Daredevil S:01 E:03

Wow, I don’t remember that episode of Matlock where a dude gets violently murdered in a bowling alley and Ben throatpunches people until justice is served. Maybe it was on some Nick at Nite reruns I missed? Hope you’re ready for the world’s most violent legal drama, because today’s episode has battles going on in and out of the courtroom.

Episode Title: Rabbit in a Snowstorm
Original Airdate: 4/10/2015

With their new legal firm’s first client, Matt and Foggy are now under the employ of Wesley and his mysterious benefactor cough cough it’s the Kingpin cough in charge of defending a hitman from some pretty clear-cut charges of murder. To do this, we’ll THRILL as they try to connect to their WiFi to look up specific New York penal codes, and CHILL as they question witness protocols and evidence gathering procedures! Oh, and a few guys get the everloving hell beaten out of them.

This is the first episode to really showcase Matt’s day job, as he takes on a case that he obviously shouldn’t be taking in order to gain more information about the criminal activities plaguing Hell’s Kitchen. Their client is nine kinds of shady, and he doesn’t need superpowers to figure that out; the names left unsaid and vague statements dropped left and right are enough. Matt and Foggy react rationally to the crazy case being dropped on their doorstep, with Foggy playing the foil and wanting not to get involved. Thankfully, he’s not just given the Idiot Ball, he has perfectly reasonable reasons for conflicting with Matt’s interests. It’s so nice to see the protagonist countered without needing a character to be made unlikable in the process.

While they tangle in the courtroom, Matt’s tangling in the streets with blackmailers and thugs… and learning the hard way that problems aren’t solved by punching alone. Every ass he kicks belongs to a middleman, someone just as screwed as their victims, and beating them up really accomplishes very little. By the end of the episode, nothing is achieved, nobody wins, and the body count has risen.

All in all… this is the worst episode of Daredevil so far. I say “so far” because it’s only the third episode, but it’s quite boring in comparison to the first two. Even the fights aren’t particularly interesting. Hopefully we won’t get too many more instances of the show spinning its wheels after the blazing-hot episodes that came before this; perhaps they’ve gotten the “courtroom drama” angle out of their system and will be content to let the mystery unfold.

Two hints of things to come are promising. One, the Kingpin himself, Wilson Fisk, has finally appeared… in the middle of his OWN story, involving romancing a local art dealer. It’ll be interesting to see if they can do the old “villain is the protagonist of his own story” motif. Two, Karen is working with Ben Urich, reporter for the Daily Bugle the New York Bulletin, which could give her more to do than just office work. She needs her own motivations and her own stories aside from playing a pure support role, and along with Ben’s well written Old School Reporter, there’s a lot of promise.

I think that Ben himself is proof the writers know what they’re doing. It’d be incredibly easy for Hollywood to slot a hot twentysomething young reporter looking for the glory of a “big break” into his place — instead, his storyline is that of the fading light of journalistic truth, dimming in the light of Buzzfeed and declining newspaper circulation. It’s a bold statement to run with that story instead of replacing it with something sexier and I’m glad they chose this path.

Even at its worst, Daredevil is still a great show. Even mired in some less interesting developments, there are bright spots. Let’s call it a 50/50 split and move on to the next one, shall we?


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