"My grandmother always used to say, 'be careful of the Murdock boys, they've got the devil in'em"
Warning: here be spoilers. I will attempt to brush over the main ones, but, inevitably, they will get out. you have been warned.
After days of anxious waiting, clinging to the slightest news of its production, Daredevil has arrived, and for the next couple of weeks, I'll be summing up a handful of episodes per post.
the opening scene is one obviously meant to catch your attention, what better to keep a watcher than a good accident scene?
a man pushes through the crowds, demanding to be allowed through. Once he finally breaks through, you can see the fear and panic as he spots a small little figure laying on the road all by himself.
introducing, Matt Murdock, and his father. Jack Murdock (John Patrick Hayden). Attempting to calm both himself and his son, an older man in the background speaks up, saying Matt pushed him out of the way.
Young Future Daredevil is already showing his hero streak.
But I doubt that is much comfort to his father, especially as Matt begins to cry about the burn in his eyes.
a quick glance around causes Jack to panic further.
Its a sad scene of futility, a father trying to save his son's eyes, even as we are watching, from young Matthew Murdock's point of view, the world go black.
time skip to the future, its a church confession that also serves for, the now adult, Matthew Murdock (played by Charlie Cox) to tell us a bit about his father. Is it normal to ramble so when confessing to a priest?
We get a few interesting tidbits, mostly about Jack. "My Dad's strategy was to let them hit him until they broke their hands" Matt says, "we was always on his feet when he lost" Jack was a boxer, it is revealed, but not a winning one. Not that that kept his son from looking up to him. You gotta respect a man who loses with pride.
but apparently, as Matt continues, quoting something his grandmother used to say, "be careful of the Murdock boys, they've got the Devil in'em". Jack was used to taking hits, but sometimes, Matt says, something would snap and "my dad would trap them in a corner, and let the devil out".
The priest doesn't seem nearly as interested in talking about the blind man's past, and they cut to the chase,
what has done that he is confessing for?
Matt reveals its not what he has done, but what he is about to do.
"It doesn't work that way"
I guess not.
Our first action scene is following. A group of kidnappers are hustling a group of girls, loading them into a cargo freight, and mocking the girls as they scream and cry.
"Scream, go ahead, no one will hear your out here"
I'm pretty sure he took that line from The Princess Bride's Vicinni.
but lo, there is someone...well...watching is a funny word. listening, I suppose is a better one.
Perched a top a crate, the moon silhouetted behind him for optimum mood and look (don't tell me it just happened that way) is...a ninja? no, Matt Murdock himself, though I am pretty certain he stole his costume idea from a ninja action film.
At any rate, he hops down, and kicks major butt. And we get a sneak peak at his enhanced skills as he dodges a bullet by listening to the pistol click.
but we also get a sneak peak at something else.
Matt Murdock really hates bad guys. His mission isn't as grand as 'saving the girls' or 'saving the world' or 'saving the day'. He just wants to see these bad men punished. This is a man who truly loathes the evil man, and wants him to get his due punishment. whether that punishment is jail, or having his nose broken in.
and he doesn't stop throwing the hits even after the guys are downed. no, he stands there, beating them up even after the girls have ran away and Matt's opponent is downed.
I don't know how it looked when Jack let the devil out, but I'm pretty sure it was something like his son standing in the glow of car headlights, punching and hitting past the time to stop.
and then, opening credits. They really know how to hook ya, huh?
And, might I just say, the opening credit art is beautiful. more than beautiful. Something about all that oozy red, haunting imagery, it sets a mood. and I'm unashamed to admit that I now have my screenshot of the opening saved as my laptop screen saver.
what? its stunning.
|also it looks like a Weeping Angel and. they are my favorite.|
the show introduces us to a new character, Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), who seems to be both Matt's bff, and law partner. He's funny, and gives old ladies cigars. whats not to love? please dont turn out evil. its always the best friends. He is meeting up with an old cop buddy (use the term 'buddy' loosely. it seems like very much a one way friendship) and hands him a brown bag as a bribe (but calls it a gift to the cop's mom) to let him in on any good cases. Apparently business isnt so great for Foggy, and he wants some really unique cases. It seems like Foggy's 'buddy' isn't so keen on the idea, but takes the bag anyway, yelling over his shoulder as he walks away for Foggy to stop giving his mom cigars.
a brown paper bag of cigars.
