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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. 111, “The Path of the Righteous”

Fisk, Wesley, Leland, and Fisk’s guards stride into the closest emergency room with a poisoned Vanessa asking for help. The medical professionals immediately spring into action as Leland continues to half-heartedly ask if he should be checked out, too, since he had the champagne as well.

Karen comes to visit Matt all, “What the hell, bro?” since Foggy won’t answer her calls. When he lets her in, she suggests they sue the negligent jerk who “hit” Matt but after noticing how wrecked his apartment is, she starts asking more important questions like, “Were you really hit by a car?” She correctly infers that Matt’s injuries are related to his visit to Vanessa (and Fisk) but he wants to just drop the subject. So Karen gets to the reason she’s there: the discovery of Fisk’s mother in the nursing home upstate. He tells her that it was reckless for her to visit the woman and Karen’s like, “Well I couldn’t reach you and didn’t want the opportunity to slip by.” She tells Matt what she learned from Fisk’s mom about how he murdered his father and she thinks they might be able to use that to convince people to look into Fisk’s past for criminal activity, but Matt isn’t so sure. He tells her to go to the office and tell Foggy about what she found anyway, though.

Foggy wakes up to a call from Karen and it’s clear he spent the night with his ex, Marci. He’s grumpy and tells Marci he doesn’t want to work with Matt anymore and she doesn’t care at all, wanting to avoid “getting sucked into the drama.”

Leland tells Wesley that Fisk is in no fit state to lead their joint venture and expresses concern at how someone would so publicly try to kill Fisk (risking his and Wesley’s lives in the process). Leland doesn’t think Madame Gao had anything to do with the attack and Wesley assures him that the Japanese aren’t responsible, either. A guard informs Wesley that three of the other people who ingested the champagne have died but Leland still wants to talk business. Wesley instructs him to reach out to Gao and, still jumpy, Leland agrees.

Claire (!) has come over to check on Matt’s wounds and has to stitch the gash in his abdomen again after he tore the stitches trying to move around too soon. He tells her meditation helps with pain control and healing but she says he still needs to take it easy or she’ll be stitching up his corpse next. Claire suggests that he gets some kind of armor which reminds him of the armor in the lining of Fisk’s suit he saw in the warehouse. As she’s prepares to leave, Matt offers Claire a drink but she says she can’t stay because she needs to pack to get out of the city for a while. He continues to pry and she finally tells him that nothing has changed about how she feels about his nighttime activities so she’s moving on. Claire says she’ll always be there to give him stitches and stuff but that has to be it.

Karen meets Ben on the dock and he’s upset with her for taking him away from his wife to go on a wild goose chase. He lays into her for lying about why they really went upstate but she presses that Ben should print the story about Fisk killing his father. Ben tells her it’s a bad idea because in the end, Fisk can just turn it all into a sob story and use his mother to back him up, absolving him in the eyes of the public and getting them nowhere in prosecuting Fisk. Then Ben clues Karen in on the spiked champagne from the benefit and points out how Fisk has people in the media on payroll to cover it up as they both conclude that someone is trying to kill Fisk.

Wesley joins Fisk as he waits for news about Vanessa in the hospital. Fisk is a mess at the prospect of Vanessa dying and Wesley says he sent Leland to speak with Madame Gao to see if she can shed some light on the situation. Fisk implores Wesley to find the person who did this so he can “look into their eyes as he salts the earth with their blood.” So he’s pretty serious about his vengeance. He tells Wesley to personally make arrangements so that if Vanessa recovers she can be sent away someplace safe. And in a rare show of humanity to someone other than Vanessa, he thanks Wesley for…well, I don’t know what, exactly. But Fisk doesn’t run around thanking people. Anyway, the doctor finally emerges and tells Fisk that Vanessa will pull through and Fisk goes in to see her while Wesley leaves to handle some business.

Matt, his wounds, and his feelings turn up at Holy Eucharist but Father Lantham isn’t for dancing around the subject this time. He talks to Matt about trying and failing to kill Fisk and how he feels about that, but Matt evades the question. Lantham says that he knows who he is and what he does, but he’s unsure how he’s doing it, and Matt says it’s from the accident in his youth which both gave him heightened senses and put the Devil in him. Father Lantham isn’t so sure Matt’s crusade isn’t just both his good and bad sides manifesting themselves as he treads the path of the righteous.

Back at home, Matt tries to meditate but keeps flashing back to the particularly brutal parts of his fights with Nobu and Fisk. He’s distracted but the flashbacks have given him an idea, so he pulls out his trunk and becomes the man in the mask once more.

Turk Barrett runs through several streets and alleys and Matt finally stops him on a rooftop after Turk trips. Matt tells Turk he wants information about who makes Fisk’s suits. When he threatens to throw Turk off the roof, Turk spills about the connection.

Fisk gets a call from his mother while he sits with Vanessa but ignores it. Instead, he steps outside to speak with Wesley (who is telling someone “we’re on the same page” over the phone). He asks Wesley to returns his mother’s call to see what she needs and Wesley obliges, natch. Leland arrives and Fisk slips back into Vanessa’s room before Leland can talk business with him. Stepping aside, Leland tells Wesley that he spoke with Madame Gao who he thinks doesn’t appear to have been responsible for the attack. Brushing that topic aside, Leland presses Wesley about Fisk’s recent absences from the business, claiming that the person who came after Fisk will come after him again and take advantage of the void in the market. Wesley says Fisk will return when he deems it appropriate and sends Leland home to wait for an update. Then he calls Fisk’s mother back and his first name is James? Okay. And Marlene spills about her recent visitors.

Matt breaks into a garage and after looking around a bit we can see it’s the same place Fisk brought Leland to get fitted. Matt takes a quick look around, immediately coming across the super durable fabric from the lining of Fisk’s suits, just as a man arrives. The man walks directly to the fabric hanging on his dummy and senses it’s been messed with and Matt shows himself from the shadows. Matt asks if the man works for Fisk and, instead of answering, the man begins to throw Matt all around his garage.

Wesley wraps up his call with Marlene by telling her he will have Fisk call her as soon as possible. Then he asks for one of the guards gun and keys, ordering him to be the gatekeeper to Vanessa’s hospital room while he’s away and to tell Fisk that he won’t be long should he come looking for Wesley.

The man in the garage continues to beat Matt senseless and they both alternately gain the upper hand by incorporating more than one dangerous object lying around the garage. The man is very strong and a skilled fighter but Matt regains control when some chains allow him to flip and kick the man to the ground. After he is defeated, the man begins to sob, saying that Matt shouldn’t be there because “Mr. Fisk is gonna be mad and hurt her.” Matt surprises the man by using his name (Melvin Potter) and asking who Fisk is going to hurt. We learn that Betsy, who helps Melvin with his memory, is under constant threat from Fisk as part of the consequences of Melvin letting anyone into the garage that Fisk didn’t bring there personally. Matt gently calms Melvin, telling him that they have that in common, but instead of working for Fisk he wants to stop him. Melvin perks up at this and tells Matt that he’s made many suits for Fisk lined with his special fabric. Matt asks Melvin to make him a costume out of the material so that he can help keep people like Betsy safe and Melvin’s on board.

Karen finds Foggy drinking his sorrows away at Josie’s and joins him for one. She tells him he’s a dick for ignoring her calls all day and he says basically the same things Matt said about the information she uncovered when she and Ben visited Fisk’s mother (that the woman’s old and has a faulty memory and no one will care). Foggy asks about Matt and she tells him that Matt asked about him, too, and they go back and forth as she tries to pry out of him what their problem is. Foggy says he and Matt are going through a rough patch and that although he wants to talk to her about it, he can’t. Karen reminds Foggy that Mrs. Cardenas’ tenement building was torn down that day, telling him that he and Matt need to hug it out and move on because Fisk is still out there destroying Hell’s Kitchen, then leaves him there to finish his bottle.

