Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Daredevil Recap: Speak of the Devil (1x09)

The episode opens with Matt--as the Man in the Mask--being punched in face, blood sloshing from his mouth. Another man--dressed in a red ninja outfit--tosses Matt across the room and lunges toward him. Matt quickly gets up and using his sticks fights the red ninja...

...until the ninja pulls out a long chain with a knife on the end, a kyoketsu-shoge, and whips it around.

Matt dodges, but he still gets hit, screaming as the blade slices through his skin. He continues to fight, grabbing the chain to rip away from the ninja. There's an up-close shot of the red ninja's face: it's Nobu.

-Cue credits-

Matt sits outside the church again, presumably waiting for the priest, Father Lantom, who is walking up the sidewalk.
Father Lantom: "I started to wonder if you'd ever show up again."
Matt: "Yeah, I've been busy."
Me: Yeah, busy cracking skulls and taking names.

Father Lantom offers to hear his confession, but instead, Matt asks about taking up his offer for coffee from a previous episode. So Father Lantom prepares their lattes for them. He asks Matt what's wrong, addressing him by his full first name: "Matthew." Matt is slightly surprised at this, but Father Lantom says it wasn't hard to figure out he's the son of Battlin' Jack Murdock. After a pause, Matt dives in:
Matt: "Do you believe in the Devil, Father?"
Father Lantom stares at Matt for a while. He asks Matt if he wants the short or long answer; Matt replies with, "Just the truth." Father Lantom them begins to tell his own story from his time in seminary--where he held a belief that the "devil" was just any adversary or antagonist in life--to when he served in the mission field in Rwanda. He tells about a man revered by all (Gahiji) and a soldier that met with this revered man, talked with him, and dragged him through the streets to kill him.
Father Lantom: "In that man who took Gahiji's life, I saw the Devil. So yes, Matthew, I believe he walks among us, taking many forms."
(I just love this entire conversation and you should really just go watch the episode and stop reading this. And I love that Father Lantom calls him "Matthew." My feels.)

Matt takes Father Lantom's words in before continuing the conversation. Then he asks, "What if you could have stopped him?" Father Lantom gives Matt a long, meaningful look before replying: "Stopped him how?"

Karen, Foggy, and Ben Urich meet in the office for Nelson and Murdock to discuss Fisk coming into the "light" through the press conference. They no longer have any dirt on him. He's clean. Matt arrives shortly after (seems to be a habit of his, arriving late) and is introduced to Ben by Karen.
Karen: "Matt Murdock, attorney at 'Why the Hell Bother.'"
Ben mentions the Mask visiting him and claiming he was framed for the murder of Detective Blake (among other things). Foggy isn't too impressed.
Foggy: "I could say I'm Captain America, but that doesn't put wings on my head."

Ben hands Karen a copy of everything the Mask has uncovered. However, they can't print it without corroboration, which would be hearsay. They also mention that Hoffman has fallen off the grid (ooh, sounds suspicious). Karen is confident there's evidence somewhere (Narnia?) on Fisk. Through their discussion, they connect Fisk to Confederate Global, which is connected to Westmeyer-Holt Contracting, which is connected to Armand Tully.
Karen: "I'd take the Devil of Hell's Kitchen over Fisk any day. Plus he kicks ass."
Matt tries to hide a grin.

Wesley and Fisk stand in a mysteriously dark building, a warehouse or parking garage or some other remote location, looking over city plans for Hell's Kitchen. They discuss business, Detective Hoffman's disappearance (even from Fisk), and plenty of other important, confidential things when Nobu arrives, uninvited (to the super secret bad boy club). He's clearly upset.

Nobu pulls out a city plan of his own--one with a big Japanese character over a specific city block. He reminds Fisk he was promised this city block. Fisk mentions there's a tenant building that's proving to be troublesome in that area (ah, guess which one that is?). Nobu insists on this specific block, so Fisk brokers a deal with Nobu: get rid of the Man in the Mask as payment for taking care of the problems in the city block. Nobu agrees (duh-duh-DUN!).

