fear, amazement and elation as she deals with Danny being back and what it could mean for her and the company’s future. She seems like she may be a good person but she has been hardened by her family dynamic, the loss of her best friend and the corporate world. The corporate world is capable of amazing things but it can destroy some people because of the stress and ethical murkiness. Joy could be Danny’s only ally in the company, or she may choose her brother and the business over him.
Ward is stereotypical Ward again this episode so he was a dick. He hates Danny, he hates his father but he loves authority so he can’t just run way from his life even though he may want to at times. What could he and his father be planning with the Hand and how long has it been going on? Was this the first person Ward had Lenny and Billy Bob Thornton’s character from Sling Blade try to kill? He is ruthless but it’s too early to tell how much of it is really Ward and how much of it is his father living through him.
Lastly, if you are a fan of late 90’s early 2000’s hip-hop you will really dig the soundtrack for this show. If you are already watching and you like it I know, they just released a song list if you want to add anything to your playlists.