Marvel’s Iron Fist Season 1 Episode 1 First Impressions

Summary: After being presumed dead, Danny Rand returns home to New York after fifteen years, only to find things aren’t as they were.

Director: John Dahl (for this episode)

Writers: Roy Thomas (based on the Marvel comics by), Gil Kane (based on the Marvel comics by), Roy Thomas (creator and writer for this episode)

Stars: Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Stroup, and more.

   Netflix and Marvel have been pouring out superhero shows for quite some time now. Every character introduced added a whole new story that hinted to a bigger and unknown enemy that would emerge from its darkness when the time will come. Just like the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Justice League in the DC Extended Universe or the Legends of Tomorrow in the DC TV shows, these Netflix shows have been preparing fans for the arrival of the Defenders, a neighbourhood-level team of superheroes built around the four heroes that have so far gotten their first seasons out on Netflix: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

1

   Iron Fist is the last piece of the puzzle and it is most likely to dive deeper into the main plot revolving around the big bad villain, while having its own side-stories to deal with. In all honesty, this might have been the weakest pilot episode of all four heroes, but it is far from being as bad as a lot of critics have been shouting about. The story kicks off with Danny Rand (played by Game of Thrones actor Finn Jones) 15 years after his assumed death. His first contact with home is meeting up with two of the only people left who have been considered family before the tragic incident that took the lives of Danny’s parents: Joy Meachum (played by 90210‘s Jessica Stroup) and Ward Meachum (played by Banshee‘s Tom Pelphrey).

   A typical rag to riches story lines quickly shines between the lines, but reminds us that originality is not what will reel a lot of fans in as other superheroes have had a similar plot done before (see Batman Begins or Arrow). Introducing us to a protagonist that struggles to convince his surrounding of his true identity, the story also fights to showcase social issues around homeless individuals and mental illnesses. The problem that quickly resonates from episode 1 “Snow Gives Way” is its inability to be convincing in so many departments. Whether it’s the acting, the action or the writing, Iron Fist‘s pilot episode struggles to be compelling and to excel in anything in order to truly captivate the crowd.

Image result for iron fist snow gives way

   I just can’t not talk about the action sequences in this show since the expectations were pretty high when it came down to a martial arts specialist like Iron Fist. Let’s just say that I was really left unsatisfied and deeply unimpressed by the presentation. It’s not that it’s bad or anything, it’s because of how unimpressive it felt when the moment came for Danny Rand to show us what he was made of. I also felt like the power behind Danny Rand’s moves didn’t translate too well in the action (the impact and the result never truly felt reciprocal). The added editing that went into these scenes in order to give multiple camera angles, coupled with the shortness of every fight scene, also made it hard to be engaged and absorbed by these moments. I was still able to appreciate the more defensive and disarm-rather-than-destroy style that was showcased.

   What we get in this first of many episodes does give us a good idea of Danny Rand’s fighting style as well as the fluidity of his movements. There’s something very unusual in his skills as they aren’t commonly seen in a modern era, especially in a modern setting. In fact, even if the show starts off on a much slower pace than anything we might have seen before, it does a good job in introducing a character that has yet to be accustomed the rules of modern society and a character that will need time to understand his new surroundings in order to be able to bring change where change is needed. While fitting in seems to take a good part of the shows attention, we also get to see the Meachums’ perception of things throughout the story. What else were business people supposed to believe than a conspiracy theory to sabotage their company when a homeless man claims to be the Danny Rand, the one guy who could take back Rand Enterprises from the Meachums’?

Image result for iron fist snow gives way

   The show also introduces us to Colleen Wing (played by Game of Thrones‘ Jessica Henwick) and gives us a pretty good idea of what kind of asset she’ll be to Danny and the story that will unfold. Is it all right if I also mention that she’s one fine bad-ass woman that only prompts a desire in me to see more of her throughout the season? The first episode also unveils another surprise character that will add another element of mystery to the story. This was probably the part where things start to become pretty interesting as it distinguishes the premise from what we’ve seen before. Episode 1 “Snow Gives Way” also ends on a cliffhanger—no surprise there—that will further challenge Danny Rand’s ability to convince the world of his identity.

   If anything, a lot of important key characters have been introduced in this first episode and only gives us hope that the show will find it’s own identity over time. Its potential is undeniable and plenty of interesting elements have been teased so far. Filled with flashbacks to give fans more insight on Danny’s past, the show does a fine job in introducing the Iron Fist. From legend to reality, the character is a challenge to bring to life. Hopefully the story doesn’t try to hard to tie things up with the other heroes to serve as a bridge to the Defenders. Iron Fist needs time to be built and developed and to do so, a solid origin story that unveils the secrets of his past is much needed.


