Daredevil S:01 E:11

I wonder if this show should’ve been a standard one hour drama. They usually don’t have enough material to make a full hour of amazing, gripping television; typically it’s a half-and-half mix of awesomeness and plodding filler. Like this one. How do you evaluate that? Do you praise the good half, or condemn the lousy half, or what?Episode Title: The Path of the Righteous
Original Airdate: 4/10/2015

When the show hits, it hits. When it misses, it misses. That’s for damn sure.

Let’s talk about the misses first. This is the obligatory fallout episode where everybody doubts their plan of action. Now, the audience knows they aren’t going to abandon ship — we wouldn’t have a show if Foggy stops being a lawyer or Ben stops investigating Fisk and so on. It’s a false tease, dragging out the inevitable, and feels exactly like that. Scene after scene of depressed characters being depressed in a manner that kills airtime and the overall mood…

But it has to be done, you know? The moment of doubt is an important part of a hero’s journey. You’re obliged to do it, even if it’s probably the least interesting part of the story, with no real tension to speak of. Could it have been done better? Oh, absolutely. What it does here is fill a gap and serve a purpose and little more. I just finished watching this episode and half of it already immediately slid out of my memory.

Also, is Fisk really that dense not to see the obvious Judas in the room? Really? It’s so telegraphed it may as well be delivered on wires across twelve states by Western Union and then read aloud in an old-timey radio announcer voice.

And yet, the other half… and yet

Daredevil’s finally getting his costume, and it makes sense. Okay, the ultra-lightweight body armor is just as silly as his “meditative healing factor” but the setup for how and why he seeks out the costume makes sense. He uses it as a symbol, to become the devil that reminds people evil exists, and he uses it because he just got his ass carved up a day ago by a weapon normally only seen on Deadliest Warriors on Spike TV. Two very good reasons, I’d say. As for who makes the costume, it’s a nice callback to the original comics AND it shows Daredevil being something other than a simple-minded face punching machine, which is a welcome relief.

Finally there’s Karen and Wesley and their inevitable conflict. Each wants to support their primary protagonist, each has their own righteous motives, each has a lot to add to that scene. They act the hell out of it. It works. And it doesn’t end in a way I’d have expected it to end.

So do we condemn the silly and perfunctory melodrama, or praise the genuine moments of tension and surprise? Shun the day plot and embrace the night plot? Hope the writers can get both back up to par? I’ll take the latter, I suppose. After sitting through some really bad TV this season, I’m happy with what I can get in terms of quality that lands above par.

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