Previously: Karen shot Wesley dead.
Jessica: We start with a closeup of the GUN THAT KAREN SHOT WESLEY WITH OH MY GOD. Sorry, still not over the shock of that. Camera pans up to Karen, who is still shaken, and she throws the gun into the river, with the city skyline in the background.
Annie: Like at least TRY to scrub your finger prints off the gun first, KAREN! Jeeeeeeeez.
Jessica: I’m also not super impressed with the length of her throw. At least try to get it out toward the middle!
She returns to her house, locks the door and then straight up chugs a bunch of whiskey from her cabinet. She showers, still shaking and crying, lingers to take a look at herself in the mirror and grabs the nearly finished whiskey. We pan over her sleeping fitfully, then she wakes with a gasp, sits up, grabs her head and sees the entirely empty whiskey bottle. She walks to the fridge and grabs a beer then she and I BOTH gasp as she turns around to find Fisk hulking in her hallway. All the lights are out and it’s super creepy and I want this to be a dream, please be a dream. Fisk starts talking about the weight of taking a life. He comes in closer, and says that it gets easier the more you do it. He grabs her head in his hands and she wakes up gasping. So far we are only about three minutes in and already, so much gasping.
JUSTICE AND WAX.
It’s still nighttime, or possibly very early morning. Karen comes into the office. While looking out the window a reflection startles her and she whirls around – but it’s only Foggy. She asks if he’s creeping around because he wants to avoid Matt, but Foggy says he wasn’t being creepy, she just was too preoccupied to notice him come out of his office. He remarks on her smelling like booze, but she shoots back he’s one to talk. He tries to get more out of her, but she says nothing happened after they saw each other at the bar. He apologizes that his fight with Matt has involved her and they both joke about giving up booze for drugs.
Foggy reveals he’s here because he’s moving out of the office, but he still intends to go after Fisk. He asks for the files that Ben got from “the man in the mask” – and he stumbles over the words a little as he says it, but recovers, saying Fisk can’t “run around killing people and call (himself) a human being.” Karen looks askance but he doesn’t notice. She gives him the files, asking if he still thinks the man in the mask is “a terrorist.” Foggy replies “I don’t know what he is,” though agrees he doesn’t think he’s a terrorist.
Foggy says that no matter what he’s still around and she can call if she needs him. Everything will work out, he tells her. As he goes to leave, he opens the door to find Matt standing there. There is an awkward moment of silence before Matt steps back, and Foggy walks past.
Matt asks Karen why she’s at the office at this hour, and she replies that she can’t sleep. He apologizes. “For what part?” she asks. “All of it,” he replies. She brings him coffee, and tells him that Foggy still feels that Mrs. Cardena’s death is his (Foggy’s) fault. She urges them to talk about it, and Matt says Foggy has made his choice, but Karen pushes, saying Matt could try talking to him about it again.
She starts to walk away then says, “I’m starting to think maybe I made a mistake, coming to work here.” She doesn’t want to leave though, she says when Matt asks. “You and Foggy are the only good things in my life right now.”
Mari: I agree that you’ve made some mistakes, Karen, but I wouldn’t say it was working for Foggy and Matt.
Jessica: Perceptive Matt asks if something happened, and she says, “Yes.” For a second we think she’s going to tell, then she just says, “The world fell apart. Didn’t you notice?”
A closeup of Matt’s sunglasses-covered eyes transitions to Fisk’s bare face, in the hospital room. He checks his phone and looks disturbed. Behind him, Vanessa stirs and wakes up. Fisk starts to get a doctor, and she asks why she’s there. He tells her about the drinks at the benefit and that someone tried to get to him. He tells her he’s made arrangements for her to be taken out of the country when she’s better. She only wants to go if he will come with her.
“I was being selfish, believing I could have this,” he says, acting the way I do after I’ve eaten waaaay too many chips on a weekend. (M: When I try to have dessert after a full meal.) (A: Or a second bowl of pasta. Sorry, carbs are my downfall.) Vanessa says she knew there were risks. She tells him to find whoever did this and “make them understand.” A knock at the door calls him away, and he tells her he’ll make the people responsible suffer, and this would be very sweet and tender if they weren’t talking about city-wide terrorism and such.
