SantinoPreviously: Matt and Foggy defended a bad dude who later killed himself.
In the Blood
Marines: We start the episode eight years ago in the Utkin Prison in Sibera. A man, badly beat, is being dragged by two guards through a prison hallway. He’s thrown into a dank, dark prison cell with another guy. Through their dialogue, we establish that these two are Vladimir and Anatoly and they are super tight brothers who swear to leave this prison together. Vladimir presents his bother with something that looks like a sharp bone. Anatoly is impressed and asks his brother where he got it. He points to a dead man in their cell and rolls him over so we see a big gash in his side. I would’ve rather not seen that, but thanks Vlad.
Catherine: Excellent crafting skills, though. If he gets out of prison he could make bank on Etsy.
Mari: I’m almost certain that’s not his plan, but it should be.
Anatoly is super excited because they will see Moscow again. Vlad is like, “Moscow? Nope. We’re going to America.” He says all this while digging in the dead guy’s side and breaking off another piece of bone.
Thankfully, we leave this cell before we have to watch any more of this.
Hell’s Kitchen, now. Valdimir is running out of a building yelling at someone on the phone in Russian. He hops into a cab and turns it on. A body lands on his hood and he just reverses and drives away. We pan up and there’s Daredevil, huffing and puffing like he, well, just threw a body out of a building.
JUSTICE AND WAX.
Clairesario Dawson is stitching up Matt while noting that he’s been busy lately. She asks how that’s working out for him, semi-sarcastically since the answer is that he needs to be stitched up by a semi-stranger in the middle of the night. Matt replies, however, that she should see the other guys. Claire says she has, seeing as how the guy Matt threw off the room of her apartment building is in a coma. She asks how he feels about that and he says he’ll live. I mean, that’s partially that he’s alive no thanks to coma guy (faux-tective) and partially that he’ll be okay knowing faux-tective is in a coma.
Jessica: Meanwhile, I’m impressed that she can stitch and hold a normal conversation at the same time. I dabble in x-stitching and I can’t begin to count how many stitches I’ve had to go back when I stop paying strict attention. And I’m just stitching nerdy things on bookmarks, not wounds in a hot superhero’s skin.
Mari: Get on Clairesario’s level.
A cat jumps on the counter behind them and Claire hisses at it and yells for it to get down. Matt laughs about her obvious dislike of cats. Claire says that she’s supposed to be coming here and feeding the cat twice a day, not hiding out here and using all her sick days. He tells her to keep laying low a little while longer, just until he knows the Russians aren’t looking for her. She says that she isn’t the one who looks like she’s been put through a grinder.
Matt says it sounds like Claire is worried about him. He says it all eye battingly too. She asks what if she were worried, but he tells her that he’s a big boy. She points out that he keeps showing up here, though. Upping the flirting ante, he says that maybe he just likes the sound of her voice. She then asks what happens when he shows up and she’s already talking to someone else. Matt, less flirt in his voice, admits that he’s thought about that.
Catherine: I never know whether to ship these two or not. On the one hand, they’re adorable. On the other, Claire could do way better and find a guy who isn’t always being used as a mobster punching bag.
Annie: Claire could do 1000x better. She’s having to use all her sick time and hide out, while Matty just pops in whenever for free healthcare? This isn’t Canada. Matt can just run around being a vigilante, thank you very much, and leave Claire out of this.
Mari: And suddenly things are back to business as Matt pulls out a burner phone. He asks Claire to program her number in so that he can call the next time before he shows up bleeding half to death and seeking free medical attention. Claire tells him to take it a bit easier and assures him that she can take care of herself, but Matt says that it’s about more than that. He asks if she’s ever heard the name Wilson Fisk. She says no. I’m not sure it’s a smart move to give Claire this name, but okay. Matt says it’s a name someone gave him, but he can’t find any trace of Wilson Fisk. Matt says that if he applies enough pressure, though, someone is bound to break. Matt leaves via window, with nary a thank you.
I’m very sorry that Matt has now joined Dawson Leery and Edward Cullen in the league of Snark Squad window climbers. We have two tags dedicated to how not okay and worst window climbing is. I don’t make the rules.
Catherine: At least he did it when she was conscious? I guess?
