Deconstructing Defenders: Daredevil: Season 2: Episodes 3 & 4

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Season 2: Episode 3: “New York’s Finest”

While Season 2 in total is no where near as effective as season 1, this episode is among the best in the entire Defenders run. Frank has Matt chained to a water tower on a roof, and they talk about heroism, murder, Matt says Franks name like seven million time, “Frank, you don’t have to Frank! FRANK DON’T!” And then, after getting out, Matt takes part in The Hallway Fight 2.0.

But that basic summary really doesn’t do the conversation justice, especially not when you take fandom into consideration. There’s an ongoing conversation in fandom circles, only magnified by a certain director on the other side of the fence, about whether Superheroes should kill. And here’s that conversation, in detail, by two characters basically on opposite sides of the spectrum. Daredevil doesn’t kill, and beats him self up mentally and spiritually when he thinks about the pain he inflicts. The Punisher kills first, asks questions later, or, for the most part not at all.

“You’re one bad day away from being me,” is such a chillingly true statement, and I love it so much.

The other part of this episode is Foggy following Claire around asking her to help him find Matt and her basically being like, “I like Matt, but he’s a pain in my ass, so I’m cutting a running,” which, I can’t blame her for, but also CLAIRE! DON’T GO!

Karen decides that justice can only be served by Karen Page being nosy, so she does that and finds an x-ray of Frank Castle’s skull, with a bullet lodged in it.

Season 2: Episode 4: “Penny And Dime”

This episode is not as good as the last one, but it’s still really good, and has that epic shot of Daredevil standing in the rain on top of a church, which is pretty damn great. It also, unfortunately has the stupid, Karen and Matt rain kiss which is just. UGHHHHHH.

Anyway, Matt manages to corner Frank and Frank tells the amazing story of coming home from war to find his daughter in school. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful and awesome and I love everything about the scene, from Matt, sitting on the ground beside him, to the explanation of “one batch, two batch, penny and dime,” to now Sergeant Brett Mahoney apprehending The Punisher. YAY!

Matt, Foggy and Karen celebrate with beers and shots, and then Matt and Karen make out in the rain, but their chaste happy joy is short lived, as Matt gets home and Electra is sitting in his apartment, ready to throw things at him.

Other Stuff

  • Jon Beranthal can deliver a speech. That is all
  • Rosario Dawson is the best. That is also all.
  • I’m mean about Karen’s snooping, but it is actually well done, I just hate the relationship between Matt and Karen and wish that it didn’t happen. And her finding Frank’s house is really a cool moment.
  • Matt trying to get his priest to forgive him for shit that’s not his fault is both very sad and hilarious.
  • The Irish mobsters kill Frank’s dog, because apparently these men have not seen John Wick. Which is a shame because killing an unstoppable killers dog. Also, because John Wick is a great movie.
  • Guys! ELECTRA’S HERE!!!!

Deconstructing Defenders: Daredevil: Season 1: Episode 13

Alright! We’ve made it through season 1! Here’s a thing I learned: Not great on a week to week basis. Not as great I should say. It’s still better than Arrow. But this season has fewer ninjas. We’ll see in season 2 if I still feel that way. (Spoiler Alert: Probably. Arrow doesn’t have The Punisher. It does have Diggle though.)

Anyway, let’s talk about the episode.

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Episode 13: “Daredevil”

Opening at Ben’s funeral is a gut punch but the scene between his wife and Karen is lovely. Although absolving Karen’s guilt kind of annoys me because, I’m really convinced that Karen might be a monster? Like, I know it’s not her fault that culture has programmed writers to force female characters to behave like manipulative crazy people in order to get anything done, but UGH, she’s just the worst.

Claire is the best.

Claire is not in this episode.

Anywho, Nelson and Murdock get back together to track down the detective who has all of the information on Fisk and they eventually take down his whole opperation, everyone is happy about it, except Vanessa, obviously, because your husband getting arrested while his criminal empire crumbles around you is not a good look.

Anyway, then we get to the last twenty minutes of the show which are the best part anyway. While he’s in custody, Fisk makes this amazing speech about the good samaritan. (Daredevil, Catholic to the last!) and says the amazing line, “I am the ill intent,” and breaks out. Luckily Daredevil shows up in a his awesome new suit and they have the greatest fight in the history of fights.

Not quite, but it’s a good one. And I really, really love that suit man. I think it looks cool as a first drafts of superhero suits go. I like that you can tell it’s a first draft. Anyway, I also like the difference between their fighting styles and how Matt winds up on top this time. Fisk is all brute force and Matt is all nuance and ninja flips and a about landing the right punches. The contrast really does make the whole thing magnificent.

Overall Analysis of This Season

Even pacing it out and thus noticing more of it’s problems, and realizing that it’s leading lady is just a horrible monster person, I still think this is a really good hour of television. The Hallway fight is still incredible, and Vincent D’Onofrio is still the anchor that keeps this whole thing from spinning insanely out of control. (As we shall see, in season 2.)

I do love the ending, but the middle is kind of tough and wheel spinny, still cool and masterfully performed.

Next we’re on to Jessica Jones, which is widely considered the best of this series, and I’m not convinces their wrong. (But Luke Cage is really fucking good you guys.)

 

Deconstructing Defenders: Daredevil: Season 1: Episodes 9 & 10

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Episode 9: “Speak Of The Devil”

“There is a gulf between inaction and murder, Matthew.”

