REVIEW: Daredevil: Episode 10- Nelson v Murdock
After the onslaught of action we’ve been treated to so far in this series of Daredevil, Nelson V Murdock seems like a breather in the grand scheme of the series. It allows the show to get back to the personal, emotional feelings behind all the fight scenes and flashbacks, and lays the groundwork for the show’s final three episodes.
Naturally after the shocking climax to episode 9, the episode focuses on Foggy (Elden Henson) and Matt’s (Charlie Cox) relationship. It’s become familiar in these situations as a secondary character discovers the truth about the hero for them to be irritated and aggressive for no reason. It’s become a staple of the superhero genre, usually playing on the idea that the secondary character fears for the hero’s life. It’s a routine that, not only has gotten a little old and predictable, but seems oddly out of place with certain MCU characters, if you have superpowers, you’re not in as much risk as a human doing a dangerous job right? I’m thinking of police, firemen, soldiers and when you think about it, Daredevil. He’s the first Marvel character we’ve seen regularly outmatched and outgunned. So seeing him lying on his apartment floor bleeding to death felt believable and fitting. Yet Foggy’s main issue with his discovery isn’t the threat posed to his friend, but the lying that he’s been doing since they first met.
The conversations between the two are regularly grounded with, “but you can see right?” ”in a manner,” ”no, no manner,” a key point for Daredevil’s character, is he actually taking advantage of the people who believe him to be blind if he can actually see, even if it is just “the world on fire”. Another core point that demonstrates why Foggy should be as angry as he is is Matt’s ability to listen to heartbeats and be able to tell if they’re lying. Imagine that your lifelong friend had known every time that you told a lie, it’s more than a breach of privacy, it’s another lie for everyone that you told. So with this mountain of lies that their friendship has been built on being revealed to Foggy, it seems natural that the two of them wouldn’t be on the best terms.
The episode also makes use of regular flashbacks to the two friends growing closer from their college days, all the way up to passing on that huge place at a giant firm, all just to do what’s good. The argument also isn’t completely one-sided, the story of the first time Matt donned a mask to fight the evils of Hell’s Kitchen is chilling. Would you do anything different if you had the choice to stop a child abuser? In that moment it’s hard to see how anyone wouldn’t become a vigilante.
The episode’s other narratives are more of a set up than a payoff. Fisk’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) storyline, for example, seems slightly bland as he receives another visit from Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho). It’s a scene that’s almost identical to the conversation the two had in Fisk’s apartment, and although there’s less subtlety this time around, the message is the same. Fisk needs to shape up, or he’ll be replaced. Perhaps it’s set up for the events that occur later in the episode, as Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) and Ben (Vondie Curtis-Hall) go to see Fisk’s mother, who tells them all about Fisk’s murder of his father. Meanwhile, Fisk’s dinner party doesn’t exactly go to plan, as the champagne is poisoned and guest after guest dies in front of him, including the art selling Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer), who dies in his arms. If there was ever a moment Fisk was at his most dangerous, it’s now.
It seems that these last three episodes will be a race of who can get to Fisk’s mother first. But with Fisk on the rampage after the death of his girlfriend, we can expect to see him go to lengths we’ve not yet seen. A frightening idea, and a definite incentive to keep watching.