Week of July 17, 2022:

The Path of the Righteous (Daredevil s1 e11) released April 10, 2015 (where to watch)
The Ones We Leave Behind (Daredevil s1 e12) released April 10, 2015
Daredevil (Daredevil s1 e13) released April 10, 2015
Scott Hardie | September 13, 2022

The Path of the Righteous: Is it me or is Karen Page effectively the co-protagonist in this series? Unlike the other supporting characters such as Foggy and Claire and Father Lantom, who are portrayed with scarcely any purpose in their lives outside of helping Matt on his journey, Karen is driving her own investigation into the city's corruption, and making a series of very difficult decisions in the process, none more so than in the "amazing" (Kelly's word) final scene here. Her choice is such a great contrast with Matt and his moral hang-ups.

Unfortunately, other than that great final twist, the rest of the episode feels like another waste of time meant to pad out the series to the contractually-mandated 13 episodes. Very little happens that advances the plot, and the episode keeps repeating things we've seen before, like Owlsley whining and Fisk devoting himself to Vanessa and Claire admonishing Matt. I don't care for the show's treatment of Melvin Potter (Hollywood has long struggled to portray mental disability with accuracy or dignity, so it's not a surprise, just a disappointment), but the moral conversation in the church is a stand-out. I could watch a whole hour just consisting of Matt and Lantom debating philosophy. (original opinion 5/10, today's opinion 5/10)

The Ones We Leave Behind: And now we get to the reverse of last episode's great twist ending, with a terrible twist ending. It's not just one of the saddest moments in the MCU, it's just needlessly wasteful of a great character. Ben Urich is a pillar of Daredevil comics; killing him off in the first season of a Daredevil TV series would be like killing off Perry White and Jimmy Olsen early in a Superman TV series. And for what, to demonstrate that Fisk is dangerous to investigate and capable of murdering in a rage? We know that already! I guess you can't call it a twist ending, since Urich's death has been foreshadowed in nearly every conversation; he's had serious cop-who's-two-days-from-retirement-and-just-bought-a-boat energy all season long. Given that this ending is wildly unpopular both online and in my house, I'm curious what anyone else here thinks of it.

A scene that is more popular but still not my cup of tea is the "following" scene, where we see someone who is definitely not Charlie Cox do a bunch of acrobatic flips on rooftops while following a delivery person to Gao's warehouse. I get that one of Daredevil's things is following people around on the street because he has radar sense and a good disguise, and I like the shot where everyone else on the street is blurry except for his target. But it doesn't make any sense that Matt could keep up with that car (especially across multiple blocks), or that a limo would pick up a delivery person just to drive them for what seems like a very short distance, or that Matt would peek out to watch the limo's arrival and risk being spotted when he can't see anyway. I want to like the scene as a showing off of Matt's powers, but I just can't.

However, I will give props to the scene inside the warehouse for being creepy. Sneaking around the blind has made for tense scenes in horror movies like Don't Breathe and Pan's Labyrinth. Here, the scars of chemical blinding on the faces of the victims tells quite a story without saying a word. Karen's understandable drinking (that's what, three attempts on her life in eleven episodes?) is also nicely handled. (original opinion 3/10, today's opinion 5/10)

Daredevil: Ugh, I know I signed up to watch a superhero series, but it's still disappointing when a show about ideas comes down to two men punching each other. What happened to the witty dialogue of the early episodes? This episode had few things to say, but it did say some with a certain grandeur, best of all in the operatic arrest montage that feels inspired by Scorsese. (Take your pick: GoodFellas, Casino, and Wolf of Wall Street all had similar moments.)

I wasn't very satisfied by the final fight, because both Matt and Fisk throw more interesting verbal jabs than literal ones. But I was satisfied that "The Man in Black" has finally started being called by the freaking title of the series, and that at last he has the costume. Kelly was disappointed in the red suit, feeling it separates Matt from the world and makes him less grounded, and I can see that take, but there's something about a dramatic costume reveal in a superhero show that just thrills on some basic level. What do you think?

And hey, there was even room for a Stan Lee cameo, so the episode couldn't have been all bad. (original opinion 7/10, today's opinion 5/10)

season average: 6.6/10 (It ruled.)
best of season: "Speak of the Devil"
worst of season: "The Ones We Leave Behind"


Scott Hardie | September 13, 2022
This comment contains spoilers for Daredevil, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Reveal it.

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