Some of my fellow NOCs and other contributors have written eloquent season reviews and critiques of Daredevil so I’ll keep this brief. I’m pretty biased with this character and while I tried to restrain some and was somewhat critical, there was a lot of praise throughout my recaps. When something that’s been a part of 2/3 of your life finally is treated correctly, it can be quite the emotional ride. Congrats to Netflix for this, their greatest and most-watched original series. Netflix and Marvel: the new Kingpins. Best superhero show? Yes. Best Marvel property? Yes. Best show, movie, anything a camera has filmed? Shit, probably. Sure. Yes.
What a groundbreaking ride this has been. I am so thrilled that this character and his world that connected with me as kid has finally fallen into the right hands and ended up not just revolutionizing the superhero genre, but TV and film in general. Therefore, it’s fitting that show runner Steven DeKnight took the writing and directing duties for the finale. After all the defending of Daredevil I’ve done up to this point with haters of the “lesser Spider-Man,” not to mention the failure of the movie, it feels personally triumphant for me. Bill Everett and Jack Kirby have passed, but I can’t imagine how Stan Lee must feel watching a Pavarotti moment with these characters in the finale culminating the origin story and thusly named: “Daredevil.” I think Puccini would approve.
“The Ones We Leave Behind” is another dense episode that fortunately doesn’t feel like it drags. Two of the leads deal differently with killing, there’s some backstabbing in the consortium, some classic Daredevil roof hopping, and another climactic and shocking ending. Damn. Fucking Sony.
It opens with Karen tossing the gun in the river. She’s obviously messed up after murdering Wesley and this plays out once she gets home and hits the bottle hard to put herself to sleep. She wakes up startled thinking she hears something, but then relaxes and decides to switch to beer for bed. Does that ever work? She turns from the fridge and our bald menace is staring her down. He delivers another stellar speech telling her he knows how hard it is to take a life. He goes on about how you feel the weight of the person’s life, the cherished moments, and such. Then he says: “I want you to know something, something important that I’ve learned: that it gets easier the more you do it.” And he attacks. And Karen wakes up. Really wakes up this time. The old nightmare within the nightmare. Well played writers.
Four of our favorites are paired up once more and give us some outstanding on-screen chemistry. Claire’s patches up Matt again, even if it’s for a brief moment. While Vanessa is in recovery, Fisk and Wesley share some very tender moments as Wesley tries to balance his BFF’s sanity with keeping the machine moving. Nelson and Murdock Attorneys at Law continues to unravel with Karen upset and the boys still not talking to each other. Mr. Potter battles like a gladiator and we get quite the climatic ending in “The Path of the Righteous.”
Yes, the boys are fighting and Foggy Bear attacks like a… bear. It’s Foggy’s turn to learn about Matt’s powers and the first part of “Nelson v. Murdock” basically repeats previous scenes and flashbacks of folks that know about Matt. Nothing new that we don’t already know until the way Foggy plays it at the end. Besides Foggy’s cross examination of Matt, we get flashbacks to their meeting and law school
daze days, Madame Gao puts Fisk in another time out, Karen tricks Ben in a game changing way, and a benefit dinner really could have used a Medieval cup-bearer.
The Russian that we love to hate ends up taking one for team Murdock in “Condemned.” We get our first Fisk/Murdock confrontation (via walkie talkie), get to see Urich working the case, and in my opinion, get the best Easter Egg of them all to this point.
When great writing, directing, and acting come together in a crime drama, every so often we are treated to interesting and complex characters that are so much more than just “the bad guys.” It also turns out, from stage and some screen experience, these are the roles actors salivate over. Whether they admit it or not, everybody wants to play the villain. Even more want to play a villain with depth that can get the audience behind them. This episode gives us deeper insight into the well-oiled machine that is the extremely organized crime operation run by concert master Wesley on the ground, but overseen by the true conductor of the symphony: Wilson Fisk.
I brought this up in my recap for “Into the Ring,” but “Rabbit in a Snowstorm” is where we really get the Law & Order: Hell’s Kitchen portion of the show. We can break this one down into three parts too: bowling alley/back alley; Karen, Ben, and the devious corporation formerly known as
Prince Union Allied; and the murder trial. There’s an up, then down, then back up wave feel in terms of rhythm in this one.
This being an outstanding ensemble drama, the writing and acting sparks get passed around nicely. I’m going to start giving out (drum roll…) “The Golden Broken Arm for Best Performance per Episode.” Appropriate, right? The best performance from “Into the Ring” goes to Charlie Cox, and “Cut Man” is all Rosario Dawson. This episode, though, is actually tougher, but I’m going to go out on a limb. (Ha, “limb” — more on that later).
Let’s begin though, with Sason Jathom. Who?
Originally posted at Black Nerd Problems
Word to God, I will never watch Arrow again.
Let me rewind a minute.
This past weekend was the first weekend of spring weather in New York City, and instead of running through Central Park or eating ice cream from the street vendors that appeared like spring flowers, I spent 13 hours indoors watching Daredevil. And I regret nothing. Daredevil is — and I don’t say this lightly — the best superhero show ever made.
For a good long run, DC was the king of bringing their properties to the large and small screens. From 1943 with the Batman serials, to Superman I and II in 1978 and 1980, to the glory that was Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995), DC had the televisual and cinema game on lock. Marvel did their thing, but nothing Marvel did could hold a candle to Justice League Unlimited. Not a Hulk, Thor, Daredevil special. Not any animated iteration of The X-Men or the Avengers. Not anything, animated or not. Then in 1998, Blade happened.
It’s still surreal to me that it’s here after all the hype and the waiting. Rather than hash out point by point what happens, let’s look at reasons why the first episode of Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil is one of the best first episodes of anything ever filmed; superhero or otherwise.