Previously: Wilson Fisk went on a date and decapitated a man.
World on Fire
Jessica: We open on Claire looking into a fogged up mirror in the bathroom as the shower runs. She gazes at her beaten and bruised face from the last episode. When she comes out of the shower, we realize she’s in Matt’s place, and he’s cooking her breakfast. Another perk of saving a superhero’s life!
She asks if he has a day job or if he’s one of those “billionaire playboy” types she’s been hearing about. Should we call shots when they do call-outs to other superhero universe people? ‘Cause… shots. (M: Simple yet effective drinking game.) (C: I say we take the shots when we can get them.)
Matt tells her he’s a lawyer, and she wonders how he walks the lawyer/vigilante line and even he doesn’t know – as we recall from that previous episode where he gave a super suspicious “you will receive justice one way or another” speech to the court.
Claire winces and Matt does a sort of creepy vampire-ish thing where he senses that one of her cuts is open, but luckily this isn’t Twilight so no one charges over to Claire or tries to confess their werewolf-y love to her unborn baby or anything like that. (A: THANKS FOR THE TRAUMATIC FLASHBACKS, DAREDEVIL.) Still, if Matt can “taste the copper in the air” when she bleeds, how does he even remotely stand to live in the city when there are so many garbage smells just floating about? He must have a very, very strong stomach.
Catherine: Interestingly, he says later on in the series that he has to focus in order to use his special super senses. Which makes sense, cause otherwise it would just be a constant bombardment. But like, why he would have been focusing right there, I don’t know. Maybe he was trying to smell her beautiful Rosario Dawson hair and he got blood instead.
Jessica: I guess we can’t blame him for that! But thank goodness he can flip the super senses switch off and on, so to speak. Because otherwise he’d probably go crazy.
Matt also senses that Claire has a hairline fracture by hearing how her bones grind together and I will just nope my way out of that gross conversation.
Annie: I’m not kidding that this whole part gave me Twilight flashbacks. The smelling her blood, hearing her bones grind thing? Yep, no thank you.
Marines: He could’ve gone with a simple, “hey you sound hurt.”
Jessica: The nurse/doctor aspect of Claire is curious though, how all his senses come together and what he actually “sees” in his mind and he replies, “A world on fire.” And we get a sort of impressionist shot of Claire’s face all blurry and orange-y red and hey, he said the thing!
Catherine: The visualization of what Matt sees is actually not that far off from the one they used in the Daredevil movie 100 years ago. The only difference is in this show they don’t make it seem like he uses sound waves to see. Also the other difference is Ben Affleck isn’t here.
Jessica: Personally, Jennifer Garner is everything. But I am glad Mr. Ben is off being another broody superhero, far away from here. Also, sound waves, bat, he’s Batman now… yep, covered it.
Matt says that since the Russians know where she lives, Claire should stay with him until it’s safe again. Claire is reluctant but sees the logic in it. Then he puts his fingers under her chin and goes in for the smooch! She responds, and I did not expect this! All I’ve seen of her is a bit in Jessica Jones and then in Luke Cage so I wasn’t sure her relationship with Matt. Interesting.
Mari: I like it so far! I mean, it’s not based on much besides hotness, adrenaline and proximity, but that’s cool for now.
Catherine: I ship it. I can’t help it! The shipper heart wants what it wants!
Jessica: Matt pulls away and says he’s heading out, but will bring her back some clothes (which, spoiler, never happens). She asks why he’s not going to the police with his Russian mobster info, he’s like, hello? Vigilante here, I don’t do police. His plan is to take down Fisk in order to “cut off the head of the snake.” Claire tells him she heard another name during her captivity – Vladimir.
Cut to Vladimir talking angrily on the phone. Creepy Suit Guy Wesley walks in, tries to talk business and fakes that he doesn’t know where Anatoly is. Vlad looks suspicious but then the door opens, and a Russian lackey tells Vlad they found Anatoly. They lay the body out on a nearby table and Vlad has a moment while everyone stands around awkwardly. In his brother’s coat he finds a mask similar to Daredevil’s, which they take to mean Daredevil is sending a message. Vlad tells his men to bring him his head.
JUSTICE AND WAX!
Pieces of Anatoly are being washed off Fisk’s car in a sketchy garage somewhere. Three mob bosses are gathered, and the Chinese lady is giggling but the old white guy looks grossed out. A car drives up and Creepy Wesley gets out with Fisk. Fisk apologizes about his latest absence and this weird meeting place. The Russians are about to be super dead, he tells them, and the bosses are upset they weren’t consulted about this hit on a fifth of their membership. Creepy Wesley translates in both Chinese and Japanese.
