A lot happening in this episode, but first: This show needs (needed?) more Claire. She comes back near the beginning of this episode to re-stitch up Matt, and it’s the one light, calm moment in an increasingly dark show. It’s not that the darkness isn’t interesting or fun, it’s just that Claire and Matt have a chemistry that is so hard to find in Marvel TV shows. Agent Carter teased a romance that felt dead on arrival and largely irrelevant while Captain America: The First Avenger could suggest a romance in sorrowful glances. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. prefers angst and lies to actual chemistry, which only shows up in amicable divorces. Meanwhile, the romance of the Iron Man movies only culminated after some serious character growth and contained a kind of open, constant communication you don’t even see in most romantic comedies. It’s clear from the way that Foggy talked last episode that Matt’s really good at bringing the ladies in — and who wouldn’t be into a guy who’s really into listening to your voice? His floppy hair and dorky smile are just icing on the cake compared to that! — but it seems like Matt is very good at hiding his fighting side from everyone he loves.
Plus, unlike other Marvel characters, Matt might have multiple confidantes — like the priest whom he desperately asks about what to do with the “devil” in him — but he doesn’t have many people he’s completely comfortable and genuine around. He and Foggy are still not talking, and while Karen makes a warm overture with a monkey balloon, Matt stonewalls her. He scolds her for putting herself in a dangerous situation and refuses to answer her questions truthfully, even when Karen pushes hard as Matt starts day drinking. She says Matt should trust her, like she trusted him when she first stayed with him – except she lied to him, Matt points out. Ah, that’s definitely why Matt is a little more cautious around her, even as Foggy feels terrible about it. Foggy snaps at Karen when she pushes him for more information, and she retreats to cry on the phone with Urich. Ben, who already promised her that Fisk’s days are numbered after that benefit, promises he’ll find a way to get the word out.
Compared to his awkward discussion with Karen, Claire’s scene with Matt is like a breath of fresh air. While they dance around their attraction, Claire is very clear that she’s not interested in how he’s this close to martyring himself. Even after all that’s happened, Matt still doesn’t have a plan. He doesn’t even have a plan for a plan, beyond “Kill Will.”
But Claire switches a light on in his head when she tells him to get some damn armor beyond that Under Armor. (This is why you need to keep her around, Matt, you big dummy!) After roughing up Turk for information, Matt goes to see Melvin Potter, who makes Wilson Fisk’s fancy light armor suits and who Leland once called an “idiot,” which seems harsh considering he’s the only person who Matt can find who makes this lightweight fabric. After a particularly painful fight scene — Matt is still limping everywhere, and Melvin smashes his head against a table multiple times, picks him up by his skull, and tries to choke him with chains. Yeesh. When Matt finally beats him down enough so that Melvin slumps to the floor sobbing, even Matt is slightly appalled. He learns that Melvin is worried about Fisk hurting his caretaker, Betsy, so Matt strikes the deal that he’ll try to protect her if Melvin makes him not a suit, but a symbol. One “to be feared,” as the priest suggested during their discussion when he reveals that he knows that Matt is the man in the mask.
Fisk is still waiting impatiently for Vanessa to wake up, although thankfully she’s okay, although this episode really suffers from the lack of her beautiful accent. He tells her he has no faith, and can’t pray for her, but swears revenge. Leland is fussing over how they’re going to proceed with business if Fisk is acting like this, but Wesley is more preoccupied with the fact that Karen visited Fisk’s mother. He goes off on his own to get Karen, kidnapping her and dragging her to yet another abandoned warehouse, but at least there’s a table and chair in this one.
Wesley and she talk about the city – Wesley hates it, talking about the hot garbage on the streets and how you never get the filth off of you. Uh, why not create some kind of garbage division if you really want to clean up this city? Or at least not have people put their trash out on Fridays? But he has faith in Fisk. Karen is worse, though: she’s straight up indifferent about the city, and that’s one of the most annoying things about her character. Why does she care so much? Wesley tries to offer her the “job” of convincing Urich to forget this whole story, with her “charisma” — sure, okay — unless she wants all her friends to die. Karen, backed into a corner like an animal, grabs the gun Wesley left on the table between them. After watching her edge everyone on about ideals to the point of naïveté, it’s practically fun to watch Saint Karen fall from grace by shooting Wesley eight times.
But she does say one interesting thing before she shoots him: “Do you really think this is the first time I’ve shot someone?” Backstory, please!
• “At least I got to see you with your shirt off again.” Claire, stay! This show needs you!
• After she sleeps with Foggy, Marci offers some comfort: “Foggy, you and Matt have been friends for a long time…so whatever’s happening with you two, I don’t really care.” Marci, you stay too, you’re hilarious.
• One small detail I liked: Melvin going for the mini-fridge and grabbing … a chocolate milk.