Hey guys, welcome to another edition of Blue's (Re)Views. The column where the opinions are mine and they generally don't matter. Just like that participation ribbon I got in little league. This time around we're looking at the recently released Netflix Original Series Daredevil.
This was a series that I had been greatly looking forward to and if you followed my tweets regarding the series you could see that I had a lot to say. That is no different today as I watched every episode and wrote down each initial thought regarding it. How does the show hold up? Well read on and maybe at the end tell me what you think? Enjoy guys.
Episode 1 “Into the Ring” Initial Thoughts
The episode starts off with Matt saving the old man from being hit thus being doused by the chemicals. Would've preferred to see more, like the actual save but still liked what was given. Then we get a treat when we realize we're just 5 minutes in and there's a spectacular fight. Choreography is decent and showcases Mat's skill as well as using his powers in concert. It was also good to see that it's tapping into Matt's anger as he fights. It's something he was taught to avoid but Matt always had a problem with anger and its nice to see that had stayed. Opening credits weren't bad but I wasn't getting the red dripping though, blood? Seems kind of meh. The intro to Foggy was good, I admit that I wanted to say shut up Foggy but damnit...he's likeable; even after bribing a cop with cigars for his mother...I like it. I liked the avenger's reference, keeping it in continuity is just a fun little nod and the “Odd Couple” dynamic just made me want to say, “Foggy just admit you love him already.” Karen's initial scene made me feel a bit like, “A vampire and a knife? Seems a bit overkill even for them.”
Karen's introduction is kind of what I expected given the trailers that were released. I do like the mouth piece, Wesley. Guy seems sleazy, but also intimidating enough to be seen as someone with juice. Karen's explanation of her actions were kind of something that made me facepalm, given what she had been through and didn't know who to turn to made sense but still wanted to kind of just give her a smack to the head. I do like how Matt always finds a way to explain the origin a bit but not enough for someone to be like “Wait a minute.” Not bad. The intro to the series antagonists was fun and a bit played, but well played, gangsters meeting at a building and one is old and racist...that's fun. Of course what got me was when I saw Vladimir and went, “Dominic from Jungle fury?” In all it was a nice little scene but pretty stock.
The final fight of the episode was good. It showed Matt as resourceful and the opponent was equally fun to watch. The choreography is good and I can't wait to see more.
Episode 2 “The Cut Man”-Initial thoughts.
Another well written episode. We get more glimpses into Matt's childhood post super power accident and the events leading to his father's death. A lot of elements remain the same but I like the change of his father betting on himself to win and putting the money away for Matt as kind of a nest-egg because he knew what was coming. It reminded me of the part of pulp fiction with Bruce Willis' character, that was pretty good. The final fight scene was very fun as it reminded me of Old boy, a single take with all this action going on and Matt still fighting fatigue from the injuries he had sustained earlier. Rosario Dawson's character, Claire is instantly likeable for me but she didn't get to shine much. A filler episode sure but one you can easily enjoy.
Episode 3 “Rabbit in a Snowstorm”-Initial thoughts
I liked it, gave us a decent intro to Ben Urich and showed us that Karen's story isn't quite over. The case that Foggy and Matt get is an interesting one as we have a decent antagonism going on with a career hitman attacking another of Hell's kitchen Underworld figures. Plot development is good and we finally get the chance to see Kingpin himself and see how great his power truly is. So much so that someone would likely take their own lives before betraying the man. Or in this case after because we will get our exposition damnit.
Episode 4 “In the Blood”-Initial Thoughts
Wow. That's all I can say. The episode was really well done putting the other characters in front instead of Matt which is good because we got a good amount of plot from it. We focus on Karen and her search for the truth and getting help from Ben Urich whom you just have to love, Claire and her dealing with the fallout of helping Daredevil and the person who steals the show. Kingpin. This is a new type of Kingpin and something about it makes him probably my favorite iteration. He's not a soft spoken man with a weirdly British accent to his voice. He's big, has power and money but there are things he admits to himself he doesn't quite have control. All exemplified with his date with the Gallery woman and the interruption of Anatoly the brother of Vladimir. The result of someone running afoul of Kingpin when he's laying it down is not pretty and leads into something that I feel this man is gonna prove to be the saving grace or destruction of Hell's Kitchen.
Episode 5 “World on Fire”-Initial thoughts
Another decent episode. More focus on the ancillary characters making Matt feel like the subplot but that's not bad for this time around. It delved deeper into the budding romance of Claire and Matt while we learn a bit more about Foggy and how he could've been a different kind of lawyer. He can talk, that's what Foggy does and he's damn good at it. The Russians have been taken out of the picture and this is where we see Fisk as not the villain but more shades of anti-hero than previous times. He wants to make the city better, he wants to bring it from the precipice of what he feels as the darkness. He and Matt share way too much in common and you can see Matt trying to keep himself from becoming like Fisk when they've never even met. The fight for the soul of the Kitchen is coming, this was just seeing who had home field advantage.
Episode 6 “Condemned”-Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed it. Dealing with the aftermath of World on Fire, cops are flooding the streets which means Fisk knows everything that's going on and Daredevil is his prime objective. Every cop that Fisk owns has orders to kill on sight which leaves Matt with very few options. With Vlad in tow he tries to get the information he needs to bring Fisk down, even calling on Claire and seeking her help to keep Vlad alive. Matt and Fisk talk for the first time and we have the traditional, “We're not so different, you and I” dialogue that I'm just a sucker for. Fisk is right that they aren't different in goals but they are different in their methods. Fisk has one this round but at least Matt has another name on his list.
Episode 7 “Stick”-Initial Thoughts.
