Previously on Daredevil, ‘Shadows in the Glass’
“You are deserving of a Warrior’s Death.”
‘Speak of the Devil’ is the first episode in the series that boldly reminds us the show we’ve been enjoying for the past eight episodes is indeed based on a comic book. The cold open takes a decisive turn away from the true crime genre elements that have characterized this series up until this point by showcasing a deadly duel between Matt and Nobu. Although the remainder of the episode continues in a chronological pace, it often cuts back to the violent and well-choreographed battle whenever we need a break from the plot. We finally get to see Matt use his billy clubs, a signature weapon from Daredevil’s arsenal. Nobu (garbed in the signature red uniform The Hand) is not without his own toys as he wields a traditional Japanese weapon called the “kyoketsu-shoge” with ruthless precision.
Their fight incorporates a lot of acrobatic stunts which complement the martial arts sequences and creates something absolutely thrilling and spectacular. The duel ends with Nobu – quite literally – in flames, and a bloody and bruised Matt barely escaping Fisk’s clutches. And while the battle was intense, a lot happened in this episode to further underscore how the stakes have escalated as the season draws to a close.
The team of Nelson & Murdoch’s crusade to publicly take down Wilson Fisk hits a road bump what with Ben Urich being unable to dig up any more dirt on him. Unsurprisingly, Fisk’s campaign to clean up Hell’s Kitchen has also garnered support from the populace.
Throughout the episode, Matt himself wrestles with doubts regarding the importance of his mission.True to his Irish Catholic roots, he seeks counsel from Father Lantom (the priest he confessed to in the very first episode) and takes him up on his offer for a latte. Father Lantom (Peter McRobbie) clearly defines the moral absolutes that lie at the heart of religion.
Their conversation goes exactly as expected between a blind vigilante questioning his convictions and a man of faith.
In a tragic turn of events, Elena Cardenas (who at this point appears to be the only client of Nelson & Murdoch) is killed by a junkie hired by Fisk’s organization because she refused to vacate her apartment. Her death is a sobering wake-up call for Matt and the gang and a grim reminder of the importance of their mission to take down The Kingpin, his organization, and clean up the city.
Face-to-Face At Last
Aside from Matt and Nobu beating each other senseless, this episode also showcased the very first meeting between Matt and Wilson Fisk. It’s almost fitting they meet in Vanessa’s gallery where Matt feigns interest in purchasing art (despite being blind) so as to get closer to someone in Fisk’s inner circle. The exchange between Matt and Vanessa is cute. It’s been awhile since we last saw Matt flirt with another woman and use his charisma to dig for information. The scene takes an unexpected shift in tone after Matt inquires about the man in her life and Vanessa answers, “You can ask him yourself.”
Their harmless flirting is immediately aborted as Wilson comes stomping into her gallery with an escort of bodyguards in tow. Daredevil and The Kingpin meet face-to-face at last and Matt can barely maintain his composure. He was clearly not prepared for this encounter.
Matt also wasn’t prepared for his later encounter with Fisk after barely defeating Nobu. He barely even gets a few punches in before Wilson wipes the floor with his face and gives him the beating of a lifetime. Struggling to escape with his life, Matt stumbles into Foggy’s apartment where his secret identity as the Masked Vigilante stands revealed and the credits roll.
- “I could say I’m Captain America, doesn’t put wings on my head.”- Foggy
- And in second place: “I heard a crash. Not the fun, sexy-time kind, but more of a I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up variety.”- Foggy
- The Hand seems pretty keen on getting their hands on a piece of land in Hell’s Kitchen. Without delving into possible spoiler territory, I’ll simply just say: “Shadowland?”
- I find it hard to believe that “Donde esta la biblioteca?” is the only Spanish phrase Foggy knows. It’s New York in 2015, guys!