Sunday, August 30, 2015

Summer TV Rewind: Marvel's Daredevil 1.10: "Nelson v. Murdock"

“Screw you. I just lied to somebody that I care about. I want to know everything. And don’t you leave a damn thing out.”

As you can probably tell from the title, this particular episode of “Daredevil” really explored the relationship between Foggy and Matt. They have had quite the bromance over the years, and we see it chronicled in flashbacks. These flashbacks make what Matt and Foggy go through in the present day part of this episode all the more painful. It is clear that since Foggy has learned Matt is the masked vigilante, everything has changed. Matt can explain the details of the how and the why until the cows come home, but there’s one important thing he can’t fix, at least not right away. Foggy doesn’t trust him anymore. There is some other stuff going on with Karen and Ben continuing their investigation into Fisk, but since we viewers, Matt, and Foggy are already so far ahead of them, it was hard to get invested. The only aspect of the B story I was invested in was the plight of Ben and his wife, and I think he made the completely wrong decision in that department.

The episode opens a little bit after the last one ended. Matt wakes up on his couch, and he sees that his lacerations from Nobu’s swingy blade thing have all been sewn up. He’s still in really bad shape, though, and he can’t really sit up. Surprisingly, Foggy is still there. I thought he’d rage quit Matt as soon as he discovered Matt was the vigilante, but he actually stuck around. Apparently he had to call Claire to patch Matt up after Matt almost punched him out for trying to take him to the hospital. Matt doesn’t remember any of this, though. We also get our first flashback, where we see Matt and Foggy become roommates. It really looks like a freshman year of college situation, but Foggy seems to be selecting Civil Procedure on the course registration website, so it looks like it’s actually supposed to be law school. The show seems to conflate undergrad and law school, and as someone who spent nine years in higher education between my bachelor’s, law degree, and master’s, that kind of irritates me. Anyway, Foggy is pretty psyched that Matt is blind, mostly because he thinks it makes him the perfect wingman to help him pick up women.

Other than the Matt and Foggy drama, there’s Fisk machinations happening in this episode. First, we see Fisk and Madame Gao take a meeting. Madame Gao isn’t thrilled to hear that now Nobu is dead, too. She wants to know how she can be sure she won’t be next, which is a perfectly legitimate question. Fisk claims to have more respect for Madame Gao than the rest of the gang. She warns him that he has changed recently, and he can’t be both savior and oppressor. He’s going to have to choose. Fisk later has a similar conversation with Owlsley, who also thinks Fisk has changed since he started dating Vanessa, and not for the better. Everything with Fisk comes to a head at a swanky fundraiser, where Owlsley and Wesley are also in attendance. Suddenly, people who had been drinking the champagne start dropping to the floor, foaming at the mouth. Including Vanessa.

Karen’s a little confused why nobody else has shown up to work, and she tries calling both Matt and Foggy’s phones. Foggy picks up and tells her that Matt has been in a car accident. He says he’ll let her know if they need her help with anything, but he thinks they’ll be fine. He is extremely pissed that he had to lie for Matt, and he demands that Matt tell him everything about his past and his powers. Matt is pretty incredulous when he learns about Matt’s super senses that basically give him sight, even if it is “world on fire” sight. He is especially creeped out by the idea of Matt listening to a person’s heartbeat to determine if they are lying. Particularly he’s upset about Matt listening to Karen’s heartbeat back in the pilot. He’s beginning to question if there was anything real to their friendship. We get another flashback where Foggy and Matt are goofing off on campus when it’s close to graduation time. They’re talking post-graduation plans, and Foggy is dreaming of big money. Of course, Matt wants something a little less soul-sucking. I’m on Team Matt here, but after my law school graduation, I worked part time in public interest law for a year before going back to grad school and then taking a government job, so that’s no shocker!

As I mentioned back in the intro, Ben and Karen also have a B story in this one. We start with Ben having a rather nice interaction with his very ill wife at the hospital, but then she forgets and starts the conversation all over again. To make things go from bad to worse, the hospital administrator says that her attempt to get Ben’s wife into the type of placement he requested has failed. Later at work, Ben dejectedly looks at a hospice brochure, but he is interrupted by his boss offering him the job of Metro editor. It comes with better pay and benefits, which could help his wife’s situation. Ben’s not sure, because he’s really a reporter at heart, but he says he’ll think about it. Karen arrives at her office, and finds a shoebox on her desk. Ben appears out of the shadows, and after warning Karen to be more careful, he shows her that the box contains all his materials about the Union Allied/Fisk case. He’s calling it quits to take care of his wife at home. Karen wants him to go with her to see a nursing home upstate before making a final decision. I can’t believe what a bitch she’s being in this moment. There are bigger things in life than following this case.

Ben and Karen do indeed check out the nursing home. It seems nice, but Ben has no idea how he would pay for it. Just as they are about to leave, Karen says they should ask a resident how they like the place, and she knocks on the door of a seemingly random woman. As Karen and Ben (Ben with near constant apologies and signals to Karen that he wants to leave) talk to the woman more, they eventually realize (well Karen confirms and Ben realizes) that she is Fisk’s mother. She vaguely tells the story of Wilson killing his father. Ben should be absolutely furious about Karen’s manipulation here. She used his wife’s condition to lure him into continuing the investigation, which is almost unconscionable to me. My grandfather passed away after a long, ugly battle with Parkinson’s earlier this year, and you couldn’t have torn my grandmother away from him for anything. Karen is depriving Ben of those final moments with his wife, and I just can’t forgive her for that. Surprisingly, though, Ben takes the bait and becomes more and more interested in what Fisk’s mother has to say.

We’ll finish this episode off with some more Foggy and Matt flashbacks and drama. We get to see them in their final days of their internship at Landman and Zack. They have adjoining cubes in a storage closet that Foggy has decorated with dinosaur figurines, which I think is kind of adorable. Foggy is super excited that they have both gotten offers to be associates at the firm, but Matt thinks they should strike out on their own instead. They’ve been part of some pretty heinous cases as internes, and Matt wants to work for justice. He’s been reading Thurgood Marshall lately, you know (which, I get it, being a con law nerd and wanna-be social justice warrior myself). Foggy says he’s in, because he trusts Matt. We also get a flashback to the first time Matt attacked someone. He heard a guy sexually abusing his daughter in a nearby building, and he needed to put a stop to it.

In the present day, Matt and Foggy finally have the argument they’ve needed to have all episode. Foggy wants Matt to quit being a vigilante, but Matt thinks the city needs him in this capacity. Furthermore, it’s pretty clear that Foggy doesn’t trust Matt anymore, and that’s a huge blow to him on a personal level, too. We get a brief flashback to the guys at Josie’s, where they toast to their future law firm as Foggy reveals the design for the sign he wants to commission. In the present day, Foggy is back at the office. He throws the still unhung sign in the trash and packs his stuff up in the box he used to move out of his Landman and Zack cube back in the day.

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