I am, as usual, the champion of the show no one else likes*. I love that Ward Meachum and his henchman keep turning up at Colleen’s dojo trying to intimidate her, and she humiliates them over and over again. She can take care of herself, and she will keep showing them that as many d*mn times as it takes. It’s pretty cool that these first few episodes have given us as much or more of Colleen as an amazing, revered fighter than they have of Danny. She’s the hometown girl with a stake in the neighborhood and a reputation. I want more Iron Fist fight scenes, too, but I’ll never complain about the female fighter being given equal time and skill. Especially when she doesn’t need to have a man come in and save her at the end of the fight, which is what generally happens.
Speaking of which, we start episode three with Ward’s go to henchmen breaking into the dojo, for Colleen’s own protection, of course. They don’t even bother to be quiet about it. Hope Colleen broke a few bones with her practice sword, to make up for the broken lock. She tells the goons she wants nothing to do with them or anything Rand.
Danny was clinging to the ceiling, because he can double as Spiderman when necessary. He promises not to cause any more trouble. Colleen says that the 3rd tenet of the Bushido code is mercy, but even that has its limits. He needs to be gone in the morning.
Ward makes his way through his father’s gorgeous building up to the penthouse bunker. He can’t find his father when he arrives, but then notices that Harold is laying in a glass case. Is he Snow White? Ultron? Hard to say. It looks like one of the cases Dr Cho and Tony Stark used in Ultron, so let’s go with healing as the guess for why he’s in there. He might have sold his soul to the devil though.
Harold seems to be sleeping. There’s a phone attached to his glass case, so Ward picks it up and starts talking. Harold wakes up. He dozed off in there. Ward’s still looking for Danny. Harold reminds him to pay for repairs on the psych hospital’s steel door, so no one talks.
Negotiations to buy the pier have stalled. Harold tells Ward to offer more money, and put Joy on the deal. She’ll close it. Ward questions Harold’s judgement. Harold explains that he is doing all of this for Ward and Joy, so that there is a successful company to leave to them. He chastises Ward for trying to have Danny killed. Then he sucker punches Ward in the kidneys. Hard.
Harold continues talking, explaining that Danny has no one else to go to but them, so, next time he turns up, keep him safe until Harold figures out what to do with him. Harold loves Ward so, so much, and is going to make him a great man, he just has to follow orders. Ward is still clutching his side where Harold punched him. Well, that explains a lot about Ward, doesn’t it?
Colleen meditates in her living room. Danny plays loud music as he does tai chi (?) out in the practice room. She goes out and turns off the music, then complains that he was supposed to be gone. He says that he’s worried about her. One of the goons got too close. They spar as they argue over whether she needs his help. He also critiques her moves. He’s kind of a smug, superior jerk about it. He shows her a couple of new moves. She still throws him out.
He keeps talking, trying to convince her to let him stay. He offers to pay her rent for six months. She notes that he can’t even afford a haircut. He hasn’t had time to get a haircut, ok? He’s been trying to prove that he’s not dead, and escaping from psych hospitals, and on the run. It’s a full time job! He’s got the money! He’s Danny Rand, his name is on a sky scraper!
She eventually gives in, but says he has to sleep in the corner, use the bathroom at Starbucks, take a shower, and stay away from the students. She’s had enough of his personal hygiene issues.
Ward and Joy discuss the Danny situation. They can’t come to an agreement about what they should do. Ward changes the subject, and tells her he needs her help with the pier deal. She doesn’t understand why he wants the pier so badly. He asks her to just trust him.
When Joy gets home, Danny is sitting on her front stoop, surrounded by red, yellow, orange and lime green flowers and flower petals, burning incense, and oranges. Joy says that in another life it would have been romantic. He replies that in another life she wouldn’t have drugged him and sent him to a mental hospital, which is probably the best comeback line he’s had so far.
The oranges and flowers are a Buddhist tradition, meant to remind her of their bond. She asks why he’s back. He says that she and Ward are the closest thing that he has to family. The idea of them kept Danny going through difficult times. Joy tells Danny that she was 13 when Harold “died.” She had a recurring dream about him for a long time. Danny tells Joy that he had a dream about Harold when he was in the hospital, too.
Joy asks Danny to go inside. As soon as they’re in the foyer, Joy is all business. She pulls out a contract, and makes a prepared speech. They are offering Danny $100 million for him to sell them his shares of Rand industries. And he has to change his name. Joy says the world thinks he’s dead, let it stay that way. Danny gets angry and walks out on her. Joy can’t believe he’d walk away from $100 million.
