1. I’m still impressed by how this show is showing the moral complications of vigilantism, even when it’s against organized crime, without offering any easy solutions. Matt even makes a speech about morality in court. This episode goes along well with 1.2 in its thematic depth.
2. I think they might be trying to have at least one or two gross-out moments per episode. Because it’s Netflix, and they can? You could tell the same stories with less brutality and gore. The violence is viscerally (sorry!) effective, however, at least on me.
3. Karen Page is getting a better role than I had hoped she would get. But I still fear for what will become of her later on.
4. There’s a nice continuity touch at one point – Matt bleeds on his white shirt, and when he shows up again, he’s wearing a pale blue one.
5. Wilson Fisk appears at the end of the episode, and he has a single, creepy line that made me shudder.
This episode continues with the themes of collateral damage from both crime and vigilantism, and violence to the body reflecting societal imbalances. It’s most notable for the first real appearance of The Kingpin/Wilson Fisk, who until now has been only a voice and an extending web of coercion through his amanuensis/deputy Wesley.
1. Wilson Fisk begins his courtship of Vanessa and reveals the first hints of his origin story, which parallels Daredevil’s in that they were both born in Hell’s Kitchen and, now, are trying to remake it. The difference is that Fisk left at age 11 and returned as an adult; I suspect there is more to that story than the bare facts he imparts to Vanessa. For most of the episode, he seems to be speaking through clenched jaws, with hints of introversion and social disorder that he is rigidly controlling at all times.
At the episode’s end, however, Fisk’s inner rage and violence is physically expressed when he brutally, gruesomely kills one of the Russian mobster brothers and beheads his body with a car door. We’re given two reasons for this murder: first, the victim interrupted Fisk’s dinner, his first date, with Vanessa, which offended Fisk and perhaps scared Vanessa away from him; and second, Fisk wishes to provoke a war with the victim’s brother and his crime syndicate, presumably as a first step in taking over all the various ethnic syndicates in Hell’s Kitchen.
2. The Russian brothers themselves are shown to perpetrate violence on a regular basis. First, they escape from a Russian prison using shivs made from the ribs of their dead brother. Later, to bring their enforcer out of a coma caused by Daredevil, they puncture his heart with a huge syringe of epinephrine. The enforcer’s last words give them a hint that Claire might be a lead to Daredevil, who is still only referred to as “the man in the mask.” Their enforcers beat and threaten Santino, the kid who saw Daredevil get tossed into a dumpster in episode 2, in order to locate Claire’s hiding place; then Claire is kidnapped, beaten, and threatened with death via baseball bat.
3. Interestingly, we don’t see much violence from Daredevil himself in this episode. He does a parkour climb to get into Claire’s temporary apartment, but when he takes down her captors, he does so in the dark. We only see him dislocate/break the arm of the enforcer who’d been threatening Claire. Then, in a reversal of their previous roles, he tends to her injuries and offers her his real name, Matthew.
4. Meanwhile, Karen Page has convinced Ben Urich to investigate her former employers, a trail which I presume will lead him Wilson Fisk. This is putting yourself at risk just as Matt puts himself at risk, once again reinforcing the idea that vigilantism has consequences.
I’ve been spoiled for later episodes – apparently Ben Urich is killed – but given that he’s such a long-running and important character in comics canon, for now I’m going to assume he fakes his death in some way. I guess I’ll find out for sure in Season 2.