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Marvel's DAREDEVIL E9.S1 : "Speak of the Devil" [Review]

Source: Netflix/Marvel
Daredevil 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. 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...
Click here for previous reviews

I say this over and over but this might be my favorite episode. It has some of the most intense action scenes of the series, and also introduced new complexities for our hero.

The opening, as always, is a jaw-dropper. We're just dropped into a fight between Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and a mysterious red ninja-type character. We know nothing about the fight and why it's happening, but it's truly cringe-inducing as Daredevil is sliced by the ninja's weapon. Who could possibly say "meh" to that opening, and switch to a rerun of CSI?

Much of the episode is about the fallout from Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) stepping out of the shadows and introducing himself to the world. It seemed like just revealing the Kingpin's existence would be the trump card Daredevil had to stopping him. Now that he's in the open, he's just more dangerous. Murdock and his team are forced to contemplate the idea that maybe killing Fisk is the only way to stop him. I love the moral complexity of the show. It's not a "yes, kill him" or "no, don't kill him." It seems like it could truly go either way. Once again, we're not sure if Daredevil is a hero who would resort to murder. I hope not.

In the Shakespearean journey, Murdock returns to the priest (Peter McRobbie) he spoke to in the first episode. I was wondering when they would get back to him. I liked that he's not your conventional Catholic priest, but one who questions morality. His story about the holy man who was killed is chilling, as it was meant to be. I hope their relationship deepens in later episodes.

But the priest addressed Murdock's "devil" tendencies, something I've been enjoying about the character. Unlike Batman and Superman and other heroes, this Daredevil doesn't have carefully defined boundaries of right and wrong. The scene where he beat the junkie, smashing his face in broken bottles, made me fear of Daredevil crossing the line. Again. In The Dark Knight, we were kind of nervous when Batman locked himself in with the Joker, but not really. In this series, I worry all the time.

The stakes were raised when Mrs. Cardena was killed. Which made me say, "Nooooo!" I loved her. This taught me they might not kill the main characters (or will they), but the secondary characters are fair game.

This episode also finally connected the dots between Union Allied and Fisk. It seems Fisk is using the company to purchase land, so he can build his dream complex and save the city. But Fisk is disagreeing with Nobu as to how to handle it. Nobu wants a specific block, which I'm thinking has greater significance. Possibly with Black Sky. We also saw how Madame Gao's drug organization ties in, financing and providing couriers. Kingpin's got a well-oiled machine.
And more worlds are colliding as Murdock goes to the art gallery and meets Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer). She absolutely charms him as they review artwork he could purchase, which is the perfect excuse for him to fish for information.

I loved the moment when Vanessa said, "You could always ask him yourself." And Fisk walked in. In slow-motion. Murdock finally saw him face-to-face. The tension was palpable. You could tell Murdock wanted to tear into Fisk right there, but held back.

We finally got back to the fight, where the ninja in red is revealed to be Nobu. It seems like he's involved in whatever Stick is connected with, since he knows Stick and his techniques. The fight between him and Daredevil was BRUTAL! Nobu hooked him like a fish! Daredevil finally faced a worthy opponent, and did not do well. But he did manage to win by setting Nobu on fire. But Nobu kept on fighting! On fire! Amazing. I was sad when Nobu died. He was the shizzle.

But then Fisk revealed he planned for Daredevil to kill Nobu all along. It seems like Kingpin's plan is to eliminate all other members of his organization until he's the only one left. And he's close, because only the Owl and Madame Gao are left.

And Fisk fights Daredevil. Finally. But Fisk rips Daredevil a new one. I love how Fisk is all blunt force: punches, kicks, strangulation. It fits him perfectly. It was hard to watch, especially after Daredevil just had a victory over Nobu. Not even time to breathe? And afterwards, Fisk just wipes Daredevil's blood off, casually. Cold-blooded.
In the end, I never thought they would go there with Daredevil being caught by Foggy. What a cliff-hanger.

Random Thoughts:
  • Am I the only one who thinks Vanessa is totally hot? Beautiful, intelligent, elegant, and fiesty. No question why a man like Fisk would kill a man and burn a city to be with her.
  • Just a quick shout-out to the moment where Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall) shrugged, and Foggy (Elden Henson) said, "He just shrugged." People forget Murdock's blind. I love those moments.
  • I miss Claire (Rosario Dawson).
  • The part where Daredevil ran his fingers over the blueprint to read it, loved that. Super-touch to the rescue.
Favorite Quote:
Father Lantom: "So the question you have to ask yourself is... are you struggling with the fact that you don't wanna kill this man... but have to? Or that you don't have to kill him... but want to?"

What did you think of this episode?

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  1. That fight was really brutal. The hook was twisted. I was just as stunned when Foggy finally saw him at the end.

  2. That was an epic fight! I was surprised that Nobu was a member The Hand.
    Who doesn't miss Rosario Dawson? ;-)

  3. Hooray, I finally caught up to your reviews! It was a good episode but even Matt Murdock could have seen a bad end for Mrs. Cardena. The idea of the bad guy buying up land to build his new city was used in both "Robocop" and "Darkman" back in the late 80s. Anyway, this show is about a billion times better than "SHIELD."

  4. I've eased up on the binge watching so people can catch up


Thanks for commenting!.