One of the most popular comic book series regarding the Iron Fist is Ed Brubaker’s The Immortal Iron Fist. There are countless other stories that also pair the man with another Defender to create the Heroes for Hire.
Have you read any of those comics? Did you start the show yet?
I finished season 1!

Tell me what you thought of Iron Fist (TV Series 2017-)! 😀

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★☆☆/

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43 thoughts on “Marvel’s Iron Fist Season 1 Episode 1 First Impressions

  1. TeacherofYA says:

    This series is getting a lot of heat on Twitter bc the main character is white. But the MC was always white so I don’t understand it. But I do like Marvel and I like Netflix, so I’ll probably end up watching to see what this is about.
    Excellent review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      I’ve seen the hate the show has been getting for the whole “white-washing” backlash. Indeed, the character wasn’t even Asian in the comics. A lot of the hate is based on this idea that martial arts is something that should ONLY be associated with Asian culture and this has tainted their perception of White characters embracing martial arts. It is absolutely ridiculous what people have to say about the subject. I do hear that one of the creators of Iron Fist made an odd comment about the subject and made things “worse”, but what he had to say (it’s about the whole Orient thing) wasn’t even THAT ignorant. It was just very badly unorganized and vulgarized.

      People should not judge the show based on the creators or based on the ethnicity of characters when changed (which isn’t even the case here). It should be solely based on how well the story is told and shot, as well the performance of each actor. I do hope you’ll enjoy it when you get around to it though! I’d highly recommend going through the other heroes’ seasons (in order of release) to be able to fully enjoy the first season of Iron Fist because of how often they end up subtlety referring to them and all the Easter Eggs you can find!

      Thank you so much for reading though! I really, really appreciate it!!! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

      • TeacherofYA says:

        Omg, you said this SO WELL!
        That’s exactly how I feel…but if you say that to some of these people, they think you don’t “get it.” I read the comments made by Ray, who is 76 freakin years old so people really should cut him some slack, and he was only saying he didn’t care what ethnicity they made his character! All that mattered to him was that the character was being made. I understand the idea behind what they are saying…they would be angry to know my mom dressed my sister up as a geisha one Halloween when she was a kid because she loved the look. Things were different when I was a kid. If you lean Karate, is that the same thing? It’s so confusing to me.
        I’m so glad you encourage me to check it out…I will watch them in order then. What is the first one? I’ll start bingeing ASAP! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

          It is such a shame that there are people who find these things offensive. All I see is admiration, passion and open-mindedness. These “hobbies/activities” shouldn’t be associated to a certain culture and remain closed to them only. They can be achieved by anyone who wants to practice them and excel in them. These things cause serious problems within plenty of societies and show that we still have a lot of things to do before saying we’re an exemplary society.

          Well, I won’t force these superhero shows on you though! 😀 If they do interest you, I’d recommend Daredevil Season 1 –> Jessica Jones Season 1 –> Daredevil Season 2 –> Luke Cage Season 1 –> Iron Fist Season 1

          – Lashaan

          Liked by 1 person

          • TeacherofYA says:

            Thank you! You are definitely not forcing superhero shows! I’m a huge X-Men fan! And I liked Spider-Man and Superman until they made too many. Even Batman got ruined for me. But I am a big comic nerd. Well, a moderate comic nerd, a big book nerd. 😂
            And all you just said? THANK YOU! Why can’t more people think like that?? 🙄

            Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      I’m really surprised that Amazon Prime has this show though. Then again, I’m not even sure how it works since I’ve never tried it. I assumed it was similar to Netflix, with its OWN shows and movies.

      While each heroes’ show is different, comparing them to Daredevil’s first season will probably make them ALL look pale and weak. Are you up to date with season 2 of Daredevil too? Man, Daredevil is definitely the best TV show of the whole Marvel Netflix universe.

      If you ever plan on watching the other shows, I’d highly recommend watching them in order of release as they often have Easter Eggs and references to the other heroes.