Matt’s relationship with his priest is one of my favorite elements of this show and one of the only times I’ve seen that brand of relationship presented with any level of realism. And the fact that it’s in a super hero show about a ninja lawyer is, not great. Anyway, the story that he tells when Matt asks him about the devil is one of my favorite speeches in this show, which does in fact, have many great speeches.

The episode is framed though, with the big fight between Matt and Nobu who are pitted against one another by Fisk, in a hope to take them both out. That’s all well and good and the fight is epic, ending with Matt setting Nobu on fire, but the real reason that this whole thing resonates, is that Fisk killed Mrs. Cardenas to get to Matt. It’s so feelsy and awful.

This leads to a confrontation between Fisk and Matt and it’s as brutal a fight as any we’ve seen so far.

This all leads to the emotional core of the episode where, Karen and Foggy get super drunk and Foggy banging on Matt’s door in a drunken haze and finding him all beat up and leading to the episode that I am not emotionally ready to watch..but I will. For the sake of blogging!

Episode 10: “Nelson V. Murdock”

There is no relationship in the entire MCU that I love the way that I love Foggy and Matt’s. Not Steve and Bucky, not Pepper and Tony, not even Trish and Jessica, who are the only ones who come even close to this one. Every moment between Charlie Cox and Elden Hensen is electric. Their friendship feels so real and lived in and perfect and this episode, with Foggy interrogating Matt about being Daredevil, and flashes back to the early days of their friendship, all of it matters in such a deep way to this story. Foggy’s inability to understand why Matt does what he does, and Matt’s inability to explain it are intrinsically linked. And the performances are insanely good.

The final scene between the two is so heartbreaking and so real and so well, perfect, that I can’t really describe it and it eclipses the rest of the episode for me. Seriously, until this rewatch I forgot that this is also the episode where Owlsley poisons Vanessa, and Karen and Ben find Fisk’s mother. (I hate Karen SO MUCH in that scene. Like so much. She’s basically psychologically torturing that poor woman and Ben.) But those small things really don’t mean as much in the grand scheme of things, as that scene where young Matt and Foggy sit on the steps at Columbia, talking about their upcoming graduation and their future.

And it’s absolutely nothing compared to Matt’s revelation that the first bad guy he chased down was a father sexually abusing his daughter, who’s screams he could no longer ignore. It’s such a brutal, horrifying revelation, it’s what finally breaks Foggy. I know these two make up, but their relationship never recovers from this conversation, not fully, and it’s just, such good writing and really amazing.

Other Stuff:

  • Matt’s super smoothie skills get a work out when he goes to Vanessa’s gallery to get a better feel for who Fisk is. I love the flirting. He’s sooo good at it.
  • “Speak Of The Devil” is probably the second most Catholic hour of secularly made television I’ve ever watched. The most Catholic is “Take This Sabbath Day,” the West Wing episode where Bartlett calls his priest to discuss whether he should commute a death sentence. It is also very good, and you should watch it.
  • I really feel the need to reiterate how much I hate hate HATE Karen’s behavior in “Nelson V. Murdock.” It’s really horrifying and boundary crossing and awful. I mean, I get that she wants the truth, but why keep Ben in the dark? Why go about it in such a horribly manipulative manner? It’s just awful. 
  • In one of the flashbacks, Foggy mentions “That Greek Girl” to Matt. I started giggling, because it’s Elektra, and she’s amazing.

Deconstructing Defenders: Daredevil: Season 1 Episodes 7 & 8

Seriously, when I talk about how Daredevil season 1 might be my favorite season of any TV show ever, it’s these two episodes that I point to most.

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Episode 7: “Stick”

In this episode we learn more about Matt’s training as a blind ninja at the hands of Stick, a mysterious blind ninja who wants to enlist him into a war that he gives no description of. Stick came to Matt at the behest of the nun’s who were raising him, and immediately began to train him in the ways of The Blind Ninja when he was little.

Unfortunately after an incident with a craft project, Stick realized that Matt wasn’t going to be a good soldier because of his emotions, or something and abandoned him. Now it’s 20 years later and Matt’s pissed as hell when Stick shows up again. Stick is hunting down a black sky, which in this case is a little kid that Nobu is bringing in. Nobu also gets hinted at in his “immortal ninja-ness.”

Anyway, Matt agrees to help Stick as long as no one gets killed, which of course, Stick agrees to, except for you know the whole killing a child thing, which Matt then severs ties with him for. Black Sky and Stick’s war are going to come back big in season 2, and I assume in Iron Fist and The Defenders, but you know, I’ve been wrong plenty of times before.

The Karen and Foggy half of the episode focuses on them finding the guys who broke up Mrs. Cardenas apartment and Foggy joining up with Ben and Karen’s quest to find out the truth about Union Allied. While Matt’s quest to expose Fisk, and this story eventually do dovetail quite nicely, and I actually love all of Stick stuff, I do see that this starts the problem with season 2. Daredevil wants to be a serious crime drama, and in many ways, succeeds at that, the problem is that a serious crime drama can’t coexist with a show about a mystical war between good ninjas and evil ninjas. Both shows are great! But it causes tonal whiplash, and makes the whole thing feel a good deal sloppier than it needs to.

Episode 8: “Shadows In the Glass”

This episode is so good that it gives me chills to even think about it. Wilson Fisk’s back story is crazy well executed. The first thing we see is Fisk waking up to the view of “Rabbit In A Snowstorm” and he begins his day, with clock like precision he eats, gets dressed and looks in the mirror, to see rather than the large behemoth of a man that we see, he sees a young boy covered in blood. It’s so shocking and so good.

