Daredevil Season 3 is arguably one of the best seasons of television produced by Marvel – indeed produced by Netflix. It delivers pathos and heart and while episodes 5 and 6 picked up the tempo for the Man Without Fear, 7 and 8 deal with the aftermath. It’s the thrumming dramatic twist until it gets to the bigger crescendo of the end of the season.
Episodes 7 & 8, “Aftermath” and “Upstairs/Downstairs” may be thematic “low points” but they bring a lot of character development and depth to the various players. As Fisk manipulates New York into declaring Daredevil a villain while pushing his newest creation Dex into the mold he’s made for him, Matt struggles with his guilt and his history and other characters are pushed into the spotlight.
Let’s take a look at just where each character is and just how the emotional fallout of the attack on the Bulletin is carried out and just where each one of the characters is going in Aftermath and Upstairs/Downstairs.
Fisk Schemes and Matt Gets Creamed
The painful aftermath of the attack on the Bulletin is felt in some scenes that are far too similar to scenes that have played out in real life. Thanks to Fisk’s machinations, the press blames Daredevil and we learn how the Kingpin of crime has returned to power. Thanks to purchasing the hotel he has a means of conducting business without the FBI’s knowledge. Fisk proves himself crafty and sitting like the cat in cream he rejoices in the conclusion of his plans.
While Fisk may be reaping the benefits of his plan, Matt returns to the corner to prepare for the next round. Matt and Sister Maggie argue and Matt explains that he blames her for involving Karen and Foggy while Maggie insists she’ll be quiet but she still wants to help him. It’s obvious there’s something more between the two of them.
Despite Fisk’s moment of triumph it turns out to be an all-too-brief reprieve for him. The FBI plans to shut down his deal. Nadeem appears to be turning a corner in his desperation to achieve something as a civil servant. Everyone suspects that something is happening and the good guys seem to be catching up.
Matt and Fisk tangle again over Melvin Potter, Fisk’s tailor. Arriving and asking questions, he’s caught in another trap by Fisk who uses Potter to try and destroy Matt. Potter tries to trap Matt before ending up trapped instead – not before letting it slip that Fisk is using one of the FBI agents to do his dirty work. Matt is off then to find out which one.
Karen and Foggy Visit Family
Despite putting Karen and Foggy in danger, the two of them try and relieve the tension. While Foggy reunites with Marci and the two end up figuring out Fisk’s plan. Foggy’s the source of relaxation in this episode. He returns home and we get a look at his personal history.
Karen’s attempts to relieve the tension, however, are significantly darker. She’s dragged into the FBI’s office and briefly teams up with Agent Nadeem, revealing that he’s starting to turn to the light side (so to speak). Karen returns to the hospital to talk to her editor. In a move cribbed from J. Jonah Jameson he asks for her help to find Daredevil. She refuses and is fired.
We get a hint that Karen’s history is far darker. She calls home and is told not to come back – we’re forced to wonder just what Karen will do now that she’s stuck in New York with nothing to truly keep her there.