The first season of the American web television series Iron Fist, which is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, follows Danny Rand as he returns to New York City, after being presumed dead for 15 years, and must choose between his family's legacy and his duties as the Iron Fist. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films and other television series of the franchise. The season was produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios and Devilina Productions, with Scott Buck serving as showrunner.
Finn Jones stars as Rand, alongside Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Stroup, Ramón Rodríguez, Sacha Dhawan, Rosario Dawson, and David Wenham. Development for the series began in late 2013 at Marvel Television, with Buck hired as the series' showrunner in December 2015 and Jones cast as Rand in February 2016. Filming began in New York City in April 2016 and concluded in October 2016.
The season premiered on March 15, 2017, in New York City, with the full season of 13 episodes released on Netflix on March 17. It received generally negative reviews from critics, particularly for its pace and storytelling, underwhelming fight sequences, and Jones' performance. However, Henwick's performance and the use of established characters Claire Temple and Jeri Hogarth was met with some praise. Third-party data analytics determined the series had strong initial viewership, but this quickly dropped. A second season was ordered in July 2017.
Episode #1: "Snow Gives Way"
Danny Rand enters Rand Enterprises asking to meet Harold Meachum, but is ignored due to his appearance. He fights his way through security and reaches Harold's children Ward and Joy, who state that Harold has been dead for years, not believing him to be Rand. He starts spending his nights in a park, befriending a beggar calling himself Big Al. He also meets Colleen Wing, whom he asks for a training job in her newly opened dojo; but she ignores him too. Rand makes another attempt to convince Joy, and later Ward. The siblings believe that the rivals of Rand Enterprise are planning to show a leadership struggle within the company now that they are going to announce their expansion in China. Rand is attacked by Ward's mercenaries. Wing attempts to save Rand, but witnesses him overpowering them. Harold is revealed to be alive and in hiding, being in contact with Ward. Harold considers the possibility that Rand is alive and orders Ward to leave the situation to him. Rand faces Joy and tells her about Ward's actions. However, she drugs Rand, who is taken to a hospital. Flashbacks show Rand as a child when his family plane crashes in the Himalayas.
#2 "Shadow Hawk Takes Flight"
Rand is revealed to be at a psychiatric hospital, assigned to Dr. Paul Edmonds. Rand continues insisting on his true identity. Harold is revealed to have the hospital on surveillance. He has Ward talk to Wing. Ward offers her money in exchange for her confirmation of Rand's alleged condition. Harold secretly visits Rand, who reveals that he is the current Iron Fist, the sworn enemy of The Hand. Wing visits Rand, who reveals his true identity and why Ward is afraid of him. She refuses Ward's offer. Joy deduces that Rand is right and tells Ward, who refuses to free him. Edmonds also learns the truth and asks Rand about after the crash. The latter states that he was transferred by two monks to K'un-Lun, another dimension that becomes connected to the Earth periodically. Edmonds does not believe it and diagnoses him with an anxiety disorder caused by trauma. Harold decides to move Rand to a safe place since he can be useful. Instead, Ward orders his men posed as patients to kill Rand, who overpowers them by summoning the Iron Fist, which he uses to break out of the hospital.
#3 "Rolling Thunder Cannon Punch"
Harold is revealed to be under the control of an unknown woman who punishes him for temporarily leaving the penthouse. Wing is attacked by Ward's security personnel, whom she overpowers before being confronted by Rand, whom she allows to stay at the dojo. Rand visits Joy, who offers him 100 million dollars if he changes his identity and leaves the Meachums. He refuses and later meets Jeri Hogarth, an old friend of the family. She promises to reclaim his identity in exchange for a permanent contract between her firm and Rand Enterprise. Rand attacks an impolite student of Wing's, provoking her to expel the former, who goes to an apartment owned by Hogarth. In a meeting, Hogarth and Rand show Ward and Joy a handmade ceramic bowl of Joy's containing a younger Rand's fingerprint, thus proving his claim, promising to present it in the upcoming court. Deducing that Harold is alive, Rand follows Ward to the penthouse, where he climbs to the window, which he opens before being pushed down by an unknown person. Meanwhile, Harold forces Ward to buy a specific pier, which he does, with help from Joy. Flashbacks show Rand being beaten by the monks.
#4 "Eight Diagram Dragon Palm"
After falling unconscious on the ledge, Rand wakes up in the penthouse where Ward reveals that he was the one who pushed him off the window. Upon his arrival, Harold reveals that his cancer was secretly cured by The Hand, which demanded his loyalty in return and allowed him to reveal the truth only to Ward. Harold asks Rand to destroy The Hand in order to free him, which Rand accepts. In exchange, Harold orders Ward to accept Rand's return to the company, where his return is announced in a press conference. In a board meeting, Rand uses his position as the majority shareholder to enforce his decision to sell a newly developed leishmaniasis drug at cost in order to save more lives. At his apartment, Joy is attacked by Triad operatives, whom Rand overpowers. He takes her to the dojo before confronting the Triad leader, who reveals that they hold a grudge against Joy for robbing the pier. However, he completely surrenders to Rand's position after Rand reveals that the Hand was behind it. As a reward for securing the pier, The Hand allows Harold to observe Joy from distance. He notices she has been wounded and asks to be allowed to kill the Triad member responsible, which is accepted. Rand receives a message from Yang Hai-Qing.
