This Review Contains Spoilers for this episode! Please avoid leaving spoilers for future episodes in the comments section below when discussing this season.
The Main Ingredient features a long-teased team-up between Luke Cage and Danny Rand as both characters reunite once more in person to go head to head with Bushmaster. But they have to find him first, and what follows is the beginning of the road to a Heroes for Hire partnership that sounds fascinating to watch unfold. The prospect of Danny Rand showing up in Luke Cage after his disappointing turn in Iron Fist Season 1 left me lukewarm at first, but it seems he’s been gradually improving as his appearances go by, helped by the fact that he’s not held back by shoddy writing or poorly directed fight sequences.
This Iron Fist is the character we should have seen from the get go. He’s straight out of the comics, and the team-up between him and Luke Cage is so good it feels straight out of a character’s solo comic where they have a big-name guest star show up for an issue. The writers have found a way to work him into the plot perfectly and his appearance doesn’t create an issue of power imbalance either, thanks to some smart writing. Sure, you have to wonder why Danny wasn’t called in from the get go, but The Main Ingredient does a good job at showcasing his appearance as necessary.
The addition of The Immortal Iron Fist to Luke Cage helps give Luke another character on his level that he can connect with. He had Jessica Jones in her first season, but it’s something that he’s lacked and the character’s arrival really helps. It helps, too that director Andy Goddard knows how to do fight sequences – having experience in the Marvel universe before with The Punisher, Daredevil episodes all under his belt. The team-up between Luke and Danny is a joy to watch.
The return of Turk to tip them off about the whereabouts of the Jamaicans’ brewing of Nightshade was another welcome reappearance. It’s interesting to note that while that they’re attempting to brew Nightshade in Harlem, it requires the conditions of Jamaica for it to work.
Whilst Johnson or Bushmaster aren’t found by Luke and Danny, they do end their team-up on a high note. It’s an interesting end to the episode, backended by some minor plots like Misty and Priscilla Ridley discovering Nandi Tyler’s crookedness. Refreshingly, this didn’t take long for them to work out the truth. It was also interesting to see Mariah reclaim control of Harlem’s Paradise as Piranha was tortured into giving up Dillard’s money and assets to Bushmaster too.
A few notable side notes to make as I bring this review to a close, as this episode established that Game of Thrones exists in the Marvel Universe, who plays Ser Loras Tyrell given that Finn Jones plays Danny Rand? Does he notice the resemblance or is he played like a different character? Or is there an opportunity for a Julia Roberts in Ocean’s 13 style sequence come Iron Fist Season 2? Also, I don’t believe this is a thing I ever expected to say, but more Danny Rand please. He’s turning into one of the most improved TV characters since his introduction and under a new showrunner I’m looking forward to seeing that continue in Iron Fist Season 2. If we don’t get a Season 3 of Iron Fist or Luke Cage, I wouldn’t be averse to a Heroes for Hire event series like Defenders, with the two characters teaming up for a shorter episode count.