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Great review for this episode Lashaan. I definitely need to watch this series but I am very very behind on the Marvel Defenders Netflix TV series so I really need to get up to date on Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage before starting Iron Fist.
    I will admit I haven’t heard great things about Iron Fist so far, people don’t see overly impressed so I’ll be going into it with slightly lowered expectations. 🙂
    But it’s Marvel, I’m sure I’ll love at least some part of it.
    Again great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      It’s a good thing that you like to watch/read things in order of release/publication, cause I recommend it strongly for these shows. They often tend to reference in a subtle manner to the previous heroes throughout some episodes and it would only benefit viewers if they had watched the shows in order of release to be able to enjoy these moments more. It also helps to recognize those “recurring” characters that show their faces throughout all four heroes’ shows! 😀

      It’ll be a pretty good thing to go into this first season of Iron Fist with lower expectations in order to be entertained fully. It has its ups and downs, but in the end it is definitely worth checking out. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind words too! It really makes me happy that you read my review!! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

        It’s just a thing, even with non-connected series of books if they’re by the same author I have to read them in release date order. Feels too weird to do it any other way.
        But yeah with something like this there are the subtle connections that you don’t notice unless you watch them in order, I learnt that with the first movies in the run up to the Avengers.
        I’ve been pleasantly surprised when I’ve gone into books with low expectations before, here’s hoping it’ll be the same with Iron Fist.
        That’s all right, I was excited to see what you had to say about this episode because, like I said, there seems to be a lot of mixed opinions on it so far! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    I think that you and I have established my disconnect with superheroes at the moment so I haven’t even given this thought. Although I think the nonhusband might enjoy.

    Thoughts on Jessica Jones? I am guilty of wanting to watch simply because I am a Tennant fan (fan.. lover.. it is all the same right?).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Hahah, yep! I do appreciate that you still check out what I got to say about these superheroes though! However, I don’t think I help make them look like they are not everywhere though… 😛

      After making this first impression review, I thought about re-watching the first episode the other heroes and make a “fake” first impression review just to give people an idea of what they can expect from them, if they haven’t watched them yet. I’m glad to hear your interest in Jessica Jones BECAUSE of David Tennant cause… HE is the BEST part of Jessica Jones. His portrayal of the villain in that show is phenomenal. It’s probably one his best acting performances ever (even if I don’t watch Doctor Who to know what he’s like, I know he’s quite popular cause of that).

      Of course, for anyone other than you, I would highly recommend watching these Netflix heroes’ seasons in the order they were released to be able to catch all the references that might pop up here and then. But man, if you’re a Tennant fan, I would definitely recommend checking out what he does in Jessica Jones without even caring for the other heroes! 😀 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Chris Evans says:

    Great overview mate with some fair and insightful points. I’m a few episodes in now and I’m actually really starting to get into it, it’s slow but I’m becoming more interested in the characters and the storyline especially the threat that’s hiding in the shadows.

    I think the martial arts actually fit the character and his world quite well, it lacks the hard brutality of Daredevil but I don’t think that would work in Iron Fist, Danny Rand and Matt Murdock’s situations and origin being quite different.

    I do have the Brubaker/Fraction/Aja run and a collection of the very first Iron Fist stories from the 70s but I’m yet to get around to reading them all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Thanks man! I’m 10 episodes in and I agree. It is slow to build intrigue, but it definitely gets there when all the conflicts are set in motion. You’re definitely right for the level of brutality that Danny shows compared to Matt. I think the problem I have with fighting scenes so far is due to my own personal experience of all those martial arts movies I’ve watched over the years (like Ip Man, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Legend, etc.) I feel there’s a significant difference between the choreography and fighting scenes shot in those movies compared to what we’ve been getting from Iron Fist. Nonetheless, I’m satisfied by what they have shown so far, I just feel like they could’ve pushed it even further.

      I actually haven’t read any of those yet (what a surprise hahah, me and Marvel have A LOT to catch up on). I’m pretty curious to know how they compare with the TV show now. 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  5. littlebookynook says:

    I’ve heard sooo many mixed reviews about this show, but honestly most of the bad reviews came from critics. And I generally always have an opposite opinion to critics! I had heard people were upset about it being white-washed, and that it was boring. Though if you have watched most of the episodes it can’t be too bad hey 😊 I might give it a go eventually, I usually wait for the hype to die down…not sure why, I have this whole “I don’t want to like popular things” complex which yeah is super snobby. And it’s the reason I haven’t watched GoT lol. Anyway! Great post 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      I’m glad your opinion usually differs from what critics have to say, especially in regards to superhero shows/movies. I think their perception of these movies are biased by what the Marvel movies have set as a standard. It’s such a shame and I believe EVERYONE should judge these shows/movies for themselves.

