Tag Archives: Netflix

Jessica Jones Lands Knockout Punch

Photo Courtesy Of Netflix
Photo Courtesy Of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

With just over a month remaining in 2015, it looks like it’s a pretty safe bet to declare the new Netflix series “Jessica Jones,” as the best television event of the year. Marvel Studios and ABC Productions have shattered the Comic-Book Movie Genre with a creation that defies boundaries and expectations. This production’s light-years from the Avengers or the X-Men films, it’s not a family friendly blockbuster filled with special-effects and wall-to-wall violence (although this series does not lack for violence.)

Jessica Jones is a suspense/thriller that just happens to have characters with superpowers in the story. It’s a cat and mouse game in which the cat and mouse eventually change roles and a character searches for redemption in all the wrong places. It’s more of a cross between the former FOX series “The Following” and “The Silence Of The Lambs” with a dollop or two of Heath Ledger’s Joker thrown in for flavoring. You can’t put this in the same category as “Captain America Civil War,” which is a win for all as boundaries get dissolved and stereotypes get broken.

Nobody’s going to claim that Jessica Jones is in any way a role-model, however she’s a very strong symbol for female empowerment. Krysten Ritter the actress that portrays her is destined to become a huge star and this will likely prove to be her breakout role. Ritter’s a strikingly beautiful woman with a signature look and plays the character with an almost ever-present sneer on her face. Some smart Hollywood executive should be actively pursuing a deal to team her and Amy Acker in a re-tooling of Lethal-Weapon. It would become a huge gender-bending series and may open some eyes in Hollywood about expanding action roles for women.

The story’s based on a graphic-novel entitled Alias, that Marvel released through one of their comic-book lines aimed at adults and from my brief knowledge of the publication it’s far more graphic than the Netflix production. These characters  have healthy sex-drives, but the production stays away from nudity and the coupling some times seems more like gymnastics than sex. Although violence is a constant in the show it’s comparative to a broadcast-network crime-drama’s and tamer than some.

The series could be rightfully titled “The Restoration And Reclamation Of Jessica Jones,” as the woman we meet at the onset of the series is just trying to make it through each day with a lot of help from her best friend Alcohol. She’s going through the motions as a private investigator, setting up part of her apartment as an office. The Jessica we first encounter’s a victim filled with self-loathing and seeing nothing but pain and ugliness everywhere she looks. It’s got nothing to do with her location it’s the demons inside her head that control her perception.

Jessica would be the lone survivor of a car accident that took the lives of her parents and her younger brother as a tween. This resulted in her being treated by some mysterious lab leaving her with super-strength and the ability to jump pretty high and far (although she tends to land awkwardly.) She also got adopted by the mother of one of her classmate’s Trish Walker, in a publicity ploy to get some goodwill from the audience of Trish’s sitcom “Patsy.”

Dorothy Walker’s the consummate “Stage-Mother From Hell,” constantly manipulating and abusing her daughter. The two girls form a lifelong bond not long after Jessica moved in with the Walkers, when Jessica stopped Dorothy from abusing her daughter by picking her up and throwing her against a wall like a rag-doll. Dorothy’s never forgiven her adopted daughter for that indignity, telling Jessica that her decision to adopt the girl had been the worst choice of her life.

As the girls become adults, Trish becomes one of New York City’s opinion-shapers hosting a highly rated daily radio talk-show, while Jessica goes through a series of menial jobs that are clearly beneath her. Walker’s always tried to convince Jones to use her abilities to help people in the guise of a superhero. Jessica rejects the spandex costume and name that Trish wants her to use, but comes to the aid of a young man when she sees him being beaten by three other guys one night on the street.

She easily takes out the trio and starts to tend to the victim when a rather dapper Englishman with a beautiful woman on each arm starts applauding her actions and calling out bravo. The man’s known as Kilgrave and he’s also gifted with abilities, he can get anybody to do anything he requests just by saying it, however he uses his abilities for nefarious purposes. He’s enchanted by Jessica and takes over her life for the next six-months via mind-control, effectively becoming the psychopath’s unwilling puppet.

The bond between controller and subject breaks when Kilgrave orders Jones to kill a woman who just provided him with a flash-drive buried underground in a steel box. Apparently Jessica’s mind snapped when she took the other woman’s life and started walking away from Kilgrave, who was so focused on commanding her to return he failed to see the city-bus that ran him over and seemingly killed him.

Suffering from PTSD and an experience that if she shared with doctors or law-enforcement would land her either in prison or a mental-hospital, Jessica attempts to rebuild her life as a gumshoe in Hell’s Kitchen. Most of her clients hire her to investigate their wives or husband’s to see if they’re stepping out on them, which often times lead to pretty angry clients when she confirms their suspicions.

The parents of a college coed and aspiring track star Hope Shlottman hire Jessica to help find their missing daughter who seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. Jones doesn’t take long to locate the missing young woman but she also discovers that Shlottman happened to be the latest plaything for Kilgrave. The psychopath also planted a goodbye present within Hope a command to shoot her parents to death upon their reunion. Shlottman’s immediately imprisoned for patricide and Jessica’s forced to deal with Kilgrave once again in order to clear Hope’s name and save her from a lifetime in prison.

The man that Jessica saved from the beating the night she first encountered Kilgrave, Malcolm Ducasse now lives in the same building she does and he’s dropped his dreams of being a social-worker, trading them for what lies at the end of a syringe. We’re also introduced to a dysfunctional brother and sister who appear to be in their early twenties as the sister Robin berates her brother Ruben loudly enough that it resonates throughout the entire building. Jones takes a trip upstairs to tell them to lower the volume and Robin looks upon her from that point onward as her mortal enemy while her brother crushes on Jessica hard.

Turns out that there’s a connection between Kilgrave and Malcolm as the Englishman’s not only controlling his mind, he’s supplying Ducasse with his daily fix making Ducasse doubly dependent on Kilgrave. In return Malcolm supplies him with a daily array of snapshots of Jessica. We find out in one scene that Kilgrave possesses hundreds if not thousands of shots of Jones just going about her business in the city unaware she’s being photographed.

Jessica makes the connection and she’s able to follow Malcolm to his meetings with Kilgrave in public venues, that Malcolm doesn’t even know the destination of until he’s told by some stranger from the street that Kilgrave ordered to contact him. Jones, Trish and Walker’s “Friend With Benefits” Will Simpson, attempt to take Kilgrave by surprise and imprison him until he agrees to clear Hope’s name. However their plan falls apart as Kilgrave hired a private security firm to protect him and they grab Kilgrave back.

It does however result in an uneasy truce between Jessica and Kilgrave, starting with an agreement that he’d stop controlling Malcolm in return for Jessica sending him a selfie every morning. Jones handcuffs Malcolm in her toilet and forces him to go cold-turkey to beat his addiction. She saves him once again however as Ducasse stays clean and he becomes perhaps the piece’s most empathetic character. After all that he experienced Malcolm still just wants to help other people.

Kilgrave’s convinced that he can get Jessica to love him without using any of his abilities. He buys her childhood home and recreates it to look exactly as it did when she left it before the accident that took her family in 1999. He assures her that he won’t use his mind-controlling powers on her at all, but if she hopes that he cooperate to gain Hope her freedom she has to agree to live with him willingly in the house. Jessica has some ground-rules such as he’s never to touch her but agrees to move in.

Jones actually gets Kilgrave to stop a tragedy in the making from happening in heroic fashion, as he orders a father and husband that’s holding his wife and children hostage with a rifle to let his family go and surrender to police. Kilgrave actually gets a rush from the look of gratitude he received from the mother after he saved her family. He proclaims that Jessica and he will become a team and he’ll become a hero.

Jessica brings back some takeout Chinese food back to the house to celebrate the days events and insists that the chef and housekeeper that Kilgrave has on staff join them for the meal. Jones’ laced both the chef and the housekeeper’s food with sedatives and when they collapse at the table she takes Kilgrave by surprise and knocks him out with a heavy anesthesia drug. When he wakes up he finds himself in a hermetically sealed room that cuts off his powers to the outside world. Jones has also installed what she refers to as a kill-switch, covering the room’s floor with water that comes up to Kilgrave’s ankles and a button that she can hit zapping him with enough electricity to send him to the floor shaking like a bowl of Jell-O.

We learn that Kilgrave acquired his powers through a series of experiments conducted on him when he was just a child in England. Albert and Louise Thompson a pair of highly trained scientists attempted to save their son Kevin from some mutation that left untreated would have according to them, left their son brain-dead at the age of twelve. Instead they introduced viruses into his system that kept him alive but the torture he went through as a child was horrendous. The experiment resulted in Kevin emitting a virus to all those around him forcing them to do what ever he wished, a very scary power for an angry ten-year-old boy who suffered through a nightmarish childhood to possess. He forced his mother to scorch her face with a hot iron after she yelled at him and the incident convinced Albert and Louise to abandon their child and run as far away as possible.

What ever moral-compass that Kevin would have retained had his parents stayed with him vanished when they did and the boy used his abilities at first to survive. To get enough food to last him through the day and a proper place to rest his head at night. However as he grew older his appetites grew with him, without anybody strong enough to refuse him took what ever and whom ever he wanted until he tired of them and then onto his next conquest.

Jessica locates Albert and Louise Thompkins and convinces them to go with her to see their son. Albert’s reticent at the thought to say the least but his wife convinces him that their son’s their responsibility. Jones secretly hopes that Kilgrave seeing his parents once again will cause him to lose his mind. However because of conflicting agendas of some of the characters, Kilgrave once again regains his freedom after ordering his mother to stab himself to death and for Albert to cut out his own heart.