Fisk will assume the Russians’ share of the responsibility… and the money, the mob bosses ask? Fisk claims there will be an equal four shares of profits instead of five. The Chinese lady – Madame Gao – nods, but the Japanese Mob Boss and Old White Guy are unhappy, though they reluctantly agree. I definitely expected this scene to turn into a bloodbath and was surprised when they just walked away. I guess Daredevil will get to take them down in his own time.
Mari: One by one like Kill Bill, even!
Jessica: He’ll be starting his list soon.
Singing takes us to a new scene, where a Chinese delivery guy is singing in Mandarin, being driven somewhere by two Russians. They try to ask him about the masked man, but the Chinese guy doesn’t respond.
The car stops and the Russians get out, tell the Chinese guy to wait here. The next part of this scene is pretty cool, as it’s a continuous pan. We start on the singing guy sitting in the back seat, as though we’re sitting in the car next to him, and pan around left to see the Russians through the car’s back window as they go into a door in the alleyway. We keep panning around to see the front of the car, where Daredevil has appeared, seen through the windshield. Panning continues all the way back to the singing guy, where we started, pauses, then pans back to the right, toward the front of the car, but Daredevil is gone. We keep panning around right, toward the back of the car, as ominous music underlays the singing, and we see the Russians come back out of the door. They’re attacked by Daredevil, one of them is thrown into the back window. Two more Russians run out of the door, shooting, and accidentally take out the Chinese guy. They come out further, looking for Daredevil, who rolls out from under the car to attack them. He knocks most of them out and grabs one guy. Daredevil demands to know where Vladimir is. The scared Russian says he’ll tell him, just please don’t decapitate him like he did to Vladimir’s brother. As Daredevil processes this, he hears police sirens and parkours up and away. The police take the Scared Russian into custody and plan to go after the others.
Poor Lawyer Office. Karen is cursing at the ancient equipment that she bought last episode. Foggy comes in laughing at her, and apparently none of the stuff is working. They also have rats. Matt appears. He asks all super casual-like about news of a Russian getting his head cut off, but no one has heard anything and doesn’t seem to think it’s a weird topic to open with first thing in the morning.
Mari: Most people lead with, “how was your weekend?” or something similar, Matt.
Catherine: Truth. Hells Kitchen must be dangerous as fuck if that’s not a weird topic.
Jessica: An elderly Spanish-speaking woman enters, having been referred to Foggy’s law services by a mutual acquaintance. She and the people in their apartment complex are about to be evicted by an evil landlord, so they decide to take the case. The woman, Mrs. Cardena, leaves and Matt says he’ll go down to the police precinct for totally, definitely reasons just for this case, and nothing more. Meanwhile, Foggy gets to go to the Evil Landlord’s lawyers, which are incidentally the firm where he and Matt used to be interns. They’re not so popular there now though, since they turned down job offers to be lawyers of the defenseless. (C: IDK if this pun was intentional but I LOVE it.) Foggy complains so Matt tells him to take Karen, for moral support, I guess? They make a lot of jokes about sharks, and just makes me think about this:
Precinct. Matt enters and chats up the Sergeant at the main desk, whose mom is the one who referred Mrs. Cardenas to them. Matt asks for some copies of complaints against the evil landlord and Sergeant goes off to get that for him.
Matt uses his super!hearing to hone in on an interrogation in a nearby room, where two cops are questioning the Scared Russian he beat up earlier.
Mari: Let’s take a moment to appreciate the poster behind him:
Fancy Lawyer Building. We know it’s fancy because it’s huge and has lots of glass doors. Foggy and Karen enter. Karen is impressed but Foggy looks nervous. He’s accosted by a blond woman who calls him Foggy Bear. They obviously know each other. She tells Karen her name is Marci and asks where Foggy’s “sidekick” is, meaning Matt, and I genuinely giggled a bit. (A: I hate Marci already.) (C: What is “Foggy Bear” even a play on?) (M: Nothing or terribleness.) Turns out Marci is part of the team representing Evil Landlord and she tries to shut him down with a bunch of legalese and, frankly, racist nonsense, but then Foggy goes from nervous to confident and tells her that he’ll see them in court and destroy them. He and Karen walk away, and he throws out that he and Marci used to date.
Car interior. Creepy Wesley tells Fisk about the Scared Russian incident. Fisk doesn’t like how close it was to non-corrupt cops hearing the confession. Wesley says they’ll kill all the Russians soon so it won’t matter, then finishes the conversation with a wine suggestion.
Evil Landlord’s apartment complex. Karen and Foggy come to Mrs. Cardena’s apartment. She lets them in, and they are shocked at how terrible the damage is – flickering lights in the hallway, no electricity inside, and holes in the wall, etc. So Foggy’s plan is to fix the place themselves, and he has some vague construction background and says they’ll basically do it for the whole building, which is nice but not really sustainable? Mrs. Cardena’s pretty pleased though and Karen seems up for some surprise home repairs, so they get started.
