We’ve finally come to the season finale of Daredevil! I have to say, this has been one of my favorite shows to recap. Waiting a week to watch each episode was SO DIFFICULT but entirely worth the slow burn of Matt Murdock’s development into a proper hero. This season has far exceeded my expectations for what this show could be (and I wasn’t expecting much) and I’m already itching for season two! Now that’s out of the way, on to the finale!
Okay, so we’re starting off with me crying: it’s Ben Urich’s funeral and he is being laid to rest by Father Lantham. Matt and Karen are in attendance as well as Ben’s wife, Doris. Oh and Ben’s editor, Ellison, showed up, too. (Wonder how guilty he’s feeling for not taking Ben seriously about Fisk?) Noticeably absent? Foggy. Karen pays her respects to Doris and Doris is pleased to meet her, as Ben admired her. Karen tells her she blames herself for Ben’s death but Doris reminds Karen that Ben never pursued a story unless he wanted to.
Father Lantham speaks to Matt, who is obviously raging inside at Ben’s death. He also blames himself, which Lantham discourages, but Matt isn’t swayed and Karen “helps” him leave the funeral.
Back at the office, Karen accuses Ellison of being Fisk’s paid mole at the paper, but Matt reminds her that Ben never said he had evidence of that. Switching gears, Karen notes her disappointment in Foggy not showing up for the funeral. Matt takes the blame for that as well, and tells Karen she should go home to get some sleep. She tells Matt that she’s worried Fisk will discover she went to St. Benizet with Ben, but I think she’s more concerned with Fisk discovering her showdown with Wesley in that basement. She feels like trying to fight Fisk is hopeless since he has so many resources but Matt is like, “Hey! I said I would protect you after the whole Union Allied thing, right? Still binding.” Then Matt promises that everyone who’s in bed with Fisk will get what’s coming to them – including the big man himself.
Vanessa has recovered enough for Fisk to bring her back to his penthouse and she finds him staring out the window as she emerges from the bedroom. He’s been looking over money transfer documents to prepare for Vanessa to leave the country but she again refuses to leave without him. He indicates that something’s wrong with the numbers and says he’ll have Leland look into it.
Fisk and Leland meet at a garage of sorts as Leland fills him in on the current structure of their enterprise. Leland adds that they’ll need to find a replacement for Madame Gao’s heroin trade, as she is in the wind, and implies that maybe she wasn’t their ally after all. Then Fisk shows Leland the documents he had been reviewing in his penthouse: evidence of the transfer he ordered Wesley to make before he was found dead. Fisk says there are some irregularities with his accounts and Leland brushes it off as cover for the authorities should they come sniffing around. As Leland gives the document back, his hand shakes almost violently and he begins to sweat noticeably, even though it’s freezing outside. The jig is finally up and when Leland confesses, Fisk assumes that he killed Wesley because he discovered the irregularities and that he was responsible for the attack at the benefit. Leland denies the former, but cannot skate around the latter, as Fisk has realized that Gao was in on the attack as well. Leland confesses that the poisonings were meant for Vanessa to nudge Fisk back on track, and somehow this man doesn’t think his life is in danger as Fisk becomes more irate by the second. He tells Fisk that they’re going to part ways amicably because he’s got leverage: the missing Detective Hoffman. He’s paid Hoffman $10 million to wait for daily calls from Leland ensuring his safety; if he doesn’t get a call, Hoffman will go to the feds and spill his guts about all his dealings with Fisk. Thinking he’s covered all his bases, Leland asks if they have a deal and Fisk is like, “Mmm, no,” and punches him square in the face. Looks like another Wilson Fisk Signature Beatdown! Leland tases Fisk but doesn’t take him down, so Fisk gets revenge for Vanessa by throwing Leland down an elevator shaft. Then he orders his men to sweep the city to find Hoffman and kill him.
Matt tears up the heavy bag at the gym as Foggy arrives. He tells Foggy that he tried going out and knocking some heads, but Ellison wasn’t available for a chat so he’ll try again tomorrow night. Foggy asks if Matt wants to talk about his anger issues and Matt’s like, “You’re not my priest – who you would have met if you’d shown up for Ben’s funeral.” Foggy says he got a call from Marcie when he was on his way to the funeral and she’s copied some good, incriminating documents on Fisk. Matt thinks Foggy is being irresponsible involving Marcie and packs up to leave, vowing to go after Fisk again. Foggy worries what will happen to Matt this time, since he found him nearly dead the last time Matt went after Fisk. He tells Matt to use the law to combat Fisk like he always preached to Foggy and Karen, saying they’ll take them down together. Matt’s like, “Oh, so we’re a ‘we’ again? We can’t go back to the way things were, but we can try to move forward.”
