Previously: DD got fucked up.
Nelson v. Murdoch
Marines: Matt comes to on his own couch, and I know we just called the last recap “grimacing bloodily” but YEP. Watch him be in pain for a minute was real painful. He lifts one of his bandages and checks out a gut wound, quickly deciding to cover that right back up. Matt tries to stand, but from the kitchen, Foggy says he wouldn’t do that if he were Matt. Then again, what does he really know about the things Matt Murdoch does? (A: Too soon.)
Ignoring that jab, Matt asks if Foggy stitched him up. Nope. It was Claire. Matt had Foggy call her right after taking a swing at his friend for trying to take him to the hospital. Matt doesn’t remember any of that, but apologizes anyway. Foggy says Claire was hot, but Matt must’ve known that. Foggy asks Matt is even really blind.
Annie: Ahahahaha, but like LEAVE CLAIRE ALONE FOGGY. Seriously. She’s the best thing that happened to this show and I will come for you if you insist on reducing Claire to ‘hot chick’.
Mari: JUSTICE AND WAX.
After the credits, we are in a flashback in which Foggy has horrible, long hair. (A: It rivals Jacob’s horrible wig from the Twilight movie, it’s THAT BAD.)(J: And don’t forget the terrible goatee-beard thing! I wish I could….) He’s in a dorm room, on a bed when Matt comes in. There’s a bit of awkwardness when Foggy asks Matt who he’s looking for, before realizing he’s blind. They introduce themselves. Foggy recognizes Matt’s name from Hell’s Kitchen and that one time Matt saved someone from a truck. Matt downplays it, but Foggy calls him a hero who got his “peepers knocked out” saving some old dude. Matt clarifies that they didn’t get knocked out. He’s also happy that Foggy isn’t treating him like he’s fragile, like most people do. Foggy is like “yeah, man. You’re just a regular very good looking guy.” A little more awkwardness until Foggy clarifies that he’s just excited to be Matt’s wingman and open himself up to a better caliber dating pool. Foggy wants to be the Goose to his Maverick, no matter that Goose is married and dies. Foggy invites Matt for a cup of coffee and as they stand to go–
Jump cut to the present. Foggy stands and paces, yelling at Matt that he can see. Matt tells him he isn’t listening. Foggy yells that he gets it– world on fire, but the point is that he can see. To prove his point, Foggy holds a middle finger up in front of Matt’s face and asks how many fingers he’s holding up. “One,” Matt says evenly.
Mari: Foggy feels lied to. Matt asks what he was supposed to say? That chemicals splashed in his eyes gave him heightened senses? Foggy says maybe not leading with that… Matt says he never even told his father and only told Claire because he had to. Because she found him half dead in a dumpster. Foggy softens some as he says Claire is nice. Matt agrees that she is. (A: That’s better.)
Foggy takes a deep breath and asks if Matt blew up those buildings and shot that cop. Matt wonders if Foggy really needs to ask him that, but given the circumstances, the answer is yes. (J: Ouch.) Matt tells him that Fisk did all that stuff, plus beat him up with the help of some ninja named Nobu. Foggy can hardly believe what he’s hearing. Matt’s phone rings and the ringtone announces that it’s Karen. Matt tries to reach for the phone, but Foggy gets there first. Matt begs him not to tell Karen. The call goes to voicemail, but Karen calls Foggy next. Matt braces himself as he hears Foggy answer, but Foggy ends up covering for Matt, saying he got hit by a car. Karen wants to come over, but Foggy gets needlessly aggressive and tells her to stay at the office dammit. Matt thanks Foggy for lying, but he doesn’t want to hear that. He wants to hear every detail of Matt’s story.
Jessica: This felt a bit unfair. I think they shouldn’t have had Foggy lie, but I guess it serves the plot and the structure of this episode better, blah blah. But I don’t see how he can’t see how what he did isn’t similar to what Matt did.
Mari: He can’t see it because of #feelings.
