Trigger warning for violence and drug-use.
The episode opens with Karen standing at the edge of the river. She pulls the gun--the one she shot Wesley with--out of her purse and drops it into the water below. The camera pans to show it sink to the watery riverbed. (Seriously, this cinematography is so pretty.) She returns home, obviously still shaken from the entire ordeal of the night. She pulls out a bottle of alcohol and sinks to the floor of the kitchen. She drinks the bottle, pausing only to let out sobs. She takes a shower, scrubbing every inch of her skin before falling into another fit of sobbing. She gets out and looks at her reflection in the mirror before grabbing the bottle again.
Next, she is lying in bed, asleep. She wakes with a gasp and reaches for the bottle. It's empty. She goes to the kitchen, gets another drink from the fridge, and turns to see Fisk standing in the shadows of her apartment. (Wait, what?)
Fisk: "It's a difficult thing, isn't it? Taking a life, feeling of the weight and responsibility of all the years the person you've murdered has lived.He steps toward her, continuing his speech by mentioning a person's moments, his or her dreams, everything gone because of you. Then he says,
Fisk: "It gets easier, the more you do it."He lunges for her, grabbing her by the head and squeezing. She screams--only to wake up, in her bed, alone. She'd only been dreaming.
Karen goes to the office, alone. She tries to hold herself together, to get some work done, but it doesn't work. She goes to the window, looking out on the city, looking at her reflection. Someone approaches from behind, scaring her. It's only Foggy. (Seriously, does anybody in this city know how to make an announcement before they walk in a room instead of being all mysterious and quiet???)
Foggy: "It's okay. It's just me... the dick."Foggy tries to ask her what's up, why she's so jumpy, but she shuts his questions down. He apologizes for what is happening between him and Matt. He thinks their problems are bleeding into Karen's life. She says she's had a rough night (Yeah, no kidding). She asks him if he's coming back to work, but he dodges the question. She admits she doesn't want to be there, at the office, alone. Foggy claims he'll help out with Fisk still; he asks for the stuff from the Man in the Mask, stumbling over the name (Oh, Foggy Bear). Karen asks if he doesn't think the man in the mask is a terrorist anymore.
Foggy: "I don't understand what he is. But no, I don't think he's a terrorist."(My heart, which is already broken, is shattering even more.)
He promises he'll be around, that she can call him at any time and he will pick up. He tells her to ease off on the booze before opening the door. He stops because Matt is standing there. They awkwardly stare at each other (well, sort of) in silence before Matt moves to the side to give Foggy room to leave. He does, without a second glance at Matt. (There goes my heart. Again.)
Matt enters the office and asks Karen what she's doing there at this time of day. (Is it late? Is it early? Does anybody even have sleep schedule anymore?) She says she couldn't sleep. Then, Matt apologizes.
Karen: "For what?"Karen tries to talk about Foggy, but Matt dodges it (seems to be a pattern around here), blaming Foggy for the silent treatment. Karen wonders if she made a mistake coming to work there. Matt says she can leave if she wants, but Karen says no.
Matt: "All of it, pretty much."
Karen: "You and Foggy, you're the only good things in my life right now."Matt asks if something happened. After a long pause, she says yes: the world fell apart. Matt doesn't look convinced.
Fisk, still at the hospital, checks his phone. He's clearly disappointed when he finds no messages. Behind him, Vanessa wakes up, calling his name. He turns in a flurry and tells her he'll go get the doctor. She stops him by asking why she's there. Fisk tells her about the benefit, but he says it was his fault--that he should have known someone would try to get to him. He apologizes that she got in the middle of the crossfire. (It's kind of sweet really. Until you remember, he's a homicidal maniac.)
Vanessa: "Someone tries to kill you and you're the one apologizing?"He tells her he's planned for her to leave the country as soon as she's allowed to be moved, for her protection. She asks if he's going to come with her. He doesn't have to tell her he's not. She says she'd rather stay where she's at. He says he needs to keep her safe.