Kilgrave got badly wounded in the exchange, stabbed and then shot in the same shoulder. He orders Jones’ attorney Jeri Hogarth into driving to the medical practice that she’s got the most confidence will keep this story from ever being know. Jeri drives to the home she shares with her soon to be former wife Wendy whose a physician and although the tension’s so thick in the room you could cut it with a chainsaw, Wendy patches Kilgrave up. Jeri’s intent in bringing Kilgrave to her home was to get him to “persuade” Wendy to sign divorce papers, but when the doorbell rings the psychopath orders Wendy to kill Jeri by stabbing her five thousand times and flees the scene. Wendy’s stopped and killed when Jeri’s secretary and girlfriend cracks her skull open with a stone figurine.

Kilgrave “persuades” the New York City District Attorney and a Judge to clear Hope of all the charges and Jessica’s to pick-up the college student when she gets released the following morning. However an incident occurs that keeps Jones from getting there on time and Shlottman once again falls into Kilgrave’s hands. He contacts Jessica to arrange a trade, he’s willing to give Jones the college student in exchange for his father. However Hope’s so intent on getting Jessica to terminate Kilgrave, she takes her own life by stabbing the stem of a wine glass into her throat.

No longer having any reason to restrain herself this sets up a fight to the finish between Jessica and Kilgrave. The psychopath becomes even stronger and more powerful and soon he’s able to control the minds of scores of people simultaneously. How does Jones defeat this demon, save New York City and the planet and regain her self-esteem in the process.

The role seems tailor-made for Krysten Ritter as she inhabits this character’s skin and lets us see beneath the bravado and snappy comebacks. We discover a woman who refuses to cut herself any slack for her actions while under Kilgrave’s control. One gets the feeling that Jessica would consider it a weakness to take herself out to end all her internal pain, but she would consider death a welcome relief from he daily battles against internal and external demons.

David Tennant does a superb job in the role of Kilgrave, many would have played the part broadly and bigger than life throughout the production. Tennant however plays Kilgrave as refined and a proper English gentleman, so the moments when he does chew the scenery pop and make an impact. Tennant plays the psychopath as charmingly as he portrayed the Time-Lord from Gallifrey, however without any of the whimsy and one can see the contempt bubbling under his skin.

Carrie-Ann Moss looks far more matronly than she did in the Matrix Trilogy and she’s far from being in fighting shape. However she still evokes fear from others in her portrayal of high-powered attorney Jeri Hogarth, a woman that’s every bit as evil and self-centered as Kilgrave. However she’s learned to play the system to make up for her lack of super-powers.

Mike Colter got introduced to Marvel fans as Luke Cage, a man with unbreakable skin and incredible strength who chooses to keep his abilities hidden from most. Jessica and Cage discover each have super-powers when they team-up in a bar-brawl which leads to a powerful sexual attraction between the couple after the fight ends. Cage’s story will be the subject of the next origin story that Netflix and Marvel present and he seems to be a pretty intriguing guy.

Eka Darville may bring the most humanity to the screen in the role of Malcolm. For the first half of the story Malcolm’s a member of the Walking Dead, he seems more like a piece of furniture than a person. However Malcolm makes the most of becoming clean and sober. He becomes one of Jessica’s staunchest allies and he believes in her even when she’s stopped believing in herself.

Jessica will be one of the stars of the Defenders along with Luke Cage and Matt Murdock, a production that’s scheduled to reach homes sometime in 2017. Halfway through this series, I wondered exactly how the creators of this story expected Jessica Jones to become a heroic member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There was no doubt that she had the physical skills to take on all comers, however was she strong enough mentally to overcome her self-doubts and to help others fight injustice? Jessica Jones answered the question to my satisfaction with this voiceover as the series concluded.

“They say everyone’s born a hero but if you let it, life will push you over the line until you’re a villain. Problem is you don’t always know always know that you’ve crossed that line. Maybe it’s enough that the world thinks I’m a hero. Maybe if I work long and hard, maybe I can fool myself.”


Daredevil: The Vigilante Becomes A Symbol

Photo Courtesy Of Netflix
Photo Courtesy Of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Father Lantom presides over Ben Urich’s funeral. Matt and Karen are present, but oddly enough, Foggy is not. Ellison even shows to pay his respects. Karen makes her way over to Doris to fall on the sword. She wants to take the blame for Ben’s death. Doris is glad to meet her. Ben spoke of her glowingly. He admired her relentless pursuit of the truth. Doris even said that if they had children, Ben would have wanted one like Karen. Karen feels guilty and wants to take responsibility but Doris isn’t buying what she’s shoveling.

Doris: Ben Urich never got pushed into doing anything he didn’t want to. (Doris reaches for Karen’s hand) He was a reporter. That’s what he lived for. (With tears in her eyes) And he passed doing what he loved. What he HAD TO DO. It was very nice meeting you Karen.

Matt and Karen return to the office. Despite the conversation with Doris, Karen still feels responsible. Compound that with the notion that Ben is dead because he visited Fisk’s mother. As did Karen. Also, there’s the whole issue of killing James Wesley, all resulting in not wanting to go home. Matt reassures her that he will keep her safe. And punish everyone who ever aided Fisk along with taking Fisk down himself.

Vanessa wakes up in Fisk’s home and finds him looking over financial numbers. Wesley put them together before he died and there is a discrepancy. The money set aside was to get Vanessa out of the country. She won’t leave without him and he is not ‘asking’. He’s decided to move the money back. As I’ve mentioned before, this is where Vanessa becomes Mrs. Bad Guy.

Fisk meets with Leland at another undisclosed location. Leland updates him on whose been paid off, zoning issues dealt with and the need to replace the funds from Madame Gao’s heroin trade. Fisk changes the subject on Gao and presents Leland with a form. A financial irregularity. At first, Leland plays the part. Moving money at the frequency he does, is bound to look off. Fisk gives him the opposite of the puppy dog face. Head tilted but serious. The when the jig is up, Leland comes clean.

Fisk: Your hand’s shaking.
Leland: That’s because it’s freezing out here.
Fisk: Then why are you sweating Leland?
Leland: Alright. Ok. Jesus. I thought you’d find out sooner or later. What’s a guy gonna do?

Fisk pokes to see if Leland killed Wesley. Then when that doesn’t seem likely, he moves over to Leland and Gao plotting against him. Potentially to kill him. Leland becomes more direct. He admits that the poisoning at the benefit was not meant for him. Telling Fisk they meant to kill Vanessa is about 1/2 a millimeter more acceptable than coming after his mother. This is the part where Leland thinks he can just talk his way to taking half of Fisk’s assets as if Fisk would let him walk away.

Leland believes hiding Detective Hoffman is enough of a disincentive. It’s cute really. If Leland doesn’t check in with Hoffman once every 24 hours, Hoffman goes to the feds. Here’s some juicy irony. The actor that plays Leland also played a character named Warden Norton in a celebrated movie called The Shawshank Redemption. For those few who haven’t seen it, Norton convinces a banker wrongfully accused to launder money in and out of the prison. That convict eventually steals most of his money and gets away. Leland believes that Hoffman + moving half of Fisk’s money offshore = a clean getaway. But like in The Shawshank Redemption, I have a feeling Bob Gunton’s character is about to get what’s coming to him.

After laying out his plan, Leland expected Fisk to accept losing half and letting the man responsible for almost killing Vanessa walk. Fisk didn’t see it that way. Leland tazed Fisk, but that really only made him more angry. This wasn’t even about the money. Fisk was never going to let the person go that tried to take Vanessa out. So Fisk took Leland out. Shoving him off the floor of the building they were standing on.

Matt hits a heavy bag hard and with emotion when Foggy walks into Jack Murdock’s old gym. Matt notices him and slows down for a moment. Then he continues as Foggy points out that maybe he has some anger issues to talk out. To which Matt replies, “You’re not my priest Foggy, a man you could’ve met if you showed up to Ben’s funeral”. Foggy’s excuse for missing the funeral was to pick up documents that Marcy has been copying ‘on the quiet’ from Landman and Zach implicating what Fisk has been doing. Instead of being pleased, Matt is anything but. Matt feels he needs to be the one to end this, so that no one else gets hurt.

Foggy: The last time you went after Fisk I found you half dead. More than half. You go after him in the mask again he might kill you. Or you might kill him, which might have the same effect on someone as Catholic as you.
Matt: What am I supposed to do? How do I stop him?
Foggy: By using the law. Like you told me and Karen to do. That’s how we take him down.
Matt (quietly and slowly): We…? Thought Nelson and Murdock were over?
Foggy: There’s nothing I want more than to get back to where we were, but I don’t know if we can.
Matt: No. We can’t. But maybe we can find a way to move forward, Foggy.

And just like that, Nelson and Murdock are at least working together again. While talking to Mahoney outside, Matt overhears one of the other cops walking past talking about finding Hoffman at Fisk’s behest and that Leland is somehow connected. Back at the office, their typical banter returns and Karen could not be happier to have all three of them talking again. The funny part though, is that Karen is the only one at the table still outside the loop. Which allows Foggy to drop little shots at Matt right in front of her. “It’ll show that the Man in the Mask isn’t the a*****e everybody thinks he is.”

They slip up mentioning a connection to Leland. Karen asks how they knew. Insert any situation in TV or film you’ve ever seen where two people try to tell the same story and completely mess it up in a comedic fashion. Painfully funny. Karen discovers something odd. Landman and Zach liquidated one property but no money changed hands. Matt gets up to leave and Foggy confronts him.

Matt: I know how you feel about what I do, but this is where law meets reality.