Somewhere in the city, Fisk meets Madame Gao. She comments on his lack of lackey (J: A+), but Fisk says, in Mandarin, that there is no need for a translator or a lackey any longer. Gao starts telling a story about a snake who mistook an elephant for prey and died with his mouth open wide, betrayed by his own ambition. Fisk asks if he’s the elephant or the snake in this story. Madame Gao answers by saying that what happened to Nobu was unfortunate, though she insinuates that Fisk knew how it would end. And though Nobu’s men might be distracted now by his death, their memories and knives will return. Besides that warning, Gao is here to also pose a question: how long before Fisk’s ambition turns to her? He says that Gao has something the others didn’t: his respect. She kind of scoffs at that and says that Fisk isn’t the same man she met. He’s being distracted by matters of the heart. Gao switches to English and tells Fisk that there is conflict within him. Man cannot be both savior and oppressor, light and shadow. One must be sacrificed for the other. She advises Fisk to choose and choose wisely, or others will choose for him.
Jessica: The guy who plays Fisk tried very hard to keep his gravelly bad-guy voice going while he was speaking Mandarin. Must have been tough. I’d be curious how easily he’s understood to someone who is fluent.
Mari: Hospital. Urich’s wife (Doris) wakes up and they share a sweet kiss. She asks if the doctors have said anything. Ben says they think she’s improving, but it comes off as an unconvincing lie. Doris changes the subject and asks what he’s working on. Ben says he should be here with her and not working on anything, but she tells him that being a reporter is who he is. Ben thinks he’s not the fearless guy he used to be. Doris says he wasn’t fearless; he was reckless and pushy. Now he’s careful and wiser. She thinks his best work is still ahead of him. They kiss some more, but Doris seems distracted and then, man, you can see something go dim in her eyes. She turns her head back toward Ben again and greets him like she’s just seeing him for the first time. Ben looks heartbroken. Just in time for a hospital lady to arrive and ask to speak to him in the hall where she presumably gives him more bad news and breaks his heart some more.
Back at Matt’s apartment, Foggy is going through his trunk of fighting stuff. He asks where the f Matt got all this stuff. The Internet, duh. Foggy next wants to know where Matt learned how to fight, but isn’t pleased with the “blind old man named Stick” answer. Or with the further information that Matt just knows things because of his ability, like the fact that Foggy hasn’t showered since yesterday morning, and he had onions in his lunch two days ago, and he’s hungry and tired and the more Matt says, the faster Foggy’s heart beats. Foggy cannot believe that Matt can hear his heartbeat from across the room. He gets all upset about how weird and invasive that is, and then realizes that Matt has known when he was lying for the entirety of their friendship. And he just went along with Foggy anyway.
This is all really tough to watch, because while my head understands why Foggy is upset, my heart wants him to STFU. He’s blaming Matt for things he can’t help right along with things he can. And having the image of Foggy angry and pacing while Matt is literally sewn up and bloody on the couch is powerful, and it makes me feel for Matt. And because I’ve known when friends were lying too, and I went along with it anyway. What else was Matt supposed to do in that situation? Call him out on every lie? I don’t know, but this is tough.
Annie: Yeah, definitely. I’m torn because it almost feels like an invasion of privacy that Matt can ‘see’ people so well, right down to when they’re lying. So I get Foggy’s feelings, but I’m with you, Mari. This isn’t Matt’s fault. He didn’t ask for these abilities, he probably wishes he could turn it off sometimes. Ugh. Sure, make me feel the feels, show.
Jessica: Foggy has a point but it irritated me that he wasn’t giving Matt the benefit of a doubt. Agh, feelings!
Mari: We get thrown back into another flashback of Matt and Foggy in college. Foggy is running around with Matt’s white cane, yelling “I’m blind Matt Murdoch!” And this seems to be funny to Matt. He sighs and says they should get back to studying. Foggy calls him a nerd because he’ll be graduating summa cum laude and can take a night off. Matt counters that Foggy would be graduating that if he took a few less nights off. Foggy says that means that one day they’ll be great lawyers, except he tries to say it in Spanish: “el grande avocados.”
Karen arrives to the office as she leaves another message for Foggy. There is a shoebox on her desk. She eyes it, suspiciously, and just as she reaches out to lift the top, Ben comes out of the next room and scares the shit out of her. (J: Rude. And a good way to get maced.) Turns out, she left the door unlocked and he let himself in. (A: I can’t figure out if Karen is bad at her job or not, but this seems to be a check in the bad column). Karen starts talking about something she found in the county clerk’s office, but Ben cuts her off to tell her to look in the shoebox. It’s everything from his board of cards and connections. He tells Karen about how the extension at the hospital didn’t come through, but he can’t put his wife in hospice care either. He’s taking some time off to bring her home. Karen asks him to take a ride with her, saying that there’s a nursing home upstate she’s just heard of. Ben doesn’t look like he wants to, but Karen asks what it could hurt.
