Well, we thought we were in the darkness before, True Believers. Hell’s Kitchen was beating down our heroes relentlessly and there was nowhere to go but up, right? Right?
Clearly, if you’re still reading and keeping up with the series: very, very wrong. There’s plenty more down to go. We start by catching up with Karen, shaken by her actions at the end of the last episode, and going through some pretty typical behavior for a person who is clearly in shock. When she’s finally drunk herself to sleep, she has nightmares of Fisk in her apartment, attacking her for what she’s done. As she tries to come to terms with her own demons, she has to play middleman to the “mom and dad are fighting” dynamic of Matt and Foggy from the past couple episodes.
In the hospital, Vanessa wakes up (thank christ--she’s too good an actress to waste as a character in a coma for long), and tells Fisk he won’t be moving her; she’s happy right here. Fisk goes after the people who killed Wesley while Foggy tries to get his ex to look over evidence that her firm’s client, a one Mr. Wilson Fisk, might actually be an evil monster, and Matt manages to follow one of Madame Gao’s delivery guys to the warehouse where the heroin is packaged. He also manages to burn it down--score one for the good guys. Meanwhile, Ben Urich tries to get his piece about Fisk’s childhood published, and is let go from the Bulletin in the process. We get a brief moment to hope he will get whisked away to the Daily Bugle (because Spider-Man rights, guys), but instead, once again, all of our hopes and dreams come crashing down around us.
This episode is the first time that Matt gets to be Daredevil in a tangible way, as well. In previous episodes, he’s dangled men from rooftop edges, he’s gotten in awesome fights, and he’s been super Catholic. In this episode, he finally gets a sequence where he tracks someone by sound, runs over the rooftops to track them down, and then comes back to fuck their shit up. The technical aspects of the chase are incredibly well done, from the camera moves on the rooftops, to the way they chose to represent his super-hearing (soft focus with one man in sharp focus instead of the CGI radar sense is the way to go), and it’s just fun to see the guy jumping all over rooftops on the chase. It’s just this side of old-school, swashbuckling adventurer Daredevil.
The highlight of this episode is the really clever structural twist it plays on the audience. In the pre-credits scenes, we see Karen attacked in her home by Fisk. He shows up behind her, in the dark, waxes philosophic about the things she has taken from him, and just as he begins to assault her, she wakes up. It was all a dream, we laugh, as we sigh a little in relief. Fast forward forty-five minutes. Ben comes home from being fired from his job, intending to write a tell-all expose about Fisk. He pops open his bottle of whiskey and begins to type, just before Fisk shows up behind him, in the dark, waxes philosophic about the things Ben Urich has taken from him, and then he, in a fit of rage, strangles Ben Urich to death. Up until the end of this episode, I was waiting for the camera to cut back to Ben, asleep on his keyboard, or asleep in the chair in his wife’s hospital room.
Marvel’s Daredevil is not afraid to kill the characters who have been around for decades when it’s what the story calls for, and that is something that gives me great faith in it as a new television property. It is also the number one reason it breaks my heart. See you back here with all the rest of the gang for the final episode group review. Stay alive, kids.
- “It gets easier the more you do it” is a line that could have gotten laughs, but D’Onofrio’s delivery is haunting.
- “I think they call that loyalty, or something.” God bless you, Leland Owlsley.
- I am thoroughly humbled and disappointed with myself for not realizing until this episode that the symbol they stamped on the heroin at the end of the first episode was the Steel Serpent symbol--one of several Iron Fist teases in this episode.
- People apparently learn how to sneak up on each other professionally in Hell’s Kitchen.
- “Hardcore parkour!”
- Matt must go through like, at least 2 canes a day if he’s just throwing them away in alleys.
- “You sound like a whore.” “Well, I learned how to be one from you...dad!” is how that line should have played. Luckily, I’m not writing for this show.
- Madame Gao thoroughly does not play--apparently even Brubaker thinks she might be Crane Mother?
Daredevil 1.12 – “The Ones We Leave Behind” Director: Euros Lyn Writer: Douglas Petrie Distributor: Netflix, ABC Films, Marvel Studios Runtime: 60 Minutes Exclusively on Netflix