Foggy thinks Tully is a dead end because of some things Marci said: Tully is really on vacation on some island. They juggle all the options, using some pretty big lawyer jargon, but Tully is truly a dead end for the case. Just then, Mrs. Cardenas arrives and Foggy tries to speak in Spanish like the adorable dork he is. Instead of saying something bright, he asks her where the library is. (Oh, Foggy Bear, never change!)

Mrs. Cardenas says her neighbors are thinking of taking the deal. Foggy insists she stay strong and fight. Between Foggy and Karen, they convince Mrs. Cardenas to fight for her casa. She believes she will be able to convince some--enough--of her neighbors to refuse the deal.

Matt, however, disagrees with this action because Fisk won't let the tenant go so easily. He gets a little angry and tells them they don't know who they are dealing with here. But he quickly cools and thinks through for a plan of action.
Matt: "Basic tenet of both law and war, know your enemy."
Foggy: "Thank you, Sun Tzu. What does that actually mean?"
Matt: "It means we keep digging."
Matt tells them to look for the truth but to do it quietly. He saunters off to figure out who the woman at the press conference was, the woman with Fisk: Vanessa Marianna.
Matt: "Maybe it's time I invested in some art."
Matt arrives at the art gallery--clearly out of place. He uses his super senses to take in the room from the guards at the doors to the people taking in the art. Vanessa notices him and quickly comes to his side, asking if he needs help. He introduces himself and says he's been told his apartment looks a little stark. They banter back and forth with a cute conversation until Vanessa pulls him over to one of her favorite pieces. Matt asks her describe it.
Vanessa: "Imagine a sea of tonal reds, the colors of anger, of rage, but also the colors of the heart, of love, of home..."
(Well, I sense something significant in this description. Could it be describing Fisk? Or Matt?)

He jumps right into asking about a man in her life and she says:
Vanessa: "Well, you could always ask him yourself."

In stunning, slow motion cinematography, Matt spins to face Fisk, who is entering through the doors. Fisk greets Vanessa, his voice ringing out in the gallery. Vanessa introduces them, telling Fisk about Matt's interest in art. Fisk tells Matt to buy whatever the lady tells him. Matt mentions the tenant case and Fisk discusses the case until Vanessa has remind him that Matt is a customer, not a donor. Fisk apologizes for getting carried away.
Fisk: "The city and its future, seeing Hell's Kitchen to its full potential, is very important to me."
Matt: "I feel the same."
Then, Matt abruptly leaves (another habit of his?), apparently getting what he came for.

Matt meets Father Lantom again, this time in the sanctuary. They discuss Matt's "Devil." Matt admits he learned the Devil has someone who loves him, who would mourn for his loss.
Father Lantom: "Even Lucifer was once an angel. It's why judgment and vengeance are best left to God."
Father Lantom knows Matt doesn't want to murder anyone, which surprises Matt. But Father Lantom simply states Matt wouldn't be there to get advice otherwise.
Matt: "I know my soul is damned if I take his life. But if I stand idle, if I let him consume this city, all the people that will suffer and die--"
Father Lantom: "Are you struggling with the fact that you don't want to kill this man but have to? Or that you don't have to kill him but want to?"

Father Lantom quotes one of the Proverbs. Matt says the righteous have a duty to stand up against the wicked. Father Lantom, however, says the verse could mean an atrocious act--like taking a life--will only spread evil to friends, to the community, to the city. He tells Matt maybe he visited the woman in order to find a reason not kill his "Devil."

Matt returns to the office. Karen tells him about the work she and Foggy have been doing. They identified the two men that jumped them the other night. They're connected to Westmeyer-Holt Contracting. They've disappeared too. In addition, Karen and Foggy did something else, something related to "the dream." It's a sign for Nelson and Murdock, embossed so Matt can feel the letters.