Wesley is tying Fisk’s bow tie. Leland is there wondering at Fisk’s setting Nobu on fire, or using the masked man to do it, which he considers the same difference. Fisk asks Leland to speak to Gao and assure her everything is fine. Leland is like “um, okay, is it?” Fisk sends Wesley to get the car and tell Vanessa they are on their way. Leland thinks things have been getting out of hand ever since he met Vanessa. Madame Gao is right. Fisk says that change is inevitable for him, the city and… certain relationships. Leland gets the implied threat and agrees to talk to Gao, but he’s sarcastically bright as he says that they are all in this together. What’s left of them, anyway.
Foggy ends a call while Matt struggles to get dressed on the couch. Matt asks who it was, and Foggy snits about him using his super hearing. Matt says it doesn’t work that way. He has to concentrate. Foggy says that they found the druggie who killed Elena, but he threw himself off a building. Foggy wants to know if that was Matt– if Matt killed the druggie. Matt says no. He has never gone that far, even though he’s wanted to. He went to warehouse to kill Fisk, for instance. Foggy yells about THE LAW!, echoing Matt’s own words, but Matt says sometimes the law is not enough.
Flashback to Foggy and Matt sitting in on a litigation, on the side of a corporation. The head lawyers tells the sick, old man that they will be seeking damages since he shared sensitive information. The man can barely breathe and as he says he only shared information with his doctor. Matt listens in to his heartbeat. He’s telling the truth.
We cut to Matt and Foggy’s “office” which is two desk in a closet. Foggy has great news: they are getting a real office and a full time spot in this law firm. Unfortunately, Matt has been reading Thurgood Marshall again and asks Foggy if this is really what he wants? To represent corporations against people who really need help. Foggy grabs a box to pack his stuff and as many bagels as he can steal, saying that with Matt as his partner, it’ll be a while before they have a good meal. And back in the present, Foggy looks out the window and has a lot of feelings. Matt is still on the couch. He can tell that Foggy has something he wants to say, because his breathing changes when he does. Matt tells him to say what he needs to. Foggy turns toward Matt.
Car. Karen asks Ben why he didn’t mention how serious it was with his wife. Maybe ’cause it’s not your business, KAREN. (A: A++.) Ben’s answer is nicer: saying it means it’s true. He emotionally talks about how strong his wife is. Karen sympathizes and says there is nothing worse than feeling like things are decided for us, like we are swimming in shit and all we can do is not get too much in our mouths. Ben thinks Doris would’ve liked Karen, had they met. Karen says they all have things they keep to themselves, that no one knows about. Ben replies that sooner or later, someone finds out. Karen looks pensive.
They arrive at the nursing home. It’s super fancy. Ben says he can’t afford it, but Karen-I’m-obviously-hiding-something says they should look around anyway. (J: Ben must be very distracted for his reporter skills not to pick up on this sooner.)
Foggy is yelling at Matt for going around the city beating people up. He doesn’t get how Matt got here. Matt tries to explain some more. As a kid, he would lay awake listening to the sirens and try to guess what they were and where the were going. After his accident, when his abilities developed, he truly realized how many sirens there were. How much pain and suffering. He ignored it for a very long time until one night not long after they quit Landman and Zach. He heard a girl crying in a building down the road because her father was raping her. Matt called Child Protective Services, but the mother wouldn’t believe it and there were no marks on the girl. Since the law couldn’t help, Matt decided that he could. We cut to a flashback of the scumbag walking alone at night. Matt attacks, gets the guy down, wails on his face, and tells him that if he ever touches his daughter again, he’ll know. Matt stands shakily, hands covered in blood, and touches his split lip where the scumbag got one hit in.
In the present, Foggy says that Matt makes it sound like he just had enough one day, but to do what he does, he had to keep training, knowing where it would lead. I appreciate that call out because it goes hand in hand with a complaint I was going to make: the use of a raped little girl as the springboard for Matt’s hero story. That’s overdone and cheap, and the truth is that Foggy is right. It’s not that simple. It’s also not as simple as Foggy’s next thought: Matt just likes to hit people.