#5 "Under Leaf Pluck Lotus"
A new synthetic heroin appears in New York City. Rand connects it to The Hand; but Ward dismisses it. After a chemical factory owned by the Rand Enterprises on Staten Island produces carcinogenic waste chemicals, Rand personally apologizes to a complaining citizen, with the conversation being recorded by a lawyer and later disclosed to the media. In a board meeting, where Rand is absent, Ward convinces the shareholders to stand against the accusations instead of accepting responsibility. However, the anxiety of being always watched by Harold causes Ward to have a drug overdose. Rand meets Claire Temple, who trains at the dojo. He convinces Wing to help him infiltrate the pier in order to prove his theory. At the pier, they find the containers apparently loaded with normal supplies. Rand enters one of the containers, where he finds a hidden room housing Radovan, the chemist who created the formula since The Hand has his daughter hostage. Rand engages and overpowers a bodyguard after said bodyguard critically stabs Radovan, whom Rand takes to the dojo, where Temple stabilizes him. Wing vows to help Rand defeat The Hand, which is revealed to be run by Wilson Fisk's old ally Madame Gao where she kills her operative King for letting Rand make off with Radovan.
#6 "Immortal Emerges from Cave"
In order to satisfy Joy, Ward throws all of his drugs away. He and Rand start searching the warehouses of Rand Enterprises in order to find clues. They find a message left by The Hand in the form of the severed head of Radovan's guard challenging Rand to a combat. Rand tells Ward to proceed to the crisis management meeting about the video alone. Rand enters the building, demanding The Hand to free Sabina, Radovan's daughter, and leave his company if he wins, which Gao accepts in exchange for Rand to leave The Hand alone if he loses, which he accepts in return. Over three rounds, Rand faces Andrei and Grigori Veznikov, the Bride of Nine Spiders, and Scythe. Rand wins all three rounds by the spiritual help of his mentor from K'un-Lun Lei Kung; but Gao threatens to kill Sabina if Rand kills Scythe. Rand spares him, against Lei Kung's orders. Gao frees Sabina, revealing that she has been in K'un-Lun before, and also knowing Rand's father. She easily overpowers Rand telekinetically and allows the duo to leave. Meanwhile, Radovan's condition becomes critical, forcing Temple and Wing to take him to a hospital, where The Hand abducts him. Ward shows withdrawal symptoms in the meeting, forcing him to leave in order to search for drugs. Joy stops him from causing trouble at an infirmary.
#7 "Felling Tree with Roots"
Two Hand operatives named Alexi and Vando arrive at the penthouse to interrogate Harold. Rand arrives and engages them with Harold, who kills both. Harold and Ward disfigure the corpses and Ward dumps them in a river. Rand develops a romance with Wing. He starts investigating his father's past. Gao arrives at Rand Enterprises, advising Rand to stay out of The Hand's way. She leaves, with him tailing her to an office, where she discusses business with an employee loyal to her. After Gao leaves, Rand confronts the employee Sophia and convinces her to leave the city and give him her password. Rand and Wing persuade Yang to help them fight The Hand. Joy convinces Ward to go to a vacation. In a board meeting, Rand announces his decision to close the Staten Island plant while keeping the workers on payroll. Rand, Wing and Yang's operatives attack a Hand facility, where a dying Radovan reveals that Gao has departed for Anzhou, where Rand's family was headed fifteen years ago. The board ousts Rand, Ward and Joy. Ward learns that his personal account has been depleted. He confronts Harold, who humiliates him. Ward stabs Harold several times to his death. He dumps the body in the river.
#8 "The Blessing of Many Fractures"
Rand deduces that his father was going to Anzhou to shut down Gao's operations, but was targeted by her on the plane. Rand, Wing and Temple head to Anzhou, where they acquire information from a nearby beggar. They infiltrate the facility just as Gao arrives. Rand engages Zhou Chen; who uses an advanced kung fu style, drunken boxing. The former overpowers the latter and continues beating him until Temple and Wing arrive and stop him. Gao arrives and her men engage the trio, who overpower them. Rand deduces that Gao poisoned the pilots. He spares her life and apprehends her. Meanwhile, the board offers Ward and Joy $100 million each as severance. He attempts to accept it; but she refuses, later showing him photos of the board members that can be used to blackmail them. Ward decides to tell her the truth about Harold and takes her to the penthouse; but guilty hallucinations about blood make him change his mind.
