Previously on Daredevil, ‘Stick’
Sins of Another Father
In many ways Shadows in the Glass mirrors Cut Man in that they both showcase father-son relationships. This time, however, we delve into Wilson Fisk’s difficult relationship with his father Bill (Domenick Lombardozzi). Wilson and Bill’s relationship is a stark contrast to that of Matt and Jack’s in that the Fisks are not a nurturing and supportive duo.
While Bill Fisk and Jack Murdoch both accept money from the mob to provide for their respective families that common thread only underscores the rampant corruption that exists at the core of Hell’s Kitchen.
Wilson’s father is the absolute scum of the earth. He fills young, socially-awkward, and impressionable Wilson’s head with foolhardy advice about how he needs to stand up to bullies by stooping down to their level. Bill’s Social Darwinist drivel is ironic when his campaign for City Council fails miserably despite being funded by the mob. What does he do when faced with the gravity of his own colossal ineptitude? Bully his son into a corner and beat his wife senseless.
We know from previous episodes that the blank canvas Wilson purchased from Vanessa’s gallery represents his own harrowing loneliness. In this episode we also learn that his father forced him to stare at a blank wall while he proceeded to beat his mother. Young Wilson momentarily loses his sanity as he hears his mother’s desperate pleas, picks up a hammer and murders his father. Perhaps the blank canvas reminds him of that blank wall that he was forced to stare at before he finally lost his temper and let the rage take control.
When you fight monsters you become a monster
Throughout Shadows in the Glass Wilson goes around parlaying with his associates and tying up loose ends from the fallout of the previous few episodes.
Vincent D’Onofrio does a superb job of showcasing the more political savvy and charismatic side of Fisk. He apologizes to Nobu for failing to render aid when Stick went after Black Sky in the previous episode. Nobu hints that his superiors are displeased with how things have recently unfolded and reminds Fisk of the importance of their alliance. He meets with Madame Gao and listens intently to her cautionary advice that Vanessa’s presence in his life has softened his resolve. We learn that keeping Wesley around to translate on his behalf is all an elaborate front. The ploy is sheer brilliance because Fisk does speak Japanese and Mandarin and only feigns ignorance so that his associates underestimate him.
“My name is Wilson Fisk.”
When news that Officer Blake has regained consciousness becomes common knowledge, Wilson bribes Officer Huffman, the corrupt cop’s former partner to murder him thereby ensuring his absolute silence. Although Matt fails to save Blake’s life, he interrogates Huffman until the cop gives up Fisk’s name.
As the episode comes to a close, Ben Urich prepares an article aimed to pin the rise of a new criminal order in Hell’s Kitchen to Fisk thanks to Matt’s efforts. Unfortunately, Wilson beats him to the punch by holding a press conference, boldly introducing himself to the public, and declaring his plan to save the city. Ever a master of propaganda and the public spectacle, Fisk has effectively neutralized the weapons Matt and company were hoping to use against him.
And as trite as this sounds, things will never be the same again.
Karen is right, Foggy: “Fool-hardedly provocative” is just Lawyer Speak for “stupid.”
“Bats aren’t blind, Foggy. It’s a myth.” Thank you for debunking that for us, Matt.
Who are you, Madame Gao? Or rather, should I start asking WHAT are you? Also, according to my Taiwanese friend, Gao seems to speak Mandarin, but he can’t place the origin of her accent. It’s not Taiwanese or standard Mainland Chinese. Her sentences are awkwardly phrased so the actress might actually be speaking in an elusive dialect that comes from Shanghai.