The flashbacks hinge on Fisk’s father, who was monstrously abusive to his son and wife. Wilson snaps one day while his father beats his mother and beats his father’s brains in with a hammer. This moment of ultra violence is shot not as a triumph or a horror, but as a simple fact. Vanessa comforts Wilson about this actions, he was child, and she decides to stand by him, as he goes public with his crusade to “save” Hell’s Kitchen.

Meanwhile, Matt learns about Foggy and Karen and Ben’s plan. He yells at them about how dangerous it is, but they don’t back down. He puts on the mask and talks to Ben about Fisk, and Ben agrees to write about him, but it’s too late, Fisk has managed to beat them to the punch so to speak.

Other Stuff

  • I don’t have much here, but I am glad these two episodes lined up with each other. Both expose the pasts and critical moments for Matt and Fisk, which helps the two sides of a coin narrative and the cycle of violence theme. If Stick had stuck with Matt, he’d have become a soldier of The Chaste rather than a rogue agent of chaos, curb a bit of the violence that he feeds into, but a lot of people would suffer for that loss. Fisk has also chosen to control his violence in a system, but that violence cannot be contained, it explodes.

Deconstructing Defenders: Daredevil Season 1 Episodes 5 & 6

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, if you were celebrating! I assume that you’re watching

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Episode 5: “World On Fire” 

I remember calling this, “the shipping episode” as it’s divided pretty clearly into a Matt and Claire section, a Foggy and Karen section and a Fisk and Vanessa section. It is, also, however one of those kind of weak filler episodes that all of these shows have. It’s about moving the pieces to get to the next spot, which is naratively necessary, but not always super compelling.

After her kidnapping, Claire and Matt talk about his powers, his “world on fire” vision, she tells him she thinks he’s skirting too close to the edge of darkness, which mostly just pisses him off, but she’s probably right. Matt asks her to stay with him until he settles things with The Russians and Fisk, she agrees but is not thrilled about it.

Meanwhile, Matt and Foggy take on the case of Mrs. Cardenas, a woman who’s being pushed out of her apartment building. Matt goes to Officer Brett Mahoney (YAY!) and asks for information on the landlord, while Foggy and Karen go to the big old fancy law firm that the guys decided not to work with and Foggy dismantles his ex girlfriend. Karen and Foggy are then adorable, fixing up the apartment and eating food together, and they’re perfect, the end.

Fisk and Wesley tell Vladimir that it was the man in the mask that killed Anatoly, which sets him down a path, but also, they wind up blowing him up while Fisk and Vanessa have dinner, and he strikes a new deal with Owlsley, Nobu and Madame Gao. Matt beats up some people to get more information about Fisk, but doesn’t really get much of anything.

Like I said, pieces moving.

Episode 6: “Condemned” 

“We’re not so different, you and I,” the villain says to the hero. It’s a little bit of a cliche, but when you’re doing the groundwork to set up an epic rivalry, having a protagonist and antagonist who mirror one another isn’t the worst thing you can do, and this episode actually executes the trope pretty well, when, after Fisk has half of Hell’s Kitchen blown up, Matt takes Vladimir to a warehouse and fixes him up, trying to get more information on Fisk.

In the end the hero and the villain wind up talking over a walkie-talkie, Fisk trying to stall in order to get enough false evidence together to make the explosions look like they’re Matt’s fault. It’s a wonderfully well done scene, just, you know, a little hacky. Meanwhile, Ben URICH (I said Carson last week because I’m an insane person? Who knows…) is trying to figure out what’s actually happening, Foggy is in the hospital and Karen is freaking out because they can’t reach Matt.

Claire is also freaking out because her kind of boyfriend is trying to save the life of the man who kidnapped and beat her, and also that whole explosion thing. But it is nice for Matt to have someone to talk to.

Other Things

  • Matt’s super smell comes into play here, he explains that he can smell copper in the air when Claire’s stitches open up. Also he explains his “world on fire” super vision, and it’s really cool, and actually one of my favorite scenes in the show.
  • Foggy and Karen FOREVA!!!! I’m still a little mad at the show for pushing her and Matt together, because they’re amazing.I mean, I get it, but it still sucks.
  • Vanessa brings a gun to her date with Fisk, because she is a stone cold badass.
  • I know there’s a lot less Claire from here on out, and I’m braced for it, but it’s still a bummer.

 

Deconstructing Defenders: Daredevil Season 1: Episodes 3 & 4

Who’s ready for week two of Daredevil and I am no less enthused about this television show than I was before. It’s just really, really good.

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Episode 3: “Rabbit In A Snowstorm”

The final scene of this episode, where Wilson and Vanessa meet, is probably my favorite scene in all of The MCU. Truly. I remember being completely blown away by from the moment I saw it at NYCC in 2014, but watching it again, knowing how everything plays out, it’s still absurdly powerful and Vincent D’Onofrio is so good.

Anyway, there are other things that happen in this episode. Turk sells a gun to one of Fisk’s henchmen, and it backfires. (Oh, Turk, so inept.) The guy then winds up beating his mark to death with a bowling ball and Matt and Foggy wind up defending him, they’re recruited by Wesley.

Before that, Matt has another conversation with his priest, who is trying to build a rapport with him. Matt is hesitant. This is tough but I love this relationship so much. Also, confidentiality is a big theme of this episode, but so is the way the world works and is changing.

Which brings us to the wonderful Ben Carson! I was overjoyed to see him. We get his whole deal, he’s an old school reporter, who’s editor, Ellison won’t let do his thing. Also, he’s dying of cancer and Karen meets him in a diner to talk about her problem.