Catherine: I feel like this is the episode where I started to love Foggy. He’s just a nice dude. And not in a ‘secretly a dick’ way like most Nice Guys.
Jessica: Agreed. This is definitely where Foggy takes a decidedly positive turn for me as well.
Precinct. Corrupt Cop #1 steps out into the alley for a cigarette break. Big mistake. Huge. Daredevil flips into the scene, punches him, snaps his arm and starts interrogating him about the Scared Russian incident, telling him, “You lie to me and I hurt you.” Corrupt Cop cracks quickly (and literally) under the pressure, saying he shot the guy because he said Fisk’s name. When Daredevil asks how Fisk and the Russians are connected (using his big boy Batman-style gruff voice) Corrupt Cop laughs at his ignorance and insults him, earning himself a crunched knee and being knocked out. Daredevil steals his phone.
Fancy Restaurant. The woman from the art gallery, Vanessa, appears and sees that Fisk has bought out the entire restaurant. (M: An improvement over staging people in the restaurant, I guess.) She comes over to him and he stands, looking nervous. He says, “I didn’t know if you would show.” She said she wasn’t sure either, and wonders if she decides to leave if she would be allowed to. He’s like, yep, totally, but I am not sure, and her asking that question definitely means she has an inkling of what’s going on here.
They talk more about honesty vs. dishonesty and use each other’s first names which, I have to say, having seen a guy just get shot for saying Fisk’s name does give a hefty sense of gravity to her using it. Fisk says he doesn’t like being in public or being questioned, but he’s ok with her doing it. She wants to know what they’re drinking and he throws out Creepy Wesley’s wine suggestion.
Cut to Vladimir, washing Anatoly’s (C: HEADLESS) body, still on the office table from before. One of his lackeys comes in, with a non-Russian man, who says he has info on the masked man. Informant says he has a lead on an SUV that needed a serious cleaning, and that it belongs to “some big white guy.” Vlad wonders if it’s Fisk, but Informant isn’t sure. Informant plays it like Fisk and Daredevil are working together, and Vladimir tells his lackey to get EVERYONE to get ALL THEIR WEAPONS ready and tells Informant that he’ll shell out $1 million to anyone who can tell him where Fisk is tonight. Everyone leaves and Vladimir promises
fire and blood vengeance for his brother.
Evil Landlord Apartment. Foggy fixed the sink, so Mrs. Cardenas insists he and Karen stay for dinner. And then she totally low-key sets it up so he and Karen are on a date, and they laugh awkwardly but are sorta into it.
Annie: Me, too! Whereas I am not a fan of Claire and Matt, I totally ship Karen and Foggy. Even if it’s a little problematic, cuz he’s sort of her boss? Maybe? Still ship it.
Catherine: Same. They are adorable together.
Jessica: Meanwhile, Matt is back at his apartment and getting Claire’s help with the burner phone he took from Corrupt Cop. There’s a text — a list of four locations. Matt realizes it’s info on where the Russians are. Matt figures he’ll find Vladimir one of those places. Claire wonders what he’s going to do and he’s like, um, vengeance? She brings up his line of hurting people because he enjoys it, which he used to scare a Russian guy in the first episode, and she says she can’t believe that that’s true. They argue. Matt asks if he should just let them tear Hell’s Kitchen apart? Claire says that what he does is important, but she can’t love someone who’s too close to being what he hates. He agrees with her and walks out, putting on his mask. She sad faces and holds back tears.
Restaurant, where we are getting a somewhat parallel conversation about who people are and what they plan to do for this city. Vanessa is talking about her previous lovers, for some reason. She compliments the wine and Fisk admits, for the sake of honesty, that his assistant picked out the wine. Also he goes, “Wesley is more than an assistant”– and we all lean in, but Wesley’s just a friend, y’all, so don’t let that ship leave the harbor yet.
They talk more and Fisk says his plan is “rebuilding this city.” She thinks that makes him an artist. They talk about his dad, who’s dead, then Fisk asks what kind of gun she has in her purse. Vanessa handles this way more calmly than I would. He wonders if she thinks she needs it and she’s like, I’m not dumb, guy, I know you’re sketchy but I’m still here, so… Fisk doubles down on his “rebuilding the city” speech. I thought this scene was really well done, because there’s all this tension – who is she really? will he try to kill her? will she try to kill him? – but the setting and background music is all calm and fancy, until the double-down speech, where the music gets all ominous as he talks about the city dying before it becomes reborn. At the end, Fisk says that as long as she rolls with him, she won’t need a gun. She takes it out and lets him take it away from her. So like, is he going to buy her another gun, or …? Those things ain’t cheap. In the background, Marcel the waiter gets a phone call.
