Written by Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez
Directed by Phil Abraham
Our main four rush into a Chinese restaurant that had just closed. Danny reassures the owners that it’ll be fine, in Chinese. Jessica and Luke fill each other in on the other two. Apparently Jessica thought Matt was sent to spy on her (by Hogarth or by the people John was running from?). Danny pays off the owners handsomely. Matt doesn’t want to be a part of this, and he doesn’t want anyone to know his name or his face. The other three aren’t impressed. Jessica isn’t interested in working together either, she just wants to figure out what happened to her client. There’s food now, which Danny is excited about. Danny and Matt explain the Hand to Jessica and Luke. Matt denies knowing Elektra. Luke stops Matt from leaving and wants him to take off the mask. Jessica has a word with Matt while Luke and Danny have more food. Jessica has figured out that Matt is Daredevil. Matt is super unhappy about that. Matt takes off the scarf/mask and joins the table.
Elektra is wondering about who she was. Alexandra is trying to keep her in the Black Sky box. She tells her lies about how her purpose is to serve the Hand.
At the restaurant, the team’s talking strategy and Matt’s backstory. They’re cool with keeping his secret. They debate the merits of bringing in other people. Danny is the one most interested in the four of them working together. The other three are not. Danny thinks it’s fate. Matt hears company coming. Stick! Hey, why isn’t Colleen with him? He’s there to help them save New York.
Some guy is skinning a...bear? Alexandra joins him. Seems like he’s another main Hand guy. He isn’t impressed that she failed to secure the Iron Fist. She’s gathering all five of the main Hand people, of whom I just realized Nobu isn’t one. Huh. Alexandra assures him the Black Sky is more powerful than he could imagine. The white hat guy and two goons find Elektra right when she’s considering the sais again. He thinks she’s a waste of resources. She knocks out both of his goons and leaves.
At the restaurant, Matt explains Stick, who bows to Danny, then calls him a “thundering dumbass” for having a trackable phone on him. He scolds Danny for having personal ties. Stick reveals that the Hand was responsible for Pompeii and Chernobyl. New York is next. Jessica’s bullshit meter has been maxed out, so she bails. Luke tries to talk her into staying. She kinda doesn’t care what happens to New York because she’s confident he’ll survive. That’s both endearing and horrible. Kinda like her entire personality. She leaves.
Stick wants Matt and Danny to learn from each other. Yes, please! Luke comes back. He wants all the info from Stick. Elsewhere, Alexandra is getting primped by two...lady’s maids? Why can’t she do that herself? She dismisses them so she can take pills. She’s not doing well. Huh. She has “The Birth of Venus” on her wall. She calls someone to change her plans for the evening.
Jessica makes it back to her apartment and finds a crime scene notice on the door. I guess that’s what the police leave when they’re done with a crime scene? She has a drink and gets on her computer. She deletes all the photos she took at the hall of records, but then she realizes that all of the signatures have the same handwriting and are by a woman with a name that starts with an A. Going back centuries. Her case is leading her right back to the Hand.
Stick explains that, ages ago, the elders of K’un-Lun learned to harness their chi to heal, except for five people who went rogue and wanted immortality. They got kicked out, and became the Five Fingers of the Hand. Alexandra, Gao, Sowande (White Hat Guy), Murakami (bear-skinning guy who was Nobu’s boss), and Bakuto. Matt is still super wary of this entire war idea because the last time he got involved, it ended with him holding the person he loves most in the world as she died.
Jessica goes to John’s widow again. She thinks she’s right about her husband being involved in really scary stuff, and she wants to protect them. The lady is confused, because there’s already a guy who’s been hanging around to “protect” them. Yeah, not so much. Jessica goes to deal with this guy.
At the restaurant, Danny is still eating. Luke is astonished by his appetite. Chi-summoning is hungry work. Luke doesn’t really want to be a team. Danny thinks that’s ridiculous. Danny offers Luke the last wonton. MORE OF THIS, FOREVER, PLEASE! Matt is off brooding by the window. Stick is glad he’s got some buddies with superpowers now. They talk about Elektra. Stick insists that she’s not Elektra anymore, but Matt refuses to believe that. Here come bad guys.
Jessica pulls the creeper out through the window of his car. He fights well, but she has super strength. She’s gonna squeeze him for information. At the restaurant, Danny gets the employees to lock themselves in the back. Alexandria is already there. She’d like a chat, not a fight. She still wants to use Danny, and she is amused by his new friends. She says no one needs to get hurt as long as he goes with her. Danny’s not going anywhere. Time to fight. Elektra has arrived. And then Jessica throws that creeper’s car through the front of the restaurant, knocking Elektra down. Bahahaha. The team has assembled.
This is the most delightful infodump episode of any show I have ever watched. The exposition parts weren’t more interesting than exposition parts usually are, and it still feels like a dumb idea to have the Hand led by Alexandra instead of Gao, but for the moment, that doesn’t matter, because it’s so ridiculously fun watching these four characters we’ve gotten to know separately bounce off each other. I am all about Danny and Luke’s budding friendship, Matt and Jessica’s antagonism, and of course Luke/Jessica. There’s also potential in Matt and Danny’s fairly similar paths. Danny is kind of proof that you don’t have to be a murdering ninja to be on Stick’s side of the war, and Matt is proof that helping people, even if it’s not specifically part of the war against the Hand, is very meaningful work.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Okay, so Matt does feel like Elektra’s death was his fault. He thinks he “made it worse by getting involved.” That, I think, clarifies his putting away the Daredevil suit. He doesn’t want to risk anyone else he cares about by being Daredevil, and he’s also keeping them at arm’s length as Matt for that same reason. That’s so sad! He’s kind of giving off Jessica-esque vibes, minus the alcoholism. He thinks his own involvement is a death sentence for people he cares about. SOMEONE HUG HIM. Foggy, Karen! Hugs for Matt! Right now! Lots of them! Defenders is doing a great job so far of redeeming Matt from his jumbled and unsympathetic arc in S2. Keep it up! I prefer liking Matt to being annoyed with him all the time.
Jessica’s attitude is a very necessary one to have in the show when the buildup for the Hand as a serious, immediate threat has been so uneven. We needed there to be a major character who refused to engage with this storyline until it got right in her face. When she barrels back into the plot by hurling a car into it, that’s the kind of thing that gets the audience on board.
Luke seems the most reasonable character right now (not that the others’ qualms and objections aren’t sympathetic). He’s new to this stuff with the Hand, but he’s willing to stay and help because of course he is, as long as he eventually gets answers. And he totally likes Danny already. There is no denying the bromance!
Danny is such a better character in this than his own show. I love how psyched he is about this team idea, but he’s still got a temper on him (not a confusing one like on his show), and sometimes he can be a cocky git, but in a cute way. Gah. This is the Danny Rand I want as a lead in Iron Fist S2.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.