Me: It's so-so beautiful. *drowns in brotp feels*

Karen answers the phone and the joy dissipates from the room (why? Curse you, dark world!). It's about Mrs. Cardenas: she's dead.

Karen and Foggy are a mess of tears as they identify the body. She was killed by multiple stab wounds in an apparent robbery. A close-up shot shows Matt's hands tightening around his cane. (Someone's gonna get it!)

The scene changes back to the fight with the red ninja--Nobu.  He's facing down Matt. They fight. Lots of cool moves, some flips, some tossing people around, exciting stuff really. The kyoketsu-shoge hits a metal barrel, which spills out some kind of liquid. Nobu swings it around and slices into Matt again.

Nobu: "You are a worthy opponent. It's an honor to claim your life."
Matt, sporting multiple wounds, tries to keep going, but it's obvious the fight is taking a toll on him. Nobu sticks the kyoketsu-shoge into Matt's side and drags him across the warehouse floor.

(Dude, why are there so many empty buildings in Hell's Kitchen to fight in?? Come on, Fisk. You wanna save this city: get rid of the shady corners!)

Returning to earlier events, the three--Matt, Karen, Foggy--visit their favorite bar to drink and discuss the death of Mrs. Cardenas. Matt suggests that Mrs. Cardenas' death wasn't some random act of violent, but instead, it might have been purposefully executed.
Foggy: "Speak of the Devil."
Foggy reacts to Fisk appearing in another press conference on TV. This time he's being questioned about the death of Mrs. Cardenas. Fisk says the tragedy of Mrs. Cardenas is a "symptom of a larger disease" that has infected the city. This disease started with the Man in the Mask. Karen is outraged by Fisk's finger-pointing.
Karen: "Let's pray the Mask gets his hand on him. Knock his goddamn head off." 
Matt, who is very calm and collected during all of this, asks Karen if she's religious. She says no and asks him. He admits he's Catholic (which we can obviously determine by his draw to confession and the church).
Karen: "If there's a God and if he cares at all about any of us, Fisk will get what he deserves. You have to believe that."
Matt: "I do."

And then he leaves. He returns to his apartment and pulls out a trunk from his closet. Inside are mementos from his dad and underneath, his Mask outfit. He stares at the costume for a long moment, almost as if he's a war with himself (or his faith?). Then he makes the Sign of the Cross before he pulls out the outfit.

(Seriously, the struggle of Matt Murdock with his faith will be the death of me.)

He ends up in an alley doing what he does best: cracking skulls and taking names--or at least taking information. He's asking about a man--the one who is presumed to have killed Mrs. Cardenas (though they haven't caught him yet). He learns his whereabouts and slips into what looks like an apartment room. It's dark and bare, and a guy is  "shooting" himself up with some kind of drug.

Matt discovers Mrs. Cardenas' purse in the apartment. He grabs the guy and interrogates him. The man claims he didn't know who "they" were, only that they gave him a job. He says he didn't want to do it, but he was in a bad spot, he needed his fix. But he does tell Matt where they took him. Matt threatens the man into turning himself in before disappearing into the night (like the good Devil he is).

Matt goes to the warehouse on the docks. He finds the city plans spread across the table, but since he can't see them, it's not clear if he knows what they are simply by running his fingers over the paper. He walks around the room, apparently noticing something amiss.
Matt: "I didn't come here for you."
Nobu: "But I am the one you have found."
A voice replies from somewhere in the dark. Then Nobu--dressed in the red ninja outfit--drops in. They discuss the incident at the docks with Black Sky. Nobu is clearly not happy about that encounter. Matt also learns Mrs. Cardenas was killed in order to lead him, the Mask, to the warehouse for a duel, to meet Nobu.
Nobu: "You're still a warrior, deserving of a warrior's death."
Matt: "I  came for Fisk, I guess I'll settle for you."
They fight. (Whoooohooo! Exciting ninja moves and awesome slow-motion fight sequences. YES!)