A lackey tells Fisk they’ve located Wesley’s body. They go to the place, and Leland arrives. “Oh shit,” he says. The lackey knows Wesley got a call the other night but doesn’t know from whom. Fisk turns on the lackey, accusing him of letting Wesley go alone. Lackey tries to explain he was following orders but Fisk head butts him and nearly beats him to death until Leland stops him.
Fisk pulls a chair up beside Wesley, while Leland says that someone is “not happy” with them. They discuss whether Madame Gao or the Japanese could have done this; Leland says he has his money on the latter. Fisk orders him to go find out more. Leland reminds him to keep the bigger picture in mind — the plans to tear down Hell’s Kitchen, etc. Fisk holds Wesley’s bloody hand, and looks at him in true distress, while telling Leland to find out who did this. “The wind blows hardest closest to the mountaintop,” Leland says and leaves. (A: Feeling so much anxiety for Karen right now.)
Fisk strokes Wesley’s face and kisses his forehead, then pulls Wesley’s phone out of his pocket. He looks at Wesley’s last dialed call, and sees the call to his mother.
Mari: Again, would be touching, except Wesley had Karen kidnapped when he died and Fisk is a monster who just punched his grief out all over some innocent’s face.
Jessica: This episode is doing a bang-up job of showing these two extremes of Fisk. But the softness he shows doesn’t really soften him in our eyes, it just seems to accentuate his incredibly violent scary side.
Ben leaves his office and walks to his car. Matt, in his mask getup, jumps down and startles him. Matt shows Ben the heroin packet he got off of the junkie that killed Elena Cardenas. Since the Russians were wiped out, he thinks that Fisk has gotten the Chinese to pick up distribution. Ben follows along with this logic. Ben says that even messing with Fisk’s finances won’t guarantee Hell’s Kitchen won’t be torn down, but Masked Matt says it will throw him off guard, maybe enough to make a mistake and be shut down for real.
Masked Matt tells Ben to keep his head down and stay safe, reminding him of what happened to Vladimir’s brother. MM wants to know who runs the Chinese gang — Ben knows it’s a woman but doesn’t have a name. MM remembers the blind Chinese guy in the Russians’ car when he attacked them. Ben says he’s seen the blind delivery guys around before, and marvels at how “nobody would look at a blind guy twice.” He tells MM where to find them. As he leaves, MM tells Ben he should get a better coat, and Ben quips he should get a better outfit. “I’m working on it,” MM replies.
Josie’s Bar. Foggy is meeting Mean Lawyer Girl Marci, who acts just as mean and prissy as we remember. She was expecting a booty call and is disappointed when Foggy says he actually wants her help. He tells her about Mrs. Cardenas’ case, and says there were many buildings like hers targeted … by Wilson Fisk. Marcy gets up to go, since her firm represents Fisk, but Foggy convinces her to stay and read the files he brought.
Ben is now at his apartment door, and this time it’s Karen who startles him. “Everybody gotta be sneaking around tonight?” he asks. Sorry Ben, that’s what you have to deal with when you live in a superhero world, especially if you’re a journalist.
Karen tells him he needs to publish the story about Fisk killing his father, because Fisk may already know that they know.
Inside the apartment, Ben pours drinks and says he thinks he’s tracked down a second source, who may be able to verify parts of Fisk’s mother’s story, but the person is in Florida. That’s not soon enough for Karen, she wants something printed asap, but Ben tells her he works for a real newspaper, not just a blog that prints anything it wants. (A: Hey. Should we be insulted?) Ben wonders why she thinks they know, and she says it’s just a feeling, but insists that she is certain. He tells her to publish it herself on the internet, but she says once people start looking into her they won’t believe her. Ben says he’ll try to find some other sources, and give the story to his editor tomorrow. Karen thanks and hugs him.
Back to Josie’s Bar. Marci is definitely intrigued by the documents, and shocked to hear that Foggy is working with “the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.” She says he blew up half the city, and Foggy says that’s not true. He pushes, asking if anything weird has been going on in the law office. Marci avoids that part of the question, saying that Fisk is the firm’s “most billable” client and she could lose her job over just being there. Foggy reiterates his line from a few episodes back about her once having a soul, and says that these bad guys are going down and this is her chance to avoid going down with them. She looks thoughtful.