As she walks home, she leaves Matt a message about her run in with Foggy and tells him they need to get their shit together. (Seriously.) Then she calls Ben and explains what little she knows about the rift between Foggy and Matt, saying she thinks everything is about to fall apart. He tells her that the only way he can continue to do what he does is to keep putting one foot in front of the other to do his part and she thanks him for being there for her and caring. Then we see Ben’s been looking into Fisk’s past – via old photos of Fisk’s father’s failed campaign posters. When Karen gets to her building, she is immediately grabbed from behind by a man.

Fisk talks to Vanessa about his lack of personal faith or religion. He goes into all the ways he was exposed to it and how it seemed it should be, but he never could believe in praying. Fisk promises Vanessa that, since he can’t pray for her and mean it, he will make the person who did this to her pay.

Karen sluggishly wakes up in a chair at a table. The building around her is empty and behind her, Wesley says he almost thought she wouldn’t wake from the drugging. He sits at the table across from her and says he wants to chat. Wesley says that he originally thought Karen wouldn’t be a problem after the Union Allied article since she signed the non-disclosure agreement and was supposed to go away. He says her choice not to do that brought her to the building now, and she’s like, “I’m not scared of you.” Then he pulls out the gun and puts it on the table before asking her if she loves Hell’s Kitchen. He confesses that he doesn’t and hates a great many things about it, but he stays because Fisk needs him. Wesley says Fisk might love Hell’s Kitchen as much as he loves his mother, and he was surprised that Marlene remembered her. He says Fisk would be disturbed to find out Karen had found out about his mother let alone gone to see her, so he’s taken it upon himself to handle the situation. When she finally gives him the “if you’re gonna kill me, kill me” kiss off, Wesley says he’s not there to kill her, but to offer her a job.

Fisk leaves Vanessa’s room and, after requesting some coffee, wonders where Wesley’s gone off to.

Wesley says he wants Karen to convince Ben that she was wrong about Fisk being a villain and that he’s a great guy, and then give the same speech to anyone else she’s talked to about the Union Allied scandal. Karen holds tough again, saying she’d rather die first, so Wesley’s like, “Oh, I didn’t tell you? We’ll kill everyone you love first and let you watch as they all die knowing it’s your fault. And then we’ll kill you.” Wesley’s phone rings and Karen makes a quick grab for the gun and she’s got him dead to rights.

On the other end of the call, Fisk waits by Vanessa’s bedside for Wesley to answer. Karen’s eyes glaze with the power of her position and Wesley bluffs about whether the gun is loaded. He takes a step to get up and Karen fires a shot into his chest! Then, to make sure she’d done the whole “kill someone in self-defense” thing right, she shoots him a few more times. Wesley’s phone begins to ring again in front of his body, now slumped in the chair, and Karen hastily wipes her fingerprints from the gun and table before hightailing it out of there.

The Questions: Who is behind the spiked champagne? Will Matt and Foggy finally be able to bury the hatchet and restore their friendship and Nelson & Murdock? Will Karen tell anyone about killing Wesley? And what in the world will Fisk do without Wesley?

All images courtesy of Marvel and Netflix.

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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 109, “Speak of the Devil”

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?

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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 108, “Shadows in the Glass”

Wilson Fisk wakes from a fitful sleep to stare at the “Rabbit in a Snowstorm” painting he bought from Vanessa. This seems to calm him and he begins to go about his daily routine: chop fresh veggies for a perfectly cooked omelet to be enjoyed alone, choose from many similar suits and shirts what to wear today and dress, and choose the same exact cuff links from a lovely collection to wear every day and examine his reflection. Except it’s not him. When he looks into the mirror, he’s sees the image of a boy who looks an awful lot like him covered in blood.

Remember when Matt and Stick wrecked Matt’s apartment having that knock-down, drag out fight? Matt never cleaned that mess up. His alarm wakes him at 7:00 and the showrunners give us such much appreciated gratuitous shirtless Matt, and he braces himself to face the day.

Karen doesn’t want to tell Matt about her investigation with Ben, but Foggy thinks it’d be better to clue him in on things. He also thinks he should finally tell Karen her coffee sucks and I guess Foggy should learn to make coffee, eh? Foggy begins to bandy the idea of “keeping Matt in the dark” (poor choice of words!) just as Matt arrives, so Foggy hastily tries to change the subject. Matt isn’t fooled, though, and asks what’s up so Karen spills about her Union Allied investigation. Matt thinks the whole idea is half-cocked and dangerous but Karen says she won’t sit by and not do something for the people Union Allied might hurt next. She adds that Ben is the guy helping them investigate and break the story. In a successful effort to help Karen and Foggy stay out of his way while he continues his vigilante bit, Matt insists that they all promise not to take unnecessary risks and to make sure to try Union Allied on their turf: the courtroom.

Nobu is pissed at Fisk because his Black Sky shipment went belly up. Fisk insists that he held up his end of the bargain and adds that it’s not his fault Nobu didn’t tell him how important his shipment was before he went and lost it. Fighting words! Nobu spouts a flow of angry Japanese, prompting Fisk to apologize and Nobu leaves with a final threat. Once he does, Wesley chimes in that he doesn’t like Nobu’s attitude, since the yakuza aren’t really contributing anything like Madame Gao or Leland. Fisk says they have to keep playing nice while Nobu remains a necessary evil to endure.

In a flashback, we get a peek at little Wilson Fisk back in the…’70s? His father, Bill, is running for election and Willie is helping make endorsement posters while his mother, Marlene, tries to balance their bills nearby. Throughout, Bill exhibits all manner of dubious parenting (who encourages their kid to idolize corrupt politicians?) and spouts a lot of macho crap (“My dad let me swig his beer before I could even talk!”) that Marlene disagrees with, but Bill ignores her. As Willie chokes on his first sip of beer, Marlene wants to know who else is worried about the family’s finances besides her. Bill says he got a loan from Rigoletto, referring to it as an “investment.” He tells her she knows nothing John Snow, that Willie is smarter than her, and she’s got to spend money to make money. He’s a real gem.

Back in the present, Fisk has another famously awkward conversation with Vanessa over the phone when Wesley calls and interrupts. He says Detective Blake has woken up and if he recovers from his extensive injuries, Blake might not be too happy that Fisk had him shot. Wesley says “taking care of him” will be an issue since Blake’s hospital room is under guard by police (two of whom are Fisk’s) from the man in the mask. So Fisk tells Wesley to set a meeting for him with Hoffman, and Fisk will convince him to do the job in person.

As Foggy tries in vain to convince Matt that he’d be put to better use on the streets taking skulls and cracking names (his words, not mine), Matt reads something about Confederated Global Investments – the same company that hired them to defend our favorite bowling alley assassin a few episodes back. He asks Karen if Westmeyer-Holt Contracting is one of the subsidiaries that she tracked down from the Confed Global check, which it is. The contracting group has several complaints against it just like Mrs. Cardenas’, so it’s up to Foggy to call her landlord, Tully, to see if he can shed some light on the situation. Just then, Karen sees a news alert that Blake has regained consciousness and it looks like the man in the mask has another job tonight.

Fisk makes the hard sell to Hoffman and says things will end badly for him and Blake if Blake “speaks out of turn.” Hoffman is reticent and says Fisk doesn’t have to worry about him talking, so Fisk tells him the real reason Blake needs to go: he didn’t call when his phone (and thus the addresses for the Russians) was compromised and that led to a string of unfortunate events for Fisk (a huge no-no). With another veiled threat, Fisk asks Hoffman how much his friendship with Blake is worth to him and it seems Fisk has broken Hoffman.

