Daredevil Reviews: Episodes 3.01–3.02

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Matt Murdock is back in black in Season 3 of Daredevil. Read our reviews of episodes 1-2.

Daredevil 3.01: “Resurrection”

Daredevil season 3 starts with the most obvious reveal, which is Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) isn’t actually dead. But he’s also just barely alive and after washing up on the docks after the Midland Circle explosion he asks to be taken to Father Lantom (Peter McRobbie).

Just like when he was a child, he’s under the care of Sister Maggie (Joanne Whalley) again at the orphanage. And just like as a child he can’t see. But this time he means his extrasensory abilities are gone since they were damaged in the explosion.

Because of the nature of the character, Daredevil has always done more with sound than other shows but it’s especially interesting to hear the sharp contrast between the normal audio and Matt’s muffled hearing.

Unfortunately, our hero has been damaged more than just in his body, his soul has taken just as much of a beating. Once a devout Catholic, he’s lost his faith after losing Elektra and letting her die a second time.

Two orphans wander in to ogle at Matt asking what happened to him. He retorts, “Life.”

He’s resistant to Father Lantom and Sister Maggie’s appeals to faith. Matt is broken.

But, he’s not dead. And Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) refuses to believe he is.

At Matt’s apartment, we see a flashback of Karen and Matt after she discovered his identity. He promises her he’s done being the Daredevil, but Karen knows better.

“I want to believe you,” Karen replies. “But I’m not so sure Daredevil’s the problem.”

Foggy (Elden Henson) shows up and tries to convince Karen to look at the facts, Matt is dead. But he’s also her friend so he agrees to help her keep Matt’s apartment one more month. (Let’s just ignore the fact there’s no way Karen could afford to keep two apartments on a journalist’s salary to begin with).

Matt is moved from the orphanage to the crypt of the church, where he continues to recover. But he’s far from wanting to be Matt Murdock again, saying letting people in cost him a price once.

Sister Maggie brings Matt a braille bible, but he still refuses and even shares the story of Job, who lost everything, to illustrate his point.

Like Job he once thought he was God’s soldier.  Now he will only bleed for himself.

While Matt’s faith has always been essential to his character, it seems even more impactful now that he’s lost it. It’s easier to live as the Devil than in the hell of Matt Murdock.

Sister Maggie chastizes him but Matt explains he doesn’t hate God, “I’ve just seen his true face is all.”

There’s a sharp cut to a scene straight out of Chef’s Kitchen where we see an unknown person creating a beautiful omelet against a backdrop of classical music. It’s revealed to be not quite what it seems, as it’s actually Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) in his prison cell in a simulacrum of the scene.

His only real concern these days is the one that’s driven him the past three seasons: Vanessa. But things aren’t looking good for his true love after his lawyers revealed that the government has decided to prosecute her as an accessory to his crimes.

Now You’re Just Showing Off

Meanwhile, Matt tries to test his abilities, but his hearing just isn’t the same. Sister Maggie, aka your new favorite character, continues to give Matt flack for giving up so easily when he has so much. She reminds him his father never stayed down in a fight.

After a gross-out scene where Matt does not correctly use a Netipot in a sterile manner, he’s able to get some of his hearing back now that a ton of blood and gunk has been flushed out.

He’s spurred back into action and begins training with a Rocky-esque montage scene (if Rocky was set entirely in the crypt of a church).

Sister Maggie takes this as a good sign and convinces Lantom to let Matt hold a boxing match.

“Heal the body and the spirit will follow.”

“It’s the other way around.”

Marvel’s Daredevil

After the fight, he decides he’s ready to hit the streets. The image of him crouching on top of the church in his black mask might be one of the most iconic shots to come out of this series.

He rescues a man from an attempted kidnapping and gets beaten pretty badly, even egging them on to kill him, but his attackers flee.

In the final minutes of the episode, we’re introduced to new character Rahul ‘Ray’ Nadeem (Jay Ali). On the outside, Ray seems like a happy middle-class dad and husband, but like so many people his family deals with mounting debt driven by exorbitant medical expenses after taking care of an ailing family member.

It’s clear they’re letting us know this about Ray for a greater purpose down the line, but it’s also a heartbreaking look at something more real and relatable than vigilantes taking down bad guys.

In a very masterful twist that is slightly ruined if you already know too much about the character, we hear Ray say he’s going to take care of the problem to his wife and then it cuts to him loading up a gun. What is he going to do?

Well, it turns out he’s just going to work. Ray is an FBI agent who finds out he’s been denied a review (and subsequent promotion and pay raise) because bureau policy would flag his financial instability as a weakness.

It doesn’t matter that Ray went into debt to a help a family member. The system is stacked against him. Not only does he receive this great news, but it’s also his turn for the FBI’s monthly check-in with Fisk.

He tells Fisk he doesn’t want to waste time, but to his surprise, Fisk has had a change of heart. He’ll do anything to protect Vanessa, including making a deal with the FBI.