Downtown, daytime. Matt, dressed as a civilian, is standing on the sidewalk where Ben told him the Chinese drug delivery guys were. He starts listening to all the sounds of the street, until he hears the tapping of a cane.
Matt parkours across multiple rooftops, following the classical music from the car. He follows it to an alleyway, and watches as the delivery person is let out of the car and led to a guarded door, then ushered inside.
Meanwhile, Fisk is in his car with his mother. She’s upset because he’s moving her from her assisted living housing, to Italy apparently. She’s not impressed because she doesn’t know Italian. Fisk tries to explain, and then tries to ask her about Wesley, but she’s not entirely there. He doesn’t get anywhere.
Mari: It really was fortunately unfortunate that she remembered Ben and Karen…
Jessica: Ben calls Karen from his office. His editor isn’t in yet, but he still plans to run the story past him, they just have to wait. Karen ends with him and gets a call from Matt. He’s in his apartment doctoring the stitches that keep ripping open. (M: MATTHEW. YOU NEED TO HEAL.) He tells Karen he won’t make it in today, though he’s working on something, and will tell her and Foggy when he knows but they should try to keep safe for now. Matt tells her everything will work out, and she looks just as unconvinced as when Foggy told her that earlier.
Newspaper office. Ben is fighting with his editor. The editor doesn’t want to run the story, and Ben pushes. The conversation goes into a weird place where they call each other whores, but it essentially ends where the whole office watches as Ben accuses the editor of being in Fisk’s pocket and the editor fires him.
Heroin factory. Madame Gao walks through the production line, where we can see lots of people putting together the heroin packets. They’re all blind, with scars around their eyes, so it looks like they’ve been forcefully blinded.
As Madame Gao walks up the stairs, Masked Matt takes out the door guards, luring one out with the secret knock he observed the previous day. MM then takes out the sighted guards around the warehouse. Despite the shouts and punching sounds, the manufacturers keep at their assembly line, in a creepy robotic way. Matt walks among them, looking around. They totally ignore him, to the point of him having to move out of the way of another delivery guy coming through, until Madame Gao spots him from above. She shouts something, and suddenly all the blind workers turn and mob Matt like a freakin’ zombie attack. He shouts “I’m trying to help you!” but they all grab at him.
Secret meeting at night in the street. Leland tells Fisk he didn’t find anything suspicious about the Japanese in connection with either the benefit or Wesley’s death. He blames the Man in the Mask. Fisk doesn’t think it’s his style, but Leland says push someone enough and you never know. Fisk tells Frances – Wesley’s number two and the lackey he nearly beat to death earlier – to keep doubling reward money on the street for information. Then Fisk answers a call from Wesley’s phone. He gets thinky face and says he has to go, much to Leland’s dismay.
Heroin/Zombie Warehouse. Madame Gao is walking around with two guards, who prove no match for Masked Matt. He takes them out easily, though in the process starts a fire on top of some large barrels with flammable signs on them. He accuses Madame Gao of stealing her workers’ eyes, but she claims they blinded themselves out of faith for her and something large and otherworldly that she stands for. He demands that she tell him about Fisk but instead she knocks him far backward with a single blow to the chest. When he looks up she is gone.
The fire is fully raging now, with barrels blowing up and all the workers screaming in fear. Matt steals a gun from a guard and shoots the ceiling, which somehow causes the sprinklers to rain down, (M: I mean, the fire didn’t trigger them?) (J: It appears worker safety is not one of Madame Gao’s concerns.) then orders the sighted guard to help the workers. The man starts shouting and they all stagger for the exit. Matt flees as fire trucks appear.
Partway through his getaway however, someone yells “Police!” and cocks their gun. A single officer advances on Masked Matt, who turns and puts his hand over his head. The officer accuses him of killing Detective Blake and other cops, but Masked Matt knocks the gun out of his hands and knocks him to the ground. He tells the policeman that he didn’t kill those cops, that Blake was working for Fisk, and then leaves as more police show up.
