Iron Fist: 1.12 Bar the Big Boss

In its set-up to the finale, Iron Fist makes an effort to keep everything very complicated, to the point of convolution. One major threat appears to have been eliminated, but almost every character Danny has interacted with has their guns pointed at him. And, like every episode before it, Bar the Big Boss makes bad decisions and questionable choices.

With Harold and Joy, Danny and Davos, and Colleen all searching for ways to destroy Bakuto, it seems the Hand operative has lost almost all potential for false alliances. I say almost because Ward, having been out of the game thanks to a mental breakdown and severe withdrawal, is confronted by Bakuto with a tempting offer: find the Iron Fist and Harold's life with be permanently ended. Of course, nothing that any bad guy says in this show can't be trusted, and sure enough, Bakuto holds the entire Meachum clan hostage, shooting Joy in the side and baiting Danny to turn himself in.

Again, Joy remains one of the most poorly handled characters. Even though she's supposed to be a talented and brilliant businesswoman, the writers only allow her to suffer in between her father and brother. There's even a scene where she's forced to choose between Ward and Harold, like a child, or a dog. Bakuto uses her as a pawn to draw out Danny. Talk about an empowering role.

At least one female character is given some sort of plot leverage. Colleen channels her rage towards Bakuto's lies and spars him in a rain-drenched, climactic scene. After her former sensei underestimates her fighting skills, she gives him a nice poke in the gut, besting the Hand leader. Davos tries to convince Danny to fulfill his role as Iron Fist and kill Bakuto, but our hero takes the side of Colleen and decides to arrest him, complete with corny explanations: "If we kill him, we're no better than them." Yuck, guys. So Davos just takes care of business himself, stabbing Bakuto through the heart.

Iron Fist probably has the most impotent hero of any comic book adaptation. Not only has he failed to defeat any of the main antagonists (yet), but he's also completely gullible, susceptible to believing anything said by Bakuto, Gao, or Harold. These villains are so obviously lying most of the time that it takes a special kind of naive to trust almost everything that they say.

Much like last episode, the tension between Danny, Colleen, and Davos is poorly represented. They play as emotional messes, with the bad dialogue turning everything into a soap opera. Seriously, SNL's the Californians has more drama than some of these scenes. The Meachums are no better: Ward and Harold resume their contest to see who can overact the most. It's pretty much a dead tie at this point.

Going into the final hour, Iron Fist will have to deal with Harold's betrayal, but Gao and Bakuto still can't be ruled out, and Davos's threat that Danny's abandonment will have consequences will probably come to fruition. My prediction is that the finale will have the most catharsis moment of the season to date: the sweet feeling of relief when the end credits roll.


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