Daredevil 3.05: “The Perfect Game”
When last we left our heroes of Hell’s Kitchen, Matt Murdock had just been launched off of a dock, locked inside a cab. This was all after a heart-pounding and intense jailbreak scene, the likes of which, we’ve never seen done so well. This episode is a bit of a departure and very much felt different than the proceeding four episodes of the season thus far. We step away from Murdock for a bit, while still hovering around his story, and we focus more on Benjamin “Dex” Pointdexter, with a mix of Foggy and Karen to whet our appetites. This is very much an origin story for Dex, and we get to learn how he became the…eccentric FBI Agent who we really didn’t know much about. We knew he was an ace shooter, being unworldly accurate in the rescue effort of his fellow agents and crime boss Wilson Fisk. We also knew he has an unhealthy attraction to a redhead who enjoys a slice of pizza to end her Tuesdays. But by the end of this episode, we’d come to understand Dex fully, and the picture that is painted is both tragic and disturbing.
The way the director (Julian Holmes), presents us with Dex’s backstory is utterly brilliant and beautiful. Fisk is researching Agent Pointdexter in order to continue to manipulate him and we see him in the background of all the flashbacks. We see Dex as a young boy, honing his accuracy skills with baseball. He’s pulled from a game by his coach while in the midst of a perfect game, which Dex believes will bring his parents back. Dex would kill his coach with the baseball, throwing it at a fence post to ricochet it into the coach’s head. This would land the poor child into therapy where the therapist discovers it was no accident and he meant to kill the coach. The boy has some obsessive-compulsive disorder along with psychopathic tendencies, but she does not reveal his true nature but instead begins to nurture him in the way being empathetic to people around him. Dex would fake his way through being empathic and later attempt to talk a suicidal man into murdering someone else instead of taking his own life. The story of Dex is complicated and it revolves around the ever-growing mental health crisis we found our actual society dealing with on a daily basis. They touch and several very real issues that many people suffer from and they make Dex a very real yet very terrifying human being. We start to relate to the poor boy, but then it takes a complete turn and we just fear and loathe his actions.
Meanwhile, Karen is on the hunt for Fisk’s fixer, Felix Manning (unbeknownst to her, Fisk has just told the FBI that Matt Murdock was his fixer). She’s immediately threatened by him with his knowledge of her life and that of her entire family, including her brother’s death. She’s then questioned by FBI due to Murdock being named by Fisk. At Murdock’s apartment, his wet clothes are there but he’s nowhere to be seen, and Agent Nadeem asks Page about Fisk’s associate James Wesley. Remember him? Karen killed him back in season one. She would finally confess this to Foggy when they meet to discuss the FBI’s investigation of Matt.
We have the pieces of the puzzle now, as Fisk begins to really lay out his plan to take the heat off of himself. He plans to create a new villain for the city to latch onto in the form of Dex, and also keep Murdock of his back by naming him as his fixer. The master manipulator that is Kingpin is really taking form in this new season and it will be exciting to see what he can really do as the puppet master, locked away in his ivory tower. The episode ends by showing the audience that Matt did indeed stop at his apartment after escaping the cab and changed, but escaped just before the FBI raided his apartment. He stood on the roof and was able to hear that he is a wanted man, both armed and dangerous. Our hero is now the target of a manhunt. This was very much a palate cleanser from the loaded and intense action filled episode it followed. This was very psychological and an entire character building episode and I loved every second of it. The Easter egg of the Bullseye on Dex’s baseball hat was perfect, and it will be interesting to see exactly how Fisk pulls his strings into doing whatever he needs Dex to do. Click NEXT to get my thoughts on episode 6, “The Devil You Know.”