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 four opens with a flashback that shows us our favorite lead Russians as they are in a Siberian prison. They ponder if they’ll ever see Russia again, talk about a gift from their deceased friend that lays a few feet away. Turns out Vladimir did in the third companion and is scavenging his ribs as weapons to bust out of the prison. Their sites aren’t set on returning to Russia, though – Vladimir has a bigger vision.
Matt, back in the present, pays a visit to our favorite nurse to get patched up. She recommends he get some type of body armor if he’s going to continue this (our first hint at a new costume for the hero). Matt insists it would only slow him down. “So will a bullet,” Claire counters. Matt then throws out the name Wilson Fisk, to whom no one seems to know anything about. He’s a virtual unknown, it seems, in Hells Kitchen, anyways. So we’re evidently going to see his rise to power over the next 9 episodes. Nice!
Mister Wesley pays a visit to the Russians and makes an offer to take over their business because they don’t seem to be able to so much as handle a simple man in a mask. He ponders that if this man had a suit of armor or a magic hammer, maybe they’d understand the delay, but a man in a mask? When it’s mentioned that Daredevil is asking about Fisk by name, Mr. Wesley is noticeably disturbed. He still makes the proposition to take over the Russian’s operation to protect everyone’s venture involved.
The complex layout of the criminal organizations in Hell’s Kitchen is one of the highlights of the series. The Russians, Madam Gao, Nobu, Owlsley, Mr. Wesley and of course Fisk as the Kingpin that is bringing them together and forming a very shaky alliance. It’s fun to see them just barely tolerate one another all for the glory of a profit.
As for Karen Page, she’s still trying to push Ben Ulrich to investigate corruption at her former company. It’s an interesting plot thread for her, but I’m honestly tired of it already, despite how it might continue to tie into Fisk and his operations later in the series. Karen is a solid character, but this makes for a boring and slow moving string in our larger ball of yarn.
Fisk, meanwhile, seems to be portrayed as a bit of a newcomer to romance, as well as confrontations. When asked by Mr. Wesley what to do about Daredevil, Fisk seems a bit too uncomfortable thinking about it. Then again, it could also be because of his next venture: he’s going to ask out the lady at the art gallery where he bought a painting (the title of the last episode). He asks her to dinner, with a couple of stutters and pauses. She says she has to work the rest of the night. He stammers and starts to walk away. She asks if that’s it, wonders if he’s going to offer to buy all the paintings so she can take the night off. Fisk simply replies that any woman that can be bought, isn’t worth it.
He gets his date, however, and we’re welcomed to some deep insight into Fisk’s mind and opinion of Hell’s Kitchen. Why he wants to see the area change, to see it wiped clean and made a better place for a higher standard of living. Fisk mentions that he was sent away at a young age by his mother, to live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, and that those were the best years of his life. Fisk is really being given a nice backstory and origin, making him seem human and not such a business driven monster.
In more deadly advances to our story, Claire is located by the Russians and taken captive. She’s abused and battered and threatened all to reveal the masked mans name. Daredevil comes to her rescue, not before she’s beaten pretty badly, though. He takes down the majority of the mob, leaving one man who attempts to take Claire hostage. That doesn’t go so well. Needless to say, Claire is rescued, but will she continue to help Matt?
Digging up the Karen saga and Union Allied, she attends an auction that is selling off office equipment. Ben Ulrich meets here there and offers some tips that will keep her off the radar of a few people in the room also bidding on the equipment. They meet later in a cafe and Ben explains why Karen needs to let her obsession go. Then, in the same breath, he begins offering her advice on how they are going to proceed with the story.
Vladimir and Anatoly discover the left overs of Daredevil’s romp with some of their mob. Realizing, finally, that they’re in over their heads, they decide to ask Fisk for help. Unfortunately they do so while he’s on his date, to which Fisk seems embarrassed and rushes his date out quickly, telling Wesley to take care of the intruders.
Finally, Matt and Claire have a heart-to-heart about what his true motives are for Hell’s Kitchen. She tells Matt that he can make a difference, that he can save them from the crime that’s shaking the city. He’s touched, evidently because Matt reveals his real name to her.
Fisk takes Vanessa home, asks for another date and they discuss the potential of a future for them. She leaves him standing alone on the sidewalk, telling Fisk that she just doesn’t know how she feels. He is visibly hurt. This surely won’t bode well for his eventual meeting with the Russians.
True enough, he takes his anger out by proceeding to beat Anatoly to death in what is probably the most gruesome act of violence to date on the series. You may have heard it referred to as “The Car Door Scene” on the internet, and now that I’ve witnessed it, wow. Mr. Wesley asks what to do with Anatoly’s remains, to which Fisk says to send it to his brother. Wesley says it will start a war. “I’m counting on it …” Wilson Fisk utters while wiping away some blood spatters on his face.
And that wraps up episode four of Marvel’s Daredevil. We’ve seen advances in three of our main storylines – Karen and Ben in their investigation of Union Allied – Matt and Claire on the slow birth of Daredevil – and Wilson Fisk as he grows to become the man known as Kingpin.
On a side note, I realize my scene by scene recaps may be getting to be a bit much, so starting with episode 5, I’m going to try and start narrowing it down to conserve so many spoilers and text space. What I’ve basically been doing is “live blogging” the series as I watch it, which is why my scenes and thoughts on such scenes skip around from time to time. I apologize and hope it hasn’t been too boring for anyone!
Stay tuned for episode five, coming soon this same weekend!