Fisk gets a call and order that there be no survivors. A guy walks through an alley. Inside the barren building are two feds with Hoffman sitting at a folding table. Before Hoffman can grab his meatball sub from the kid, two cops break in and open fire. They take everyone out except Hoffman. Both cops point their guns at Hoffman. Hoffman closes his eyes. There is sound of gunfire but nothing finds Hoffman. He opens his eyes in time to see the man in the mask go full on Tekken on his cop colleague.

Without a word, Matt pulls out a folding chair. Matt gives him the option of turning States Evidence on Fisk. Or wait to be killed. Fisk owns the cops, but he doesn’t own Mahoney and Mahoney knows a few lawyers who can’t be bought. Hoffman refuses. Matt tosses the card table and punches Hoffman in the face. I’ll follow you to make sure you get to the precinct safe.

Matt and Foggy bookend Hoffman across from the D.A. and staff. Matt informs the D.A. that their client will waive immunity based on the notion that he deeply regrets his involvement if Fisk’s criminal enterprise. Hoffman from the beginning spills everything. Matt slowly turns his head to look up at Karen. Ironic, I know, but still a nice moment.

What follows is a montage of the feds taking down those under Fisk’s thumb. Staring with Turk. Then dirty cops. Then a shot of Ellison at the Bulletin. The feds walk right past him and pick up his desk editor instead. In a parking garage an executive of Landman and Zach gets picked up with Marcy watching from her car. The one senator Hoffman knew of. Vanessa stands awkwardly while Fisk barks into his phone. Vanessa wants to run, but Fisk knows the next step cannot be prevented. He asks her to do something for him. She nods, but we never hear what the something was. As the fed s bang down his door, Wilson fumbles a marriage proposal as they haul him away. She kisses him as he’s pulled away. i.e. Mrs. Bad Guy. Fisk is lead through a media gaggle and into the back of a transport truck with four agents inside with him.

Matt, Foggy and Karen have a celebratory drink in the office.

Fisk monologues in the truck about a biblical story about an abused traveler. It’s the Good Samaritan story if you’d like to Google it. He says all of this to say that despite what he once thought, Wilson Fisk is not the Good Samaritan of this particular story.

Guard: What the hell does that mean?
Fisk: It means that I…AM NOT THE SAMARITAN. I am not the priest. I am the ill intent. That set upon the traveler who was on a road he should not have been on.

The entire motorcade comes to a screeching halt. The back doors to a truck open and guards or SWAT in riot gear open fire on the cops and feds trailing the truck. A full on fire fight. Once the news gets back to Nelson and Murdock, they all depart the office. The guards in riot gear get to Fisk’s truck and knock on the back door. One of the two guards threaten to put a bullet in Fisk’s head if they don’t back off. The other guard inside the truck actually puts a bullet in guard 1’s head. Fisk simply walks through the carnage as if this was all part of the plan.

Matt took a cab to meet with Mr. Potter. He is reluctant to say that the suit is completely finished. The black parts provide the most protection. The red might deflect a knife. Might not. Matt is gracious and says it will do just fine. Mr. Potter prevents him from closing the case to ask if Betsy will be safe from Fisk.

Man in the Mask: I made you a promise. I intend to keep it.

Standing on the rooftop (nothing new) we find a relative silhouette of Matt Murdock looking over the streets below. There is something different but the lighting prevents us from seeing it. The camera pans around and lands on a close up of Matt’s face listening to the sound of a police radio. Matt hears the line ‘the package is en route’.

Fisk’s team makes a stop to switch trucks. Fisk takes a phone call. Vanessa is standing outside next to a helicopter ready to evacuate on Fisk’s word. Fisk vows they will never be apart. This is just an inconvenience. Just as Fisk’s escort believes they are in the clear, a ‘stick’ crashes through the truck’s windshield. The truck topples over. The back door opens and Fisk walks out, then he falls to his knees when he hears a thud. The sound of something landing on the truck.


Daredevil: You were right. You told me on the radio that night, not everyone deserves a happy ending.

The suit is a symbol, no doubt about it. And not to take away from the big reveal, but I think I will always be partial to the ‘Man in the Black Mask’ look over the ‘Daredevil’ look. The guard that was in there with Fisk unloads bullets like they were free. Daredevil pulls something out that we haven’t seen yet. We’ve seen him use sticks. But until now, we had never seen the stick the comic book fans are accustomed to . The dark red walking stick that detaches. One more time. The suit is impressive as Daredevil pursues Fisk on foot.

Fisk (cornered): I wanted to make this city something better than it is. Something beautiful. YOU TOOK THAT AWAY FROM ME! YOU TOOK EVERYTHING! I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!
Daredevil: Take your shot.

The fight favors Daredevil out of the gate, but Fisk fights back. Head butts and body tosses. Brut fighting indicative of the Kingpin we all know. Fisk gets arrogant and the tide turns but only for a moment. Fisk’s use of a pipe conveys to Matt that it wouldn’t be ungentlemanly to go back to using his stick. The blows go back and forth. Eventually Fisk is able to get some combo shots in an raises Daredevil in that classic pose up over his head. Fisk drops him to the ground. Fisk begins hitting Matt while he’s down and at the same time yelling about his better tomorrow. Matt focuses and leg locks Fisk’s right arm. Then Matt pulls him closer with his legs. “This is my city. My family.”

The fight is very one-sided now in favor of the Daredevil. From his knees, Fisk asks Daredevil if he thinks any of this will make a difference. He stands still then yells out as he charges Fisk. Daredevil jumps in the air and delivers the knockout punch to the top of Fisk’s head. Just then, Mahoney arrives on scene.

Daredevil: I told you before sergeant, I’m not the bad guy.
Mahoney: Holy s***, it’s you.
Daredevil: This man was a fugitive from the law and I stopped him. So…we good?
Mahoney (Later handcuffing Fisk): So, what do I call you when I fill out my report?
(Daredevil runs up and over fire escapes so to not answer that question)

Mahoney reaches for his radio. Calls in that he’s found Fisk and the location. Says nothing about the man in red and black leather with horns on his mask standing before him.

Vanessa stands by the helicopter. There is no audio, but it’s clear her detail is adamant about getting her out of there. She pulls the large engagement ring out of her pocket, puts it on her ring finger, and reluctantly gets in the helicopter.

The next morning Karen reads on the front page of the Bulletin that “Daredevil Collars Fisk”. While Matt and Foggy laugh about the name, Karen insists that its much better than “the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen”. They all stand outside to relish in the visual of the Nelson and Murdock Attorneys at Law sign up on the building where it belongs.

Foggy races off to meet with Marcy to help her find a new job since most of Landman and Zach are under indictment. Karen attempts to go inside when Matt stops her. Matt has sensed for some time (I’m going to assume since the night she killed Wesley) that there was something in her voice. Something he assumed would go away once they took down Fisk. She deflects in a way that suggests, they will never get back to normal. Matt plays along.

Matt: It’s like I told Foggy. All we can do is move forward together.

Fisk stands in a white prison jumpsuit and sits on the rickety prison bed. Starring at a blank wall angrily. The wall of course resembling very similarly the painting “A Rabbit in a Snowstorm”.

Daredevil stands on a rooftop looking over his city. He hears a woman scream out. Separates his staff and leaps off the building in that ever so familiar pose.

Daredevil season 1 has been a joy to cover and may in time change the way television is presented. In my humble opinion, if it is not nominated for at least 3 Emmy’s than the award system is officially broken. For discussion sake, I would put Daredevil up against any show that has aired on television or any other format over the last 12 months minimum. All things considered, Daredevil may just be Marvel’s best work thus far. Everyone loves The Avengers, but this was the adaptation comic book fans have been waiting for.

All is not lost with the conclusion of this instant classic. Daredevil was part one of a four-part 2015 rollout from Marvel in partnership with Netflix. Yet to come this calendar year are such titles as “AKA Jessica Jones”, “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist” all supposedly culminating in a Defenders series to follow. Congratulations Marvel fans, it seems the scope of the Marvel Cinematic and now Television Universe are ever-expanding. Some day it will be hard to remember a time when Marvel wasn’t a major contributor to our entertainment focus.

Photo Courtesy Of Netflix
Photo Courtesy Of Netflix

Keeping The Fat Lady Quiet: The Battle To Save Forever

Photo Courtesy Of ABC
Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alerts

It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings.”

With apologies to the Bard: I come to praise “Forever,” not to bury it. Although the ABC network declined to renew the Warner Bros. TV series for a second season, the show’s rabid fan-base have yet to give up the fight for this magical show. Some folks just don’t know when to quit and thankfully the incredibly loyal fans of Forever, fall into that category.

Rather than accept the fate handed down by ABC, they have circled their wagons and banded together, to send a message to the studio, that the show must go on. They have taken to Twitter, Facebook and other social-media sites, to spread the word and to recruit others for their fight.

Television viewers get disappointed constantly, by shows that look great on paper but fail to live up to expectations. However, when a series hits the airwaves, firing on all eight-cylinders and leaving viewers with a smile on their faces as the episodes concludes, it needs to be recognized as something special and given time to find an audience. ABC had such a show in Forever, but they lacked the foresight or the patience to allow the show to blossom and fulfill its destiny, to join the ranks of the best shows in the history of the medium.

There’s a laundry list of reasons that Forever never acquired a huge audience, but those problems lie at the feet of the network. ABC scheduled the show in a time-slot they’d gotten walloped in, during the previous three seasons. Rather than concentrate on the fact that the series brought far more viewers to the network than any of its predecessors in the three previous campaigns, they expected a freshman series to defeat a Top-Twenty show, like Person Of Interest?

