Welcome back to week four of our paced Daredevil recaps!
Episode four begins with a flashback. A Russian man being dragged into a prison cell to join another man, and it becomes clear that they are the brothers running the human trafficking ring, Vladimir and Anatoly. Even with the bleak outlook of a gulag, they band together to do whatever’s necessary to survive – including using their dead cell mate’s bones as weapons.
In Hell’s Kitchen, a Russian man runs out of a building and speaks very fast on the phone about the man in black who, as the Russian man drives away, drops a body on the hood of a car. Matt’s adrenaline is in over drive!
Claire’s giving Matt stitches after his latest night out and tells him that she saw the guy he threw off her roof in the hospital – and he’s in a coma now. Matt says he can live with that and the conversation steers toward Claire’s safety. He tells her he needs to be sure the Russians aren’t looking for her, but she tells him that with his injuries, he needs some kind of body armor to wear when he hits the streets. They tease each other about the feelings they have for each other and she asks him what he’ll do if he comes by and she’s with someone. He hands her his phone so that she can enter her number and he can call before he needs to come by, which is a neat solution but not really the one she was looking for. She tells him that he needs to ease up on his crusade and he asks her if he’s ever heard of Wilson Fisk. She hasn’t and as he puts his clothes back on he notes that Fisk is a ghost in public records and the Internet (how is that even possible?!). He jumps out her window and back into the night to apply more pressure. He says someone will break and lead him to Fisk.
Wesley pays the Russians a visit at their cab company, Veles Taxi. He informs them that a deal was closed for them to acquire Kitchen Cab, doubling their distribution infrastructure. Anatoly says he appreciates it but Wesley says his employer is more interested in why their shipment was light this week, again, when they said they were dealing with the man in black problem. Anatoly tells Wesley that he should care about the man in black because he was asking about Fisk by name, a huge no no. Wesley says Madame Gao and Nobu have expressed their displeasure about how the Russians can’t handle one man in a suit running around, a man who doesn’t even have an iron suit or a magic hammer (HA!). Wesley says that his employer has offered to “assist” the Russians in their distribution business, which displeases Vladimir, and Wesley tells them to think it over. When Wesley leaves, Anatoly tries to convince Vladimir to play ball but Vlad points out that the reason Fisk doesn’t allow people to say his name is because then they’ll know he’s just a man. But Anatoly is still concerned about the damage the man in the mask is doing to their business. They plan to visit Semyon to find out what he knows about him.
Karen and Ben meet at a diner and he tells her that her story about Daniel Fisher and Union Allied sounds both familiar and far-fetched. Ben explains to her that she’s lucky to not be a dead loose end like the guard who tried to kill her and her old boss at Union Allied, but she wants to find the trail from the company’s liquidation anyway. Ben says he needs a credible source to write his stories and she wants to know what happened to the reporter who had done so much for the city since she was a child. Ben says that he got older and less stupid. (Don’t we all?)
Vladimir and Anatoly visit Semyon in the hospital as he recovers from being dropped off the roof of Claire’s apartment (remember him?). They unhook his life support and stab him in the chest with epinephrine and a few seconds later Semyon wakes. They ask him about the man who put him in the hospital and he says it was “the devil.” He goes on to describe Claire and seconds later, Russian henchmen kick open the door to her apartment. She’s gone, of course, but they find Santino standing in the doorway.
Wesley informs Fisk of Vladimir and Anatoly’s temperaments, saying Anatoly seems more amenable to the proposition than his brother. Fisk says they’ll settle with the Russians one way or another to adhere to their timeline, and he’ll find a way to deal with the man in the mask. They arrive at their location and Fisk asks Wesley to stay in the car. They’ve come to 642 Galleries and apparently Fisk is the kind of man who loves to ponder art; this is where we saw him at the end of the last episode. He tells the lovely curator that he hung the painting he bought, “Rabbit in a Snowstorm,” in his bedroom and that he wanted to thank her. He asks if she’s available for dinner, which she declines as she’s working, and before he can leave she questions his tenacity. Fisk tells her that a woman that can be bought isn’t worth having and she introduces herself as Vanessa.
At her friend’s apartment, Claire feeds the cat that she’s severely allergic to and hears some scraping and rattling at the door. She chalks it up to paranoia, but a shadow can be seen at the window.
Leaving the police precinct, Foggy laments his career choices, saying he should have been a butcher like his mother wanted. He wonders if he and Matt are doing this law practice thing the right way, and Matt assures him they’re doing things the right way. As Foggy gets into a cab, Matt gets a phone call from Claire. She’s in distress and we briefly see her being dragged away from her phone screaming. Matt books it to their friend’s apartment and, finding Clair missing, listens to the city for a lead. He hears some men conversing in Russian and one of them says the name “Santino.” The two henchmen put Claire in the trunk of a cab and drive off just before Matt can catch up to them.
Karen has decided to follow the trail, anyway. She’s turned up at the auction where Union Allied’s liquidated assets are being sold. She sits sketching the patrons who bid on the Union Allied lot when Ben creeps up to sit behind her. He calls her attention to the people in the audience who are also not bidding and who are very likely watching her. Karen is alarmed but Ben tells her to bid on something and then meet her at the diner after she’s won something.
