SLIPview: DAREDEVIL – Episode 5

We finally see what DAREDEVIL sees in this episode. His senses form a sort of visible energy made of crackling flames. Appropriately enough, this Devil sees Hell.

This scene also explains a bit more of Matt Murdock’s superpowers. Besides what has been explicitly seen already, we learn he can also sense vibrations and slight temperature variations. How awesome is that? I love how this exposition is so brief and concise.

By the way, I like how CHARLIE COX acts out being blind. Thankfully, he doesn’t go the clichéd route of staring into space. He looks where the people are. I’m sure he could even do this without his powers.

Murdock tends to Claire’s (ROSARIO DAWSON) wounds early. She asks him, “What kind of billionaire playboy are you.” I like this sort of homage to BATMAN and his alter-ego, Bruce Wayne.

After he explains his powers, the two share a passionate kiss. You could feel it. Sensual. I’m starting to care for their relationship.

I’m thinking the writers are employing a familiar technique of strengthening a relationship to set-up more emotional weight. This way when Claire is in danger we will be more emotionally invested. We will want to see her safe. Badly. I’m hoping she doesn’t get killed. Although, I’m aware of how much better the story will be for it.

The driving force this episode is finding out more about Fisk a.k.a. KINGPIN. Claire had a great line referring to this. Murdock asks her about a gangster and what he said when she asked about the name, Fisk. She says, he “reacted like a dog when you yank its leash.” This gets to the point nice and fast. Kingpin is the Master.

We get a brief scene with VINCENT D’ONOFORIO and the Consortium. I love his acting in earlier episodes, as a surprisingly romantic soft-spoken intellectual villain. But hearing him talk in his full voice here was not his best acting. I don’t like to nitpick much, but compared to his earlier work this scene felt rather stiff.

Have no fear, the menacing Kingpin will return by the end.

My favourite sequence of the episode comes next. A Blind Asian man who works with the baddies sings a Chinese song in the car as awaits for them to return.

This sequence once again astounded me with the camerawork. I didn’t expect DAREDEVIL to be so technical and visually impressive.

The camera is in the car, as it spins around in a 360 degrees motion. When the camera aims behind the car, we get a glorious silent reveal – Daredevil awaits at the edge of the frame. Listening.

DAREDEVIL delivers another awesome action scene as the camera spins around in cramped quarters. This time we got a bit more Yuen Wo Ping-style wire-work. I loved how he would grapple a gun out of grip, take it apart, and throw its components at his opponents like they were shurikens. To top it off, he escapes by CROUCHING TIGER bouncing up a wall to the rooftops.

Murdock gets another step closer to finding out who Fisk is. Next up, we meet some dirty cops obstructing justice and burying any connection to the big bad bald one. These ruthless detectives appear throughout the episode, acting as obstacles for Daredevil to overcome.

Meanwhile, “Foggy Bear” and Karen duo-it-up to help an elderly woman (let’s call her Nana) with a landlord scam. Their sidekick relationship continues to develop. It seems like there may be more to this than a platonic friendship.

Karen sees a new side to Foggy when he offers to help fix up Nana’s apartment himself. This is far from the money hungry Foggy we’ve seen earlier.

I also liked how Nana prepared our dynamic duo dinner by candlelight.

By the end of their scenes, Foggy and Karen talk about Murdock. Foggy calls him “a sexual RAIN MAN.” It seems like Karen finds the touching face stuff rather alluring. This is one of the few moments I got the sense she really liked Murdock.

She wants to know what he sees. She wants to know if she seems attractive to a blind person. Well, duh. Yeah. And depending where he touches— I jest. But Deborah Ann Woll is absolutely stunning.

Kingpin’s on a second date too, with Vanessa (AYELET ZURER) from the art gallery. I like how she talks about what she expected from him. She’s privy to his gangster ways. She thought he’d dress in “white suit with an ascot”. A great joke referring to his costume in the comic books.

I still love how we see this unusual side to our villain – swooning a lady. It’s a complex dynamic.

The guy’s a P.I.M.P. – renting out the entire restaurant so they can be alone. Suave? Or scary? You decide. Fisk earns some sympathy when he explains the meaning behind his cuffs – they were his father’s who died when he was young.

Another strong parallel between villain and hero.

from last episode’s CAR BASH 2000

The best line from these scenes was from Fisk, explaining his plans, “This city crumbles and fades. It needs to die before it can be reborn.” Fisk and Murdock both want to save the city, they just have very different methods.

It’s almost like fellow dreamers Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. They had different visions to rebuild their community and affect society. You may remember MLK’s was peaceful demonstration, X’s was “by any means necessary.”

Daredevil snatched a phone from a dirty cop and brings it to Claire to read its messages and such. Good thing he didn’t need to find a guy with a specific tattoo. Can his super echo powers locate that? 😉

So, Claire finds a list of addresses, giving us a nice series of mini-goals to watch Murdock pursue. These two also have some nice relationship moments themselves. Murdock justifies his actions by saying, “I need to be the hero this city needs.” That’s an eerie echo to what Kingpin has said before.

Claire is worried he’s crossing the line. She let’s the L word slip, saying she doesn’t want to “fall in love with someone who’s become so damn close to what he hates.” He coldly replies, “You’re right… You shouldn’t.”

Wow. Awesome. What could have been a melodramatic speechified scene is clear and precise. Short and sweet. I love how much more impact this economic writing lands with.

By the end of the episode, we have explosions and gunfire. The city has to crumble first right. Well, according to Kingpin. He’s double-crossed the gangsters who work for him. He’s pinning them against Daredevil and each other.

It’s like a game of Chess for Fisk. He’s just making his first moves now. But he’s planned several moves ahead.

The episode ends with a massive cliffhanger as cops burst on to the scene to arrest Daredevil after he’s beaten up dirty cops. How will Murdock get out of this one?

At least he knows a good lawyer.

I couldn’t wait to see what happens next, so I watched two episodes in a row. This is as binge-y as I get with TV shows.

There are very few shows I will watch back-to-back. DAREDEVIL is one of them.

Stay tuned for the next review. Coming soon…

What do you think? 

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