Let’s talk about what happened to John Anderson, the Meachums aren’t bad guys, and Colleen is offered a deal.
Putting an end to Danny’s interruptions in their lives, Ward and Joy Meachum have Danny sent away to a psychiatric center to be evaluated and get to the bottom of who he really is. Danny struggles against the drugs being put into his system, dampening his focus, cutting off his chi and ability to summon the Iron Fist, or so he claims. Hearing Danny rave about the mystical K’un Lun and warrior monks, his doctor tries to see through his delusions and convince him of his true identity, John Anderson, as it states on the passport in Danny’s bag. With no means of proving himself to be Danny Rand, he takes a chance and reaches out to Colleen Wing.
Struggling to train her students and keep the Chikari Dojo open, the last thing Colleen wants is to be pulled into whatever drama Danny has to offer. But, keeping a close eye on Danny, Harold and Ward track Danny’s call to Colleen, and Ward approaches her himself. In exchange for Colleen’s testimony that Danny is dangerous, he offers a large sum of money that would help her dojo. While Ward gives Colleen time to make a decision, Joy makes her own plan to reach out and discover if Danny is telling the truth, hoping he’ll remember a game they played together as children. Danny responds to Joy’s message, with help from Colleen, who wants to evaluate Danny for herself before making a deal with Ward. With Joy’s acceptance of his identity, Colleen refuses Ward’s offer.
Harold has his own plans for Danny as he monitors his stay at the hospital, even breaking his hermitage to question a drug addled Danny for himself. Coming to his own conclusion for Danny, and interested in his Iron Fist and fight against the mysterious Hand, Harold plans to move Danny away where he can keep him safe until he knows how to use him. Disregarding his father’s orders, Ward sends his own thugs within the hospital to take care of Danny, but the fight only strengthens Danny’s focus, allowing him to finally summon the Iron Fist and make his escape.
“Shadow Hawk Takes Flight” is a painfully slow second episode to a series that promises kung fu action. Though, despite its pacing, it gets a lot of exposition about Danny and the Meachums out of the way. Each Meachum, Joy, Ward, and Harold, find their own way to deal with Danny, exposing their character in the process. Seeing him as a threat, Ward tries to have him removed altogether. Harold, always looking out for himself, seeks to use Danny. While Joy, always on the fence between corporate shark and good natured friend, reaches out and communicates to find her answer.
This episode also touches on the greater Marvel universe and how people are reacting to life after The Incident, the Avengers battle against aliens over the skies of New York City. You’d think that a man claiming to be from a monastery in another dimension with the power to focus his chi into his fist wouldn’t be the weirdest thing he’s heard. But Danny’s psychiatrist explains how after the Incident, many troubled individuals have begun to delude themselves as being special and having powers, and while Danny’s story is amazing, he believes it to be a creation of his traumatized mind.