“Black Tiger Steals Heart”
Written by Quinton Peeples
Directed by Peter Hoar
Danny wakes up next to Colleen, in the safest place she knows. Harold tries to explain why he couldn’t tell her he was alive. He also describes death...very differently than last time. He doesn’t seem like he’s lying. So was he just being mean to Kyle? He wants Joy to set her blackmail folder aside and let Hogarth handle the board, and he wants her, Ward, and himself to be a family again. Also Kyle’s body is still in the aquarium thing.
Cut to the safest place Colleen knows, where there’s an oddly strong motif of red and black in everyone’s clothing, including Colleen’s now. Bakuto wants to keep training Danny in using his abilities, such as recharging his chi at will. He walks him through a kata. Bakuto tells Danny about what his school does for the people they take in. Giving them purpose and community. He assures Danny Gao isn’t a problem anymore. He shows Danny footage from ’48, of an Iron Fist protecting K’un-Lun with both fists lit up constantly. Bakuto wants Danny to be his partner at the top of his organization, fighting people like Gao.
Danny calls Joy, who puts Harold on. Danny is shocked that he’s alive, and Harold wants his help to get Rand back under control. Harold is thrilled that Danny seems to have defeated Gao. He wants to celebrate with drinks. Joy does not. He loses his temper, but fortunately doesn’t hurt her. People are reporting on Danny’s movements to Bakuto. Including full transcripts of his phone calls. Holy crap. Colleen is so excited to have Danny working with them, but Bakuto doesn’t want to tell him yet. Colleen isn’t comfortable with that.
Darryl from Colleen’s dojo finds Danny. He’s there on his scholarship. Wait he needed a scholarship to go there? I thought Bakuto said he takes people in and gives them a home and a purpose. Hmmm. Darryl and Danny spar, and Danny asks him about the school. He’s looking to find where Gao is being kept. She’s in a house. He slips the guards and finds her locked in a cell. They talk through a video feed. Gao calls Danny an idiot. She says he’s running towards slavery after she offered him freedom, and that while she has always been who she truly is, others around him have not. (Colleen, Harold, Bakuto.) She reveals that this is a Hand compound. Bakuto finds him there and takes him back to Colleen.
Danny confronts Colleen about what Gao said. He doesn’t want to believe that Colleen and Bakuto are Hand. Colleen believes Gao is rogue and that Bakuto’s faction is good. Danny wonders how much of his relationship with Colleen was Bakuto’s idea. She swears none of it was. They each think the other has been brainwashed. Colleen’s argument is pretty good, but he feels tricked and lied to. He leaves.
Harold’s about to have dinner and Bakuto is just there in his penthouse. Bakuto informs Harold that he’s taking over everything that was Gao’s, and Harold is free to resume public life. He likes leading through partnership, not fear. Danny goes exploring at night, but someone’s watching him. He breaks into Bakuto’s secret surveillance building. It is quite elaborate, and includes camera feeds at the penthouse and many other critical locations. Danny demolishes the room. Bakuto finds him. He’s disappointed. They fight. Bakuto is better, but Danny eventually gets the upper hand and knocks him out. Davos shows up to help him against the other Hand guys.
Harold shows up in Lawrence’s office. Yeah this isn’t going to go well for Lawrence. He’s brought Joy’s file of blackmail. He plans to expose Lawrence for all his indiscretions, and he knows Lawrence will give him what he wants, for the sake of sparing his children the suffering that will cause. What Harold wants is for Lawrence to kill himself. Lawrence isn’t interested, but that’s not a problem, because Harold just shoots him in the head. Harold’s new assistant (I think he’s one of Bakuto’s guys) will take care of the mess.
All the alarms go off at the compound, and it’s time for Danny and Davos to fight their way out. Darryl tries to stop them, and then Bakuto comes out of nowhere and shanks Danny with something that seems to block his chi. No Iron Fist. Or maybe it’s just all of Danny’s inner turmoil. So now he and Davos have a ton more guys to fight. Colleen opens the gate for them from the control panel, and Danny sees her on the way out. She breaks the panel and follows.
Joy tells the board about Lawrence’s “suicide.” (She actually believes it, though.) She convinces them that the best way to ride out the problems will be to bring her, Ward, and Danny back on board. They do. Joy and Harold have champagne to celebrate, but she’s pretty sure he had Lawrence killed. He lies to her face about it. Pretty sure she doesn’t believe him. Now Harold wants to take down Bakuto. Colleen is wandering through Chinatown, looking lost. Davos wants to take Danny back to K’un-Lun so he can protect the way like he’s supposed to. Davos is pissed at Danny for ditching them, and he demands an explanation. Danny really doesn’t have one. Also Danny is rather badly hurt from that stab wound.
So Gao is like Mafia Hand, and Bakuto is like Hitler Youth Hand. Fascinating. I really like that idea, but the execution is shaky. What this episode is missing is Colleen’s moment of realization that even Bakuto’s version of the Hand is bad. She should’ve had a scene where she found something they lied to her about and realized she was the one brainwashed, not Danny (although I don’t think Danny’s entirely off the hook for brainwashing either). As it is, we go from nice Bakuto versus mean Gao to evil Bakuto with almost no transition. These shows have definitely set up Gao and Nobu to be evil factions in the Hand, but they haven’t succeeded at making the audience immediately mistrust anyone just for having that label, and yet this episode acts like that’s not the case. Which is why, the first time I watched it, I thought the truth was going to end up being something in between K’un-Lun’s perspective and the Hand’s, because Bakuto had legitimately useful information about how Danny can use his power! Now I’m okay with the idea that K’un-Lun’s perspective is merely sheltered and naïve, while the Hand is totally evil, but still clumsy, and that one extra scene for Colleen would’ve fixed it. Maybe she should’ve been the one to discover the surveillance room, not Danny. And now, over in the billionaire corporate shenanigans plot, Danny is back in the company without lifting so much as a finger. Ugggggggh.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
I’m sorry, but Danny is not a credible voice for claiming that Bakuto’s faction is also evil. Yes, we see proof of it, but Danny is rash and incapable of thinking things through, so him being against something when he’s only seen good things so far seems irrational. And his anger is so incoherent. He knew Bakuto for all of five minutes, but he actually seems more furious at him than he is at Colleen for lying to him. His stuff is poorly written...kind of all the time, but especially here.
Kind of already covered Colleen in the episode reaction paragraph. I need better reasons for why she always trusted Bakuto and the Hand than just her saying “they’re my family.” Why did she think training kids to jump people in the street was normal, let alone justifiable? What was so wonderful about them? Did she ever have suspicions? Surely she didn’t both know everything about Bakuto AND agree with all of it?
Joy adjusts quickly to Harold being alive, and she’s already able to see through his lies. Good girl.
No Ward? Okay.
No Claire? Less okay.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.