Continuing this season’s tradition of reusing titles, “This Deadly Secret” came from Power Man and Iron Fist 99, back in 1983. The triad issues inch forward, Danny gets told some confusing things, and Colleen makes a few discoveries of her own. For a martial arts show, it’s a bit light on action this episode, but I think they make it work.
The show opens with Danny washing his hands and mask in the sink off the bedroom. Colleen wakes up, and they have a discussion about his hours lately, and how he’s handling the mantle left to him by Matt Murdock at the end of the Defenders series. Things are tense as Colleen is worried and trying to understand why Danny is doing what he is, and he’s feeling the weight of too much responsibility on his shoulders. Colleen also mentions Mary’s odd phone call, but their relationship is good enough that we’re not getting the needless jealousy drama, which I’m very grateful for.
Ward has a very bad meeting with his NA group, where he has a legitimate concern but handles it about as badly as possible. Even trying to improve himself, Ward’s still an asshole. Ward then goes on to meet up with Danny, and they talk about whatever Joy is up to, and put together the strange Joy/Davos alliance. Ward comes up with a scheme straight out of a bad sitcom, and Danny goes along with it.
Colleen is back peering in the windows of Choi’s shop, although what she thinks is going to have changed, I’m not sure. Danny calls to follow up on Ward’s crappy plan, and they agree to it, although he hasn’t told her everything. Colleen then breaks in to the shop’s basement and prowls around inside, meeting up once again with punk kid/wannabe gangster BB. Somehow, even though we see her go in the basement entrance, she enters the main room of the shop by coming downstairs. Who designed this place, MC Escher? Eventually, she finds a ledger she can’t read, which is a nice touch. Not everyone with heritage from another country can automatically read that language. BB makes a few demands about her discovery, and is generally a pain in the ass.
Joy has a meeting with Sophia Rios about some invention of hers. Joy is really pushing the scientist to ally with her, and Ms. Rios leaves about when Davos comes in. Davos gives Joy a compliment that doesn’t quite work the way he wants it to, and they discuss some possible dinner plans. Joy is a lot less straightforward in her thinking than Davos is. BB offers a lot of theories but not a lot of useful information to Colleen as they go over what they can make out of the ledger, and BB demonstrates more of his ignorance. He finally takes off after being more of a jerk.
Danny makes his way home, juggling groceries, which just isn’t a detail you see with superheroes that often. Someone slides a mysterious envelope under the door, and Danny gives chase. It turns out to be Mary, who isn’t making a lot of sense. She warns Danny that someone is watching him, and the envelope proves to be a bunch of surveillance pictures of Danny. She leaves after warning him about someone called Walker. For a moment, I wondered if it was somehow Trish Walker from over on Jessica Jones, but I couldn’t make that work in my head. Back home, Danny shares this strange development with Colleen, and they reflect on Mary’s general weirdness and the lives they’ve chosen.
Danny and Colleen get ready for dinner, and just before company arrives, Danny drops Ward’s bombshell on her. She’s not pleased, so at least one of them has some sense. Too late to do anything about it now, as the knock on the door proves to be Joy and Davos, and one of the more tense dinner party scenes I’ve watched in a while slowly, excruciatingly unfolds. We hear the very fake story of how Joy and Davos met, and Joy neatly evades any and all questions from our heroes. Both sides huddle together for a moment to mutter about the others, and Ward has a strange interlude in a car.
The dinner goes from tense to hostile. Colleen, tired of the games, tries to drag some things out into the light. The issues with Danny and Davos run a bit too deeply for dinner chat to help much, and Davos wanders off on his own through the apartment. Colleen forges ahead, and presses on with Joy, reminding her that both she and Davos are so important to Danny. Joy rehashes a lot of what she went through with Danny and Ward and her father. On the one hand, she makes some fair points, on the other, she is overreacting and holding a hell of a grudge. Eventually, a secret comes out, Davos makes a discovery, and dinner ends well before dessert.
While Ward pours napalm on one of his only even semi-healthy relationships, Davos and Joy discuss the failed dinner. Davos is ticked off about what he found, and they go to confront the mysterious Walker. Colleen and Danny clean up, and Danny is resigned but accepting about how things went. He and Colleen’s discussion gets interrupted when Mrs. Yang calls about the parley between the two rival Triads.
Mrs. Yang makes a few explanations on the way to a meeting in a sketchy warehouse, favored haunt of gangs throughout the superhero genre. The Tigers aren’t thrilled to see her, and less so Danny, but talks begin. Danny, masked and pacing around, notices something outside, and things devolve into combat. Danny gets to use his moves and fist, Colleen fights off some bad guys, and Mrs. Yang shows she can take care of herself. Exactly what happened isn’t clear, and there may be more forces at work then are readily apparent.
Davos and Joy go to meet Walker, and that turns out to be something of a surprise. They have a clipped, brusque meeting and Walker shows some moves that catch even Davos off-guard. Davos remains insistent, and Joy tries to smooth things over. Things end with something of a stalemate. Overall, I’d have to say no one got what they wanted this episode.
What I liked: Colleen made a good point about some problems getting worse when you punch them. I give her points for trying to roll with things during the dinner, and even pushing to try and make things better for Danny. Let’s face it, she doesn’t have a great deal invested in either Joy or Davos, so she’s trying for young Mr. Rand’s sake. The triad parley was interesting, and I’d love to know what Mrs. Yang is up to and what happened outside. The Walker reveal shows how tangled things are getting.
What I didn’t: I think Colleen is being naïve with BB, and I think that’s going to come back and bite her. I don’t know what Joy is up to, but I don’t think it’s going to go well for anyone involved. Davos is just plain a dick, and I’d be ok with him disappearing. Same with Ward. I’d say they could beat each other to death, but Ward wouldn’t last two seconds. The weirdness with Colleen coming “down” from the basement was just sloppy continuity.
This was more of a pacing, building sort of episode than all-out action. I’m not sure about doing that after your episode count gets reduced, but it seemed to work for me. I’ll give this a 3 out of 5.