Tag Archives: Simone Missick

Iron Fist Season 2 (2018) TV Review

Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence
Cast:
Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist
Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing
Tom Pelphrey as Ward Meachum
Jessica Stroup as Joy Meachum
Sacha Dhawan as Davos
Simone Missick as Misty Knight
Alice Eve as Mary Walker
Created By: Raven Metzner

Danny Rand (Finn Jones), the Immortal Iron Fist, has left behind the day-to-day oversight of Rand Enterprises, throwing himself into his mission to defend New York City. But when an old friend returns with twisted intentions, it threatens the fragile peace Danny maintains within his community, and within himself.

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Note: Features spoilers for Iron Fist Season 1

Iron Fist Season 1 was quite a misfire when it released, with it being widely known as the worst season of the Netflix Marvel shows. I myself didn’t hate the season, going through it all the way and found it to be okay with some good elements but it was really flawed and it had a ton of issues. Still, it managed to get a second season. However with this second season things were looking up this time, with the showrunner changing from Scott Buck to Raven Metzner, which was a really wise move. I’m glad to say that Iron Fist Season 2 is a massive improvement over the first season. It still doesn’t reach levels of some the other shows’ seasons like any of the seasons of Daredevil but on its own its still pretty good, and it’s a shame that we won’t be getting a third season, especially with the way that things end this season.

Netflix Marvel Shows (even the better ones) do tend to have the problem of having the season drawn out for too long at 13 episodes (with the exception of The Defenders which had around 8 episodes and was too short). Netflix this time decided to focus up the season by making it 10 episodes long, and it really works. It doesn’t really drag (except for maybe some of the earlier episodes) but it doesn’t feel like anything’s rushed either. Compared to some of the other shows like Daredevil, there isn’t really anything quite deep or thematic with what’s going on in the story. So in comparison it just feels like we’re watching a story play out, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does separate it from some of the better seasons from Marvel Netflix. However it gets really good towards the last episodes of the season, as it takes some surprising twists and turns. You really feel the lack of showrunner Scott Buck this season and that’s a good thing, the writing is much better in comparison. Iron Fist Season 2 ends on a pretty jarring and exciting cliffhanger, which would no doubt lead into a very interesting and different next season. Unfortunately we won’t find out what that’s all about because of the show’s cancellation, which is a colossal disappointment, more so than Luke Cage because that show seemed ended by wrapping up its last season. Here it introduces a whole new plotline that intended to explore.

With every season appearance, Finn Jones as Danny Rand improves as a character. In The Defenders, Rand wasn’t the overly serious “I am the Iron Fist, sworn enemy of The Hand” and annoying guy from the first season and he was more likable. He improved even further in his one episode appearance in Luke Cage Season 2 and he improved even more here in the second season of Iron Fist. With that said, it still does feel like the supporting characters do shine more than him. Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing also once again is really good and is one of the best parts of the whole show. Tom Pelphrey as Ward Meachum in the first season started off being really unlikable but towards the end of the season became one of the best parts about that season, having a really interesting story arc throughout. He’s great here as well, Ward once again goes through a troubled arc but this time we are rooting for him instead of wondering why people keep putting him on screen and he’s more entertaining to watch. Joy Meachum played by Jessica Stroup is also in an interesting position, with her being at odds with Danny and Ward (which was implied at the end of the first season) and her teaming up with Davos (Sacha Dhawan). It was interesting to see where she was at and how she changes over the course of the season. A returning character that’s not from Iron Fist is Simone Missick as Misty Knight, who is from Luke Cage. She’s not just a cameo or anything, she plays a rather large part in the story. Maybe the show could’ve swapped her out for any other cop character but I’m glad that it was her that popped up instead, she does add to the season quite a bit. Especially as it’s someone from a far more grounded world coming into a world with glowing fists of power and all that, its nice to see someone who’s in a slightly more grounded world come play a part in this story. I do also feel like they brought her into this season to tease the possibility of a Misty Knight/Colleen Wing team up and I’m on board with that, I’d like to see that happen.