Catherine: This was SO well juxtaposed with the scene of Matt saying basically the SAME DAMN THING to Claire about saving Hells Kitchen. They have the same motivation but from opposite directions.
Jessica: Which is a really cool way to set up your villain, by making him similar to your hero, and hopefully as complex and interesting.
Mari: It was also great to see Claire’s reaction to Matt’s “saving the city” spiel vs. Vanessa’s. It sets them up at opposite ends as well, and it’s interesting to see our villain being luckier in love at the moment than our hero.
Jessica: Russian base. Daredevil is nearby and hears that the Russians supposedly know where Fisk is. Snap to surprise!date where Foggy is telling Karen about hijinks he and Matt got into as college roommates. They flirt and somehow the conversation gets to Matt and who he dates and Foggy, no, just, don’t. He even calls Matt a “sexual rain man” which, what? Why? They talk about how Matt touches faces to know what people look like, so Karen decides that Foggy should touch her face, which, whatever, just go with it and luckily we don’t have to do this too long because — cut to alleyway scene!
A blind Chinese guy, who apparently does deliveries for Madame Gao, approaches the Russians’ hideout and they let him in. Daredevil watches and attacks the doorway guards. Inside, the Russians are preparing for war with machine guns and grenades. The delivery guy gets all the way inside and then blows himself up! Vladimir and his number two, Sergei, manage to duck behind a door, meanwhile the explosion blows the alley door outward, taking Daredevil and the guard down with it.
Back at the apartment, the weird face-touching date turns into ANOTHER explosion! Mrs. Cardenas is wounded so Karen and Foggy start to help her. Foggy then charges off down the hall to see if anyone else needs help as Karen calls after him.
Restaurant. Across the skyline, and we see four giant explosions happening across the city – Fisk’s moves against the Russians. Vanessa watches, awed, standing next to Fisk. He tells her the men who were responsible for hurting the little boy from the previous episode (who Matt rescued after an epic hallway battle) were just taken out. He neglects to mention that they used to be business partners but you know, whatever. Fisk reaches into his jacket and once again we think he’s going to murder everybody, but actually he just hands Marcel a check all casual-like. He leaves the restaurant.
Catherine: Great job getting a restaurant with scenic views of your terrorism, weirdo. What if that date had gone differently and she hadn’t been cool with his crimey-ness?
Mari: I assume he would’ve gone with, “huh, weird look at those explosions what even are they *whistles*…”
Jessica: Back at the exploded Russian HQ, Daredevil coughs and pulls himself out from under the debris and struggles to his knees.. He looks wounded, but then hears someone calling Vladimir’s name. Vladimir and Sergei survived and are running away.
Car interior. Informant who told Vladimir that Fisk and Daredevil are working together gets a payout from Creepy Wesley. He was supposed to plant that information to get Vladimir to act the way he did to justify Fisk taking him out.
Alleyway. As Vladimir and Sergei try to get away, Daredevil attacks them, and starts beating Vlad into a bloody pulp. As he raises his fist for the final blow – “This one’s for Claire” – police sirens interrupt and there are about 3 squad cars and men with guns on them. He lets Vlad go and we zoom in on his face, panting, as his mind races to figure out how to get out of this one, and it’s the end of the episode.
I liked parts of this episode a lot, and it definitely pushes the parallels between Matt and Fisk, as to how they both think they need to act to “fix” the city, which is obviously in direct conflict. They also show the different reactions between the women with them – Claire asking Matt to not be so extreme and him refusing and walking away, and Vanessa seeming to accept Fisk and his rather radical ideas and measures. The build-up of Fisk’s unstable psychotic nature definitely gave tension to the times when he’s in the room, with the mob bosses, with Vanessa, etc. I’m curious how Matt will get out of being taken into police custody, and I think Karen and Foggy were being cute together, face-touching aside.
Annie: I took a long break between the last episode and this one the first time I watched Daredevil. It took me a long while to get over the decapitation via car door thing. This episode didn’t quite pull me back in, but I was willing to keep watching. Not the worst episode.
Mari: Just chiming in to say that I definitely thought this was a slower episode than the first 4, especially because we had those more intimate scenes between Matt and Claire, Foggy and Karen, and Wilson and Vanessa. I think having those three having conversations over tables did a lot of character work, and I’m not mad at that, but you definitely felt the slower pace. Even with the Vlad/Fisk thing happening in the background, that felt very much in the background and progressed with so little true friction, you felt you knew how it would end before it ended. That cliffhanger, though. I mean, I have a feeling that Matt will just fight out of it, but the suspense was real.
Next time on Daredevil: Ben keeps going with his investigation in S01 E06 – Condemned.