Tag Archives: Toby Leonard Moore

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

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

Daredevil: Fisk Pushes Forward While Daredevil Finds Himself A Step Behind

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

In the wake of Claire’s involvement in episode 4, Matt brought her to his place. A sense of security in the short-term perhaps. Claire gets out of the shower and they share a lovely back and forth about his life outside the vigilante variety and Matt plays the doctor. Identifying her open wound by the smell of copper in the air and feeling that her broken rib is really just a hairline fracture. When asked what does Matt actually see, he responds with, “The world on fire”. Matt asks Claire to stay at his place until he can figure this all out. What follows is the anticipated ‘kiss’.

Matt has been busy focusing on Fisk. Even making a loose connection that the cab company, the death of Prohaszka, all leads back to Fisk. Then Claire adds a name to the equation. One of the Russian’s perked up at the mere sound of the name. Vladimir.

Wesley arrives at Vladimir’s office to follow-up on the deal Anatoly struck the night before. As if he didn’t already know, Wesley asks where Anatoly is. Wesley continues to play along as if he didn’t witness first hand the demise of Anatoly, when Sergei enters the room and informs Vladimir that they ‘found him’. Sergei brings in the body and lays it on the desk, sans head. Vladimir reaches into his coat and pulls out a black mask. The war Fisk wanted to incite, was the Russians vs the man in the black mask. Not Fisk vs the Russians.

Leland, Madame Gao, and Nobu meet in a chop shop like garage where an employee is intently trying to remove blood and brain matter from the door of Fisk’s black SUV. Madam Gao finds this very amusing. Then Fisk explains the scenery around this unusual meeting place. Madam Gao is no longer amused.

Fisk: The Ranskahov’s are no longer a part of this organization.
Leland: When did this happen?
Fisk: After I removed Anatoly’s head with my car door.

The larger matter at hand is how to move the product without the Russians. Fisk explains that for the immediate future, Gao will send her product to the Russians as if nothing has changed. Then when the time arises, Fisk will assume their responsibility. Fairly distributing that revenue equally four ways for the four remaining partners.

Matt gets the drop on a cab taking a singing Asian man somewhere. The cab is driven by two unspecified Russians asking about the man in the mask. He dispatches with the bulk of the Russian men. The Asian man was essentially a friendly fire casualty. Matt asks about Vladimir. The Russian on the ground is terrified that Matt will cut his head off like he did to Anatoly.

Mrs. Cardenas walks into what she calls “Foggy Law”. Mrs. Cardenas’ building is supposed to be rent controlled, but the landlord (Mr. Tully) wants them to vacate so they can build new townhouses. The building now has no running water, no electricity, and are offering a $10,000 buyout. The buyout of course, Mrs. Cardenas has no interest in. Matt tells Mrs. Cardenas that Foggy will speak to Tully’s attorney. The same firm that Nelson and Murdock once interned for.

Matt visits their desk officer friend at the fifteenth precinct hoping to get his hands on complaints against Tully. Matt waits patiently and begins to listen in on interrogations behind closed doors. Detectives Blake and Hoffman question the scared Russian from the night before. Before they walk out, the Russian offers up vital information. Information he never should have given. The Russian offers the name of a big fish hoping for a deal. “His name is Wilson Fisk”. After some side conversation from the detectives, Blake punches Hoffman and they react as if the attack came from the Russian. Then Blake points his gun at the Russian. The gunshot jolts Matt out of his seat.

Detective Blake: You really shouldn’t have said his name.

Karen is blown away at how nice Foggy and Matt’s former diggs are. “It looks like one of those places in a movie where you buy a clone.” She is much less impressed with Marcy, a former colleague and fling of Foggy’s. Marcy decides to have their meeting in the lobby and lays out very clearly that Tully nor his representation plan to do anything beyond offer a buyout for Mrs. Cardenas and the other tenants. Foggy then navigates through a four point explanation of why there are more than the two options Marcy laid out and they will meet again. In court.

Foggy and Karen arrive at Mrs. Cardenas’ building. It is ripped apart. With no further leads to chase down, Foggy tells Mrs. Cardenas that he and Karen and eventually Matt will help them. In this moment, that means trying to fix the damage the ‘workers’ caused.

Blake steps outside for a moment. Daredevil jumps him, gets him in a compromising position (physically) and squeezes. Blake eventually talks but gives up nothing of any significance.

Vanessa meets Fisk again, but reluctantly. She spends the first few minutes gauging Fisk’s intent, her safety, but finds the honest side of Wilson Fisk again. As they enjoy their meal in complete solitude, Vanessa tells a story about a prince that our more well versed comic book enthusiasts will find particularly interesting. A clear nod to the original comic book image and attire of The Kingpin.