Fisk: "You almost died, Vanessa, because of me, because of who I am."
Vanessa: "I knew being with you would be... complicated. I made that choice. One I still make."She tells him to find who did this and make the understand they could never take him away from her. One of the guards knocks on the door, but Fisk refuses. Vanessa tells him to go, she won't leave. He promises to make them suffer for what they've done. Vanessa says she expected nothing less. (Oooh, Vanessa has a little bad girl in her, eh? Not just the prestigious artist, is she?)
Fisk leaves and the guard says they've found "him" (Wesley?). Fisk asks where.
The scene cuts to Fisk standing the warehouse (Again with the plethora of abandoned buildings in this city just waiting for dangerous things to occur). The beautiful cinematography of this show depicts Fisk standing in the background of the shot with the table and Wesley's arm slumped in the foreground. It's stunning; you can feel the shock of Fisk seeing Wesley's body. Owlsley arrives in a flurry of noise and name calling.
Fisk: "Look at what they did, Leland. Look at what they did to him."The guard explains what Wesley did the night before: he got a call, took his gun and keys, and left. Fisk asks if the guard let Wesley leave alone. The guard says Wesley ordered him to stay. Fisk grabs the man and begins to punch him over and over, while Owlsley tries to calm him down. (Somebody definitely has anger management issues.)
Fisk: "He's my friend. He's... my... friend."(Ouch, I should not be feeling sympathy for this man, but dang, this moment hurts!)
Owlsley tries to tell Fisk the man did what he was told. But the guard is unconscious. Fisk orders the other guards to clean him up. He walks over to Wesley's body and sits down next to him at the table. He asks Owlsley about Nobu's accounts; but they're fine. He asks about Gao, but Owlsley says he thinks it was the Japanese. Fisk tells him to go.
Owlsley: "Okay. But whatever war you're thinking about starting, don't lose sight of the end game."He says they're close to being able to tear down Hell's Kitchen and start building a better tomorrow. Fisk orders Owlsley to find out who did this--to Vanessa, to Wesley. Owlsely says he'll look into it. He leaves. Fisk reaches over and kisses Wesley's forehead. He gets Wesley's phone out of his suit jacket, checking for the last call he took. It was from his mother.
Ben Urich leaves work only to meet the Man in the Mask at his car. The Mask says he needs information.
Ben: Somebody got a piece of you?The Mask hands Ben something--a small white slip with a red marking on it. Ben says he's seen this symbol around the city: heroin, "pure like you've never seen it." It's called Steel Serpent. The Mask says the man who killed Ms. Cardenas had this symbol on him. The Russians, before dying, said Fisk arranged access for the Chinese and their drugs to get through. Ben asks if he's planning to go after the triads. The Mask says Fisk became the distribution, to make money. If they knock out the triads, it'll shake Fisk enough to open a way to knock him over. Ben says he's working on something that might help, but the Mask says he wants Ben to keep his head down until it's over.
Matt: "We went the distance, it's all that matters."
Ben: "'Went the distance," huh? Sound like a boxer."
Ben: "My head's fine where it's at."Ben tells the Mask the person at the top of the Chinese is a woman but he doesn't know who she is or where she is. The Mask mentions the blind Chinese guy from the Russians' cab--someone, perhaps, connected. Ben says he's seen people like that all over the city: blind Chinese people with backpacks, probably trafficking drugs.
Matt: "Oh, yeah? Vladimir's brother probably thought the same."
Ben: "Point taken."
Ben: "Would make sense. Nobody'd look at a blind man twice."(I understood that reference.)
Ben tells the Mask where he's seen the blind Chinese people, though it's been awhile. Ben says it was during the day, during rush hour--the Mask will stick out in that outfit. The Mask says he'll dress down. Ben says he should get a better outfit if he's going to keep running around. The Mask says he's working on it.
