You’re back for week nine of Daredevil recaps? What patient Netflix viewers you are! Thanks for sticking with me, dear hearts. On to the episode!
Things are getting thick quick! The episode starts with an awesome fight. Matt, along with his sticks, fight a ninja-type in red, who gains the upper hand. He trips Matt up like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, complete with a “get over here!” moment. As the camera zooms in, you can tell from the eyes that the red ninja is Nobu. (Or maybe I can tell from the eyes? Hard to say.)
A pensive looking Matt parks on a bench outside Holy Eucharist and Father Lantom approaches, offering some quality confession time, so Matt takes him up on the offer (as long as it includes lattes and a less formal, communal dining room setting). Lantom begins by trying to get Matt to admit that he’s the man in the mask, but Matt asks him if he believes in the literal Devil. So the priest begins a tale about his younger days in the seminary when he believed the Devil was just a construct. He says theologians reinterpreted mentions of “satan” in the Bible for propoganda, which actually means “adversary” in Hebrew. But then, when working in Rwanda, Lantom saw the Devil in the militia, who forced Hutu villagers to murder their neighbors and whose commander viciously murdered a respected village leader and his family. So, yeah, Lantom believes in the actual Devil.
Ben is pissed that Fisk undercut his story and that his editor loves him so much, and Karen and Foggy thinks they should keep digging. Ben thinks that’s how you get beat up when Matt arrives and agrees with him. Then Ben shares that he got a visit from the man in the mask – along with the documents that were on the thumb drive he got from the “man.” After discussing the connections between Fisk, the Russians, the man from the bowling alley, Hoffman, Blake, et al, the gang decides to pursue connections from Confederated Global to Westmeyer-Holt to Fisk and leave the rough stuff to the “Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.”
Fisk reviews construction plans for Hell’s Kitchen as Wesley catches him up on public opinion and upcoming meetings. Fisk wants to know where Hoffman is and no one knows, but Wesley promises that he’ll be found. Wesley adds that the man in the mask is an active target for authorities when Nobu barges in, breaking a guard’s hand in the process. He’s clearly pissed off and when Wesley doesn’t accurately translate his words to Fisk, we learn that Nobu speaks English! Nobu tells Fisk that he hasn’t held up his end of their land deal and doesn’t want to hear Fisk make excuses as to why he hasn’t gotten the full city block he was promised. Fisk offers another block, since the one originally designated for Nobu is held up by a tenement building (presumably Mrs. Cardenas’ building), but Nobu doesn’t want that, either. Nobu says that even he has those he must answer to, and tells Fisk to do what he needs to do to clear his block quickly. Fisk tells him that is Nobu could go ahead and get rid of the man in the mask, it might make it easier for Fisk to give him what he wants, so they make a deal to draw out their foe by tugging at his heart strings so someone from Nobu’s organization can take care of him.
Back at their offices, Foggy, Matt, and Karen talk through their case and all the dead ends they’re turning up. Just then they get a visit from Mrs. Cardenas who says Fisk has doubled the payouts to her and her neighbors and some of them are thinking about taking it. Foggy tells her to stand firm and she says that she won’t take the offer and will do her best to convince enough neighbors to stand with her to make a difference. After she leaves, Matt says Karen and Foggy shouldn’t have encouraged Mrs. Cardenas because they’re naive about how dangerous Fisk is. They decide that knowing your enemy is the best move against Fisk so they have to keep digging – quietly – to find hard evidence. Then Matt takes off to visit Vanessa at her art gallery to try to get to Fisk.
As he enters the gallery, he notes several armed guards as Vanessa greets him. They banter about his need for art to impress the ladiez and she describes a painting to him: it sort of looks like the way Matt sees the world, “a world on fire.” Then, apropos of nothing, he asks about the art choices of her boyfriend, so she’s like, “Ask him yourself.” Fisk – and more guards – walk in and Matt barely controls his anger. Vanessa introduces the two and guides a strained and layered conversation about art and the tenement case. As Fisk goes on about his dedication to making the city a better place, Matt grows more and more uncomfortable and eventually makes a rushed exit.
Looks like he needed some spiritual guidance, because he went to see Father Lantham at Holy Eucharist. Lantham says he was worried Matt would go do something foolish, and Matt says he hasn’t done anything – yet. He recounts his visit to the gallery and says he only learned that Fisk has someone who loves him and would mourn his loss. Lantham says judgement and vengeance are best left to God when murder isn’t in one’s heart, and Matt’s like, “How do you know I’m not a murderer?” He grapples with the notion of allowing Fisk to ruin Hell’s Kitchen and Lantham reminds him that there’s a lot of ground between doing nothing and killing. Lantham says that committing a murder can be as harmful as poisoning a public well, that the consequences of the action will spread to one’s friends and family. He doesn’t believe Matt truly wants to kill Fisk, but that he went to Vanessa looking for a reason (or a way) not to.
The next day, Matt returns to the office and tells Karen that he didn’t get the info he needed from his visit with Vanessa. She says that she and Foggy had better luck and identified the guys who attacked them outside Mrs. Cardenas’ building via their contracting licenses – and they work for Westmeyer-Holt. But, after reaching out to Ben, they discovered that the guys are off the map, just like Hoffman and Tully, so they won’t be able to use them to flip on Fisk. Then, to boost morale, Karen presents Matt with the new Nelson and Murdock plaque to mark their business officially and they gush over the good they’ll do for the world. Karen answers a call to the firm and from the sound of it, it’s bad news.
