Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Marvel's Daredevil 1.06: "Condemned"

“The moment you put on the mask, you got into cage with animals. Animals don’t stop fighting. Not until one of them is dead.”

As per the patter that “Daredevil” has established so far, “Condemned” didn’t feature a case of the week. Matt had to deal with vigilante issues while Foggy and Karen were on the sidelines wondering where he was. I did appreciate what we learned about the series mythology in this episode. We learned more about how Fisk’s organization works and the lengths to which Fisk is willing to go to get what he wants (complete control of Hell’s Kitchen). The episode was especially intense and violent. Nothing seemed to rise to the level of Fisk bashing Anatoly’s head in the car door, but there was a more sustained, lower level of violence throughout. I liked that in this episode, Ben seemed to take more of an active role in the proceedings. I feel like if Matt can’t sort out Fisk with punching, Ben can by shouting his crimes from the rooftops.

This episode begins exactly where the last one left off. Matt had been beating on some Russians, there was an explosion, and he was just about to grab Vladimir when the police show up, led by Blake and Hoffman, the same crooked detectives who killed the Russian they were interrogating. At first, Matt starts to surrender, but as soon as he hears the detectives talking about killing the Russians, he goes into action, beat a bunch more people up, and manages to escape with Vladimir. Wesley and Fisk are sitting together in Fisk’s limo (as they do) when they find out that the masked vigilante and Vladimir got away. Fisk owns most of the police department, so they are going to use the police to organize a search for Vladimir. Because we should always use taxpayer money to fund the whims of a crimelord.

Ben is in his office, working on a conspiracy board about all of the crime that has been happening lately, when he hears about the explosions on television. As soon as his boss tells him the locations of the explosions, Ben knows the significance. The locations are all connected to the Russians. Ben rushes off to investigate further, despite his boss’ protests. Meanwhile, Foggy and Caren bring Mrs. Cardenas to the hospital, since she was injured in one of the explosions. It’s Claire’s hospital, and she is back at work (her supervisor is quite surprised, considering Claire was “in a car accident”). After Claire takes Mrs. Cardenas away to be treated, Foggy realizes that he has been pretty badly injured, too. Karen rushes off to find him some help.

Matt takes Vladimir into an abandoned building, and he tries to get Vladimir to talk about Fisk. Vladimir thinks Matt has been working for fisk, and he doesn’t quite believe Matt when he tries to correct him. Vladimir refuses to say anything, and he falls unconscious from his injuries. Of course, Matt calls Claire for instructions on how to stabilize him. Vladimir has a gunshot wound, but Claire says that for now, Matt should cauterize the wound with the bullet still in it to keep Vladimir from bleeding out. Matt uses a lit flare to do just that, which must have been very painful. The flare catches the attention of rookie Officer Sullivan, who was patrolling in the area. He radios to dispatch that he found something odd in the abandoned building. When he finds Matt and Vladimir, Matt pins Sullivan down and says he’ll only let him go if he radios dispatch and says it was a false alarm. When Matt gives Sullivan the radio, instead of saying it’s a false alarm, he says he’s got a masked perp and wounded civilian. More police converge on the area, led by Blake and Hoffman. Ben also arrives on the scene, and he starts trying to question the police about what they are doing.

Since Vladimir is once again conscious and Sullivan is now tied up, Matt tries questioning Vladimir again. In a roundabout way, Vladimir tells Matt that the one person in Fisk’s organization who knows how all the pieces fit together is the accountant. He starts whispering, and as Matt gets closer, he attacks. Yet another epic fight scene follows, and Matt and Vladimir end up falling through two floors. Once they regain consciousness, Matt and Vladimir exchange a few words, but then Vladimir dies. Matt, not satisfied with the intel he has gathered thus far, does CPR and manages to bring Vladimir back to life. While Matt was recovering from the fall, Karen and Foggy had been trying to call him. Foggy is in a hospital bed, but he wants to leave to go look for Matt. Karen, thankfully, makes him think better of it, and she goes to check and see if Matt has shown up elsewhere in the hospital.

Back at the abandoned building, the SWAT team has arrived and the situation is escalating. In the limo, Fisk is given a radio. I thought he was going to be directing the police operation, but it turns out that the radio has a different purpose. Matt can hear the additional police arriving, and he tells Vladimir he thinks he might have a way out of the building. That would involve removing a very heavy grate from the floor. Fisk uses his radio to call Matt, and he basically says that he will ruin Matt unless Matt kills Vladimir. He’s going to frame him for the explosions and all the chaos afterwards. Matt refuses, so Fisk has footage of Matt’s fight with the police sent to news stations. Claire, Foggy, and Karen all see the broadcast. Karen recognizes the man who saved her in the pilot episode, and Claire instantly recognizes Matt and calls him. Matt tells Claire that when she said she shouldn’t fall in love with him, she was probably right. He tells her to take care of herself before hanging up.

Matt and Vladimir eventually get the grate open and escape through access tunnels. By that point, the SWAT team are in the building, and they kill Officer Sullivan. Soon, Matt can hear the SWAT team in the tunnels, following him and Vladimir. Vladimir wants to set up shop with a machine gun to let Matt escape. Before the SWAT team arrives, he gives Matt the accountant’s name, Owlsley, but he says it probably won’t help. Matt is going to have to kill Fisk to really end this. There is no other way. Matt doesn’t quite believe that (yet, at least). Matt runs off, and he can hear Vladimir’s machine gun fire behind him.

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