Hoffman shows up at the hospital looking like he’s got a midterm but didn’t study. He approaches one of the officers guarding Blake’s room who searches him (and his paper bag) before letting him into Blake’s room. Hoffman pulls a syringe out of the bag and injects its contents into Blake’s IV – just as Blake wakes up and the man in black arrives with a stick-aided sleeper hold. After lying an unconscious Hoffman on the floor, Matt puts a chair under the doorknob and begins to question Blake. Officers begin forcing their way into the room as Blake’s heart monitor goes off the charts and Blake leaves Matt with a small clue. He says, “Is it my turn for this?” and Matt flees into the night.

Fisk has taken a squirrelly Leland to visit his suit guy, Mr. Potter. Leland doesn’t love needing a specially lined suit to protect him from the man in the mask and Fisk offers to move Leland to a safe place with a dozen guards. Wesley arrives to report on Blake’s assassination. Neither Fisk nor Leland are pleased to learn that Blake spoke to the man in the mask before dying and Fisk assures Leland that he’ll handle it, which doesn’t sway his opinions on Fisk capabilities of late.

Flashing back again, Marlene comforts Willie with some zuppa (delicious!) after he comes home bloody from a fight. Apparently some kid named Bernie is to blame. Then here comes Bill being a hard ass, taking Willie’s cake and making Willie tell him the truth: Bernie was knocking Bill’s election signs down and called the Fisk men losers. Bill and Willie visit Bernie and, after a little verbal provocation, Bill begins beating the crap out of Bernie with his own bat. Then he forces Willie to join him, screaming, “Kick him!” until a crying Willie kicks Bernie in the ribs again and again.

Fisk wakes from another fitful sleep with a start and stares at “Rabbit in a Snowstorm” again, and we’ve got a repeat of the opening sequence. The only difference is that Madame Gao has invited herself over this morning. Fisk makes sure that his BFF Wesley will be there and makes tea for himself and Gao. Then two shoes drop: Wilson speaks and understands Mandarin and Madame Gao speaks and understands English. Not only that, Gao speaks Japanese and knows Wilson does, too. With this new transparency, they dismiss Wesley to converse in private.

Madame Gao starts in on Fisk in much the same manner as Leland and Nobu, saying he’s gotten sloppy and emotional in recent weeks (how else could she know where he lives?). She tells him that she’s not there to chide him, but as a courtesy. She warns him to get it together or she’ll take her business elsewhere. Then Fisk rage flips his gorgeous dining room table and screams Wesley out of the apartment.

Flashing back again, Bill parks Willie in a chair in front of a white stucco wall (that looks an awful lot like “Rabbit in a Snowstorm” tbh). Bill tells Willie to stare at the wall and think about the man he wants to be until he comes back home. This concerns Marlene, who doles out a couple of “I told you so’s” when Bill says he’s going to sort out his loan to Rigoletto. Bill puts on the same cuff links Wilson wears as an adult and then flies off the handle at her questions and slaps her. Then takes off his belt and whips Marlene as Willie sits crying, staring at the wall.

Wesley has come back to Wilson’s apartment with Vanessa. She asks Fisk what’s wrong and insists that he tell her, no matter what he believes she’ll think of him.

Back to the traumatic domestic abuse evening, Bill continues to attack Marlene and blames her for all his problems. Fed up, Willie grabs a hammer and warns his father to stop. Bill goads him and Willie hits him in the head with the hammer once, then twice, then a few more times as he yells “Keep kicking him!” (like Bill did when they attacked Bernie). Marlene comforts Willie, who is splattered with blood, then tells him to the saw as they begin the dirty business of dismembering and disposing of Bill.

Fisk tells Vanessa that he and his mother carried bags of his father each night for a week to the river. No one asked questions about the disappearance knowing Bill owed money to Rigoletto, and Willie was sent away to live with relatives on a farm. Fisk says he wears his father’s cuff links to remind himself that he is not cruel for the sake of cruelty (debatable) and Vanessa tells him he isn’t a monster. He goes on to tell her that people just don’t want to see him shine and are trying to take him down, but he won’t let them.

The man in the mask visits Ben as he leaves work in the pouring rain and asks him to expose the man responsible: Wilson Fisk. Ben wonders why he didn’t go to another reporter and Matt says it’s because he knows people who trust Ben, who realizes this is about Union Allied/Karen. Then Matt begins to feed Ben info, including Leland Owsley’s name and the dirt on Blake, Hoffman, and Fisk. Unfortunately, none of his proof is reliable, but Matt says exposing Fisk will do enough to get the city to turn against him.

For the third time, Fisk wakes from a fitful sleep with a start – but he doesn’t stare at “Rabbit in a Snowstorm” this time. He rolls over and gazes at Vanessa instead. His morning omelet has doubled as Vanessa joins him for breakfast, and he is clearly at sea. She picks his suit, shirt, and cuff links today, and in a voiceover, we hear Ben reading his Fisk expose. Then Fisk appears on TV in a press conference, demonizing “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen” and publicly blaming him for all that’s gone wrong recently. Stunned, Matt, Karen, and Foggy all tune in to this press conference as well, which has effectively killed Ben’s story. Fisk announces his name loud and proud, vowing to take back Hell’s Kitchen.

The Questions:

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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 107, “Stick”

Alright, we’re in week seven of our Daredevil recaps. Are you still with me? Sure you haven’t skipped ahead and finished the season? Even if you have, relive it here! No shade.

This episode begins with a man running down the service stairwell in his office building to grab a pistol he stashed. He loads it then fires several times into an empty elevator. Then a man puts a katana to his neck and asks him in Japanese where the “Black Sky” is located. After the shadowy figure cuts his hand off, the first man reveals that the “Black Sky” was put on a ship bound for New York City. Shadow Man decides he no longer needs the one-handed man and kills him. As he enters the elevator to leave, we see that he is blind.

Foggy does not like the man in the mask and scoffs at the newspapers dubbing him “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.” Foggy thinks he’s a coward but Karen defends the “innocent until proven guilty” tenant that is usually a defense attorney’s life’s blood. Which is sort of what Matt says when he chimes in, but Foggy is blinded by the media’s portrayal of the vigilante. As Karen prepares to leave for the day, Foggy clumsily asks her on a date, but she wriggles out of it, saying she’s “got a thing to do.” When Karen goes, Foggy implies that Karen might be hiding something from them, then asks Matt how things with “Hottie McBurner Phone” (aka Claire) are going and finds out that even Matt can’t keep some ladies interested. Then Matt reads up on Leland Owlsley.

Leland meets with Nobu in a parking garage and reports that his funds have been reallocated and his shipment can arrive unimpeded. Then he pokes his nose where it doesn’t belong and asks pointed questions about said shipment. Nobu brushes this off and Leland presses that he thinks they should form something of an alliance so they don’t find themselves unceremoniously edged out like the Russians did. Nobu believes a “man must stand on his own, or fall with the unworthy,” and leaves Leland to put some ice on his burn. And then the man in the mask shows up! He wants to know about Fisk, but when he’s distracted by the sound of a walking stick, Leland tases him and drives away, leaving Matt lying on the ground. The owner of the stick – the blind man from the elevator – walks up to Matt and pokes him, like, “Dude, get off the ground. It’s gross down there.”

In a flashback, Matty is having trouble getting a hold on his senses and is troubled by all that he can hear. One of the nuns at his orphanage brings the blind man to Matty to try to help him, and the man’s like, “Just make sure the check clears and I’ll do what I can.” He goes in to speak with a currently freaked out Matty and judges from his quick reflexes that Matty isn’t getting worse (like those silly nuns thought) but growing stronger in his senses, and they “get started.”