A new addition to the Iron Fist cast is Alice Eve as Mary Walker, who’s a welcome addition to the show. This is a minor spoiler (but it’s revealed reasonably early on and it’s an aspect with her character in the comics) but she has double personalities, and it was interesting seeing that come into play with the story, and Eve does a great and convincing job with both personalities. The season ends with her seeming with her character about to be explored in a further season, and I hope somehow in another show they could do that. The last season was pretty uneven with its villains, with there being like 3 of them. This time there is one clear main villain with Sacha Dhawan as Davos, who was introduced towards the latter part of Season 1. Davos is a really solid villain and a big upgrade over Harold Meachum in the previous season (the only reason Harold wasn’t completely bad was because actor David Wenham managed to give a solid enough performance). Davos has some ties to Danny and physically they are at the same level, and you can also see why Davos does the things he does, he’s not just doing it to be evil or anything. At the halfway point however, he stops really progressing as a character and stops being interesting. He doesn’t downgrade from that point but he just sort of stays the same until the end of the season. However he still feels like a real threat throughout and was effective enough.

The overall feel and direction is similar to the first season’s but overall it is a bit better. The action has also massively improved over the previous season. Most of the action problems in the first season was surrounding Finn Jones not given enough prep time for fight choreography. In the first season, he would pretty much get 15 minutes to learn the choreography before they actually started to film, leading to the fight scenes he’s involved in requiring a jarringly amount of cuts. Both in The Defenders and here he’s much better since he’s actually allowed a lot more prep time. There are some really good fight scenes here and great uses of the Iron Fist as well.

Iron Fist Season 2 is pretty good and much better than the first season. The tighter season runtime of 10 episodes helped keep the story moving at a efficient pace, the characters are all quite good, the writing has improved, the action is solid and its just quite entertaining overall. It’s not one of the best seasons of the Netflix Marvel shows and it can leave you annoyed at the end since you know the exciting cliffhanger it ends on probably won’t get addressed. But all around I had a good time with this season. If you really didn’t like the first season, don’t let that hold you back from watching the second season, give it a chance, it’s a considerable improvement. It’s not great and definitely isn’t among the best of the Netflix Marvel shows, but it is pretty solid and worth a watch.

Luke Cage Season 2 (2018) TV Review

Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence
Cast:
Mike Colter as Luke Cage
Simone Missick as Mercedes “Misty” Knight
Theo Rossi as Hernan “Shades” Alvarez
Gabrielle Dennis as Tilda Johnson
Mustafa Shakir as John “Bushmaster” McIver
Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard
Reg E. Cathey as James Lucas
Created By: Cheo Hodari Coker

After clearing his name, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) has become a celebrity on the streets of Harlem with a reputation as bulletproof as his skin. But being so visible has only increased his need to protect the community and find the limits of who he can and can’t save. With the rise of a formidable new foe, Luke is forced to confront the fine line that separates a hero from a villain.

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Note: Features spoilers for Luke Cage Season 1

My last tv review was of Iron Fist Season 1, ever since then, The Defenders, The Punisher Season 1 and Jessica Jones Season 2 have all come out and I’ve watched them but I haven’t reviewed them (I may end up reviewing those seasons later on). I recall the first season of Luke Cage well, the first half was really good with great characters and storylines and was a gritty crime drama, and the second half had a massive quality drop and tonal change, becoming really silly and goofy. As whole it is solid but still felt like a mixed bag. So I was really not sure what Season 2 would bring us. On the whole, Season 2 it works quite well and is a noticeable upgrade over the first season, for the mere fact that it is a lot more consistent in quality. Like with most of the other shows, it can still feel drawn out, and on top of that Luke really wasn’t as good here as he was in Season 1. But Season 2 is still a pretty good season and well worth a lot of praise, and it’s a shame that this is the last season of the show before it was cancelled.

Season 2 has yet another one of the Netflix marvel issues, with it being 13 episodes long and once again it does feel drawn out. However, even if the episodes pacing slow down quite a bit, usually they end up making up for it by having great character and acting moments or something similar like that, so you don’t feel like your time is being wasted or anything. There’s lots of storylines going on at once and they all interwoven well, some are more interesting than others but I generally liked them all. The supporting characters were quite interesting and had their own stories going on while Luke was having his. A theme I noticed that was constant throughout this season is the relationship between parents and their children, with Luke Cage reuniting with his father and Mariah Dillard reuniting with her daughter. As for how this season ends, it’s not bad but it’s a really weird way to end the season, bit of a cliff-hanger. The end of the season puts Luke in an interesting position that makes me interested in what direction he’ll go in next time we see him on screen. And I don’t mean next season because as I said, Luke Cage got cancelled, so I’m not sure how or where his story will continue next.