Karen’s problem at the moment is that she’s been offered a deal to never talk about what happened to her again. It’s a lot of money, but she’s not sure that she wants to do it. She goes to see Danny’s widow and she tells her to take the money. She does but she’s still heading to meet up with Ben.

Foggy and Matt defend the murderer and get him off. Then Matt beats the snot out of him and gets Fisk’s name and that begins a whole new chapter of awesome.

Episode 4: “In the Blood”

That flashback to Anatoly and Sergei in prison is terrifying, particularly the bone shiv, but OMG, it’s just so brutal and it’s not even the most violent moment in this episode.

My favorite moment in this episode? Well, it’s not a moment, it’s more like a whole scene of shirtless Matt getting patched up by Claire and them flirting. The chemistry between these two is crazy crazy palpable. Like, insane. I love it so much. And they care so much about each other. He explains that he can tell when people are lying. And of course, when she’s nabbed by the Russians he goes after her. Which leads to another favorite moment (I have a lot of favorites this time around.) When Matt is rescuing Claire from the russians and she just starts laughing maniacally. Like, it’s so good, just amazing.

Foggy is barely in this episode, but he’s annoyed that they have no money or office equipment. Luckily, KAREN TO THE RESCUE.

Karen and Ben are meeting and he explains that everyone else who knows about Union Allied is now dead. Karen decides to track down the paper trail on the physical elements of the company, which leads her to an auction of office equipment, which she buys for Nelson & Murdock. Foggy is pleased and it is adorable. Also, Ben decides to help Karen tell her story, even though she’s not supposed to talk about what happened at all. But you know it’s Karen.

That brings me to my absolute favorite plot line in this episode. Wilson and Vanessa’s first date. I love this relationship. I love these scenes, I love Vanessa as a character, I love the way he is with her. I especially love that he smashes Anatoly’s head in a car door for embarrassing him in front of her.

Other Things

  • When Ben mentions Karen’s past I wrote in big capital letters PORN. I am glad they’ve decided to just drop that detail of Karen’s life in favor of “investigator girl”
  • Matt’s got no new powers this week, but he explains the lie detector to Claire, and while he and Foggy are in court, he hears Wesley’s watch and ID’s him.
  • Joker and Harley wish that they were Wilson and Vanessa. I’m just saying.
  • I love Claire. I love her so much. I want a show that’s just her being the best. Can we get that?
  • OK, I’m definitely giving “the cycle of violence” the win for theme. At least for season 1. Season 2 is definitely still “ninja fights” until I can officially revisit it.

Deconstructing Defenders: Daredevil Season 1: Episodes 1 & 2

Hey everyone! It’s time for a new rewatch project. (You  missed it these past few weeks, admit it!) The timing may feel weird for this. It kind of IS! But I realized that two episodes a week (finales get their own post) gives me a full six month of posts. AND finishes up a second watching of Iron Fist in July of 2017. (still going to binge when it hits in March!) If The Defenders winds up with an October drop date, like Luke Cage, or a November like Jessica Jones (either is likely) it gives me a few months to organize my thoughts, rewatch episodes that I think link well together, or just full on binge again!

The other thing that is I need some inspiration right now, and I think this will do it. These are stories about standing up for the people around you against those who would exploit and disregard them. Granted, the heroes do it with super powered punching, but the principle of the thing.

Anyway, we’ll see how this goes.

I really was trying to wait until it would line up exactly.

Also it might move to Wednesday when West World Ends. Who knows! We’re flying by the seat of our pants here.

We start with Daredevil Season 1 today. If you’re interested in my first reaction to this season of television, you can read it here, SPOILER ALERT, it might be my favorite season of anything ever. (I love it a lot). This is the first time I’m revisiting, so, deep breath, here we go.

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Daredevil: Season 1: Episode 1: Into The Ring

About ten seconds into Daredevil there are two things we know about Matt Murdock, he was in a tragic accident with some chemicals, and it happened because he was saving an old man from that same crash. We know immediately that Matt Murdock is a hero. The little boy rubbing his eyes as his lights go out forever is not the defining thing about that moment. It’s such a small thing but it’s so perfect and so defining.

I also love the kinetic feel of this scene. The confusion that Jack Murdock feels looking for is son is so palpable in this moment. It’s so good.

We’re ten seconds in and I’m already gushing. This project is going to go well.

When we next see Matthew Murdock, he’s grown up, sitting in a confessional and impossibly dreamy. This confessional scene means a lot to me, but I’ve outlined that before. It’s also pretty good writing. Matt clocks his own faith, his family history, his fear of his anger and his difficulty accepting the violence of his life choices. He’s so afraid of the anger, of “the devil in the Murdock boys.”

We then get the first of so many brutal, brilliant amazing fight scenes. But all I could focus on was how good that costume looks. I love the Daredevil suit, but the black mask and outfit are really, really effective. But I also forgot that this is the first place we see Turk, which is weird, because he’s terrifying here, forcing three women into a shipping container, and he’s basically comic relief in Luke Cage. 

I love these opening credits. They’re so Catholic, man. I heard a lot of people teasing about the dripping liquid because they didn’t understand the candle wax imagery. But it’s so good.

The next scene is where we meet Foggy, and my notes express my excitement at this development quite succintly. Also Matt is shirtless in this scenes. All of this equals, I had some trouble focusing. Then Foggy bribes Officer Brett Mahoney, who is my favorite, non Claire recurring character. So, we’re barely ten minutes into this and we’ve gotten a lot of what I really, really love about this show. Matt and Foggy tour their office, and Matt flirts with their realtor, they talk about “The Incident,” which is still a term that I love.

