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Daredevil Season Finale Recap, Ep. 113, “Daredevil”

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.

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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 112, “The Ones We Leave Behind”

We’ve finally come to the penultimate episode of the first season of Daredevil and it has definitely been a wild (and fairly brutal) ride! Let’s jump right into it.

Karen dumps the gun she used to kill Wesley in the river and seems to be struggling with the reality of what just happened to her. When she gets home she locks herself in and immediately reaches for the booze. After a drink and a quick sob, she jumps into the shower to wash it away, but looking at herself in the foggy bathroom mirror, she realizes it won’t and takes her trusty whiskey to bed with her. After some sleep she wakes with a start and notices she’s out of liquor and reaches for beer. When she turns away from the fridge, Wilson Fisk’s outline emerges from the shadows and he talks to her about the weight that comes along with killing someone. He tells her it gets easier the more you do it and makes a grab for her head – at which point she actually wakes with a start.

Later, Karen goes into the office and is having a difficult time focusing. Then Foggy creeps in and scares the bejeesus out of her. They question each other about why they’re at the office so late: Foggy denies avoiding Matt and Karen dodges questions about what she did after she left Foggy at Josie’s. Foggy apologizes for his beef with Matt spilling over to her and they try to bury their own strife. She asks if he’s coming back to the office and he wants to avoid the topic and pack up some stuff. But he does assure her that he’s not giving up on their investigation and asks for the box of info Ben brought over, and adds that he no longer believes the “man in the mask” is the enemy. As he leaves, he finds Matt standing at the door, who moves aside to let Foggy pass (and who presumably heard every single thing they just said).

Matt asks Karen why she’s at the office so late and they determine that an inability to sleep seems to be the only thing the three employees of Nelson & Murdock still have in common with each other. She tells him Foggy thinks he’s responsible for Mrs. Cardenas’ death but Matt’s like, “Foggy’s the one not talking to me, not the other way around.” Karen says she’s beginning to think she made a mistake coming to work with them, saying her world fell apart.

Fisk, still by Vanessa’s bedside, checks his phone in vain for a missed call from Wesley. Then Vanessa wakes up and wants to know what happened to her. Fisk explains and blames himself for her almost dying, telling her of the arrangements he made to get her out of the country. When he says he doesn’t plan on going with her she refuses to leave. Exerting her agency, Vanessa tells Fisk that she knew the risks of getting romantically involved with him and she took them because she wanted to, and now she wants him to find the person responsible and “make them understand” that she and Fisk won’t be parted. Cheerily, he tells her he’ll make them suffer for what they’ve done as there is a knock on the door from his security. They’ve located Wesley.

At the deserted building, Fisk and Leland arrive to find Wesley slumped in the chair just the way Karen left him. Francis clues them in to Wesley’s last known movements and Fisk is disappointed that he didn’t get more information out of Wesley before handing over his gun and keys. So he head butts Francis and punches the crap out of him while shouting that Wesley was his friend and Leland intervenes, noting (correctly) that Francis only did what he was told which is also known as loyalty. Leland thinks Wesley’s murder is revenge from the Japanese for Nobu and urges Fisk not to lose sight of their end game by pursuing a war. Fisk says only that he wants to find who did this to the people closest to him before giving Wesley a kiss on the forehead…and rifling through his pockets. Scrolling through his phone, Fisk sees that the last person Wesley called last night was his mother.

Ben walks to his car one night and Matt pulls his peek-a-boo act again. He shows the drug symbol to Ben, who recognizes it from around town as a marker for heroin dubbed “Steel Serpent.” Matt walks Ben through his theory of Fisk eliminating his partners and wonders if hitting Fisk in his pockets will finally cause him to make a mistake. Then he asks Ben about the Chinese drug operation, mentioning the poor blind delivery guy who was killed in the Russian shoot out. Ben says he’s seen the blind men near 51st and 10th during morning rush hour and Matt has a new lead.