The man takes Matty to the park and they have ice cream on a bench as he lays down some rough truths. Like how no one is going to feel sorry for him and no one ever will. He tells Matty that he won the lottery as far as ailments, so there’s that. Matty recounts the story of how he was blinded and tells the man that after he lost his sight, he began to hear things acutely and far away and began to sense even slight movement. The man tells Matty that these things are gifts, and says that smart is making the right decision at the right time. Then he sticks the real question to Matty: is he going to continue to freak out about his heightened senses or work to refine them? To drive his point home, the man shows Matty how he uses taste and smell to pinpoint the exact ingredients of the ice cream they’re enjoying. Matty practices using his senses with passersby and learns more about people than he ever could have before, then asks the man how he even found him. The man doesn’t really answer, but says he’s there to train Matty for “the war.” As he declines to elaborate on this as well, Matty asks him a question maybe the man’ll actually answer: “What do I call you?”

Back in the present in the parking garage, Matt calls the man Stick, and wonders what he’s even doing in town after disappearing for 20 years. Stick says he’s back to save the people of Hell’s Kitchen from a horrible death. Fairly ominous.

The “thing” Karen had to do was yet another clandestine meeting with Ben. Karen is frustrated that she’s had no luck following Union Allied’s paper trail and Ben’s like, “Them’s the breaks, rookie.” He says investigating is not supposed to be easy, so she’d better, you know, get used to this kind of hard work and waiting around for results. Then he adds that he found links to the yakuza, the Triads, and the Russians, but can’t prove much of anything. Karen asks about the person who shot the cops, and Ben recounts how he stood next to Blake as he was shot. He thinks that if Blake wakes from his coma, perhaps he’ll tell the truth about what went down that night.

There is clear, palpable tension between Stick and Matt as they arrive back at Matt’s apartment. Stick’s judging every aspect of Matt’s life, from the woman who was recently there to Matt’s choice of sheets. Matt thinks Stick’s just jealous that he got along fine without him in his life. Cue your abandonment issues. Stick doesn’t think Matt’s comfortable life is fit for such a warrior and urges him to cut all ties from his friends. This is laughable to Matt but Stick thinks Matt is worse than his father, since at least Jack got paid to go out and take hits. This sets Matt off and Stick reacts quickly, twisting Matt’s arm and ushering us into another flashback.

Stick has Matty’s arm twisted in the same way, hurting him. It’s a lesson in quitting, maneuvering, and resilience, and Matty’s up to the challenge. He gives it his best go, throwing lots of punches and kicks but hitting nothing. Stick tells him that he can’t let his anger fuel him because it makes him sloppy, and when Matty tries again to hit Stick he fails again and Stick knocks him off his feet. Matty begins to break down about his dad’s death, saying that his father only bet against the fateful dive he was supposed to take to make Matty proud (which is true). Stick tells him that people pay for their own choices and he needs to let that go and learn to fight. Matty’s resolve returns and, with lots of flourishing kicks and flips, he proves to Stick he’s worth the effort.

In the present, Matt uses the aforementioned flips to get out of the arm twist, remind Stick that he’s a dick, and share some beers. Matt asks again why Stick’s back and he finally spills about “the war.” Stick says it’s with the Japanese now, mostly, and it’s bigger than the yakuza. He tells Matt about how Nobu is importing the Black Sky tonight, and it’s a dangerous weapon that they need to destroy. He says Nobu is close to Fisk, which is news to Matt, and Matt thinks it’s rich that Stick would come to him now, needing his help. Stick tells Matt that not killing people to protect the city remains his weakness, but asks for his help in destroying Black Sky anyway. Matt agrees on the condition that no one is killed, and Stick promises.

Karen has seen Mrs. Cardenas home along with some fresh groceries. She tries to repay Karen, saying she doesn’t take charity, so Karen asks if she can be paid in information. Karen explains that she’s working on making connections between a “case” she’s working and the men Tully hired to tear up Mrs. Cardenas’ apartment. Mrs. Cardenas wonders why she doesn’t speak to Tully about the men, but Karen says he’s on vacation and that sets Mrs. Cardenas off. Karen asks if the “repair men” gave her any papers to sign which they didn’t, but Mrs. Cardenas describes them to her instead: one was bald and the other had a tattoo on his arm. She describes the tattoo as an ugly pattern that went up to his neck, then tells Karen that this whole thing worries her. Karen tries to reassure her, saying they’re going to wreck these dudes once she can prove their illegal connections.

And, when Karen leaves, she immediately notices a bald man walking toward her, then following her. She gets a hand on the pepper spray on her key chain while looking over her shoulder, and just as she reaches an alley, the man with the tattoo on his arm grabs her and throws her against a fence. They try to question her about the time she spends with Mrs. Cardenas – but Foggy shows up with a baseball and a bat and saves her. With a fierce pepper spray and a swing from the bat each, Foggy and Karen make their escape.

On the docks, Matt and Stick scope out the scene of Nobu’s shipment. They note that there are no police around for blocks, indicating a payoff, and Stick gives Matt a couple of sticks so he can begin taking out goons while Stick focuses on removing the threat of the Black Sky. (How much you wanna bet someone gets killed?)

Matt sneaks about, taking the henchmen down one by one, facing their automatic weapons with sticks. Simultaneously, Stick assembles his own weapon, a bow, as a shipping container is lowered onto the dock. Matt continues to take out the armed men and the doors of the shipping container open to reveal a young boy, dirty and bound in chains. Immediately, Matt tunes in to the new heartbeat and we see from Nobu’s approval that the boy is the Black Sky. A couple of Nobu’s men release the boy and walk him out of the container and, as Matt finally catches on to what’s happening, Stick takes aim and fires at the boy. Matt intercepts the arrow and the boy is rushed to a car and away while Matt finishes the fight he’s just wandered into. Then he checks Stick’s post and he’s disappeared.

Flashing back, Matty practices fighting with the sticks and has greatly improved. He’s disciplined and focused and gives Stick as much as he gets when they spar. Stick tells Matty that he needs to learn to meditate to truly control his feelings, adding that it’ll help his wounds heal faster, too. Matty has some clear admiration for Stick and is so excited to learn to fight with knives tomorrow that he gives Stick a present: a bracelet made from the wrapper of the ice cream they had on the first day they met. Stick bristles at the sentimentality, rudely crushing the bracelet and telling Matty that his training is over because he expected too much of him, and leaves Matty there deep in his feelings.

In the present, Matt arrives back at his apartment and finds Stick waiting for him. The first thing he asks is why he tried to kill the boy and Stick says the boy was not a boy at all, but the mission. Matt is pissed that Stick would have killed a child so casually and Stick says Matt will never have what it takes to fight his war because he’s too soft. Agreeing that they are disappointments to each other, Stick goes to leave and Matt tells him he won’t let him kill the boy. Then Stick drops a bomb: he already killed the boy when Matt was fighting the last group of Nobu’s men. Flames erupt in Matt’s eyes (in my imagination) and he attacks Stick in anger. The blows are heavy and powerful from each and Stick taunts Matt as he gains the upper hand with a knee to Matt’s face. Then he throws Matt through his coffee table, kicks him across the face a few times, all the while telling Matt to get up (not unlike some of those flashbacks). Matt finally does and gives Stick the business. After Stick gets him in a head lock, Matt body slams Stick down the stairs. With a few more punches and kicks to his face, Matt puts Stick down and tells him to get the hell outta Hell’s Kitchen. (These fight scenes are so good, I swear!) A defeated Stick leaves the sticks Matt used to train with for him before leaving.

Karen and Foggy turn up at Ben’s office and he’s not pleased at all that Karen has told someone else about what they’re doing. She’s insistent that they’d need a lawyer in on this, anyway, so Ben tells Karen to show Foggy The Board. They toss around their theories about the Union Allied scandal and discuss how the man in the mask relates to it all, wondering whether he trumps the King in the scheme of things.

Matt cleans up his apartment and finds the bracelet he made for Stick all those years ago. It’d appear the ornery cuss kept it after all, despite all his bluster. This touches Matt who tears up for a moment.