The hard cut to Karen standing in a pool of blood with that knife, just as Matt insists they’ll only take innocent clients is so imossibly perfect. This is just such DAMN GOOD TELEVISION. Anyway, her arrest, Brett calling Foggy and Matt, and their swift move to represent her all happens so seemlessly. And seeing the three of them together makes me so happy. The heart of this show is their relationship. We also get one of my favorite Daredevil tricks here, the human lie detector thing, where he listens to heartbeats.

After this we meet Wesley and I didn’t realize how much I missed him in season 2 until this scene where he threatens the prison guard who then tries to kill Karen. And let’s talk about that scene, which is so brutal and so violent, in a way that the fight scenes aren’t because there’s no aesthetically cool choreography here. Just a large man, going after an unarmed, scared young woman, and it’s brutal and terrifying.

I also kind of forgot that the whole Daredevil story starts because Karen noticed the company she worked for moving money around in a shady manner. It seems so, small, compared to what it becomes and it’s kind of genius. Anyway, Matt takes the terrified Karen back to his apartment and there’s a very tense scene where he tries to get more information out of her, that I really love because, I noticed there is no music which is always eerie, until Matt realizes that Karen’s lying and her heartbeat races.

The big meeting between all of the bad guys makes me giggle, mostly because of Nobu, who is not yet an immortal ninja man, and because both Owlsley and Wesley are deeply missed on this show as midlevel bad guys.

When Karen sneaks out of her apartment and is attacked, it’s shot like a horror movie and that’s pretty cool, but that she doesn’t know that Matt is The Devil of Hell’s kitchen (a name he doesn’t yet have) is just a huge jump in superhero credulity. I don’t mind, it’s just tough.

Matt’s passed out flashback to his childhood is chilling and wonderful. I really love John Patrick Hayden as Jack Murdock, he brings this brilliant vulnerability to the character, and it’s well done. Matt coming back to life as his father says, “come on Matty, back to work,” is so inspiring, and this fight is so good.

When Foggy and Matt and Karen regroup after Karen is cleared, and she gives them a caserole, is the scene is what made me fall in love with the show back at Comic Con 2014, so I have a deep affection for it, but I also just love the friendship between these three characters, but the actual finale of the episode, a montage of Hell’s Kitchen mayhem, while Matt beat’s the crap out of a heavy bag at Fogwell’s gym is a masterpiece. And as that little boy gets dragged away from his father, and Daredevil hears it, diving into action, I was overwhelmed with excitement to watch this series again.

Daredevil: Season 1: Episode 2: Cut Man

Back when Luke Cage premiered, I made an off the cuff statement on a friend’s facebook status that Luke Cage is about blackness, Jessica Jones is about rape, and Daredevil is about ninja fights. Obviously, that’s a simplification of all three series, and I’m gonna try this time around to hone in on another theme, and I want to say it’s about the cycle of violence. But also DAMN those ninja fights.

Obviously this episode ends with the most infamous of them all, dubbed “The Hallway Fight,” where Matt fights off like ten guys in a hallway to retrieve a kidnapped child. It’s an exceptional bit of stunt work and thrillingly shot. It’s been written about ad nausiem and it’s no less impressive watching it again.

But that isn’t all that goes on in this episode. Most importantly to the Defenders universe, we meet Claire Temple. Fucking Boss Ass Nurse Lady, Claire Temple. She’s the best. Just the absolute best. Her taking Matt in, fixing him up and helping him torture that Russian is easily the most pivotal moment in Daredevil season 1, and probably in the Defenders (Luke and Jessica would be very dead, if Claire hadn’t decided giving medical help to superheroes was her calling.).

This episode also features Jack Murdock’s death. His decision to not throw a fight, to bet on himself to give Matt a safety net and every small detail of this story, from Matt learning to read in brielle, to Jack calling someone (Matt’s mom Maggie? We’re two seasons in and we haven’t heard from her) to Matt’s role stitching Jack up, which to me creates this connection between helping with injuries and an act of love. There’s something there, or maybe it’s just that Rosario Dawson could have chemistry with an actual door.

The final bit of this episode is Foggy and Karen getting drunk which is so adorable, I can barely stand it. Also, Karen is wearing a very pretty flowered dress.

This episode is exceptionally emotional and wonderful.

Other Stuff:

  • Matt’s powers that we know of: Can hear heartbeats, super smell, super hearing, ability to constantly have 5 o’clock shadow, looking good in a suit and pectoral muscles.
  • I wrote a lot of notes about how hot he is. Charlie Cox is a deeply attractive man.
  • What America needs right now is a Foggy Nelson to get it drunk and make it smile. I’d volunteer but I’m not as beffuddingly charming as Foggy.
  • Here are some notes that I wrote down about Claire: “Claire as known Matt for five seconds and is already done with his shit,” “Claire’s hood in the torture scene is creepy,” “Claire keeps Matt human.”
  • Architect Nobu is not as interesting as immortal Ninja Nobu
  • Wesley is great.

Daredevil Season 2: Finishing Up

Ok everyone! I finished this morning before work. It was amazing. So much of it!

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Guess Who’s Back!

Matt

God he’s a badass. And also just an ass. While I’m thrilled that he told Karen that he’s Daredevil, and that he chose Elektra (I mean, she died, but he chose her!) And he spends the whole back half of the season chasing ninjas (badass) but blowing off Frank’s case which he forced Foggy and Karen to take on (ass)

Luckily it’s Claire that tells him he needs to get his act together.

