Welcome to the TV Soup podcast, home of drinkfive.com’s television review series. In this episode we continue our discussion of Netflix's Daredevil with episodes 11 & 12, "The Path of the Righteous" and "The Ones We Leave Behind". From the very beginning of the series, we've known that there was something special here; these last few episodes that lead up to the season finale only serve to prove more of the same. Actions of Karen's show us that there is more to her than we may know, some major characters make quick departures from the show and everything leads up to the big confrontation between Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk. Can't wait to wrap up this excellent series next week!
TV Soup Podcast: Daredevil, "The Path of the Righteous" & "The Ones We Leave Behind" Review
Just as a reminder, we're going through this series 2 episodes at a time so there are only a few weeks left before we move on to something else. We would highly recommend that you watch Daredevil in a similar fashion, since the whole thing plays out more like a movie than a TV series. Although there are a few gaffs that always come with a show based on a comic book, Daredevil has been put together pretty flawlessly in our professional opinions and we're looking forward to breaking down the rest of the episodes in the series leading up to the finale.
Welcome to the TV Soup podcast, home of drinkfive.com’s television review series. In this episode we share our thoughts about the season finale, "Daredevil". Since the show has already been renewed for another season, we're already looking forward to new episodes! A great finale, there are still quite a few questions that remain unanswered and leave the viewer wanting more. Check out the podcast to hear exactly what we thought about it!
TV Soup Podcast: Daredevil, "Daredevil" Review
So far, I've loved how the episode pairs that we've watched seem to all go together. Episodes 5 and 6 went together very well - if it was a cheesy network show, there would have been a "To be continued........." after episode 5. Thankfully, this is Netflix and we can watch at whatever pace we want.
(Tune in to the TV Soup Podcast - Daredevil, "World on Fire" & "Condemned" Review)
Episode 5 – “World on Fire”
Matt & Claire’s relationship gets much more serious as he’s trying to protect her from the Russians. We get a little more insight into his “abilities” – he can taste the copper in the air when someone is bleeding, he can hear the bones inside someone’s body to tell if they’re broken. As Claire says, “You see….so much”.
We get a “vision” of what Matt sees, which is a “World on Fire”. I’m not sure what this is referring to, if this is because he’s trying to save the world, or if he really does “see” something, but it’s nothing like traditional vision. He did have sight until he was 9-years-old, so he does know the difference.
Wesley goes to talk to Vladimir and witnesses the seeds being planted that the man in the mask (Matt) was the one who killed his bother. Vladimir sees it as a declaration of war, which it was, but against the wrong man. This isn’t something I saw coming, but makes perfect sense. Fisk is very calculating and we see it on an even greater level later on in this and the following episode.
We find ourselves in a car wash that seems to be taken right out of Grand Theft Auto. Of course, in Fisk’s line of work, you need a shop on retainer that doesn’t shy away from hosing blood and brains off of your car door. GTA VI: Hell’s Kitchen anyone?
Matt is on a mission to get after the Russians and tracks them to a cab in the middle of an alley. This is a really well shot scene. As long as the guy working for Madame Gao is alive, they stick with the camera in the back seat next to him and slowly rotate it around to view what’s going on. Matt finds out that he’s being framed for killing Anatoly and the cops show up – they’re getting closer every time.
Back in the real world, Foggy and Karen are having technical difficulties with the equipment they bought – a paranoid person would think that the previous owners (Karen’s evil ex-employers) have bugged it. Mrs. Cardenas, their newest client, comes to them to report on a slumlord who is trying to kick her out of her rent-controlled apartment by forcing her to live in squalor. Their case of the week does a good job, as usual, in tying into the rest of the overarching story (and eventually becoming much more than a case of the week).
While digging for more info, Matt hears a couple of cops kill a guy in an interview room just because he dropped the name "Wilson Fisk". This is yet another guy that winds up dead after giving up Fisk's name. Looks like people take that "we don't say his name" very seriously.
Foggy and Karen stop by Mrs. Cardenas's to help fix up the place, and she winds up fixing them up. She can certainly make a decent meal while living in terrible conditions. The date goes very well, and yes, it is a date now. Goes to show that being a lawyer will help you net a girl that's way out of your league. Of course, that all changes once the city starts blowing up...
Meanwhile, Fisk manages to get a second date with Vanessa. Somehow, the scene at their last date didn't scare her off entirely. She’s clearly attracted to power and doesn’t know that she’s walked right into a scheme that Fisk has been working on. This is all just a part of his grand plan to trap Vladimir and the man in the black mask at the same time. It's very well unraveled, as the misdirection works and nobody ever figures out what's going on right away. Vladimir takes the bait and rallies his troops for an attack on Fisk, even offering $1 million for his location.
Claire is trying to keep Matt from spiraling out of control. He's saying he will do "whatever it takes" and a few other worrisome phrases. She's worried that he is getting closer and closer to the guys that he fights every night. She has a point, he's quite ruthless, even if he seems to sorta draw a line at actually killing people.