Foggy and Matt meet up with a real estate agent, who is hounding the praises of an office. Stating that real estate is super cheap after "The Accident" I have to wonder, if she referencing the battle of New York where Loki tried to destroy the city and all that? if so, good job Marvel. I am so proud. I always want to see the after shock of the destruction in super hero movies, and this may be just what I ordered.
There is a bit of awkward shuffling, such as the real estate agent holding her hand out to shake Matt's hand, before realizing he cant see and failing terribly in covering up her oops, before they get down to the details.
the price of the office.
Foggy says no, its too expensive and they are starving lawyers.
Matt says yes, its perfect and they wont always be starving lawyers.
they take it.
I'm seeing how this friendship works.
Foggy says meaningful tidbits of wisdom, and Matt does what Foggy said not to anyway.
|now thats a smile if i ever saw one|
While Foggy is surely groaning over having such a daredevil of a partner, somewhere else in New York, a crime scene is unfolding.
A young woman, obviously traumatized, but holding a blood soaked knife, blood soaked knife and kneeling over a blood soaked man is arrested, even as she cries out of her innocence, insisting she didn't do it over and over. is it to convince herself, or the police officers?
She is Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), and Matt and Foggy (I need a gang name for these two. any suggestions?) are alerted to her case by Foggy's cop 'buddy', a bribe is a bribe, I guess.
Bustling into the room where the police have her handcuffed to the table, they introduce themselves as her lawyers, and shoo out the detectives.
Only for Page to ask who they are.
Oh, so you assumed yourselves as her lawyers without her even knowing? they are babes.
Matt, oh so sweetly, introduce them as "Foggy and Matt" and that makes him even cuter in my book.
But Page doesn't seem to trust them, and trusts them even less when they admit that she is their first client.
wow. way to win confidence from your client.
They get a little bit of information out of her, basic stuff, but its evident that Matt and his super senses sense more to the game.
(Daredevil's abilities include the ability to tell when someone is lying by listening to their heart rate).
again, Foggy thinks its a bad idea to take her case on, but Matt's interest has been peaked. he wants this case, even though Foggy protests. so they take it.
exhibit B of Foggy's cautious wisdom going in one of Matt's ears and out the other.
And then we are introduced to two new sets of characters.
Wesley Owen Welch (Toby Leonard Moore) and random Sandwich Man.
Apparently Sandwich man owes Wesley's boss some money, as as evil men go, Wesley threatens Sandwich man, by showing him a live video feed they have of his daughter. It frightens tthe now distressed Sandwich Dad, and he insists he will get the money to them.
but oh, it isnt the money that Wesley's boss wants.
its Sandwich's Dad's position.
what? what position? what new development is this?
|he's evil. but so fine looking|
Back at their newly purchased office, Foggy logically insists the case is a dead end, while Matt insists he can feel something off about the case. right, because you cant tell Foggy about your heightened skills and stuff. its practically super hero code.
Foggy gives him a rather meaningful look, before insisting that Matt doesn't always have the best judgement when beautiful women are involved.
"and how would I know is she's beautiful?" Matt questions, "I dunno," Foggy returns, "Its kinda spooky, actually". But, he does agree to back Matt on this case because, what are friends for? and they decide to requestion Miss Karen Page.
|let me touch your face|
back at the prison, however, something is happening.
Page is rudely awakened by a guard, only to have her sheets wrapped around her throat.
wait, so, the poor girl is framed, and now someone is attempting to murder her? some people just can't get a break. she struggles, putting up a good fight, before we finally get a look at her attacker's face as she reaches up to claw at him.
and, its Sandwich Dad?!? the regret on his face is evident, its practically drawn across his forehead, he even apologize for what he is doing, but Karen Page doesn't accept it, and claws at his eyes, (I had to look away. I have a weak stomach regarding eye injuries) and he releases her, giving Karen enough time to scream for help.
