Week of October 2, 2022:

Daredevil (Daredevil s1 e13) released April 10, 2015 (where to watch)
Melinda (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. s2 e17) released April 14, 2015 (where to watch)
Scott Hardie | September 13, 2022

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. (5/10)

season rating: 7/10 (It ruled.)
best of season: "Speak of the Devil"
worst of season: "The Ones We Leave Behind"

Scott Hardie | September 18, 2022

Melinda: First, the bad: I'm predisposed to dislike Skye's storyline because she has been written so poorly since the series started, as an off-putting combination of sanctimony and self-absorption and social awkwardness. (Nothing against actress Chloe Bennet, who does her best with the material given to her and has a sense of humor.) So every time the show cuts away to her mountain retreat with The People Who Are Obviously Hiding Things From Her, I start counting down the seconds until we can get back to better material. It's just so predictable, and it hits every story beat right on schedule. Raina whining about her karmic "gifts" for the fourth? fifth? episode in a row is also a turn-off.

I like Coulson and May far more because they act like adults instead of teenagers, and here, May's slow-burning "Cavalry" subplot finally pays off in ways that justify her personality throughout the series. I'm not convinced that we needed to see a depiction of how she got the nickname or an explanation of why she's so stoic (some things are better left unsaid), but if they're going to do it, at least it was done well, and it tied into Skye's storyline in a way that I didn't see coming. I don't buy that anyone in S.H.I.E.L.D. would so immediately doubt Coulson's intentions. (He's building bases full of beds, so they leap to "he's forming an army of superhumans"? How about he's just planning to expand the organization? Ockham's razor is not strong with this bunch.) The bonus scene at the end with Fitz was fun, and has me excited to get on with that storyline asap. (5/10)

Erik Bates | October 3, 2022

I realize I just watched these episodes this past weekend, but somehow they are fleeting in my memory.

I will say this: I, too, am glad that we're finally calling Mudock "Daredevil." I can't believe it took an entire season to get that out there. In all, it's good to see the team back together, as well. There's definitely going to be some growing pains going forward, as everyone tries to figure out where they fit in the superhero world.

Erik Bates | October 3, 2022


Damn. I wasn't expecting such a depressing origin story to the Cavalry.

I'm getting a little tired of Raina, as well. I get it, you don't like your spikes. Wasn't she complaining about how they constantly hurt before? That seems to have gone out the window to be replaced by... bad dreams?

Maybe I missed it. What was may's tie-in with Daisy? It either wasn't obvious, or I had zoned out. I was admittedly watching this episode right before bed, so may have missed something in my sleepiness.

Scott Hardie | October 4, 2022

I saw some meme recently (can't find it now) about how much better it is that today's superhero shows get right into the fun immediately by making their heroes become super-powered and publicly-known within the first episode, whereas "back in my day, superhero shows took a whole season just to build up to the hero's name!"

May's tie-in with Skye was that there was an Inhuman girl involved in the "Cavalry" incident. We've been hearing about this whole "Cavalry" thing since what, episode 1 or 2 of the entire series? So to have it finally play out in flashbacks was unexpected, but to have it connect directly to Skye's conversation with Jiaying at the "Afterlife" mountain retreat was even more unexpected. I did not anticipate that this classic bit of series lore was going to have anything to do with a totally separate storyline nearly two years later, but I thought it was neat that the writers found a way to connect them.

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