Attack of the Red Ninja… This episode of DAREDEVIL, Murdock takes on two deadly opponents and barely lives to tell the tale. By the end, he’ll be sliced apart by a ninja and pummeled by a Kingpin.
This is another episode told out of chronological order. Which I really appreciate. I find it to be a really interesting and engaging storytelling technique. While it begins with the tease of the Red Ninja, that fight doesn’t really occur until the end.
First up, Murdock fights for justice the legal way – as a lawyer by day. He meets with Foggy, Karen, and Benny to talk about Fisk and the masked vigilante.
They still don’t know that this blind lawyer is Daredevil. But it seems like they’re seeing the hero side a lot more than the violent vigilante side of this masked avenger.
Previously, Fisk made a brilliant move on the chessboard of crime, revealing his identity to the public. The Kingpin revealed himself as a savior.
To learn more about the real man behind the myth, Murdock heads to the art gallery run by Fisk’s girlfriend, Vanessa.
Murdock disarms his true intentions upon introduction, “You might be wondering what a man who can’t see is doing at an art gallery?”
Vanessa is hip to the notion, she knows he’s looking for a painting to impress women. Kind of like the move Fisk pulled on her a few episodes back, eh?
In this situation, Murdock has to trust Vanessa won’t con him, pawning off the most ugliest and expensive painting. She beautifully describes one, “Imagine a sea of tonal reds.” This is kind of how Murdock sees.
This painting symbolizes a balance between rage, love, and hope. This painting symbolizes Murdock. It’s also much different than the isolation and loneliness of Fisk’s white painting.
Cue Kingpin… Our two rivals finally meet. The irony is, Fisk doesn’t even know it… Yet. The introduction was stylish and exciting. Time slowed to a crawl, sounds warp and accentuate.
Murdock tightens his fist in anticipation. He holds back his urge to attack. He is patient.
Dramatic irony is palpable. We know what Murdock knows. We know Fisk doesn’t know this is the masked vigilante he’s ordered men to kill.
The Kingpin’s words send shivers out, suggesting at some latent knowledge, “I’m aware of all you’ve done for Hell’s Kitchen.”
Murdock stands firm, unshaken by this possibly veiled attack, he coldly replies, “I’m aware of what you’ve done too.” Ooooh. I love how they’re saying so much… without saying so much.
Murdock held back. He’ll wait for the perfect moment. He still wants to get enough evidence that will lead to Fisk’s arrest. He doesn’t want to kill. It’s his last measure. He has to consider the cost on his soul.
Murdock visits a priest again, who advises him that “judgment and vengeance are best left to God.” He cautions that Satan was an angel once too, his acts made him the Devil.
Murdock struggles with the Devil within. He knows he wants to kill Kingpin, and part of him says that’s why he shouldn’t. This choice parallels Murdock with Fisk. We already know the choice Fisk made. But there’s still hope for Murdock.
Meanwhile, in the real world of lawyers… Foggy gives Murdock a plaque he had made for their firm. It’s engraved with their names. A promise Foggy made years ago.
Foggy’s elation quickly fades when he learns of Nana’s death. He goes to the morgue with Karen to identify the body.
Foggy once again shows his heart as he offers to arrange the burial. He’s evolved quite a bit from the me-first money hungry lawyer in earlier episodes.
Murdock is upset too. He grips his cane tight. Cue the song…
Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go! For the end, we go back to the beginning, as Shredder (a.k.a. Red Ninja 2000) slices up Daredevil. It’s not looking good for our man in black. Shredder whips about a chain-blade and cuts up our hero with ease.
The fight choreography was great. This is a formidable opponent for the Man Without Fear.
The fight jumps back in time occasionally. We get a look at Murdock’s preparation for this fight. He opens up his memory trunk, full of his dad’s stuff.
I thought he was looking for inspiration, until he pulls out his version of Boom Sticks. He’s going to need those melee sticks from Stick to beat that Red Ninja.
We also got a look into Ninja’s past. And I think we got a big Easter Egg. Ninja is involved in crime. Who isn’t in Hell’s Kitchen.
We see a logo on those packets of drugs. It looks like a winged serpent. It looks like the very same tattoo IRON FIST has on his chest.
This martial arts hero is set for an upcoming MARVEL show on NETFLIX.
Did we just get our first tease? Was our hero branded by this crime family? Or did he work for them? Did he turn against them? Did he train these foot soldiers? Who knows.
For now, consider this a Nerd Alert.
Back to the fight… Daredevil says, “I came here for Fisk. I guess I’ll settle for you.” He whips out his Boom Sticks and bats away Ninja thrown projectiles.
The two engage in a whirling slo-mo fight. It’s a fair match except for that bladed chain weapon – they call it a swing-blade, erm hmm.
Daredevil fights back and before long, Red Ninja becomes Orange Blazing Ninja, as he’s set on fire. Mr. Orange-is-the-new-Red keeps coming! The flames don’t stop him.
I was worried for a second there. This ninja is nuts. But not for too much longer. Shock takes over and he dies.
Turns out Kingpin set this all up. He needed Daredevil sliced up and nearly beaten before he would step into the ring.
Fisk may be slow, but he’s a Goliath. He smashes and throws about Daredevil. It doesn’t look good for our hero. But we know this is just Round One. There will be more… later.
We’ll have to wait for another Round to see who ultimately wins this fight. I’m sure we won’t see a true winner for another season or two.
For now, it was great to see these two rivals meet earlier in the episode, and then fight each other by the end of it.
Next up, maybe there will be more development on the legal side of things? We know Daredevil can take a punch, but it doesn’t look like fighting Kingpin will be that easy. The Man Without Fear can’t do this alone.
I hope the Home Team makes progress next episode. Foggy, Karen, and Benny are risking their lives too. It’d be nice to see some results of their hard-work investigation soon.
What do you think?
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