Annie: And he’s leaving via the window. Not climbing in to watch Claire while she sleeps, so… not the worst.
Jessica: At most I’d like to think he might ninja by her place sometimes to leave a thank-you sixpack. In a non-creepy way.
Mari: I really appreciate all your efforts to upgrade Matt’s window climbing.
Garage. Some cabs are getting a rebrand and makeover from something I don’t see to Veles Taxi. Wesley aka Creepy Suit Guy walks in and Anatoly alerts his brother. Wesley comments on Anatoly’s beat up face but he smirks and says he’s had worse. And wow! We just saw that in the cold open and everything. Wesley suggests ducking next time, but he really came here to say that Prohaszka’s holdings in Kitchen Cab have been acquired and transferred to Veles Taxi, increasing the brothers’ holdings. Anatoly asks Wesley to pass on their gratitude, presumably to Corrupt Charlie, and Wesley says that he wouldn’t care. The brothers are light again this week. Vlad blames a complication, but Wesley was under the impression they were addressing that problem already. Vlad and Anatoly share the information that their problem, Daredevil, was asking about Wesley’s employer by name. And not Corrupt Charlie, but Wilson Fisk. I just wanted to use Corrupt Charlie again. RIP Nickname. You are in great company in the Snark Squad nickname graveyard.
Wesley doesn’t seem to care all that much. He just wants the Russians to take care of this one guy running around in a mask, the guy with no hammer and no iron suit. (A: I see you almost name-dropping, Marvel Universe people!) The Brothers are done with being put down, but Wesley calls after them that Daredevil has weakened their operation. Vlad is like, “who you calling weak, Suit Guy?” but Wesley says it isn’t personal. It’s business. Distribution of Madame Gao’s product is being affected, which is causing delays in other ventures. This is bad news for the shady guys. Luckily, Fisk is willing to “help” the Russians, essentially by taking over their operation. Vlad is a solid pass but Anatoly wants to know what their profits will look like. Vlad pushes, though, and tells Wesley to tell Mr. Fisk (even though we never say his name) that if he wants a pound of flesh to come here and carve it himself. Despite the threat, Wesley says that this is an offer, not an order, and the choice of how to proceed is theirs. He tells them to talk it over and get back to him.
Wesley leaves and Anatoly is quick to call him a prissy little bitch in Russian. Wesley tells Anatoly to call someone named Piotr. Anatoly starts to say that He Who Shall Not Be Named wouldn’t like that and Vlad is like, “always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” Something like that. (J: A+) Anatoly blames the man in their mask for all their worries. They are hoping that someone named Semyon might be able to help them, but that guy is napping now? But Vlad says that even Jesus rose on the third day and nap time is over.
Diner. Karen asks Ben what she thought of her story and he says he’s heard it before. Company gets caught up in a scandal, files for bankruptcy, quietly restructures under a new name. Karen is like, hello, murder in my apartment, but Ben is still unclear on all that. That’s fair, Ben. We thought that plot was pretty convoluted, too. Although, the point that’s tripping him up is the man in a black mask bit. Karen asks what about Rance. Does Ben really believe he just up and hung himself in jail? A guard tried to do the same thing to Karen. She asks Ben to go talk to that guard, but surprise, that guy is dead too. Her old boss is also dead by apparent suicide. (C: Seriously? How many people did they have to kill to cover this up when they could’ve just killed Karen in the first place??) Ben asks Karen if she sees a pattern. She apparently doesn’t because she asks why no one is looking into this. I mean, I guess she sees the death pattern but she doesn’t understand why death would be a huge deterrent to further investigation. Ben tells her she’s lucky to be alive and she should move on. Karen pushes and says that a construction company has to leave a trail if it’s being liquidated. Ben thanks her for the coffee and gets up to leave. He tells her that stories like this are built with credible sources and he’s looked into her “past activities.” She gets some applause from me when she says that she’s done some digging of her own and has read every one of his bylines. She asks what happened to that reporter. Ben says he got old and less stupid and leaves.