The network also failed to market the show properly. After trotting the series out on the internet a few weeks before it aired and promoting the series strongly, ABC nearly abandoned the show after weak numbers in its third outing. They packed up the circus and moved it down the road, even taking Forever off the network’s website’s landing page. Although the show brought in some big-name actors, among them Billy Baldwin, Jane Alexander and Academy Award winning actor Cuba Gooding, ABC failed to promote the show.

In this cookie-cutter age of Television, ABC had a unique series that they didn’t know how to market.  Is it a procedural, a love story, a sci-fi/fantasy story, yes it’s all those but doesn’t really fit into any pre-designated slot. Series creator Matt Miller gave life to a universe centered around Dr. Henry Morgan, a NYCPD Medical Examiner with a bit of a secret. He’s lived for over 235-years and regenerates every time he’s killed. Brilliantly portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd, we witnessed life through Morgan’s eyes for 22-episodes, taking us on a trip through time as well as exploring the life he’s built, in the present.

The secret for entertaining television, is quite simple in concept, yet so hard to achieve in reality: Great writing and acting. They assembled a cast of very talented actors, who had incredible chemistry together. Anchored by veteran actor Judd Hirsch, playing Morgan’s adopted son Abraham and Alana De La Garza, as Henry’s partner Detective Jo Martinez, the supporting cast’s consists of flesh and blood, three-dimensional characters. They refused to settle for stereotypical characters, on most shows, Detective Mike Hanson, (Donnie Keshawarz) would constantly be busting Morgan’s assistant Lucas Wahl’s (Joel David Moore) chops, as a comic-relief device. However the characters developed a mutual respect and affection for each other.

During Forever’s first season we followed Morgan back through history starting in the early 19th Century, when Henry got shot in the heart, trying to save the life of a slave. When his body got thrown off the ship he was killed on, he miraculously returned to life, a situation he’s since gone through countless times over the past 200-years.

We watched Morgan get betrayed by his first wife Nora, whose fear caused her to get him committed to an asylum, then we saw Henry give his heart to another woman in 1945. She would turn into the love of his life, Henry’s English Rose, Abigail. Stationed in Germany as World War II concluded, they found a healthy infant boy in Auschwitz and raised him as their own. Seventy years later that boy, now resembles Henry’s father, more than Morgan’s son.

The show resolved what happened to Abigail, who left Morgan in 1985 and at least temporarily have subdued Henry’s fellow immortal Adam. Although we perceive Adam as a psychopath, he explains himself as the results of a decent guy living for two thousand years. Unlike Morgan, Adam looks at his prolonged stay on Earth as a curse and he has no regard for the value of human life. In the season-finale, Morgan injected Adam with some chemical concoction, that made the immortal a prisoner in his own body. He has no control of his body, yet he’s fully aware of all that goes on about him.

Morgan’s partner Jo Martinez, called Morgan out in the closing moments of the finale, asking him to explain his recent behavior as well as a photo from the forties, as he stands next to Abigail, whose got Abraham in her arms. Season one concludes with Henry saying to Jo “It’s a long story…”

Matt Miller and his writing team, did a nice job of wrapping things up in the series final couple of episodes. If a season two for Forever is not on the horizon, then the crew has a wonderful season that can be preserved in amber, with each fan creating their own version of the upcoming conversation between Jo and Henry.

However fans of this wonderful series, including this fan, are not ready to give up the fight for Forever quite yet. Three Facebook/Twitter pages, dedicated to the series have banded together, trying to find a new home for the series. They have set up a petition that you can sign, asking Warner Bros. TV to keep Forever alive. You can also visit and join all three pages on Facebook: Forever Fan Page, Foreverists Group for Forever Fans and The Official Ioan Gruffudd Group.

Show runner Matt Miller is aware of and supports these efforts. They are concentrating on talks with Netflix, Hulu and TNT, among others at present. Forever deserves a better fate than for it to get discovered as a “Lost Classic,” in ten or twenty years. The cast and crew of Forever, have just skimmed the surface in this first season, hopefully Warner Bros. TV will keep Forever alive.

Daredevil: Casualties Of A War Not Yet Fought

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Karen walks outside of wherever Wesley took her. She stands at the water’s edge. With a gaze that seems to say, “I’ve been here before” she tosses the gun into the river. Back in her apartment she chugs what looks like Scotch or Whiskey before jumping in the shower to was the guilt off. She passes out in her bed but then wakes from a dream only to find Wilson Fisk in her apartment. He monologues to her about the weight of taking a life. Then he tells her, it gets easier. Then she woke up. For real this time.

Karen still has the jumps when Foggy returns to the office for the first time in days. He can sense something’s off, but Karen keeps it to herself. They jokingly talk about drinking vs something harder and eventually agreeing to do neither. Foggy rejects addressing the issue at hand but assures her that it will get better. And they will take down Fisk. Then Matt arrives and there is an awkward moment where both men say nothing.

Vanessa wakes up. In her groggy state, Fisk informs her of what happened and apologizes for it. He then moves into his plans to have her taken out of the country for her own protection. When she discovers that Fisk will not be joining her, she refuses. She knew the risks going in and will continue to stay by his side. This is the transition from interested romantic endeavor to ‘Mrs. Bad Guy’.

Vanessa: I’ll be right here.
Fisk: I’ll make them pay for what they’ve done.
Vanessa: I expect nothing less.

Fisk gets the news from one of his men that they have ‘located’ Wesley. Another of his men explains as much as he knew, then Fisk viciously assaulted him. Fisk takes a seat next to Wesley while he speaks to Leland. Leland tries to keep him focused but Fisk needs to know who did this.

Matt as the man in the mask pops in on Urich asking about Madame Gao’s little packets of heroine. Following the heroin leads to a money trail which may not take Fisk down, but might upset him enough to make a mistake. Gao’s delivery men now become the focus. Matt will have to travel during business hours.

Urich: You might stick out.
Matt: I’ll dress down. Its cold out, you should get a better coat.
Urich: You should get a better outfit, if you’re going to keep running around.
Matt: I’m working on it.

Foggy meets with Marcy at Josie’s bar, which she is not thrilled about. The second Foggy mentions Fisk by name, Marcy tries to leave. Conflict of interest as Landman and Zack represent Fisk. At first, Marcy toes the company line. Then Foggy asks if she’s noticed anything strange. That seems to change her tune, slightly.

Karen finds Urich at home and tells him she thinks they know. Fisk and his people may have the information that they went to visit Fisk’s mother. Karen desperately wants the story out before they can move on her or Ben. Then Karen references the information Ben found when he did digging on her. Fisk’s people will find that just as easy.

Matt stands on a street corner listening. Then as anticipated, a blind delivery person walks by. Blind walking stick and all. He gets into a car and rides away. Matt turns down an alley slowly, then tosses his stick and begins running, jumping and scaling buildings. I’ve been wondering how many of those walking stick Matt goes through. He seems to discard them regularly. At an undisclosed location Matt hears their secret knock and hears the delivery person enter.

Fisk picks his mother up from her nice residence to relocate her to Italy. She’s not all there. She’s falls in and out of the topic at hand. What she and Wesley spoke of on the phone the day before.

Urich brings the story to Ellison (editor) and he is met with the same resistance we’ve come to expect from Ellison. Ellison takes a jab by calling Ben a whore, which is ironic because Ellison essentially told him to do just that earlier in the season. Ellison suspends Ben and tries to walk away.

Ellison: Fisk is spending millions trying to rebuild this city, maybe you should write about that.
Erich: How much is he paying you? Ever since Union Allied, I can’t get a story about what’s really going on in the city to print. So how much is he paying you to keep it that way?
Ellison: You know what forget the suspension. Clean out your desk. I’m done trying to help you.

Matt drops in on Madame Gao’s operation. Lurking in the shadows, he takes out the sighted people on duty. It takes a while, but Matt figures out they are all blind right about the time Gao recognizes the man in the mask. She yells out something in Chinese, then all the blind workers turn on him. Somehow he eludes them and chases after Gao and her two security men. He takes them out and is left facing Gao.

Gao informs Matt that all the workers blinded themselves out of faith for something beyond “your world”. Matt slowly approaches Gao’s personal space demanding to hear what she knows about Fisk when the decrepit old lady de-cleated Matt with minimal effort. Inside the facility is burning down. Matt grabs one of the sighted staff and orders him get the blind out of there.

Upon his escape, Sgt. Mahoney walks up behind Matt and demands he freeze. When the opportunity presented itself, Matt takes it. Distracting Mahoney with a flying piece of wood. With him down, Matt explains that he did not kill Blake or any other cops. Blake and Hoffman were dirty and working for Fisk. By the time Mahoney looks over his shoulder, Matt is gone.

Gao meets with Leland. They are in cahoots with the poisoning of Vanessa. Removing the distraction was the primary goal. Not to take out Fisk. Gao is completely oblivious to the Wesley issue. Gao decides to take her leave to her ‘homeland’. Leland assumes she means China.

Gao: It is a considerable distance further.

Ben Urich visits his wife in the hospital. He is slightly distraught over the recent events of losing his job, but Doris redirects his attention. He’s a reporter and needs to report.

Matt arrives at the office worn down to find the door locked and Karen on the other side of it. She is visibly upset. Then she asks the question.

Karen: Is this what we are now? Three people who won’t even speak to each other?
Matt: I was close with this guy once. He told me I would have to push the people I love away, if I want to be good at what I do.
Karen: Seems like you listened.
Matt: I thought I didn’t. This guy, he has a way of getting in your head. Now here’s the thing, I had a really s***y night. The kind where you think you’ve seen the bottom of humanity. And the pit keeps getting deeper. You know? I-I…I can’t…I can’t do this alone. I can’t. I can’t take…another step.
Karen: You’re not alone. You never were.