#9 "The Mistress of All Agonies"
Rand takes Gao to the dojo, where Temple offers using truth serum to force her to talk. Rand steals the serum from Rand Enterprises. Temple injects it, with Gao stating some stories about Rand's parents before they turn out to be lies and Gao being resistant to torture. Wing is revealed to have been poisoned in Anzhou. She contacts her mentor Bakuto. Gao's military operatives attack the dojo, but are defeated. Bakuto arrives and instructs Rand to use the Iron Fist to heal Wing. Rand's energy is depleted and he falls unconscious. Bakuto, Wing and his men take Rand and Gao, leaving Temple at the dojo. An unknown assassin arrives at the dojo. Meanwhile, Harold recovers from his wounds and gains relatively normal mental function after hours, returning to the penthouse where he confronts Ward and feigns absolution. Ward learns from Yang that those revived by The Hand become more psychopathic after each revival, and attack those closest to them first. Harold kills his assistant Kyle and places heroin in Ward's car, leading to his arrest and transfer to the psychiatric hospital where he is assigned to Dr. Edmonds. Joy arrives at the penthouse and reunites with Harold.
#10 "Black Tiger Steals Heart"
Rand wakes up in a martial academy run by Bakuto, who teaches him how to recharge his "chi". The former becomes suspicious and infiltrates a restricted area, where he learns from an imprisoned Gao that Bakuto is a Hand leader. Rand confronts Wing who states that Gao is the leader of an evil faction of The Hand. Bakuto offers Harold partnership during his visit to him; but the latter later determines to kill him. Rand learns that The Hand is conducting mass surveillance. He is confronted by Bakuto, whom he overpowers and attempts to escape before being surrounded by Hand operatives. The assassin, revealed to be Davos, comes to his aid. Bakuto stabs Rand with an unknown object. The duo fights its way to the gate, which needs to be destroyed by the Iron Fist. Rand is unable to summon the Fist. The duo continues fighting The Hand until Wing opens the gate, allowing the duo to escape while she escapes in her own direction. Davos tells Rand that they need to return to K'un-Lun. Meanwhile, Harold kills board member Wilkins upon finding out about his prostitution record, staging it as suicide. Joy manages to convince the board to reinstate the Meachums and Rand. Harold denies his involvement in Wilkins' death to her.
#11 "Lead Horse Back to Stable"
Rand tells Davos that they will not return to K'un-Lun until The Hand is destroyed. They go to Temple's where she extracts the fragment of Bakuto's weapon from Rand's wound, stopping the bleeding, but failing to control the infection due to lack of antibiotics. Wing arrives and tries to reason with Rand. She goes to a hospital where she asks an extern, also a Hand member, for antibiotics. Rand goes to the penthouse where Joy has discovered that Bakuto has been transferring Rand Enterprises' money to his own accounts. Harold formulates a plan to flush out Bakuto and his operatives from the compound by having Joy freeze the accounts. The former and Rand agree to kill Bakuto, opposed by Joy. The Hand captures Wing and take her to the compound where Bakuto decides to use her for revival. Outside the compound, Rand and Davos wait for Bakuto. Davos continues questioning Rand's motive for staying in New York. Joy freezes the accounts. Wing frees herself and escapes, spotted by Rand, who rushes inside and calms her. Davos learns about the romance.
#12 "Bar the Big Boss"
Ward escapes the hospital and goes to the penthouse, holding a gun and demanding Harold to let him take Joy. Bakuto and his operatives arrive, with the former calling Rand, shooting Joy and giving him half an hour to arrive at the penthouse in order to save the trio. Against Davos's objections, Rand decides to go, arriving just before Bakuto can decapitate Harold, the only way to kill him for good. The Hand handcuffs Rand and takes him to the lobby, where Rand uses the Fist to free himself just as Davos and Wing attack The Hand, with Rand overpowering Bakuto, who escapes outside before he is cornered by the trio. Wing engages and overpowers him, refusing to kill him, which Davos does after Rand's refusal. The latter engages Davos and overpowers him, stating that he wishes to be both Rand and the Iron Fist. Davos departs and the pair finds Bakuto's body gone. Harold and Ward take Joy to a hospital. Rand and Wing return to the dojo. The next day, Ward texts Rand, alerting him that Harold has set him up. The dojo is attacked by DEA agents, whom the pair defeat and escape.
#13 "Dragon Plays with Fire"
Harold enters Rand Enterprises and takes control of it. Rand and Wing go to Bakuto's facility which is abandoned by The Hand. However, they find Gao, who reveals that Harold was the mastermind of the plane crash fifteen years prior. Ward tells Joy about Harold's actions. She confronts the latter, who denies framing Rand. She leaves for an unknown destination. Ward allies with Rand's team to defeat Harold. The former enters Rand Enterprises, but is spotted by Harold, who wounds him. Temple creates a distraction for Rand and Wing to infiltrate the building. Harold instructs his men to shoot Rand, since the Iron Fist is not bulletproof after all. Rand and Wing manage to overpower Harold's operatives. While Ward acquires evidence of Rand's innocence, the latter follows Harold to the rooftop, where they fight until Ward arrives and shoots Harold, who falls to his death. Ward has the body cremated. Rand convinces Wing to accompany him to K'un-Lun. In a meeting with Joy, Davos tells her that Rand must be killed which is overheard by Gao. Rand and Wing arrive at the gate to K'un-Lun, but find it closed and surrounded by bodies of slain Hand assassins.