Vanessa and Fisk's date continues with plenty of creepy vibes, but apparently Vanessa is attracted to creepy. Fisk goes on about his "business" and you can see that he's justified everything that he does through his excuse that he is trying to "clean up the city". I have no idea what his ultimate motivations are, apart from probably just being a psychopath who wants power.
So, Fisk's first part of his plan goes pretty well and he winds up blowing up all four of the Russian's hideouts, in a stunt that makes it look like the city is under attack. Just a continuity note - later on Foggy is injured from the blast, but he's not bleeding at all right after, in fact his shirt seems to be entirely intact.
Fisk and Vanessa have a "Fight Club" moment, where they romantically watch a bunch of explosions from a high-rise. Vanessa is totally drinking the kool-aid. The episode leaves on quite a good cliffhanger, but of course, this is Netflix, so on to the next episode!
Episode 6 – “Condemned”
This episode opens in spectacular fashion, with Matt taking out 3 cops while handcuffed, surely one of his best performances yet. Immediately after, Matt has to drag Vladimir away so he can get more information out of him, even though he's just trying to kill Matt the whole time. I suppose that prison bond with his brother is just as strong as they were implying.
Ben is back, and he appears that he's going to be our window into the outside world solving this case. I suppose if that's as deep as his character gets, that's fine with me. I do like his use of a deck of cards to build the hierarchy of the enterprise without any photos handy. He shows up at the "hostage" situation, if only to be a pain in the ass, but it causes Fisk to call the TV networks to drown out Ben (and get a big audience for what comes next).
The pair of asshole cops, and boy are they assholes, are canvassing the area for "survivors" and changing their status quickly (aka putting a bullet in their heads). Matt sneaks Vladimir into an empty warehouse and they have a friendly conversation (I have counter-proposal - suck my dick).
At the hospital, they have a fun time crossing story-lines left and right and we see at least 5 characters that we know by name. Matt asks Claire for help and she starts settling into a little comic relief, in this ridiculously dark moment in the show. "It's not like in the movies! I don't watch movies, I like records though".
Matt has to (gets to?) cauterize the wound on Vladimir's side and his screams wind up giving them away to a cop. Matt kind of assumes that all cops work for Fisk, and if that's not true, they certainly don't work for him and the rookie cop doesn't cooperate. Matt finally hears what he wants to hear from Vladimir about Fisk. While it seems like it's the truth, it's a distraction so that Vladimir can catch Matt off guard, because, well, he did make counter-proposal and all. It becomes apparent during all of this, that Vladimir never realizes that Matt is blind.
Fisk comes up with an excellent, though crazy, plan on the fly. He doesn't seem to mind sacrificing people that he employs to reach his ends. A sign of his power is when he gets a police radio and can get the officers in charge at the scene to get on a private channel so they can all talk together. You have to own a whole lot of cops to even risk doing something like that, and Fisk doesn't seem like a guy who takes too many risks. This is his last stage of his plan, framing Matt for the bombings, pointing out that he's taken a cop hostage (he really did do that), and then framing him for the shooting that takes place right outside the building. Blake (asshole cop #1) is taken out first, and it's probably because he gave up the cell phone to Matt last episode. Anybody who disappoints Fisk is pretty much screwed.
By the end of the episode, Vladimir and Matt are besties and make it out to the tunnel. Vladimir sacrifices himself and Matt is able to get away without being either killed or captured by the cops. Vlad gives him a name that he really needs, someone who is easier to get at than Fisk. Leland Owlsley, basically the money man for Fisk and the cabal that they've formed. Now that this is done, we can move on to episodes 7 & 8!
Ninjas.. not quite what I expected to start off the episode. This ‘blind ninja’ is stalking someone in a office building in Japan, and asks about “Black Sky”. He finds out that it was taken to New York City.
(Tune in to the TV Soup Podcast - Daredevil, "Stick" & "Shadows in the Glass" Review)
We don’t know that the ninja is blind until after the middle-aged looking office guy has been decapitated. Cool way to unveil the character – and of course there are some parallels there to the other blind guy that we have gotten to know.. Matt Murdock.
Matt wastes no time going after the next bad guy in line (Leland Owlsley), but ends up writhing on the floor of a parking garage after being tasered in the process of interrogating Owlsley. Turns out, he was distracted by the tapping sounds of a walking stick.. Stick reveals himself shortly afterward and wastes no time either, proceeding to mock Matt’s unsuccessful altercation.
The relationship between Stick and Murdock is a rough one – Stick found him at a young age in an orphanage (the motivation behind which is still undetermined) and took him under his wing for training. It’s obvious the amount of skill that Stick has in using his senses to ‘see’ the world around him much better than even a normal person can (demonstrated by describing the specific dairies and chemicals, etc contained within a single taste of ice cream).