Ben comes home with every intention of writing his story and posting it to a blog when the camera pans to reveal Fisk sitting in the room. He’s calm and reserve. Fisk even apologizes for underestimating him. Fisk admits to having people at the paper in his pocket. Then the table turns when Fisk asks about meeting his mother. After accepting that Urich was not behind Wesley’s death, he moves on to the unforgivable act of going after his mother.

Fisk: That was my mother you brought into this, so ….I’m not here to threaten you. I’M HERE TO KILL YOU.

Fisk lunges at Urich and in only a few moments has strangled the life out of Ben Urich. Urich lies there lifeless as Fisk walks past him stepping on and breaking a picture from of Ben and Doris.

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Daredevil: Every Action Has A Consequence

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We begin with Fisk carrying Vanessa into the emergency room of a hospital. Wesley has called for their doctor to fly in to circumvent the standard of this particular E.R. Like most loved ones in a hospital on a television show, Fisk gets rather forceful about going in with Vanessa. But the dainty nurse is not having it.

Karen visits Matt at home, he reluctantly opens the door. Matt tries to shrug off her questions but is unsuccessful. Karen swiftly transitions to her lead of Fisk’s mother’s marriage license. Upon hearing Karen and Ben traveled to the swanky hospice center where she resides, Matt turned to his older brother tone disapproving of the risk. The information that Fisk killed his father at 12 years old and they covered it up is intriguing, but just hearsay. Before she leaves Matt shows concern for Foggy and tries like a juvenile to get her to speak to Foggy for him. Then rescinds the request.

Foggy wakes up in Marcy’s bed. Foggy tells her he’s not going to work today. Or any day soon as long as Matt’s involved. Thankfully, she wants no part of that drama.

Fisk sits alone in the E.R. waiting room surrounded by his security. Wesley and Leland observe him from a distance. Leland is skeptical that business can continue if this Vanessa situation goes south. Wesley is content to ride things out.

Wesley: She’ll make it.
Leland: Do you have a med degree in your pocket I don’t know about?
Wesley: Because she has to.

Claire makes a house call to fix Matt’s stitches. Matt asks her if she’d like a drink. She declines. There is a part of Claire that is really into Matt on a romantic level, but the practical side of her won’t allow herself to get too close. There is some flirtatious banter which opens up to the ‘us vs. you saving the city’. This is another great difference between Daredevil (on Netflix) and most other superhero romance storylines. Normally, the hero finds or gets the girl. Then experiences romantic bliss. Then something bad happens forcing them to make a decision or break it off to protect them. In Daredevil they almost went from first date to break it off in one step. And the beauty is that Claire is the one deciding to say no, not Matt. At least for now.

Karen meets with Ben who is still very cross with her for preying on his wife’s condition to get him to accompany her to the care facility up state. The story has holes. And if not holes, it has areas Fisk can come back from. This needs to be handled appropriately. Something Karen is oblivious to. The ‘food poisoning’ issue is interesting. Ben believes someone is trying to get to Fisk. He’s not completely wrong. And there is some speculation that Fisk might have his clutches in the media, even The Bulletin.

At the hospital, Fisk is spinning worst case scenarios in his mind. After finally realizing that he is not complete alone, the prospect of losing Vanessa is paralyzing. Wesley tries to keep things calm. Until they know for certain, Wesley doesn’t trust anyone. Then Fisk orders Wesley to find who did this so he can look him in the eyes before salting the earth with their blood. Fisk plans on having Vanessa sent away, far from him and Hell’s Kitchen if she survives. Wesley is the only person Fisk trusts implicitly and instructs him to move the money himself, not to delegate it to Leland. Dr. Rosenberg delivers what appears to be good news.

Matt visits Father Lantom. Matt informs him that he did indeed try to kill the man they spoke of earlier but failed. Then Matt asks if Lantom knows who he is. Lantom is not stupid. He knows the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen has been seeking theological insight from time to time.

Lantom: Yes Matthew, I’m not an idiot, I have a pretty good idea of who you are. And what you do. How you do it, is something else entirely.
Matt: Accident. When I was a kid. I used to think it was God’s will.
Lantom: Used to?
Matt: Yeah, he made each of us with a purpose. A reason for being?
Lantom: I believe so, yes.
Matt: Then why did he put the Devil in me? Why do I feel it in my heart and in my soul? Clawing to be let out?

During meditation Matt plays back both fights in his head. Still stitched and bruised he heads back to his Dad’s trunk. Outside, Matt runs down Turk Barrett. Matt wants information about the armor Fisk wears and thinks Turk will give it up.

In the hospital room Fisk ignores a call from his mother, kisses Vanessa and walks out. Fisk asks Wesley if he will return the call and get her what she needs. Leland pushes through security, attempts to say something sincere in regards to Vanessa, the Fisk turns to go back in the room. After Leland huffs and puffs for a moment, he explains that it seems Gao is still on their side.

Wesley calls Marlene back to discover that she is aware and much less ‘not all there’ as Karen would like to believe. She tells Wesley that two people came to visit her.

Matt follows the information Turk gave him and finds the garage of a certain, “Mr. Potter”. In the garage that I imagine smells and feels like a garage, Matt finds ‘dress forms’ with a peculiar material over them. The garage door opens slowly. Mr. Potter pops open a Yoohoo and seems very excited about it. Then he notices something. As if his dress form has been tampered with. He turns slowly to find the man in the mask standing before him.

Mr. Potter says one thing. “You shouldn’t be here” before trying to fight his way out of this situation. Mr. Potter can handle himself. He grabs Matt’s face with both hands and lifts as high as he can. “You shouldn’t be here” again. Mr. Potter fights like a man with something to lose. Eventually, Matt gets him in a sleeper hold. Not enough to knock him out, just enough to bring him to his knees. Then this man who fought valiantly sits hunched over on the floor sobbing. “He’s gonna hurt her”.

Previously, Leland insinuated that Mr. Potter was, shall I say, mentally challenged. It appears there may be something to that. The ‘her’ in question is a woman named Betsy. She helps him when he gets confused. Matt then warms his tone and speaks to Mr. Potter as two civilized men. At the end of which, Matt asks Mr. Potter to make him a similar suit. Not a formal suit with a vest or a tie, but a ‘symbol’. If Mr. Potter makes Matt a suit, Matt promises to get Fisk out of his life. To keep Betsy safe. Get ready ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Potter is about to make the red Daredevil suit we are accustomed to and expected to see at some point. I’m definitely going to miss the ‘man in the black mask’ though.

Karen finds Foggy at Josie’s bar and he is not sober. He’s not giving her anything to go with her questions which Karen is finding increasingly frustrating. She effectively guilt trips him on Fisk and Mrs. Cardenas, but he doesn’t move. Yet. Outside she calls Matt and leaves a message asking them both to remove their heads from an unmentionable region. Next she calls Urich. He tries to console the tears in her voice while not committing to writing the story. Then she thanks him. Essentially for picking up the phone and not dodging the conversation.

Fisk sits at the foot of Vanessa’s hospital bed speaking to her as if she were awake. The topic of conversation is faith and God. As a child, he read about God and mimicked the verbiage, but it was all fake. So he cannot pray for her. But there is something he can do.

Fisk: All I can do is make you a promise. One that not even God, if there is such a thing, cannot prevent me from keeping. The people who did this to you, they will suffer. (kisses her hand) They will suffer.

Karen returns home just in time to be kidnapped with a chloroform napkin. When she awakes, she is groggy and met by Wesley. He speaks about her deal that was supposed to make her go away. And that she made a decision. And that decision is what brought to this current situation. As the conversation continues, we discover that James Wesley does not share his boss’ affection for Hell’s Kitchen. Then he drops the bombshell that Fisk loves this city, almost as much as he loves his mother. That got her attention. Instead of killing her, Wesley tries to offer her a job. She rejects the proposal by saying she’d rather die first. Wesley slowly informs her that she would not be the first to die. First would be Ben Urich. Then Nelson and Murdock. Then her family and friends. Then, they’ll come for her.

Wesley’s phone rings and he looks down just long enough for Karen to steal the gun he foolishly left on the table. The phone keeps ringing while Karen points the gun at Wesley.

Wesley: Ms. Page, do you really think I would leave a loaded gun on the table?
Karen: I don’ t know. Do you really think this is the first time I’ve shot someone?
Wesley (as he begins to stand up): Ms. Page…

Karen puts one bullet in his shoulder knocking him back down. He looks up at her surprised and confused. Then she puts seven more bullets in his chest. Wesley’s phone starts ringing again. Karen wipes off the table, grabs the gun and runs out.

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Daredevil: The Betrayal That Could Derail A Friendship, Permanently

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Matt wakes up the day following the significant beating he took at the hands of Nobu and Fisk. He is bloody but stitched up. He begins to sit up when he is met with a familiar but uncharacteristically stern. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Then again, what do I know Matt Murdock”.

Flashback to college the first day Matt and Foggy met. Foggy is a college grunge caricature of himself. Matt looks exactly like he should assuming an early to late 1990s timetable. Here’s where the Foggy taking Punjabi gag begins. The sequence ends with Foggy making a Maverick and Goose reference and saying “no secrets”.

Back to the no funny, extremely upset Foggy. After more hurtful questions about whether Matt can actually see or not, and another compliment about Claire, Foggy’s cross-examination leads to whether Matt did all those things the news reported came at the hand of the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. In the heat of addressing Matt’s friendship betrayal, Karen calls. Matt naturally wants her out of the loop, while Foggy believes she deserves to know. Begrudgingly, Foggy attempts to lie to Karen and it is considerably awkward. At the conclusion of the call, Foggy demands to know everything.