Hospital. Vlad and Anatoly walk into a man on a breathing machine’s room with a bouquet and get well soon balloon. Good job, bros. Totally inconspicuous. They whip out a shady pocket med-kit with an unidentified amber liquid. This is apparently Semyon and he is not napping, he’s IN A COMA. Damn. Ain’t no rest for the wicked. As Vlad prepares an injection, he asks if Anatoly has heard back from Piotr. Piotr promised to get back to them when he has something on Fisk’s movements. Anatoly starts to warn Vlad about this course of action again and Vlad snaps because DAMMIT HE ISN’T AFRAID OF VOLDEMORT. Anatoly reminds Vlad that they were in that shitty prison for three years. He promised himself then that if they ever got free, they would never lose what they had again. Vlad says that back when they had nothing, they agreed on everything. I guess crime makes you have sibling fights. The More You Know.
After Vlad and Anatoly promise to find their way back to sibling happiness again, they jab Semyon with the epinephrine and after a second or two, he jolts away, squirming and I don’t know, probably pissed. I feel like you’d be pissed if you were jolted out of a coma. They pull out his breathing tube and ask who did this to him. Semyon is the guy who Daredevil pushed into a dumpster. I didn’t recognize him because he’s beat up and also because they aren’t calling him faux-tective. He says the devil did this to him and also there was a woman there. He whispers something to Vlad. He’s very helpful for a guy ripped out of a coma. Loyalty runs deep.
Next thing we know we see more bad dudes busting into Claire’s apartment. She isn’t there, but unfortunately Santino came to investigate and the Russian guys look happy to see him.
Crime Cars. Welsey rides with Fisk and fills him in on his conversations with the brothers. He says Anatoly might be the way in, because he’s more chill than his brother. Fisk says he prefers to handle this quietly and without any costly confrontations. Fisk asks where they are in the timeline, and Wesley says that assuming they settle with the Russians quickly, they are still within a reasonable margin. Finally, Wesley asks what about the masked man. Fisk says if the brothers can’t handle him, he will find another solution.
They arrive wherever and Wesley starts to get out but Fisk says no because he’s going to attend to this alone. Wesley gives him a “sir” that sounds like a mix between “seriously?” and “that sounds like a bad idea.” but he backs down. Fisk thanks him and gets out of the car. They are at the gallery from the end of the last episode. The Gallery Lady asks how he’s enjoying Rabbit in a Snowstorm, remembering that she sold one of her favorite pieces to him. He creepy-whispers that he hung it in his bedroom and it’s the last thing he sees every night before bed. She says that’s either very romantic or very sad. (J: Or creepy.) He came here to thank her personally for the piece and she says it isn’t necessary but accepts the gratitude. She wants to know if there is anything else she can do for him and he awkwardly shuffles a bit as he asks her out for dinner. She says that she’s the only one working and Fisk is still awkwardly shuffling as he says another time and hurries away.
“That’s it?” she calls after him. She says one time a guy offered to buy up every painting so she could close up early. He gets close to her and says that a woman that can be bought isn’t worth having. She doesn’t whisper back, “a woman isn’t had or possessed but nice try.” Instead she says she’s partial to Italian and introduces herself as Vanessa. I’m on high alert because if Fisk was coming here to ask her out on a date, where tf did Wesley think he was going? Inside for moral support? Was he gonna be the Kiss the Girl chorus?
Catherine: I find the interactions between Fisk and Vanessa fascinating. He’s such a bad guy but he’s so nervous to talk to her. Girls make him nervous? He’s a crime guy? I just… LAYERS.
Annie: Complicated villains. It’s a thing that Marvel likes to do from time to time. How cute. He’s a murderous psycho, but women make him nervous. That whole interaction gives me the absolute worst feeling. Creepy.
Mari: Apartment. Claire feeds the cat she’s cat-sitting and she’s all sniffly and miserable. I recently adopted a kitten I’m allergic to so this is kind of like me right now but less hateful, less gorgeous and with none of the nurse skills. Mostly it’s the sniffling and the snotting.
There is some suspicious scraping and rattling at the door and Claire pulls out her phone and goes to check it out. It’s only her neighbor. She sighs a little but then we see a suspicious shadow cross her window as she rubs her eyes.
Foggy is telling Matt a story he’s heard many times before about how Foggy’s mom wanted him to be a butcher. Foggy can’t remember what he said to her, but it probably wasn’t anything about bailing out a drunk electrician who burned down his house. Matt excuses the electrician, who burned down the house by accident. Foggy is not having it and the point is that they aren’t making any money and he isn’t sure about this whole broke do-gooder lawyer thing, especially because they don’t even have office equipment.
