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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 102, “Cut Man”

Matt is hurt badly. A young man stares at him as he lies bleeding in a dumpster and runs off to find help. He brings a lovely woman to help who asks him in Spanish to help her bring Matt inside her apartment and to close the door behind him. She grabs a bag, dons some medical gloves and checks him for injuries. She sees how badly he’s hurt and tries to call the hospital but he stops her, knowing that the people who did this to him would find him there. He stands up to try to leave but immediately face plants from lack of energy.

In a flashback, young pre-accident Matty watches on TV as his father, Jack, loses his boxing match. He waits at the kitchen table for Jack to come home, per usual, listening to the neighbors arguing. Jack makes it home and, well, he’s been in a fight. Matty grabs a medical kit and begins patching up Jack, noticing that he needs stitches. Jack says Matty had better have a bit of scotch so his hands don’t shake (what?), and after a swig, Matty begins to apply stitches to Jack’s face. Then Jack pulls out the rent money: a bunch of hundreds in an envelope. Matty is curious how he could get all that money for losing, and it’s clear Jack’s in with some rough people to take a dive here and there.

At the office, Karen overhears Foggy singing loudly and without abandon and he doesn’t seem embarrassed whatsoever. It’s late and he wonders what she’s still doing there, and she tells him that she needs to get their bare bones office in some semblance of order. But the real reason is that she’s not comfortable going home yet. So Foggy offers to take her bar hopping to take her mind off it all.

Matt wakes and immediately wants to know where he is. The woman who saved him tells him to lie still, that he has several injuries (including broken ribs and a possible concussion), that his outfit sucks, and yes, she has seen his face. She tells him that his injuries need X-rays and she’s not really looking to have some masked stranger die on her couch on her night off. Matt doesn’t want to go to a hospital and wants to know why she’s even helping but she feeds him the same line he gave her: “The less you know about me, the better.” But she does tell him her name is Claire. He falls asleep and begins to dream again.

Young Matty regains consciousness in the hospital screaming that he can’t see. His eyes are completely bandaged and he’s freaking out, but Jack is by his side. Jack reminds Matty that he was in an accident but the poor guy is still freaked about his heightened hearing and inability to see.

Matt wakes once more, struggling to breathe. Claire determines that he’s got air in his chest that’s collapsing his lung, so she begins a procedure to release the air, allowing Matt to breathe deeply once more. But now Claire really needs answers, because she’s imagining what it would look like to police if Matt died in her apartment and doesn’t think she’d look good in metal bracelets. So he clues her in on what he’s up to: the Russians, the people he’s after, kidnapped a young boy and have been running a human trafficking ring. He recounts the story of the little boy’s kidnapping and how he realized too late that the whole thing was a ploy to lure and murder him. Claire is incredulous that he spends his evenings picking fights with dangerous men, and Matt didn’t even find the boy. Just then Matt hears, from way off, a man going door to door in Claire’s building, asking questions. He smells like Prima cologne and cigarettes, which must mean he’s a Russian, right? Claire tells Matt that the only thing she knows about him is he knows how to take a beating, inducing another flashback. (Matt might want to get his head checked out at some point.)

Young Matty joins his dad at the gym, learning Braille while Jack trains in the ring. As Matty shows his dad what he’s been learning, Jack is beckoned by Silke and Roscoe. They speak as though Matt’s damaged goods, then tell him they’ve organized a fight between Jack and Creel – but he has to take a dive again. Jack tries to decline, but Silke and Roscoe convince him that the money he could make off the fight would be beneficial for Matty in the long run, so he agrees to go down in the fifth round.

And back in Claire’s apartment, Matt steals one of her kitchen knives and prepares to kill the door-to-door Russian; he’s next door and will knock at Claire’s any second now. Not wanting to host a fight to the death in her apartment, Claire convinces Matt to let her get rid of him without violence. The man identifies himself as NYPD (badge and all) and asks about a perp who committed a bodega robbery a couple of blocks away. Claire feigns total ignorance and he goes away, but Matt knows that the man didn’t believe her story. Matt goes outside and grabs a fire extinguisher as the man runs down the stairs shouting into his phone in Russian – then strategically drops the fire extinguisher on the man’s head as he reaches the bottom. And because he knows everything, Matt also notices a scared young man watching them, and it’s the same kid who found in him the dumpster, Santino. Matt tells Claire to go get Santino because he’s going to need all the help he can get to get the “detective” up to the roof (where no one can hear him scream).

Foggy and Karen, already tipsy, arrive at Josie’s, a dive bar, and Foggy is sending Matt an SOS via voicemail. He’s freaked about being alone with Karen but bites the bullet and orders more drinks. In his playful way, he teases Karen about being at the office all the time, saying it must be because she’s secretly in love with him. Then he’s like, “But seriously, what’s wrong?” So Karen tells him that she can’t get Daniel’s blood out of her carpet. And her wall is still dented where Rance bashed her head into it. She says she can only see the dark corners of the city anymore, the threats lurking everywhere. (Girl, if you have been able to live in this city without seeing the bad parts, you shouldn’t have been living here at all.) Foggy tells her that his cousin, who does drywall, will fix her wall and he tries to convince Karen that not everyone in the city is a bad person. He says if she doesn’t want to go home, she doesn’t have to, and they delve deeper into their plan to drink the night away.

On the roof of Claire’s building, Matt ties up the “detective” and her wariness is coming to a head.