Madame Gao meets Fisk on a rooftop green space. Gao tells a story of a snake betrayed by its ambition attempting to eat an elephant. Fisk’s ambition is still focused, but at the same time distracted since beginning things with Vanessa. Gao strongly suggests Fisk decide between their venture or Vanessa.

In one of the few lucid and affectionate moments between Urich and his wife. Feeling any number of emotions about his wife’s state and still trying not to show it, he speaks about pulling back and not rocking the boat. She replies with a great line.

Doris Urich: Your name is Ben Urich. And you are a reporter. It’s not a job, it’s who you are.

Matt directs Foggy to his father’s old chest. Inside there is plenty of Battlin’ Jack gear, but below it is the Daredevil gear. The question of how Matt can do what he does considering his handicap comes up and Matt bring Stick into the conversation. Stick told him that sight was a distraction and with the right training could hone his other senses. Foggy wants to know exactly what he can do.

Foggy: What things to just know.
Matt: I know that you haven’t showered since yesterday morning. But you rinsed your face in my kitchen sink. I know you had onions in your lunch yesterday. I know you’re hungry. And tired. And I know the more I say, the faster your heart beats.

The heartbeat thing sends Foggy over the top. An invasion of sorts. Knowing when a person is lying or not and playing along seems to be out-of-bounds for Foggy.

Flashback to college again. Foggy seems a little tipsy. They talk about the big things they will do someday. Then Foggy asks what lawyer is in Spanish. Matt replies with “abogado”. To which Foggy responds with “EL GRANDE AVOCADOS”. The Punjabi gag continues. Foggy asks if Matt gets the spins when he gets drunk. Matt’s response is much more informed to the medical explanation that one might think. Then he almost slips. He’s about to say, “I think it’s worse for me because my senses are so…” Matt’s Dad wanted him to use his head not his fists. Foggy’s mother wanted him to be a butcher. Their conversation eventually moves into what they want out of their career. As in money vs helping people. The foundation of their relationship. Up until this point.

Foggy: We’re going to be the best damn Avocados this city’s ever seen.

Ben is battling with his own conscience. His wife’s condition, the ever-changing approach by media, the offer to move up and become an editor, but there is still that itch to take down the big bad guy. In the office, Karen finds a shoe box on her desk. Ben walks around the corner unannounced. An illustration that Karen is not being as careful as she should be. Inside the shoe box is everything Ben has on the Fisk story. Karen doesn’t want it. She wants Ben to keep doing what he does. Ben is all but checked out. The old dog sensing the end is near.

Ben hands her a Hospice Care brochure. The plan is to spend the remaining time his wife has at her side. Karen asks Ben to take a ride. When they arrive, it’s very ritzy place. Karen and Ben walk through the halls and eventually stop at a ‘random’ door. The woman seems like not all cylinders are firing but is pleasant. Karen keeps asking leading questions. She has an agenda here. They get the woman’s first marriage to a drunk. Then the woman mentions her son. When asked for his name, she says, “Wilson”. The ball starts rolling a lot faster. “It wasn’t his fault. Wilson…he just wanted him to stop”.

Foggy asks Matt about the junkie that killed Mrs. Cardenas. Then follows that up with the question of how far have you taken it? Matt honestly relays that he went to a warehouse intending to kill a man, but was unsuccessful. Then we have another flashback to their time as interns at Landman and Zack. The Plaintiff’s representation (representing Roxxon for all the glorious nerds out there) and circumventing the intention of the law to get away not paying out damages in a civil suit.

Foggy is excited to report that rumor has it, Landman and Zack are going to offer them the job they’ve been working towards. Then Matt gives him the look. This is the hard sell of morality. Foggy quietly walks across the small office/closet and grabs a box.

Matt: What are you doing?
Foggy: I going fill this box with as many bagels as I can fit. With you as my partner, there’s no telling when I’ll have a real meal again.

Foggy asks when did it all start. Matt tells a story that runs from about nine years old until they quit Landman and Zack. His heightened senses revealed how much bad was happening around him. Then one night he heard the cries of a little girl. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, the father of this girl would…take advantage of her innocence. Matt called Child Services as a good lawyer would. But it did nothing. Matt studied the man’s routine. When he was alone, one night with the backdrop of trains, Matt took action. Matt beat him senseless and warned him not to touch his daughter again.

Meanwhile, Fisk is speaking to group at a benefit. Afterwards, Leland tells Fisk ‘it’s been taken care of’ before grabbing a glass of champagne. He passes a glass to Vanessa. She takes a sip and instantly looks ill. A man across the room falls from his seat. Then bodies start falling over all around, foaming at the mouth. Then falls Vanessa.

Matt: We don’t live in a fair world, we live in this one. I’m just trying to make my city a better place.
Foggy: Sounds like what Fisk has been saying.

While Matt’s words are being twisted, his intentions are honorable, but Foggy can’t get past the betrayal and the fallout that would surely follow if Matt was taken down. This line of dialogue gets Matt misty from emotion when he says, “This city needs me in that mask.” To which Foggy replies, “Maybe it does, but I don’t.” The big bottom line reveal comes when Foggy tells Matt that he would not have kept this from him.

Foggy returns to the office to find the sign they had professionally made that reads, “Nelson and Murdock Attorneys At Law” and throws it in the trash.

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Daredevil: The Devil Is In The Details

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We begin tonight’s episode with the man in the mask fighting a ninja like character in a red hood. This feels like a flashback, so we’ll nail down the identity of the red hooded ninja later. The fight is not favoring the man in the mask.

Matt sits on a bench outside his church. Father Lantham walks up and is pleased to see Matt willing to take him up on his offer of a latte. Inside, the priest wastes little time conveying to Matt Murdock that he knows he’s the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, or the man in the mask. Depending on the news of the day. Matt asks if his priest believes in the devil.

The priest tells a couple of stories revolving around the concept of a ‘devil’. One from seminary where the original text translated “Satan” as “adversary”. It wasn’t until later revisions that the word or name Satan was designated to represent one specific evil. The other was a tale of time spent in Rwanda. When militia soldiers would not kill a holy elder, the warlords pushed. Eventually forcing an audience with the elder. After several hours of conversation, the warlord dragged this elder out of his hut and hacked him to death. “That day, I saw the devil. So yes, Matthew, I believe he walks among us. Taking many forms.”

Ben meets with Foggy and Karen following Wilson Fisk’s stunt with the media. “Everything’s changed now”. Matt enters the office and meets Ben for the first time. Again. Then as if he knew, Ben moves into the information he was able to pull off of a thumb drive the man in the mask gave him. All of this information is compelling to Karen, but without a direct connection, its nothing more than hearsay. Foggy takes another backhanded shot at the man in the mask and both Karen and Ben defend his virtue to a point. When asked why he doesn’t take Fisk down himself, Ben offers a very telling gem of wisdom. “Maybe he knows, there are certain roads you can’t come back from.”

Nobu barges into a meeting with Fisk and Wesley in a dingy dark basement. Nobu is at his wit’s end with the delays. He was promised a city block in return for his assistance with Fisk. The city block in question is the one where Mrs. Cardenas and other tenants are refusing to vacate. Fisk downplays any financial assistance and moves to a mutually frustrating issue. The man in the mask. Fisk suggests Nobu employ a specialist from his organization.

Despite the lack of anything tangible, Matt pushes on. Vanessa becomes the target. Someone Fisk is close to. Matt decides maybe its time he invest in some art. Or at least make it seem that way. Once in the gallery, Matt can sense the number of arm guards and even hear the chatter on their coms. Vanessa approaches him and puts on her selling art charm. She stops in front of a piece of fire tones and Matt asks her to describe it. Matt is not sold on the aggressive fire tones. He asks if Vanessa has a man in her life. A question he already knows the answer to. If he could get inside the mind of a man who won such a charming woman, it might better inform his decision.

Vanessa: You could just ask him yourself.

A very focused Wilson Fisk enters the gallery with an additional two bodyguards. Matt is seen by the viewer clinching his fist as if this is going down right here, right now. Matt plays nice and Fisk is pleasant enough. Then Matt tries to pull back by insinuating that they are on opposite sides of a tenement case. Mrs. Cardenas and alike. Vanessa politely intervenes refocusing the conversation back to art, which provides Matt with a way out.

Matt returns to Father Lanthom. Matt is struggling with the two things following his visit to the gallery. 1) Fisk has someone close to him that would mourn his loss and 2) He is not the kind of man to execute the reason for said loss. Lantham reminds Matt that there is a wide spectrum between apathy and murder. The art gallery move was not done for recon on how to kill Fisk, but Matt looking for a reason not to. Or so Father Lantham believes.

Matt returns to his office looking defeated. After some Fisk related discussion, Foggy unveils the sign. They had a professional sign made that reads “Nelson and Murdock. Attorneys at Law”. Foggy and Matt embrace and Karen answers the phone. Mrs. Cardenas has been found dead. And not the natural way. This realization shakes Foggy and Karen. It affects Matt, but he hides it well.

Flashing back to the fight that opened the episode, we discover that the foe in the fight is not one of Nobu’s specialists, but Nobu himself.

Matt, Foggy and Karen meet at their dive bar to acknowledge what has happened like a good old-fashioned Irish wake. On the television in the bar, Fisk addresses the media about the tragedy involving Mrs. Cardenas. Fisk’s words and performance infuriates our trio.

Matt returns home and stands before his closet where his father’s old trunk resides. After hesitating, Matt puts on the black and heads out to find the junkie responsible for taking Mrs. Cardenas’ life. Matt roughs him up enough to convince the junkie that his threats are not empty. Matt ultimately demands the junkie turn himself in, or he will find him.

