Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Daredevil Recap: Rabbit in a Snowstorm (1x03)

Episode two of Marvel’s Daredevil found Matt Murdock lying in a dumpster with serious wounds. However, our masked “devil” still managed to save the day and a boy’s life. But can Matt be equally successful in the courtroom as he is on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen? Let’s find out in this recap of episode three: “Rabbit in a Snowstorm.”

The scene opens up with a close up shot of a bowling ball. Bowling alley sounds slowly roll in to fill the empty silence. Can we pause for half a moment to admire the beautiful cinematography of this show?
Okay, let’s continue. A man walks into a closed bowling alley (no, this isn’t a joke). He throws around some words, throws out a gun that jams, and throws the guy to the ground, hitting him over the head with a bowling ball repeatedly until his face is speckled in blood and the victim is presumably dead (Um. What? Icky. Icky.) The man hides his jammed gun under the pinball machine. The police rush in—yelling for “hands up”—but the man is already on his knees with his hands over his head, and he says:
“I want a lawyer.”
(In the words of Sam Wilson, “I know a guy” or two guys, really.)

So wait. What?

After the lovely opening credits—don’t you just love the music that goes with it elegant but mysterious, the perfect blend of Matt Murdock’s face—the camera opens on, ah yes, a church. More specifically, a church near a bench where Matt lounges. The priest from episode one waltzes around the corner, mentions Matt being the Murdock boy, and promptly sits down. He offers Matt a cup of coffee and the hint of resting his mind with another confession (strictly confidential, of course). Matt refuses, saying “maybe another time,” and heads off down the street. The priest offers again, but Matt turns him down.

It’s like you can physically see Matt’s struggle of faith, of his trying to balance his faith with his nighttime escapades of justice. The agony of my heart.

A new scene opens up introducing a new character—(the best) news reporter Ben Urich. He meets with a man on the seaside to discuss something of high importance—someone who died because he did something to make someone mad (sorry, the names just go confusing). But they do mention the Russians… and someone beating them hard. I sense somehow this will connect to our masked hero (after all, this is his show).

They continue their conversation until it turns dark…
“Used to be you kill a man, you’d send his wife flowers. Now you just sent the wife with him… Some fights just get you bloody.”
Translation: leave it be. By the look on Ben’s face, I don’t think he’s giving up just yet.

In the firm office of Nelson and Murdock, Foggy arrives and brings a few laughs with him. Then Matt walks in… with his obviously battered face. He passes it off as “not paying attention.” Foggy thinks he should get a dog; Matt doesn’t agree. (Sorry, let’s reserve the dogs for Clint Barton, please. Side note: let’s get Clint Barton a cameo as well, please. Deaf guy and blind guy teaming up? Sign me up!)

Then… there’s a knock at the door.

Mr. Fancy Pants from the previous episode arrives. He mentions his employer and a case for them to take care of. There’s lots of talking, talking, talking (is this whole episode conversations? Where is the action? Where is the beating up guys? Where is the fighting?). When he hands them a check, Foggy is won over by how many zeroes there are. But by the way Matt acts, it's obvious he doesn’t like him. Not one bit.
"We’re particular about our clientele."
Fancy Pants makes a dig toward Karen working for them after she’d been arrested for murder and cleared by them.

Uh-oh. Wrongo, dude.

Matt doesn’t hold back… with his words. He confronts Fancy Pants, wonders out loud how he could have known so much about them, why he would choose them for a case, etc. However, Foggy maneuvers them to agree to at least look over a case first. They’ve got thirty-eight minutes to review and meet up at the precinct to meet their new client. Fancy Pants exits, which leaves Matt and Foggy alone to argue:
“What is your problem?"
“He wouldn’t even give us his name, Foggy."
“You wouldn’t care if you could see the zeroes on this check."
“Yeah, well maybe you would if you couldn’t."
Matt storms out of the office, leaving Foggy to call after him. Matt follows Fancy Pants down the street by listening for the ticking of Fancy’s watch. (The cinematography, the slow motion sound effect of the clicking watch, I love this show! It’s just marvelous how they show Matt’s abilities.) Fancy gets into a car—says “it’s taken care of”—and rides away.All we see of who he's speaking to is the cuff links of a fancy suit. Hmmm...

Camera returns to Matt, who reaches into his suit jacket. A red splotch spreading on his white shirt is partially hidden by his hand. Matt bby…nooo.