Leland is impatient, staring at the city skyline. Madame Gao approaches as more sirens sound in the distance. She speaks to him in English – a surprise for him – and tells him the heroin is gone, thanks to the Man in the Mask. He tells her to get more but she’s not interested in that. Leland doesn’t care, but is concerned that “if he finds out what we did, this isn’t going to matter.” As they speak more, we learn they were responsible for the poisoning at the benefit, (M: duh, Leland has been shifty as shit) but Vanessa was the real target, not Fisk, to remove her as a “distraction” for him from his work.
Madame Gao is surprised to learn of Wesley’s death and Leland is surprised she wasn’t responsible for it. Madame Gao says she’s out, she’s returning to her homeland, somewhere “much farther” than China, (M: ALIEN?) (J: Moon people? Mole people??) when Leland asks. Leland watches her leave in disbelief, and is left standing alone.
Ben then leaves the hospital and calls Karen, who’s still at the law office, telling her about leaving his job. He says he’s going to start a blog. He tells her he’s going to write about Fisk’s mother tonight, and at least if Fisk tries to sue he knows a couple of decent lawyers. As he’s getting into his car, he tells her he’ll send her the link once the story is up and then will call her in the morning.
Mari: As he gets into his car, I expect it to explode.
Jessica: I had that same creepy car-about-to-explode feeling! I was trying to pin it down, why I was getting those vibes. Maybe the distance of the camera, or the discussion between the two people most in danger? I don’t know, but it was strong!
The car doesn’t explode.
Karen sits down at her desk, in the empty darkened office, and puts her head in her hands. Then the door knob rattles, and she sees a shadowy figure. She stands up, looking scared, until she hears Matt’s voice, and goes to open the door. He questions her about the lock but she says she thinks they should keep it locked.
He tells her it’s late and she should go home, and she asks if this is all they are now, “three people who don’t talk to each other.” Matt tells her about this guy he used to know, who told him to remove everyone he cared about from his life. We know he’s talking about Stick here, though he never says his name. Matt then starts to break down, saying he can’t do it alone, and Karen runs up to him and hugs him, telling him he’s not alone and he never was. They hug each other and cry. (M: Matt Tears are rough.) (A: Yep, no more of those, please.)
Ben tells him to get out, and Fisk says he will, after they have a conversation. “Off the record, of course.” Ben says he won’t believe him, but Fisk replies that he’ll tell the truth. Fisk apologizes for thinking Ben wasn’t relevant anymore, saying he learned his lesson after that article was printed about Union Allied. Ben says he knows Fisk has someone working for him at the paper. Fisk tells Ben that “rambling” on the internet will do no good, that people are obsessed with celebrity weddings and videos of cats, though Ben says people will seek the truth wherever they can.
“One more thing,” Fisk says. “Were you alone when you spoke to my mother?” Ben sighs, and knows that someone at the Bulletin newspaper sold him out. “Wesley, was that you?” Fisk asks. Ben’s confused repetition of the name convinces him it wasn’t Ben. He repeats the question of him being alone, and Ben says yes, he visited Fisk’s mother alone. Fisk says he can’t forgive Ben going after his mother. Ben says he’s been threatened many times as a reporter. Fisk gets angrier, and says he’s not here to threaten, but to kill, and he launches off the couch and grabs Ben by the throat.
They struggle, and Fisk slams Ben across the desk and onto the floor, where he strangles him. We watch Ben’s feet struggle then go limp. Fisk has a horrifying smile-grimace on his face as he grunts and growls. He stands up and treads on the photo of Ben and his wife as he leaves, Ben lying lifeless on the floor.
This was truly upsetting. You can definitely feel the world of our three main heroes crumbling, and them being separated from each other, physically and emotionally, is taking its toll. Plus, RIP poor Ben.
Annie: I figured we’d be saying goodbye to Ben, but I was really hoping that I was wrong and there was going to be some awesome twist and he’d be spared. Nope. #RIPBen
Mari: From the moment Ben said his head was staying put, I was convinced bad things were going to happen. I can’t believe they killed him, but also of course they did.
This is GRIM man, but also, it makes me hype for Fisk’s downfall. Season finale, here we come!
Next time on Daredevil: The final showdown in S01 E13 – Daredevil.