TV Review: "Daredevil", Season 1

This review will contain SPOILERS!

It feels like forever but the wait is finally over. Marvel's Daredevil is officially up on Netflix! If you've been following the site, you know that we've been quite excited about the release. So to celebrate, Wolf in a Gorilla Suit will be reviewing every episode of the series, every day for the next (almost) two weeks. That's right, come back every day for the next 13 days and get basked in a review of Netflix's latest venture.

1. "Into the Ring"
2. "Cut Man"
3. "Rabbit in a Snow Storm"
4. "In the Blood"
5. "World on Fire"
6. "Condemned"
7. "Stick"
8. "Shadows in the Glass"
9. "Speak of the Devil"
10. "Nelson v. Murdock"
11. "The Path of the Righteous"
12. "The Ones We Leave Behind"
13. "Daredevil"

Episode 1x01: "Into the Ring"

First off, yes, the comparison to The Wire is entirely justified. The look, the feel, they've absolutely nailed whatever it is that helped out The Wire so much, while still creating something entirely its own. The entire world feels grounded, while still making reference to the fantastical world of The Avengers. Hell's Kitchen feels like a threat, which is great since its the setting for not only this show, but also for their entire Defenders lineup. Having such a strong backdrop is already a huge advantage for the other shows (Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist for the uninitiated). But never mind that, let's get into it...

That opening credit sequence is amazing. The visuals make for one of the most trippy and incredible openings I've ever seen. It actually reminded me of a little Girl With The Dragon Tattoo mixed with a little Hannibal. Sets up the dark tone of the show while also providing a visual spectacular. And that's literally just the credits. The rest of the show carries on the spectacular visuals with a truly unique look. There's a lot of talking but that's how it should be. Matt's pre-confession to the priest towards the beginning really got to showcase Charlie Cox's talents. I look forward to his monologues throughout the season as he appears to be absolutely on point.

The black Daredevil costume is fantastic. I wasn't sure how I'd like it, given its lack of presence in the still photos I'd seen. But in action? Incredible. Utilizing the old design made sense with the dynamic of the show. Was I the only one that didn't notice until that final scene that the stitching is red? Made me like it even more. I really can't wait to see the red suit though (I've avoided spoilers/pictures because I want to experience it for the first time through the show).

Charlie Cox needs to have some screen-time in the Avengers films. It could just be my love for the character, but dammit if I don't want to see him mixing it up with Iron Man and Captain America... okay fine, I really just care about his interactions with a certain web crawler. I mean, come on, have you SEEN some of their interactions? Pure gold. But seriously, the man is incredible in the role and I can't wait to see how much he gets to show his ability throughout the season.

Was Debra Ann Woll naked? Did that happen? I know it was brief but I'm pretty sure that I saw boob in there. Isn't this show "PG-13"? God, I love shows that push the boundaries. Just a reminder, this is a Marvel show. Really represents where they're willing to go with it. Which, in an episode featuring sex trafficking and child abduction, shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

The Wesley character is Wilson Fisk's right hand man and he's what every henchman should be. Wesley is a conduit for Fisk, so that the Big Bad can just be teased until being utilized later in the season. Not showing The Kingpin (That's Fisk by the way, it could be confusing to non-comic readers) until later on is a great choice. He needs to be a powerful, almost ominous figure like he is in the comics. I look forward to D'Onofrio's performance like no other and know he'll nail the part. 

Foggy is perfect. Going into this, I knew Foggy would, as he is in the comics, be a fan favorite but dammit if Eldon Henson isn't 'hit-the-nail-on-the-head' good. He's too goofy and lovable not to be a perfect representation of the Foggy that's existed in comic panels for years and years. "Can we please take the handcuffs off the 120 pound woman." I love his relationship with Matt. When they meet Karen Page for the first time, Foggy is ready to leave and all Matt has to do is mimic the writing motion. And who else loved that visual of the cardboard sign on the door at Nelson and Murdock? Sums up the dynamic of those two characters perfectly.

One scene in particular showed just how unique this show is. The "guard tries to kill the prisoner" trope has been around for ages. But the motivation behind it? If it is done, it's usually long, drawn out and corny. Here it was simple yet effective. A short scene, that serves to set up the threat of Wesley (and therefore Fisk) and show just how much power he has. More importantly, it gave some background to the guard trying to kill Karen in jail. It showed that the way Fisk infiltrates the justice system is blackmail and intimidation. Not everyone in the city is bad, but that doesn't mean that can't be threatened into submission.

Whatever is going to happen in this show, I am totally down for the ride. Everything that was presented in this first episode represents exactly what I love about comics and television. The origin story/flashbacks are done so smoothly, its hard to even fathom what that synchronicity took to accomplish by the entire team. It is the perfect hybrid of so many things I love that it's somewhat unbelievable to even believe this show exists. Well, it does and I couldn't be more excited what season one holds...

Episode 1x02: "Cut Man"

God I love this show. Showing Matt in a dumpster, beaten and battered, and not showing how he got there a la flashbacks for the rest of the episode? That's right, fuck you TV trope, get out of here. We've got new ground to cover! And that's exactly what this episode did -- covered new ground. The scenarios are ones we've seen before yet this show constantly breaks barriers and turns our expectations upside down.

Is it weird that I don't feel comfortable calling him Daredevil yet. Eventually it'll get to that but for now it's all about Matt Murdock and his transition into his infamous alter ego and I'll address him as such to keep in line with the progressing story. But speaking of Matt, when he drops the fire extinguisher down the stairs, we were provided with the level of instinct and control that he has. And it was damn impressive. I love that they didn't show the impact of the extinguisher hitting the Russian on the head. There was more of a threat to not having seen it. So far the series really manages to balance the "less is more" versus "visceral" approaches.

I really enjoy the Karen/Foggy dynamic. I hope that they continue with their potential love story. Them drinking together was a good way to set that off but it risked Foggy looking a little sleazy. Thankfully I think they salvaged it by showing what a 'man of the people' he is, even being friendly towards Matt's neighbor they call upon him in the middle of the night -- drunk. In the comics, Karen is involved with Matt, so I wonder if they're going to switch it to that. Foggy continues to be a lovable goofball and he seems like a good fit with Karen. Besides Matt's busy with his new apparent squeeze...

I'm not sure how I feel about Rosario Dawson. I've always found her acting to be a little stale and, while she has moments of brilliance, I really get distracted by her delivery. The character itself, Claire, fits in nicely with that crazy world. I can certainly see where having a nurse to help Matt out will come in handy. Plus, there's always the obvious advantage of having Rosario on the screen for any amount of time.

Can we take a moment and appreciate how good the origin story has been handled? Seriously, round of applause to everyone involved. They don't linger on the past too much, taking away from the present day story (I'm looking at you, Arrow). And it's been handled so tastefully. Jack Murdock is not a bad man. He's just a single father trying to provide for his little boy. It's commendable, and while his actions, like any "suicide" (because face it, that's what that was) still orphaned a little boy, his intentions were pure. He needed to help his son by any means necessary. And while I'm sure we'll get a little more of a look at the origin story, I'm glad they handled the bulk of it early on, and without devoting too much screen time. Other Comic Book Movies/TV shows should take note.

We got a little more of the "Man Without Fear" persona, which is detrimental to the character, something they didn't accomplish in the terrible Ben Affleck film. He knows that in order to save the city, he can't be taken in by the fear that it's gripped in. And his understanding early makes him a hero who feels in control of every situation.

Holy hell, that ending. Did anyone expect a long take with such exquisite action? Usually the camera is so kinetic during that type of a sequence yet in this, for the most part, the shot remains static. We're just an onlooker to the mayhem occurring. Has there ever been a way to build a hero so quickly and defiantly before? I really don't think so. That fight scene legitimized him and set the bar high for the rest of the show. God, I am just still in awe.

Episode 1x03: "Rabbit in a Snow Storm"

This show is constantly turning all of my preconceived notions on its head. I'll admit, when the episode started, I thought the Ginger was gonna get the hell kicked out of him by those goons. Then he suddenly went all Bruce Lee on their asses and the tables were turned. Not gonna lie, I hoped a bowling ball would be utilized in a not-so-pleasant way and boy was it. As soon as he acted all calm after committing the murder, I knew that we'd be getting into the more legal territory of the show.

And yeah, this episode was mostly courtroom/lawyer stuff but that comes with the territory of a show where the main character is a lawyer. They manage to make it so damn intriguing that, even as a dissenter to the various cops and lawyers shows on TV, I loved it. Matt's closing statement had me hanging by every word. How could he represent this man to the best of his ability, while knowing he's being played? His monologue says it all and it's brilliant. He will take the facts and work with them to the best of his ability. No funny business.

Oh wait, I didn't talk about one of my favorite interactions that lead into Matt taking the case: Wesley's entrance into Nelson and Murdock. Having these two people, both of whom control the room the moment they walk into it, but from two different sides: Matt is subtle, while Wesley lets everyone know the power he wields. These two conflicting yet similar personas just helped raise my anticipation for the eventual Matt/Fisk encounter. I kind of hope that it happens out of the Daredevil guise just so that we can see the reactions of both sides without either of them "really" knowing who the other is.

The lawyer stuff also brings up an interesting point about his character. Most superheroes have some kind of downtime: Peter Parker is a photographer, Batman is a playboy (yeah I just mixed DC and Marvel, what-ah-ya-gon-do-bout-it?), but Daredevil? When he's not kicking crime's ass all over Hell's Kitchen, he's working long hours as a lawyer, trying to save the world through the justice system. Not exactly an easy life to live. In fact, I'd say that he's long overdue for a vacation. And this is just the beginning of his career!

What is the deal with Karen? She is seriously just asking to be murdered by her former employer. She already got off on murder charges, and is lucky not to be watching over her shoulder every moment of every day. So why on earth is she trying to rock the boat?! Okay, I get that she's good-hearted and is only trying to do what's right, but is there no common sense about her? The things she does feel like how a child would investigate. They need to get Ben Urich on this case ASAP. Before a certain secretary gets herself killed.

The ending fight sequence is just one of the many reasons this show has won me over so quickly (hell I think it had me won over before I even started episode 1). It's brutal, quick, and looks real. After that opening scene I knew that Ginger was gonna have some moves, but damn. His suicide came as a shocker, but really helps to elevate Fisk to absolutely terrifying levels. This guy killed himself just because he gave up Fisk's name out of fear of reprisal. Now, he could have just been a looney, who just THINKS that Fisk is that powerful buuuuuut I'm gonna vote on the former.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite shots in the episode -- no small task with the litany of beautiful sequences that the show produces. It sets Fisk up as a man of power, almost a shadow on the world around him. And while the shot shortly after featuring Vanessa is also powerful, this really hits home the point of his loneliness. It's only when Vanessa steps into his world, that he has any chance of not being alone.

Episode 1x04: "In The Blood"

"A woman who can be bought, isn't worth having."

Well this certainly was a King Pin centric episode (in the best way possible). I really enjoy how they are showing the more vulnerable side to Fisk before showing just what he is capable of. It adds a layer we rarely get when it comes to a villain. He seems so intimidated by Vanessa, something I doubt he often feels, given his powerful place in the world. I really enjoy seeing the two vastly different sides of him. God, remember Michael Clarke Duncan and his ridiculous "I'm bad because I'm a bad guy" kind of persona in the Batfleck film? I shudder to think of where we'd be without a layered Fisk.

Speaking of which, I really like Vanessa. I mean yeah, she's gorgeous but the command she has over Fisk is intriguing. She seems innocent one second and a little dark the next. I'm sure she's going to have a not so happy ending by season's end but I look forward to seeing how much she connects with Fisk in the meantime. I mean, she didn't seem that appalled by the fact that Fisk clearly has some iffy business practices so there's hope.

What did I say about Karen? She's just getting in over her head. I'm glad that Ben is the voice of reason because Karen is consistently proving that, while her heart is in the right place, she has absolutely no idea what she's doing. It's gonna catch up with her if she doesn't wisen up, which is no good for anyone.

At least Ben Urich is still around. Speaking of Ben, have they stated that Ben works for the Daily Bugle or has that not been revealed yet? I can see why they would avoid such a thing and have him work for a different paper (which I think he does in this show) but I'd still like it keeping in line with the comics. Plus, it'd be great if we could get a little bit of a cross-over once the Spider-man movie hits. Seeing this version of Ben Urich interact/mentor a young Peter Parker is almost too good to be true.

Poor Claire. She just can't seem to catch a break. Although I didn't think it was the wisest decision for her to let the scared neighbor boy know where she was, she -- like most characters in the show -- was trying to do the right thing. I have a feeling she'll be a little more protective of her whereabouts from here on out. Here's hoping we don't have a couple episodes of "I'm so traumatized and am gonna take it out on you, Matt" because that would be bothersome. With how much this show strays from the beaten path, I see them handling it correctly.

Are the Russian brothers from the comics? I didn't recognize the names but I figured they could have appeared at one point, even if in a bit role. Or you're someone who's obsessed with the comics yelling at the screen for my overlook of the details. Either way, I enjoy their differences and can see Vladimir going a tad more crazy if not for his brother's guidance... Uh-oh. Before we get to the car door, I just have to address one thing: What the hell was Anatoly thinking? He's just gonna go and interrupt Fisk, a person who's notoriously private, while he's out in public with a date? Yeah, can't say I exactly feel sorry for what happens to him...

Holy dear Christ almighty was that ending something else. Fisk took it to a whole nother level in the terrifying department. While I was surprised at how many punches the Russian could take (Fisk is supposed to have one hell of a punch, even without powers), it just got more and more brutal as the scene went on. Maybe I'm just jaded but I think that the beheading wasn't as disgusting as it could have been while still being impactful. Is it possible to do a tasteful beheading? Well I'd label it as such.

Episode 1x05, "World on Fire"

"By my side, is the safest place you'll ever be"

Son of a gun. So what do you do when you kill the brother of a crazy Russian? Send your right hand man to his place like nothing happened. God damn that's ballsy. Yet it shows both the intellect and the control over any given situation that Fisk has at any point in time. He and Wesley know that distancing themselves from Anatoly's death just makes them look more suspicious. So instead, Wesley plays naive and blames the death on the Masked Man. Kingpin's two problems can sort themselves out.

Matt's senses continue to be an interesting aspect every episode. His reveal of only seeing fire is very comic booky and I was grateful they took the risk. It could have come off as silly but it worked. I hope that we get to see more from his fiery viewpoint. Also, being able to spy on the cops, just while waiting in the precinct shows just how useful Matt's abilities can be in more ways than just beating up criminals and avoiding gunfire.

Oh yeah, Matt and Claire kissed! It seemed that was where they were taking that relationship but you never know. Matt's relationship history doesn't bode well for Claire though. For her sake, let's hope it doesn't end in blood. Although one aspect I did find entertaining was that, right after the kiss, Claire says "I was wondering if you were ever gonna do that." Umm... wondering when? When you were saving his life? When he was saving yours? I get that some time passes between certain episodes but come on, when could she have really been wondering when it was gonna happen. But I digress, it could have just been situational. Besides, that kiss was fucking PASSIONATE so I'll let it slide.

We got a little taste of what makes Nelson and Murdock a law firm for the people. A staple of the comic is their connection with the lower-class citizens of Hell's Kitchen and this was vintage M&N. It's great that Foggy and Karen start helping the old woman around the house and doing repairs, on top of the legal work they're doing for her. It goes to show the extra mile they are willing to go in order to do what's right.

Was anyone else a little surprised that Foggy had dated the hot blonde lawyer? I'm sure they did it just to show that Foggy has history with beautiful women, so that when he and Karen eventually hook up, it won't seem so out of left field. Speaking of which, I enjoyed their little mini-date. No date was better than Fisk and Vanessa. Them making fun of Kingpin's old wardrobe was a great nod to the readers at how ridiculous it would be to actually have that outfit in the show.

I really enjoy Fisk' inner crime circle. He treats them respect, yet he clearly has power over all of them. I sense that the only reason he's team up with the Yakuza is in order to systematically destroy them. I can only imagine that the endgame in all of this is that Fisk takes out the rest, so that he's the last man standing on top of his empire. Although, I could see him keeping his money man alive but who knows if the Masked Man has different plans.

I love the cinematography in this show. The scene taking place in the taxi was absolutely killer. The Japanese(?) song during said scene is a beautiful buildup to the imminent fight. Why can't every I'm not completely down with the killing of an innocent blind man (especially since we don't know if he were just being forced to work for the Japanese) I get that it's supposed to show how innocents die in the crossfire.

The genius of Fisk is just unreal. He lets Vlad know that he was the one that killed his brother, which snowballs into Vlad pulling all of his men into four locations. Perfect for bombing. And in the process he makes it seem like the Masked Man is working for Kingpin throughout this. So while Kingpin is safe, high above the city, his enemies are street-level, tearing themselves apart. Not only that, but he is able to get the woman he loves to see his vision of the city. Vanessa became completely terrifying by episodes end. I can only imagine how cold and calculating she'll become.

I fear the cops in this world just as much as any criminals that exist here. It seems like even the good guys are bound to just get someone killed (even themselves). Not to mention the fact that half the NYPD appear to be on Kingpin's payroll. I like that the moment the cops reveal themselves to be corrupt, Matt immediately starts laying the hurt. He has no desire to hurt a real cop, but Fisk's cops are the same as any other criminal. Really shows Matt's strong moral compass.

I can't wait to see what goes on next week. With an ending like that, I can only imagine how Matt gets out of his current predicament.

Episode 1x06: "Condemned"

"Your part in this drama -- by necessity-- just came to an end"

Ding ding ding! We may have a front runner for best episode of the season. I knew with the ending of "World on Fire" that we were in for a treat but wow. Putting Matt into a situation of no escape added a level of threat that permeated the entirety of its run-time. Sure, he could have just left Vlad and escape fairly easy, but he's a hero so that's just not in the cards. It really helps to show the level of hero that he is. He's willing to risk either death or imprisonment rather than escaping without information on Fisk. Some say stupid, most say heroic.

As a little bit of an aside, take a second and look at the pictures for this episode. See how dark they are? Yeah, that's the entirety of this episode. Given the fact that the room I watch Daredevil in is drenched in sunlight, I had to stop the episode five minutes in and switch rooms. I'm not sure if anyone else has had this problem while watching the series but it's certainly a unique one. I'm not sure I've had to strategically pick where I watched a TV show before. Sorry if it sounds like a complaint (it's not), I just thought I'd point it out.

Does anyone else love the fact that Matt can scan the room, looking for something without even having to move. He just scans with his senses and finds it that way. It's small but it puts him further from the pack of standard heroes. I just hope that villains quit sneaking up on him. He has super senses for Cthulu's sake, how is ANYONE able to get the jump on him? At least cloud his senses beforehand or something. I just need a reason, dammit!

And I'm glad to see Claire back, even if only for a little bit. It seems they'll be sticking with Matt's bad-luck streak with love, which I'm okay with. I just hope that Claire will always be around to stitch him up, otherwise those sutures might be getting a little sloppy. As long as she doesn't kick the bucket this season, I can see her coming back in S2 with a little more of a cemented place in Matt's life.

With Ben Urich's teased death towards the end of the episode, I was left scratching my head. Could they really kill of Ben? He's a pretty central character and it would really be cheap if they just shot him, only to have him recovering in a hospital for the next few episodes. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous when the cross-hairs were on him. Apparently the writer's knew this too because instead of Ben, the corrupt detective took the bullet. I'm not sure if there was anyone more deserving to get shot either, especially after all the unpleasantness he's been apart of this season. I don't think he's gonna take too kindly to being shot by his employer though...

We finally got our first interaction between Fisk and the Masked Man! I was hanging on every single word spoken between the two. I love the buildup that's been going on between the two. I hope that it continues along this path and we move up to seeing them face off out of persona, then eventually meet as Kingpin and Daredevil. Seems the direction they're going in and, given that Kingpin is one of Daredevil's grandest enemies, it's well deserved.

Was anyone else a little unsure about the fact that Fisk was talking over a CB radio to Matt? Seems a little out of character, since you'd think he'd avoid it due to lack of privacy. But then I thought that perhaps it was just a way to show just how powerful Fisk is. He doesn't care who is listening because if they speak, they will be silenced. What a boss.

Am I the only one hoping Vladimir somehow survived his little shootout? He's a crazy bad-ass that could have an interesting relationship with Daredevil. I'm not saying they should team up, I'm simply saying it'd be cool if Daredevil went up against a villain who was conflicted about whether or not to try and kill him. Who am I kidding though, he was near death even before the gun-fight so I'm thinking his chances aren't looking good.

Matt is gonna be lucky if the media doesn't start calling him Cat Man with the many lives he seems to carry. How many times does he escape certain death only emerge on the other side, beaten and battered but still kicking? I feel like eventually it's going to catch up with him and we're finally going to get a look at his awesome red Daredevil costume. That's the episode I'm waiting for. Given that the final episode of the series is titled "Daredevil", I'm thinking we're not gonna see it until then. Boo.

Episode 1x07: "Stick"

An episode featuring Daredevil's mentor? Sign me up! I really like how they introduced the character of Stick. He's a remorseless warrior on a mission and he came across as such from a quick opening scene. It establishes that this man is able to take it to a level that Matt is not -- willingness to kill. And that sword is just awesome.

Foggy being against the Masked Man is entertaining. The ridiculous things he says will just make the moment he finds out Matt's secret identity all the better. This is a nice change of pace from what I'm used to in the comics because in those Foggy is very supportive of Matt and his Daredevil persona. Seeing him be against it is rather entertaining. Especially since Karen seems to be more on the Masked Man's side due to the fact that he saved her.

Enjoyed the flashback with young Matt and Stick up until the point where Matt was describing things around him. I felt it was kind of laughable the things they were having him notice. "That dog, he's hungry. And want's to eat the hot dog that guy in front of him has." Well yeah, no shit. I can even see that. That doesn't really make his senses any more special. Him sensing the old man was dying was also ludicrous. I don't mind if he recognizes something is wrong, but immediately knowing he's dying? Seems like he'd need some help interpreting what he's hearing/feeling first.

Seeing young Matt train with Stick helps to show a little more of how Matt could possibly become the amazing fighter he is in present day. However, it really seems as though Stick is not around for very long. How could he have had such a lasting impact on Matt if he was only part of his life for what seemed like a week? Despite that, I found the "ice-cream bracelet" to be very sweet and endearing. It adds a dimension to Stick that would have been difficult to come across otherwise. Show, don't tell. I wish Arrow would take this approach more...

How on earth did Leiland Owlsly catch Matt by surprise with that taser? It's an old man versus an agile fighter with super senses, it doesn't quite seem to match up. Maybe it's all just supposed to show that Matt is naive and not taking the proper precautions. I mean, he can't be all superheroic all in one go, or he has nowhere to go for character growth. Still, I wish that he'd show a little more tact when dealing with people he should easily be able to subdue. At least the scene was pretty. I mean, just look:

Does anyone think that Ben is a little too suspicious of the Masked Man? In a world where Superhero's exist, you would think that Ben would be able to cut through the bullshit and see which are truly trying to do good. I get that being overcautious is what has kept Ben alive for so long while still ruffling feathers while reporting but it seems his instincts would come more into play.

Can we take a moment to truly appreciate the fight scenes in this show? They are just unreal. As someone who has watched many different "action" oriented shows over the years (Arrow, Game of Thrones, Angel) its refreshing to see fights that actually look visceral and improvised. If there's one thing I hate, it's choreographed fighting. Seeing someone stand around, waiting for their turn to attack, takes me out of the moment. So I have to applaud Daredevil for always delivering exciting physical combat and keeping me fully invested.

Good to see Karen is being as stupid as ever. I really don't understand what is going through her head when she's doing her "investigating." She seems to treat everything like she's in a Nancy Drew novel and doesn't seem to think anything bad can happen to her... despite the fact that the only reason she's involved with N&M in the first place is because someone tried to frame her, then kill her. You'd think she'd wisen up. Guess not. Good thing she has Foggy to save the day.

Stick is one evil bastard. While we obviously don't know just how powerful the "Black Sky" is, and what terrible things would happen if he were to survive, we do know one thing: he's just a kid. So having Stick kill him really sends the message of exactly how far he is willing to go for the greater good, even as evil as his actions may seem. He's passed down his methods to his various students, one of which is something you may be familiar with: Elektra Natchios. Only time will tell if she ever becomes a part of the series in season 2 but given her importance to Matt, I'd say it's likely.

Episode 1x08: "Shadows in the Glass"

Usually I'm not a fan of much back-story for villains. Sure, they can have a life, but I don't need a bunch of reasoning for their evil. Evil people should just be unexplained entities. So much more terrifying. But an episode where we get a little insight into Kingpin's child is something I can easily get behind. Why? Because unlike other villains, Kingpin has been portrayed parallel to the rise of our hero, Matt Murdock.

It's weird how on board I've been for the flashbacks in this series. Unlike so many other shows, they just seem merited. And that's some fucking perfect casting for Fisk's father. I've been a fan of Domenick Lombardozzi since his run on The Wire, and given the obvious influence that show had on this one, it felt 'meant-to-be' the moment he showed up on screen. The resemblance is one thing (it makes me wonder if Dom was up for the role of Kingpin) but his attitude and the fire behind his eyes are something that can't be replicated. 

Certainly doesn't mean I was expecting little Wilson to kill his own father with a hammer though. And the way his mother says "Get the saw" felt straight out of a horror movie. Really didn't think either of them had it in 'em. The entire scenario was pretty brutal but it helped to explain how Fisk could be the man he is today. It just adds to it that he wears his father's cuff-links as a reminder that he's not the monster his father was. Sorry, wore.

The addition of Vanessa into his life has certainly started to greatly change the dynamic of Fisk. She even dressed him! While admittedly, I was sort of hoping that she'd hold up a white suit and an ascot as a joke, I was glad to see he switched out of the black wardrobe. As great as the black was, I think that separating "The Masked Man," who is dressed entirely in black, from Fisk is exactly what needed to be done. Vanessa is a big change to his life and what better to represent a new woman in a man's life than a wardrobe change.

Matt finally let Karen and Foggy know how stupid they're being. I'm glad that someone was finally able to say it to them. Really doubt they're going to listen though. You would think that having two people try and attack her would have Karen settle down a little bit. Nope. I can appreciate her quest for justice but there's a smart way and a dumb way to do it and she just chooses the absolute silliest.

I love the insight into Wesley and Fisk's relationship. It's clear that its the closest friendship that Fisk has ever had, and that he's one of the few people he actually respects. When Fisk gets violent, Wesley never seems to fear for his life, he's more annoyed that blood got on his nice suit. I can only imagine what he's seen as his time as Fisk's right-hand man.

We got a nice little glimpse at Melvin Potter AKA Gladiator. While I'm not sure how big of a role he'll play in the future, I have a feeling his crafting skills are gonna be utilized by Matt to make a certain red outfit. God, I am so pumped for that suit. I even marked out last episode when Stick let Matt use his two batons. We're just getting closer and closer to the Daredevil we all know and love. Wait, do we all know and love him? Is the Batfleck movie the most that the Man Without Fear is known for? I'm sad now.

Whoever Fisk's hired sniper was, he definitely needed to be a better shot. I was hoping it would turn out to be Bullseye but not with a shot like that. If the purpose was to kill Detective Blake then they really need to be taught the basic fundamentals of sniping. He is literally aiming at Ben for most of the time, and then switches targets at the last minute. You know what makes you a better shot? If you follow your target and not just some random reporter who winds up in your sights. Oh well, at least they got to blame another death on the Masked Man.

I love the fact that they never light Matt's face when he's dressed up as the black masked-Daredevil. It's subtle but it adds a layer of reality to the proceedings. I hate when someone has a very distinct face and they don't get recognized, even though they're seen in perfect Hollywood lighting -- it's practically a photo-shoot. Not here. I have difficulty even making out Charlie Cox's features. Instead, he just blends in.

Fisk going public was a bit of a shocker. Then again, I thought it was a little surprising how in the shadows he was in the first place. See, usually the mystery is set around who the Kingpin is. Even the common street thugs are scared of saying that name, not Fisk. Fisk is just another rich guy who dabbles in politics. He shows up for charities and puts on a face for it all. So I imagine that's more of the Fisk that we're going to be seeing from here on out.

Episode 1x09: "Speak of the Devil"

Matt gets his ass kicked to the point of near-death, a beloved (?) character kicks the bucket, we got our first face-to-face between Murdock and Fisk, AND Matt's secret identity has been revealed. But to who?! Needless to say, there's a lot that happens in this episode and I'm gonna do my best to corral it all into one big wordy mess for you.

I know that I've mentioned this before but I can't believe how well they handle time in this. It may seem like a dumb thing to appreciate but its often such an oversight that I figured I'd give it it's fair due. They never have to resort to title cards, even when jumping backwards and forwards in time rapidly. I appreciate this both for the fact that it treats the audience with a bit of respect for actually being to notice the aesthetic differences but also that they had enough faith in themselves to pull it off. Even with title cards on the screen, this is a hard task to pull off yet somehow they manage it. Bravo.

I really loved that Vanessa and Matt interaction. It was fantastic that they playfully charmed each other (though I can't say I'd be doing that with all of Fisk's hired goons all around. All it'd take is one of them to talk, and Fisk would be knocking down his door and crushing Matt's skull in with his bare hands). And the painting that resembled how Matt see's the world was a nice added touch. It showed just how contrasting it is with the painting that Fisk bought, "Rabbit in a Snow Storm."

And holy hell was I not expecting an appearance by Fisk in the gala. I'm so glad they met each other for the first time out of persona and in real life. It added a certain gravitas for their first face-to-face encounter. I can only imagination how their first confrontation goes down. Did anyone else think that Matt acted super suspicious once Fisk arrived? I feel like he could have just said "I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can't buy art from the girlfriend of the opposition. No harm, no foul." Instead he just leaves like something is wrong -- not the thing to do when Fisk is around.

Just when I was starting to grow bored of the Foggy/Karen/Tenants storyline, they go and kill off Elena. I'm not saying that I was happy that the poor old Mexican woman was killed, but for storyline purposes, it felt like a fresh of breath air. It was the only subplot that had me a little worried about whether the show might become a cliche mess. All my worries seem to have been cast aside, with only an immature Karen looking to ruin my fun.

But did anyone else think that it was a little ridiculous how much Foggy and Karen took her death? I get it, they got a little closer with her during the course of working the case. But they were also the ones that were clearly putting her in harms way by going against Fisk! The only reason they should be sad is because they're the ones that got her killed. Why couldn't she have just taken the huge buyout and moved to some nicer place? I'm an extremely nostalgiac person and even that doesn't make sense to me.

Nobu (great name) is one hell of a fighter! And his costume was great. I can't wait to see more of -- oh wait -- yeah... we'll get to that. I'm glad that they finally gave Matt a challenge (Yeah, Stick was a challenge, but they were more sparring than actually fighting) because as much as I enjoy the brutal, bare-bones, hand to hand combat that the thugs provide, it's nice to get some martial arts on top of that. Well it looks like we just witnessed the fight that will make Matt second-guess his outfit choices. That fight was brutal! He was getting the crap kicked out of him for so long in that fight, I didn't know what the outcome could possibly be. Every time I thought that Matt was gonna manage to escape it, he instead just took the abuse.

I can't say I was exactly expecting Nobu to be set of fire though. That was pretty brutal. While I would have liked him to be around for a little bit given his threat-level to Matt, they really need to start moving into the end season push with Kingpin. Speaking of which, god damn does he beat the ever-loving crap out of the Masked Man. Those are the types of punches I've learned to love from Fisk.

How about that ending? I was wondering if they were going to have Foggy find out about Matt's secret identity in the first season and it seems they are! I imagine he's going to be a tad upset but he's gotta forgive him, right? I'm sure he'll be torn between turning him in, since we all know Foggy is all about his civic duty, but given that their cases would be affected by Matt being outed, he should be smart enough to see that'd do more damage than good. I'm just hoping that we aren't going to be beat over the head with Foggy being mad at Matt. The next episode title doesn't inspire much hope...

Episode 1x10: "Nelson v. Murdock"

Can't say I'm 100% down for an episode surrounding Foggy being upset at Matt for being Daredevil but it had to happen eventually. I get that they need as much drama as possible but it still just felt very tired and "been-there-done-that." Foggy seems like the type of person that would immediately understand why Matt was doing the vigilante thing, yet he can't get past it. I get that he's upset about being lied to for several years but it seems like he'd care more about making the city a better place. I'm sure he'll reach that point by season's end (he's a fast learner).

At least we were able to get some great flashbacks with Matt and Foggy back in college. I mean, did you see Foggy's hair? That was worth the price of admission alone. Speaking of which, did anyone else catch the reference to "the Greek girl" that Matt took Spanish for? So Elektra has already been introduced to Matt in this world and they had a failed relationship?! Yep, I'm calling it, Elektra is showing up in season 2. I'm ready.

That scene with Ben and his wife was absolutely heartbreaking. I wasn't entirely sure what was wrong with her, then they go and pull the Alzheimer's switch and I couldn't have felt worse. Poor Ben. It really shows what a good man he is in that the only thing he wants is to make sure of is that his wife is comfortable. I can only imagine how difficult it is having someone so close forget important parts of your life together. I'm glad they've taken the "loyal husband" approach and not have him be even slightly morally bankrupt with an affair. The Frank Miller approach doesn't always work.

Gao with the in-your-face threats! She must have bigger connections than has been shown so far because I don't get how she could make such blatant threats against Fisk without reprisal. This is now the second time she seems to have gotten under his skin and he acts like there's nothing he can do about it. Come on, Fisk! You were able to get Nobu killed and you offed the Russians. What's one frail Asian lady got him so cautious for?

This episode really made me hate Karen. Okay, I know I haven't been her biggest fan thus far but this episode really pushed it. She was just proving, yet again, how childish she can be. She, again, is lying to Ben about something FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. Here's how it would go down without the lie: She tells him and he doesn't want to go but he goes with her anyway because he won't want her to go alone. See, easy solution! Instead she justifies the lie because she doesn't think he would have come otherwise and she would have been alone. I seriously hate her. She's not strong or independent -- she is a child and I really hope she gets what's coming to her.

Fisk put himself in the public eye, without receiving counsel from his fellow crime lords. What did he think was gonna happen? Never mind the obvious distractions that Vanessa has caused the past few months, but now the head of a criminal empire is putting himself out there for all to see, when he was previously nothing more than a ghost. A ghost is great for a business built around crime; the centerpiece to a political campaign though? I can only imagine what both his enemies and business partners thought of his decision.

Will this be the end of Vanessa? Fisk needs a catalyst for himself to be launched into the omega evil bastard known as Kingpin so it doesn't seem too far off the beaten path. But I'm not sure if she's been in his life enough to warrant it. I'd like to see her stick around for a bit longer (I mean hell, they aren't even married yet) but I honestly don't know. It would make sense to kill her off but it would also make sense to keep her as a constant Achilles heel to Fisk.

Episode 1x11: "The Path of the Righteous"

Well Fisk doesn't seem to be taking things very well. It's a tad ridiculous how strict his partners are with his personal life. It's perfectly reasonable if Fisk were to spend a day or two in the hospital with his near-death girlfriend. I don't think that's really asking too much. But according to Leiland, he is being completely unprofessional and has a business to run. Never mind the fact that Wesley can perfectly handle any kind of business matters. You know, since he's been doing that throughout the show anyhow. Makes me all the more suspicious that Owlsly is the one that poisoned the champagne glasses. He has a perfect alibi in that he was holding one of the glasses but he was still smart enough not to drink out of it. Who knows, maybe he's just not a drinker. Guess we'll see. As you can tell, I was a little annoyed with some characters on this show. This seems to be the theme of this review, but we'll get to the main offender later...

Meanwhile, I'm really glad that the blonde lawyer was brought back, both for the fact that, that means she wasn't just a one-off character and that it adds some dimension to Foggy. He's human just like anyone else and makes mistakes. But I hope it turns into more than that. I'd like to see Foggy with someone who's greatly different from him but who he clearly sees something in. Plus, god knows I don't want him with a certain other character.

Oh hey a reappearance by Claire! Oh hey, what an incredibly sad scene. Yeesh. While I figured they were going to keep her at more of a physician role in Matt's life, but I figured they'd have a little more of a romance than that. They certainly seemed to end things rather abruptly. But I'm glad they're making it clear that she'll always be there to stitch him up. Makes it so we don't have to wonder how he's able to take these beatings without medical care. I'm hoping it means we still get a couple physical appearances by Claire in the future though.

Does anyone else hope that the preacher is the last person to find out Matt's identity for a while? He plays a very important part in Murdock's life so I completely understand him finding out (as it should be). But I'm just hoping that this doesn't lead to even more people discovering his secret. I get that in the current comic books his identity is fully known, but I don't think they need to get to that point so fast. But with Captain America: Civil War quickly approaching, who's to say what'll happen with the Registered Superheroes Act.

And it looks like I'm getting my wish regarding Melvin Potter! I figured that would be how Matt got his Daredevil suit, but dammit if it didn't have me smiling from ear to ear. While the character is, like many of the criminals in this world, forced into the business via blackmail, he holds himself differently due to his inferior intellect. Here's hoping he doesn't get put on the chopping block once Fisk finds out where Daredevil's suit came from.

The last 15 minutes of the episode built to Karen's imminent death. Did I care? Not really. I want Karen to just go away. She has become airheaded and obnoxious. It's time for a change and that change needs to be now. She is way too upset over the fact that Foggy and Matt aren't letting her in on their drama. She needs to stop being immature and grow up. It's like dealing with a high schooler. I wouldn't have minded if they killed her off.

But what actually happened? That upset me. Wesley was such a good fucking character! Why oh why did that have to happen? Sure, there will be plenty of intrigue with Fisk surely thinking that whoever poisoned Vanessa must also behind Wesley's death, but dammit, that means that Wesley had to die in order for that to happen. I enjoyed watching him intimidate all the lowly stooges. Plus, his interactions with Fisk were always intriguing. Now we're just left with bumbling Karen and an angry Fisk. You know what, is there I place where I can reach Mr. Fisk to give him a heads up? I think I'd welcome that.

Episode 1x12: "The Ones We Leave Behind"

"Shut up, Karen." I utter those words at least twice an episode but this episode was a doozy. If Karen is upset, it better be about the fact that she doesn't know the repercussions that Fisk will take and not that she killed someone. If it weren't for her emptying a clip into Wesley, I'd say she deserves her time of grief. But no, she fired like eight rounds into his chest. That's not fearing for her life, that's just cold blooded murder. God, I've really grown to hate her character. She's weak-willed, brash in her decision-making, often acts like a baby and needs to be saved as such. Not exactly appealing character traits.

It was sad seeing Fisk's reaction to Wesley getting killed. He's clearly the closest friend that Fisk has ever had and, given how he's reacted to situations in the past, I know I wouldn't want to get in his way. I can't imagine he's ever going to figure out what happened unless Karen blabs about it so I'm sure his anger will be redirected towards whoever it was that tried to kill his beloved Vanessa. Speaking of which...

Looks like Leiland and Gao were indeed behind the attack on Vanessa. AND the attack was specifically designed to take her out, not Fisk. Yeah, I'm thinking that ole Owlsly is gonna end up getting disemboweled by Fisk when he finds out. I just don't really get what could be going through his head. He's witnessed Fisk beat up his own men and knows he took off one of the Russian's head with a car door -- how on earth did he think that he was going to get out of this alive? He tried to straight up murder Vanessa just to "save the business."

Looks like I was wrong and they'll be using that death as a springboard for Fisk rather than the death of Vanessa. The more I think about it the more I like that way anyhow. While Wesley is a great character, he was nothing more than Kingpin-lite whereas Vanessa provides an interesting dynamic and can actively affect the story in different ways than Wilson ever could.

Does anyone else have a bad feeling about Foggy's "blonde lawyer friend?" Maybe I've just seen too much Game of Thrones and The Wire but I just have a bad feeling about any character that seems like they could be expendable. Here's hoping that she starts to show what Foggy see's in her and doesn't reveal herself to be evil all along. I have faith in... Marci! That's her name. Bam. See, I don't need to keep referring to her as blonde lawyer anymore.

I liked how Matt followed the classical music to the heroine stash. Adding to it the fact that it was done on rooftop and I'm sold. I'm just a sucker for moments straight out of a comic book. Now I wonder if Fisk is going to go at the Masked Man with full force now that he took out the Chinese heroin base -- a huge source of income for him.

Okay so is Gao going to have something to do with the Iron Fist series because she definitely busted out some Chi powers on Matt during his raid on the heroin factory? It would make sense, especially since Fisk treated her as having much more power than she ever let on, and the fact that I'm sure they want to interweave the MCU even further. I definitely caught the Iron Fist references but I wonder what Jessica Jones and Luke Cage references were included that slipped past me, setting up for The Defenders,

Moving onto that ending...

What the fuck, guys?! Not Ben! I really didn't think that they were gonna do it but god dammit they did it. Ben Urich dying is a big deal if you'rea  comic reader. He's infinitely important to Daredevil and even acts as a mentor to Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-man. He is often a beacon of morality in an otherwise dark world. And I feel like he was presented as such on the show. Which made his untimely death all the more shocking.

Bravo to everyone involved in the arc of Wilson Fisk. They've done a tremendous job building up this polarizing character that you can hate one minute and sympathize with the next. Well I'd say that sympathy is officially gone and he has unceremoniously crossed over into evil bastard territory. There's no turning back from that. It's a smart move having him kill Ben and have him instantly be hated by everyone.

 Episode 1x13: "Daredevil"

I know this is rather common for season finale's but dammit if this episode wasn't flying a mile a minute. It seemed like every scene something huge was happening, even if it was just subtle dialogue. The entire landscape of the show has changed in just 50 minutes and constantly kept me guessing at what would come next.

Starting off with Ben's funeral was rough. Getting to see all the characters reacting to such a beloved character's death is rather sad. As much as I understand Karen being there to pay her respects, I also think it would have been respectful for her to stay away since, you know, SHE'S THE ONE THAT GOT BEN KILLED. Seriously, she's all upset about Ben's boss being at the funeral because he  may have taken money from Fisk, whereas she 100% is the sole reason why Ben Urich is currently in that casket. God, I hate Karen.

Yeah, I'd say Owlsly is an idiot. He has been in private with Fisk far too many times for him to not realize that it was going to catch up with him eventually. And that it did. While I was kind of hoping for a crushed head or something, having Leiland be thrown down the elevator shaft at least leaves a little bit of ambiguity. I have a feeling that he is dead and that his often mentioned son will come into town and take up the name of "The Owl" and represent the version from the comics (please be like the Superior Foes of Spider-man version).

That scene with Hoffman was both intense and a little silly. I didn't really understand how the crooked cops could have possibly killed all of the armed men that were assigned to watch Hoffman. I get that they may not have been prepared for the first couple shots, given that the attackers are in police uniform but then they proceed to just get completely wiped out. I mean, they were assigned on Hoffman for a reason! How could they not defend themselves even a little?

That's okay though as it's followed up with a badass scene focused entirely on Hoffman's face while gunfire goes off all around him, relying solely on the sound design to tell us what is happening in the scene. Just think about that for a minute. Gunshots are going off all around you and you have no idea what's happening, any bullet could be the one to end your life. Talk about intense. When it's revealed that the Masked Man is behind the mayhem, it's easy to understand why Hoffman would be so willing to give up any information possible.

I'm surprised how long it took for the BLACK COP storyline to come back around. I figured he'd be pretty instrumental in Daredevil gaining trust with the police department but he certainly took a backseat this season. Glad that he's finally getting placed in the forefront and representing the NYPD as something other than corrupt assholes. Although I'm not sure that being the cop that busted a bunch of crooked co-workers makes him anything more than a big target.

That suit. God damn. While I tried to stay away from the suit until seeing it live in the final episode, it was spoiled for me before that (Thanks Netflix for changing the thumbnail to the red suit within 48 hours of it premiering). A still picture just doesn't do it justice. That suit is so bad-ass that it made me question why I ever liked the Batfleck costume in the first place. That used to be my ONE compliment about that film and now that's been taken from me. Thanks Marvel.

No, seriously, I mean thank you. I felt dirty having to defend any aspect of that film. What's that? You don't think it's that bad? I disagree.

So Fisk is in jail, Vanessa is protected far away, and Nelson & Murdock are on the up and up. Things seem to have wrapped up rather nicely for our heroes. I have a feeling that's not even going to last one episode once season 2 starts up (though it could be sooner depending on if they include any character in AKA Jessica Jones). And with yesterday's news that the show had been renewed by Netflix for a second season, it's good to know that Marvel's best venture to date will live on.

Whenever it ends up happening (hopefully next April), you can count on Wolf in a Gorilla Suit covering it. Thank you for following along with these daily Daredevil reviews. I hope it's been as much fun for you to read as it was for me to write.
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About zombievictim

I'd like my writing to further represent me as a person by providing different insights into the things currently on my mind. Whether it's writing about a movie, TV show, album, book, wrestling event, experience, or life lesson. I don't plan on making this a personal blog where I treat it like a diary. This is just supposed to represent… Me.
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