Claire’s the best!

He’s now mourning Elektra, thinks he beat The Hand (he did not) and has mended fences with Stick. All of this is good. Seriously, I’m glad we got a season of street level stuff before the mystical ninja stuff. (Also, seriously Arrow, TAKE NOTES.)

Foggy

Foggy is working for Hogarth!!!! Marcy got him the job after he and Matt dissolved Nelson and Murdock. This means that we may get Foggy and Jessica interaction! Also I’m real proud of him for not taking Matt’s shit anymore. I’m completely obsessed with this character though, so that’s part of it.

He also gets shot, when Frank is killing the DA he gets caught in the crossfire, which is the straw that breaks the camel’s back with Matt, who is now convinced that all he is is a danger to his friends. (He is, but he’s also an ass)

But Foggy and Karen also have my favorite moment of the finale, where they sit at Josie and promise to stay friends and be there for each other. These two have been through a lot together.

Karen

If you had told me in a season that featured Daredevil and Elektra that I would find the relationship between Karen Page and The Punisher the most compelling of the season, I would have told you to go fuck yourself.

Seriously.

But it was incredible. Her decision to go on the run with him, realizing this is a terrible idea, getting him to talk in court, trying to stop him from killing Lex Luthor…I mean, Clancy Brown’s “The Blacksmith,” all of it, is incredible. Now she’s a reporter, which means Ellison is sticking around. Which means he’ll probably not have to fire his personal trainer…look, I’m always going to look out for family!

Claire

She’s only in three of these episodes, but she’s supposed to be a regular on Luke Cage. I’m just saying there’s a good chance that she’s going to be the one calling everyone when the time comes. Anyway, she admitted a bunch of patients who’d been tortured (and then we learn brainwashed) by The Hand and got herself fired over it. But without her hospital job now she can just stitch up superheroes full time. She also gets Matt to pull his head out of his ass, tells Foggy he should become a rapper (MC FOGGY! YES!)

Look, she’s the best. The end. More Rosario in everything.

Stick

Stick’s back! He’s trying to get Elektra and Matt to fight the hand with him. Well, Matt. He’s trying to kill Elektra, because she’s Black Sky, but you know whatever. The Elektra flashback episode is awesome.

AND THE BIG ONE

Wilson Fisk

Guys he was back. For a few episodes. It was amazing. He’s running prison. He’s going to figure out that Matt is Daredevil. He manipulates Frank to kill all his enemies in prison and then sets him free. D’Onofrio is amazing and everything about this was amazing, and I can’t wait until he gets back out and puts Matt through his paces. So happy that he was back.

Nobu

Immortal Ninja, enough said.

Madame Gao

So cool, with her painting and her advising Matt and her probably being around for Iron Fist right?

The New Kids

Frank Castle AKA The Punisher

God, they nailed this character and is was so great. Punisher has never been my guy. (I like my vigilantes gunless and kill-less) But I do get the appeal, and after this show, he might be my guy. I’m not sure that I want to see him have his own Netflix show, I’d much rather see him pop up and cause problems for various Defenders now and then. (Can you imagine him and Jessica together. We’d all be decimated.) But his trial, his relationship with Karen, his decision to save Matt’s soul rather than make his quest easier, is all amazing.

Elektra

Dead but about to be reborn. Look, we knew that she was going to die before the end of the season. She has to, it’s kind of the biggest part of her character that she dies and is resurrected. (That and NINJA ASSASIN!) So The hand is getting ready to resurrect her so that they have control of Black Sky.

This will not end well for them I don’t think. But the final scene between Elektra and Matt, where they decide to run away together is beautiful, because you know what’s coming, she knows what’s coming, he doesn’t because he’s kinda a dummy about stuff, but it’s just so wonderful. BIG fan of how that all turned out.

Overall Season Thoughts

I enjoyed the season, much like Jessica Jones I thought it was tighter and technically better than Season 1, but I don’t know why, I’ll always love season 1 the most. Maybe it’s because it was such a gut punch. Because I was able to fully binge it. Because I didn’t know how to feel and it taught me that I should feel awesome. But overall, it was just an insanely good 13 hours of television, much more episodic than season 1 (in a good way) and true to the characters as they were built.

Luke Cage Teaser

GUYS THEY FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO NETFLIX POST CREDIT! And the teaser is great, and I’m really excited and I’ll see you September 30!

Daredevil Episode by Episode

So I, like every good comics geek this weekend, binge watched Daredevil on Netflix. Below is my spoilerful episode by episode breakdown.

Episode 1:

Little Matt is super cute. And the first time we see adult Matt, he’s in confession. This means the world to me. Matt Murdock’s Catholicism is kind of my pop culture safe haven. He’s one of the few characters for whom my faith isn’t a punchline or incidental detail. That Matt is a Catholic is a big part of who he is. I could go off on that, but it wasn’t even my favorite part.

My favorite part was Foggy’s ties. And just Foggy. But my fangirl joy at Elden Henson is going nowhere my friends. I even went back and reread some of my Fulton centric Mighty Ducks fanfic, due to my sheer joy at seeing him.

Even in the first episode, my thought was “wow, really violent.” I was expecting it, but it’s intense. My breaks are going to be more frequent than I thought, I think. Oh, also, Karen Page didn’t kill that guy.

The scene closing montage, set to Matt beating the crap out of a heavy bag was also great. I’d seen the big Daredevil fight scene at Comic Con, but it was still really good.