Foggy gets to the precinct first and talks to the guilty man, Mr. Healy. You know, the guy who bashed the other guy in the head with a bowling ball. He says the man he killed threatened his life.
“How? Verbally? Physically?"
“Which sounds better?"
“Excuse me?"
“They threatened me both verbally and physically."
Oh, yeah, nothing about this sounds at all fishy… (or should I say Fisk-y)

Foggy tries to explain they might not be the best attorneys to take the case. He obviously smells something wrong with this situation. Thank goodness, Foggy has a brain here. But then Matt waltzes through the doors and says they will definitely be taking the case.

Once more, we visit Ben Urich, only this time he’s at work at the New York Bulletin and he’s on the phone, having a not-so-great conversation about insurance… His boss comes in to discuss news articles. He tries to get Ben to let the story go (hmm… so second warning?). Ben doesn’t want to write a fluff piece, he wants to write the real news stories.
“There used to be a time when the people in this building wrote the hell out of news."
His boss says “real news” won’t sell newspapers. So Ben gives in. Sort of…

We return to Foggy and Matt with their client, Mr. Healy. Matt reminds Mr. Healy about the attorney-client confidentiality. Mr. Healy says: “Just like church.” (My inner fangirl is groaning with the symbolism of Matt being an attorney. Aha ah ahahahahahah…)

Matt tries to get information from Healy about Fancy Pants--his relationship to Fancy, why he wanted to go bowling, etc. Foggy thinks they should stick to asking about the case. So Matt asks:
“Are you at all worried what might happen if we lose this case?"
“No. Are you?"
Matt doesn’t reply, but Foggy drags him off to the side to have a one-on-one talk. Mr. Healy won’t take Matt’s lawyer mumbo-jumbo suggestions for the court ruling. Instead, they plan to go straight to trial and “trust our judicial system” and… hope the attorneys will “do [their] job.”

Matt looks thrilled.

Back at the bowling alley, Mr. Fancy Pants arrives in style and glamour (no really) and creepily stares at two guys playing the pinball machine. Yes, that machine. He steps back to wait his turn and the camera oh-so-ever eloquently moves to show the gun underneath. (Did I tell you how much I love the film shots of this show yet?)

(Also, there’s definitely something wrong with this case.)

Foggy and Matt return to their firm office, and Matt admits Foggy is right. Foggy doesn’t leave that comment hanging without a joke or notably recognizing this is the first time Matt has ever said such a thing. He goes on to argue they can’t continue doing this kind of case work; that they need to be on the same side. Matt agrees. And they continue gathering their argument.

There isn’t any evidence that Healy wasn’t acting in self-defense, so they plan their tactics for the trial around that piece of fact. Then they wonder where Karen is off to…

Karen is with some guy to sign an agreement not to speak about anything related to the Union Allied incident. A confidentiality in exchange for money. Lots and lots of money (or her soul.. you know, whichever).

Ben Urich is seen at the hospital, discussing more hard pressed news with a nurse. He has the look of a man with a terribly heavy burden. (Poor Ben, I just want to give him a big hug.) He goes into a hospital room and we meet his wife. You can see the love shining on his face when he looks at her while she sleeps. But she’s ill and you know it’s hurting our news reporter buddy. (My heart, ack!)

Foggy and Matt search through more information in regards to their case, but they have a good, deep conversation about wi-fi.
“We need better wi-fi."
“We need better everything."
“Let’s do that. Let’s win cases. Be popular. Win money."
“Not about that, Foggy."
“I know. But it could be."
These guys...I’m crying.

The trial has begun. Foggy takes the stage… talking and talking and talking (seriously this episode and its conversations). Matt uses his super sonic ears to study the jury--and realizes Fancy Pants has arrived by the mysterious ticking sound (no, it’s not a bomb; it’s his watch). His entrance makes one of the jurors antsy…

Said juror is then seen in a dark alley at night (the best place to go, really). She meets with a mysterious man and exchanges words that reveal some form of blackmail going on. Fancy Pants, you’ve got some explaining to do.

Matt--as the masked vigilante--arrives just in time to beat up the mysterious man (after the juror leaves). He interrogates him “Devil” style. The man admits to blackmail but can’t tell him anything else… such as a name. Come on, come on! Matt demands the man gets the juror excused from the trail and man replies…
“He’ll kill me."
“Then you better leave my city. Tonight."
I can hear the “or else” in Matt’s voice. The mysterious “he” resurfaces. And Matt’s possessive nature for his city has me groveling.