So they do…directly to the police station to see their buddy Mahoney. After Foggy hands over some more (good) cigars for Mahoney’s mom, he begins to spill about the fire at Madame Gao’s warehouse and his run in with the man in the mask. They fill Mahoney in on pieces of their investigation, namely that they think Fisk murdered Ben for visiting his mother, and Mahoney says they found no evidence of that at the scene. A couple of officers exit the building saying they’re looking for Mahoney inside, and Matt hones in on one of their cell phone conversations: the officer is talking about the hunt for Hoffman. When Mahoney goes back inside, Matt fills Foggy in on his suspicions and they realize they need to get to Hoffman before Fisk’s men find him.
At the office, Matt, Karen, and Foggy are three researchers once again as they comb through the documents Marcie smuggled to them. Karen wonders if Hoffman will actually testify against Fisk if they find him, but Matt is sure he will based on the disappearances of all of Fisk’s other allies. Then she asks how they found out about Leland hiding Hoffman, and Foggy and Matt lie badly about a run in with the man in the mask, saying they think he’s trying to do the right thing. Foggy doesn’t think these documents will help them nail down Leland, but Matt makes an important point: men of financial privilege will not often use their own money for something when they can use someone else’s, just as Karen finds a property rundown that is one property short but shows no profit loss. With the location of the missing property in hand, Matt lies smoothly that he’s going to report this info to Mahoney, but he really leaves to go investigate himself (plus a mask). Foggy sees right through this but Matt tells him this is where law meets real life and he can’t risk losing Hoffman to dirty cops.
Driving across town, Fisk gets a call which seems to imply that someone had located Hoffman. Fisk gives the order for the closest team to move in and specifies that there be no survivors.
Leland’s guys distribute dinner as they keep a watchful eye on Hoffman – and the clock. Leland is due to call in eight minutes or less. No call and they’re blowing that popsicle stand. Just then, a team of dirty cops burst in and execute every single guy watching over Hoffman. They’re about to kill Hoffman (who has squeezed his eyes shut) but instead of a single shot, we hear lots of punches thudding and shots flying wildly until Hoffman finally opens his eyes to see the man in the mask beating down the last cop. Hoffman is wearing a blood mask (so popular this year) and shaking like a leaf when Matt pulls up a chair to talk to him. Matt tells him that he can go turn state’s evidence on Fisk rightnow or he can wait for Fisk to send more people to kill him. Hoffman isn’t convinced that he won’t be killed anyway, so Matt tells him to turn himself in to Brett Mahoney specifically and get linked up to a couple of lawyers who can’t be bought. He says he’s going to follow Hoffman as he turns himself in and Hoffman won’t like what happens if he doesn’t.
And so, bloody and fearful, Hoffman approaches Mahoney at the station saying he needs to make a statement. Fast forward and Hoffman is being represented by Nelson and Murdock as Hoffman prepares to give a video statement before a federal panel. Matt relays that Hoffman isn’t seeking a deal but only wants to provide evidence as a sort of penance, and Hoffman is ordered to start at the beginning, leaving no details out.
Then we have a montage! It’s Turk Barrett being run down by the FBI! It’s a bunch of crooked cops being led out of the 15th precinct! It’s Ellison Caldwell being arrested at the Bulletin! It’s Landman being surrounded as he gets to work (and as Marci looks on in her car)! It’s Senator Cherryh being carted out of his offices!
The arrests are all over the news and Fisk ties up loose ends as he prepares to be arrested. He tells Vanessa that she needs to do something for him and explains a plan as the FBI files into the building. With them breaking his door down, he proposes to Vanessa and is then led outside to a media frenzy. He is cuffed and put into a secure transit vehicle with armed guards in the back while reporters continue to shout questions at him.
Matt, Foggy, and Karen celebrate the news of Fisk’s arrest and they toast to all the people who suffered at the hands of Fisk.