Nursing home. Karen casually says that maybe they should ask one of the residents how they like it here. Hey, look at this door the zoomy cameraman lingers on for a Mrs. Vistain. Karen knocks and Ben is obviously not really about this plan, but Karen goes in. In the room is an elderly lady. Karen says they have questions for her. Ben, still not really getting what’s happening here, asks how Mrs. Vistain likes the place. She says she likes it very much and has been here since her husband Arthur died. Karen asks if that was her first marriage. Ben keeps wanting to stop bothering the woman, but Karen presses on. Mrs. Vistain says that Arthur was her third marriage. Her second was Martin, who was confused by other men. Karen asks if she had any children by her first husband. Mrs. Vistain says she had a sweet boy who visits her every weekend. His name is Wilson. Karen looks back at Ben like BOOM, totally used your personal tragedy to bring you here for important information! Ben at least looks interested and not like he’s going to murder Karen. (A: Props to Ben! I kinda want to punch Karen.)(J: Yeah, super not cool. I mean, it would have made sense if she thought they were being recorded or followed, but, nope.) Mrs. Vistain keeps on that her son didn’t mean to do what he did to his father. Karen asks what her son did, exactly.
Cut to Fisk at an event, giving a rah-rah-Hell’s Kitchen speech with Vanessa at his side. Leland and Wesley are both in the audience. After the speech, Fisk and Vanessa walk out into a crowd, greeting this person and that. Leland walks up and says he totes took care of the Gao thing. He asks if anyone needs a drink. Vanessa wants one, so he grabs two from a waiter. A Senator Someone wants a minute of Fisk’s time. They walk a little away as Vanessa drinks and starts acting strangely. Suddenly, people start fainting and foaming at the mouth like they’ve been poisoned. Fisk catches Vanessa as she goes down. Leland is acting suspicious as shit throughout this whole scene, FYI.
Back at the Mattpartment, Foggy tells Matt that he’s going to get himself killed if he keeps this up. Matt says he can take care of himself. Foggy asks what about him and Karen, who are a part of this now, even though they didn’t get a say in that. Matt answers with a question of his own: what does Foggy think will happen if Matt gives up the mask now? Who will stop Fisk? Foggy offers the law. “Tell that to Elena,” Matt counters. If Foggy could’ve put on a mask and saved Elena, wouldn’t he have? Foggy says that isn’t fair. The world isn’t fair and Matt is trying to make it a better place. Foggy compares that to what Fisk keeps saying. And seeing as how Matt just tried to kill Fisk, what makes him any different? Matt starts crying. At first, it seems like he’s confronted by the idea that he tried to kill Fisk, but what he says is, “the city needs me in that mask, Foggy.” Foggy says maybe that’s right, but all he needs is his friend. He wouldn’t have kept this from Matt. Foggy walks out.
Flashback. Josie’s, after Matt beat up the scumbag. He’s lied and said he tripped while taking out the trash. Meanwhile, Foggy has drawn a sign on a napkin for Nelson and Murdoch, Attorney at Law. Foggy gives one more heartfelt speech about trusting Matt to really drive home the fact that Foggy is v betrayed. They cheers their drinks, but some spills out and smears the napkin sign ~*significantly*~.
This was obviously a light-action episode, but more than that, it was a little less subtle that these episodes usually are. I think it makes sense to dedicate an episode to Foggy and his emotions, because this is quite the reveal, but I just didn’t think it was always compelling enough in practice. Some of that may be the result of recapping, but I’ll be happy when we get the friends back together again and some more kicky punchy.
Annie: This is another example of where I felt the pacing of this show was clunky. Yeah, it’s cool and all to deep dive into Foggy’s reaction to the DD reveal, and I’m always here for an origin story, but I’m not sure it was due an entire episode of real estate in a 13 episode season.
Jessica: I mean, any time you have a secret identity person you need to do the friend reveal, but it has been done so many times and this one didn’t feel all that different or special. And it took up a lot of time. Did we really need all the friends flashbacks, knowing already their strong relationship? Did that teach us anything extra beyond “we’re really good friends”? Who knows. But it looks like my “Vanessa is someone with a mysterious past and possible motive” theory is out the window. Womp. I see more kicky punchy ahead!
Next time on Daredevil – Ben and Karen get closer to the truth of Fisk’s past in S01 E11 – The Path of the Righteous.