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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 110, “Nelson v. Murdock”

Alright, things are getting really real on Daredevil. Honestly, if you’ve gone ahead and watched the rest of the season, I wouldn’t even be mad. No blame, no shame. But keep coming back to relive your favorite OMG moments!

A severely battered Matt wakes on his couch. He is absolutely covered in cuts and angry looking bruises. He even has stitches in some important abdominal areas. As he struggles to lift himself off the couch, Foggy tells him he wouldn’t do that if he were him, but maybe he would because he really doesn’t know this guy who’s supposed to be his best friend. Foggy says Claire came by to stitch him up after but what he really wants to know is, is Matt really blind?

Flashing back to college, Foggy (plus a bunch of shaggy hair) and Matt meet for the first time and Foggy goes down his list of “things I can tell just by looking at you”: Matt is blind, and as his last name’s Murdock, he must be that kid from Hell’s Kitchen who saved the man crossing the street all those years ago. Matt downplays the situation but Foggy thinks he’s a hero and takes to Matt immediately. Assuming that hanging with Matt will undoubtedly score him access to ladies he would otherwise never have a shot with, Foggy suggests they go meet some at a coffee shop.

Back in Matt’s apartment in the present, Matt has explained the “world on fire” to Foggy, but all Foggy can hear is that Matt has had some kind of visual acuity all along and feels super betrayed. Foggy’s pissed that he told Claire about his vision and vigilantism, but Matt insists he had no choice but to clue her in when she found him in the dumpster. Then Foggy asks Matt if he had anything to do with the building explosions like the news has been alleging, but Matt says everything – including his current state – is Fisk’s fault (well, part Nobu’s fault, too). Just then, Karen calls Matt and Foggy guilts him about not wanting to get her involved. When she calls Foggy’s phone after not getting an answer from Matt, Foggy tells her that he’s looking after Matt, who has been in a car accident. He rushes her off the phone, telling her to stay at the office, but Foggy isn’t happy. He wants to know every detail of what Matt’s been keeping from them.

Fisk meets Madame Gao in a lovely garden where she says what happened to Nobu was “unfortunate.” She says he was prideful taking on the man in the mask himself, and asks if Fisk has found the man in the mask yet. Gao expresses concern that Nobu’s clan will be out for revenge soon and Fisk is like, “I know that already.” So then she gets to the point, asking, “What happens when your ambition turns to me?” Fisk assures Gao that she has always had his respect, but this doesn’t assuage her. She says when she met him, he was of a single mind, determined to make the city better, but now he’s got two minds – and the second one is clouded by love. He needs to choose between being the savior or oppressor, light or dark, and must choose wisely or others will choose for him.

Ben visits his wife, Doris, in the hospital and lies that the doctors think her heath is improving. She asks him about his work and when he tries to brush it off saying he should focus on being with her, Doris says he wouldn’t be Ben Urich if he wasn’t chasing down leads for a story. As she convinces him that he has learned from his youthful recklessness and become a responsible and careful reporter, her eyes glaze over and she forgets their conversation and greets him anew. Shirley arrives to speak with Ben and tells him that she did everything she could, but the extension he filed for was denied. :(

Foggy goes through Matt’s stuff and finds his vigilante gear. Matt tells him the Internet helped him acquire everything and Foggy wants to know how Matt can fight so well, because he definitely didn’t learn it from his dad. Matt says an old man named Stick taught him how to fight and helped him realize that his blindness wasn’t a disability. Foggy presses, wanting to know exactly what Matt can do, so Matt gives him a taste: Matt can tell that Foggy hasn’t showered since yesterday morning, that he had onions in his lunch yesterday, that his heart beats faster every time Matt says anything more, and on. Foggy is completely weirded out and gets pissed when he realizes that Matt has always known every time Foggy lied but played along instead of confronting him. He wonders if anything between them was ever real.

In another flashback, the jovial buddies drunkenly walk around campus talking about their futures as lawyers and weighing the importance of Spanish over Punjabi. As they take a breather on some steps, Matt comes perilously close to revealing his abilities but is able to cover it when Foggy asks him when he had his first drink. Matt recalls the sip of scotch his father gave him before stitching his eye up after a fight that he lost, and Foggy thinks Jack would be proud of Matt today. They dream about futures as successful defense lawyers before heading back tot heir dorm.

At work, Ben peruses a pamphlet on hospice and it looks like that’s the next step for Doris. His editor, Ellison, stops by his office to ask why Ben gave his most recent assignment to another reporter and Ben brushes it off as a personal matter. Then Ellison gets to the point: there’s going to be an opening on the Metro desk at the end of the month and he thinks Ben should take the position, dangling the “better benefits” in front of him as incentive. Ben says he’ll think about it.

Back at the office, Karen calls Foggy again and notices a box on her desk. Ben surprises her, having slipped in through the unlocked front door. He tells her that the box is hers now, and it contains everything he has on the Fisk/Confederate Global story. Ben tells her that the story can’t be the most important thing for him right now because of Doris’ health, that he needs to take some time off to look after his wife at home. Struck with an idea, Karen asks Ben to take a ride with her up north to a nursing home she’s heard about and he agrees.

