Iron Fist Season 1 Episode 13: Dragon Plays with Fire Recap


The episode’s cold open finds Harold all dressed up and straightening his tie in the glass that separates him from his plants/Eden, as he stands in front of his glass coffin. He’s about to get out of purgatory. But we see a painting of Eve grasping the apple in the background, so this probably isn’t going to go the way he hopes it will.

As Harold moves to the next room, the news tells us that Danny is still on the run and is at the top of the most wanted list. Harold whistles a happy tune as he packs his briefcase and drives himself to the Rand building.

Ward is consulting with Jeri Hogarth about Danny when Harold arrives. Jeri is only thrown for a moment then jumps to recounting the legal ramifications of faking one’s death. Harold dismisses her with a comment about her looks. As if we didn’t have enough reasons to hate him. Trinity has aged quite well, Faramir. Take a look in the mirror.

Ward and Harold spar for a few minutes over Harold’s plan to return to public life, take back Rand, and discredit Danny. Harold will market Bakuto’s synthetic heroin antidote and make Rand billions. He admits that he was messing with Danny long before either of them came back from the dead.


Danny and Colleen decide to contact Jeri. They send Claire as a go-between, who brings Jeri to where they’re hiding. Jeri tells Danny that, while she’s required to tell him to turn himself in, she doesn’t actually advise it. Colleen is also wanted by the DEA on charges based on their escape. Jeri will represent them both.

Jeri shows Danny the documents that form the major evidence against him. It’s doctored copies of Bakuto and Gao’s drug files. In order to prove his innocence, Danny will need to find copies of the originals.

He and Colleen go to Bakuto’s compound to look for the documents. Gao is still there. She tells Danny what anyone but an idiot can already guess: Harold wanted the entire Rand family dead. Danny is, of course, shocked into temporary insanity over this.

Gao spins a web of twisted truth, trying to convince Danny that he has no choice but to kill Harold, or he’ll be weak and consumed with survivor’s guilt forever. The Hand sure wants to be rid of Harold without killing him themselves. Wonder if there’s some unbreakable part of the deal that prevents them from killing him. Or maybe they really do have plans that they need a consistently strong Iron Fist for.

Colleen and Claire try to calm Danny. He tells them that he used to dream that his mother had somehow survived. He tried to escape from K’un Lun over and over so that he could search for her, but a raging blizzard always prevented him.

Claire counsels Danny to stop trying to win fights that are unwinnable. She thinks he’s too sweet and innocent for a superhero, but she doesn’t want him to be swallowed up by the darkness. Murdering Harold would change him in ways she doesn’t want to see. Colleen jumps in and agrees, but then decides that she’ll have to kill Harold for Danny, the way Davos killed Bakuto for her. Claire has a fit.

Ward visits Joy in the hospital. Joy refuses to listen to him when he tells her that Harold is dangerously insane. She blames Ward for lying to her for 15 years and for the drug abuse. She’s clinging to whatever scraps of normalcy she can find, and Harold acts more normal around her than Ward has in a while. She feels like Ward abandoned her by choice when he became an unreliable addict, while Harold’s death and house arrest were beyond his control.

Danny and Ward meet in a dark alley to talk about the tablet with the original documents on it. Harold has it locked in a well-guarded safe at the office. They agree to work together to liberate it.

Danny tells Ward that Harold caused his family’s plane crash. Talking about it causes Danny to relive the crash. Ward is surprised to find out about Harold’s involvement.

Joy goes to the Rand offices to ask her father why he framed Danny. Harold repeatedly denies setting Danny up, but Joy can tell that he’s lying. It escalates into an argument. Joy leaves, still angry at Harold. Let’s hope Harold doesn’t decide that Joy is now a liability.

Ward arrives at Rand and heads up to the executive offices, past several layers of huge armed guards. Danny, Claire and Colleen wait nearby in a car. Ward calls them when he reaches his office to try to abort the plan, since Harold is in the office and there are more guards than expected. Harold discovers Wards and hits him in the head with a golf club, spraying his blood across the wall. I think of it as the Wilson Fisk special.

Danny decides to rush up to the offices anyway, to get the tablet and to save Ward. Colleen and Claire are left with no choice but to follow through with their parts of the plan.

