Iron Fist Season 2 Improves Every Character
And this brings us to the third dramatic improvement in Iron Fist season 2; the quality of the show's characters. This was another major issue in the first season, with - unfortunately - Finn Jones's Danny Rand as the most problematic character of all. Danny was supposed to have become the greatest warrior monk in the Lost City of K'un-Lun, and yet he lacked any sense of a spiritual center. It was as though he'd completely failed to absorb any of the Buddhist philosophy you'd find in such a place. Marvel recognized this issue, and worked on it through The Defenders and Luke Cage, telling a story in which Danny gradually found his balance. By the time of Iron Fist season 2, Danny is in a place of relative peace.
And yet, ironically, that very place of peace is the cause of some of his greatest issues. Danny has dedicated himself to Matt Murdock's mission, becoming a would-be Daredevil; as Loeb reflected in the show's production notes, "When you look at Matt's life, it's really not anything you want to aspire to have." This puts a massive strain upon Danny's relationship with Colleen, and in one key scene, Danny seems almost unconcerned about redefining their relationship by having Colleen retrain him. The actors' performances sell that moment so effectively.
The series is strengthened a great deal by incorporating Simone Missick's Misty Knight into the plot. The dynamic between Missick and Henwick is tremendous, and viewers aren't just clamoring for a Daughters of the Dragon series because the two women were a team in the comics. Henwick, for her part, almost feels season 2's co-star, and as a result it's perfectly fitting that she becomes New York's new Iron Fist. Meanwhile, Alice Eve's Typhoid Mary is perhaps the most striking performer of the show as she switches from the "Mary" to the "Walker" personas with ease, demonstrating just how skillful an actor she is. That particular piece of casting seems just as perfect as Vincent d'Onofrio as Kingpin or David Tennant as Kilgrave. In just ten episodes, Eve has come to define her role, and her future in the Marvel Netflix shows looks bright.
All these factors come together to give Marvel fans a tremendously improved show. Iron Fist season 2 demonstrates that you should never write a series off. Marvel learned from their mistakes, they hired a showrunner who was able to understand just what the series needed, and they gave their actors the time they needed to train. Given the amount of clear setup for season 3, we can expect to be seeing a lot more of Danny Rand, Colleen Wing, and Typhoid Mary in future.