Foggy and Matt are about to get into a cab when Matt gets a call on his burner phone. He says goodbye to Foggy and answers. Claire says nothing and we cut to her being attacked at the apartment. (J: NO! Don’t hurt Claire you jerks.) Matt hears her scream and takes off running, ditching his cane along the way and jumping on roof tops and shit to get to the apartment. (C: And it’s super awesome.) By the time he gets there, though, it’s empty. (A: What did I say about leaving my Claire ALOOONE? Thanks, Matt.) He throws a chair in frustration but then stands at the window to listen to the many sounds his sensitive ears can pick up. He isolates some men speaking Russian and a woman screaming and takes off.
We see the Russian men put Claire in the trunk of a cab and drive off. Matt makes it back out to main street and it appears he’s lost their trail.
Auction. Karen is in the back. The next lot is the liquidation of Union Allied and she perks up and starts drawing the men bidding on the lot. Ben sits behind her and tells her to stop what she’s doing and not to turn around. This is how you get caught. Karen asks WTF he cares and instead of answering, he points out two other people who are present and also not bidding. Karen worriedly answers what she does and Ben tells her to bid on and win one of the smaller lots. Karen says she doesn’t have money, but Ben tells her to figure it out and then meet him at the diner. The Union Allied lot goes for $225,000, but we don’t know to who.
Veles Taxi. The men grab Claire out of the trunk.
Matt goes to Claire’s apartment building and finds Santino looking a little bloodied. He admits that he didn’t give the bad men any information at first, but they took him up on the roof like Matt did to faux-tective. Matt asks if Santino saw or heard anything that could be useful in finding Claire. He saw them get into the front of a taxi like it was their own. It was a Veles Taxi.
Dinner. Wilson tries some wine and approves it. He admits that he doesn’t know much about wine, but his assistant recommended it. Vanessa says maybe she should be out with his assistant and then calls it a bad joke. Things are really awkward and talk turns to how much the city is changing. Wilson doesn’t think it’s changing fast enough, but Vanessa says she wouldn’t want to see all the character scrubbed away. Wilson tells a story about having moved away from Hell’s Kitchen as a kid but he came back because this is his home, and he would do anything to make it better for people like Vanessa. And I think by “make it better” he must mean “infest it with organized crime” but maybe I don’t have the whole story you know? (C: Kind of. But also HE doesn’t have the whole story.)
Veles Taxi. Claire is being beaten up. She’s very bloody and a man named Sergei is threatening her with a bat, promising to break her one piece at a time until she gives these men the masked man’s name. Suddenly, all the lights go out. Sergei tells another dude to go check the breaker and soon that dude is screaming in agony. Claire starts laughing and tells them all that if they want to know his name, they can ask the man himself. They all start shooting in the dark, which doesn’t seem like a great plan to me, but anyway Daredevil takes them all out for the trouble anyway. I’d tell you more about how, but it’s dark man. Claire takes this time to start to free herself, but when it’s just Sergei left standing, he grabs her again and tries to use her as protection. Daredevil just punches him anyway and breaks his hand. And mid-threat and gravelly voice, Claire swings the bat and knocks the guy out. She breaks down crying and Daredevil gives her a big hug.
Catherine: I love this scene so much. I love how they didn’t make Claire defenseless and damsel in distressey. She probably could’ve taken all those dudes out herself but she just felt like Matt needed something to do.
Annie: I like that about Claire, that she’s not exactly a damsel in distress. There so much I want to say about her and her character, but…
So I will keep my mouth shut.
Jessica: Agreed. This was more good setup of Claire’s character. She’s human (meaning not superhuman) but she’s not a stereotype, despite needing rescue (from some very bad dudes, mind you) she is brave and awesome.
Mari: Karen meets Ben at the diner, now the new owner of office equipment older than she is that she charged to the law firm. I mean, at least now Foggy has his office equipment. Ben told Karen to move on because this is all very dangerous, but he’s still interested in the story. He wants her to be smart– to stop meeting him at his office, to not talk to anyone else about this and to sign the agreement from the Union Allied lawyers. She may not be able to speak publicly about this, but that has no bearing on Ben’s continued investigation.