      The whole white-washing controversy is one of the most ridiculous problem that has surfaced regarding this show. In fact, they think that there’s been a case of white-washing regarding the main character (White boy doing martial arts) when the original character in the comics was not even an Asian character. People assume that because there’s this White boy doing things that are usually associated with an Asian culture, there has been a case of white-washing. Which is not the case at all!

      It’s definitely not a bad show at all. I’m 10 episodes in (on a total of 13) and I can tell you that the show might seem slow in the beginning, but it will quickly become very interesting and get you hooked till the end. Especially if you’ve seen the other 3 heroes’ shows since Iron Fist is most likely going to be the last solo hero season before The Defenders arrive on Netflix.

      I totally understand the whole “too much hype to join the bandwagon” thing. I know people like that, and that is totally fine. As long as you watch them when you WANT to watch them and enjoy them, no one will probably judge you! If you ever decide to check it out, I do recommend checking out the other heroes’ seasons first (in the order they were released) in order to fully grasp the story in Iron Fist and to recognize all the references they do to the other heroes! I hope you enjoy it as much as I am when you get around to it!

      Thank you so much for checking out my review though! I really appreciate it! 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Karina Pinella says:

    I’ve had enough of people thinking a culture owns certain philosophy, activities, etc. If you’re Chinese and you wow with your rap or you’re American and you impress with muay thai or any kind of Asian martial arts, then you own it. No culture owns what an individual can display as their accomplishment. So this movie has a white dude getting down with martial arts. So effing what? So if you’re Asian, are you supposed to excel only in martial arts? Goes both ways. If no one wants to be stereotyped, then stop saying it’s racist if some other nationality embraces anther culture’s art. We’re global now, folks. Enough with provincial thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      #Karina4President. I couldn’t have said it better. I face-palmed when I first heard about the whole controversy. It doesn’t even make sense and I never thought such an issue could be raised regarding the show. The worse part is, the character wasn’t even meant to be Asian in the comics. Apparently, the creators made the Iron Fist happen during the whole 70s martial arts buzz generated by Asian movies. I’m really surprised that in 2017, a culture clash on this subject can actually happen. Such a shame…

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  7. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Oh shame the action sequences weren’t as good as you hoped and that it wasn’t as good as the openings to Daredevil and Jessica Jones (I really liked both of those). But I still like the sound of a lot of this- and hopefully, like you said, it will find its feet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      It’s most likely cause I’ve seen so many classic martial arts movies with stars like Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh and so on hahahah My expectations were crazy high, especially when Daredevil’s action stunt artist is a huge PRO and blew my mind in every action scene. I thought maybe when Iron Fist comes out, people will get blown away by the level of martial arts that will be put forth. Then again, it’s really not that bad at all. It’s VERY satisfying and delivers exactly what you’d want from the Iron Fist. I’m close the ending of season 1 and I can confirm that the story will find its groove further along and hold on to your attention till the end! If you haven’t already, you check out Luke Cage Season 1 before diving into Iron Fist though. Lots of hints here and there on the past heroes’ seasons that you’d want to understand. 😀 Thanks for checking out my review though, really appreciate it! 🙂

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

      • theorangutanlibrarian says:

        hahaha that makes a lot of sense!! It’s good that it was satisfying at least- even if you do have high standards 😉 (high standards are good!!) Ah that’s great to know!! Oh awesome- I haven’t had the chance to watch it yet, but definitely intend to- thanks for the tip! You’re welcome- I enjoyed it 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      I’m happy to hear that! 😛 The Marvel TV shows on Netflix however, have a much darker tone, and some have a nice balancing humour to them too. I hope you enjoy them all (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist) as much as I do! 😀

      It probably won’t be an easy task to start reading the comics related to each of the heroes since there are so many places where you could start for each one of them. Of course, there are some story arcs that are totally worth checking out and will probably give you even more insight on the characters and how much more depth each of their lore has! 😛

      – Lashaan

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    • Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

      Hahahahah that is so unfortunate. I just finished watching the season (I wouldn’t have been able to stop even if I wanted to since I want to have seen everything before the release of the Defenders). There’s definitely some really weak moments due to the writing and even the acting for certain characters. No one truly brings a mind-blowing performance in the show to be honest and I’m a bit sad that the fighting scenes didn’t wow me as much as they could’ve (the Iron Fist should’ve been some sort of modern revolution to martial arts scenes in TV shows/movies). The story does get a bit more interesting around episode 5, but I guess it might have been too far away for some to want to endure the first couple episodes! 😛

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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