In a dark room, Stick reports to someone that Black Sky is no longer a threat. A voice says, “For now. How’s Murdock?” Stick says that he’s fine but stubborn, but the large man we now see is attached to the voice wants to know whether Matt will be ready when “the door opens.” Stick says, “I have no idea.”

The Questions: What was Nobu planning to do with Black Sky? What exactly was Black Sky? Who is the man at the end? And what “door” is he talking about?

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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 106, “Condemned”

Welcome back for week six of our Daredevil recaps!

We pick back up exactly where we left off last episode, with the cops telling Matt as the man in the mask to yield to arrest. It isn’t until they click the cuffs on that we realize these cops are dirty and have been tasked with “taking care of” Vladimir as they were told, and those are fighting words to Matt. He starts off with a well-placed head butt and begins to single-handedly take down all of the officers. A few standing back tucks and elbows to the head later and Matt’s the only man left standing. Hearing sirens in the distance, Matt and Vladimir scram and one of the cops wakes up in time to murder Sergei and sic the rest of the department on the “two suspects on foot.”

Ben uses playing cards to try to figure out the hierarchy of Union Allied, getting stumped when it comes to who the King is. Outside his office, his editor reports the building explosions Fisk and Vanessa drooled over and once he hears the locations of the explosions, Ben is certain it’s nothing to do with gas leaks.

Fisk’s motorcade whisks him and Wesley through the streets and Wesley gets a call that Vladimir is missing. They think that the man in the mask only protected him from the police because he wanted to question him for information about Fisk and Fisk promises to deal with Blake, the reason Matt even knew where to show up, later. For now, he says, they need to contain the situation.

Speaking of Blake, he and Hoffman come upon a seriously injured Russian in one of the explosions. Blake puts pressure on the rebar sticking through the man’s leg and the man swears he doesn’t know as he begs Blake to stop. When he does stop, Blake puts a bullet between the man’s eyes and tells the rest of the officers to shoot anyone else they find alive in the head.

Matt carries a dying Vladimir across his shoulders into an abandoned building and the cops know where he is almost immediately. Vladimir vows revenge for his brother’s death, but Matt doesn’t claim responsibility for that one, telling him that he’s being played by Fisk. Matt says that he wants Fisk on trial for his crimes and Vladimir wants to know what he gets out of ratting on Fisk. Matt tells him he’d get payback but Vladimir is content to die right there on the floor.

Foggy and Karen bring Mrs. Cardenas to the hospital and, conveniently, Claire is her nurse. Explosion footage on television cause them to remember Matt and they worry that he might be in danger with all the destruction in Hell’s Kitchen (ha!). Then Foggy realizes he was hurt in the explosion as Shirley catches up to Claire, wondering what the hell she’s doing on duty after she’s been in a car accident (convenient excuse). Claire chalks it up to a big mistake, and just then, the big mistake calls her.

Matt’s calling Claire for some tips on how to keep Vladimir alive. She’s not pleased to find out Matt’s trying to save the jerk who had her beat up, but she acquiesces. After Matt tells Claire what’s in his immediate vicinity, she leads him through cauterizing Vladimir’s bullet wounds so he doesn’t bleed out while Matt questions him. Sirens wail outside and Vladimir screams as Matt burns his skin, to the attention of a rookie patrol officer outside. The officer enters the building and finds Vladimir, calling it in. Matt appears and gives him a chance to walk away, but the officer doubles down on his calls for assistance instead, so Matt knocks him out. Immediately, Blake picks up the call and a pack of cop cars bear down on the abandoned building.

Blake and Hoffman control the situation and Ben shows up to gather info and Blake pays him back with a veiled threat. The dirty cops call Wesley to report on the situation who then fills in Fisk.

Fisk wants to get the situation behind them but Wesley tells him that Ben is on their tails. He doesn’t think Ben will be such a problem, and tells Wesley to reach out to all of their media contacts so they’ll see “what’s about to happen in Hell’s Kitchen.”

Vladimir wakes to find Matt tying and gagging the rookie officer and goads him. Matt fills him in on how he saved his life and tries to convince him to roll on Fisk. Vladimir has nothing to say on the topic but is surprised to find out how Fisk took out his whole business. This prompts him to spill. He says Wesley was sent as an envoy to invite his cronies to be part of Fisk’s concern and gain access to all of their connections. Vladimir’s amused at how little Matt really knows about all of this and says the only name that matters is that of the accountant behind the enterprise. He whispers and just as Matt leans in close, he head butts him and they fight! Ding ding ding!

With the aid of a 2×4, Vladimir beats the brakes off Matt, eventually plunging him through the old building’s floor down to the first level. Matt falls into a familiar, concrete-eating position. Outside, Blake and Hoffman try to get under Ben’s skin about television usurping newspapers but Ben claps back, saying he’s still got some worthwhile stories and maybe these two dirty ass cops will pop up in one. Blake renews his veiled threat.

Karen tries calling Matt again, who still has his hands a little full, and she and Foggy try not to panic at not having heard from Matt. After convincing a recovering Foggy not to leave to try to search for Matt, Karen goes to find sustenance – and Foggy calls Matt again, anyway.

Back in the building, Matt regains consciousness and peels himself off the floor. Looking over, Vladimir is laid out on the floor next to Matt and Vladimir has no regrets. Then Matt hears Vladimir’s heart stop and immediately starts reviving him, pounding on his chest until he comes back. He tells Vladimir that he won’t let him die until he gives Matt what he needs on Fisk.

Wesley has arranged, with the help of Blake and Hoffman, for Fisk to enter the danger zone outside Matt’s current hideout, all the way down the walkie talkie. ESU arrives to the scene in a flurry of activity and Blake admonishes them to shoot anyone who moves.

Matt uses his acute hearing to find a way out and begins to dig under some rubble, uncovering a sewer grate. As he begins to pry it off, Fisk comes over the rookie cop’s walkie asking to speak to the man in the mask. He answers, and they go back and forth about the validity of each of their motivations and courses of action. Matt vows revenge and Fisk says he’ll fail, and we see a sniper setting up on a nearby rooftop. Fisk says the whole city will believe that Matt is behind the explosions in the city, so he offers to let him live if Matt simply kills Vladimir for him. Matt declines and promises to take Fisk down eventually, and as he reiterates – again – how Matt will fail, Wesley gives the order to the sniper to take his shot.

The sniper shoots at Ben but hits Blake instead, along with two other officers. The scene erupts into chaos and Ben tries to save Blake, and Fisk tells Matt that he did what he had to do before hanging up. And then video of the shooting and of Matt beating up the officers who were going to kill Vladimir are played on every news station – including the ones playing in the hospital. Claire, Foggy, and Karen all see this, and Karen doesn’t believe that the man in the mask is truly behind all this destruction.

Matt laments his lack of super strength when he gets a call from Claire. He tells her that Fisk was behind the cops’ deaths, not him and begins to hear officers infiltrating the building. Matt tells Claire that she was right to guard her heart from him and tells her to take care of herself in case he doesn’t make it.

With the help of Vladimir, Matt finally gets the sewer grate to give and they escape down the tunnel. Officers arrive and find the rookie – and murder him. As they limp through the access tunnels, cops catch up to them and Matt gives them the beatings of their lives in spite of their automatic weapons.

Vladimir is too injured to go on after this, saying he’ll stay and head off the five cops still on their tail. He also finally rolls on Fisk, giving Matt Leland Owlsley as his next target for taking down Fisk. Vladimir sings in Russian while making his last stand against the cops and we hear heavy automatic gunfire as Matt escapes.


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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 105, “World on Fire”

Claire surveys her injuries before a shower at Matt’s apartment and emerges to find him preparing breakfast. She asks him if he has a job to get to, so he tells her he has his own law practice. When she takes a seat at the table, Matt tells her she just opened a stitch on her back and when she asks how he knew, he says he could smell the copper in the air. As he checks her out, her breathing pattern assists him in hearing the old ship-like noise that is apparently the tell of a hairline rib fracture. She’s amazed at his ability to see so much without traditional sight, and he tells her there are a lot of aspects of life that allow him to create imagine sort of impressionistic paintings that end up looking like a world on fire to him.

