In both as a vigilante and in his new role as an Assistant District Attorney, Daredevil continues to take on the new gang leader Tenfingers whose control over his followers is explained in the new series’ second issue. Suffering a loss in the courtroom when Tenfingers’ agents manage to get to the state’s star witness is nothing compared to the trouble Daredevil steps in at the end of the issue when The Hand shows up to take back the power Tenfingers stole from them.
The temporary split between law partners and best friends begins here as Foggy (Elden Henson) discovers Matt‘s (Charlie Cox) brutalized body along with the number of secrets his friend has been keeping from him for years. Interspersed with flashbacks showing us various stages of the pair’s friendship from their first meeting as college roommates to the discussion of Matt’s Greek girlfriend to going into business together, “Nelson v. Murdock” paints a picture of a strong bond which is immediately shattered because of Matt Murdock’s lies (not just about his work as a vigilante but the larger lie about the true aspects of his blindness). The split is, of course, temporary, but it does allow each character to work towards taking down Fisk separately while eventually providing Matt another confidant he isn’t forced to hide his abilities from any longer.
“Speak of the Devil” begins with one of the season’s better fight sequences which will be quickly interrupted by flashbacks and later returned to near the end of the episode. Maneuvered into place by the Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio), Nobu (Peter Shinkoda) sets a trap for Daredevil (Charlie Cox) not realizing that Fisk plans on taking out both thorns in his side in one fell swoop. The episode is also notable for the only time Matt Murdock (unmasked, as himself) and Wilson Fisk share a conversation which will lead Matt to the dark realization that the would-be Kingpin of crime needs to die.
For a show that’s shown us only glimpses of the main character’s past I have mixed feelings about devoting nearly an entire episode to examine the past of the Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio). One of the lessons of Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight is that we are given multiple possible origins for the Joker but the truth of his past isn’t important to who the man is today. Wilson Fisk is our bad guy, he’s the head of organized crime in New York with plans of branding himself to the public as a philanthropist. What happened in his past to create the man he is isn’t necessary information for Daredevil (Charlie Cox) to defeat him. Of course the fact the Arrow already did the exact same storyline with Brother Blood (murdered his father as a kid, attempted to take over the city as a shadowy figure, pretending his mother is dead while hiding her away in a private institution) makes the episode feel like slightly under-heated leftovers.
“Stick” introduces an important character from Matt Murdock‘s (Charlie Cox) past whose introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe raises questions the series either can’t or isn’t willing to answer at this point. Although I’ve enjoyed Daredevil the more I watch the show the less it feels a part of the same universe as the various Marvel films and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Stick,” both the character and the episode, is a good example of this as Stick (Scott Glenn) doesn’t fit within the rules the previous Marvel Cinematic films and series have set-up. Stick can’t be a mutant, he obviously isn’t an Inhuman, and unless he’s a product of the Super-Soldier program or a some variation his abilities cannot be accounted for in the shared world that still has yet to introduce mysticism as an aspect of this shared universe.
“World on Fire” and “Condemned” conclude the Russian mob arc from Daredevil‘s First Season as Wilson Fisk‘s (Vincent D’Onofrio) attempts to pin the murder of Anatoly Ranskahov (Gideon Emery) on Hell’s Kitchen’s new vigilante lead to Daredevil (Charlie Cox) being cornered by the police under the command of the city’s would-be kingpin of crime. Although Vladimir (Nikolai Nikolaeff) will learn the truth about Fisk’s involvement in Anatoly’s death it won’t prevent him from meeting a similar end. Just when I was finally getting intrested in the Russians, whose back story is finally explored here, the show writes both off the show leading to the showdown between the show’s hero and big bad in the season finale.
“In the Blood” turns attention away from the vigilante of Hell’s Kitchen to center on other stories. First, after learning about Daredevil‘s (Charlie Cox) friend, the Russian brothers kidnap Claire (Rosario Dawson) in an attempt to learn his identity and lure the masked man into a trap. Things don’t go exactly according to plan as Daredevil is able to ring up another victory over the Russian mob and lead one of the brothers into making a fatal mistake and leading the series to reveal just why every member of his organization is right to fear Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio).
The latest issue of Mark Waid’s Daredevil returns an old enemy of Daredevil‘s in the Purple Man known as much for his colorful complexion as his ability to bend people to his will. After setting the stage for his current plans years ago, the Purple Man surfaces to begin abducting children all over the city. Revealing himself to be their father, the Purple Man awakes each child’s similar gifts, although he’s not prepared for the welcome deadbeat father receives from his progeny.