Daredevil, Season 1, Episode 5: World on Fire

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!

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Wow. World on Fire continues to build on our story and offers just enough to keep everyone busy. One thing Daredevil is doing that a lot of other shows don’t seem to get is that it’s actually moving the story along. Some series will focus on the same subject matter for several episodes, repeating the same information we have already gathered and just refuse to move on – filling in dead air, I guess. Daredevil is chugging along, moving out characters at a nice pace and advancing our story so that we aren’t left sitting for too long in one spot. Things are happening, getting shaken up and consequences are occurring that must be dealt with. So let’s get started on my thoughts on this episode …

Matt has a soft spot for all the people he pulls into his complicated life. After rescuing her from the Russians, Matt offers Claire a place to stay at his own apartment. He gives her, and us, a description of how his senses work, and what it is he sees in his blind world. He sees, for the record, “A world on fire.”

Repercussions from Fisk’s beheading of Anatoley include some mixed emotions and distrust from other members of the crime families Fisk is trying to head. Their lack of respect for him and his actions show that he is still an up and coming kingpin of crime. His loyal right hand man, Wesley, has planted enough evidence (i.e. a black mask) on the corpse of Vladimir’s brother to point evidence of the beheading toward Daredevil. Fisk assures the others that the Russian’s will be taken care of soon, just to continue on with business as usual until then.

Meanwhile, Matt and Foggy take up a case to help a rundown tenement building and its lowly residents. This is all part of the remodeling of Hell’s Kitchen that Fisk has bigger plans for. Remember, everything is connected in this series and Fisk’s plans will eventually encompass all of Hell’s Kitchen, not just the underworld of crime. As far as the case goes, Foggy and Karen hold down this part of the storyline.

Inside the New York Police Department, the Hell’s Kitchen division here, Matt visits to pick up some complaints toward the owner of the building in question. While there, his super hearing picks up on the interrogation of one of the Russian’s he had a run in with. The man mentions Fisk by name, and the cops in the room with him are revealed to be working for Fisk. Dirty cops. They stage an attempted escape and kill the Russian right in the police station. Matt later tries to get a little info from one of the cops, but ends up with the cops burner phone instead, listing four addresses related to the Russians.

Fisk continues his courtship with Vanessa, recreating a more private dinner with her where they get to know one another. He assures her that beside him is the safest place she can stand. His plans are revealed for Hell’s Kitchen, that the city must die in order to be reborn under his guidance and vision. Vanessa then hands over a gun that she’s had hidden in her purse, showing her trust of Fisk and accepting his role as her guardian.

As Vladamir prepares for war against Fisk, his men gathered together at the four addresses Matt found on the phone he took from the dirty cop. Each location is visited by one of Madam Gao’s blind delivery men, who reveal a detonator and destroy the four locations the Russian’s were using. Fisk and Vanessa watch this from their location while at dinner. Vanessa stares on in awe as she seems to suddenly understand what Fisk was talking about with his rebirth speech.

Reeling from the explosion, Vladimir attempts to escape his hideout, but Daredevil is there waiting on him. Matt himself was caught up in the blast, but he jumps on Vladimir immediately and begins beating the living crap out of him. But then we get a huge cliffhanger as the police come screeching in and pull guns. Our vigilante is caught at gunpoint with no where to go and the cops closing in just paces away.

Holy crap! What a great episode and cliffhanger. The Russians have pretty much been shut down by Fisk. His plans for rebuilding Hell’s Kitchen by basically tearing it apart are out. The other crime syndicate’s are not scared enough to keep from questioning his decisions, but they’re just scared enough to not risk going it on their own. And Daredevil … he’s got to get it together and stop reacting on pure impulse. Ah, the learning curve of new heroes must be a steep one.

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Daredevil, Season 1, Episode 4: In the Blood

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!

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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!

Netflix’s Original Series, Marvel’s Daredevil

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The Netflix Original series, Marvel’s Daredevil, premiered it’s entire first season Friday, April 10, 2015. That’s the good and bad thing about Netflix and their original works: the entire season is just thrown out there. Binge on it, take it in one episode at a time, or pick and choose how you swallow the tale you’ve been given. Either way, producing Marvel’s Daredevil – which is connected to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that includes Agents of SHIELD – is a win-win scenario, it would seem. Fans get a darker, grittier taste of the Marvel Universe and the Universe itself gets to expand and allow for more future cameos and storylines across their platforms of entertainment.

What I’m planning to do in celebration of this event is review each episode as I watch it, posting those reviews here as I finish each episode. My viewing patterns may be spotty, and you can certainly get the entire season reviewed for you with and without spoilers at other, more professional sites than this little blog. But I plan on doing it anyways because it’ll be fun, darn it! So if you want to play along, I’ll be watching/reviewing episodes 1 and 2 tomorrow evening (April 12, 2015). You are certainly welcome to watch them yourself and then come back here to read my review/opinion of the episodes and then post your own views.

Until Sunday evening, friends! I’ll see you then.

Doctor Who Season 8 Bluray Release!

The 8th season isn’t even over yet, but the BBC has already announced plans to release it on DVD and Bluray on December 9, 2014.

If you haven’t been keeping up with Peter Capaldi’s new Doctor, then you are seriously missing out on some of the best Doctor Who material in some time. Capaldi brings a fantastic new take on the Doctor. So run to Amazon and preorder your copy, or else be standing in the store on release day to pick up your own.

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No, Really, I Haven’t Seen It

Some movies are so engrained in our society that we quote from them daily. Fans of the culture surrounding these classics are usually hardcore in their devotion. So much so that they will defend the film against any unkind remarks.

I have to admit that, while I love movies, there are a few I haven’t seen. Maybe a YouTube clip here or there, or a trailer, or even a minute or two while flipping channels maybe. But I’ve never sat all the way through the following movies.

The Godfather Trilogy
It’s A Wonderful Life
Alien
The Thing
The Princess Bride
Gone With the Wind
Inception
Clerks (the first one)
Any Clint Eastwood movie, western or otherwise except for Gran Torino

Am I missing out here? Heck, I just recently watched two complete John Wayne movies. Maybe I’m just not as dedicated a movie viewer as I believe I am 🙂