As Wesley helps Fisk finish dressing at his apartment, Owlsley expresses his displeasure at how Fisk indirectly dispatched Nobu, and Fisk tries to convince him to speak to Madame Gao on his behalf. Owlsley isn’t into this idea, because although he never really liked Nobu, he also sees how Fisk has changed since he began seeing Vanessa. In the end, though, he agrees to speak to Gao.

Matt dresses as Foggy speaks with Mahoney. Mahoney said that the junkie who killed Mrs. Cardenas jumped off the roof of the shooting gallery he frequented, and Foggy wants to know if Matt did it. Matt says he only told the guy to go turn himself in and that he didn’t kill him, it was Fisk. He also assures Foggy that he’s never killed anyone although he did go to the warehouse intending to kill Fisk. Foggy is disgusted at Matt’s presumption and Matt says sometimes the law isn’t enough.

Flashing back again to their intern days at Landman and Zack, Matt and Foggy sit in on a settlement and witness a sick man being railroaded by the firm. In their tiny office, Foggy tells Matt that he heard they’re going to be offered permanent positions, but Matt is hesitant because what happened today wasn’t right. He challenges Foggy to consider whether he wants to be part of litigation that defends corporations and, seeing the logic in Matt’s argument, Foggy begins to pack up his stuff so they can go save the world together.

And in the present, as Foggy hesitates to ask Matt something, Matt reminds him that he knows when he lying – and can tell from his breathing patterns when he wants to say something.

On the way north, Karen and Ben discuss the advanced stage of Doris’ Alzheimer’s. Karen expresses her sympathies and Ben thinks Doris would like her, saying he wishes he’d taken her to meet Doris when she was a little more lucid. Then they arrive at the nursing home.

Inside, Karen signs a visitor’s log and Ben wants to know what they’re doing at this opulent nursing home with its grand staircases. She tells him to hang in there and have a look around with her.

Foggy yells at Matt for recklessly running around town picking fights in costume. He wants to know how Matt goes from getting heightened senses as a child to vigilante. Matt says that listening to how the city suffered every night eventually spurred him to do something after many years of turning away from things. He heard a girl crying over her father who was abusing her after her mother was asleep and after realizing social services and police wouldn’t or couldn’t help, he followed the man one night and beat him to a pulp. As he made mince meat of the man’s face, Matt told him if he touched his daughter again, he’d know and he clearly loved the empowerment he felt from getting some justice for the little girl. Foggy thinks this is evidence of Matt simply needing an outlet for his violence and Matt’s like, “Yeah, I don’t want to stop.”

Karen and Ben wander around Saint Benezet (which is so much more awesome than my apartment building, btw) and Karen “randomly” wanders to a door and knocks so that she and Ben can “get a feel for the place.” The occupant, Mrs. Vistain, lets them in but realizes – after she puts her glasses on – that she doesn’t know Ben and Karen, but amicably answers their questions anyway. We find out that the woman has been at Saint Benezet since her husband died, but he wasn’t her first husband – he was her third. The first, she says, “tried so hard, but he drank, you know?” Karen asks if she had any children with her first husband, and Mrs. Vistain reveals that her sweet boy is none other than Wilson Fisk. Then, because she got used to spilling the beans, I guess, Mrs. Vistain begins to tell Karen and Ben about Wilson’s involvement in the death of his father.

At a benefit, Fisk, flanked by Vanessa, gives a gruff speech about being the kind of guy who steps forward when his city is in a time of need. He glad hands after getting off stage and runs into Owlsley who says, “It’s all taken care of.” Senator Cherryh approaches and pulls Fisk aside to talk about zoning, and Wesley, Vanessa, and Owlsley discuss Cherryh in their absence. As they talk, a man, and then a woman hit the floor, foaming at the mouth. The only thing they have in common is the champagne they were drinking, which Leland drops when a third man hits the floor. Fisk orders Wesley to get the car – just as Vanessa, too, hits the ground from ingesting the champagne.

Foggy continues in on Matt and argues that Matt has put Karen and himself in danger by keeping this from them. Matt tries to convince Foggy that if he doesn’t continue, Fisk will win out – exactly the way he won over Mrs. Cardenas. He tells him that they don’t live in a world that’s fair and he’s just trying to make it a better place. Foggy thinks he sounds an awful lot like Fisk and worries at Matt’s potential for murder. Then he throws down a couple of consequences that could have emerged from Matt’s deception: Matt could go to jail, and Foggy could have been implicated in his deeds. Foggy can’t move past this and questions his entire friendship with Matt and leaves Matt to break down in sobs.

In a more recent flashback, Matt is covering his latest fighting injuries with a lie about getting hurt taking out the trash at Josie’s. Foggy sketches a mockup of the Nelson and Murdock sign that they’ll hang at their firm (when they officially start one). He tells Matt that he’s nervous, but he trusts him and he’s with him, for better or worse. Mirroring the moment they met in college, Foggy is excited about their new frontier together and they toast to the future.

At their offices, Foggy boxes up his stuff and throws the new Nelson and Murdock sign in the garbage before leaving.

The Questions: What will Ben and Karen do with their new dirt on Fisk? Did Leland have something to do with the poisoned champagne at the benefit (he looked real shaky in that scene)? Is Vanessa going to die? And will Matt and Foggy be able to repair their friendship?

All images courtesy of Marvel and Netflix.

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