Claire buys a street vendor’s cart and sets it on fire, drawing the attention of the guards stationed outside. Danny slips past them in the chaos. He fights his way through the next layer of guards into the elevator. Colleen is right behind him.

One of Harold’s guards warns him that Danny is on the way up. Harold instructs the goons that the Iron Fist itself may be strong, but Danny isn’t bullet proof, as about 10 huge guys surround the elevator bank.

But Danny and Colleen must have gotten off on an earlier floor. Danny has climbed up the outside of the building and comes through a window. Colleen appears from the back. The giant set piece fight ensues, with glass walls breaking all over the place. At one point, Harold is about to shoot Colleen, so Danny makes a giant leap and creates an earthquake on the floor with the Iron Fist.

All of the remaining glass is shattered. No more obscured vision. Everyone is seeing clearly now. No more obstructions.

The earthquake opens the safe, and Ward grabs the tablet.

Danny and Harold end up on the roof, favored spot for climactic angel and demon fights. Harold shoots Danny in the hand. He stalks Danny while whining that Danny turned everyone against him and ruined his life.

Danny ends up pushing Harold so that he’s impaled through his abdomen onto a pole. Harold is hardly fazed. He doesn’t seem to feel pain anymore, and he knows it won’t kill him permanently.

Danny thinks back to his trial with the dragon, and is able to get himself under control again. Danny tells Harold that he’ll be going to prison. As Danny walks away, Harold pulls himself off of the pole and grabs his gun. He shoots at Danny. Colleen warns Danny. He uses the Iron Fist to deflect the bullet. Ward shoots Harold, and Harold falls off the side of the building, sent to hell after all.

Danny’s hawk guide flies through NYC.

Danny and Ward attend Harold’s cremation. Let’s hope this one sticks. As Harold is consigned to the flames of hell, Ward thanks Danny for being there with him. He tells Danny that he didn’t want to do this alone, and Joy is MIA. Hogarth joins them, because she loves a good cremation.

She informs Danny that the DEA is dropping the charges against him, since he was set up, and he’s making a large contribution to the Widows and Orphans Fund.

Danny finds Claire and Colleen at the dojo. Claire leaves them with some unsolicited parting advice. This is the side of Claire that gets on my nerves. Danny literally doesn’t live in the real world. Stop trying to force him to live by real world rules, Claire.

Colleen doesn’t have any dojo students left except Claire.


Danny thinks he might go back to K’un Lun. He needs to complete his training. Lei Kung taught him that he was a weapon, but he keeps thinking that maybe he could also be a light in the darkness. He asks Colleen to go with him and she accepts.

Ward goes to his office at Rand, which he is now solely in charge of. Danny and Ward’s portraits have replaced their fathers’. Joy’s should be there as well.

Davos and Joy meet for tea. While Gao listens from the next table, Davos explains to Joy that Danny Rand destroys everything he touches, and needs to be destroyed (killed) himself. Then Joy can get her life back (and presumably Davos can as well). Joy is open to the idea.

Danny and Colleen climb through the pass to the entrance to K’un Lun. The gate is surrounded by dead soldiers from the Hand, and K’un Lun has disappeared. Danny blames himself for whatever happened.


The question is, who is/was the snake in Harold’s Adam and Eve scenario? Was Harold Adam or Eve? I suppose the Hand is the snake, and Harold and his kids are Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve’s roles are reversed, and Adam grasped at the apple of eternal life, then continued to grasp at the same and other apples that could be characterized as various deadly sins. Now Ward and Joy are left behind to be Cain and Abel next season.

Danny’s idea that his mother survived isn’t really so crazy. I’ve been assuming she’ll show up sooner or later, and probably his father, too. They made a huge point of telling us that their bodies were never found. No body=No death.

Bakuto said that the only way to kill Harold was by decapitation. Did they decapitate him before cremation? Could Harold reconstitute himself from the ashes? Nobu came back from serious burns, but not complete cremation. Then again, Bakuto lies and twists the truth. I’m not sure that I’ll ever believe that someone who’s used the solution is 100% dead.

Stan Lee’s cameo: