The following review/opinion piece contains major spoilers about the Netflix original series, Marvel’s Daredevil. Be warned, here and now, that I’ll be giving rundowns of the episode and commenting here and there about what I’ve watched and opinions on certain scenes or events. Read on if you’d like to share your own comments below, or come back another time after you’ve watched the show. Thanks for your time!
Episode two of the Netflix original series, Marvel’s Daredevil, brings us a look into how Hell’s Kitchen is starting to adapt to the idea of a dark figure protecting their own. At the end of episode one, a young boy was kidnapped by Russians. Episode two picks up with a young man finding an unconscious Daredevil (okay, to be fair, he isn’t yet known as Daredevil, he’s simply referred to in the subtitles as “masked man.”) The young man runs to get a neighbor, a woman named Claire who happens to be a nurse. They carry the injured Matt/Daredevil back to her apartment where she discovers he’s been stabbed a couple of times, has several broken ribs, a possible concussion and pressure on his lungs. She’s confused when she pulls off his mask and shines a light in his eyes to check his response, and of course his pupils don’t dilate at all (psst, he’s blind!)
Matt comes too, eventually, and tries to walk out of her apartment, upset that she’s seen his face. He passes out again due to his injuries. Claire bandages our hero up as best she can, and when Matt comes to, they have a small conversation about why he can’t go to a hospital. They’re interrupted when he senses a man a few floors down asking questions door to door of the buildings residents. The two try to fool the man into moving on, but he doesn’t fall for it. Matt forces himself to his feet and manages to overpower the man, taking him to the roof and tying him up with Claire along for another conversation.
To highlight what he’s currently going through, Matt (as well as this episode) has flashbacks to his youth. His coming to understand that his dad has been throwing fights just to earn money from some fairly bad men. We also see Matt has heightened hearing at this young age, as well. Loud sounds seem to hurt him, and he’s able to eavesdrop on his dad having a conversation about a big fight with some guys about throwing a fight with Creel. Murdock vs. Creel is evidently a very big thing as Matt’s dad is really excited that he’s going to get the chance to take a shot at the man. However, he’s pressured to throw the match in the 5th round.
Matt overhears this and gives his dad an aside pep talk about how Murdock’s get knocked down a lot, but they always get back up. Dad Murdock feels he has something to prove to himself as well as his son with this match, however he knows that by winning instead of throwing the match will cost him his life. He makes a final call to a bookie and puts all his money on himself with instructions for the bookie to take the money to an accounting firm and put it into an account with Matthew Murdock’s name on it. He then makes a call to who I assume is Matt’s mother, telling her she’ll be all he has now because he’s about to take a stand.
Murdock wins the fight against Creel, and he does go out on top. However, having expected as much, he’s gunned down in an alley, where Matt hears the gunshot and runs to his side through a couple of cops blocking off the boy. He cries over his father’s fallen body, feeling of his face and listening for any signs of a heartbeat. His father dead, we leave our flashbacks with young Matt behind and come back to present day.
The entire flashback story dealing with Jack (Matt’s father) and young matt was touching. It was sad enough to see how much Matt worshiped his father and how his father hated what he was having to do to bring money to their table. His decision to stand up for himself and finish that final match with Creel was a big stand he took, knowing it would inspire his son and raise him back up in his young eyes. Jack decided, basically, to go out on top rather than see his son and fans see him sink to the bottom and remember him in a more negative light. As Matt knelt crying over his father’s body, I felt my throat tightening up and felt a little emotion over the scene. Very strong, watching the bond between father and son and seeing it shattered.
While Matt and Claire deal with their captive Russian on the rooftop of Claire’s apartment, Foggy and Karen hit the bars. Foggy makes Karen go because she’s scared to go home alone, so he agrees to hang out with her until dawn. She reveals that she is unable to sleep at home because of what has happened there. Her friend’s blood won’t come out of her carpet, and there is a large indentation in her wall where the assassin threw her into it last episode. She reveals her fear to Foggy, who sticks to his agreement of keeping her company and being a friend – not just a boss. A nice side story, though not necessary. I enjoyed the scenes these two had together, and liked that Foggy basically threw himself at her while making it seem a joke. I can relate to that kind of attitude, that way you may get hurt, but they don’t necessarily know it because you keep the joke rolling and the pain hidden beneath the smile.
Back with Matt and Claire and their captive Russian, Matt talks Claire into letting him handle the Russian. He throws a couple of punches, wanting to know where the boy kidnapped from episode one is. After toying with Matt, the Russian finally spills the beans thanks to Claire offering some advice on where to slice up his face with her medical knowledge. Matt then drags the Russian thug to the edge of the roof and instills fear into him, telling him it isn’t just because of the boy that he’s doing this – it’s because he enjoys it! He then knocks the man off the roof and into the same dumpster he was found in at the beginning of the episode. He and Claire share a moment as he tells her to go into hiding, but that he may need to see her again for patching up. She reveals that she helped him because she’s been following his masked persona at the hospital through victims coming in talking about how he’d saved them, and criminals coming in talking about how he beat them down. Having made a new friend, Matt heads off to have a final confrontation to save the young boy.
Claire is a good partner to have in your corner, a nurse with connections that can patch up our very human hero. I could see the medical ties coming in handy later on as far as information she might overhear at the hospital as well. I can see why she was such an important character to bring in early, considering how much damage he’s likely to take as the series goes on. And I like how the legend even builds with Claire as she keeps saying that he is taken his wounds in stride, despite him telling her that was all just part of his training he’d learned from his dad and his boxing knowledge. Being able to walk it off until the job was done, then spend your time healing. Even though he tells her this, she insists a time or two about his ability to withstand an inhuman amount of pain and injury.
As the episode closes, we’re given a very hard and uncomfortable fight between Daredevil and about a dozen Russian thugs in their narrow hall hideout. Daredevil stumbles, falls, trips but continues to get back up and deliver the beating the gang deserves. While he’s barely able to hold himself up in the end, he rescues the boy, assures him it’s okay now, and carries him out over the fallen bodies of the beaten Russian gang members.
If this were a Batman movie, in comparison, he’d take a beating but once the suite was on, he’d battle without so much as a hesitation. Here, we’re given a realistic look at what a “hero” would be subjected to, throwing himself into a fight while he himself is near death. You see his pain, his staggered punches and dodges. He falls, tripping on already fallen enemies. He’s exhausted, he’s in pain and he’s nearly at the point of losing consciousness again due to his injuries. He pulls it together, knuckles up and does the job he’s tasked himself with.
A very good episode that relied on flashbacks to finish the story of Jack Murdock and his legendary fight with the man named Creel. A fantastic portrayal of a father and son who lean on one another for support and bring one another up out of the darkness they’ve both fallen in to. A great display of friendship between Foggy and Karen, showing that just because this is a dark, gritty version of superheroes, they don’t have to resort to lurid sex and can just hang out and be friends. It was a big step in the story and legend being grown about the masked man who will become Daredevil that we learn of through the stories Claire herself has been experiencing in the hospital emergency room. And, of course, the addition of a valuable ally in Claire herself, a nurse that can aid our hero in times of medical need.
A nice rounded addition to what is already becoming one of my favorite shows.
But now for a little aside: am I going into too much recap detail for each show? Do I need to cut down the length of my posts and just stick to my personal opinions about what I’m watching? Am I rattling on too much with information we already know? I’d like feedback, if you’re willing! Thanks in advance!
See you next weekend with my reviews of episodes 3 and 4.