Apparently Karen's scream for help is heard, as the next scene is Matt and Foggy discussing getting Karen released from jail, as she has yet to be charged. Though, at this point, I have a very big question. What happened to Sandwich Dad? was he caught? did he run? I need some answers!
Matt and Foggy wave threat of lawsuit, as their client was nearly murdered in the jail, and its enough to scare the detective guys into granting their wishes, and getting Karen Page released, at least until she is charged.
But Karen isn't out of danger just because she is out of jail, and both of the boys (can I call them that? Foggy and Matt, 'The Boys') realize it. Karen isn't keen on staying where they can watch out for her, and the boys arent keen on letting her out of their sight. But, they set the matter aside, and ask to requestion her, because, hey, no time like the now.
As Matt suspected, there is a lot more to Karen's case then she first led on. She's caught right in the middle of a big corporate mess. She worked in Finance, and, a file of money that wasn't adding up was sent to her by accident. big dollars were being sent out to someone in the form of a pension fund. she spoke up, got shut down and shut up, and then, she, innocently, asked David, (the guy from earlier. you remember him. the guy she is suspected to have murdered) out for a drink. sadly, David was one of her coworkers, but worked in the law division of the company. the big guys up top got scared that it was a meeting to discuss what she knew...and...bad stuff happened. David dies, and Karen gets framed.
Matt decides to take Karen back to his place (Foggy rolls his eyes) and when they get to his apartment, they get comfy talking. she asks about his blindness, and he answers in a true but not true fashion. "Car accident" says he, "eh, its a bit more detailed than that" says I. but I guess, "spilled chemicals burns my eyes" just doesn't sound as cozy.
Then, its his turn to ask a personal question.
The file, that alerted her to the fraud, does she still have it?
Karen denies it.
Matt's super lie detector skillz kick in again.
also Matt has a super cool apartment.
Meanwhile, there's a meeting between a league of apparent villains going on, including Wesley, from before. They are arguing over the loss of cargo, 'cargo' that is revealed to have been the kidnapped girls from earlier. No one is buying the idea of a masked man in black, except, Wesley, whose interest perks up at the prospect of a vigilante attacking them. Get used to it baddie.
Why do I get the feeling that Wesley is loads more dangerous than all the other ones combined? Also, I can't decide if the Japanese guy's actor is really that bad, or if the character is just supposed to be that cray cray looking.
And don't you just love it when the female characters in a tv show do something so dumb that you want to smack them with a frying pan? Karen has been given every reason to stay in a safe place (though, I guess, she doesn't know Matt. he's just a blind lawyer guy to her). But, as soon as she thinks he's asleep, she sneaks out of his house, heading, thats right, back to her apartment aka scene of the crime.
apparently Matt was on to something when he asked about the file, since Karen is going back to retrieve it from the place where she hid it.
it would've been fine.
had her enemies not had a guy waiting for her.
thank goodness Matt Murdock isn't an idiot, and noticed Karen slipping out, and gets there just in time, again in his ninja garb, to save the day. But its not such an easy fight. this other guy has a knife, and their skills are pretty well matched. The fight goes back and forth, and until finally, they tumble out of a window together.
and its flash back time. its a short, but touching, father/son scene between Jack and a young Matt. Little is said, and even smaller happens, but you cant help but feel touched that, when Matt is knocked out and needs to bring himself back, this is where his mind goes. there is plenty of symbolism and you can just feel the respect he had, and still has, for his father.
his father's words echoing in his head, Matt gets up, bloodied and undoubtedly hurting. but beware the devil in the Murdock boys. for a moment, watching Matt get back up, you can forget that he can literally see 0 of what is coming at him, but once you do remember, its amazing. He could, I dare say, hold his own against Natasha Romanoff easily, and that, is an award not easily given.
its a hard fight, both men are hurt, and barely holding on, but finally, as all good guys do, Matt wins. and he stands to his feet, obviously spent and hurting, but he is the one who came out on top. But his fight was witnessed.
the camera pans, and Karen Page is revealed, a huge grin and obvious hero worship practically steaming off of her. At least she'll never suspect her blind lawyer of such combat moves.
