Don't get me wrong, there were still plenty of action scenes. It's just that we had become used to a certain kind of pacing over eight episodes and that momentum definitely changed with these two entries.
That said, I'm big on character development and there were no shortage of important moments here.
There had been some intense fight sequences up to this point, but ninja Nobu's took the cake. Matt had been dealt some serious punishment, but that swinging blade on a chain wasn't exactly fighting fair. When he jabbed the blade into Matt's side, that freaking hurt me... Ouch!
Fisk cleverly maneuvered Nobu in "Speak of the Devil" like a pawn on a chessboard. It was a win-win for him. Either Nobu removed the man in the mask as a threat, or the vigilante took care of his Nobu problem. I was a bit disappointed Nobu died, but we did learn the man could slow his heart and lower his body temperature. So, he's human after all but also clearly connected to the mysterious organization Stick met with in the closing moments of Daredevil Season 1 Episode 7.
Matt's conversations with Father Lantom were incredibly profound.
Matt: Do you believe in the Devil, Father?
Father Lantom: You mean... as a concept?
Matt: No. Do you believe he exists? In this world, among us.
Father Lantom: You want the short answer or the long one?
Matt: Just the truth.
I was impressed by how honest and hip Father Lantom was. I think that made him much more relatable and human. We, as an audience, could understand why Matt might turn to a man like that for guidance. It was interesting to hear Father Lantom mention that the Hebrew word "Satan," means adversary. Yep, that perfectly described Wilson Fisk in this scenario.
The Fisk investigation dragged on a bit for me, but I was pleased to see Matt join the others in the legal battle. All the right names were being mentioned, but ultimately, it was Vanessa Matt shifted his focus to. Matt's confrontation with Fisk in the art gallery was nerve-racking.
Though the fight scene kept the action going, these quieter moments made a massive impact. Vanessa describing the tonal reds in the painting to Matt as the color of anger, but also of love and hope was brilliant. Daredevil's symbolism really started to take shape in this installment, then the big man arrived.
Fisk: This city and its future... Seeing Hell's Kitchen to its fullest potential is very important to me.
Matt: I feel the same way.
Sadly, I had a bad feeling Elena Cardenas wasn't going to make it. This loss helped strengthen everyone's resolve, but it was an evil move for Fisk. Any sympathy we might have been feeling for him went out the window. I hated the way he turned it all around in the press.
Fisk faced off with both Matt and Daredevil in this installment. As if the vigilante wasn't beat up enough, he had to take an additional pounding from the villain at the end. I found it strange Fisk didn't kill "the mask" himself at that point. Why would he have Wesley do it?
The real shocker of this installment, was Foggy learning Matt's big secret. Which naturally led to flashbacks of how the two friends met.
"Nelson v. Murdock" gave us tons of great college moments between Matt and Foggy. Seeing the Fogster with long hair and a goatee was hilarious, yet somehow worked perfectly. The downside of learning Matt's secret of course, was that Foggy felt betrayed and it drove a wedge between the BFF's. Hopefully, it doesn't take them until the finale to reconcile.
I could just hear folks complaining that Foggy was being a jerk, and should have gotten over it quicker. Still, imagine being an open book and finding out your closest friend has lied to you for years. Not many friendship's could survive something like that.
Matt: Excuse me, is this room 312?
Foggy: Yeah, who're you looking for? Oh... uh, sorry.
Matt: What for?
Foggy: You're blind, right?
Matt: Uh, yeah, so they tell me. I hope that won't be a problem.
Foggy: Why would it? Oh! You're my roomie!
Matt: Uh, Matt Murdock.
Foggy: Foggy Nelson.
Though Matt and Foggy's friendship was already a highlight of the series, this installment took their relationship to another level. I admit, I hated watching the two fight, but as a story arc it worked. You've got to test the friendship, so they come out stronger on the other end.
Meanwhile, Fisk met with Madame Gao and she was pretty clear his distractions were becoming an issue. I loved when she switched to English to avoid any confusion. Would he take her out next? Or would Gao move against Fisk?
We finally met Ben Urich's wife and I loved her instantly. That hospital scene gave me a bad feeling that Ben might not make it. When you watch as much television as I do, you start to recognize the signs. Plus, just when Ben was ready to quit Karen pulled him back in. Damn you Karen!
My favorite moment this episode, was when Matt and Foggy talked of the future.
Foggy: Me and you, pal. We're gonna have big, fancy offices one day, with steel and glass and chairs you don't even know how to sit in. Murdock and Nelson, attorneys at law!
Matt: Nelson and Murdock. Sounds better.
Foggy: You think?
Matt: Yeah, trust me. I can't see worth shit, but my hearing's spectacular.
Foggy: Me and you, pal... We're gonna do this. We're gonna be the best damn avocados this city has ever seen. [both laugh]
Matt: Best damn avocados.
As Matt and Foggy worked through their issues, I got a sense their friendship would survive this bump in the road. Especially, when Matt shared his story about the little girl and her abusive father. I mean, how can you not admire the guy for wanting to make a difference?
While I didn't like the fact Karen tricked Ben into visiting that nursing home, realizing the woman was Fisk's mother was huge. The poisoning at the benefit gala took me by surprise as well. With Madame Gao threatening Fisk, my guess was she went after Vanessa. Man, is Fisk going to be pissed.
Again, the series slowed down a bit here, but I think these two episodes were crucial as far as character development. After all, if we don't care about these people, why the hell keep watching? I will say, in just a few episodes I've fallen hard for the cast of Daredevil. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have to wait years for a second season.
What did you think of “Speak of the Devil” and "Nelson v. Murdock"? Were you surprised Nobu died? Did Foggy seriously piss you off? Your turn guys, go ahead and hit the comments below and share your thoughts on these installments.