Colleen’s favorite student Daryl has a swollen nose from fighting in an illegal fight club for money. She’s disappointed in him. Daryl’s up for a scholarship, and she feels fighting for money is dishonorable. She wants to be able to give him a good reference when she’s called. Daryl explains that he comes from a large family, and they need the money he brings in.
Danny visits his family’s memorial grave sites. They are covered with fresh flowers. He asks at the graveyard to find out who is responsible for the flowers. They lead him to Jeri Hogarth, cutthroat lawyer and character from Daredevil and Jessica Jones. She worked for Danny’s father when he was a kid. He’s able to get her to recognize him. She’s in charge of the family’s estate. Danny’s worth billions of dollars. She will help him prove his identity and sue the Meachums for what he is due.
Hogarth gives Danny some money for clothing, and lends him a hotel suite to stay in. She begins to explain the materialistic culture of NYC to him. Looks and money matter. He has to learn to speak the language.
Joy and Ward prepare for an evening out with Raj Patel, the owner of the pier Rand is trying to buy. It’s the first time that Joy looks totally put together, like you’d expect for a woman in her position, and Ward doesn’t look reptilian. When they get into Raj’s car with him, Joy tells Raj that this will be a night he’ll never forget.
Harold practices boxing with a sparring partner. The lights suddenly go out, just as he takes a break for a glass of water. When a woman starts speaking, Harold drops the glass, and it shatters at his feet. The woman says, “We are disappointed.”
The people holding him in the penthouse want to know why Harold left when he went to see Danny. They are concerned about his loyalty. We see Madame Gao from Daredevil in the shadows. She tells Harold to kneel in the broken glass before she leaves.
Daryl is teaching a class at Colleen’s dojo. Danny walks in, with a haircut, trimmed beard, tight jeans, and a new shirt and jacket. I am 100% sure that these will improve his character and fighting style 200%. Trust me. The tight jeans alone are worth a 100% improvement.
Daryl’s students joke around a bit, and Danny goes all intense. He doesn’t care about money or personal hygiene, but training WILL be taken seriously. He shows the students a little of how it’s done, but then they laugh at him. Danny uses a practice sword to brutally knock one kid’s legs out from under him. Colleen intervenes and tells Danny that most of the kids come from abusive homes. This needs to be a safe space for them. He can’t be there.
The Meachums and Raj Patel pull up to the back door of a hospital. Joy takes them upstairs to a patient’s room. He’s about to be taken off life support, and is an organ donor. He also just happens to be a perfect match for Raj’s nephew who’s in need of a liver transplant. Joy takes care of her friends, and she’d like Raj to become one of her friends, for the small price of one pier.
Danny goes to Hogarth’s fancy hotel suite. He, predictably, sleeps on the floor. He remembers being beaten with practice swords by the monks who raised him as he tries to sleep.
The next day, Joy presses Ward to tell her why he wants the pier so badly. He tells her it’s strategic, which she knows is a lie. Then he asks her if she’s ever thought about leaving the company and starting over. She reminds him that, according to their father’s will, if they leave the company, they lose everything. He says he might consider doing it anyway. He’s tired. Joy says that she loves Rand, and wouldn’t leave, but she’ll support Ward. Ward is tearing up during this conversation, and it doesn’t seem faked.
Danny meets with Hogarth. The Meachums are systematically destroying anything that could be used as official documentation to prove Danny’s identity, down to his childhood library card.
Danny remembers that he broke his arm as a kid, so he goes to the hospital to get a copy of the x-ray. When he gets to the records room, a suspicious guy is already there. He tries to knock Danny out, and spreads alcohol around the room to help accelerate the fire he’s about to start. Danny activates the Iron Fist and fights him, but the guy still manages to drop a lit lighter. There’s an unconscious person in the back corner of the room, so Danny has to save that person rather than catch the fire starter or put it out. Ward’s henchman was ready to knowingly murder an innocent bystander over this.
Danny tracks down Joy and Ward at lunch. He storms into the restaurant and shoves into the booth next to Joy. He finally confronts Ward directly. He tells Ward that Ward was like a brother to him, despite their differences. Joy was like a sister. Does Ward really hate him this much? Ward says yes, he should have stayed dead. Joy says that they aren’t his family, and they don’t want him around. Danny tells them that he’s hired Hogarth, and he’ll get what he’s rightfully meant to inherit from his father..
