“Rolling Thunder Cannon Punch”
Written by Quinton Peeples
Directed by Tom Shankland
Some thugs break into Colleen’s dojo (which is also where she lives, and she beats them up. They’re after Danny. She kicks them out, but he actually is hiding out there. She still has reservations. Harold has a weird coffin-like chamber he likes to spend his downtime in, and he doesn’t care how much money the company will lose in order to get a hold of some buildings in Brooklyn, for reasons he doesn’t deign to share with Ward. Danny spars with Colleen (and wins), and offers to pay her rent if she doesn’t kick him out. Ward wants to buy Danny out (cheaply, considering), but Joy wants to do right by him and rebuild their friendship. Danny might have been willing to take the buyout if it didn’t come with a condition where he has to change his name. Colleen’s student wants to do paid fighting, but she doesn’t approve. Danny visits his family’s graves (including his own), then finds Hogarth, who is unexpectedly affectionate and nostalgic. She’s going to help him legally prove his identity, and she approves of him turning down the offer. Joy expertly wines and dines the guy they’re trying to buy the all-important Brooklyn pier from, presenting him with an organ donor for someone he cares about, who’s dying of liver failure. Harold spends a lot of time boxing when he’s not giving Ward overbearing orders. Madame Gao shows up and makes Harold kneel on broken glass for daring to leave the penthouse without permission. Ward appears to be close to his breaking point with Harold, because he’s considering leaving the company, even though it’ll cost him his entire inheritance. Joy wouldn’t leave, but she’d support Ward’s choice. Danny is cleanshaven now, and Hogarth thinks the Meachums have wiped everything that could identify him. Danny thinks of something they might’ve missed: hospital records, and he goes to retrieve them. Alas, there’s a Meachum goon there trying to get rid of that exact piece of evidence. Danny fights him, but fails to retrieve the crucial x-ray because he has to save an unconscious hospital employee instead. Danny confronts Ward, and Joy takes Ward’s side. Turns out Colleen only doesn’t want her students fighting for money because she wants to fight for money and doesn’t want them spotting her. She beats up a big muscly dude and gets a fat roll of hundreds for it. Danny and Hogarth met with the Rand board and use the fingerprint on the lumpy pot Danny made Joy as a kid to lock in Danny’s identity and wipe the floor with them. That pot was supplied by Joy, who’s done screwing over her childhood friend for money reasons. Danny suspects that hallucination he had of Harold might not have been a hallucination, so he follows Ward back to the art deco building and discovers Harold in the penthouse, then gets shoved off the window ledge for his trouble. Credits!
Okay, so we still aren’t done with Danny’s legal identity crisis. First two episodes were him struggling to prove who he was, and now there’s a whole episode where he has to convince people of that in a legal sense, so he can get control over his assets (and keep control of his name). If it hadn’t been for Hogarth, I’d probably have found the corporate stuff continuing to take over the story insufferable, but it’s quite fun to watch in places. Now, one thing (of many) I’ve seen criticisms about with this show is how horrible it is that Danny (played by a white dude) mansplains about the honor of dojos and takes over discipline of Colleen’s dojo, but I find this criticism pretty asinine given that Colleen doesn’t let him get away with it and he sincerely apologizes. Now, if he does it again, maybe it’ll be a valid complaint. Also, he’s used to an extremely harsh training style with absolutely rigid codes of respect; give him a chance to realize not everything is so harsh. That does raise interesting questions about whether the monks of K’un-Lun are as good as has been implied so far. By this point, we’ve seen more of the dynamic between Harold and Ward than any other characters. That’s weird. I still don’t like either of them, though I’m increasingly sorry for Ward.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Okay, one of the only things saving the corporate shenanigans plotline is that Danny only cares about it because his family’s legacy means something to him, not because he’s greedy for the money. It’s not enough to make me feel like it’s worth getting more screentime than awesome kung-fu stuff or the Hand, but it does help. Danny’s angry outburst last episode is repeated here. Now that it’s happened twice, it’s clear that he has some anger issues.
Colleen might be harboring Danny, but she still doesn’t fully trust him, probably because he can be a bit demanding, even with those big puppy eyes. And what’s with her hypocrisy over fighting for money? Does she not really believe it’s dishonorable, or does she simply not mind breaking a few rules of the Bushido code? Is this more of the Hand’s influence? Does she fight for a challenge, since her students aren’t good enough to give her one? She had fun sparring with Danny, but did she go fight because she wanted to win after losing to him? I don’t really get it.
Joy spends the whole episode waffling about what to do regarding Danny. By the end, she’s managed to help Ward lock in his mysterious all-important acquisition AND she’s given Danny what he needed to prove his identity. Is she hedging her bets or is she just genuinely convinced by episode’s end that Danny deserves friends who actually help?
Ward is ever so slightly more sympathetic. Harold is super controlling AND doesn’t explain what he’s being controlling about, which have got to be two of the best ways to make his loyalty wobble. The idea of starting over fresh appeals to Ward, and it looks like he’s really starting to come apart at the seams
Hogarth is actually awesome to have around. She’s helpful to Danny because she feels she owes his parents. Her character development from Jessica Jones is holding! Hooray! (On the other hand, maybe I’m only this happy to see her again because it’s nice to see a familiar face during all these corporate shenanigans.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.