SLIPview: DAREDEVIL – Episode 4

This episode begins in Serbia, 8 years ago. We meet some gangsters who will show up in the present day, barely escaping Daredevil. The Man Without Fear looks down at them through a shattered window, panting and out of breath.

Turns out these guys work for Kingpin, they’ll tell Mr. Fisk’s Henchman that the masked vigilante asked about him… by name. The Henchman doesn’t quite believe how powerful Daredevil is. He adds a good joke about an “iron suit and magic hammer”, once again establishing that these characters are aware of THE AVENGERS and super-powered heroes. The plot thickens as both Daredevil and Kingpin seek each other out.

Murdock gets patched up by Claire again. With all these regular visits to the doctor, I hope he’s insured. She tells him to get a better thicker costumer – foreshadowing the familiar red devil costume. I still wonder if ROSARIO DAWSON will be the NIGHT NURSE… Or is it like a 24 hour gig? She patches up Murdock, day or night, right.

Meanwhile, Karen meets with Benny again. She wants to help him publish a newspaper article about the Union Allied conspiracy. She even tells him about how Daredevil saved her. Maybe he’ll write about this masked avenger?

Benny warns Karen to forget about the story, it’s too dangerous. He cautions her, “Count the angels on the head of a pin, and move on.”

These two have investigated each other. They don’t know if the other is trust-worthy. Benny cracks open a new mystery box by mentioning her “prior activities”. Was she a Lady of the Night? Is that why she was with the murder victim in Episode 1?

And Karen let’s us in on some of his previous work. She asks him, “What happened to the guy who brought down the Italian Mob?” He replies with a dash of cynicism and a tinge of melancholy, “He got old. And a whole helluva lot less stupid.”

Later on, when he agrees to investigate the story and coach Karen on how to set up Union Allied, we have a better idea of the stakes and what it means to Benny.

Kingpin returns to the art gallery to hit on the attractive employee. We learn he bought that white painting from last episode. He says, “It’s the last thing I see before I go to sleep.” She wonders aloud if that’s “sad”.

This romantic side of Fisk was unexpected. It’s not the traditional scene for a villain. He seems gentle, and rarely raises his voice above a whisper. Eventually, she agrees to a dinner date.

Claire calls up Murdock. She’s being attacked. Baddies kidnap her while Murdock listens over the phone. He uses his super-hearing to get a bit more information. He feels guilty for getting into this mess. And now he’s going to clean it up.

I love how he moved about her apartment after he busted in. He’s searching for her. He easily echo locates her phone, moves a chair, and opens a window to listen to the outside world. He does all this so well, you’d almost think it’s an error by the filmmakers. His abilities are that finely honed.

What a way to tell us that, by showing it. I love this sort of exposition. DAREDEVIL thus far, has been a master at it.

As a viewer, it’s so much better to participate and discover information, rather than be spoon-fed by the writer. This technique makes these mysteries more intriguing and rewarding because the viewer has pieced it together theirself. They feel like they’ve earned the information. It’s kind of like an ego-stroke I guess, but it also makes the writing seem much more intelligent. I hate it when information is so heavy-handed it weighs down all credibility.

THE CROW… that same dark tone and moody atmosphere as DAREDEVIL

The tone and atmosphere in DAREDEVIL is rather dark and appropriate for adults despite being based on a comic book. Those baddies beat up Claire trying to get Murdock’s name out of her. She takes it. She’s tough. She isn’t going to sell out her friend to save her life.

This sort of violence is hard to watch. Tonally, this series reminds me of another comic book turned movie: THE CROW – also with the atmosphere, violence, staging, and advanced fights.

Daredevil fights the baddies from the shadows with stealth. He intimidates them with harshly whispered dialogue. It’s like BATMAN, except the Dark Knight isn’t this savage. The Caped Crusader might leave the baddie hanging from a building awaiting the authorities, whereas Daredevil let’s them fall.

Another thing that separates BATMAN from DAREDEVIL is the level of choreographed fights. Christopher Nolan’s films are amazing but they lacked in this department, relying on editing to sell the fights.

In comparison, DAREDEVIL looks like CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

After the rescue, it’s Murdock’s turn to patch up Claire. I love the mirroring techniques used throughout this series.

These two are getting to know each other better, as Murdock tells Claire his real name is Matthew not Mike. I like how he’s letting her in. I like how he had to earn trust. This could have been written much differently, like “My name is Matt.” But by adding secrets we have dramatic irony and strong relationship building.

The parallels continue when Murdock tells her he’s “just trying to make my city a better place.” This echoes the same line delivered by Kingpin to the art gallery hostess.

How rare and beautiful is that? The hero and the villain have the exact same motives and goals. They just pursue their dreams a little differently.

Kingpin drops off his date at her place. He asks her if there will be another date. She doesn’t say no, she’s honest and says, “I don’t know.” She exits and we see Fisk react – although it’s so hard to read his true expression. Was that a smirk or a snarl? Great acting from Vincent D’Onofrio.

We’ve seen Fisk as charming and quiet, but now it’s time to see him as The Kingpin™ – the brute and the beast. He confronts an employee, “You embarassed me in front of her.” He then proceeds to brutally murder the man by slamming a car door on his head. Over and over and over. Until his head smashes in and bloody gristle spills along the slick asphalt.

Whoah. This is almost as gory as WALKING DEAD!?

Kingpin wants war. Murdock wants Kingpin. Their paths are set for collision.

I can’t wait to watch the next episode… but I will. I don’t wanna blow my load early and have nothing left to look forward to. 😉 Ewwww, was that like way too far? .

Stay tuned for the next review, coming soon.

 


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