He goes on to tell Claire that the Russians know who she is now so he wants her to stay with him until he figures out how to get them off her back. Then he moves in for a kiss, because why not, and Claire says she’d wondered when he would do that. Matt preps to leave and she asks why he doesn’t go to the police. He says beating people up at night wouldn’t endear him to the cops and thinks if he takes down Fisk he’ll put an end to much of the violence in Hell’s Kitchen. Claire worries that Fisk might not be the leader Matt’s looking for, but he’s convinced that Fisk hired Healey to murder Prohaszka at the bowling alley, so he needs to find someone who’ll talk. Claire says she heard a name when she was being held: Vladimir.

Vladimir is on the phone telling someone to call him back (I wonder who?) when Wesley arrives. Wesley says he’s there to iron out some small details about their agreement and asks where Anatoly is. Vladimir wonders the same thing and Wesley, lying smoothly that Anatoly was pleased with their deal and might be celebrating, urges Vladimir to get in touch with his brother quickly. Just then, Sergei comes in and says, “We found him.”

They’ve recovered Anatoly’s body from a lot around the corner, and Vladimir mourns his brother. As he expresses his regrets, he finds a black mask hidden in Anatoly’s jacket and so orders every man to hit the streets and bring the man in black’s head.

Leland, Madame Gao, and Nobu wait in a garage for Fisk and watch his SUV be hosed down of Anatoly’s blood. Fisk and Wesley arrive and Fisk apologizes for his absence. He goes on to say that the Russians aren’t part of their concern any more due to his decapitating Anatoly. Every one is pissed and when Leland asks what happened, Fisk is all, “Anatoly made me mad and embarrassed me in front of Vanessa.” Wesley clarifies that Vladimir is under the impression that the man in the mask killed his brother which should stave off any retaliation while they all band together. Everyone wants to know how the business will change and Fisk says the shares will be split equally once the dust settles, so they all agree to the new deal. Before he leaves, Nobu reminds Fisk of his promise to him and those he works for, and Fisk walks Madame Gao to her car which she immediately hears as, “I want a favor.” Fisk says he only wants to put the unpleasantness behind them.

The Russians transport one of Madame Gao’s blind delivery men and the drivers question the man. He doesn’t answer so they get out to make the delivery, telling the man to wait in the car. He sings as he waits and we see Matt creep into the alley during a series of 360 degree camera views. The Russians emerge from a building and Matt leaps into view, doling out punches and kicks to both of them and cracking the windshield. Two more men come out of the building and open fire, killing the poor blind delivery man, and Matt hides behind a door. When they catch up to him, he leaps out and lays into both of them. With some sweet flips and liberal head strikes, he incapacitates them. The last begs Matt not to take his head like he did Anatoly, which naturally confuses Matt, just as the police show up. Matt makes it to a rooftop nearby and overhears that the cops say, “Be advised: two on foot, one en route to 15th.”

The next day at the office, Karen is struggling to make her crappy office equipment work while Foggy looks on in amusement. He tells her that the phones aren’t working and she’s like, “Ugh, it’s the rats.” She tells Foggy that she’s got the phone guy working on the line now and exterminators coming Monday, and she’s settling into being an Office Manager quite nicely. Matt arrives and asks Karen and Foggy if they’ve heard anything about a decapitated Russian in the news, which they haven’t, just as they get their second walk-in ever.

Bess Mahoney, the sergeant’s mom Foggy buys stogies for, referred Mrs. Cardenas to “Senor Foggy law” ( :) :) :) ) and she’s got a problem with a slumlord named Tully. She lives in a rent-controlled apartment but Tully wants to make condos, so he sent men over under the guise of construction improvements who only wrecked things and left her and her neighbors with no working water or electricity for days. She says police won’t help and she doesn’t know what to do. Foggy notes that Tully is offering payouts which they could pressure him to increase, but Mrs. Cardenas insists that she and her neighbors just want to stay in their homes. Matt breaks out his fluent Spanish to tell Mrs. Cardenas that he and Foggy would be her lawyers and that Foggy would speak to Tully’s lawyers. This unnerves Foggy as Tully’s lawyers are at Landman and Zack, the same firm they turned down job offers from after promising internships. Foggy’s nervous so Matt suggests he take Karen along.

Matt visits Sergeant Mahoney at the station and asks for some of the complaints filed against Tully. Mahoney is dubious that he’ll be able to make anything stick on Tully but goes to gather the files anyway. Matt takes a seat and hones in on an interesting conversation going on in an interrogation room. Detectives Blake and Hoffman are questioning Piotr, the remaining Russian from the alley, about the dead men they found. Piotr offers up Wilson Fisk and Blake and Hoffman ask what else he knows. He says he knows nothing else other than you’re not supposed to say his name, but Blake and Hoffman begin a series of sketchy actions: Black uncuffs Piotr then discusses with Hoffman whose turn it is to “take it.” Then Blake punches Hoffman good, and, as they both shout for backup, they complete their assassination by telling Piotr he shouldn’t have said the name, and Matt reacts too slowly to intercede.

Foggy and Karen arrive at Landman and Zack and Karen thinks it looks like a place where you buy a clone. They’re approached by Marci Stahl, who clearly knows Foggy and is now working at Landman and Zack. In fact, she’s part of the team defending Tully and she hardballs them immediately. Marci says the workmen were making requested repairs and didn’t finish because of the “criminal element” in Mrs. Cardenas’ building. Foggy tells Marci they’re going to fight Tully and they know they have all the leverage before telling her she sold her soul when she signed on at Landman and Zack. And not to be left in the dark, Karen asks about the nickname Marci has for Foggy, Foggy Bear, which he says is a result of their former relationship.

Fisk and Wesley drive as Wesley fills in Fisk about Piotr’s predicament and gives Wesley his wine recommendation for the evening before Fisk exits the car.

Foggy and Karen get to Mrs. Cardenas’ apartment to find huge holes in the walls and her living by candlelight. He tells Mrs. Cardenas that he and Karen will do what they can for repairs because Tully won’t just yet, and they pull together a plan to take care of her and her neighbors.

The man in black pays Blake a visit in an alley and questions him about killing Piotr. Though he initially denies knowing Wilson Fisk, he admits to the killing after a couple of vicious strikes, but accuses Matt of liking to kill Russians, too. Matt wants Vladimir and Blake says he doesn’t know how to find him, which Matt verifies via Blake’s heartbeat. He asks how Fisk and the Russians are connected and why Prohaszka needed to go, and Blake goads him about his lack of knowledge, earning him a knock out, and Matt steals his phone.

Vanessa arrives to a chic but empty restaurant to find Fisk, who didn’t want to be interrupted at dinner again. She wonders at his ability to be honest with her so he starts immediately by saying he doesn’t like to be in public or be questioned, but she can ask him anything and he’ll always be honest. So she’s like, “Okay. What’s the wine tonight?”

Vladimir is obsessively wiping down Anatoly’s body when he gets a visit from Turk Barrett. Turk has some information about the man who killed his brother. He says an acquaintance of his works in a chop shop that just had an SUV in whose back seat was covered in blood and brains. He says it was brought in by a big bald guy and that he heard him say something about the man in the mask, causing Vladimir to conclude that Fisk is running the show here. Vladimir tells him men to ready all of their fire power and tells Turk to put out a bounty: $1 million to whoever finds Fisk tonight. Then he resumes his creepy sponge bath.

Foggy successfully fixes Mrs. Cardenas’ sink and she’s so overjoyed that she offers him and Karen dinner as thanks. She sets them up at a table and walks away, and with the candlelight, Karen and Foggy find themselves on a date.

