Still holding to your promise pace your doses of Daredevil? Good!
A man walks into a bowling alley… I know how much this sounds like a bad joke, but that’s really how the episode starts. A man walks into a bowling alley and asks for some shoes and a lane. He is told by the counter attendant that the alley is closed which confuses the man as there is another group of men still playing. The attendant says Mr. Prohaszka has an agreement with the owner to bowl whenever he wants and he can ask Prohaszka if he’d like some company. The man approaches Prohaszka and persistently asks to join his game until he sics his bodyguards on the man. Then the man pulls a couple of quick movements, knocking the bodyguards out with no problem and pulls a gun on Prohaszka.
Thirty-six hours earlier, Turk Barrett nurses his broken nose as he sells guns to the bowling alley fighter. Turk loves his pistols but the man would prefer a revolver since it’s less likely to jam – which is exactly what it does when the man tries to pull the trigger on Prohaszka. This forces the man into brutal hand to hand combat with Prohaszka, complete with painful-looking limb breaks and blunt force trauma to the head by bowling ball. Now covered in blood, the man stashes his faulty gun under one of the pinball machines, calmly gets down on his knees with his hands behind his head as the police arrive, and immediately asks for a lawyer. I wonder who?
Outside Holy Eucharist, Father Lantom finds Matt sitting on a bench and offers Matt some coffee and a chat but Matt declines. Out at a deserted dock, Ben Urich meets with Silvio for some more quid pro quo. Silvio is getting out of town and Ben wants to know why, but Silvio won’t utter a peep without first getting some info from Ben. Ben tells Silvio that the Russians are dealing with some problems after their human trafficking shipment was destroyed and he thinks there’s a new player involved. Silvio tells Ben that he was grateful for leaving his children out of his negative press and then warns Ben to not get involved, saying some fights just get you bloody. Ominous!
At the office, Karen is shocked by what she reads in a letter and hides it as Foggy comes in, still hungover from drinking that eel. Their banter notes that Karen is no longer working for free (as well she shouldn’t!) and Matt arrives with a huge bruise on his right eye. Immediately after, they get a walk in: Wesley.
Wesley says he’s approaching them on behalf of a conglomerate to get their services on retainer, but Matt wants to know why he wouldn’t choose a larger, more well-known firm. He’s hugely skeptical that Wesley won’t identify himself or his employer, or what they actually do, and so remains unconvinced – even as Foggy is dismayed at Matt’s rudeness. Wesley takes a shot at Karen when it seems he isn’t getting his way after offering a large sum of money to retain Nelson and Murdock, causing Matt to ask her to leave as he reads Wesley his rights. Wesley apologizes and Matt questions Wesley about how he even knew about Karen’s case (which never made it to the press). He asks that they simply review the case he’s presenting before deciding not to take it on and must get to the 15th precinct in 38 minutes to handle it. He leaves and Matt tells Foggy that he’ll meet him at the precinct then follows Wesley.
Matt isolates and focuses on the sound of Wesley’s watch and as he gets into a three-car motorcade of SUVs, he hears Wesley say, “It’s been taken care of.” And just then, he notices that the stitches in his side have come undone and he’s bleeding into his fresh white shirt.
At the precinct, Foggy gets a head start getting to know their client – the man from the bowling alley! He tells Foggy that he only wanted to play and Foggy counters with the attendant’s account that has the man bashing in the deceased’s skull with a bowling ball. The man claims self defense, saying the men threatened him verbally and physically (but not before asking Foggy if that sounded good as a defense). He maintains that he had never met the victims before and that he regrets his actions. Sociopath alert! Foggy takes note of the man’s careful and measured word choices and wonders if he’s been around the judicial system a time or two before. The man says he had issues but is better now and Foggy begins to give him the “we’re not taking your case spiel” – just as Matt arrives and says they’ll take the case.
Ben is on the phone at the New York Bulletin trying to sort out insurance coverage for someone. He’s seeking an extension and, to his dismay, is simply referred to a website. Ben’s boss, Ellison, comes in wanting to talk about the next editorial spread. Ben wants to focus on organized crime in Hell’s Kitchen but Ellison tries to rein him in, saying he’s on the City desk and organized crime is not “sexy.” Ben presses that the Russians and Union Allied could figure into his story, but Ellison refuses because it doesn’t sell papers. He assigns Ben a subway story at which he balks. Ben throws the fact that the New York Bulletin used to publish hard-hitting news once upon a time in Ellison’s face and Ellison has his own truth bomb to drop: all of their peers are earning more money than they are to publish news to blog sites from home. (Don’t hate!) Ben relents and Ellison promises to see if there’s anything he can do to help Ben’s insurance situation.
Matt starts in on the man, John Healey, encouraging him to spill the beans under attorney/client privilege so they can build a solid defense. And also so Matt can find out who the man who hired him and Foggy actually is. Matt says Healey must be important for a conglomerate to pick up the bill for his murder defense. He also claims that knowing who hired them might help build a defense, but Healey just repeats that he just wanted to throw a few balls. Matt asks if Healey provoked the victim in any way, which he denies. Matt notices that Healey isn’t too concerned about their ability to win the case and at this, Foggy wants to step aside for a private chat. Foggy thinks they shouldn’t take the case, calling Healey a shark in a skin suit. Matt insists they try the case and take it to a jury. He tells Healey that they should waive criminal law 180.80 so the DA can explore a plea, but Healey doesn’t like this idea at all. He wants the 180.80 date, wants them to waive all hearings and discovery upon his indictment, and wants to go to trial, saying he has “faith in the judicial system.”
