War comes to Hell's Kitchen, but it ends rather quickly.
After an uncomfortably intimate introduction to Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, which drew a parallel between his crusade to save Hell’s Kitchen and Matt’s, Daredevil takes the connection one step further by showing both men attempting the same task. The Russians have become a nuisance for both the Kingpin and Daredevil, but who is the more effective cleaner of the streets? The answer, or the one that this episode offers up, is very surprising.
At Matt’s apartment, Claire is still on the mend, both physically and emotionally, from her brush with the Russian mafia. Thankfully, there’s a superpowered, blind lawyer that’s there to help in both regards. Next on Matt’s list of things to reveal to his new crush, after telling her his real name in the previous episode, is his profession. Yes, he’s a lawyer by day, but he can still smell torn sutures, hear hairline fractures, and see a world that’s made of fire. So he has a pretty solid back-up plan if the law thing doesn’t pan out. He also appears to be at least a moderately successful kisser as he lays the long-awaited smooch on Claire. “I was wondering if you were ever going to do that,” she says. So were we, Claire. So were we.
And like everybody does post-first kiss, Matt shares his intentions of taking down the local crime lord, but there is a small wrinkle his in plan. Anatoly, now very much missing his head, turns up, and his bro Vladimir isn’t too pleased about it, or about the black mask that just so happened to be found with the body. With the set-up, Fisk doubles Vladimir’s focus on finding the masked man, all the while he and his syndicate plan the eventual ousting of the Russians from the circle. The brothers (or what’s left of them) have become too unreliable as sources of income and as distributors of Madame Gao’s drugs, so they’re out. But not quite yet. Fisk tells the group that he’s going to move on Vladimir when the time is right, and until then, everything has to stay the same. As the group dismisses, Nobu, the representative of the Japanese criminal element in Hell’s Kitchen, leaves Fisk with an ominous warning, saying “Remember your promise to me and to those I speak for.” Who does he speak for?!
While the crime bosses scheme and scheme, Daredevil continues to punch and punch. His latest punching victims are a couple of Russian dudes who are escorting a blind Chinese illegal to Madame Gao. When they leave the boy alone in the cab, we’re treated to an excellent camera move, not unlike one recently seen in It Follows. The camera simply rotates within the car, and we see Matt’s approach. The technique actually makes Daredevil a frightening figure, since we don’t know where he’ll be when the camera comes back around. The ensuing fight catches the blind kid in the crossfire and reveals to Matt that Vladimir is calling for his head.
But it’s not like Matt is the only employee at Nelson & Murdock with problems. Karen can’t get the fax machine to work, and Foggy is only the second handsomest partner at the firm. But hey, at least there’s a new client! Police Officer Brett’s mom has sent one of her friends their way, and she needs some help with her apartment. Her landlord, the powerful Armond of House Tully, wants to kick her and the other tenants out of their rent-controlled building, and he’s resorted to such brutish tactics as cutting off utilities and sending in thugs to bust the place up with sledgehammers. Well, that’s not going to happen anymore. Not with Karen and Foggy and Matt on the case! The former two head down to meet with Tully’s lawyer and Foggy’s former beau, while Matt goes to the police. There’s something refreshing about how much time this series gives to Matt and the other characters helping normal people. It’s something that we really don’t see in comic book films, and it’s Marvel fulfilling its promise of street-level heroes. Does Foggy and Karen fixing that lady’s apartment and telling a snooty lawyer how it is help Matt bring down Kingpin? No, but it’s a nice character moment that reminds us of the point of heroes, both super and everyday.
NEXT: That guy really shouldn’t have said his name