Matt has Claire read through Blake’s burner phone and she describes a text with a bunch of street intersections. He recognizes one of them: Troika Restaurant, the same location the Russians were holding the little boy. After finding this phone that receives these locations on a cop who just killed a Russian in interrogation, Matt suspects he’ll find Vladimir at one of those locations. Claire asks what he’s going to do and he automatically responds, “Whatever it takes.” Their differences about his vigilantism come to light and she realizes she can’t let herself fall in love with someone who is a hop, skip, and jump away from criminal himself. Matt’s like, “I guess you can’t,” and then leaves to investigate the text locations.

Fisk and Vanessa enjoy their dinner and she discusses a past suitor who won her over with a line. She wonders if he’s shocked but he’s just disappointed he didn’t have a smooth line to feed her, too, but she tells him she’s glad he didn’t. She admires the wine selection and he admits Wesley picked it out for them, referring to him as his friend and assistant. He tells her the nature of his business makes him feel alone, that his dream for setting free the city’s potential makes him feel lonely. He fingers his cuff links and she notices they’re the same ones he wore the last time they met, and he tells her they belonged to his father and he wears them to remember him. Then he asks her what kind of gun she has in her bag. Vanessa admits she has a .22 because she knows he’s a dangerous man. Fisk says he’s done things he’s not proud of and will do more in the future in service of his vision, but says he takes no pleasure in hurting people. He says the city needs to die before it can be reborn and that she doesn’t need her gun because she’ll be safe by his side, so she slides it across the table and he puts it into his jacket. Across the room, Marcel makes a phone call.

One of Vladimir’s men returns saying Turk got a call on a location for Fisk. Matt uses his heightened hearing to note that Vladimir wants Fisk held until he arrives.

Foggy recounts tales of pranks on blind men and he and Karen seem to be having a great time. She asks him what’s the deal with him and Marci, and he says she wasn’t quite a meat grinder in a skirt when he knew her. He says maybe Matt’s poor dating decisions are rubbing off on him, and she wonders if Matt dates a lot so Foggy’s like, “Um, if you call sexual musical chairs ‘dating.'” Foggy says needing to touch people’s faces, but especially women’s faces, helps Matt with his conquests, giving Karen the idea that Foggy should touch her face so she can see how a blind person would see her? (Makes little to no sense.)

One of Madame Gao’s blind men arrives at a Russian location and is shown inside just as Matt attacks the remaining guard outside. Inside, the men are armed to the teeth with automatic weapons and Vladimir makes last-minute inquiries. Just as someone notices how odd it is to be getting another delivery from Madame Gao, the delivery guy whips out a remote and triggers a bomb that explodes the entire building and the surrounding ones – including Mrs. Cardenas’.

Foggy and Karen are thrown to the floor, both impacted by the explosion, and Foggy rises to find Mrs. Cardenas with a nasty cut on her forehead as another shock shakes the building. Foggy leaves to check for other hurt people and Karen is left to tend to Mrs. Cardenas.

At the restaurant, Fisk and Vanessa watch no less than seven buildings go up in flames across the city. Wilson tells Vanessa that he destroyed the men who kidnapped a little boy and beat his father in front of him (which is true, but such a misleading way to characterize that story). Vanessa is turned on by this? Fisk calls Marcel over and just when you think he’s going to kill him he hands Marcel an envelope and thanks him for his discretion and for making a call for him.

And at the same Russian location where we saw our suicide bomber, Matt regains consciousness and hears Sergei and Vladimir escaping.

Turk Barett counts his money as he languishes in having helped set up the Russians at Fisk’s behest as he takes a ride with Wesley. Wesley tells him that Fisk is grateful and Turk is curious about why they’d plant the mask. Wesley explains his long game and Turk admires his planning.

Vladimir and Sergei continue to escape as Vladimir swears to make Fisk pay, just as Matt jumps out of the shadows and attacks them. He lays into them, knocking Sergei out easily, and just as he’s about to give his coup de grace to Vladimir, the police show up and shout, “Hands up!”

The Questions: Is this is the end for Maire (yes, I’ve given them a ship name)? Are the Russians officially a non-factor in Hell’s Kitchen? How nuts is Vanessa on a scale of school lunch peanuts and raisins to trail mix? And how is Matt going to slip away from the cops this time?

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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 104, “In the Blood”

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?

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Marvel’s Daredevil Recap: Ep. 103, “Rabbit in a Snowstorm”

Still holding to your promise pace your doses of Daredevil? Good!

A man walks into a bowling alley… I know how much this sounds like a bad joke, but that’s really how the episode starts. A man walks into a bowling alley and asks for some shoes and a lane. He is told by the counter attendant that the alley is closed which confuses the man as there is another group of men still playing. The attendant says Mr. Prohaszka has an agreement with the owner to bowl whenever he wants and he can ask Prohaszka if he’d like some company. The man approaches Prohaszka and persistently asks to join his game until he sics his bodyguards on the man. Then the man pulls a couple of quick movements, knocking the bodyguards out with no problem and pulls a gun on Prohaszka.

Thirty-six hours earlier, Turk Barrett nurses his broken nose as he sells guns to the bowling alley fighter. Turk loves his pistols but the man would prefer a revolver since it’s less likely to jam – which is exactly what it does when the man tries to pull the trigger on Prohaszka. This forces the man into brutal hand to hand combat with Prohaszka, complete with painful-looking limb breaks and blunt force trauma to the head by bowling ball. Now covered in blood, the man stashes his faulty gun under one of the pinball machines, calmly gets down on his knees with his hands behind his head as the police arrive, and immediately asks for a lawyer. I wonder who?

Outside Holy Eucharist, Father Lantom finds Matt sitting on a bench and offers Matt some coffee and a chat but Matt declines. Out at a deserted dock, Ben Urich meets with Silvio for some more quid pro quo. Silvio is getting out of town and Ben wants to know why, but Silvio won’t utter a peep without first getting some info from Ben. Ben tells Silvio that the Russians are dealing with some problems after their human trafficking shipment was destroyed and he thinks there’s a new player involved. Silvio tells Ben that he was grateful for leaving his children out of his negative press and then warns Ben to not get involved, saying some fights just get you bloody. Ominous!

At the office, Karen is shocked by what she reads in a letter and hides it as Foggy comes in, still hungover from drinking that eel. Their banter notes that Karen is no longer working for free (as well she shouldn’t!) and Matt arrives with a huge bruise on his right eye. Immediately after, they get a walk in: Wesley.

Wesley says he’s approaching them on behalf of a conglomerate to get their services on retainer, but Matt wants to know why he wouldn’t choose a larger, more well-known firm. He’s hugely skeptical that Wesley won’t identify himself or his employer, or what they actually do, and so remains unconvinced – even as Foggy is dismayed at Matt’s rudeness. Wesley takes a shot at Karen when it seems he isn’t getting his way after offering a large sum of money to retain Nelson and Murdock, causing Matt to ask her to leave as he reads Wesley his rights. Wesley apologizes and Matt questions Wesley about how he even knew about Karen’s case (which never made it to the press). He asks that they simply review the case he’s presenting before deciding not to take it on and must get to the 15th precinct in 38 minutes to handle it. He leaves and Matt tells Foggy that he’ll meet him at the precinct then follows Wesley.

Matt isolates and focuses on the sound of Wesley’s watch and as he gets into a three-car motorcade of SUVs, he hears Wesley say, “It’s been taken care of.” And just then, he notices that the stitches in his side have come undone and he’s bleeding into his fresh white shirt.