Veles Taxi. Anatoly and Vlad come home to find everyone beat up or passed out. Anatoly thinks they need Fisk’s help, but Vlad is still very yell-y about the idea. Anatoly offers to go, bow before Fisk for the both of them and Vlad gives in.
Weirdly intense date night. I don’t want to recap all their small talk about dessert and chocolate and Wilson’s seriously intense whisper-y, “tonight I’m just a man enjoying the company of a captivating woman.” Vanessa smiles at that, but then they are interrupted by Anatoly trying to barge in on the date and Wesley trying to stop him. Half the restaurant stands protectively and okay, that is CREEPY. They are all just staged security, ew. Vanessa asks what’s happening and Fisk says they have to go now. On the way out, Fisk tells Anatoly that Wesley will take care of him, and furtively tells Wesley to put him in a car.
Jessica: Anatoly’s plan was just… the worst.
Mari: Office. Karen is explaining their awfully old equipment and how she charged it to the office, but she’s got some money coming her way from a thing. Foggy touches the clunky fax machine lovingly and starts to tell the butcher story again.
Matt’s place. Matt is patching her up and apologizing for having almost gotten her killed. Claire says it was partially her choice, pulling him out of a dumpster when she didn’t have to. She wants to know that it was worth it, though. That Matt has some sort of endgame or plan. He doesn’t. He’s just trying to make his city a better place, even though right now he feels like he’s just making things worse. Claire wants him to tell that to the boy he saved last episode, or all the others he’s helped. She makes him feel her heart and says that she’s scared, but he can do something about that for everyone who is scared. Matt tells her his real name is Matthew, which is a bold move on a night she got beat for his real name. (C: Okay yes I ship it. Forget that I tried to lie.)
Wilson and Vanessa are walking together. He brings her to her door and asks if he’ll see her again. (A: The answer should totally be no. Creepy, creepy.) She’s very put off by went on in the restaurant. Wilson says that if she didn’t enjoy their time together at all, she’ll never see him again. She says she doesn’t know how she feels and goes inside. Wilson… grimaces? It was definitely a face.
Wesley and Anatoly ride together. Hearing what happened with the masked man, Wesley thinks it was right for him to have reached out, but thinks a phone call would’ve probably been better. (J: Duh-doy! Was Anatoly supposed to be the brains of this operation? FAIL.) Anatoly says he wanted to speak to Fisk in person and put the past behind him. Wesley gives a long rambly speech about how the past always lingers, and the jist of it is RUH-ROH. Sure enough, they stop and Fisk pulls Anatoly out of the car and starts beating the crap out of him because he embarrassed him in front of Vanessa. Anatoly pulls out a knife but a swipe at Fisk only reveals that he wears kevlar under his suit. Fisk punches him some more until he knocks him down and then positions his body at the passenger door and proceeds to BANG THE CRAP OUT OF IT WITH THE DOOR. UNTIL HE DECAPITATES IT AND THERE IS SO MUCH FOLEY AND IMAGERY I DO NOT WANT. I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE IT BACK, PLEASE.
Annie: Yeah. This made me quit Daredevil the first time I tried to watch it. I get the point of this scene, I get it. They want to show us how fucking insane Fisk is, but omg, I cannot unseen that, no thank you, please. Please.
Mari: After the beheading, Fisk tells Wesley to get him a new suit and to send the remains of Anatoly to Vlad. Wesley says it will start a war, but that is apparently what Fisk is banking on.
Mari: Indeed. And this episode worked as an extended introduction to Wilson Fisk, more obviously setting up the two extremes of his character and more understatedly setting him up at Matt’s foil. They both have (at least hinted at) troubled paths and they both have a passionate attachment to Hell’s Kitchen. Still, that puts them on opposite ends and perhaps the difference is Wilson’s obsession with reshaping a city versus Matt’s dedication to protecting the people. We see the episode set them up as opposites in another way too: Matt’s big fight scene is all done in the dark. It’s more about stealth and shadows and slowly disarming that than brute strength. Fisk’s final scene is the opposite. It’s big, in your face, violent and finally gory.
Next time on Daredevil: Fisk loves Hell’s Kitchen so much he continues to rip it apart in S01 E05 – World on Fire.