Time has almost run out for Iron Fist and company. With only one more episode left after this one, events are picking up speed as we head for the conclusion. There are a lot of unexpected developments, some important conversations, the return of a supporting character, and another character who now takes the title of being on every show in the Marvel/Netflix universe. A lot of characters have some really bad days in “War Without End.”
Down in the subway, Danny brings Colleen to the room we saw him in near the beginning of the season. He tells her how he found it, what it means to him now, and what he’s worried about. Colleen listens and is sympathetic, but still isn’t inclined towards granting Danny’s request of her becoming the new Iron Fist. They talk around the issue, but neither one gets persuaded to the other’s point of view. Colleen makes several counter-offers that Danny isn’t happy with. Danny ends up sounding a lot like he shares some of Ward’s problems, which is a comparison they made a while back. They finally leave with nothing resolved.
BB has the infamous mystical bowl that is such an important part of the Ceremony of Transference, and hasn’t been able to find Colleen so far. He gets a call from one of fellow Lost Boys. I think it’s Crank, but they aren’t great at distinguishing most of them aside from BB and the late Ryhno. BB gets some surprising news, and makes a few bad choices that will come back to haunt him. Davos confronts Joy at his lair/abandoned warehouse. She makes some good arguments, but as every gamer knows, sooner or later the Fast Talk skill runs out, and Joy just doesn’t have a lot else going for her in this situation. Davos ends the conversation on a brutal note.
Danny studies the pictures Misty took of the ancient wall hanging, and starts trying to learn the various hand movements depicted. Misty herself shows up, name checks another character from over on Luke Cage’s show, and tells about some help she’s lined up. Misty comes bearing other good news as well, and helps Colleen on her quest that’s been running through the season. Colleen hears a few things that relate to her past, and a story that touches on a previous holder of a certain glowing fist, or at least was in the comics. Colleen gets rattled by some of what she hears, and retreats to her bedroom. Danny tries to help and handles it badly. He talks with Misty, and tells her about his idea for what should happen to the power once they get it away from Davos. Misty is shocked, and Danny explains his reasoning. They talk over what would have to happen, and Colleen’s reaction to all this.
Misty goes to chat with Colleen, and they have a very wide-ranging conversation. They both acknowledge their odd friendship, and Misty gives Colleen a huge compliment. Misty isn’t known for idle flattery, so this is really impressive. Another strange pairing that somehow works is Ward and Walker, who meet up over classified files for wiseass comments and threats. They move on to meet the reigning champion of the Netflix crossover contest: Turk the gun dealer, who has managed to surpass Claire Temple, the vanished Night Nurse. There are a lot more sarcastic comments, some purchases, and golf advice. Ward shares some of the weirder parts of his recent past, as well as more advice for Turk.
Joy looks horrible after Davos gets through with her, and Chen looms over her. He doesn’t quite gloat, but he’s not sympathetic. Joy shows she has a lot of guts, some of which are quite possibly not where they are supposed to be at present. They bat some words around and Chen leaves her there, reluctantly impressed at the woman’s determination. Colleen and Danny show up at the community center after a call from Sam, and have another conversation with Mrs. Yang and the Triad council. Danny and Colleen’s pleading with Yang and the Triads gets interrupted when BB pushes his way in with the bowl. Colleen gives a pretty good speech, which BB mocks, and the Triads consider her words. BB updates Danny and Colleen about events at Davos’ place, including Joy showing up. Thing get more tense when they all get word that the gang is in the parking lot, and BB realizes he may have made a mistake earlier. Sam gives them some surprising news about something they need, but it makes perfect sense when you think about it. The Triads reluctantly agree to evacuate the civilians as the others get ready for the coming attack. BB takes the opportunity to sneak out, full of blind enthusiasm and confidence that he can talk his friends down.
Nothing goes to plan as BB finds out his former crew have made up their minds, and the evacuation gets interrupted when Davos shows up. Liu, the Hatchet enforcer, gives the others time to get back upstairs. It’s a good fight, but we knew pretty much how it was going to go before it started. BB makes his case, gets a surprising answer, and Colleen comes out, showing she’s at least a bit hypocritical. After all her lectures to Danny about control, she charges into battle with fury you can practically see radiating off her. Danny confronts Davos, and uses some great strategy to get in a surprise attack to start things off. Davos and Danny continue their ongoing disagreements both physically and verbally. The good guys win their respective fights, but with some losses. Misty shows up just a bit too late, and Colleen has a change of heart. Once again, she’s making decisions in anger, exactly what she told Danny not to do.
After some talking and catching up, Danny and Colleen take Davos back to their place to do the ceremony. Misty tries to give Colleen some useful wisdom, knowing as she does it that Colleen isn’t ready to hear it. The Crane sisters pop up again, surprised the heroes managed to get this far, and agree to do what they said. The ceremony proceeds, with some neat special effects. After hearing about Joy being there, Misty decides to go to the rescue on her own, which isn’t a great idea. She finds Joy, but also finds Chen, and they have an impressive fight. Her bionic arm throws him a few surprises, but the man’s a master fighter. He starts getting the upper hand when Misty gets some very unexpected help from Ward and Walker. Ward and Joy have a very different reunion than either expected as he gets her out of there. Walker makes her own assessment of things and takes action that doesn’t please Misty. Misty points something out, Walker agrees, and then does something else definitive but unexpected.
Colleen is sporting some new ink, and, in a nice touch, it’s actually red and raw like a new tattoo should be. Danny guides her through what has to happen next, and she starts things off. Davos wakes up at an unfortunate moment, and things go wrong. The ceremony gets interrupted in part because Davos uses the Fist in a way I’ve never seen before in the comics or on the show. Things end with a tense standoff and a big surprise for Davos.
What I liked: The fight choreography continues to get better and better. There were several good matchups in this episode, and they all looked good. Colleen and Misty make a great team, and I really wish we’d gotten to see them in their own series. I never liked Liu, but he went out with style. Joy, for all her other failings, has heart. Ward did some impressive things. The scene with Turk was great.
What I didn’t: Colleen needs to practice what she’s preaching (Yes, I understand how provoked she was). I didn’t like Danny’s idea when he broached it last episode, and I’m not wild about it now that it’s at least partially happened. Davos is insufferably smug and I was glad to see him beaten. Chen was an interesting character and deserved better. Poor Misty is going to have a hell of a headache.
It’s sort of sad that things are getting better as the season and series are ending. There’s so much potential here and in the other Netflix/Marvel shows. I’ll give this a 3.5 out of 5, and I can’t wait to see how all this spins out.