Additional Thoughts:

  • While the gang isn’t all back together yet, it’s great to see the show balance so many characters in a compelling manner instead of putting the whole focus on Matt.
  • As compelling as The Punisher was last season, Vincent D’Onofrio’s magnetic performance as Fisk is already elevating this season.
  • Sister Maggie is already my new favorite character. Sassy nun, enough said.
  • Composer John Paesano absolutely outdoes himself in how big and cinematic the score feels this season. Of all the Marvel Netflix shows, this one sounds the most like a feature film.

Read on for our review of episode 3.02.

Daredevil 3.02: “Please”

Following the last episode, Fisk’s big move is to sell out the Albanians in exchange for saving Vanessa. Ray makes the bust of the Albanian mob, and excitedly pronounces, “Who knows how far this goes?” The words seem more ominous when they relate back to Fisk.

Naturally, Fisk’s deed gets out and he’s attacked in the prison. He’s only stabbed before getting the best of his attacker, almost killing him before remembering Vanessa’s safety is on the line.

Matt makes it back to the church after his escapades, but Sister Maggie refuses to give up on Matt even though he insists he’s lost his calling.

“I no longer care what God wants.”

In a flashback, we see a young Matt angry over wanting to hear God. After losing his father, his faith is the only thing Matt has to latch onto.

“If you want to hear God Matthew you have to listen more carefully because he speaks in whispers,” Father Lantom explains. Matt apparently no longer cares about listening to God.

Meanwhile, Ray realizes Fisk is his ticket to a promotion and convinces his boss to give him full detail on Fisk. Will it be worth the risk?

It’s really so good to have Fisk back, trying to figure out what his plans are when he always seems 10 steps ahead of every other character. His first move is to get out of jail though, pleading for his safety after the attack. It works, but what’s his real goal?

Ray convinces NYPD the knowledge Fisk can give them will actually make New York safer, so they have to release him.

Karen Page is busy at her own job, pitching a new investigative piece that ties back to Midland Circle explosion. All critiques of TV show journalists aside, Karen at least brings some investigative chops into it. Even if her investigations mostly just feed her obsession with finding out the truth about Matt.

Instead, she’s assigned to cover the attempted kidnapping of a reality tv celebrity and his daughter. It’s not her dream story, but she’s able to relate to the girl because of her own history of being persecuted by the press. She promises the girl it’s better to tell your own story.

Of course, this also turns out to be great news for Karen since it was the same girl RESCUED BY MATT. Now Karen has proof there’s a man out there in a black mask rescuing people, so it must be Matt. Duh.

Matt has fallen back into full Daredevil mode, saying, “I don’t get to choose who I am, I’m Daredevil, not even God can stop that now.” He tracks down the kidnappers from last night using his super sniffer to match their dry cleaning van’s scent.

Sláinte

In a much happier twist, we get to meet Foggy’s huge Irish Brooklyn family! Finally! Remember him saying they were butchers in season 1? Well, apparently his mom wants him to come back to the family business because of his father’s deteriorating health. Foggy almost seems to consider it given his unhappiness with Matt gone. He has a heart to heart with his brother revealing life as a highly paid attorney isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when your best friend is dead.

His brother tells him he can’t give up his life he worked so hard for. “Anyway, you can’t make a sandwich to save your ass.”

Ah, brotherly love.

Well if that wasn’t enough, Karen shows up with some news. Matt is alive. Foggy refuses to believe it’s him, but Karen doesn’t think he really feels that way adding, “You keep saying gone instead of dead.”

Matt stakes out the dry cleaners where the kidnappers work and takes them down so he can report their illegal gun stash to the police. He shows up at the hospital to tell the daughter she can go down to the police station to identify them.

Their following exchange is a little over the top.

“Thank God for you,” she says. To which Matt replies, “He didn’t help you, I did.”

Yikes, we get it, Matt. Let’s not go full Batman over here.

But the episode ends with a much bigger bang. After delivering a hugely Shakespearean monologue about love being its own prison, Fisk’s transport van is attacked by the Albanians.

Again, Daredevil steps up the cinematic feel with the explosions and chaos of the scene. It looks like Fisk is a goner for sure. The FBI agents assigned to him are taken down one by one and he’s stuck handcuffed in the van.

Instead, he’s rescued by a suspiciously talented FBI marksman. You might say every one of his shots is a…bullseye.

That’s right, it’s Agent Poindexter aka Dex aka this season’s soon-to-be villain Bullseye.

Wilson Fisk has just made his new best friend.

Matt is still at the hospital when the ambulances from the attack arrived. He learns for the first time Fisk is free.

Additional Thoughts:

  • Best line of the episode is definitely “Beyonce has fewer demands,” which is a response to Wilson “Diva” Fisk.
  • Dex is…very scary. I can’t wait to see his character’s journey this season.
  • Props to Daredevil for showing Karen do actual reporting. Not all journalists on superhero tv shows are that lucky…cough cough.

Daredevil Season 3 is streaming now on Netflix.

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