Episode four gave us a closer look at our villains. We start with our Russian brothers, glimpsing the hell they survived together in prison. I should’ve known this would be a solid episode when our buddy Vlad pulled out the rib bones of their deceased cell mate to use as weapons. Gross. Brilliant. I’m a bit bummed to say goodbye to Anatoly so soon, because he and Vladimir as the weird brother villain duo was really working for me. As far as villains go, these two weren’t super intimidating; they looked a bit grumpy more than anything, as though they’d just woken up and hadn’t yet had their morning coffee (morning vodka?). They weren’t perfectly in sync and spent some time butting heads, but they refused to be anything other than loyal to each other. Now we’re just left with Vlad, who’s still not particularly intimidating but is definitely still grumpy. Our Russians are in trouble for getting their asses handed to them by that masked idiot, so they take Claire to try to get a name and track down this black-masked fellow. I wish I had more to say about Claire but her entire storyline is Matt, and she doesn’t have much of a personality. I’m hopeful they’ll flesh her out a bit, because I’m optimistic, but I won’t be surprised if they keep her this one dimensional.
This episode didn’t leave much room for lawyering, so we don’t get to see the trio working together, and very little of Foggy. Karen’s got a bit of her own plotline to work with, but for the most part she and Foggy are an afterthought in this episode. Which is fine, as it leaves more time for us to hang out with our villains.
I’m really enjoying Fisk. He’s massive and physically intimidating, but at moments he’s seems unsure or stumbles over his words, and that vulnerability makes him a more complex, intriguing villain. He is very much just a man, one who can easily behead someone for embarrassing him in public, but still just a man. I might be biased because I really like Vincent D’Onofrio, but he does a wonderful job portraying Fisk’s vulnerabilities; Fisk is the type to unknowingly wear his heart on his sleeve, the type to try to keep a cool mask but fail. Fisk is easy to read but likely thinks otherwise, and D’Onofrio plays those bare emotions well.
Obviously I can’t review this episode without talking about the ending scene. Honestly, I’m not sure I can adequately describe how much I loved it. Episode three’s opening scene in the bowling alley was brutal, and I didn’t expect that moment to be topped. But holy shit, was I wrong. When Anatoly interrupted Fisk’s date, my immediate reaction was “Fisk is going to tear you apart.” I did not expect to be so accurate. It’s probably “not okay” to call a beheading anything short of horrific, but it was absolutely brilliant. The angle of that moment, seeing only the blood dripping down- and then the bit of brains- was delightfully gruesome.
I also have to mention Wesley. Just by looking at him, I don’t think anyone would describe him as “terrifying,” but his complete apathy to Anatoly’s brutal, disgusting murder as well as his short speech about the past being like smoke elevated him to just shy of terrifying. Where Fisk is easy to read, Wesley is impossible; he’s completely unphased by murder and his face doesn’t give away a damn thing. These two make a really good pair.
Overall, good episode, action-packed, with an ending that will certainly stick with you.
Daredevil 1.4 – In The Blood Director: Ken Girotti Writer: Joe Pakaski Distributor: Netflix, ABC Films, Marvel Studios Runtime: 60 Minutes Exclusively on Netflix