Just as viewers were beginning to think, “You know what? Along with the obviously fantastic Charlie Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio is the best damn part of this show,” Daredevil delivers a Wilson Fisk-centric episode that lives up to the bizarre and fascinating performance that the actor has given so far and compounds it, giving a backstory to the madness that never feels obligatory. Not only do we know what makes this guy tick now, he’s scarier because of it.
The episode opens with what is probably the best cold open of the series so far. Fisk awakes from a nightmare and immediately looks to the painting that he bought from Vanessa. While the picture is indeed the first thing he sees every morning, there’s a feeling that Fisk has to stare at the painting. From there, he has a fairly basic morning routine: making eggs, choosing a suit and cuff links, seeing a bloody reflection of his adolescent self in the mirror. Now unless you’re the emotionally damaged lord of crime in Hell’s Kitchen, that last thing should have caught you by surprise. (I wonder if anyone watched this episode and thought, “Yeah, of course you see a bloody child in your mirror. Who doesn’t?”) The secrets behind that image are what drive this episode forward.
When Matt wakes up the morning after his tussle with Stick, his outside isn’t that far off from Fisk’s inside. Things don’t get any better when he overhears his two coworkers discussing whether he should be clued into their extracurricular investigative activities. When he forces Foggy and Karen to fess up, Matt disapproves of them putting themselves in danger, especially when their methods aren’t, by the strictest definitions, legal. The only way that they can continue their investigations with Ben is if they do so through the law, you know, like Matt does at night in his black costume. Karen and Foggy aren’t completely in love with the idea, but they agree.
Meanwhile, things are decidedly less harmonious over at Team Crime. Nobu is pissed that Stick killed the Black Sky because apparently Black Skies are very difficult to find. I have a feeling we’ll learn more about that later. The Japanese crime boss blames Fisk for the child’s death, since it was the Kingpin who promised protection. Fisk is quick to specify that he promised no police activity at the docks and on the highway, but Nobu isn’t buying it. Is Fisk losing his godlike grip on the criminal underworld of Hell’s Kitchen? If so, it might have something to do with that bloody kid.
Not that anyone expected otherwise, but that visage is indeed Fisk as a young boy. And we see that version of Fisk in his element, the Hell’s Kitchen of the 1960s, where he lives with his mom and
Herc from The Wire his dad. Back then, young Wilson spent his days helping the old man campaign for a spot on the city council, trying some of his dad’s beer, and not fully understanding the ramifications of his father taking a loan out from the local crime boss, Rigoletto, the man Fisk would one day defeat.
Back in the present day, Wesley interrupts a call that his boss is having with Vanessa to inform him that Blake, the dirty cop they had shot in order to frame Daredevil, is out of his coma and ready to talk. With beefed up security guarding the detective from the masked man, it will be difficult for Fisk to get any of his friends into the room to take out Blake before he gives up the Kingpin, but it won’t be impossible. The route he and Wesley decide on is to bring Blake’s partner Hoffman into the fold, but the cops are more than just coworkers. Hoffman tells Fisk that he and Blake grew up together, to which the Kingpin responds, “How much are each of those years worth to you, in round figures?” That’s cold, but the argument works, as Hoffman arrives at the hospital with Blake’s favorite sandwich, meatballs with an extra helping of poison-filled syringe. Unfortunately for the cop laid up in the hospital bed, Matt arrives a little too late to stop Hoffman from delivering the lethal injection.
NEXT: Bill Fisk teaches his son about conflict resolution… with kicks.