Foggy and Karen are drunk out of their minds at the bar. Foggy is losing it about Mrs. Cardenas.
Foggy: "What are we supposed to do against somebody that owns everything? Everyone?"
Karen: "The only thing you can. You make them pay."
The scene returns to Matt being dragged across the floor by Nobu's kyoketsu-shoge. Somehow, he still manages to get up and slam Nobu back against the wall of barrels. The spilled liquid from the barrels has created a small puddle under Nobu's feet.
Nobu: "You have fought well. It is... not enough."
As Nobu closes in, the scene gets messy. It's hard to tell whether Nobu thrust his kyoketsu-shoge at Matt again and Matt deflected it with his sticks, or if Matt tossed his sticks into the air. Either way, an old light fixture above them is hit and sparks rain down around Nobu, lighting the liquid and Nobu on fire. However, he still advances toward Matt with a running leap. Matt dodges, and Nobu falls to the floor. He lies in an unmoving heap of flames.

Just then, Fisk arrives with his posse.
Fisk: "Thank you. Nobu was becoming an issue."
Matt: "You wanted me to do this."
Fisk: "In a perfect world, you would have taken each other out. But it isn't a perfect world, is it?"
(Well, well, Fisk. I see how you are about your friends. For the Russians, now Nobu. Watch out, Madam Gao.)

Fisk mentions everybody has character flaws. And the Mask's is for children, women... the elderly. Fisk had Mrs. Cardenas killed to irritate Matt, to get him to come running.
Matt: "I'm... gonna kill you."
Fisk: "Take your shot."

Matt, still tired and worn thin by his fight with Nobu, lunges for Fisk. He's weak and Fisk is massive. Matt is easily battered to the ground. Fisk hits him over and over and over until Matt's vision grows dim. Fisk lifts him by the throat and smashes him into the table. Squirming and bleeding, Matt lies among the city plans. Fisk wipes blood from his face.
Fisk: "It's disappointing."

He turns to leave, telling Wesley to finish him off. Wesley aims a gun toward Matt, but Matt flings something--his sticks?--and nicks Wesley's hand. The gun goes off but misses Matt, who is up on his feet and skidding away. He smashes through a window and falls to the waters below.

Fisk and his posse approach the window, but there's no sign of the Mask. He has disappeared into the night, again. Fisk orders for their men on the docks to be on the lookout. If they see the Devil, they should shoot him on sight. He also tells Wesley to let Nobu burn.

Foggy--drunk and mourning--goes to Matt's door. He bangs on the door and yells incoherent speech about getting vengeance. There's an odd banging sound from the inside of Matt's apartment. Foggy calls for Matt, but there's no answer. He finds another way in (through the roof?) and walks into the dark apartment.
Foggy: "Matt? It's me. I heard a crash. Not the fun, sexy-time king but more of the I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-up variety." 
He walks down the steps, sees tipped-over furniture, and grabs Matt's cane to defend himself with. A shadow appears through a lit doorway. It's the Mask. He walks in slowly, groaning and bleeding.
Foggy: "Where's Matt? What'd you do to him?"
The Mask falls to the floor and lies still. Light from the window (moonlight? city lights?) shines down on the Mask's face, which makes Foggy pause. He knows that face. He steps toward the Mask and kneels down. Then, Foggy pulls off the Mask's mask. He reels back, horrified.
Foggy: "Matt????"

-Cue credits.-

In other Netflix news, Marvel recently released a premiere date trailer for the Netflix show Marvel's Jessica Jones. It's definitely worth a watch. This past weekend, Netflix released a short teaser of the show, where we get our first glimpse of Jessica Jones and her life:

Have you seen this episode of Daredevil? What did you think? Are you going to watch Jessica Jones when it released in November?


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