Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Marvel's Daredevil 1.03: "Rabbit in a Snowstorm"

“That’s not a client. That’s a shark in a skin suit.”

The third episode of “Daredevil” was interesting in that it combined a legal case of the week for Foggy and Matt with some furthering of the show’s mythology. We’re taking baby steps towards figuring out who is behind the uptick in criminality in Hell’s Kitchen, particularly the cover-up at Union Allied Construction that Karen got caught in the middle of. Foggy and Matt’s morality is tested in this episode, and surprisingly Matt “we’ll only represent the innocent” Murdock is the proponent of representing someone who is clearly not innocent. He’ll compromise his morals to try and learn more about the greater conspiracy, it seems. Foggy was actually the voice of morality in this one!

As I’ve already mentioned, the whole team was back together and working on a case in this episode, after being separated in last week’s episode while Matt was recovering from his run-in with the Russians. I said last week that I’d be disappointed if Foggy and/or Karen didn’t notice that Matt was a bit worse for wear, and notice they did. Foggy points out bruising around Matt’s eye, and he says it happened in a fall. Matt’s injuries are actually more severe than Foggy and Karen can see, though. At one point, we can see he has a chest wound that is bleeding through his shirt. He manages to cover it up with his suit jacket.

First thing in this episode, though, we were introduced to the case of the week. It all goes down at a bowling alley. A man, who we later learn is named John Healy, shows up late at night and asks if he can bowl a few frames. The woman at the counter says no, they are about to close, but Healy points out that another man is definitely still bowling. The woman responds that the man still bowling has a special arrangement with the owner. The man is Prohaszka, and he is presumably connected to organized crime in some way. Healy asks Prohaszka if he can join him in his game, and when Prohaszka says no, Healy gets extremely violent. He starts a fight with Prohaszka, and the fight ends with Healy bashing Prohaszka’s head in with a bowling ball. The lady behind the counter had left for a minute, but she does see the end of the fight, and she calls 9-1-1, completely horrified.

Soon after this incident, James Wesley (lawyer to the mastermind between all the recent criminal activity) approaches Matt and Foggy with an offer he thinks they can’t refuse. He wants to have them on retainer to his firm to take on overflow cases. And he wants to pay them very well for it. Foggy is seeing dollar signs, but Matt is skeptical, especially says James won’t tell them his name or who he really works for. Then James goes and makes the mistake of disparaging Karen, asking if all the folks Matt and Foggy get off murder charges come to work for them, or only the pretty ones. Matt asks a mortified Karen to leave the room. He knows there must be more to the offer than meets the eye, since Karen’s history isn’t common knowledge, and he is now curious. James hands over a case file for Matt and Foggy to peruse before making their final decision, and it happens to be the case of none other than John Healy.

Foggy heads down to the precinct to start interviewing Healy while Matt has some other errands to run (aka following James for a little bit until James gets in a car). From the interview, it’s clear that this isn’t Healy’s first rodeo – he pretty much tells Foggy how he wants the whole thing to go down, and he has the points for why the murder was self-defense well-rehearsed. This even pings Foggy’s conscience, despite the money involved. Just as Foggy is about to turn Healy down as a client, Matt breezes into the room and says that they’ll take the case. He really, really wants to know who it is who wants to hire him, and he thinks this is the best way to do that.

We also get to know the reporter who wrote the big Union Allied expose, Ben Urich, a bit better in this episode. He has made his career on reporting about organized crime in New York City, and early in the episode, we see him trying to dig up dirt for a new story. He wants to know more about the “independent actor” who has the Russians running scared. Ben’s editor, though, puts the kibosh on the story. He wants Ben to write a story about the potential for a new subway line instead, because he thinks it will get more readers. Ben has bigger fish to fry, though. Someone in his life (his wife, it appears), in in the middle of a serious health crisis involving hospitalization, and Ben is fighting to get her the care she needs. Something tells me this will make him vulnerable to the darker forces of New York City as the season progresses.

Karen also has issues to deal with in this episode that intersect with Ben’s. She takes a meeting with lawyers for Union Allied, who warn her that she could be in major trouble for violating the non-disclosure agreement she signed when she first started working for Union Allied. They’re offering her immunity and six month’s salary if she signs a new agreement to never talk about Union Allied again. While it’s an offer that would be hard for Karen to refuse, it just doesn’t sit well with her considering the level of Union Allied’s crimes. She pays a visit to the wife of the man she was framed for murdering, and the conversation is awkward. The wife knows that nothing romantic happened, but it turns out she has already signed an agreement with Union Allied similar to what they are offering Karen. By the end of the episode, Karen is paying an in-person visit to Ben and offering him her complete story.

Somehow Matt and Foggy have the superpower of getting their client scheduled for a full jury trial within days of his arrest. In fact, this is probably the most far-fetched thing I’ve seen on the show to date! Despite being extremely unlikely, it is kind of cool to get to see Matt and Foggy use their lawyering skills, though. Foggy gives a great opening statement. In the middle of the trial, there’s some intrigue where Matt hears one juror’s heart moving especially fast. We then see a thug trying to extort said juror. Matt, in Daredevil mode, threatens the thug, and the compromised juror is dismissed. Matt then delivers a great closing statement about how Healy’s moral status doesn’t matter. What matters is how the facts are applied to the law. The case ends in a mistrial. Afterwards, Matt (again in Daredevil mode) confronts Healy and demands to know who is boss is. After a little torture, Healy gives up the name Wilson Fisk. He then kills himself because he is afraid of the consequences of giving up that information. At the very end of the episode, we see Fisk himself at an art gallery opening.

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