Review: Iron Fist Season 1 Episode 4 “Eight Diagram Dragon Palm”

One of my chief complaints about this series is just how generic the set-up is. Obviously the writers couldn’t completely deviate from the source material, but the way in which Danny Rand’s return to New York has been dealt has felt nothing other than generic. This episode emphasises that qualms as Rand continues to be an awfully developed character. His naive, confused, blundering persona contrasts with the difficult, slightly traumatic and gruelling training regime he was forced into. One may argue that this is simply a consequence of Rand being an outsider, someone who feels out of touch with his own company and worth, but there is little narrative evidence of that. We don’t see Rand struggling with his re-entry into civilisation but instead this supposed warrior is easily manipulated by Harold Meachum and his anti-corporate stance is just too obvious and predictable. Miguel Sapochnik does the best he can with the material, including crafting a brilliant elevator action sequence, but Finn Jones is unable to fully embrace his character’s skills and instead they come off as clumsy and ‘in the works’ rather than refined and perfected. The plot progression here is appreciated, as is the sense that this show will be the catalyst for the assembly of the Defenders, but little else works and that is down to poor writing and a clear lack of ambition and finesse. 5.7/10