At the precinct, Foggy gets a head start getting to know their client – the man from the bowling alley! He tells Foggy that he only wanted to play and Foggy counters with the attendant’s account that has the man bashing in the deceased’s skull with a bowling ball. The man claims self defense, saying the men threatened him verbally and physically (but not before asking Foggy if that sounded good as a defense). He maintains that he had never met the victims before and that he regrets his actions. Sociopath alert! Foggy takes note of the man’s careful and measured word choices and wonders if he’s been around the judicial system a time or two before. The man says he had issues but is better now and Foggy begins to give him the “we’re not taking your case spiel” – just as Matt arrives and says they’ll take the case.

Ben is on the phone at the New York Bulletin trying to sort out insurance coverage for someone. He’s seeking an extension and, to his dismay, is simply referred to a website. Ben’s boss, Ellison, comes in wanting to talk about the next editorial spread. Ben wants to focus on organized crime in Hell’s Kitchen but Ellison tries to rein him in, saying he’s on the City desk and organized crime is not “sexy.” Ben presses that the Russians and Union Allied could figure into his story, but Ellison refuses because it doesn’t sell papers. He assigns Ben a subway story at which he balks. Ben throws the fact that the New York Bulletin used to publish hard-hitting news once upon a time in Ellison’s face and Ellison has his own truth bomb to drop: all of their peers are earning more money than they are to publish news to blog sites from home. (Don’t hate!) Ben relents and Ellison promises to see if there’s anything he can do to help Ben’s insurance situation.

Matt starts in on the man, John Healey, encouraging him to spill the beans under attorney/client privilege so they can build a solid defense. And also so Matt can find out who the man who hired him and Foggy actually is. Matt says Healey must be important for a conglomerate to pick up the bill for his murder defense. He also claims that knowing who hired them might help build a defense, but Healey just repeats that he just wanted to throw a few balls. Matt asks if Healey provoked the victim in any way, which he denies. Matt notices that Healey isn’t too concerned about their ability to win the case and at this, Foggy wants to step aside for a private chat. Foggy thinks they shouldn’t take the case, calling Healey a shark in a skin suit. Matt insists they try the case and take it to a jury. He tells Healey that they should waive criminal law 180.80 so the DA can explore a plea, but Healey doesn’t like this idea at all. He wants the 180.80 date, wants them to waive all hearings and discovery upon his indictment, and wants to go to trial, saying he has “faith in the judicial system.”

At the bowling alley, Wesley arrives at a pinball machine to retrieve Healey’s stashed gun. After waiting for some jerk to finish his game, he grabs the gun, greeting some kids on his way, and leaves the alley.

Foggy is really confused as to why Matt is making them take Healey’s case. The whole situation stinks but Matt claims this is just one of those situations where they had to take a case for the money. They make their peace and begin to discuss the facts of the case. Considering Prohaszka’s bodyguards have refused to give statements, their plan is to argue that Healey’s cuts and bruises are defensive wounds (rather than evidence of a victim fighting against an execution), with Foggy handling opening arguments and Matt taking the closing. Matt says they should cash the check Wesley gave them and have Karen dig into Confederated Global, just as they notice that she’s not there.

She’s at some intimidatingly sterile-looking offices meeting with a lawyer who is asking her to sign a non-disclosure agreement regarding her little Union Allied snafu. If she signs, she doesn’t get sued for violating her signed employment non-disclosure agreement and gets six-months salary. Karen hates all of this, knowing that it’s tantamount to her agreeing that everything Union Allied did to her is okay, but the lawyer tells her that she’s looking at a very appealing clean slate if she signs.

Ben is at a hospital discussing someone he doesn’t want to be put into a communal room. He’s turning in the forms for an extension to Shirley, who is trying to convince him that there isn’t anything that can be done for “her.” He says he knows that if he relents she will be sent to an outpatient facility and eventually pushed out on the street. Shirley gives him a five-day extension but can’t promise his appeal will go through, and Ben gives her a cheese blintz by way of a thank you. Then he goes to visit “her”: she’s his wife, Doris, and she’s suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Back at Nelson and Murdock, Foggy and Matt work on their case but everyone’s having problems with the Wi-Fi. Karen updates Matt about Confed Global: it’s a subsidiary of a loan out to a holding of a subsidiary, yada yada. She goes to bang on the router to make the Wi-Fi work again, but not before Matt can tell her to nix the long lunches until their case is finished.

In court, Foggy nails his opening arguments, stating that the jury must bear in mind that this entire case is based on the prosecution proving Healey wasn’t justified in defending himself. Matt listens closely to the jury and he hears the heart of one of them speed up as Wesley (and his ticking watch) enter the courtroom. Outside, some tough guy approaches the juror and it’s obvious he’s blackmailing her with some knowledge he’s holding over her. He tells her to go home and play her part – just as the man in the mask attacks him. The tough guy says that he’s got a tape of the juror from when she was young that she does not want her children to see and Matt wants to know who hired him. The man doesn’t know, saying he walks past a building and if there’s a light on, he has a job. He’s says that if he doesn’t complete this job he’ll be someone else’s light in a building, so Matt tells him to tell the juror to get herself excused and leave town.

At the end of the trial, the judge excuses the blackmailed juror, replacing her with one of the alternates, and Matt stands before the jury box to begin his closing arguments. He spends several seconds listening to their hearts, which all remain steady, before starting. He talks to them about good and evil, right and wrong, but ultimately tells them that they can’t base their decision on morals. As jurors, they have to decide based on the law and the evidence that the prosecution has put forth. He says the prosecution has failed to meet their burden of proof and urges them to acquit his client.

Leland and Wesley have a meeting as they’re being driven around and Leland is antsy because he can’t speak with Wesley’s employer. He’s indisposed with art, Wesley says, but Leland isn’t quelled. He’s nervous about Healey’s case and the heat it’s bringing on their conglomerate, but Wesley says everything will be fine as long as Leland continues to play his part.

Karen visits the wife of Daniel Fisher and she already knows who Karen is. Karen wants to work with Mrs. Fisher to expose Union Allied, but she’s already signed the same non-disclosure agreement that had been thrust at Karen. Mrs. Fisher advises Karen to take it and let it go. She’s feeling guilty because she encouraged Daniel to look into the shady numbers at Union Allied and it cost him his life. She tells Karen that if she has anyone in her life she cares about she should let it go.

Ben gets a small break where his wife is concerned as Shirley was successful pushing his appeal through. He takes a look at the subway story he’s not proud of as Karen arrives at his office. She tells him exactly what he suspected, that there’s more to the story, and prepares to give him the proof.

Back in court, the jury has reached a verdict for Healey. Matt hears Wesley’s watch ticking and notices too late that there was another bought person on the jury causing it to be hung. Healey, in his way, thanks Matt as the judge admonishes the jury to reconvene, even as Matt knows Healey will get off.

And sure enough, Healey walks free. He’s packing a bag in a car trunk when the man in the mask attacks. The two engage in the tight-quartered frantic hand-to-hand combat that we’ve come to know, love, and expect from Daredevil, complete with knees to the face, body slamming, and fighting with broken glass. Matt gets the upper hand with the glass primed to pierce Healey’s throat and asks Healey who he works for. Healey initially refuses but after Matt cuts him some, he rolls over – on Wilson Fisk. Matt lets him go, telling him to get out of town, but Healey says he’s now a dead man because no one says his name. There’s no hiding from Fisk and he kills anyone who speaks his name to prevent anyone from doing the same in the future again. So, to spare himself a painful death, Healey impales himself through the eye on a rusty piece of metal in the alley.

In an art gallery, a lovely woman approaches a bald man who is staring at a painting. It’s a monotone piece made of varying shades of white. The attendant says that the worth one attaches to art is directly related to how it makes you feel. The man remarks that this painting makes him feel alone.

The Questions: Does Karen know what she’s getting into by pursuing Union Allied? Will Nelson and Murdock get some legit cases where some shady business people aren’t pulling the strings? And who is Wilson Fisk? (No spoilers, comics fans and binge-watchers!)

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