“The Mistress of All Agonies”
Written by Pat Charles
Directed by Jet Wilkinson
Harold is back, but he starts out rather stupid. Gradually he makes his way around the city and back into his right(ish) mind. Danny, Colleen, and Claire don’t really know what to do with Gao, so they decide they’ll start with dosing her with a truth serum so they can get answers. Colleen is poisoned from the cut the sword lady gave her. Harold makes it back to Rand, not the art deco building. He’s still very confused. He finally gets his wits together enough to call his assistant guy, who drives him back to the art deco building. A mysterious guy who seems rather unhip to New York City life and wears clothes much like Danny’s when he arrived shows up and knocks out a food truck guy so he can use the truck as a lookout for when Danny shows up at Rand. Ward goes back to the art deco building and finds Harold there. Yikes. Ward isn’t particularly sorry for killing Harold, and he’s rather freaked out by him. Harold hugs him and cries that he loves him.
Colleen is pretending she’s not dying of poison. Unless she doesn’t know that’s what’s happening, but that would be stupid. Under the truth serum, Gao says she knew Danny’s mother first, but in the end, the Rands wouldn’t deal with the Hand. Harold would, though. He helped kill the Rands. Ward wants out of the company and Harold’s orbit. Harold says he’ll bring Joy in if Ward leaves. It’s not exactly a threat, but Ward definitely isn’t leaving. Danny calls Colleen’s sensei to help with the poison. The dojo gets attacked by surprisingly military-esque dudes. Danny and the girls beat them. Gao promises more. Ward tries to find out how to permanently kill Harold from those Chinese mobster dudes. The patriarch of that group tells Ward a story about a warrior who died over and over in battle, coming back with less and less of his soul until he murdered his own children. Ward does some of Gao’s heroin. Harold presents his dweeby assistant with much ice cream, but unfortunately none of it is vanilla, which is Kyle’s favorite. Harold kills him rather brutally with the ice cream scooper for his ingratitude.
Ward gets arrested for the heroin in his car, which was just sitting on the seat. He gets checked in to the mental hospital he sent Danny to! He’s pretty sure Harold is behind it. Joy comes poking around in the art deco building. Harold clears her path by opening elevator doors remotely. She makes it to the penthouse. Father/daughter reunion! Joy is completely blown away, but she hugs him back and they both cry. Bakuto arrives at the dojo. He cleared out Gao’s mercenaries. He and Gao really don’t like each other. Bakuto tells Danny he can heal Colleen with his chi. He does it, but it’s not fun for either him or Colleen, and then Danny passes out. Bakuto’s men haul everyone off, but Bakuto won’t let Claire come. And Davos is hanging out nearby.
This episode is pretty disjointed. It’s one of those connective tissues episodes that is difficult to analyze as its own story. Since this is a series designed to be binge-watched, that’s not really a problem. All the moving parts are important ones. We find out more about what happens when the Hand brings people back to life, which makes them much more sinister. We kind of meet Davos. The truth serum thing is kind of stupid because there was no way that was working on Gao and why does Rand even have truth serum? But prisoner situations where the prisoner is so scary that all of the captors are uncomfortable are hard to screw up, and it was pretty good for the most part. We’re getting closer to discovering the deal with Bakuto and Colleen, and the deliberate exclusion of Claire is not a good sign. Still, it’s a serious problem how little Danny cares about getting kicked out of Rand. He fought for that! He should be upset!
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
I’m not sure what to make of the idea that K’un-Lun would train Danny to use Shou-Lao’s powers only as a weapon, not to heal or whatever else it can do. This seems to suggest that the people of K’un-Lun are narrow-minded, maybe even serving a less than pure agenda. And one of the five fingers of the Hand knows about this use of the power? I’ve pretty much abandoned the idea that Danny will ever know important details about anything unless we witness him learning them. He’s so open and trusting that he believed everything they told him in K’un-Lun 100%. Grow up, start thinking for yourself, and get better at planning, Danny. (I don’t dislike him, but he’s definitely an increasingly frustrating character.)
Okay, I think Ward did hit bottom when he killed Harold, but he has not bounced back yet. Harold being alive is making that much harder, but I do like his research efforts.
Poor Joy. That was a pretty shocking way to find out Harold was alive. And poor Ward, for missing the opportunity to be the one who told her the truth. That definitely won’t go over well.
Colleen spends this episode being dumb and then being poisoned and delirious, so she’s hard to analyze. This is the first time it becomes really clear that she’s hiding something, though. She’s afraid of Danny finding out the truth about her.
Harold has been a health nut all this time, but now he knows he can come back to life when he dies, so all the positive health habits are over. That’s kinda hilarious. Liberated of the fear of death, he immediately succumbs to every unhealthy vice that sounds fun.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.