Foggy meets Marcie at Josie’s and he has a favor to ask. He brings up the tenement case and since she feels bad about what happened to Mrs. Cardenas, she agrees to listen. When Foggy says he thinks Wilson Fisk was behind the attack, she gets up to leave since her firm, Landman and Zack, represent Fisk and she can’t talk to him about her client. Foggy says that’s fine, that she can sit and read (lots of incriminating evidence) instead.

When Ben gets home, Karen creeps out of a shadow to ask him why his story about Fisk and his mother hasn’t been printed yet and he’s like, “Girl, go home and take a nap.” She tells him that she thinks they know that she and Ben found Fisk’s mother, and this gets her invited inside for a drink. Ben tells her about the connection he’s working on that will give Mrs. Vistain’s story some clout in spite of her dementia, but Karen wants the story out rightnow, fearing that they’ll lose their shot. Ben asks Karen why she thinks they’re on to their secret trip upstate and she says it’s a strong feeling and she needs to trust him. He promises to write the article up and submit it to his editor the following day, and Karen is grateful.

Back at Josie’s, Marcie stayed longer than the five minutes she promised and when Foggy reveals that some of the information was obtained from “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen,” she appalled that he’d work with the guy who’s been terrorizing the city (according to the news). He asks her to really reflect on Fisk and ask herself if there’s nothing fishy going on at Landman and Zack where Fisk is concerned. Though she’s worried about losing her job and her ability to practice law by speaking to him about this, Foggy gets through to her by appealing to her sense of morality.

Matt stands at 51st and 10th listening intently to the city’s sounds. Finally he hears the sound of a walking stick tapping the sidewalk and has spotted a blind courier. Following the courier, Matt watches a sedan (playing classical music) pick him up and drive away. Quickly, Matt runs into an alley and does some awesome parkour across several rooftops as he follows the sedan. (Even in a suit, this guy is good!) The car finally stops in an alley and the courier is escorted to a door where a secret knock is performed before they are ushered inside.

Ben goes in to work and discovers that his editor, Ellison, isn’t currently in the office but will be in later.

And in another sedan in Hell’s Kitchen, Fisk tries to appease his mother as she complains about him removing her from St. Benizet’s (she’s gonna miss that zuppa!). He tells her she can get real zuppa in Italy and she frets at having to start a new life before losing her train of thought. Then Fisk asks her what she remembers about her conversation with Wesley, but she remains distracted.

Ben calls Karen to tell her that Ellison isn’t in the office yet but he’ll call her when he’s put the story in Ellison’s hands. He admonishes her to keep her eyes open and she takes a call from Matt. He tells her he’s had “a rough morning” as he mops up his burst stitches and says he won’t make it in today. He adds that he’s working on something that he wants her and Foggy to stay out of and promises that things will work out.

When Ellison finally arrives, Ben approaches him with the story and he’s not trying to hear it. He says the story has no corroboration and will open the paper up to a lawsuit. As Ben tries different angles to convince Ellison to run the story, they each hit the other with verbal barbs and have attracted the attention of the whole office. Ben tells Ellison he feels like he whoring out his talents because of him, and Ellison tells Ben to take the rest of the week off, prompting Ben to accuse Ellison of being paid off by Fisk. After all, he hasn’t been able to get a meaningful story printed in ages. So Ellison tells Ben that he hasn’t been printed because his stories are crap and unceremoniously fires him.

At the Chinese warehouse, Madame Gao surveys her blind workers before ascending a staircase. The blind courier taps into the warehouse and a guard hears a noise that he investigates outside. Someone delivers the secret knock and the guard opens the door and gets a beatdown that we don’t see, then Matt enters the warehouse. As guards keep watch over the workers, we notice that many of them have scars around their eyes, indicating that they were blinded horrifically. Hearing a noise and going to investigate, a second guard is beat up and disarmed as Matt approaches and observes the workers. As he listens closely to them, Madame Gao spies him from her vantage point and instructs her workers to attack.