Vanessa: All of a sudden this tall man in a white suit and an Ascot…
Fisk: An Ascot? That’s a bit much.

As the dinner date continues, Fisk and Vanessa evolve the conversation to an awkward but necessary place. Vanessa explains that she brought a gun to a dinner date because she knows Fisk is a dangerous man and she’s only looking for an excuse to stay. Fisk completely opens up to her minus the literal details. For what Fisk is trying to accomplish, people are going to get hurt. However, “By my side, is the safest place you’ll ever be”.

Vladimir cleans his dead brother’s body when Turk walks in. Turk reports that a guy he did time with told him about a chop shop on the edge of the Kitchen that did detail work on a black SUV. Attempting to clean the blood and brains.

Vladimir: This car, who does it belong to?
Turk (nodding side to side): I don’t know. Some big white guy. Bald as ****
Vladimir: Fisk?
Turk: Didn’t get a name. But my boy said he heard baldy say something about the guy in the black mask. He couldn’t make it all out, but…it sounded like he and this masked dude are tight.
Vladimir: He works for Fisk?

Matt grabbed Blake’s cell phone in their previous scuffle. There is one text message with four specific addresses. Matt believes the addresses correspond to businesses the Russians control. This gives Matt his next move. A move that concerns Claire as there is no end game. Earlier in the episode they shared a ‘romantic’ moment. Now Claire is concerned with how this ends. Matt’s only real concern is stopping whatever is happening. Not acting is not an option.

Claire: I just don’t think I can fall in love with someone who is this close to becoming what he hates.
Matt: You’re right. You shouldn’t.

In one of those locations Vladimir’s men arm themselves to the teeth. An Asian man is escorted into the warehouse Sergei sees him and asks Vladimir if he was expecting another of Madame Gao’s delivery men. Then the man in question raises his arm and presses a remote trigger that explodes the building before Matt could gain access. On the other side of Hell’s Kitchen, Foggy and Karen have a moment interrupted (still in Mrs. Cardenas’ apartment) by a similar explosion. All around the Kitchen, random (well decidedly not random) buildings keep exploding. Fisk and Vanessa have a front row seat to the show.

Sergei does his level best to get Vladimir out of danger and police custody. The Daredevil intercepts their route. Upon seeing him, Vladimir fights back with a pursuing rage. Daredevil is quicker and punches harder. Then two squad cars pull up demanding the man in black show them his hands.

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Daredevil: Involving The Women Has Its Consequences

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Tonight’s episode takes us back to Siberia, Russia 8 years earlier where we meet the Ranskahov brothers, Vladimir and Anatoly. Their future from inside this prison seem grim. Vladimir will not let go of his motivation to escape and build something, in America. First step in that direction is taking advantage of the dead body the guards have left in their cell. Rib bones make for a decent shank.

After another night mission to make life difficult for the Russians, Matt finds himself back at Claire’s apartment. Getting stitched up. For the second time, Claire has referenced a ‘better suit’, this time mentioning armor. This time however, both parties are more than content to introduce flirtation into their conversation. His gesture of asking her to put her phone number into his burner phone (as a courtesy for the next time) was not as well received as Matt might have hoped.

Wesley pays Anatoly and Vladimir a visit. He brings the paperwork that finalizes a deal turning over control of two companies including a taxi company over to their control. Thus doubling their ‘infrastructure’. Anatoly is grateful, Vladimir seems way to proud to echo the sentiment. Seemed like as good a time as any to bring up the headache of the man in the black mask. Shipments are light and that is an area of contention for Wesley and by a direct correlation, his employer. Additional elements to their enterprise have voiced concerns about the Russians ability to contain this ‘man’.

Vladimir: We’ve not heard of this.
Wesley: That’s because we’ve been talking behind your back. About how the Russians can’t seem to handle one man running around in a mask. Maybe if he had…an iron suit or a magic hammer that might explain why you keep getting your asses handed to you…
Vladimir: We’re done here.

Karen meets with Urich at a diner to discuss the depth of the story she has to tell. Urich has done his research. That plus his experience, says that there is not much their worth pursuing. Especially considering that Karen is still breathing. There is also that little pesky detail that accompany journalists of integrity. Stories like these are built on sources. Credible sources. Ben has done enough digging on Karen to know that she does not fit the description of ‘credible source’. This is a tease to a dark past that will come up. Probably not in season 1, but it is a significant detail about the Karen Page character.

