Week of June 26, 2022:

Cut Man (Daredevil s1 e2) released April 10, 2015 (where to watch)
Rabbit in a Snowstorm (Daredevil s1 e3) released April 10, 2015
In the Blood (Daredevil s1 e4) released April 10, 2015
Scott Hardie | July 4, 2022

Cut Man: Wouldn't a fire extinguisher dropped from the fifth story cause a fatal head injury, or at least such a catastrophic one that the man wouldn't just wake up and have a conversation soon afterwards? And what happened to the men on the other end of the call, who the Russian was informing that he just found the man in black? They wouldn't think, as he stopped mid-sentence with a loud clanking sound, "Oh he's probably fine. Let's catch up with him later and not go immediately to his location." I'm also skeptical about Matt's ability to time the dropping of the fire extinguisher. His super-powers give him the ability to hear the man from five stories up, not the ability to calculate the velocity of a dropped object and how many seconds until the man will be in position. So as fun as it was, that scene was nonsense.

But otherwise, this was a really good and really intense episode. This series was determined to prove itself right out of the gate, particularly with that spectacular hallway-fight oner, which was as widely praised for showing the combatants exhausted (unlike too many action movies) as it was for its technical difficulty. I liked pretty much every scene in this hour except for the torturing of the criminal by cutting his facial nerve; that was too unnecessarily intense for my taste, as there were other ways to demonstrate that Claire was all-in on Matt's mission. I could also do without the English subtitles calling the hero "Masked Man" as if we don't know the title of the show we're watching. But I quibble about small things when, in fact, I'm quite entertained by this.

Here's the MCU Project connection that I'm only getting on rewatch: Battlin' Jack Murdock's opponent in the ring, Carl "Crusher" Creel, already appeared in AOS. He was in a few episodes at the beginning of season 2, the man who could change his molecular structure by touching an object, until he touched the Obelisk. Obviously he had to be in his twenties in Daredevil and his forties by the time of AOS, but it's intended to be the same character. Neat. (original opinion 8/10, today's opinion 8/10)

Rabbit in a Snowstorm: This episode had a few weaknesses around the margins -- I don't believe that a failing newspaper would choose subway colors over a masked vigilante in a world full of superheroes as the way to sell more papers, but maybe that explains why it's failing -- but the strength of the John Healy A-plot was more than enough to carry it. The series was created with tangled knots of conflicting morals and relationships, and a professional criminal like Healy is a great way to pull at them. I also like that "Masked Man" (who is that guy?!) kept messing up and making things worse, from the jury tampering to Fisk's involvement. Owlsley's constant complaining is already tiresome and he's only made two appearances; on the other hand, Turk's brief appearance here is hilarious. (original opinion 8/10, today's opinion 7/10)

In the Blood: Were the Russian and Spanish subtitles missing for you all during those foreign-language scenes? I notified Disney+ tech support in case it helps, but it's not like it was hard to tell what was being said, save maybe for the Russian prison scene which (I assume) helped to establish a bond between the men. I liked a lot of this episode, but it feels minor, like the show is slowing down and starting to repeat itself to pad for time: We already know that Claire is loyal to Matt, that Matt will rush to save someone, that Karen won't drop her investigation despite danger, that Foggy is unhappy that the law firm is so small, that Claire is just as capable of violence as Matt, that Urich takes his job seriously, and that Fisk & Wesley have little tolerance for failure, because the show has already told us all of that information. What's new and shocking is Fisk's capacity for rage, and for subterfuge: I loved the moment when all of the restaurant customers get up to protect Fisk and you realize they're all his bodyguards. Given the dialogue about how "I didn't even know it was here"/"it just opened last month," how likely do you think it is that Fisk had an entire fake restaurant custom-built solely to impress a date? (original opinion 5/10, today's opinion 6/10)


Erik Bates | July 10, 2022

Cut Man

I do enjoy seeing a superhero that isn't invincible. Murdock gets his ass kicked on the regular (which he learned from his dad).

I didn't realize Rosario Dawson was part of the MCU. I can get behind that. She's a good actress.

I'm enjoying the trickle feed of backstory we're getting on Murdock. Kid went through some rough times, man. Finding his dad dead in a back alley gave me a poor man's Bruce Wayne vibe.

That final fight scene was BRUTAL. Murdocks always get back up. Again, I like seeing him get his ass kicked, as if it's part of his fighting style. Was Daredevil in the comics like this? Or was he the typical quasi-invincible guy solving crimes and defeating bad guys?


Erik Bates | July 10, 2022

Rabbit in a Snowstorm

Vincent D'Onofrio man. Vincent D'Onofrio. Stellar actor.

I don't see Nelson and Murdock's partnership lasting if these basic disagreements *in front of clients* keep happening. Murdock is going to get himself caught if he isn't more careful with his crime fighting side hustle.


Erik Bates | July 16, 2022

In the Blood

I don't know what to say about this episode. The series seems to be slowing down, and I'm not getting a lot of development.


Erik Bates | July 16, 2022

Oh, and Scott, I didn't have any issues with the subtitles.


Scott Hardie | July 21, 2022

Hear, hear to Rosario Dawson being welcome in the series. She rose to fame in unserious movies like Adventures of Pluto Nash and Josie and the Pussycats, but she revealed hidden depths around the same time in 25th Hour and I've been a big fan of her ever since. She hasn't been in anything that she hasn't made better, including this corner of the MCU.

Regarding Matt getting beaten up: I'm not an expert on Daredevil comics, and even less so on Catholicism for that matter, but my impression is that the character is intended to manifest his Catholic guilt by willingly suffering for his cause, which means taking more of a beating than the typical hero. But suffering injuries varies from character to character: Larger-than-life heroes like Thor and Hulk rarely get hurt because their invulnerability is part of their appeal, while unstoppable killing machines like Deadpool and Wolverine and Punisher suffer a ridiculous amount of graphic injury because shrugging it off to kill some more is their whole deal. Daredevil belongs to a category of relatable regular-guy underdogs like Spider-Man, for whom we are meant to identify with every blow. When they get hurt, we feel it.


Scott Hardie | July 21, 2022

And just to be clear, if I'm correct about the show's (and the comics') interpretation of Catholicism, I regard it entirely as a silly Hollywood convention. What, if you're Catholic, you're supposed to like getting beaten up? You're supposed to think you deserve it? How weird. It's about on par with how accurately writers portray neurodiversity, homosexuality, ethnic customs, or just about anything else they're not familiar with.


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Happy anniversary!

Erik Bates joined Funeratic 20 years ago today.