The junkie lead takes him to a dark warehouse. There papers of Hell’s Kitchen development sit on a table. Matt is unaware that he is not alone. The heartbeat is slowed and body temperature lowered. Nobu being directly affected by Stick’s actions (killing the Black Sky) relishes this moment. To exact revenge. Yet there is respect in the air. A respect that is heavier for Nobu than it is for Matt.

Nobu: I show you respect. You should return the courtesy.
Matt: You’ll have to earn it.

From the start, Nobu has a slight edge. The most fair fight Matt has been involved with all season. Nobu has the advantage of sight and weapons that cut. The fight goes on longer than we might like and it is particularly blood for Matt. But eventually, Nobu makes a tragic misstep and literally steps into a puddle of oil or gas that is already lit. Fully engulfed, Nobu keeps fighting until the fire put out his light permanently. Then a familiar voice thanks the man in the mask for eliminating Nobu. Wilson Fisk.

Fisk thanks the man in the mask for taking Nobu out. Then professes that in a perfect world they (Matt and Fisk) would take each other out. Fisk eloquently suggests that he baited the hook to Matt’s emotional attachment. I.E. have Mrs. Cardenas killed. Beaten, bloody, out breath and favoring one leg, Matt replies to Fisk’s eloquence with, “I-I’m going to kill you”. Fisk gestures to his men to stand down. Fisk dares Matt to ‘take his shot’.

Matt obliges with a multitude of shots that land, but Fisk is unfazed. Fisk fights back and his blows do more damage. Once he’s down Matt grabs one of Nobu’s weapons and slices Fisk in the torso. Problem is, it only penetrated is outer jacket. Fisk hits Matt with another flurry of shots, then picks him up and drops him onto the table and breaks it. Fisk says Wesley’s name as if to instruct Wesley to finish the job. Matt hears the sound of Wesley’s gun, then throws one of his sticks at the gun changing the angle of where the gun is pointing as the shot is fired. This gives Matt enough time to jump out of a nearby window into the river below.

Foggy comes knocking on Matt’s door even though Matt isn’t there, yet. While Foggy talks through the door about getting Fisk, he hears a thud from inside. Foggy bangs on the door but doesn’t wait. He runs up to get in through the roof access. Once inside he can see the apartment has seen some violence (from the last fight with Stick). Foggy picks up one of Matt’s blind assistance walking sticks like a bat. Then Matt, still completely dressed as the man in the mask, comes out from the darkness barely alive.

Foggy: Where’s Matt!? What’d you do to him?
(The man in the mask falls before him)

Foggy starts to dial 911 then stops. He gets down on his knees beside the man. Foggy slowly reaches for the mask. Even slower, pulls it up, revealing the identity of the Man In The Black Mask.

Foggy: Matt…?

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Daredevil: Men Like Fisk, Are Created

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The opening sequence has Fisk waking from a dream. He rolls out to the edge of the bed to stare at his ‘rabbit in a snowstorm’ painting. Then he proceeds with his morning ritual at the of which he gets dressed, turns to a large mirror, and sees the image of a husky kid that vaguely resembles Fisk with blood on his face.

At the office, Karen discovers that Foggy is not a fan of her coffee. At all. The coffee is literally the least of their collective concerns when Matt makes his way to the office. In short order Matt convinces (or guilts) Karen into spilling the beans about their Union Allied investigation. Matters not improved by telling Matt that the ruffians responsible for damaging Mrs. Cardenas’ apartment came after Karen. Then grumpy Matt takes over. Suggesting if not instructing that any further action will be done appropriately. Within the legal system.

Nobu meets hastily with Fisk and Wesley to air his grievance that the Black Sky was killed. Fisk, a details oriented man points out that his guarantee was not police interference. The man who killed the Black Sky was not police (it was Stick). There is more to Black Sky than we are given at this point. Nobu is affected by this loss and exhibits an overall tone we haven’t seen yet. Wesley’s concerned with the value of Nobu and his people’s contributions.

Flashback to Fisk’s childhood where we are introduced to his parents. His father specifically who is almost a cliché of the 1970’s NY/NJ working class man aspiring to get into the mob. Not suggesting that’s the angle, but he’s running for city council and tells his wife that once he’s in, everything will be taken care of. Dialogue almost straight out of Goodfellas. The overall tone and regard towards his wife and mother of his kid is abusive in nature. Nothing violent yet, but emotionally and mentally abusive.

Detective Blake has awakened from his coma. This presents a problem for Fisk, or at least it should at some point. With a 24-hour detail on Blake’s hospital room, only one man on Fisk’s payroll can get to Blake and it will be a tough sell. His partner Detective Hoffman. Fisk meets with Hoffman to gauge reaction to Hoffman taking Blake out. Hoffman’s reaction is as expected. Hesitant to the idea of intentionally causing harm to a friend he’s known for 35 years. That is until, Fisk asks how much each of those years are worth. Monetarily.

The slow trudge towards Blake’s room is shot in a way that lends an empathetic view from the audience as Hoffman sets out to do what he was instructed to do. Hoffman injects something into Blake’s I.V. Blake wakes up. Before Hoffman can answer the question of ‘what are you doing’? The man in the mask puts Hoffman in a sleeper hold.

Matt (to Blake): Whatever your partner injected you with has made it to your heart. There’s nothing anyone can do. You’re going to be dead soon. But you can get back at the man who did this to you. Tell me everything you know about Wilson Fisk.

Another flashback to Fisk’s childhood. Young Wilson has been in a fight and is rather emotional about it. The subject of the fight came from Wilson defending his father’s honor when a neighborhood kid defaced the elder Fisk’s campaign poster. Father, accompanied by son find the youth in question. A much bigger kid than Wilson. I’d guess in his early 20’s at first glance. The guy decides to get cute with Bill Fisk and that’s when Bill proceeds to beat the kid. Not leaving well enough alone, Bill uses this as a teaching opportunity and coaxed Wilson into kicking the kid (repeatedly) when he was already down and out.

Gao has reached out and would like a word with Fisk. This scene is provocative for a few reasons, none of I feel will flesh themselves out anytime soon. When asked how many languages she speaks, she replies with “all of them”. She then makes references to spells and potions to ascertain where Fisk lived. Then side steps that to suggest Fisk has gotten sloppy. In part due to his new found relationship with a certain woman. Before leaving, she suggests he get his house in order before she deals with Nobu and Leland directly. Then, one of our first glimpses into the enraged side of Fisk.

Flashback with young Fisk seated before a plain wall. His father telling him to think long and hard about the man he wants to be. Clearly, Fisk’s mother does not approve of this parenting tactic. Marlene (Mother) questions Bill and where he’s going and why. Never a good idea in a scenario like this. She doesn’t get a full sentence out before Bill hits her and begins his own tirade. He takes off his belt and continues hitting her.

Without being prompted, and knowing his friend and employer as he does, Wesley took it upon himself to bring Vanessa by. Thinking simply that this might be just what Fisk needs at this particular moment. Vanessa walks through the destruction cause by Fisk’s early rage and is completely unaffected. Fisk looks at her and tells her, he’s afraid.

Flashback to the previous flashback. Young Wilson has not taken his eyes off the wall during the spousal abuse happening a few feet away. He stands up and grabs a hammer off of a nearby table. He yells out for his father to STOP. His father sees this as an idle threat. Suggests his son isn’t going to do anything, then turns to walk away. That’s when Wilson buries the head of the hammer in the back of his father’s head. Then Wilson keeps hitting his father once he falls to the floor. Just as his father taught him to. After the final twitch from Bill Fisk, Marlene says something slightly unexpected.

Marlene: Ok…Get the saw.

Vanessa is affected by the story but not scared. She sees the good in a horrifying story. She sees a man protecting his mother. Then Fisk blurts out that he didn’t do it for her. He needs to know that he is not cruel for cruelty sake. Because if he is, then he is no different from his father. The last time we saw any significant screen time with Vanessa, she was almost scared for her safety. We saw her turn the corner then. Now she is almost un-phased by the story, by his tempter, and by his tone. She is assuming, essentially, the role of Mrs. Kingpin right before our very eyes. She accepts a level of bad, because she believes in the man.

Urich leaves a building going at it with his editor on his cell phone during a heavy rain. He drops his papers and his keys. When he collects his stuff, he is welcomed by the presence of the man in the mask. The conversation is cool and measured. Neither man trying to do or say anything to upset the other. Matt has pieces of the story, but Urich needs credible sources. In the end the plan is to draw Fisk out of the shadows and let the city tear him apart.

The next morning, Wilson Fisk goes about his morning ritual only to have it pleasantly interrupted by the presence of Vanessa. She steals part of his food in a playful manner and even assists him in picking out his suit and cufflinks. The first time to this point, that Wilson Fisk has worn any cufflinks that weren’t the ones his father wore. All to the voice over of Ben Urich reading the story he wrote to draw Fisk out. As Urich wraps up writing this piece he sees a strange, large, bald man making an address on his television. It’s Wilson Fisk. Pledging aid to Hell’s Kitchen. His speech is a direct shot at and appeal against the masked vigilante.

Daredevil: Beyond Fisk, There Is A War Coming

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

A man in a suit races down a building’s stairwell. He gets to an office and arms himself with a big handgun. He unloads his clip into the elevator. A voice speaks to the gunman in Japanese asking about the “Black Sky”. The gunman makes a move and the unidentified man slices off the hand holding the gun. The gunman gives up the destination of “Black Sky”. New York City.

In the office, Foggy makes his feelings known about this masked vigilante who is being blamed for the explosions around Hell’s Kitchen. It’s fun watching Matt try to deflect this negativity being directed at Daredevil.