The Russians pay their brother a visit in the hospital. Recovering from injuries sustained care of the man in the black mask. They feed his I.V. with epinephrine to wake him up. They ask about the man who did this to him. He responds quite simply with, “The Devil”. When they press for more, he adds that there was a woman. He whispers something in Vladimir’s ear. Then next thing we see is a fourth Russian (Sergei) kicking in Claire’s door. They don’t find Claire, but when they turn back around Santino (a neighbor and the young man who found Matt in the dumpster in episode 2) standing in the doorway.

Wesley and Fisk ride in a black SUV trying to navigate through the small problems they still have. Most important of which is the man in the mask. If the Russians cannot take care of it, Fisk will find someone who can. They stop, Wesley attempts to get out. Fisk insists he must do this alone. ‘This’ deals with the art gallery that Vanessa runs. This is not the first, but one of what feels like a string of scenes that are intended to make Wilson Fisk somewhat redeemable. It humanizes him. He may be a nasty, vindictive villain, but under it all he’s just another guy struggling to ask a woman out that he has a genuine interest in. She shrugs off the advance, but only to extend the flirtation. She was surprised to find that Fisk was willing to cut bait at that moment. She even references a time when a man offered to buy all the paintings she had in order to get her to close early.

(Wilson walks back very slowly, getting very close to her face)
Fisk: Any woman who can be bought, isn’t worth having at all.

Claire while cat sitting, thought she heard something outside the door. She didn’t notice the shadow outside the window. Matt’s burner phone rings, but there’s no voice at the other end. Just the sound of a struggle and a muffled voice. Matt does not arrive in time. Matt does find Santino who has been roughed up a bit. Clearly, he lead them to Claire. He was able to remember the name of the taxi company.

Bound and sat before a taxi cab in the garage while Sergei hits around her with a baseball bat to the cab she’s sitting in front of. Then the lights go out. Claire leans back and lets out an almost sinister laugh as she knows what comes next. The Russians engage in a fire fight, shooting at nothing. It does buy Claire enough time to free herself from the duct tape. Sergei intercepts Claire and claims he’s walking out of there with Claire. Matt gets him in an advantageous hold and begins to monologue. Then Claire swings the bat at Sergei’s head knocking him out. She instantly breaks into tears and Matt has to catch her before she falls.

Vladimir and Anatoly make their way to the garage to find no woman, no man in the black mask, but a beaten Sergei. It’s at this point that the offer of help from Wesley becomes something to consider. Vladimir is too proud, but Anatoly is not. Anatoly gladly will accept the partnership on his brother’s behalf.

Fisk and Vanessa are on their first date. Generally speaking, it’s going well. It’s clear to Vanessa that Wilson doesn’t do this very often. There is an adolescent awkwardness that seems to illustrate his sincerity. Fisk convinces her to try the Zuppa. Fisk finally is able to deliver an effective line that doesn’t come off as a line at all when there is a commotion at the front of the restaurant. Anatoly wishes to convey his thanks face to face. Not a wise choice.

At Matt’s apartment, there is a bit of a role reversal. This time its Matt patching up Claire. Matt tries to apologize for getting Claire involved. She’s not interested in the apology. Not to be rude, but there is a bigger elephant in the room. She needs to know all of this is worth it in the end. Matt has no profound answer for her, just that he’s trying to make his city a better place. She tries to bring his perspective around to those he’s already helped. She calls him Mike again and he corrects her.

Matt: Matthew. My name is Matthew.

Fisk tries to salvage his date with Vanessa and has a difficult time doing so. She’s visibly shaken. She saw something in him that was intriguing. After the restaurant episode, she’s not exactly sure that intrigue was a good thing.

Anatoly and Wesley ride in a car. Anatoly believes they are en route to a cordial meeting among business men. They have a conversation about putting the past behind them. Wesley gives a nice reply about the past never really disappearing. It lingers like the smoke of burning wood. Just circling. Then Wesley’s phone rings.

Wesley: Yes sir. Yes. Passenger side.

Fisk opens the passenger side door. Throws Anatoly against the inside of the door frame before pulling him out. Anatoly fights back but his efforts do no damage. Fisk says only, “You embarrassed me. You embarrassed me in front of her.” Heavy punch after heavy punch. Head butts and body shots. One after the other. Anatoly mutters something in Russian as he crawls on his stomach toward Wesley still seated in the vehicle. Fisk punches him one more time knocking him out. Then Fisk lifts him up just enough to place his head conveniently between the SUV’s passenger door, the runner, and the door opening. Then Wilson Fisk in a rage repeatedly slams the car door against Anatoly’s head over and over and over until Anatoly’s head is removed from his body. This scene is not for the faint of heart.

Wesley: What should we do with this?
Fisk: Take what’s left of him and send it to his brother.
Wesley: That will start a war.
Fisk: I’m counting on it.

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix