The eighth episode of Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil series is probably the best episode. In fact it feels very much like the end of the first half of the season. Whereas “Stick” was an origin story of Matt’s skills and established what shaped him to be the man he is, “Shadows in the Glass” is Wilson Fisk’s origin. Also several characters get haircuts in the next episode so that too makes it feel like a break has occurred in the filming just after this. There is one inherent problem with this episode, it comes too late into the season, but at the same time it hits at the perfect time. You see this is the episode that explains why Vincent D’Onofrio has been acting the way he has. Because up until this episode the way he’s been playing Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin, has been annoying. Lacking confidence, stammering with his speech, lashing out like a child when embarrassed. Nothing that particularly builds any confidence in the character somehow being a Kingpin of crime. If you think about it seriously, other than his brute strength, how the hell did this portrayal of the Kingpin actually rise to power? Well we still don’t have that particular answer, but at least we see why the Kingpin acts the way he does.
This episode also has one of the best openings as they didn’t rely on starting in the middle of some action like the second episode, or flashing back and forth in the time line like the next episode. Instead it starts with the Kingpin (my preferred name to call him by the way) waking up from a bad dream. From there he begins his morning routine and you can tell that it’s a routine. Nothing changes about it as he makes the same breakfast and goes through his closet to get dressed. Ultimately he selects the same suit, the same shirt, the same everything every morning. He even has a huge selection of cuff-links to pick from, but of course selects the ones that were his fathers. At first this scene is pretty boring like any routine, but then the Kingpin turns around and looks at himself in a full-sized mirror and instead of seeing a well-dressed adult… he sees himself as a young boy covered in blood.
After that we check in with Matt and the gang who spill the beans about Foggy and Karen looking into the same angle that Matt has been. Obviously this puts Matt in a difficult position as he knows the answers to the questions they’re asking, but can’t say anything. He demands that they stop playing cowboy and pursue everything legally and through the course of the law which is okay. Frankly I liked this because it showed that Matt still wants to do things the legal and proper way, but then it assures that he will be doing even more as the “Masked Man” when the sun goes down.
Eventually we get to the point of a flashback that dives into the Kingpins past as we meet his father and mother. Bill Fisk played by Domenick Lombardozzi is one of the best additions to the series. His portrayal of the character was believable and brought life into this flashback much like Scott Glenn’s performance as Stick did for the previous episode.
Frankly that’s all I really want to say about this episode. It was light on action, but thick on content which the show was desperately needing. It all comes to a close in a way that made the Kingpin a believable crime lord something that has really only been shown and not felt up until this episode.
Personally this was has been the highest point of the season. As you’ve seen on the site there’s a variety of opinions about the show and thankfully I’m not reviewing them all because I would not have scored the series as high up until this point… as you’ll see on my review for the next episode. But this episode continues to stand out as a successful blending of the comic and TV medium.
Daredevil 1.8 – “Shadows in the Glass” Director: Stephen Surjik Writer: Steven S. DeKnight Distributor: Netflix, ABC Films, Marvel Studios Runtime: 60 Minutes Exclusively on Netflix