Iron Fist’s second season continues with “The Dragon Dies at Dawn.” This, as with the other titles this season, is borrowed from an earlier comic; in this case, Iron Fist 9 from 1976. We see Danny dealing with his loss, an attempted family reconciliation, and Davos working on his own list but only needing to check it once. Colleen and Misty look into ways to help Danny, and remind us of how great a “Daughters of the Dragon,” which they are called in the comics, series could have been.
The episode opens with an extreme close up of Misty as she talks about people’s luck and the decisions they make. Eventually, we see she’s talking to Walker and Joy, neither of whom are thrilled with the lecture. The conversation is very wide ranging, and includes Joy letting Misty in on Walker’s condition. Misty presses for detail on what happened to Danny, although she doesn’t seem to quite believe the answers she gets. Joy seems to take exception to Misty judging people by their actions, although most agree that it’s the best way.
Danny’s unlikely collection of allies meets up after this discussion. Ward is frustrated by the system, and Misty explains the various reasons why she either can’t or shouldn’t arrest Walker or Joy right now. Colleen isn’t thrilled about the loft being used as a temporary, unofficial holding area, and I don’t blame her. Danny wants to go talk to Davos and calm him down, which everyone thinks is a bad idea. They finally come up with the bare bones of a plan, and Danny proves he’s not up to being part of it, at least not yet. Misty and Colleen go to see what they can do, and Ward, after some grousing, holds down the fort with the cuffed Walker, annoyed Joy, and injured Danny.
As soon as they are left alone, Joy starts questioning and plotting with Walker. Walker states, very understandably, that she doesn’t want to go against Davos. The two talk about options open to them, and Joy revisits a discussion they had before. Out in the streets, Chen Wu, Davos’ driver and list-maker, listens to a fight as Davos does some more of his “work.” Davos comes out and wants another name, and they debate priorities, philosophies, and diet. Chen gets what might be the best line of the episode here.
Ward and Danny show they have very different tolerances for the more mystic and esoteric parts of Danny’s life. Their debate gets interrupted when Walker, after performing a neat trick, comes out to talk. She makes an offer, angling for more money, and lays down some conditions. Danny is willing to go along with it, which Ward thinks is a horrible idea. It almost pains me to say it, but I agree with Ward. Walker points out she has some very specific, useful expertise, and Danny is, at best, overly optimistic. Ward asks a question of the mercenary, and gets an answer he doesn’t like as the two slip away.
Colleen and Misty banter about gas station food, and Misty explains her dietary choices. This leads to more serious discussion, with Misty asking Colleen about her plans and what she wants out of life. Colleen turns the question back, but Misty won’t be sidetracked. Misty has some career advice for Colleen, who is full of self-doubt, largely thanks to Bakudo. It’s a good scene that gives us another example of the great things they could have done if the Netflix/Marvel collaboration wasn’t ending.
Chen brings Davos to the next stop on the magical misery tour, and Davos shows he has no interest in details, just hitting. As they pull away from that mess, Ryhno’s Home for Wayward Thugs looks on in the background. Joy, hoping she’s been left alone, goes out into the main room and finds out Ward is still there. He finally has his chance to talk to his sister, but it doesn’t go at all like he hoped. He is self-aware enough to see she has reason to be mad at him, but he asks why she’s gone to such great lengths to hurt Danny. She essentially admits she’s being a whiny brat, mad at the person who pulled back the curtain and brought the dark things to light. My fondness for Joy actually decreases a lot in this scene. It’s an emotionally painful scene for both of them.
Walker brings Danny back to her place to load up on Iron Fist-catching gear. Danny is still being remarkably naïve, contrasting greatly with Walker’s world-weariness and cynicism. We do find out that even she has a dream. They argue over her motives, and Danny learns a lot more detail about what makes Mary and Walker switch back and forth. It seems like a lot to tell someone she doesn’t know that well, and tactical disadvantage for a trained solider to share weaknesses. It’s mostly data points for later in the story, but not done that well.
Colleen and Misty talk about rents and business costs as they get where they were going. The people they need to talk to try and break bad with them, but Misty and Colleen are not the folks you want to do that with. Things devolve into a big fight, and it’s really interesting that as the action gets more and more intense, Colleen has this huge smile on her face. The lady enjoys her work. It’s a good action sequence that ends with Misty essentially starting her questions over again.
Danny and Walker get where they’re going, and have some arguments over procedure and the plan. Once again, Danny is viewing the situation through rose-colored glasses (Cyclops is going to want those back, eventually). Mrs. Yang sees some of Davos’ handiwork, and gets set to escalate the situation. Joy and Ward have more awkward, painful, emotional talk. Ward tries to get through to her, but she’s not inclined to listen and gets in a dramatic exit line. While I grant he was out of his depth, Ward has accomplished zero parts of his mission from Misty.
Colleen and Misty finally get the information they need from the three wise chicks. They seem oddly buoyed by the news, even though it sure sounds to me like some of what they need to reverse it was consumed in the first ritual. We do get a hint about the name Davos uses in the comics. The scene comes to an odd end. Davos gets home to a place that really leaves a lot to be desired, and Chen offers some decorating help. Davos asks about Ryhno and the Lost Boys, and surprises Chen by not adding them to the list.
The stage is set for the really big confrontation of the episode. Danny and Walker argue more about what to do when Davos gets there, and Walker makes the excellent point that Danny is in no shape to stop her. While his fighting skill doesn’t depend on the power of the Iron Fist, he was beaten horribly and the healing properties of the fist are gone. Davos comes in, Danny tries to talk to him, and Danny finally starts to realize how far gone Davos is. Davos’ self-justifying boasts lead them into a full-on fight, and Walker was right: Danny is in no condition. Danny and Walker do their best, halfway succeed, but Davos does something ugly and spiteful at the very end. Walker tries to get Danny help, but an earlier mentioned weakness comes into play, and things go even more off the rails. Colleen and Misty get home to a much quieter reception than they expected. Things with Walker get much worse as Danny is taken away, out of the fight, possibly for a very long time.
What I liked: The more scenes I see with Colleen and Misty, the more I enjoy the pairing. They go well together. Their fight was really well done, and Colleen’s expression was very telling. Misty’s suggestion for Colleen’s future was something I hadn’t at all considered. The scenes with Ward and Joy were raw and ugly, but believable. I’m not sure what Chen is getting out of all this, but his relationship with Davos is fascinating in a weird way. Davos is evil, but you can see how he got there and that he believes in what he’s doing. Ward actually made some strides at being human.
What I didn’t: While the scene itself was good, Joy herself is slipping a bit in my estimation. Did we ever see her follow up on her blackmailing her friend, or was that just implied? Or dropped? I could sort of respect her being a villain, but her motivations as revealed here are just weak. I’m getting a bit sick of Ryhno and company just happening to be in the right place all the damn time. Is one of them precognitive or something? I don’t understand why Misty and Colleen seem to be happy to learn something that sounds like they can’t fix it. Danny needs to get over his wishful thinking.
It wasn’t a horrible episode, but not their best. I’ll go a sold 3 out of 5.