After their trip to China in the previous episode of “Iron Fist,” Danny, Colleen, and Claire have managed to bring Madame Gao back to New York. As Danny attempts to interrogate her, he learns a few things about his past and his abilities as the Iron Fist. Nothing is easy though as he finds out that Colleen is in trouble in “The Mistress of All Agonies.”

Spoiler alert: If you aren’t caught up with the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now! There will be spoilers.

Marvel Cinematic Universe references

Most of the connections we get to the larger MCU are courtesy of the interrogation of Madame Gao.

When Claire tells Danny to grab some truth serum from Rand’s labs, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the first season of “Agents of SHIELD,” where Skye thinks she gets Ward to speak to her under the effects of a truth serum. She’s told in a later episode that SHIELD doesn’t have a truth serum: a chemical to lead to absolute truths doesn’t exist. Apparently Rand developed a stronger drug than simply something that lowered inhibitions.

Madame Gao still forgets Jessica Jones. Considering she’s purposely listed Luke Cage and Daredevil when speaking to Danny Rand, but not Jessica, twice now, it feels like a purposeful hint rather than an oversight.

There’s also a man who decides to take over a food truck - violently. That magazine he’s looking at with Danny Rand on the cover? It also happens to have a Tony Stark related headline on it: “Is Stark Industries too big to fail?”

Comic book Easter eggs

Colleen has mentioned before that she was sent to live with her grandparents in Japan, but Madame Gao provides a little more information here.

It was Colleen’s grandfather, Kenji Ozawa, who trained her in the comics. He was also the one to gift her with that katana she’s been using.

Though Danny hasn’t outright told the story of the dragon to his friends, he finally mentions a “dragon in a cave” to Madame Gao in this episode, confirming that the comic book origin for Iron Fist’s powers is the same as the show’s.

The man who camps out in a food truck making ninja throwing stars out of foil is a comic book character whose name is revealed in the next episode of the series, so I won’t spoil it for you if you’re reading these one episode at a time. He is someone important to the “Iron Fist” mythology in the comics though.

Though most of what we’ve seen the Iron Fist do up to this point involves being able to punch through things, the abilities actually go much farther than that, and healing is one of them. The comics allow Iron Fist to harness his chi and focus it into all kinds of different abilities. Just how much power the show will give him is unclear just yet, though Danny being taught how to heal Colleen in this episode alludes to more comic book abilities being on the way.

Frank Robbins

The name of the person whose paperwork Harold finds in Ward’s old office? That would be Frank Robbins, a noted artist. In addition to numerous comic strips, Robbins also created art for Marvel comics, including issues of “Daredevil,” “Power Man,” “Ghost Rider,” “Captain America,” and more. His artwork is in museums all over the world.

This is one of the only real world shout outs on the show. Typically the Netflix series created by Marvel have quite a few nods to artists and writers that have contributed to the comics, but “Iron Fist” appears to be shying away from that a little bit more.

Up next

In “Black Tiger Steals Heart,” we get a lot more references to the “Iron Fist” backstory and just how the show is adapting the story of the Hand for the series. We’ll also get a few more ties into the larger MCU and the Netflix series that have come before “Iron Fist.”