CAUTION: Spoilers for the first season of Iron Fist follow below.
As Uproxx‘s Alan Sepinwall concludes in his review, Iron Fist amounts to the “first complete misfire” of Marvel Netflix series. Its dull dialogue, lackluster fights and poor pacing present a seemingly insurmountable problem for audiences who’ve come to expect great things after two seasons of Daredevil, and one season each of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Yet with The Defenders posed to unite all four later this year, an important question remains. Is it absolutely necessary to dredge through all of Iron Fist in order to “get” the upcoming miniseries? This depends on showrunners Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez, who previously ran Daredevil‘s second season. What will their latest use from the fourth Defender’s solo story? What will they leave out?
In other words, do fans need to know all the ins and outs of Danny Rand’s (Finn Jones) individual story before they binge all of The Defenders upon its release? Not really — especially if you found yourself skipping sizable chunks of the first half out of boredom. If that’s the case, then you probably won’t enjoy the rest of Iron Fist. Though things improve slightly when Colleen Wing’s (Jessica Henwick) sensei, Bakuto (Ramon Rodriguez) teaches Danny a few new tricks in “The Mistress of All Agonies.” It’s then, when Iron Fist finally dips into the rich history of The Hand, that knowledge of the plot may prove essential enough for a satisfactory viewing of The Defenders.
That’s mostly because it finally delves into the finer points of Danny’s time in K’un-L’un, and what the Iron Fist really is. Most importantly, however, the back half of Iron Fist finally delivers on the promise made by Daredevil‘s first and second seasons with the Hand — a prominent villain in the Daredevil comics. Marvel adapted them for em Iron Fist‘s mystical, Doctor Strange-esque story, and considering what they were up to, they may play a huge part in The Defenders. Whether or not they support Sigourney Weaver’s mysterious Alexandra, the series’ announced villain, remains to be seen. Though it’d be silly for Netflix to suddenly forget the group’s existence in light of the known baddie’s presence.