Danny Rand returns home, and is met with anger and hostility.
After surviving a plane crash in the Himalayas as a young boy, billionaire and heir to the Rand business empire, Danny Rand, returns to his home in New York after fifteen years. But, dressed in tattered clothes and without shoes, Danny is immediately perceived as a vagrant, putting armed guards and other obstacles in his way to reach the top of his family’s building to speak with Harold Meachum, his father’s business partner. Finally reaching his office, he is briefly reunited with his old friends, Joy and Ward Meachum, who inform him of Harold’s death, and then have him escorted from the building.
Rethinking his approach, Danny takes time to explore the places he remembers from his childhood. Assumed to be a homeless man performing meditation techniques for money, he encounters Colleen Wing, sensei of the Chikara Dojo. Visiting the dojo, Danny asks for the chance to work, teaching kung fu classes, but Colleen rejects him, though offers him a pair of shoes. Putting them on outside, Danny is attacked by thugs sent to kill him by Ward Meachum. Using a surprising skill in martial arts, Danny takes them down one by one while leading them through a festival in Chinatown.
With his failing attack on Danny, Ward pays a visit to his long dead father, Harold Meachum, who is still very much alive, faking his death and living as a recluse in New York City. Ward’s handling of the situation leaves much to be desired for Harold and puts his son back in his place, setting his own plans to deal with the new arrival. The following morning, after sneaking back into the Rand building, Danny tries once again to speak with Joy, who seems to open up to the opportunity, but only to drug his tea and commit him to an asylum.
Who is Danny Rand? In the premiere episode of Marvel’s latest Netflix show, “Snow Gives Way” doesn’t give many answers to the identity of this vagrant aside from the crazy things he says of defending K’un Lun from all oppression. If this is the billionaire son lost to a plane crash years ago, he’s changed a great deal and learned even more in his time away. When put in contrast to the characters of his friends, the Meachums, we see the compassion and empathy Danny has, while also struggling to control a rage within him.
We’re also introduced to the two worlds that Danny seems to inhabit. There’s the world of Rand, towering skyscrapers, business people in twelve thousand dollar suits, looking down on the lesser people like Danny. Then, there’s the world below Rand, where Danny wanders freely, full of brightly colored festivals, and where those with less, like Colleen Wing, or fellow vagrant Big Al, give Danny more, showing caution, but also acceptance of who he is.