Episode 2

I would like to go out drinking with Karen and Foggy. That’s what I took from this episode. Also I love Foggy. But I love Foggy in the comics and I love Elden, so…I should disclose that I am so on board with this cast. I have been since I saw their panel at NYCC. That panel didn’t blow me away, but they were all great. Deborah Ann Woll is also phenomenal.

Also, Rosario Dawson is the best, and while Night Nurse is a cool choice for obscurity reasons, I still wish that she was Elektra, for you know, bad ass reasons. But when she tells Matt exactly where to stab that dirty cop, that was also badass. And then Daredevil saved a little  kid and it was great.

Matt just threw a guy off a roof, which was great. And also, I applaud Charlie Cox for not adopting a gravelling Batman-esque voice, it would have been the easier choice, and it’s way better that he didn’t. (Especially given his predecessor in the role’s future.)

Little Matt is the single most adorable child ever. And John Patrick Hayden’s work as Jack Murdoch is exceptional. This is a very good episode.

Episode 3

Matt and Foggy are not great at being lawyers. Bad for business to Ninja kill your clients. But that’s mostly Matt.

Karen is very brave and is standing up to her old corrupt employers even though they offered her a lot of money. Also that guy she didn’t kill, she talked to his wife, who did take the hush money. Which is a bummer.

Matt and Foggy’s client, who Matt killed? He’s the first person to say the name, “Wilson Fiske,” which gave me goosebumps. We also met Ben Urich, who, I’m guessing is going to be the Coulson of the Defenders crowd. Or he should be. And we saw the scene of Fiske looking at art that really caught me at NYCC. Seriously, I’ve been obsessed with this scene for months.

Episode 4

I ship Matt and Claire so hard my heart hurts. When he patches her up for once, and then she places his hand on her heart, and he tells her his name? Forget it, I’m done. Move aside Karen. This is OTP. This is OTP FOR LIFE! (Or until they cast Elektra) Also, even beaten bloody and tied up, Rosario Dawson is the hottest human being to ever live.

Wilson and Vanessa are cute, even if he is a homicidal maniac gangster who doesn’t understand how to talk to people. I predicted that Vincent D’Onfrio would be the best thing about this show. I have not been wrong.

Karen and Ben are going to take down the people that are trying to kill her. Hooray! Also, she bought Foggy a fax machine and I think I might ship Foggy/Karen. Except I like them as friends also. I just think he’s adorable.

And not just because I’ve written many many scenes that involve pretty blond girls taking Elden’s shirt off and whispering that they love him. (Fulton/Tammy & Fulton/Julie have happened…) Anyway, his mom wanted him to be a butcher. Adorable.

It’s also nice to remember that the MCU is vast. I like to think that as Kingpin beat that Russian dude to death, Skye was causing an earth quake with a temper tantrum, and Loki was doing all kinds of things to disgrace Odin’s name, now that he’s pretending to be Odin, and Steve was doing some push ups, and Tony and Pepper were having dinner and she was exasperated at him.

Episode 5

It’s the shipping episode! Claire and Matt kiss! Foggy and Karen fix up an old Guatemalan lady’s apartment and then eat dinner and almost touch each other’s faces! Wilson and Vanessa go on a second date! (Supervillains need love too you guys.) Matt tells her how he sees the world and we see his firey “daredevil” vision, and the hell imagery that should be defining this show a lot more makes it’s first appearance.

Also Claire says she’s falling in love Matt, and he tells her not to because self loathing is a hallmark of Daredevil. Ugh, but I want them to be naked together! Also, he punches Vladimir in the face and says, “This is for Claire!” And I love it. I love it so much.

Also, there’s an explosion. And Fisk is you know, “cleaning up the city.” And I don’t know, I was too excited watching Foggy take down his bitchy ex girlfriend at that fancy law firm where he and Matt aren’t working. Totally with Karen on that, it was a big turn on.

Oh, and Matt’s about to be arrested, but I somehow don’t see that actually happening.

Episode 6

Oh what a shock, Matt did not get arrested, he almost did but then he ninja’d the cops while he was handcuffed.

I love Daredevil. He calls Claire to learn how to treat Vladimir so that he can question him about Fisk and Vladimir everntually, after they break out of an abandoned warehouse together, gives up Owlsley, which is going to be a whole lot of fun.

Also Fisk and Matt speak for the first time over walky talky, and it’s about as epic as you would expect.

Foggy is in the hospotal and he’s still flirting with Karen and being generally adorable.

Guys, we’re about halfway through!

Episode 7

We meet Stick! Who taught Matt how to be a blind ninja, if you’re new. I was excited because Stick is an interesting character and also, because, well, it meant we got to see Little Matt again. It had been a few episodes. I really like this kid a lot.

Anyway, Stick tries to drain Matt of emotion, because that’s what you need to be a blind ninja, but Matt is just looking for a father figure. So they part ways. In the present, he recruits Matt to help him on a mission to stop someone called “Black Sky,” which it turns out is a little kid (probably a ninja kid) and that Stick wanted to kill, they fight and it’s awesome.

Also, Karen and Ben have looped Foggy into their investigation and Elena (old lady that Karen and Foggy helped) told Karen that Foggy’s in love with her. Which is complicated since Karen likes Matt, I think? And also she’s fascinated with Daredevil. And Foggy thinks he’s a terrorist. So this’ll be fun.

And we see nuns! And one of them mentions Matt’s mom. Who, I guess we might find out was a nun. We might not.

Episode 8

Best. Episode. So. Far.

