Daredevil quickly established itself as a darker, more grown-up corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
That said, Daredevil Season 1 Episode 3 and Daredevil Season 1 Episode 4 turned things up to eleven, with a couple of cringe-worthy WTF moments. That's right, we'll never look at a bowling ball or car door the same way again!
Let's discuss some of the standout moments from these two intense installments.
I was pleased to see our attorney/heroes at work in the courtroom. Sure, Matt had been kicking all kinds of ass on the streets, but it was important to showcase his skills in the legal arena as well. Besides, those scenes allowed us to take Foggy a bit more seriously. He's not just the comic relief, the guy's a damn good lawyer.
"Rabbit in a Snowstorm" opened with a seemingly harmless dude looking to throw a few bowling balls. Things took a turn, and we realized there was more to his plan all along. Healy was mercenary, hired to take out a specific crime boss. As if the bone protruding from Prohaszka's arm wasn't enough, the head smashing moment was fairly gruesome for a Marvel TV series. I'm not complaining, simply stating part of the appeal of the series.
Yes, Steven S. DeKnight's "Spartacus" was definitely on display in this pair of excellent episodes.
It wasn't long before the mysterious Wesley knocked on Matt and Foggy's door, to everyone's surprise.
I assure you, all my employer wants is for you to continue to be ethical, decent men; good lawyers. And for that, for nothing more than your exceptional skills and your discretion... you'll be fairly compensated.Wesley
Matt and Foggy decided to take the case, enter Mr. Healey from the bowling alley. Again, audio (rather than visuals) clued us in to Matt's enhanced abilities as he honed in on Wesley's ticking watch. I love this subtle approach to Matt's "powers."
During their meeting, it was clear Mr. Healey was a "shark in a skin suit" as Foggy put it. Again, it was wonderful to see the two lawyers do their thing and do it well. Though the case was questionable, the partners needed to make a buck and I had no doubt they would win the case or at the very least deadlock the jury.
The relationship between Matt and Foggy is already a highlight of this series for me. Charlie Cox and Elden Henson are fanatstic in their scenes together; that fist bump was priceless.
Meanwhile, Union Allied attempted to pay Karen off for her silence, and Ben had his personal issues with his wife. Though the installment revolved around the Healey case, it was important to shed a little more light on the supporting characters.
Matt's enhanced abilities were on full display in the courtroom, picking up Wesley's presence and that a juror had been compromised. The attention to detail in the writing is exceptional on this series.
Matt's closing argument was powerful, and Cox delivered it beautifully.
A man is dead. And my client, John Healey took his life. This is not in dispute. It is a matter of record... of fact... and facts have no moral judgement. They merely state what is. Not what we think of them, not what we feel. They just are. What was in my client's heart when he took Mr. Prohaszka's life, whether he is a good man or something else entirely, is irrelevant. These questions... of good and evil, as important as they are, have no place in a court of law. Only the facts matter.Matt
The episode concluded with a conflicted Murdock confronting Healey as Daredevil in an alleyway. This fight scene led to a gruesome moment I'm sure we'll all still be talking about after watching all thirteen episodes. Healey revealed Fisk's name and then impaled his head on a spike in the fence... Ouch! It's curious to me that we did not see the bowling ball head smashing, but the impaling got the thumbs up.
In the closing moments we finally met Fisk in the flesh, and he was flirting while purchasing some abstract white art titled, that's right, "Rabbit in a Snowstorm." Most importantly, this connection with Vanessa is sure to affect Fisk moving forward.
"In the Blood" gave us our first real look at Wilson Fisk, as a man. While his softer side was showcased in his scenes with the lovely Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer), who becomes his wife in the comics, Fisk's brutal nature bled through as well.
This installment gave us some backstory on the Russian brothers, Anatoly and Vladimir, who escaped a Russian prison courtesy of a fellow inmate's rib. Claire was back to patch Matt up and serve as his conscious, in a way.
She questioned his feelings about that other Russian he threw off the roof being in a coma. "I'll live" Matt replied, proving he's not losing any sleep over his night job. Still, I think the Claire character is important to keep him in check. She's the one person Matt has opened up to and shared intel with so far.
Fisk was making moves, acquiring Prohaszka's Kitchen Cab business and turning it over to the Russians. Its become much more clear that Leland's the money guy, Madame Gao the product, and the Russians handle distribution. Mr. Nobu, the Japanese businessman, is still a bit of a mystery at this point. I loved the quick reference to The Avengers, "I mean if he had an iron suit or a magic hammer, maybe that would explain why you keep getting your asses handed to you."
The Russian brothers needed some answers about the man in the mask. I was surprised they revived/killed Semyon, the guy Daredevil threw off the roof.
Anatoly: Tell us about the man who did this to you.
Semyon: The devil. The devil.
Vladimir: Did you see anything? Semyon? Anything that could help us find him?
Semyon: There was a woman.
I had a bad feeling all this was going to lead back to Claire. Matt did mention earlier that Semyon didn't believe her story. What the hell was that kid, Santino, thinking standing in her doorway when thugs broke in? I wanted to kick his ass myself. I guess the Russian's had to locate Claire somehow. I knew they wouldn't kill her, but I was hoping she didn't get hurt too badly.
Meanwhile, Fisk continued to put the moves on Vanessa. I think their relationship was a brilliant way to humanize our big bad. Normally, it's the hero that gets the girl and we get caught up in his courtship. I love that the writers turned that predictable trope around and focused on the antagonists relationship. Besides, Vincent D'Onofrio is so phenomenal as Fisk, it's great to see those complex layers to the character.
A woman that can be bought... isn't worth having.Fisk
Ultimately, Claire was kidnapped and Daredevil saved her. Which I'm sure wasn't a surprise to most of us. It was nice to hear Matt share his real name with her finally.
The moment Vladimir burst into the restaurant and interrupted Fisk's date I had a feeling his fate was sealed. Kingpin is known to have a violent temper in the comics, but I doubt anyone saw the second skull squashing event coming.
Watching D'Onofrio slam that car door on Vladimir's head was not only disturbing but game-changing. We now understand the guy is a ticking time bomb and completely unpredictable. The gooey squishy sound effects helped make the scene that much more gruesome.
You embarrassed me. You embarrassed me in front of her.Fisk
These two installments certainly upped the violence factor. While it was pretty clear Marvel/Netflix's Daredevil is geared toward a mature audience, these installments were proof young children should stick to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
What did you think of “Rabbit in a Snowstorm” and "In the Blood"? Was the violence over the top or just right? Which relationships are you enjoying most? Your turn guys, hit the comments below and share your thoughts on these insane installments.