Sorry I missed a week, but I was on an Ultron kick, along with the rest of the world, but I’m back!
While I’m definitely a binge watcher during the off season at work, I decided to review this particular show not as one big she-bang, but in parts over a series of weeks. This system relieves the pressure of having to binge watch the entire season, while allowing me to marinate on the themes and characters of this new Marvel phenomenon. Let’s get started, shall we?
Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…
Episode 7: Stick
The episode starts with the vigilante confronting Fisk’s money man, Leland, who was given up by Vladamir to Matt before Vlad died. We are also introduced to the man who trained Matt Murdock to be the badass blind ninja of Hell’s Kitchen. In a flashback, we learn that “Stick” (played by Scott Glen) is the person who takes Matt in after his father dies. He, too, has keen senses, especially hearing and spatial distance, and becomes an unlikely father figure to the young man who has lost his father and his sight before he hits his teens. After seeing the powerful impact Matt’s father, “Battling Jack Murdock”, had on his life, it’s interesting to watch the precarious relationship between Stick and Matt play out. Matt is righteously just and will not kill. The pair works together to obtain something called “Black Sky”, which is never explained except as belonging to the man whom Wilson Fisk is afraid of.
Oh, that’s very not good.
While the vigilante refuses to kill, Stick doesn’t have the same trepidations, and, when we see that the delivery that is “Black Sky” is actually a young boy, I, for one, was glad to see Matt fighting for the child’s life. A confrontation follows, and Stick proceeds to kick Matt’s ass, which isn’t an easy feat. We also find out that Stick followed the child’s captors and killed him, but we don’t know why.
Stick gives off a “Kill Bill”, David Carradine vibe, and I like it. It’s interesting to see the distinct value sets that Matt gleaned from his father and from his time with Stick, whose real name, it seems, neither the audience or Matt knows. There wasn’t much mention of the crazy events of the former episode, in which the vigilante is accused of burning down Hell’s Kitchen, except when Froggy calls the masked man a “terrorist” (OUCH). In other news, no Fisk or Claire. Frowny face.
Episode 8: Shadows in the Glass
So. Much. Fisk.
We start off with Wilson’s morning routine, which is fairly mundane until we catch a view of his image of himself in the mirror, a bloodied, chubby teen.
Flashback to Wilson’s childhood, and we begin to understand the relationship Fisk shared with his father, who was a violent, wife beating bully with hopes of grandeur. Sound familiar? Except the Fisk in the flashback is a sweet, loving boy who seeks approval from his cruel father and finds it only when he follows his father toward violence. Numerous questions about Fisk are answered, including why he loves the painting he purchased from Vanessa all those episodes ago and wears the same cufflinks everyday. We see a teenage Fisk being told by his father to stare at the white wall (with the same texture as his painting) and think about what kind of man he wants to be. While he sits, his father proceeds to beat his mother with a belt, and, when Wilson cannot take it any longer, he rises and attacks with a hammer to the back of the head. With an underage youth covered in blood and screaming at his father, we get the most violent scene in the series so far. After, we see Fisk’s mother watch her boy kill her man and then cut up the body with a hacksaw, and…yeah. I almost lost my lunch. Mom hands teen Fisk the cufflinks and he takes them, and all of a sudden, Fisk’s morning routine takes on new meaning.
What’s interesting is that throughout the hour-long episode, we see the morning routine thrice, each time, imbued with different purpose. The first two times set us up for a flashback and are similar yet more frantic with meaning. In fact, Fisk is deteriorating, as his crime syndicate is starting to doubt him he begins to doubt himself. But the third morning montage is unique. It reveals a sex-ed out Fisk with Vanessa, who picks out for him a different color suit, different shirt and cufflinks, changing Fisk’s routine and his outlook. Vanessa is good for Fisk, and doesn’t flinch when he confesses the murder of his father to her. She makes him stronger and challenges him to stand up for himself against those who seek to tear down his kingdom in Hell’s Kitchen. In this case, the masked vigilante.
While Matt, Karen, Froggy and Ben are finally agree to expose Union Allied and Wilson Fisk, Fisk manages to screw it all up by regaining confidence and taking himself out of the shadows. The final scene shows Fisk, Vanessa and Wesley (whom I love in this ep and may ship slightly with Wilson) at a press conference, offering aid to HK and railing against the masked vigilante, preempting any attempts to shock the city by revealing his own identity.
This might be my favorite episode so far. I love a sympathetic antagonist, and Fisk has so many layers, he is more interesting to me than the character the series is named after, at least so far. This is the first episode we see where the Matt, Froggy, Karen and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen are all on the same mission, but it doesn’t really matter to me, because I love Fisk and want him to win all the things. Even though he’s a psychopath. Gosh, why do I always fall for the villains??
Onward and upward, my friends. I plan to watch more episodes and write about them next week, Friday. See you then, my little Daredevils.
xoxo The Collectiva Diva
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