The juror is excused the next day in court and an alternate juror arrives. Matt takes the stage to close their argument. He stands before the jurors, just staring… well… listening. To the beating hearts, to the tick of watches, to the breath of souls sitting before him. Then he begins his speech on morality, the high point of the episode where you can now verbally hear Matt’s struggle between justice and his faith.
“I've been preoccupied of late with, uh, questions of morality. Right and wrong. Good and evil. Sometimes the delineation is a sharp line. Sometimes it’s a blur. And often, it’s like pornography, you just know when you see it… These questions. These questions are vital ones because they tether us to each other, to humanity. Not everyone feels this way. Not everyone sees the sharp line, just the blur.”
He ends with an emphasis beyond the questions of morality, on the blur vs. the sharp line, in the courtroom, but instead, the ruling should be based on facts. And the facts point to Mr. Healy acting in self-defense.

Fancy Pants and a man from previous episodes, Leland, sit in a car and discuss the mysterious “He”... the employer and where he’s off to. Fancy Pants says he’s looking at art (this is important for later, trust me).

Leland wants to get rid of Healy like they’ve gotten rid of everybody else… a hanging in his cell. But Fancy Pants points out that there’s too much of that action leaving a trail. Leland wants to grab up the holdings of the man who was murdered--oh look motive--but he can’t do that until the trial is finished and things settle.

Ah, yes, the fishiness has been revealed.

Karen’s adventures lead her to the home of Danny Fisher--the man who was found dead in her apartment, the man she was arrested for murdering. She finds his wife and tries to talk to her (yeah, it doesn’t go that well). She asks if Union Allied offered her money too. The wife tells her to let it go. Karen says she’s tried but it doesn’t feel right. The wife states her husband said the same thing before he died. But she’s already signed the agreement.
“If you have anyone you care about, let it go."
Ben Urich is at work, staring at his fluffy news article, torn between real news and saving his job (and life). Karen walks in and tells him there’s more to the Union Allied story. And she’s willing to share.

Fancy Pants returns to the courtroom--yes, it’s the ticking again. The jurors’ hearts are racing and Matt knows they’re unable to reach a verdict before it’s announced. Ah, bless you super sonic ears.

Suddenly, Mr. Healy is walking through a dark alley (really, people, you gotta stop this) in what seems to be a flashback. But no! Lo and behold, the masked “devil” arrives and they fight it out (finally, finally there is action! There is fighting! There is the brutality of Hell’s Kitchen coming forth!).

Side note during the fighting sequence: I just love the soundtrack of this show. It’s just perfect for the tone. It reminds me of the Winter Soldier soundtrack, which just hits hard because the whole “I’m just a kid from Brooklyn” thing and Matt being a kid from Hell’s Kitchen. And just feels everywhere plus awesomeness that makes me want to get up and go beat up bad guys.


Matt pins Healy down and asks him about the man who hired the lawyers--who does he work for? Healy, being tortured with a knife to his skin, yells out the word we’ve been waiting to hear…
"Fisk. Wilson Fisk."
Matt demands Healy leaves the city, but Healy is shaken up. He says it doesn’t matter, he’s given up his name. He’ll make an example of him, a warning to everybody else. So Healy runs his head through a metal stake sticking out of a fence. Dead. (And here we see the brutality and gore this show has to offer. Stay tuned for more fun and surprises of blood, death, and disgusting images. Daredevil is not a show for the faint of heart. And I’m definitely someone who hates icky, sticky, ooey, gooey stuff.)

The darkness of the alley and the sudden death of Mr. Healy is contrasted with the brightness of an art gallery. A woman--the person in charge--walks past art, people admiring, and stops. She gazes toward one man, alone, against a stark white piece of art. He’s tall. He’s bald. He wears a fancy suit with cuff links. His face is turned away, staring at the art.

She waltzes up to him and chats:
“Here's an old children's joke. You hold up a white piece of paper and you ask, ‘What's this?' A rabbit in a snowstorm."
(Ah! The title of the episode! Thought we wouldn’t notice. We did.) She discusses that some people wonder why such a simple art piece--of just white gradations--could be priced so high. But she says it’s not about how the art piece was made or who made it, but...
“All that matter is… ‘how does it make you feel?’”
We see the first glimpse of our man--who if you haven’t guessed it, is indeed Wilson Fisk, the employer, the mysterious “He,” the Kingpin. He looks at the woman and says:
“It makes me feel alone.”
Then the camera pans out, leaving the two looking toward each other with the white background blazing behind them.


What did you think of this episode? What's next for our masked vigilante? Let us know in the comments below! (No spoilers)

All photos and gifs without sources are from the Daredevil Red Thread Investigation Board site


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