Fisk and Leland meet and Leland reports that he couldn’t find anything to link the Japanese to the recent attacks, saying it might be the man in the mask after all. Fisk orders Francis (who is still around because Wesley trusted him) to double the cash offer in the streets for information and receives a call on Wesley’s phone. After a short conversation he tells Leland that he has to go, but Leland has to be getting used to Fisk brushing him off by now.

Gao and two armed guards search the warehouse for the man in the mask and he takes the two men out with ease (though not without gunfire which begins to set the warehouse on fire) and approaches Gao. Matt accuses her of blinding her workers and she insists they did it to themselves out of faith. He asks her about Fisk and she throws him to the ground and disappears. Hearing more explosions, Matt takes a guard’s gun and shoots to initiate the sprinkler system then tells the guard to clear everyone out. The workers slowly file out as the fire department approaches and Matt runs off into the night…and is stopped by Brett Mahoney. After Matt relieves Mahoney of his gun, he tells him that he didn’t kill any cops and assures him that his department was infiltrated by bad cops. Then backup arrives and Matt runs off again.

Madame Gao approaches Leland for a meeting and drops her “I don’t speak English” act with him, too. They discuss the fact that Fisk is on the hunt for whoever struck at him but that he doesn’t suspect them. They both agree that the attempt on Vanessa’s life was a good plan, but she denies having anything to do with Wesley’s death. When Leland asks what their next move should be, Gao’s like, “I don’t know about you, but I’m heading back to my homeland to lay low.” Before saying they won’t speak again, she leaves and Leland yells empty assertions of self-sustainability at her back.

Ben visits Doris in the hospital and they banter about running away together. Doris asks him if he wants to run away together, or if he just wants to run away, noting that she knows that he has something important he’s working on. He tells her he was fired and Doris is all, “Good! Now you can pursue great stories and post them on the Internet and reach a huge base. It’s a good thing.”

Then, as he leaves the hospital, Ben calls Karen to let her know that he was fired and his story won’t be published. He tells her that he’ll start a blog now that he’s got the right story to tell, and he’s going to write it tonight and get it out there. After promising to send Karen the link once he’s posted the story and to call her in the morning, the two hang up. Still deep in thought, Karen is startled by the doorknob rattling and it’s Matt struggling to get into the office. He’s curious about her locking the office now and tells her she should head home. She wonders aloud if she, Matt, and Foggy will continue to work around each other without really talking and he explains how Stick taught him that he must distance himself from loved ones to be effective at what he does. He never thought he did before, but Matt sees that he does that now. He describes his bad night as seeing the bottom of humanity and Karen clearly relates, but Matt knows that he can’t fight his crusade alone. Karen hugs him and assures him that he isn’t alone.

Ben returns home and settles down with a drink and his computer to begin his Fisk expose. As he begins to type, we see Fisk sitting in the shadows behind him. Fisk says he wants to have a conversation but Ben tells him to get out. After he promises to be truthful, Ben allows Fisk to say his piece. Fisk tells Ben that he’s sorry for assuming that his relevancy had passed and begins to explain all that he knows about Ben’s work at the Bulletin…and the precautions he’s taken since the Union Allied story to protect his interests. Then he reveals that he knows Ben went to see his mother, confirmed by his mole at the Bulletin, and Ben lies that he went alone. Ben also denies having anything to do with Wesley, but Fisk is PISSED that Ben would involve his mom in this, saying that he’s not there to threaten Ben, but to kill him. Fisk attacks Ben, grabbing him around the throat with both hands and chokes him until Ben stops moving. Then Fisk leaves, stepping on a now broken photo of Ben and Doris on his way out.

The Questions: Holy crap, did you see that coming?! With Ben out of the picture, how will Karen and Foggy go after Fisk? And will this be enough to bring the crime-fighting trio at Nelson and Murdock back together?

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