Luke Cage as a character in the first season actually worked well even if some of the supporting characters shined a little more than him, it still felt like his shot. Unfortunately, he has downgraded from the first season. Mike Colter still plays the role as best as he can, but he can’t help but feel rather uninteresting and at times annoying and downright unlikable, especially early in the season. Unfortunately, he doesn’t really get much better as the season progresses, he doesn’t go on a noticeable character arc. Danny Rand/Iron Fist in his second season has managed to improve upon all of his faults and became a better character than the first. Luke did the opposite here. Simone Missick as Misty Knight is once again a highlight in this show, here she’s dealing with the aftermath of the events of The Defenders where she got one of her hand cut off (and yes she eventually gets a robotic hand to replace it). She’s also really good in this season as well. Another standout from the first season is Theo Rossi as Shades and he’s also great here. He’s one of the most interesting characters in the show and you don’t really know what he’s going to do next, it’s hard pinning down his character. He has a lot of scenes with Mariah Dillard (who I’ll get into a little later). In terms of new characters, the biggest standout is the late great Reg E. Cathey as James Lucas, Luke Cage’s father. The two of them have a rocky relationship and it was interesting seeing how their relationship was developing. Cathey does give a final great performance and the scenes between him and Colter are really good. We also get some brief but solid appearances by Finn Jones as Danny Rand and Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing (from Iron Fist) and they all feel like they should actually be there and they serve a purpose, it’s not just a reminder that all these shows are connected.

Season 1 had one great villain in Cottonmouth and one really poor villain with Diamondback. This time, the two villains this season were both great, them being Bushmaster (Mustafa Shakir) and Mariah Dillard (Alfred Woodard). It does feel like the show switches between the two villains in terms of focus at times, like one would be the one that Luke Cage has to deal with and then it switches to the other. Bushmaster is a great villain, and like many of the Netflix marvel villains has his own backstory that explain his action and motivations. On top of that, he’s also is a physical threat to Luke Cage and he doesn’t need a goofy suit like Diamondback to do it, so that adds another threatening aspect to him. Mariah Dillard was established in the previous season and she was good, it established her as someone going on a darker path once she kills Cottonmouth (which coincidentally signalled the drop of quality for the rest of the season). In season 2 however, she’s on another level. She goes into way darker territory this time, and Woodard is fantastic in the role. She’s a complicated character and you see that in scenes with her daughter, and it’s just interesting seeing what she would do next. Woodard’s performance is among the highlights of this season, she has some truly fantastic scenes here. I know some people however didn’t really find her character all that great so if you didn’t like her in the first season, just a heads up that you’re going to see a lot of her in the second season.

Like with the first season, Luke Cage does well to separate itself from all the other Marvel Netflix shows with its style, and much of its style has continued over to the second season. Generally the show is directed rather well. The action in Luke Cage is some of the weakest of the Netflix shows. Not that I blame the show too much, it’s hard to have the main character feel like he’s vulnerable against enemies while also being invincible. Jessica Jones has abilities but most of the show is her using her other skills instead so she isn’t involved in too many fighting scenes. With Luke Cage however, some of the ‘fight scenes’ are usually obligatory, to show off that Luke is bulletproof. The reason that it is rather poor is that it usually ends up being Luke walking into a room, people try to fight or shoot him (obviously failing), he knocks them out or gets them to give up information, rinse and repeat. To their credit, they do spice it up with some fights between him and Bushmaster, which are entertaining because Bushmaster can actually hold his own against Cage (in fact its usually Cage who has the more trouble during these fights). Also like in the first season, the fights are all filmed pretty well, you can actually see what’s going on. However, I think its pretty clear that the show’s highlights are more with the characters and the story than the fight/action scenes.

Season 2 of Luke Cage still does have its faults, it can be slow and drawn out, there isn’t much tension in the fight scenes (again), and Luke has downgraded as a character. However, it is much more consistent than Season 1, the supporting characters are great and it just felt better and was solid overall. It’s unfortunate that we aren’t getting another season, it was getting better. I’m not sure when or where we’ll see Luke Cage or the rest of the characters again but hopefully it’ll be soon.