The harsh reality is superhero (or comic book) shows and Emmy award are never mentioned in the same breath by TV industry folks. They simply don't take this genre seriously due to silly preconceptions.
I'm hoping that changes, because Daredevil Season 1 Episode 7 and Daredevil Season 1 Episode 8 - specifically - should not be judged as your typical "genre" show. Rather, this is a powerful drama with outstanding actors.
Does Netflix have another House of Cards on its hands here? At the very least, Vincent D'Onofrio deserves some recognition.
How did young Matt acquire those kickass fight skills? Courtesy of "Stick" of course. Though the guy was a total jerk, he made Matt strong. I loved that he spoke to him like an adult. They say you only get one chance at a first impression. Well, it's safe to say that Scott Glenn's introduction as stick was a truly memorable one.
Like David Bradley on The Strain Season 1, it's not often we see a seventy-something year old character duking it out with actors half their age. Scott Glenn is the man! I'm hoping we'll see him again moving forward. This installment gave us an amputation, plus a beheading for good measure. What's with the series and head trauma?
This episode also introduced a possible "Inhuman" element to the series. Stick was after "Black Sky," a weapon which turned out to be a young boy.
Matt: Look, I don't want you tearing up Hell's Kitchen going after the yakuza.
Stick: Yakuza? You don't know what's going on in your own backyard. The guy that was yappin' with that old man you slapped around, he's pretty high up. He goes by a lot of names. Using Nobu this time around.
Matt: So, Nobu, you want him so bad, why'd you let him get away back in the garage?
Stick: I don't want him. I want what's on the ship he's meeting at the docks tonight.
Matt: Right, Owlsley was talking about that. What's Nobu bringing in? Drugs or something?
Stick: A weapon. They call it Black Sky, the bringer of shadows.
I'm assuming we'll learn more about this mysterious "weapon" in time. Will that be this season? Or is it possible these breadcrumbs will come into play in the other Netflix series?
So, we learned (via flashback) that Matt's inheritance went to Stick. I mean, he's not the type to take a kid on out of the goodness of his heart. Also, the nun mentioned Matt's mother wasn't dead. I wonder what her story is, don't you? Anyway, the scenes between Matt and Stick at the park and training were fantastic.
It was really sad when young Matt gave Stick the bracelet and the old man crushed it. "Your training is over. I can't help you anymore" Stick said. Having listened to Stick scold adult Matt about relationships and attachments, this scene made total sense. It was rough, but also taught Matt an important lesson and he moved on.
Elsewhere, Karen and Foggy continued looking into the tenement case. It was great to see Foggy step up and save Karen from those thugs. It was smart of Foggy to follow her, someone needs to have her back.
At the docks, Matt read Nobu as "different." I've been wondering since his introduction if he's human. We're obviously dealing with either gifted individuals or some form of mysticism here. Any ideas Daredevil fans? Please share them with me in the comments.
Matt: You promised me you weren't gonna kill anyone.
Matt: Then what the hell was that back there?
Stick: The mission.
Matt: That's what your war's come to? Killing children?
Stick: That thing in the container was not a child.
Were you as surprised as I was when Stick informed Matt the kid was already dead? That's it? I don't understand how he took out the major threat so quickly. Are there more "Black Skies" out there? Their fight scene was intense, it's crazy how much of a beating Matt can take.
Stick got his ass kicked as well, which felt good. The old man was indeed a "dick" like Matt called him. Still, I can't wait to see if he reappears at some point. The man at the end, with the scars, is obviously a hint at the bigger picture. Was he someone we'll see again in The Defenders?
Karen and Ben let Foggy in on their investigation. I like the way everyone's storylines were slowing starting to come together. The fact the King of diamonds represented Fisk on the board was a nice touch.
Speaking of the big guy. "Shadows in the Glass" was our chance to understand what makes Wilson Fisk tick. I've got to say, this is probably my favorite installment of the series so far. I'm big on character-driven drama, and boy did Fisk's story deliver. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the action stuff as well. It's just rare that writers take their time developing the antagonist in this way. Fisk is the villain, sure, but he's also a flawed human being. It's as if his inner child got stuck the day he killed his father.
I found the title of Daredevil Season 1 Episode 3 "Rabbit in a Snowstorm" very unique. Did that imagery pay off big time in this installment or what? Fisk's morning routine was lonely and showed us he's slightly obsessive–compulsive. Watching Vanessa participate in that routine at the end was incredible. I knew she was going to play an important role in his life, but this went beyond anything I imagined.
When we first met Fisk's father, he was teaching his son some respect. He seemed tough, but not abusive. However, I noticed the bruises on his mother's arms right away. The scene with Fisk's bully showed us his true nature.
It's people like this that wanna keep you down. Keep you afraid. You have to show 'em that that can never happen. You gotta show 'em that you're a man. Kick him. Don't give me that look like your mother. You do what I tell you. Kick him. Kick him!Bill
Meanwhile, Karen and Foggy let Matt in on their investigation of Fisk. He wasn't pleased, but advised they use the legal system to their advantage. It makes sense he just wanted to keep them safe, but I think he also realized they're not about to give up. It was great to see them work as a team and start to piece things together.
As I mentioned at the top, I'm hoping Vincent D'Onofrio gets nominated for his portrayal of Wilson Fisk. He nailed every single scene in this installment. The conversation with Hoffman was heartbreaking. The way D'Onofrio delivered the line "How much are each of those years worth to you?" was outstanding. It reminded me of Brando in The Godfather or something. Yeah, I would have offed my partner too.
Fisk's meeting with Madame Gao was just as intense. Were you surprised to learn she spoke English?
Fisk: You speak English.
Madame Gao: I speak many languages.
Fisk: How many?
Madame Gao: All of them.
As I've mentioned before, I love that the conversation that followed took place in Mandarin. Not only should D'Onofrio be applauded for taking on this other language, but he seemed to have confidently mastered it. Of course, a native speaker might disagree, but he sold me on it. Fisk's tantrum was impressive, he's one scary dude.
The beating Fisk's mother endured was brutal. It made us sympathize with the kid, though killing pops with the hammer was certainly crossing a line. Fisk's mother didn't hesitate, she sure did hack up the body quickly.
I loved that the wall young Wilson sat in front of had the painting's texture. It's those little details that really paid off for me.
Think of the man you wanna be. You sit here and you stare at that wall and you think about that. You're my son. You should be a king, not some fat little pussy.Bill
Matt (as Daredevil) visited Ben and gave him the name... "Wilson Fisk." This was the beginning of a beautiful partnership. Again, the legal case is starting to come together finally.
Watching Vanessa pick out a different suit for Fisk, as well as another set of cufflinks was monumental. We see these changes as humanizing him, but his business partners simply see him as weak. It was a shame Fisk came out of the shadows before Ben could expose him. Matt wasn't pleased either, and his laptop paid the price.
These two episodes not only shed some light on our hero, but his nemesis as well. They are both, without a doubt, stand out moments in Daredevil Season 1 that deserve award recognition. I'm hoping House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black allow voting members to approach this Netflix series with an open mind. It truly is some of the best television I've seen this year.
What did you think of “Stick” and "Shadows in the Glass"? Were you as impressed as I was? Do you understand both Matt and Fisk better now? Your turn fellow Daredevil fans, hit the comments below and share your thoughts with me. Let's talk Daredevil!