REVIEW: Daredevil: Episode 5- World on Fire
Daredevil continues to release solid episode after episode, however, now five episodes in, a couple of similar problems are beginning to arise. World on Fire is still a great episode but perhaps is trying to focus on too many storylines, some of which seem to contain very few actual events.
First off my main problem with the episode was the Foggy/Karen dialogue again. I commented on it when they had their last “date” but World on Fire sees the lawyer and secretary duo attempting to help an old Spanish lady with her broken apartment. The two simply don’t seem to click on a romantic level, perhaps this is done on purpose as Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) eventually moves her attentions towards Matt (Charlie Cox), but at the moment, for those who may not be familiar with the comic book stories, it’s awkward. Also it feels like both Karen and Foggy (Elden Henson) have little to nothing to do with Matt and even Karen’s investigation into Fisk’s empire feels distant from the main gang war action of the series. This isn’t to say that Foggy and Karen don’t still offer entertaining screen time, they regularly have amusing dialogue together and both play their parts believably, it’s simply when the scenes turn their attentions to the romantic. If you need any proof of how awkward it can really get, look no further than the “touch my face” dialogue, yes that’s really a line! It’s clearly to insinuate Karen’s eventual interest in Matt, but it’s weird, very, very weird.
Meanwhile, Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) has another night out with his art selling dinner date and seems to become even more comfortable with her than the previous. He casually discusses the make of gun she decided to bring for protection and even lets her in on his vision for the city, noting that the city must be burned down before it can be rebuilt. Fisk’s storyline seems to be focusing on his development into the true Kingpin of crime- now currently battling for supremacy; Fisk will eventually run all crime in New York City. A nice little nod to this coming of age style narrative is the shots of Fisk watching the horizon burn from bombs he’s had men place with his date; it’s a Fight Club homage if ever you see one.
Matt continues to try and fight the good fight, in the form of brutally beating Russian mobsters and becoming even more disenfranchised by the lack of justice in the city. A scene in which he discovers two corrupt cops murdering one of the Russian mobsters is especially interesting, as we see exactly why Matt feels like he’s the only one who can truly deal out real justice in the city. We also see the first shot of the world through Matt’s eyes, so to speak. Rather than the previous depictions of his powers being simple, such as a kind of echo location similar to bats, or simple waves of sound revealing his surroundings, this rendition depicts it as chaos. If you’d had to live your entire life looking at The World on Fire you might be inclined to punch a mobster or two as well.
The episode finishes off by attempting, although slightly failing, to tie all the storylines together. While Fisk watches his bombs destroy the Russian mob preparing for war, Matt is thrown backwards just before entering one of their warehouses and both Karen and Foggy are thrown backwards in their apartment. It’s a great way to combine all the interlocking storylines occurring in Hell’s Kitchen, but it still just doesn’t feel like enough. Foggy and Karen may be affected, but they haven’t been involved with the real Fisk Empire or the masked man too much yet.
It could all be build up to the second half of the season in which all the characters will interact more frequently and the pieces will finally fit into their places, but at the moment everything just feels a little disjointed. Not to say that each piece isn’t amazing, but wouldn’t it be great if they could find a way to make them all interlock? We’ll just have to watch on and see how it progresses, and with a series this good, I don’t particularly mind.