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Joy Gets In On The Action In Iron Fist
In S01.E03, the show’s most boring character becomes a key player.
My biggest issue with Iron Fist so far has been Joy. I don't understand what her purpose is. It doesn't seem like they're setting her up to be any sort of love interest for Danny, and she doesn't appear to be in on any of the villainy her father and brother get up to. She wants to believe Danny is who he says he is. But she also drugged Danny and moved into his childhood home when she thought he and his parents were dead, which will continue to irk me. Who moves into her dead friend's house?! Even if it is a beautiful, sprawling townhouse on Gramercy Park: it's creepy!
We've been given mixed signals about this lady, and I was hoping this episode would develop her character a bit more. And it did! In the span of this one episode, Joy goes from the least interesting character on the show to the most mysterious.
Having accepted in the previous episode that Danny is, in fact, the same Danny Rand she grew up with, it appears as if Joy might become Danny's ally. She invites him into her house (which again, was his house! I CAN'T GET OVER IT) and offers him a multimillion-dollar buyout that would transfer his 51% ownership of the company back to the Meachums. Danny, uninterested in money, is offended by the offer, and leaves.
Angry and alone, Danny goes to visit his parents' graves. At the cemetery, elaborate arrangements of fresh flowers adorn the gravesite -- a puzzling sight for Danny, who has no living relatives. When he inquires about the flowers, he discovers that Jeri Hogarth -- a character crossover who mainly appears in Jessica Jones, and a former Rand employee -- oversees his family's estate. He seeks her out and enlists her help in legally proving his identity.
Meanwhile, Joy and Ward take a client out for "a night he will never forget." Turns out, for Joy Meachum, an unforgettable evening is one in which she secures a vital organ for the man's dying nephew. That's one way to close a real estate deal! Besides being completely bizarre, this scene raises serious questions about Joy. This type of evil genius-level manipulation was not something I was expecting from a lady who keeps large bags of M&Ms in her desk.
The next day, after an attempt to secure his hospital records goes awry (thanks to Ward's henchmen, a bottle of alcohol and a lighter), Danny confronts Ward and Joy at a fancy restaurant and asks why they're being so terrible to him. Joy gets in a low blow, telling Danny that the Meachums are not his family and that they don't want him around. This unkind moment made me think I understood Joy. To wit: she's awful! She is exactly as cruel as the rest of her family.
But, of course, the writers couldn't make things that clear-cut. A few scenes later, we see Joy enter her extravagant foyer and drop her keys into a handmade bowl.
Joy stops and considers the bowl.
Something in her eyes suggests that she's just had an idea.
All of this leads to a boardroom showdown with Danny and Hogarth going up against Ward and Joy and their comically stacked legal team. The Meachums once again offer Danny money -- though less than before, assuming he has no legal evidence of his identity.
Then Hogarth pulls out the very bowl that was sitting in Joy's house. Turns out the bowl was a childhood gift from Danny to Joy and, wouldn't you know it...
...Danny's fingerprint is on the bottom, clearly smudged in bright yellow paint. Danny and Joy share a look across the table, but what does it mean?! No one but Joy could have given Danny the bowl, but why would she do that? Did she feel guilty for saying they didn't want him here? Or did she only say those things to make Ward think she was on his side? Does she have reservations about her shady brother? Is she a double agent? Who is this woman?!