As slow and as uneventful as Iron Fist season 2 was for much of its runtime, it still had plenty of cards to play for long term viewers of Netflix’s Marvel shows, most of which it held onto right until the very end. But what cards they were. In the space of two episodes, the show completely upended its own conceit, while teasing potential new story threads for both season 3 and all of Marvel’s other shows related to it.
The Iron Fist ending, in particular, left a path of cliffhangers, loose threads, and unresolved conflicts in its wake, leaving the door open for plenty of questions to ponder and consider before Danny Rand (or any of the other Defenders, for that matter) returns to our TV screens. Here’s 6 of the biggest questions I was left asking after Iron Fist season 2, with major spoilers for the show beyond this point.
1. Is Colleen the new Iron Fist for good?
Criticise Iron Fist all you want, but at least its showrunners finally realised that this incarnation of Danny Rand was never worthy of the sole spotlight. Instead, season 2 shifts the focus over to Colleen Wing, endowing her with the spirit of Shou-Lao and the power of the glowing clenched hand that everyone can’t stop talking about. Interestingly, Colleen’s seen channeling the fist into her iconic katana during her final scene, as she stops a gang of criminals from robbing a bank in downtown New York, but this surprising development actually has a basis in the character’s ancestry.
It’s hinted in season 2 that Wu Ao-Shi, another Kun-Lun Iron Fist from the comic books, is Colleen’s mother. Well, it turns out that Ao-Shi could also focus her chi into the arrows fired from her bow, which explains why Colleen is able to do the same for her sword. But the real question is how long she’ll remain as New York’s Iron Fist from here on out. Is Marvel really planning on passing the baton over to her for good in season 3? And where would that leave Danny? The answer to that question possibly lies with the last shot of the season, speaking of which...
2. What’s the deal with Danny’s new guns?
Of course, Colleen’s not the only one charging her chi through inanimate objects. The final scene of Iron Fist season 2 is one in which Danny, one month into his globetrotting travels to learn more about the history of Kun-Lun, fires two bullets out of his newly acquired twin pistols, somehow making them glow and guiding them into the oncoming fire before it hits him first. Yes, Iron Fist has switched kung fu for gun fu, and while the shoddy CGI and Finn Jones’ trademark wooden acting made the entire thing look a bit stupid, it holds big implications for the future of the show at large.
Firstly, no, Danny hasn’t somehow magically restored his Iron Fist after it was taken from him by Davos and then passed on to Colleen. Instead, the explanation for his glowing guns derives again from the source material, as it’s revealed that he and Ward are on the hunt for a character named Orson Randall, who apparently was the one who shipped the old Iron Fist corpse to Davos. Which leads us nicely to our next question...
3. Who is Orson Randall?
As far the show is concerned, Orson Randall is a mysterious figure who apparently holds the answer to Danny’s newfound questions about Kun-Lun. A quick look back to the Iron Fist comics, however, reveals that he could be the key to answering almost every question we have about the Iron Fist season 2 ending in general. In the comic books, Randall is an older Iron Fist from Kun-Lun’s lineage who, after becoming disillusioned with his responsibility and fleeing the mystical city, learns how to channel his chi into his twin pistols. Sound familiar?
That’s right, those guns that Danny’s using are Randall’s, which explains how he’s able to do the same during season 2’s finale, but where is the man himself? Again, the comics sees Orson re-emerging from his hiding to team up with Danny and pass on his gun fu powers, so you bet he’s going to be big deal in Iron Fist season 3. But who will play him? And will he be a friend or foe to Danny? It’s all going to end in tears, isn’t it?
4. What’s in store for Typhoid Mary?
A big new character in Iron Fist season 2 was Mary Walker, an anti-hero with dissociative personality disorder played by Alice Eve (yes, she’s basically Marvel’s Two-Face). For much of the season, the character is fighting between two selves; the loveable but naive Mary and the her steely eyed other half known as Walker. As the season went on, however, it became clear that there was more to the character that met her multi-coloured eyes. Much, much more, in fact.
It turns out that there’s a third personality who neither Mary nor Walker knew about till now, but was apparently the one that allowed them to escape their internment camp in Sokovia (remember that place, Age of Ultron fans?). But what does this mean for Iron Fist? Or, if you know your Marvel lore, perhaps the more pertinent question is what does this mean for Daredevil season 3? In the comics, Typhoid Mary (who Alice Eve’s character is based on) has an on-off love affair with Matt Murdoch, despite the pair often coming to blows with each other in the vigilante scene. Will Alice Eve be partnering up/against Charlie Cox for his upcoming third season? We won’t have to wait too long to find out, as Daredevil season 3’s release date of October 19 has already been leaked.
5. Why is Daredevil in such bad shape?
In one of the few times that Marvel has included a post-credits scene for its Netflix shows, a teaser for Daredevil season 3 pops up during the Iron Fist season 2 ending, showing a beaten, broken Matt Murdoch confessing at the booth in his original, pre-spandex costume, muttering something about dying as the devil. That’s… not good for poor Matty, but how did he even get here in the first place?
Last we saw, the lawyer turned superhero was being nursed back to health in a nunnery, and presumed dead by everyone who knew him following the Midland incident in The Defenders’ finale. From this clip, though, it looks like season 3 will very much show Daredevil jumping out of the frying pan and straight back into the fire. The details of what exactly that fire entails, whether it’s the return of Kingpin or the emergence of a completely new villain, remain unknown for now.
6. When and how will Netflix ever acknowledge the events of Infinity War?
Seriously, guys. You were more than happy to reference The Avengers’ New York showdown time after time, but ever since The Defenders, each new Netflix season has become more cautious than the last to meaningfully align itself with the MCU at large. Well, now that literally half the planet’s life has been wiped out by “The Snap” in Avengers: Infinity War, the feigned ignorance is a pill that’s getting far too big to swallow.
And yet Iron Fist season 2 makes nary a mention to Infinity War, despite the fact Thanos’ spaceship literally shows up in New York during that movie. My best guess as to why? Avengers 4’s timey-wimey narrative will retroactively prevent Thanos’ finger click from happening in the first place, allowing Marvel’s TV counterparts to continue telling their story as if all is well in the universe, and always has been. Still, it would be nice to at least get a sense of the timeline between Marvel’s film and television spheres, as trite and forced as it’d be at this point.
Take a break from the MCU Netflix-verse for a second, and find out which new Marvel movies are coming in 2019 and beyond.