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- Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, Jessica Stroup
Danny tries to speak to Joy again, but she ignores him — so Danny steps it up, confronts Ward while he’s leaving work, and hijacks his car. The ensuing conversation reveals that Ward and Danny have an awkward past since Ward was more of a bully than friend when they were growing up. “You were a dick as a kid and you’re still a dick now,” says Danny. Ward denies bullying him, and Danny loses it almost drives them off the edge of a parking lot as he has even more flashbacks to his time away. Luckily, he stops just in time before they both die. The premiere makes several nods to the fact that even though Danny learned kung fu during his time away, it wasn’t all fun and games, and he’s still fairly traumatized from that experience.
After his chat with Ward, Danny pays Colleen a visit and asks for a job teaching kung fu at her dojo, but she turns him down because she has no idea who this smelly white boy is. When Danny leaves Colleen’s studio, Rand Enterprise’s guards, sent by Ward, attack him, but he gives chase. Colleen hears the commotion and follows them into a parade, where Danny proceeds to silently take them out like he’s Sam Fisher.
Ward finds out his men failed and decides he needs a bit more help, so he turns his father Harold (David Wenham) — who is supposed to be dead. Instead, Harold is cooped up in a nondescript penthouse apartment where he runs Rand Enterprises from the shadows via his son. Harold and Ward’s relationship is not the most loving, which is to be expected. Unlike Ward, Harold wonders if this Danny could actually be the real Danny because “stranger things have happened.” I love how in a world with the Avengers, Luke Cage, and Inhumans, Harold Meachum is the first one to suspect that Danny could actually be telling the truth.
The next day, Danny sneaks into Rand to see Joy yet again. She reluctantly agrees to hear what he has to say, but that’s just a pretense for her and Ward to drug him and place him in a psychiatric hospital, which is a very weird development to drop on the audience at the end of the first episode. As the doctors drug him, Danny flashes back to seeing both his mother and father ripped out of the plane during the crash, and the episode ends with a shot of an iPod playing Outkast in the snow.
Apart from how generally bland everything is in this episode, I’m still not entirely sure what the purpose of the show will be. Who is Danny’s main antagonist? What concrete goal is he working toward? In Daredevil, Matt Murdoch was trying to save Hell’s Kitchen from sinister forces; on Jessica Jones, our heroine was focused on taking down Kilgrave; and it was pretty evident Luke Cage made it clear what Luke was up against in Cottonmouth. But what is Danny fighting for? Based on the premiere, I’m not thoroughly invested in the Meachums as villains, because none of them seem particularly villainous, to be honest. (Perhaps I should be more appreciative that they’re rather low key at the moment.)Their skepticism seems pretty justified and Harold Meachum just looks like he’s a pain as a father, but he doesn’t seem evil or anything. Hopefully the next episode does a better job of establishing the stakes of the series.
NEXT: Iron Fist episode 2 recap