The henchmen arrive back at Veles Taxi and remove a bloodied Claire from the trunk. Matt visits Santino, who has also been beat up. Santino says that he didn’t say anything at first, but the Russians threatened his mother so he had to tell them where Claire was hiding. He tells Matt that he saw them get into a Veles Taxi cab and Matt takes off.
Fisk and Vanessa share dinner and he confesses that Wesley chooses his wines, which she finds amusing. They discuss how quickly the city is changing and Fisk begins to tell Vanessa about his childhood. He says his mother sent him away to live with relatives on a farm when he was 12, but he returned to the city after time and distance afforded him clarity. He realized that the city was in his blood and he would do anything to make it a better place, and they toast the sentiment.
The Russians continue to beat Claire up and she continues to deny knowing who the man in the mask is (and she doesn’t! He never gave his name). They’re growing impatient and threaten to break her a piece at a time, and then all the lights go out. Swift movements from the shadows indicate Matt’s shown up, and Claire laughs at the Russians. Their men begin to fall and they open fire, hitting nothing but their cabs, as Matt tumbles with each of them in turn. With two men let on their feet, Claire manages to get her duct-taped hands in front of her and reach into her pockets. Matt takes down one of the last two men just as the last one grabs Claire. Matt tells him to put his gun down and when he refuses, Matt twists his arm to its breaking point – and Claire cracks him across the face with the aluminum baseball bat the man had planned to use on her.
Karen meets Ben back at the diner and tells him that she bought some office equipment from a realtor. She asks him how he knew she’d be at the auction and he tells her that he wasn’t looking for her. Karen finds this encouraging, as he still seems willing to investigate. Ben takes this opportunity to outline how the people who’ve helped him uncover crime in the past have all been destroyed in one way or another. He tells Karen that she needs to be smarter than they were and they can only meet in places not connected with the two of them from now on. He also advises her to sign the Union Allied agreement because he’s found a loophole: she can agree not blab in public about what she knows, but the agreements says nothing about whether she can tell anyone else (or what that person could do with the information).
Vladimir and Anatoly return to Veles Taxi to find all their men groaning in pain. Anatoly gets a call from Piotr and thinks they need Fisk’s help. Vladimir is pissed at the prospect so Anatoly says he’ll go and bow for the both of them so Fisk will help take out the man in the mask.
At the restaurant, Fisk and Vanessa’s dinner is winding down and they decide to order dessert. Just then Anatoly barges into the restaurant, shoving past Wesley, and Fisk immediately whisks Vanessa out of the restaurant. He’s visibly upset even as Anatoly tries to accept the deal Wesley offered earlier and tells Wesley to put Anatoly in a car.
Karen shows Foggy the crappy office equipment she bought at the auction. Although she’s quick to explain away how she paid for the stuff, Foggy isn’t upset at all. He’d rather tell her the story about how his mother wanted him to be a butcher. (I guess she hasn’t heard this one yet.)
At his apartment, Matt patches up Claire, who tells him his hands are good for a blind guy. He tells her about patching up his dad after his boxing matches and apologizes to her for the danger he put her in. Claire says it was her choice to pull him from that dumpster and he still feels guilty that she was almost killed because of him. She wants to be assured that he has an end game and he says he’s just trying to make the city a better place, even though he feels like he’s only making things worse. Claire asks him to feel her heart so he’ll know how scared she is. She tells him he has to do something about her fear (and everyone else’s) if he can, and he finally tells her his name.
Fisk walks Vanessa home and he asks for a second date but she’s upset. She says she went out with him because there’s something different about him (no kidding) but she’s not sure that’s a good thing anymore. Fisk apologizes for the turn their evening took and says he enjoyed spending time with her. He asks her to tell him if she didn’t enjoy herself at all and he’ll never bother her again, but she says she doesn’t know how she feels and goes inside.
Wesley and Anatoly drive together and Anatoly has described the day’s events to Wesley. Wesley’s flabbergasted that they didn’t even get the man in the mask’s name after all that, and Anatoly says he wanted to accept Fisk’s offer face to face. They pull over and Wesley has a call from Fisk. He tells him that Anatoly is on the passenger side, and Fisk roughly pulls him from the SUV and begins to give him the beating of a lifetime. As falls after a huge backhand, Anatoly pulls a knife and swipes at Fisk, but Fisk isn’t hurt because he’s got some sort of protective lining in his jacket. Fisk handles Anatoly bodily, telling him that he embarrassed him in front of his date as he breaks his arm, and Wesley sits inside the vehicle waiting patiently. Anatoly crawls toward the car and, with a final punch, Fisk drags him to the rear passenger door. Then he uses the door to repeatedly bash Anatoly’s head until it severs from his body.
Fisk and Wesley step away from the vehicle and Fisk tells Wesley to tell Mr. Potter he needs a new suit. Wesley asks what should be done with Anatoly and Fisk tells him to send his remains to his brother. Knowing that will incite a war, Wesley questions this decision, but even in his rage, Fisk has a plan.
The Questions: What will result from Matt and Claire’s growing feelings for each other? Are Karen and Ben getting in over their heads? What’s the source of Fisk’s rage? Where will Matt’s crusade take him next? And how is Vladimir going to clap back after Fisk sends his decapitated brother back to him?