Matt: "Watch your back, Ben. Fisk is animal...and we're backing him into a corner."Foggy meets Marci at Josie's. They banter about drinks and the "petri dish" of a bar. Foggy tells her he needs her help. He tells her about the tenet case and how many other buildings were targeted across Hell's Kitchen. He tells her it was all Fisk. She freaks, saying Fisk is her client, she could get fired for just sitting in the bar. But Foggy convinces her to stay and just read over what he has.
Ben returns to his apartment to find Karen waiting (and acting suspicious).
Ben: "Everybody's gotta be sneaking around tonight?"(This is what I'm saying!)
Karen asks why he hasn't published the story about Fisk yet. Then she tells him she thinks they know they found Fisk's mother. Ben invites her inside and tells her he's been trying to find a second source--someone who used to know Rigoletto back in the day. If they find a connection, they can prove a piece of her story. He asks how she knows they might know. She says it's just a feeling. He tells her he'll write what he has and send it to his editor in the morning.
Foggy and Marci discuss the information he has. He admits he got some of it from the "Devil of Hell's Kitchen." She kind of freaks out again, but Foggy says it wasn't him who did the bad stuff to the city: it was Fisk. He asks if anything with Fisk felt wrong; then, he reminds her about how much she used to care before money gave her purpose. He warns her that Fisk and Owlsley will get what's coming to them--and Landman and Zack will have to answer for it too.
Foggy: "This is your chance to get out in the front of that. And to take your soul back."Matt--in standard clothes--waits on the street corner Ben told him about, listening. He hears car horns, dogs panting, people breathing, bike wheels cycling, and... a cane tapping the ground. (I love the cinematography of this show). He follows the cane tapper at a respectable distance.
A car--playing classical music--stops, and the car door opens. The blind person gets in. The car begins to drive away. Matt turns down an alley, ditches the cane, and hardcore parkour jumps up a fire escape and makes his way to the roof. He races up and down buildings, leaping across rooftops to follow the car.
(I am impressed by his acrobatic skills. Can we have an Avengers circus with him and Cap doing acrobatics?)
He's led to a building where guards stand outside the door of a warehouse. After the guards do a special knock code, the blind lady is let inside.
Fisk meets with Marlene in a car. He's taking her away from the nursing home, sending her to Italy. She doesn't want to leave, though. Fisk insists. She relapses, so Fisk tries to ask her about Wesley... again. But she relapses again, and he doesn't get an answer.
Karen, at the office, answers her phone. It's Ben. His editor isn't in yet. Her phone beeps; it's Matt. She takes it. Matt's wounds have opened again. He patches them up as he tells Karen he might be on something. He tells her, and Foggy, to lay low until he knows more. He wants them to be safe.
Ben and Editor have a talk--in the middle of The Bulletin newsroom. The editor says they can't print the article because there's no follow-up, no solid proof. The editor suspends Ben, so Ben asks:
Ben: "How much is he paying you?"He says ever since Union Allied, he can't get a real story about the city printed. Fisk must be paying someone off to keep it that way. The editor doesn't confirm or deny, but he's not happy by that accusation. He tells Ben he can't print Ben's stories because they're just not good. Then, he fires Ben.
(Poor Ben. He doesn't deserve all this.)
Madam Gao walks through her workers in the warehouse, looking quite pleased with their work. But there's something eerie about the workers. All of them are blind, moving methodically in their work (presumably the heroin for distribution), like human robots. Gao heads up a staircase.
The guard by the door, inside the warehouse, is playing some kind of game on his phone when he hears a thud outside the door. He calls out in Mandarin, but there's no response. Then, the "knocking" code is beat against the door. The guard opens the door, speaking Mandarin, and he disappears beyond the threshold. There's another thud and a groan. Matt--as the Mask--walks in the door.