Colleen goes to the fight club that she told Daryl to stay away from. When an open round comes up, she volunteers to fight a huge, muscular guy. She uses Daughter of the Dragon as her fight name. Colleen wins, using the leopard punch that Danny taught her to turn the tide. The emcee gives her a fat wad of cash and tells her she’s welcome any time.
It’s time for the big meeting with Hogarth and the Meachums! There’s no way the Meachum’s can best Hogarth. Everyone is adjusting their offers based on the most recent altercation. I love watching Jeri work, especially when her personal life isn’t involved. The Meachums have added a restraining order. Danny wants a corner office. Joy is wearing bright red, while everyone else is wearing black or gray. A scarlet letter, “I’m guilty” reference? Hogarth pulls out the hand-made ceramic dish that sits on Joy’s front table, and points out that Danny made it as a child, signed it,and left behind a fingerprint. They have absolute proof of his identity. She won’t say how they got the dish. Joy denies giving it to Jeri, but she gives Danny a tiny nod as he leaves. Ward promises to drag out the litigation for a decade. Ward tells Danny that he should have just taken the $100 million. Danny says it’s not about the money. It’s his name. It means something.
Danny follows Ward when he leaves the meeting, and overhears him talking to Harold. Danny follows Ward to Harold’s building that evening. Suddenly, he’s stealth Danny! No one pays any attention to him as he wanders through the building, all the way up to the biometric scanner.
While Danny’s lurking around, Ward and Harold are arguing. Ward has realized that he seems to hold all of the power in the relationship, since his father is trapped in the penthouse. He starts making threats. But then Harold explains that not only is he trapped, but all three Meachums are already being watched and threatened all of the time. Harold is desperate for Ward’s help, and their lives depend on it.
Danny goes out to the side of the building through a fire exit, then starts climbing. After spending days running around barefoot, now he keeps his stiff new sneakers on. Anyway, he’s Spiderman in bright white sneakers. He makes it up to the window of Harold’s penthouse, then uses a pocket knife to open the lock and the window. As he opens it, a hand reaches out and shoves him. He falls off the building.
*Except this person. I agree completely with him. I’ve watched the first 4 episodes as well at this point. Sadly, I know why some people don’t like it, because they watch for the fights, specifically the male fights, and plot/character aren’t that important to them. Or, they want to be able to say they watched something innovative, hip and artsy, and this isn’t pushing those buttons for them. I think this show will gradually become more popular as people realize it’s a good story with decent characterizations and production values.
There was a little bit of chemistry between Danny and Colleen during the sparring scene. Not sure if I want it to go anywhere or not. I like her as an independent woman.
Danny’s makeshift offering to Joy is meant to be Buddhist, but also has striking similarities to a Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead altar, so I’m going to look at the flowers involved both ways. Dia de los Muertos is the Mexican holiday celebrated on November 1st and 2nd to honor the family’s dead ancestors. It’s a happy time, when the family hopes to be visited by the souls of the dead. I’m imagining that Danny went to a florist with a sense of humor.
Most of the flowers Danny uses are orange, yellow, or red, with a few light green. In Buddhism, the green is a sign that someone is trying to improve his life or start good habits. Yellow means sorrow and neglected love. It represents both light and death in the Mexican Dia de los Muertos tradition. In the Mexican tradition, orange represents the brilliance of the sun and a new day. I couldn’t find anything on the meaning of orange flowers in Buddhism. Red means love and passion for Buddhists. In the Dia de los Muertos tradition, red symbolizes the blood of life, a symbol of sacrifice and sometimes resurrection. Danny’s flowers were mainly marigolds, chrysanthemums, and sunflowers, as far as I could tell. Mums are sacred in Buddhism and invite good luck into the home. Marigolds are the official flower of Dia de los Muertos. They are everywhere, in all colors, as whole flowers, and strewn as petals, like Danny did. Mums are also popular.
There is some symbolism going on in the series about flowers in general. I think they might represent life, and spiritual breakthroughs or turning points, but I’m not sure yet. The person who really owns Joy’s house is alive, and she always has a giant bowl of flowers that the camera lingers on (with an important prop sitting next to them that will eventually involve a turning point), the grave belongs to at least one living person and is covered with flowers, Danny lays out the flower offering for Joy and then has a major turning point with her. The walls of the Meachums’ lunch spot are lined with flowers. That argument spurs Joy into feeling like the whole thing is getting out of hand, so she gives Hogarth the hand-made dish. Another turning point.