REVIEW: Daredevil: Episode 13- Daredevil
Well we’ve finally made it folks, the last episode in what’s been a thoroughly successful series. It’s had its ups and downs but Daredevil has managed to carve out its own section of the Marvel Universe and make it one of the most enjoyable to watch. But less about the series, and more about the final dramatic segment to the first season’s story.
“Daredevil” is by no means a perfect series finale, but when the writers have been so intent on creating a series that ties up all its loose ends, ready for the Jessica Jones series to take over, it gets pretty close. The episode leaves one of two questions for its viewers such as who The Hand actually are and where Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho) disappeared to, but these will undoubtedly be covered in the other Defenders TV series, giving them all a nice unifying feel.
The episode starts off with an emotional display from Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) who dons the crying guilty female character that she basically made her name with in True Blood. She’s proved herself a far more diverse actor in this series than she ever managed to in True Blood however, and this scene sets the stage for getting the Murdock and Nelson law team back together.
Once reunited we see the team fighting to take down Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) once and for all. Karen’s murder of Wesley (Toby Moore) continues to remain Karen’s dark little secret, but series two will most likely delve much further into who Karen Page really is and what she was up to before her time with Matt (Charlie Cox) and Foggy (Elden Henson).
The eventual Achilles heel to Fisk’s operation turns out to be the corrupt Detective Hoffman (Daryl Edwards), who is saved from Fisk’s thugs by Daredevil, in return for his cooperation in taking down Fisk’s empire. In a visually beautiful montage, with Pavarotti blasting over the top, we see each section of Fisk’s empire dismantled, arrested and destroyed. It feels strange to watch the whole of Fisk’s empire crumble so early in the episode however, after this it feels Fisk is of little threat to the city.
After proposing hastily to Vanessa (Ayalet Zurer) Fisk is taken away in the back of a police truck and the whole episode seems to have wrapped up far more quickly than anticipated with no twists and turns to be seen. Never fear however, Fisk is power crazed to the point that he’s willing to do just about anything at this point, including having his FBI escort wiped out in impressive fashion. The ambush on his convoy is one of the standout scenes of the episode and Fisk is perfectly terrifying throughout, marching across the bridge the ambush takes place on with authority bursting from him. It’s the first time Fisk has ever seemed like a crime boss, he’s always had authority, but other than his first fight with Daredevil, this is the first time we’ve seen him in the company of the real street level thugs and killers-it’s a beautiful sight.
So with Fisk once again on the loose, it’s time for Matt to go beyond the law and stop the Kingpin once and for all. But not without a perfect little fan boy moment for all, as Fisk’s truck is stopped by a flying billy club, and we finally see what Matt’s new tailor has been working on. The “classic” costume that Matt now wears is impressive, it’s difficult to make a costume like Daredevil’s work off the comic book page, as was proven in the Daredevil film, however this is a pretty majestic sight.
We’re then treated to a fight between Matt and Fisk in a dingy alleyway, a fitting setting for such a gritty series. It’s also a great fight scene, the director of the episode made his name with Spartacus and it shows in this scene. Both characters fighting styles are vastly different now that we see them properly fighting one another. A number of comic book nods are included, such as Matt’s billy clubs fitting together to make a bo-staff and Fisk using this staff to beat Matt while he’s on the ground with, a reference to the cane that he will eventually begin to carry around with him. A dramatic conversation between the two see’s the desperate Fisk we’ve seen more and more of as the series has progressed. It’s a satisfying fight to end the series on.
Vanessa is forced to leave the city without Fisk who was supposed to meet her but is sure to return for series two, either to bust Fisk out of jail, or simply reunite with him through visiting room meetings, perhaps we’ll get an Orange is the New Black vibe? The papers finally refer to Daredevil by his actual name for a front page story, featuring Daredevil issue 60’s famous cover as its picture. We see Fisk forced to stare at the white wall of his cell, referencing the white of the painting he bought off Vanessa, and the wall of his childhood home, you know, the one where he bludgeoned his father to death with a hammer. Looks like Fisk might come out of prison even crazier than he went in, it’s just another thing to look forward to seeing in series two.
Overall, it’s a solid episode to finish the series on and there isn’t a lot that they could have added to make it that much better. The first half of the episode may feel a little slow compared to the second half, however the entire finale manages to tell the story of Fisk’s inevitable downfall in a single episode which is impressive.
Daredevil has well and truly managed to create an alternative to the happy family film look that they’ve adopted from the majority of the Marvel comic books. It will be interesting to see if the other Defenders series continue with this dark and gritty theme or if they’ll be taking more from the characters themselves. For example, Iron Fist would be a drastically brighter series than Luke Cage’s. However, with the success of Daredevil, Marvel have a variety of options and with the success of the franchise and their current upcoming slate of films and TV, it’s still exciting to see what comes next.