Just too much. Starting off with the decapitation of a Japanese business man it soon takes us on a ride to Matt's life as a child and training with the most foul mouthed sensei you would ever meet. Stick is a man who quite simply gives no fucks. Not about you, not about your feelings and a lot less if you're bleeding or not. Stick reunites with Matt in hopes to stop a “weapon” called the Black Sky, Matt agrees under the condition that Stick doesn't kill anyone that is proven for naught when Black Sky is shown and it is a child. Meanwhile with Karen and Urich's investigation into Union allied Construction they add a new member with the help of Foggy who is doing that cute thing guys do with girls they are in love with and stalking Karen. This episode is truly amazing alluding to the bigger world and the war coming to Daredevil and one can only hope the he has a good “hand”-le on the situation.
Episode 8 “Shadows in the Glass”-Initial thoughts
This episode was just so different. In the Marvel universe so far they've approached gritty but this is probably the best way to do it. The episode focused on Wilson Fisk and his origin from a young scared child to the man vying to be King. Wilson has become sloppy and his subordinates are beginning to think a lot like the Russians. It takes the words of Madame Gao who not only finds Wilson but tells him, “Get it straight.” We see what Wilson was like as a child, his father a political hopeful whom was abusive towards his wife and Fisk. The way his father raised him was what made Wilson the way, the cuffs a reminder not to be like his father but to be something better, to be someone better. We also get to see how far Vanessa is willing to go and that is to the end with Fisk solidifying her as the future wife of the Kingpin of New York's crime.
Episode 9 “Speak of the Devil”-Initial thoughts
Alright, back to following Matt in this one. Following the continuing issue of the rent controlled apartment suit Matt seeks guidance on his course of action and finds himself back at the Church with the priest who offered him the latte and the priest reminds me a little of Stick just more controlled in his mouth. Things get unfortunate when Mrs. Cardena's unfortunately passes as a hit orchestrated by Fisk as a response to a threat by the Yakuza Nobu. After meeting both Vanessa and Fisk for the first time as Matt Murdock, he comes upon a crisis of faith in his actions. After speaking with a drinking Karen Matt realizes what he must do. He hits the streets in a cool sequence swathing through a group of people before arriving at the pier where he meets Nobu and his true self as part of The Hand. The fight ends with Matt victorious but then Fisk cashes in his Money in the Bank and fights Matt one on one. Matt barely escapes only for a drunk Foggy to discover his blind friend bleeding and in the guise of the man he has detested since In the Blood. I love this episode.
Episode 10 “Nelson V. Murdock”-Initial thoughts
This was a toned down episode and after all the action from the last couple it was needed. Foggy knows everything now and we see everything the two had been through. From meeting as roommates in college to turning down the job offers from Lipman and mother friggin' Zack. To where they are becoming Nelson & Murdock, attorneys at Law. Needless to say Foggy is hurt. They had a bromance that rivals JD and Turk and the consequences are gonna be felt for a while. On to the matter of Fisk, Madame Gao is back to let Fisk know she's watching him, he's not who he used to be and Vanessa may be the reason why. That problem may have been solved of course when at a charity fundraiser, drinks were spiked and a number of people were killed just to reach one target. Finally things are getting rough for Urich as we see him interact with his ailing wife and forced with the notion that he may have to put her in Hospice Care. Of course he hates it but on a trip, brought on by Karen, they check out a really fancy one and meet an older woman named Vistain a name she kept after her third marriage. She is a forgetful bird but one who says something that gets their attention, a name they've been tracking for a long time and information on what he did as a boy.
Episode 11 “The Path of the Righteous”-Initial thoughts
The crumbling episode. Everyone is dealing with some kind of fallout, Matt is still reeling from Foggy leaving, Foggy is dealing with the fact that he doesn't know what to think, Fisk is still in pain over his love almost being killed and Karen is the only one trying to keep it together while Ben wants to hang it all up. Not big on the action but there is build up. Kingpin's mother remembers Karen and calls her son to tell him, Matt begins looking into some possible armor and as a result of the call, Karen and Wesley meet with the results not being so favorable for Wesley. Another filler and while not great it has it's moments.
Episode 12 “The Ones We Leave Behind”-Initial Thoughts
Why do they kill what we love? First Wesley and now Ben. Just ain't right. Anyway, this was a decent episode, not great but still had it's moments. Things have been coming to a head for everyone left and Karen is still dealing with the death of Wesley at her hands. Foggy is trying to make things right and fighting like they were supposed to, using the law. Even going so far as to speak with Marcy in search of help in bringing Fisk down. Ben pushes for the Fisk story which ends with him getting fired for saying his boss had sold to Fisk and stuff about being a whore. Matt goes on a mission to take care of Madame Gao's heroin trade, he took down the trade but Madame Gao proves herself to stronger than she has let on. The episode ends with the departure of Madame Gao and the sad passing of Ben Urich. A very dour episode but if you can find points for you to like, what's stoppin' ya?
Episode 13 “Daredevil”-Initial thoughts
Season one is done guys and my god was it good. The endgames have begun and from here it looks like Fisk is going down. Bowman had been found, turned himself in and the FBI had begun moving in to collect the criminals responsible. Lawyers, cops, the skin peddler and even a Senator all leading up to the main man himself. Fisk knew it was coming and he didn't plan to go out without a fight. After a brazen escape attempt by Fisk and his own black ops unit. It took The Man Without Fear donning his new gear to take down the King in a fight for the soul of Hell's Kitchen. The fight ends with the devil the victor and the soul of the kitchen safe for now
In all this season was a great launching pad. Something's may not have been great but it has the potential to go the distance and with plans to have Daredevil cross over into other Marvel Projects we can look forward to seeing it all unfold and even more to come.
Well what'd you guys think? Like it? Hate it? Pissed at me for not getting the review out on time? Let me know in the comments below and let's get something going.
Till then guys.