We find out more about Fisk’s backstory. How he grew up in an abusive home. How he killed his father while his father was beating his mother. How he fears becoming a monster who is “cruel for the sake of being cruel.” How everymorning, after he makes himself an omelet, and dresses in his impeccable suits, he looks in the mirror and still sees a little boy, covered in blood.

The episode itself would be good, but D’Onofrio elevates it to great. He’s phenomenal, and such an epically perfect match for this part.

Matt is also in with Foggy and Karen and Ben now, and as Daredevil, or “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen,” as they’re calling him now, convinces Ben to write an article dragging Fisk into the public eye. But Fisk, after confessing his past to Vanessa beats him to it.

Things are getting really good.

I miss Claire.

Episode 9

“Do you believe in the devil?” I’ve spent a lot of time with that particular question, and as Matt Murdock wrestles with it, and talks to his priest here it’s hard to not think of the times that I’ve sat and wondered if I actually believed in the physical actual Satan that my faith shows as a reality.

When I was a teenager I used to sleep with a rosary under my pillow. I had nightmares like you wouldn’t believe as a kid, faces coming out of everywhere and manifesting as people that would tear me and the people I loved to shreds, while I tried to scream but no sound came out. So as a “faith focused” teen I was sure that the devil sent those dreams. I still have them sometimes, I think. I don’t remember them, but my mom has said that she’s heard me screaming in my sleep from time to time, and I still wake up sweating and and tangled in blankets. Not often, but a few times a year.

I don’t know. Thinking about the Devil really freaks me out. I try not to do it much.

That wasn’t really what this episode was about but that’s what it made me think of. Plot wise, Elena was murdered, Fisk ordered it to draw “The Devil” out. It worked. Also, Foggy found out that Matt is, well, Daredevil. Which should be excited. It was starting to be weird that Matt Murdock is the only guy in the MCU who has a secret identity.

Episode 10

My heart is broken into a million tiny pieces and Foggy Nelson has broken it. When he unmasked Matt and cross examined him, and then there were flashbacks, and, Oh God! My poor little heart. I can’t take it.

I love this episode. Also, Karen and Ben find Fisk’s mother and Gao and Owlery killed Vanessa probably.

But back to the disolution of the greatest bromance ever. Every flashback of Matt and Foggy made me want to give them all of the hugs. Katherine and I used to talk about how much we loved watching stories of male friendship, and I’m kinding loving that at it’s heart, that’s what Daredevil is becoming.

Also, in one of the flashbacks, Foggy menitioned a “Greek girl,” who it didn’t work out with when Matt dated her. Greek? Really? Guess what’s a Greek name?

Elektra. Elektra is a Greek name.

I’m just saying.

I still miss Claire, they talked about her a lot in this episode.

Episode 11

OMG Karen killed Wesley. And I think Matt is going to be getting his Daredevil costume soon. That will be nice.

But how did we get here? Well, Foggy is drunk and sleeping with his stupid bitchy ex, so I don’t like that at all. Matt talks to Claire and she said she’s leaving, and we probably won’t see her again until Jessica Jones or something, if at all. This show really should have given me a lot more Rosario Dawson for my money.

Anyway, Wesley found out about Karen and Ben going to see Fisk’s mother, which Fisk was sitting at Vanessa’s bed side. Vanessa is not dead. Which is good. I really didn’t want to see her fridged. Although, I guess she got fridged anyway. I’ve never been sure how to properly apply that term.

Matt finds that guy who makes all of Fisk’s suits, which all have body armor to make him something.

Red, I’m guessing. With horns on the mask.

Episode 12

Ben dead. Still no suit. Foggy working with Bitchy ex to get more information on Fisk.

Fisk killed Ben after finding out that he went to see his mother, and Ben was going to start a blog to tell the story. He didn’t tell Fisk that Karen was also there, which is good. But he’ll probably find out, because he’s also going to find out that she killed Wesely I’m guessing.

Gao, the head of the Chinese mob, is probably not actually, human because she punches Matt in the chest and tells Owlery that her homeland is “substantially further away” than China.

I bet she’s Kree.

Episode 13

Suit! Suit is so cool! Suit is totally badass! Suit has cool little horns as does not look like it is made out of leather. Suit is revealed with epic wide shot of Daredevil standing on a car. Suit is great. Suit is everything. Charlie Cox is God Among Men Who Play Superheroes, because he makes awesome suit somehow more awesome! The Chrises should look to Charlie Cox and say, “Damn, how do you make suit look so unreasonable cool?” Charlie Cox should give lessons to predecessor on how to wear suit to avoid predecessor looking dumb as Batman.

Also everyone is friends again. And Fisk is in jail after giving a very cool monologue about The Good Samaritan and breaking out of FBI custody. Foggy is back with bitchy ex (Booooo), and Matt and Karen hold hands.

Overall Thoughts

Daredevil might be the best thing that Marvel’s done so far. I mean, I am prone to hyberbole, but still, it’s staggeringly good. I constantly felt breathless and hurried and on the edge of my seat. I kept thinking that the Flash and Arrow staffs should be taking notes, this is how you properly use flashbacks and darkness and grit.

I had zero doubt about this cast and they absolutely exceeded my expectations. Especially Charlie Cox, who I thought was a good but uninteresting choice for Matt Murdock. The fact that I kept saying “wow,” every time he was on screen is a testament to how good he was.

If the entire Defenders series is this good, and we have no reason to doubt that it will be, we’re in for a treat for the next few years. Even if the movies fall apart, it looks like Marvel has found another way in.

I’m interested in seeing what happens next.