In the transit vehicle, Fisk begins to tell a biblical story about a man on his way to Jericho. The traveler was set upon by thieves on his way until a good Samaritan rescued the man and put him up in an inn using all of his money because he loved his city and everyone in it. Fisk says he always thought he was the Samaritan in the story but realizes that he’s actually the ill intent who set upon the traveler. Just then, his whole police escort is stopped on a bridge and they come under assault from a group of mercenaries. The cops call for back up and are taken down one by one and the assault is televised.
Foggy puts Karen in a cab and tries to convince Matt not to go get involved. Matt asks him to trust him and Foggy relents, telling Matt to go be a hero.
With all the cops down, the mercs prep to retrieve the package. One of the guards in the back with Fisk kills the other and Fisk is freed and escorted to a delivery truck to be taken to another location. He yells to his team to take out anyone who tries to follow by ground or air.
Matt heads back to Melvin Potter, who has finished Matt’s new suit. Matt is pleased, but Melvin wants to know if this means Betsy is for sure safe from Fisk. So Matt’s all, “I’m a man of my word, Melvin.”
Standing on a rooftop, Matt listens for chatter about Fisk just as the delivery truck pulls into a warehouse and he is transferred to a smaller delivery truck for Summerville Department Stores. When one of the mercs announces that the package is en route with an ETA of 18 minutes, Matt hears this and springs into action. Fisk speaks to Vanessa (who is waiting by a helicopter for a swift extraction) and tells her to leave without him if he hasn’t arrived in 20 minutes’ time. He adds that if he doesn’t make it, it isn’t the end of their relationship but an inconvenience, promising that nothing will ever keep them apart.
As the driver announces a 15-minute ETA, the truck is hit through the windshield by a stick and flip over onto its side. Fisk exits the vehicle with a gash on his head, and Daredevil jumps down onto the truck to confront Fisk. One of the mercs opens fire and Matt does some fancy stick work while Fisk makes a break for it. Matt corners Fisk in an alley (giving us a full view of the new costume!!!) and Fisk begins to rant about how Daredevil robbed him of his ability to make the city a better place. Then he says he’s going to kill him, and Matt’s like, “COME AT ME, BRO!”
They start fighting and each get in some good hits, but Daredevil is doing the most damage until Fisk begins to use his brute strength to throw Daredevil into walls and dumpsters and run at him like a bull seeing red. Daredevil recovers as Fisk finds a pipe to use, but Daredevil’s better: he uses his pipe to lay Fisk out. With some strategic hits to the head area, Fisk is disoriented but gains the upper hand and lifts Daredevil above his head only to throw him bodily onto the ground. He continues to strike and scream at him on the ground until Daredevil declares that this is his city and rises up to knock Fisk down with his sticks. Fisk taunts him that one man in a silly little costume can’t make a difference, so Daredevil hits him with a final leaping punch – just as Mahoney shows up in his squad car. Mahoney realizes that Daredevil is the man in the mask and accepts that he has just caught a fugitive, and so calls it in.
Vanessa disappointedly waits at the helicopter when Francis (presumably) tells her that it’s time to go, now or never. Slipping the engagement ring Fisk gave her on her finger, she boards the helicopter and they lift off.
Back in the alley, Mahoney cuffs Fisk and wonders what he should call the city’s new savior in his reports as Matt scales the walls like a parkour master. And Karen grabs up the newest Bulletin which dubs him Daredevil. She, Matt, and Foggy discuss the new moniker and its applicability as Foggy finally installs their sign on the office. Then he bails to help Marcie find a new job since her bosses are mostly under indictment. Matt and Karen send their thanks but Foggy reminds them that Fisk still needs to go to trial, which could easily be a year from now. Matt chooses to focus on how Fisk is in prison where he belongs and revels in the fact that they put him there. As Karen goes to enter the office, Matt stops her, saying he’s noticed something weird in her voice for a while. He says he thought it would go away when Fisk was put away but it hasn’t, and she basically says putting Fisk away has left deep scars that they can’t forget. Matt says they can promise to move forward, together, and they head into the office.
Fisk is kept in a small windowless cell and sets about passing the time: with his bruised and cut up face, he stares at the latest white stucco wall in his life, seemingly biding his time.
And Daredevil stands on a rooftop surveying his city and, hearing a scream, leaps into action once more.
All images courtesy of Marvel and Netflix.