Daredevil Recaps: “Into the Ring” and “Cut Man”
Marvel: The Studio Without Fear.
Prepare yourself for Marvel’s inevitable takeover of television.
The show starts with a mercifully quick flashback to establish what 95% of people who clicked on a Marvel show called Daredevil on Netflix already know: Matt Murdock was blinded in an accident with some kind of chemical, so superpowers! Shhh, it’s a comic book show; please leave your disbelief by the door. It’s not that the flashback—the first of many—is bad, but I’m glad they went the route of interspersed flashbacks instead of a long origin to start the series.
Once that bit of background is out of the way, we join present-day Matt Murdock as he confesses.
He’s unburdening his conscience about his nighttime punchy activities as Daredevil/providing us with meaningful character insight via exposition about his father’s, Jack Murdock, boxing days/attempting to set the land speed record from foreshadowing to payoff with a hint he may have a bit of a temper. “Be careful of the Murdock boys; they’ve got the devil in them.”—cut to him beating a dude mercilessly well after he’s already saved the day by singlehandedly taking out four guys to bust some human trafficking.
Welcome to Marvel’s Daredevil.
Having successfully thwarted evil, Murdock sleeps it off back at his lair/terrible apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, New York. He’s woken up by a call from his law partner, Foggy Nelson, to make sure Matt’s good to meet a real estate agent to get their law office set up and let us all know he’s the funny best friend/sidekick character.
Foggy then goes to bribe a police officer, who doesn’t like Foggy much but knew him growing up, to let him know about any “interesting” arrests to help him out their new law practice. He does this with a bag of cigars intended for the officer’s mother. He’s incorrigible!
They meet the real estate agent, and Matt pretends his radar sense doesn’t exist while she shows them around their prospective office. Or it doesn’t exist in this show? Or it’s not so finely-tuned yet? They show isn’t super clear on just how well he can make out his surroundings just yet. After dropping a quick reference to the events of The Avengers,
She sets up the work-in-progress nature of the show’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood by telling them they’re getting a great deal on the office space and that prices will be much higher in 18 months. It’s like the place is ripe for some kind of… kingpin to swoop in and use the rebuild to solidify his turf. It sounds like that’d be a… fiscally sound move. (Sorry. I’ll stop.)
Foggy explains their buddy-lawyer dynamic of dude-who-wants-to-make-money and dude-who-wants-to-help-people to the real estate agent, and then we cut to…
Karen Page, confused, hunches over a dead body with a knife. The cops bust in and arrest her as she screams she didn’t kill him.
Back in the office, Foggy and Matt are unpacking in their new digs, and Foggy’s cop “buddy” calls him up to tip him off to Karen’s unusual arrest. The deposition duo head down to the police station to help her lawyer up.
Despite their lack of any previous clients, they convince her to let them help, which is made easier by her lack of money. She explains she went out for drinks with her coworker at Union Allied, Daniel Fisher, aka the murder victim. She tells them that after a few drinks, she woke up covered in his blood in her apartment with no idea what happened, and Matt secretly uses his enhanced senses to human lie-detector her to verify the story.
We leave them there and head over to some other characters in a park, where this guy in a suit gives probably the pushiest, creepiest live video stream app demo yet.
The Meerkat marketing rep—er, guy in the suit—is blackmailing the other guy in the scene by threatening his daughter, but it’s not explained why just yet.
At the office again, Foggy tries to convince Matt that Karen should take a plea deal, while Matt insists she’s innocent. Matt’s suspicious that she hasn’t been charged yet despite the clear cut look of the evidence. They decide she must not be telling them everything and that they should “take another run” at her.
Meanwhile, Karen, in her holding cell, is awoken by one of the prison guards taking a… significantly more murdery run at her.
It’s the guy who got blackmailed in the park, so yeah, safe to say not all is as it seems with Karen’s case. Definitely a little fisky—er, fishy. I meant fishy. (Hey, at least the bad foreshadowing jokes are generally confined to this recap. This isn’t Gotham.)
Karen cleverly plays dead so she can free herself from being strangled by her sheets and call for help, which eventually results in Matt and Foggy heading over and getting her released—the lawyery way, not the superhero way. The cops understandably don’t want it to get out that one of them tried to stage an in-cell hanging, so they release her.
Matt suspects there was a conspiracy to stage her suicide so no more about Daniel’s murder would come to light, but he doesn’t quite get how far it goes just yet.
They hang out with Karen back at their office for a bit and get a bit more information out of her about the murder. She tells them she found a strange financial file at her employer, and she thought maybe Dan was trustworthy enough to help her do something about it. He probably was, judging by how quickly someone drugged their drinks and then tried to put them both out of commission when they went out to meet about it.
Karen has nowhere to go, so Matt takes her in for the night. He decides there must be a reason she wasn’t murdered along with Dan in the first place and asks her if she still has the incriminating file from her job. She says no, but this time he can tell she’s lying, though he lets it go for the time being.
Elsewhere, in a Union Allied construction site, there’s a Minions Meetup (TM) with Leland Owlsly to discuss how their human trafficking operation went wrong thanks to our hero. Meerkatfan82—or I’m assuming that’s his screen name, anyway—shows up
and apologizes for his “employer’s” absence, and to Madame Gao specifically by name:
They discuss Daredevil’s inconvenient actions and highlight the difference between the Avengers‘ global-level conflicts and Daredevil‘s street-level crimefighting. One they like for the… rebuilding opportunities it provides, but the latter they’re not so keen on.
Back to the good guys, Karen creeps back into her apartment all alone to grab the financial file she’s been hiding, and she gets attacked by a thug. Matt shows up to bail her out—the superhero way this time.
They fight, complete with Matrix-ing,
and Daredevil’s fearless, jumping flip-kicks of DGAF.
Karen watches Matt finish the guy off and has no idea who this mysterious dude could be who clearly has no need for eye holes in his mask and also seems to know all the deets of her legal troubles. HMMMMMMM.
Or maybe she does get it? She does kind of just give up in the middle of asking who he is and instead opts just for “what the Hell?” I don’t know.
She’s too scared of corrupt police to try to clear things up with them, so she and Daredevil decide to leave the incapacitated thug on the steps of the New York Bulletin with the file and information. Sadly, the show skips the part where the battered and exhausted Daredevil gets the guy’s unconscious body across town by Weekend at Bernie’s-ing him into a cab.
Suit guy fills his “employer” (off screen) in on how everything’s been taken care of to protect them despite the front page article on their company’s corruption, while Karen cooks some food as a thank you to the lawyer bros. It seems like she doesn’t know about Matt’s secret.
Then she hits them up for a job, and we’ve got our main characters set up. Matt heads off to get out some aggression at the gym and tie the episode up with a montage of what became of the guard who tried to kill Karen, the Weekend at Bernie’s thug, and a drug ring run by Madame Gao and some of as-yet-unnamed goons from the earlier Minions Anonymous meeting.
Finally, the guys involved with the human trafficking ring from the beginning of the episode abduct a child on the street, whose screaming Daredevil notices as he listens with his super-hearing up on the rooftops. He pulls his mask down and BAM! That’s where we leave off.
Keep reading for episode 2, “Cut Man.”
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