At the bowling alley, Wesley arrives at a pinball machine to retrieve Healey’s stashed gun. After waiting for some jerk to finish his game, he grabs the gun, greeting some kids on his way, and leaves the alley.
Foggy is really confused as to why Matt is making them take Healey’s case. The whole situation stinks but Matt claims this is just one of those situations where they had to take a case for the money. They make their peace and begin to discuss the facts of the case. Considering Prohaszka’s bodyguards have refused to give statements, their plan is to argue that Healey’s cuts and bruises are defensive wounds (rather than evidence of a victim fighting against an execution), with Foggy handling opening arguments and Matt taking the closing. Matt says they should cash the check Wesley gave them and have Karen dig into Confederated Global, just as they notice that she’s not there.
She’s at some intimidatingly sterile-looking offices meeting with a lawyer who is asking her to sign a non-disclosure agreement regarding her little Union Allied snafu. If she signs, she doesn’t get sued for violating her signed employment non-disclosure agreement and gets six-months salary. Karen hates all of this, knowing that it’s tantamount to her agreeing that everything Union Allied did to her is okay, but the lawyer tells her that she’s looking at a very appealing clean slate if she signs.
Ben is at a hospital discussing someone he doesn’t want to be put into a communal room. He’s turning in the forms for an extension to Shirley, who is trying to convince him that there isn’t anything that can be done for “her.” He says he knows that if he relents she will be sent to an outpatient facility and eventually pushed out on the street. Shirley gives him a five-day extension but can’t promise his appeal will go through, and Ben gives her a cheese blintz by way of a thank you. Then he goes to visit “her”: she’s his wife, Doris, and she’s suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Back at Nelson and Murdock, Foggy and Matt work on their case but everyone’s having problems with the Wi-Fi. Karen updates Matt about Confed Global: it’s a subsidiary of a loan out to a holding of a subsidiary, yada yada. She goes to bang on the router to make the Wi-Fi work again, but not before Matt can tell her to nix the long lunches until their case is finished.
In court, Foggy nails his opening arguments, stating that the jury must bear in mind that this entire case is based on the prosecution proving Healey wasn’t justified in defending himself. Matt listens closely to the jury and he hears the heart of one of them speed up as Wesley (and his ticking watch) enter the courtroom. Outside, some tough guy approaches the juror and it’s obvious he’s blackmailing her with some knowledge he’s holding over her. He tells her to go home and play her part – just as the man in the mask attacks him. The tough guy says that he’s got a tape of the juror from when she was young that she does not want her children to see and Matt wants to know who hired him. The man doesn’t know, saying he walks past a building and if there’s a light on, he has a job. He’s says that if he doesn’t complete this job he’ll be someone else’s light in a building, so Matt tells him to tell the juror to get herself excused and leave town.
At the end of the trial, the judge excuses the blackmailed juror, replacing her with one of the alternates, and Matt stands before the jury box to begin his closing arguments. He spends several seconds listening to their hearts, which all remain steady, before starting. He talks to them about good and evil, right and wrong, but ultimately tells them that they can’t base their decision on morals. As jurors, they have to decide based on the law and the evidence that the prosecution has put forth. He says the prosecution has failed to meet their burden of proof and urges them to acquit his client.
Leland and Wesley have a meeting as they’re being driven around and Leland is antsy because he can’t speak with Wesley’s employer. He’s indisposed with art, Wesley says, but Leland isn’t quelled. He’s nervous about Healey’s case and the heat it’s bringing on their conglomerate, but Wesley says everything will be fine as long as Leland continues to play his part.
Karen visits the wife of Daniel Fisher and she already knows who Karen is. Karen wants to work with Mrs. Fisher to expose Union Allied, but she’s already signed the same non-disclosure agreement that had been thrust at Karen. Mrs. Fisher advises Karen to take it and let it go. She’s feeling guilty because she encouraged Daniel to look into the shady numbers at Union Allied and it cost him his life. She tells Karen that if she has anyone in her life she cares about she should let it go.
Ben gets a small break where his wife is concerned as Shirley was successful pushing his appeal through. He takes a look at the subway story he’s not proud of as Karen arrives at his office. She tells him exactly what he suspected, that there’s more to the story, and prepares to give him the proof.
Back in court, the jury has reached a verdict for Healey. Matt hears Wesley’s watch ticking and notices too late that there was another bought person on the jury causing it to be hung. Healey, in his way, thanks Matt as the judge admonishes the jury to reconvene, even as Matt knows Healey will get off.
And sure enough, Healey walks free. He’s packing a bag in a car trunk when the man in the mask attacks. The two engage in the tight-quartered frantic hand-to-hand combat that we’ve come to know, love, and expect from Daredevil, complete with knees to the face, body slamming, and fighting with broken glass. Matt gets the upper hand with the glass primed to pierce Healey’s throat and asks Healey who he works for. Healey initially refuses but after Matt cuts him some, he rolls over – on Wilson Fisk. Matt lets him go, telling him to get out of town, but Healey says he’s now a dead man because no one says his name. There’s no hiding from Fisk and he kills anyone who speaks his name to prevent anyone from doing the same in the future again. So, to spare himself a painful death, Healey impales himself through the eye on a rusty piece of metal in the alley.
In an art gallery, a lovely woman approaches a bald man who is staring at a painting. It’s a monotone piece made of varying shades of white. The attendant says that the worth one attaches to art is directly related to how it makes you feel. The man remarks that this painting makes him feel alone.
The Questions: Does Karen know what she’s getting into by pursuing Union Allied? Will Nelson and Murdock get some legit cases where some shady business people aren’t pulling the strings? And who is Wilson Fisk? (No spoilers, comics fans and binge-watchers!)