Claire: I find a guy in a dumpster who turns out to be some blind vigilante who can do all this really weird shit, like smell cologne through walls and sense whether someone’s unconscious or faking it. Slap on top of that he can take an unbelievable amount of punishment without one damn complaint.
Matt: The last part’s the Catholicism.
Claire: So what, I’m supposed to take it on faith that I’m on the right side of this?
Matt: You don’t carry a masked man bleeding to death into your apartment on faith. You knew which side you were on the moment you found me.

Which, like, truth! Matt asks why she even helped, and it turns out Claire’s a nurse. She recounts some recent ER patients who had been robbing tourists and were subsequently attacked by a “man in a black mask,” suffering nine broken bones between them. Then she tells Matt about the girl who was attacked by someone she knew who tried to sexually assault her, and how the “man in the black mask” heard her screams and saved her life. She’s trying to make it clear that she knows he’s doing some good, but unlawful confinement is something else entirely, so Matt’s like, “Giving into your fear only gives bad men a chance to succeed.”

Flashing back again, young Matty is reading Thurgood Marshall aloud to Jack. Jack opens a package containing his new boxing robes: they’re ruby red with the words “Battlin’ Jack Murdock” in gold on the back. As he feels the intricacies of the garment, Matty remarks that the red will hide the blood, but Jack’s like, “Who says I’m going to get hit?” And Matty’s like, “Please, Murdock’s get hit a lot. But we also get up.” Jack takes this to heart and goes to the gym to make a call. He calls his bookie to change his wager to ride on him to win by knockout, then gives the bookie an account at M&R Credit Union for Matty in which to deposit his winnings the minute the fight is over. Jack tells the bookie he should lay low after this, then makes another call. It’s to a woman this time, and he gets the answering machine. He tells her that Matty’s probably going to need her soon, and implores her to look after him. Then we get the real reason behind all of this: Jack wants Matty to hear people cheer for his dad, just once.

In the present, Foggy and Karen are wasted and pounding on Matt’s apartment door. They drank the eel and are trying to get Matt to come out with them until sunrise but get no response, as he’s currently on a roof prepping for an interrogation. Foggy and Karen leave and Karen thanks him for helping to distract her as they revel in the good things the city has to offer.

And on that roof, the Russian wakes to find Matt and Claire, who has donned a hoodie and mask herself, standing in front of him. Matt tells the guy that he’s going to ask some questions, that he’ll know if he’s being lied to, and he won’t be happy about that. He wants to know where the little boy is, and the Russian lies and says the boy is dead, earning himself a kidney punch. The Russian reveals that they only took him to lure Matt in, as he knew, and they planned to sell the boy (like all the others) once Matt was dead. He also says that as long as people are buying children, they’ll keep kidnapping and selling them, and he taunts Matt, saying he can stand up to heavy pummeling, too. So Claire chimes in, encouraging Matt to stab the Russian in his trigeminal nerve. She tells him exactly the spot to stab into and all of a sudden she’s cool with torture? She says the Russian “will tell” when Matt finds the nerve, and he does as Matt begins to stab him in the eye. Then Matt takes him down and hangs him over the edge of the roof. Menacingly, he tells the Russian that he’s doing this not just for the boy but because he likes hurting people, causing the Russian to spill the little boy’s location, Troika Restaurant at 44th and 11th. Matt pulls the guy back up, giving him the opportunity to talk some smack, so Matt’s like, “Eff you,” and pushes him over the roof’s edge anyway. Claire is alarmed but Matt reassures her that the Russian fell into the same dumpster she found him in. Then he tells her that she needs to pack a bag and leave her apartment now, because the Russian knew she was lying earlier and will come back. She says she’ll go to the apartment of a coworker for whom she’s cat-sitting, and she gives Matt the address in case he needs more patching up later.

Flashing back again, Jack dons his new boxing robe and enters the ring for his fight against Creel. Even without his sight, Matt watches the match on TV and cheers for his dad as he’s declared the winner. Jack runs to the locker room to get undressed but is halted by the sound of the crowd chanting his name. While Matt waits at the table for his dad, per usual, his heightened hearing allows him to hear a single gunshot. He runs outside and finds a crime scene and Jack, shot dead in an alley.

Beneath Troika, a Russian henchman brings the kidnapped boy some food in a room at the end of a hallway, ignoring the boy’s cries for his father. As he leaves the boy, we get a peek into two other rooms on either side of the hallway, containing at least six more henchmen between them. Matt creeps into the hallway (still freshly bandaged from his last bout) and listens, getting a lay of the land, and what ensues is one of the best fight sequences I have ever seen.

Matt opens one of the doors and gets to it, pounding on all four of the henchmen who can be seen. We miss a lot of the scuffle inside the room but back in the hallway, the door of the room flies off, propelled by one then another flying henchman, who hit the wall. The other door opens and more henchmen come flooding out as Matt throws a microwave and uses their own guns and blunt objects against them. They all fall and, the best part, they all get back up like people might in real life. Matt’s got strategically placed kicks and punches for all of them, though, and fights them all in turn as they come back for more. He incorporates a lot of flipping and parkour-like movements for misdirection and eventually knocks every single henchman unconscious. He goes into the room at the end of the hall to save the little boy, taking care to reveal his face first.

Matt: Hi. I know you’re scared. But I’m here to help you. Okay? You don’t have to be scared anymore. Let’s get you home to your dad.
Little Boy: Okay.

Mask back in place, Matt carries the boy down the ruined hallway, stepping over all the the unconscious bodies and debris as he goes like a boss.

The Question: How are the Russians going to pay back the Man in Black for this?

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