Karen, Matt, and Foggy positively identify Mrs. Cardenas’ body at the morgue, and Mahoney tells them that a known junkie was seen fleeing with Mrs. Cardenas’ purse. Mahoney says she died from multiple stab wounds before ambulances could arrive on the scene and a broken up Karen tells him that Cardenas had no next of kin, only them. Foggy offers to take care of the funeral arrangements and while he and Karen hug, Matt gets white-knuckle pissed.
Back to the fight from the beginning of the episode! The man in red uses his weapon to cut Matt several times and after Matt kicks him in the face he is revealed to be Nobu (was this really meant to be a surprise?). Nobu says it’ll be an honor to kill such a worthy opponent and proceeds to cut and slice Matt some more before hooking and dragging him across the floor.
The gang gathers at Josie’s for some somber drinking and Matt tells Foggy that maybe the idea of a criminal element at Cardenas’ building was a load of bull, suggesting that Fisk had her killed. Speaking of the devil, Fisk shows up on TV saying he knew Cardenas’ building was unsafe which is why he offered her and her neighbors payouts to leave. He goes on about the awful things in the city threatening good people – calling out the man in the mask for being a coward. Karen’s in her cups and wishes Fisk would get buried by a pile of raw sewage, or barring that, that the man in the mask would knock his head off. Matt takes this opportunity to make an exit and Karen tells him that he has to believe that Fisk will get what he deserves.
Back home, Matt stares at the trunk in his closet with his father’s boxing gear and memorabilia inside before opening it before reaching into the false bottom for his own crime fighting gear. He hits the streets and pummels several people as he asks about the junkie who “killed Mrs. Cardenas.” Finally someone talks and Matt shows up at a shooting gallery and finds the man just after shooting up. Then Matt finds Mr.s Cardenas’ purse and snatches the man, who thought Matt was a hallucination, up and starts beating him up. He asks the guy who paid him to kill Mrs. Cardenas but after more punches to the head, the guy reveals that he was approached by two guys who took him to Pier 81 for the job. Matt tells him to turn himself in to Mahoney and threatens to find him again if he doesn’t.
Then Matt arrives at the warehouse at Pier 81 – and it’s the scene of his knock down, drag out fight with Nobu. He finds the place largely empty but for some city plans on a table, then begins to hear a faint, slow heartbeat. Nobu drops down into the room and they remember each other from the docks. It becomes clear that killing Mrs. Cardenas was Fisk and Nobu’s plan to lure Matt via his emotions all along. Matt says he came there for Fisk but will settle for Nobu and Nobu starts the fight by throwing several daggers at Matt, who blocks them with his sticks. Up close, the two kick and strike each other until Nobu catches Matt across the face with a well-placed punch.
Back at Josie’s, Foggy and Karen are rapidly approaching wasted so she helps Josie cut them off. Foggy feels responsible for what happened to Mrs. Cardenas and feels like he’s failing at helping good people by following the rules. He wonders what can be done to someone who owns everything and everyone, and Karen says they’ll do the only thing they can: make them pay.
And Matt flips himself out of the hook and drag to boot Nobu in the chest, sending him flying into a wall. They are both hurt and a fluid leaks copiously onto the floor at Nobu’s feet. With some last words, Nobu throws his final strike at a downed Matt. Matt flips out of the way just in time to grab and throw one of his sticks at the lamp above Nobu, sending sparks flying down at the flammable liquid on the floor and burning Nobu alive. Then Fisk comes in with Wesley and a guard, like, “Ooh, thank you! That was so necessary, I just couldn’t figure out the least messy way to get it done.” Fisk confirms everything we already knew about his plan to lure Matt by killing Mrs. Cardenas and seems to enjoy goading him.
Matt is very hurt and can barely stand, but he isn’t impaired enough that he can’t threaten to kill Fisk. Fisk is like, “Come at me, bro!” so Matt does – but maybe he shouldn’t have. With heavy, swinging blows, Fisk strikes Matt a few times, but honestly, that’s enough. Matt’s down again and uses Nobu’s weapon to strike at Fisk, only to discover his suit is lined and the blade didn’t penetrate it. Enraged, Fisk, throws Matt into a desk and pounds on him like a gorilla before throwing him through a table. Fisk tasks Wesley with killing Matt, but with another precise throw of a stick, Matt saves himself before leaping out of the building into the river below, bleeding heavily. Fisk orders men on the dock to kill Matt should he resurface and says he’ll let Nobu burn.
Drunk Foggy shows up at Matt’s apartment vowing to make Fisk pay for what happened to Mrs. Cardenas. Then he hears a crash inside and goes to the roof entrance to get into the apartment. As he creeps down the stairs, Foggy notices all the broken furniture and grabs a weapon (smart!). Just then, Matt stumbles out of his bedroom dressed as the man in the mask and falls to the floor. He grabs a phone to call the police but hangs up after staring at the face a little longer. Moving closer, Foggy looks his friend over and removes his mask, discovering that the man in the mask was Matt all along.
The Questions: Is Karen getting a taste for vengeance? How will Matt come back from this latest defeat against Fisk? Will we get to see Claire again (please say yes)? Should Owlsley and Madame Gao be watching their backs? And how does one make someone who owns everything and everyone pay for their misdeeds?