Week of July 3, 2022:

World on Fire (Daredevil s1 e5) released April 10, 2015 (where to watch)
Condemned (Daredevil s1 e6) released April 10, 2015
Stick (Daredevil s1 e7) released April 10, 2015
Erik Bates | July 16, 2022

World on Fire

I'm really torn on the character development of Fisk. D'Onofrio plays a good "torn" man, but I'm not completely buying the emotion... it feels fake, and I don't know if it's because I'm not buying D'Onofrio's portrayal, or if Fisk really is putting on a front to appear more justified in his actions. Is he using the ends-justifying-means as a distraction from an actual goal of control and power, or is he being honest in his intentions?

We all knew that this would catch up with Murdock sooner or later, right?

Scott Hardie | July 21, 2022

World on Fire: Poor Elden Henson as Foggy. I don't know what's worse, the episodes where he barely does anything, or the episodes where he finally does something and it's embarrassing. I liked the contrast between three couples, Claire & Matt and Foggy & Karen and Vanessa & "Wilson," all trying to initiate relationships with their eyes open, the latter behaving considerably more grown up about it than the other two. I also liked the oner from inside the taxi; the show knows how to build tension by restricting our perspective. But very little advances the story in this hour; it's the show spinning its wheels to pad the episode count. And it makes what I consider a mistake just like the Ben Affleck movie, which is showing us what Daredevil "sees." He shouldn't really see anything at all, and should relate to the world in ways entirely other than visual; that's the point. (original opinion 5/10, today's opinion 5/10)

Erik, regarding D'Onofrio's performance feeling fake, it's hard for me to comment because I know more of where his story goes, but I agree that the performance seems "off" in certain ways that don't add up. D'Onofrio is nothing if not idiosyncratic, so who ever knows why he makes the choices he does?

Condemned: Midway through this episode, a lightning strike took out our home Internet and network. It took us over a week to get everything back to normal and resume watching, which I think colored my perception for the better: We picked it back up during an intense moment, and from then on, I really appreciated the relentless intense pressure of this episode, though I'm still not a fan of the bloodiest extremes of the show's violence. I liked that Matt kept goofing up each attempt to sound intimidating on the call with Fisk (Daredevil's many things, but smarter than Wilson Fisk he is not), and that Foggy continued to be amusingly helpless, though Kelly is tiring of Foggy adding nothing but cringe humor to the show.

I also appreciated that the show is finally beginning to drag out into the open its central moral question about the taking of life. Has Matt gotten himself into a kill-or-be-killed conflict? Is he a hero or a fool for refusing to take a life? By way of its sub-current of Catholicism, the show is positioned to bring a different perspective to these philosophical questions than most superhero fiction, and it's maybe my favorite element of the entire series. More like this, please. (original opinion 5/10, today's opinion 7/10)

Stick: I'll post my main reaction to this behind a spoiler warning (not that I will spoil much), but otherwise I'll say that I enjoyed most of it, particularly Scott Glenn seeming to relish a sharply-written guest role. He has the difficult challenge of making this preposterous old martial-arts master and the vague "Black Sky" silliness seem plausible, and if he doesn't quite pull it off, at least he makes Stick entertaining. I wish that the show had been more explicit about how long Matt trained with Stick (weeks? months? years? all possible), and that Charlie Cox had been more demonstrative of Matt's feelings upon finding the bracelet; it's the first time I've felt like the actor's not right for the part if he can't bring more of that to the surface.

I also liked Urich's moment in his office at the end, glaring at Karen for a beat after she brought Foggy into their investigation. She thinks Urich doubts that Foggy can be trusted, but it's clear from his annoyed stare that he doesn't want to risk having another death on his hands. And I haven't brought this up yet but I should: Foggy pursuing Karen romantically is creepy and inappropriate, and the show never should have gone there. If they didn't have enough material for Foggy and had to pad it with that subplot, then it shouldn't have included him in the series. (original opinion 4/10, today's opinion 8/10)

Scott Hardie | July 21, 2022
This comment contains spoilers for Daredevil, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. Reveal it.

Scott Hardie | July 23, 2022

I mentioned the inappropriateness of Foggy trying to date Karen, as her boss and source of income. I should have also mentioned the inappropriateness of Foggy following her around the city after she declined his date invitation. That's a screaming red flag for bad behavior. The fact that it wound up helping her does not make it ok, not at all. I know that the show intends Foggy to be a decent person, but Hollywood really needs to stop making bad guys out to be white knights; it enables a lot of bad guys in real life. It's tempting to say that Karen seems at least somewhat open to dating Foggy, unlike the similarly sexually-harassed Simmons in AOS, but when it comes down to it, that doesn't matter: He's her boss, so she has to fake interest so as not to risk losing her paycheck. If I were Karen, I'd get the hell out of that job as fast as possible.

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