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Daredevil – S1E5 – World On Fire

Previously on Daredevil, ‘In the Blood’

Before I discuss this episode I wanted to take some time away from my review to applaud the show runners for the fantastic single-take shot they gave us this episode. Watching Matt take down all those Russians while in the closed confines of the car with the blind man who works for Madame Gao was an absolute delight.

World On Fire is filled with so much action: from Matt squaring off against the Russians in all-out war to the Russians fending for their lives after Fisk decides to burn them all to the ground. But it’s the quieter character interactions of this episode that speak volumes and add more layers to the bigger story that has been unfolding since the pilot episode.

Daredevil S1E5 Matt and Claire

“That’s a hell of a way to get a girl to move in.”

After the events of the previous episode, Claire Temple spends most of her time recovering in Matt’s apartment and away from all the action surrounding World On Fire. While he treats her wounds, Claire can’t help but call out the more fantastical elements of Matt’s extra sensory abilities. He can hear the sound of a hairline fracture! He knows one of her stitches has come undone because he can taste the copper in the air! Matt describes how all the external stimuli that floods his remaining senses combine to create an impressionist painting in his mind, “a world on fire” as he calls it. The statement is followed by a very stylized and haunting image of what it must be like to perceive the world from Matt’s perspective. We see Claire’s face coming together through various gradients of orange and grey, like flames constantly flickering and ever-changing.

Daredevil S1E5 - Claire

Finally the budding romance between the two reaches a new development as the two address their mutual attraction and share their first on-screen kiss.

“Masked vigilantes, crazy Russians? I’m getting my stun gun out of storage.”

We continue to see more of Wilson Fisk consolidating his control over Hell’s Kitchen. He’s framed Anatoly’s death on the Masked Vigilante hoping they eliminate one another and save him the time and energy of doing it himself. He meets with the rest of his Crime Cabal to admit he was the one who really murdered Anatoly. It’s quite refreshing to see Fisk interact with Nobu, Leland, and Madame Gao instead of just with Wesley as we’ve seen in previous episodes. Each member of his inner circle handles the information Fisk has revealed to them in a manner that befits their character. Both Nobu and Gao continue to exude auras of quiet power that only deepens the mystery surrounding their respective origins. They’re more concerned that their own business affairs remain unmolested regardless of what happens with the fallout with the Russians. Leland mouths off sarcastically about their current state of affairs which leads to many humorous lines from their group’s Money Man. He isn’t bothered by Fisk’s decision to destroy Vladimir then absorb the Russian’s assets because, at the end of the day, Leland’s expertise with handling their accounts makes him an indispensable member of their cabal.

Daredevil S1E5 - Foggy and Karen

“We’ve been sitting here talking for hours, and you’re going to insult me like I have no idea what you really do?”

Foggy and Karen get more things to do this episode when they team up to help their new client, Mrs. Cardenas. The nice elderly Guatemalan woman is being forced to vacate her rent controlled apartment so developers associated with Fisk and his allies can tear it down to make way for new condominiums. When negotiating with her landlord’s lawyers (Landman and Zack the same firm Matt and Foggy once interned for, interestingly enough) fails, they offer to do some repairs in her apartment— a little field trip that serves to bring Foggy and Karen closer together.

Daredevil S1E5 - Vanessa

Not to be outdone, we also follow-up on the second date between Wilson and Vanessa. Affection seems to grow between the two. Fisk slowly begins to reveal more about himself and his vision for the future of Hell’s Kitchen. He also appears to act more relaxed around Vanessa instead of simply trying to impress her with displays of his wealth and power. We continue to see more of this softer side of Fisk and perhaps it’s due to this calming effect Vanessa’s presence has around him. We definitely get the sense that he’s never like this around anybody else. Then things get interesting once it’s revealed Vanessa has been hiding a gun in her purse which leads both parties to be more honest with one another. Fisk reveals finer details about his plan to clean up the city. And while he confesses to finding no pleasure in the violence he commits, he feels it is an ugly, but necessary, step in order to achieve his goals.

As he so aptly states, “It needs to die before it can be reborn.”

In the end they watch as Hell’s Kitchen burns below them, and Wilson completes another phase in his bid for complete control over the city.

Daredevil S1E5 - World on Fire

Side Notes

It was difficult to decide on a Quote of the Week. Here are some of the best ones:

“Do you have a job to get to or are you one of those billionaire playboys I’ve been hearing about?”- Claire

Score | 9/10“What? I’m going against the three of you? I like my head where it’s at.”- Leland

“They’re gonna shark attack me, Matt. Look at me. I’m delicious.”-Foggy

Nobu hints he answers to a much larger organization. He’s no doubt referring to Marvel’s iconic magical ninja death cult The Hand.

How cool was it to see Matt use his extrasensory abilities to figure out that Officers Blake and Hoffman are crooked cops working on Fisk’s payroll? The malaise brought about by The Kingpin and his Criminal Cabal seems to be everywhere in the city.

About Anton Balane (57 Articles)
Anton Balane lives in Houston TX and is the unofficial Gay Correspondent of Project Fandom (or “Homospondent” as he likes to call it). His hobbies include side-eyeing people at parties, Long Island Iced Teas, and the color Red.

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