The guard watching the workers notices the doorman is gone, so he walks over, calling out in Mandarin. Once he steps into the shadows of the warehouse, there are a few thuds and the man groans. His gun slides out across the floor toward the workers' tables. The Mask steps out of the shadows. The workers continue their methodical movements even as Matt wanders between them. One workers even passes by him without a second (or first) glance.
Then Gao appears at the top of the staircase loft. She begins to shout in Mandarin. The workers stop and turn together toward her. Gao yells something else and points toward Matt. The workers crowd Matt, pulling at him in a flurry of noise and movement. He tells them he's trying to help them, but they don't hear him.
Fisk meets with Owlsley near the water. Owlsley says the Japanese are clean.
Owlsley: "Maybe this really was the nut in the mask."Fisk tells his guard, the one he beat up earlier in the episode, to double "the offer" on the streets until someone comes forward with information. Fisk's phone rings and he answers, saying "he" can't come to the phone right now (who?). To Owlsley's dismay, Fisk says he has to go, and without further comment, he gets in his car and is driven away.
Fisk: "Poison and guns aren't the way he operates."
Owlsley: "Piss a guy off enough, he'll start doing whatever it takes."
Gao with two guards hobbles down to the floor of the warehouse. The Mask jumps from above (How did he escape from the mob?) to knock out one of the guards. He dodges the bullets of the other and in a crazy acrobatic move (Seriously, Avengers circus, anybody?) knocks that guard out too.
The bullets have penetrated a metal cylinder full of flammable liquid. It catches fire from the spark of the bullets ricocheting off the floor. The Mask approaches Gao and asks if she took those people's eyes.
Gao: "No, they blinded themselves."He steps closer, demanding she tell him about Fisk. But Gao isn't so feeble as she looks. She yells and lunges at him, which sends Matt sliding across the floor. (What?!) He gets up, but Gao is gone.
Matt: "Why would they do that?"
Gao: "Because they have faith."
Matt: "In you and your drugs?"
Gao: "In something beyond the distractions of your world. You have taken that away from them. Now, they will have nothing."
More of the flammable cylinders catch fire. There are small explosions across the warehouse. Matt grabs one of the guards' guns and shoots the water pipes above the workers. He tells the guards to get the people out of there. They begin to stumble their way out the door as the police and fire department arrive. Matt makes his getaway. But a police officer finds him in a back alley. He points the gun at Matt.
Matt lifts his hands to his head as the officer approaches. The officer asks if he's the guy--the one who shot the cops, killed Detective Blake. In a flash, Matt grabs the guy and pins him down. He tells the officer he didn't shoot the cops, he didn't do anything, that someone else did. Fisk did. He tells him that Fisk has people everywhere doing what he wants, even inside the precinct.
Matt: "I'm not the bad guy."(Well, you're not acting like the good guy either, Batman.)
Another police car arrives as back up, but by the time they leave the car, the Mask is gone, melted into the shadows of the city.
Owlsley meets with Gao in a mysterious location overlooking the city. She explains she was delayed by an incident. Owlsley learns she speaks English.
Gao: "The time for illusions is past."He asks about the sirens in the background, and she says the Man in the Mask and that the heroin has been lost to flames. She says the heroin hadn't been her interest anyways, only a convenience that is no longer needed now. Owlsley says he doesn't care what she does.
Owlsley: "If Fisk finds out what we did... this isn't going to matter."(Gasp! Gao and Owlsley poisoned Vanessa! Those punks!)
Gao: "Wilson suspects?"
Owlsley: "Not yet but that could change."
Gao: "We knew the risk, and the reward, if his woman were to be removed as a distraction."
Owlsley discusses Wesley, but Gao says she didn't kill him. She says they must adapt to the turns of the city. She says she will return to her home to contemplate the future.
Owlsley: "Home? China?"(Ummm... who exactly is Madam Gao?)
Gao: "It is a considerable distance farther. We shall not speak again."
She leaves Owlsley to monologue by himself--clearly having no idea what he should do next.