Silently, Masked Matt snatches the USB file from attacker, and promises Karen that he will see to it that it gets put in the right hands.
She quickly protests, insisting that they can't trust anyone, not even the police. "You can't trust anyone"
"So we tell everyone" Matt replies.
when in doubt, spill information to the public. it always works. trust me.
the plan apparently works. as the next scene shows Wesley folding up a newspaper speaking of Union Allied (Karen's past employer. the bad guy. but not the baddest guy) and the reveal of its corruption.
Over an intercom system, he communicates to his boss, mysterious man, about this turn of events, and the assassin, apparently named Rance, could have been subdued, as he was apparently a professional.
Wesley says he is looking into it.
They are covering their tracks, being sure no one can trace any connection to Union Allied to them, when Mystery Boss Man asks about Karen's lawyers, "Nelson and Murdock"
Wesley says they are clean, but Boss Man wants a file on them anyway.
just in case.
yeah. of course.
Back at the cozy office of Nelson and Murdock, Karen Page has made dinner, to thank her heroes. they seem to have a cozy friendship of sorts, and Karen totally doesn't suspect that her blind lawyer could possibly be the mysterious masked man from before.
"shouldn't you be thanking that masked nut?" Foggy asks. smooth. you can almost see Matt mentally going, 'hey now'.
Karen insists he's not a nut, just a little odd, and agrees it is thanks to him that the truth came out.
To repay the debt that she owes to her dutiful lawyers, however, Karen offers to take on cleaning, which Matt smartly remarks, "Is our office dirty?"
They do hire her, however, and its rather cute, this little trio we are collecting. Though I have to wonder, just how long until everything hits the fan and blows up in their face?
|somebody gives these boys some money so they can afford a real sign|
The next scene, we witness Matt hitting the gym, as if pounding out his anger and frustrations, the inner demon can be a real beast to control.
but its not just that. The collection of end scenes, (since its Marvel. they can't just end on a happy note and you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside) are equally chilling, and anxiety evoking.
We see Sandwich Dad is found by his daughter, who was either targeted, or committed suicide, if the guilt of his actions weighed too harshly upon his heart. the poor man.
we see Rance in prison. but hung with his bed sheets (I have to consider that a murder. its too much like Karen's near death experiance).
We see the chinese bad lady (so help me I can not find her name anywhere) and what appears to be a drug factory? with blind workers? or do they just move like blind robots on purpose? Its creepy, ok.
Nobu (our weird eyed Japanese bad guy) seems to be planning something devious within Hells Kitchen, and the former CEO of Union Allied is seen, transferring all of his company's money to, himself, I suppose?
and for a final touch, a father is ripped from his car by the same kidnappers we met earlier, and his little boy is drug out, his daddy useless to help him as the man is beaten to a pulp. Forced to listen to his own son's screams for help until they drive away.
But its not over.
Hells Kitchen has a guardian angel dressed all in black like a cheap ninja action film star, and he can hear the cries of a little boy who is terrified and calling out for dad.
and its time for the angel to let his devil out.
Marvel knows how to write broken heroes, and write them very very well. Not just in spirit, of course. But their interest in physically disabled heroes is truly inspiring. Anyone can be a hero, if they have it in them to become so.
and Matt Murdock really seems like the sort of guy I would like to have as a hero any day.
I don't know what else I can say. If you are squeamish about fighting scenes that do show blood, I would stay away. There is a moment where Karen takes her shirt off in front of Matt when he gives her a new shirt to wear. He can't see her. doesn't mean he doesn't know what she is doing. Its a very //cricket cricket// moment of awkwardness.
All in all, I am very impressed.
Between Agents of Shield, and now this (and the upcoming Jessica Jones!), I am feeling very confident and proud in Marvel's ability to do well in anything they do. except give us a Black Widow movie. when are they going to do that anyway.
back on topic, Daredevil has much promise, and has already lived up to my expectations. I'm excited to see where Matt's friendship with Foggy and Karen go, and, when in all tarnation will Matt put aside that ninja garb for the red suit?
I'm really looking forward to the red suit.