It’s great that Stick wants to train Matt and pass on these abilities, although Stick lets on early that he is being trained for a war that is yet to come. When Stick goes back to Matt’s house with him, he further rails into Matt because he believes that one should not become ‘soft’. Relationships, silk sheets and other material items will only lead to your death, he says.
After a physical confrontation with Stick that gives us some more glimpses into their relationship years ago, Matt agrees to help him find and destroy ‘Black Sky’ but only if killing is not a part of the plan.
Foggy & Karen
Back at the homestead, Foggy goes on a tirade about the “devil of Hell’s Kitchen.” Seems the public opinion of this man in a mask has turned sour very quickly, mostly due to Wilson Fisk’s well-timed disaster-on-demand and the city’s need for a scapegoat, blaming it on Daredevil.
Karen goes out once more to search for answers – this time to Elena’s apartment – and when she leaves she is met head on by several thugs. The only way she survives is because Foggy had followed her and was able to put them out of commission with his softball bat. Looks like he’s got a pretty good swing. Still, Karen is not happy about the situation – she would prefer to keep her secrets to herself. Like most people in this series, except for maybe Foggy. He seems like an open book.
We also find out that Karen has told Foggy all about her and Ben’s investigation, much to Ben’s chagrin. Karen insists that he is trustworthy, though, and it looks like Karen now has a whole team on her hands.
Seems like most comic book series’ find themselves at the docks from time to time. I mean I get it, people are always shipping the darndest things. In this case, we find out that Black Sky.. ‘bringer of shadows’ as referred to earlier, is really a boy. At one point, Stick takes aim at the kid with a bow but Matt notices his actions and is able to deflect the arrow before it gets to its intended target. Daredevil also gets a new weapon, a pair of wooden batons that Stick gives to him.
Surprise, surprise – Stick reveals later at Matt’s house that he had already killed Black Sky and that it wasn’t a child, but a weapon. Unrelenting in his belief that killing is never necessary, Matt attacks Stick and this time is able to take him down convincingly – perhaps for the first time in their history. Although Matt is furious, Stick is actually pleased that Matt is finally able to defeat him.
We are not specifically introduced to the character that is revealed at the end of this episode, but we know that he is a well-built, heavily scarred man that is familiar with Stick and with Matt. He asks Stick if Matt will be ready, and received the foreboding response, ”I don’t know”.
Episode 08: “Shadows in the Glass”
All About That Fisk
Every good superhero show is made so not only because of the merits of the hero, but also because of the villain. How awesome is he, and how believable his backstory? In this case, Fisk has been built up to be a larger than life character and all of this violence and insecurity that has so far been revealed requires an explanation.
A visually and emotionally grueling episode, we’re taken through Fisk’s childhood with an abusive father and all that goes with it. Strangely, this episode comes across as much quieter than the previous ones - even though it ultimately ends with death and the disposal of a body in the river.
The routine that Fisk has for himself every morning – making the same omelette, picking out the same cufflinks, etc is a way for him to make sure that he is in control. Absolute control, over every single thing that occurs around him. He has demonstrated an extreme rage when presented with things that were not a part of the plan.
The one exception to this may be his infatuation with Vanessa. When originally at the art gallery, Fisk was drawn to one painting in particular, entitled ‘Rabbit in a Snowstorm’. When we first discussed this, we thought it may be the chaotic patterns, or a number of other things that attracted him to it – but it turns out that this visceral reaction that he experiences when taking in the painting can be directly attributed to his childhood. In fact, ‘Rabbit in a Snowstorm’ looks very much like the plastered design of the wall from his house as a child. The one that he was forced to sit in front of and stare at while in the background his father savagely beat his mother. The one that he stared at while building up the courage to stand up and put an end to that beating, permanently.
It’s all a little suspicious, isn’t it, that Vanessa has stuck it out this far into a relationship with someone that can kindly be called ‘troubled’? I suppose she herself may have an equally sordid past and thus be able to deal with Fisk much better than normal people.. on par with someone like James Wesley, for example. If that’s the case, though, she has not yet revealed any of that to us.
Yes, I assume that there is more underneath the exterior there, because there always is (except maybe with Foggy) but it seems like Vanessa has had an extremely large impact on Wilson Fisk in a very short amount of time. She has taken him from an unstable dinner date to shattering his normal routine and joining him for breakfast. He is even letting her pick out his clothes (and cufflinks!).
A bit of a breakthrough for Fisk, it seems, after letting the worst of himself and his past out into the light. In doing so, he reclaims his name and sets to become more of a public personality – which just so happens to shatter the expose that Matt has urged Ben to write for the paper. The one that he almost submits right before seeing the live footage of Fisk’s speech on his computer screen.
Vanessa is certainly guiding Fisk at this point. Whether or not that is for her own nefarious purposes, I suppose we will find out in the episodes yet to come! I will be watching the rest of the season’s episodes with rapt attention.
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Welcome back! We're joined this week by fantasy football veteran Matt Ellis to discuss the best starts moving forward into Week 13. This is the last week of the regular season of most fantasy football leagues, so put your best foot forward!