Ben brings Doris a vase of flowers.
Doris: "Those for me?"(These two are so adorable, I can't.)
Ben: "Till I get a better girl."
Doris: "You can't get a better girl."
Ben: "Don't I know it."
He tells her they should go to Paris like they've always talked about. She asks if they want to run away together or just run away. She says she knows there is a story he needs to tell eating at him. (I seriously love her continual support and encouragement of Ben's work. Best wife ever.) He tells her about the scuffle with the editor and about losing his job. Doris is optimistic about everything--he doesn't need the editor or the paper, just the story. She says he should go tell it.
Doris; "The world needs Ben Urich to tell the truth... any way he can."
Ben calls Karen and tells her he lost his job. She apologizes, but he says don't worry about it, The Bulletin has changed. He tells her he might start a blog to write about all of it tonight. Karen gets of the phone and looks relieved. Until someone at the door begins to rattle the doorknob.
But it's only Matt. She lets him in (looks like she finally locked the door). He tells her she should go home.
Karen: "Is this what we are now? Three people who don't even talk to each other?"Matt says he thought he didn't. He tells her his night has been pretty bad, sinking deeper than he thought possible.
Matt: "I know this guy, we were close once. He told me if I, uh, I'd have to push the people that I care about away if I wanted to be effective at what I do."
Karen: "Seems like you listened."
Matt: "I can't do this alone. I can't take another step."He starts to cry. (Oh, Matt.) Karen comes over and hugs him.
Karen: "You're not alone, Matt. You never were."
Ben returns home to a dark apartment. He looks through his belongings from the office before going to his desk. He looks down at a framed photo of himself and Doris before he begins to type on his computer. The camera pans behind his shoulder. Fisk sits in the shadows of the apartment. (No. No. No. No. NO. NO!) He speaks, which jolts Ben from his writing.
Fisk: "I've made mistakes in the years since I was a boy. I try to learn from them, but it isn't always enough."Ben tells him to leave. Fisk says he will but he wants to have a conversation first, off the record. Ben says he won't believe anything he has to say. Fisk promises to tell the truth, but it's up to Ben to believe or not. So Ben agrees and tells Fisk to talk. Fisk says he wants to apologize for thinking Ben's days of being relevant were past. Ben accepts his apology and tells him to leave again.
But Fisk continues. He admits he took precautions after Ben's article on Union Allied (so the editor is a stinking punk). He asks Ben if posting on the internet will change anything.
Ben: "People seek the truth... no matter where they find it."(Fisk definitely has some good points here.)
Fisk: "That may have been the case when you and I were young. But this world is preoccupied with celebrity weddings and videos of cats. But complicated issues... issues that matter... they take too much focus. They take too much time away from texting and the thousand channels on the satellite dish."
Ben: "Guess I have more faith in humanity."
Fisk: "Ah, so did Christ, if I recall."
Fisk says he'll go, but one more thing first. He asks Ben if he spoke to his mother alone. Ben realizes someone from The Bulletin ratted him out. Ben tells Fisk he was alone. Fisk asks about Wesley, but Ben is just as surprised. Fisk didn't think it was him (Still one mystery unsolved, eh, Fisk?) Fisk tells Ben he admires his principle and conviction.
Fisk: "But you went after my mother. That's not something I can forgive."Ben says he's been threatened before over the years. It's nothing new to him. But Fisk changes in that moment. He voice gets gruff, his face loses its composure.
Fisk: "But this is my mother that you brought into this, Mr. Urich. My mother! So I am not here to threaten you... I'm here to kill you."Fisk lunges for Ben and grabs him by the neck. He slams Ben to the floor and strangles him to death, yelling like the Hulk the entire time, until Ben goes limp.
He stands over Ben's dead body, breathing heavily. He gets up and walks out, stepping on the now-broken frame photo of Ben and Doris.
Have you seen this episode of Daredevil? What did you think?