Source: Netflix/MarvelDaredevil has finally been released on Netflix. All thirteen episodes are available for viewing right now, but I decided to review each individual episode in the season, as if it were airing on TV. Today, I'll be reviewing the eighth episode. If you haven't seen it or haven't seen the show at all yet, just come back to read this when you do. And remember...
Ep 7: "Stick"
Ep 6: "Condemned"
Ep 5: "World on Fire"
Ep 4: "In the Blood"
Ep 3: "Rabbit in a Snowstorm"
Ep 2: "Cut Man"
Ep 1: "Into the Ring"
Just like the previous episode was more of an origin story for Daredevil (CharlieCox), this episode is more of an origin story for the Kingpin. It's an intriguing look into the roots of the monster.
The episode begins with a look at Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) beginning his day, gasping from a nightmare and looking at his new painting. It's a powerful image, a contrast to the brutal image we've seen of him before. We see him as elegant and refined, getting dressed, making himself an omelet, putting on his cufflinks. I was surprised he had no servants, but a man like him probably values his privacy. Just as he turns to leave, he looks into the mirror and we see a shocking image: a child splattered in blood. This is how Fisk sees himself.
Flashbacks to That 70's Show - uh, I mean the 1970's - show how Wilson's father had dreams of becoming a city councilman. But it seems like his father's goal wasn't to make the city a better place, but to get into a position to be bribed. I imagine that's what drives Wilson to be a better person, a person who wants to get into a position of power to help others.
But his father gave him advice that shapes his character - you have to give respect if you want respect. And that's how Fisk treats everyone around him. We see him continuing to wrangle the different factions of his organization; Nobu is upset about the disruption to his business, Leland worried about being targeting by Daredevil, and Madame Gao.
This reminded me that Fisk isn't the Kingpin yet. He's not in a position to command and control everyone around him. Yet. He's evolving into the Kingpin, much like Daredevil is evolving into the superhero.
Meanwhile, Murdock wakes up from the shattered remains of his apartment from his fight with Stick. We see him getting ready, contrasting with the calm of Fisk's morning. He still has the ice cream wrapper bracelet from Stick. When he gets to the office, Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) and Foggy (Eldon Henson) finally bring him into their pursuit to expose the Union Allied scandal. I'm glad they're connecting them together, because it began to feel like two different shows: the Daredevil Show and the Karen and Foggy Show. But I honestly don't care about Union Allied. Bring in the connection to Kingpin.
I also love how Foggy is all gung ho to fight, even though he has zero fighting skills. Meanwhile, Murdock is always advised caution, even though he's a warrior. Oh, sweet irony!
When the young Wilson Fisk is forced to sit and stare at the wall, everything clicked into place. That's why he loves the painting so much. Because it looks like the wall he was forced to look at as a child. But then his father starts beating his mother, and he smashes his father's face in. Cold blooded but sympathetic. Yet his mother turns out to be even more hardcore, carefully helping Wilson dismember and dispose of the body.
Meanwhile, in the present, Fisk showed just how tough he's become as they deal with the fallout of the shooting of Detective Blake. Turns out Blake is still alive, and they're not too happy about that. Fisk decides to kill Blake, and selected none other than Blake's partner, Detective Huffman. It broke my heart when Huffman started crying at the thought of killing his old friend. But Huffman went through with it, showing how persuasive Fisk can be. And when I say "persuasive," I mean "scary."
Cut to Fisk, who has a visitor. Madame Gao arrives at his apartment, confronting him with his mistakes. He's gotten soft since he met Vanessa, she claims. Man, if Fisk has gotten soft at this point, I'd hate to see him when he's tough. But it is true that Fisk is like two different people when he's with Vanessa and Wesley. When he's with Wesley, he's strong and powerful and commanding. When he's with Vanessa, he's like a little puppy. Vulnerable. Will that vulnerability cost him his empire? Who knows.
Can I also say Gao scares the crap out of me? She's like one of those feeble old men in martial arts movies who always turn out to be the kung fu masters.
After Fisk flies into one of his classic rages, only Vanessa can calm him down. He finally reveals the reason he wears his father's cufflinks, to remind him that he's not his father. After he reveals his dark secret to her, the two seem closer than ever. They wake up the next morning, and it was so sweet to see her with him on his ritual, picking clothes, eating with him, and choosing different cufflinks. Once again, I'm amazed how much I like and sympathize with Fisk, even knowing the brutal monster he is. Great job.
- Now they're calling him "The Devil of Hell's Kitchen." They're slowly moving towards the name Daredevil. I like it.
- Nobu said they needed "another" Black Sky. That means Black Sky isn't a name, it's a thing. What the heck is it?
- Daredevil got his sticks! In the comics, his main weapon is a staff that breaks into two sticks. He's got two sticks. Getting closer.
- Murdock threw his computer on the ground! Ahhh! What a waste of a good computer.
- Fisk's mother gave him pie, and said, "Eat it. It'll make you feel better." That's how kids get fat.
FISK: "I wear them to remind me that I'm not cruel for the sake of cruelty. That I'm not my father. That I'm not a monster! Am I?"
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