Leland arrives at a rendezvous to meet with Nobu. The funds have been allocated and redistributed for its arrival. Leland takes this opportunity to create an alliance with Nobu. Who does not take to Leland’s rhetoric. Nobu drives away leaving Leland alone. Matt walks up behind Leland. When asked about who he works for, Leland sticks to his law firm answer. Matt starts in with what he wants when he hears the sound of a ‘stick’ on pavement. This distracts Matt just long enough for Leland to taze Matt.

The man with the stick is familiar. Flashback familiar. This man was brought in to help Matt deal with the transition of Matt’s new world. Matt and the orphanage staff believe he is getting worse. The old man knows better. He tosses his keys towards Matt’s face and Matt catches them as if he could see. The man’s approach is cold to be polite, but effective. It directs Matt’s attention. He is able to use a vanilla ice cream cone to illustrate that there is a difference between knowing what vanilla is and sensing (through taste and smell) of what the ingredients are and where they came from. Moments later, Matt is able to figure out small undisclosed details about people passing by.

Back to present day, the interaction between Matt and this man known as “Stick” is less than cordial. Stick is here to save Matt and all of the people of Hell’s Kitchen against what he refers to as ‘the war’.

Matt brings Stick back to his apartment, where Stick jumps right into the luxuries Matt surrounds himself with. Like women and furniture. The conversation is never pleasant, but when Stick takes a shot at Matt’s Dad, the time for politeness is through. This sends us into another flashback of Stick trying to (in his way) teach Matt how to control the rage. When Matt keeps losing, he breaks down blaming himself for the death of his father. Insert the typical Bruce Wayne like cry-fest blaming himself. Then snapped right back to reality, where Matt quickly breaks Stick’s hold. The hostility ends only long enough for Stick to insult Matt’s beer preference.

The War he speaks of now revolves around the Japanese. Stick is not interested in Nobu or Fisk. He’s interested in the ‘weapon’ Nobu is meeting at the docks. No killing seems to be the undertone of this segment of the conversation. Stick believes it’s a line Matt will have to cross. Matt believes it’s the one line that doesn’t need to be crossed.

Karen is still trying to make a connection from anything back to Allied Construction. Urich can’t make a case for his editor without a few connections. Mr. Tully (slumlord) has been moved, a vacation of sorts. No Tully, but Mrs. Cardenas does give Karen the description of a man with a patterned tattoo that went up his arm to his neck.

On her way out of the building, Karen picks up she’s being followed. Before she’s ready, she’s grabbed by the tattooed man. Out of nowhere, a baseball hits one of the men and he drops to the ground. It’s Foggy wielding a baseball bat. One of the guys tries to stand up and Karen hits him with mace. The other tries to get up and Foggy hits him with a full baseball swing. Aluminum bat to the face.

At the docs, Matt surveys the surrounding men and artillery. Matt is to thin the herd while Stick takes out the Black Sky. When Matt is no longer near Stick, Stick pulls out the weapon intended for something he swore to Matt he wouldn’t do. Inside the container delivered to the docks is a single figure. A lone child sitting in the middle of the container. Black Sky is a child. A very heavily chained child. Stick takes his shot with his collapsible bow and arrow. Matt immediately springs into action preventing the arrow from meeting its target.

In another flashback to training, young Matt is much further along. Stick is teaching him the connection between mind and body. He even suggests Matt should take up meditation as it will make his mind stronger and even allow him to heal faster. Then young Matt makes a mistake. He gives Stick a bracelet he made out of the ice cream wrapper from the cone Stick got him on the day they first met. Sentiment is something Stick cannot allow. He’s not there to be Matt’s father.

Stick makes an effort to leave Matt’s apartment on good terms. When Matt tells Stick he won’t let him kill that kid, Stick informs him that he already has. Then the blind vs blind apartment match ensues. I’d say they fought the good fight, but good is now how I’d describe it. Both men take a beating and Matt eventually wins out with a dramatic move that ends with Matt flipping Stick and landing on top of him on top of his bottom step. Then Stick leaves.

In the final scene Stick kneels before a muscularly large man with visible scars on his back. Stick is telling him that the Black Sky will no longer be an issue. And that Matt Murdock is as much a pain in the *** as he has ever been. Then the mysterious man says something perplexing. Something that might be the itch that won’t go away long passed the conclusion of this season.

Mystery Man: Will he be ready when the doors open?
Stick (after a very long pause): I have no idea.

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Daredevil: Foes Become Allies In Their Pursuit of Fisk

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Matt Murdock stands with his hands up, back facing officers, dressed as the man in the black mask. From his knees and handcuffed, Matt genuinely seems willing to not endanger these officers. That is until he hears one of them claim their task is to take out Vladimir. Still handcuffed Matt takes out all four cops. Vladimir was hit with a stray bullet. The first cop wakes up to find no Vladimir or masked vigilante.

Urich stands in his office at the Bulletin trying to piece together some connection between the Russians, heroin, and the masked man when he hears a commotion in the bullpen. Ellison informs the group that they are getting reports of multiple explosions in Hell’s Kitchen. Ellison starts barking up the ‘natural causes’ (like a gas main), but upon hearing the locations of the explosions, Urich knows this has something to do with the Russians.

Blake and Hoffman arrive at one of the locations executing their ‘sweep’. Blake attempts a borderline torturous method to get his answers. This Russian lackey simply doesn’t have any. After shooting this man, Blake instructs his officers to shoot anyone still alive in the head.

Matt gets Vladimir (relatively) to safety. Vladimir still harboring rage the man in the mask for taking his brother’s head. Matt careful but bluntly says that he doesn’t kill people and Vlad is being played by Fisk. Matt attempts to appeal to Vladimir’s sense of rage by offering him payback. Vladimir does not warm to the idea of helping the masked man.

In a fun Serendipity sort of way Foggy and Karen bring Mrs. Cardenas to the ER that Claire is working. Foggy attempts to call Matt when Karen notices he’s bleeding in his side. Claire gets a call from Matt’s burner. Before she can walk him through how to stabilize Vladimir, he has to tell her it’s Vladimir. Using his senses, Matt tells her what if anything is lying around this rundown floor. She opts for the road flares in a roadside kit.

The basic gist is, Matt is going to use road flares to cauterise the wound. Or burn the hole with a fire stick. As a small consolation, this is going to be excruciating. It takes a moment, but Vladimir does wake up. There is enough commotion to draw the attention of an honest beat cop. Matt asks the cop who he works for, and his heartbeat would support the notion that he’s clean. But that doesn’t prevent him from being an idealist. Instead of giving Central the all clear, he gives them a specific location.

Wesley gets an update on the situation. None of this is good for Fisk, but he needs to appease Madame Gao at the very least by ending this. He informs Wesley to reach out their contacts in the media. He wants everyone to see what’s about to happen.

When Vladimir wakes up, he’s just slightly more willing to talk. He makes a spectacle of it, but does give up the analogy of the accountant. Naturally, he referring to Leland even if he doesn’t give the name. Then Vlad gets sidetracked intentionally. He waits for Matt to lean in close, then summons all his strength for one last fight. He knocks out Matt with a baseball swing with a 2×4. They both fall through the floor, causing more damage to Vladimir. Matt can hear his heartbeat fading and quickly administers CPR. After pounding on his chest, Vladimir forcefully wakes up.

Wesley steps back into Fisk’s car with a large envelope. He pulls out a walkie-talkie and hands it to Fisk. Inside the building, Matt finds an accessible sewer drain when the restrained cop’s radio turns on.

Fisk: I’d like to speak with the man in the mask.

They have the ‘talk’. Neither willing to budge on their goals. Fisk trying to portray himself as the protagonist. Both wanting the same thing, but FIsk wants change on a scale that will matter. His aim is to turn this night and the backlash as yet unseen on the man in the mask. Matt still has options as Fisk sees it. Turn and kill Vladimir and the cops leave the scene.

This, believe it or not, is the most important Fisk scene to date in this season. This is the point where we experience what he is. Gauge his intent, motivation and execution. He doesn’t know it yet, but Fisk is giving us something that will define him in a way even he is not aware of yet.

Wesley sent a sniper to the roof with the intention of taking out Urich. Urich has positioned himself in Blake’s personal space and sniper hits Blake instead. Fisk bows out of the conversation leaving Matt to lose his cool. Next for Fisk is to give the media the go ahead to run the video surveillance of the man in the mask taking down the cops in the cold open of today’s episode.

Matt tries the sewer drain again when Claire calls. Matt gives his last farewell to Claire as he can hear SWAT ascending the stairs. He strains and the cover is too heavy. Vladimir somehow makes his way over and grips the other side of the cover. “I told you. This is not how I die.” One of the cops from SWAT finds the young idealistic cop, radios that he’s already dead, then stabs officer Sullivan in the throat.

With Matt and Vladimir in the tunnels, SWAT finds them. Matt shoves Vladimir to the ground so he wouldn’t get hit and Matt takes out the scout team rather quickly. He turns to find Vladimir pointing an automatic assault weapon in his general direction.

Matt: There are five more coming. We don’t have time for this.
Vladimir: I think…maybe…I stay.

Vladimir is embracing his end. He also gives the “you know what you must do” speech. This should be familiar to just about any comic book fan. Shades of the Joker in The Dark Knight, “Then that’s the rule you’ll have to break to know the truth.” Matt has rules. And those are the rules he will have to break to beat Fisk. Vladimir instructs Matt to leave. Vladimir will buy him some time. A beaten, bloody, barely clinging to life Russian stands hunched over with a very large gun pointed at the anticipated entry singing something under his breath in Russian.

The man in the black mask trudges down a lit corridor with the gate of someone with somewhere to be. Without interrupting his stride, the sound of gunfire can be heard. First single shots, then rapid fire. Maybe this was the way Vladimir thought he would die.

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix