Daredevil Recap: A Life in Search of Power

“Marvel’s Daredevil” Photo: Barry Wetcher/Netflix
Episode Title
World On Fire
Editor’s Rating

This episode we get to see how Wilson Fisk’s vast network works, and how deep it goes.

Wesley meets Vladimir, who is leaving Anatoly angry messages. Wesley feigns ignorance at Anatoly’s disappearance, suggesting that he’s off celebrating because they agreed upon a deal. But then they find Anatoly’s body — just his body, it seems — and Vladimir sobs over it before finding a black mask and figuring that the man in the mask is sending a message.

Meanwhile, Leland, Madame Gao, and Nobu are hanging out at a … car wash, while they stare at the blood draining off the side of the car in trepidation. Wesley and Wilson come together, and Wilson explains he killed Anatoly and will be wiping the Russians off the map. The others protest, but he’ll be taking over and splitting the shares between them. Then he walks Madame Gao to her car, which she of course realizes means he wants something.

The next time the Russians are out moving drugs around, Matt shows up. Daredevil’s fight sequences are unique in that they pan around to show us the landscape before setting up the fight. I also like the initial closed perspective from inside the car, which gives us a good idea of what we’re looking at. Also: Matt holds back his punches, if only to concentrate on throwing heavy objects and flip kicks, the likes of which I’ve only seen Captain America do. He asks about “Vladimir,” the name Claire gave him, but all he gets is Piotr telling him that “Everyone knows you took his head.” Confused, he runs off, leaving bodies in his wake, but Piotr alive for the cops to take into custody. Matt makes an excuse to go to the precinct where he says hi to Brett (Brett! Of the infamous cigar-smoking mama) and listens in on Piotr’s interrogation. The two cops — the same ones who didn’t charge Karen — listen to Piotr say Wilson Fisk’s name, before one of them punches the other in the face to give them an excuse to shoot and kill Piotr.

Karen and Foggy are actually covering a case, as Bess’s friend Mrs. Cardenas is in danger of being forced out of her rent-controlled apartment by Armand Tully, who is represented by the law firm Matt and Foggy used to intern at. They go to the law firm, which, I agree, Karen, does look like the place in a movie “where you’d buy a clone.” Marci Stahl, an old flame of Foggy’s, meets with them, but Foggy points out that she’s full of BS, and he and his client have all the leverage, despite Marci’s threats. Then they go to Mrs. Cardenas’ place to help her fix up — what with Foggy’s dad having owned a hardware store and his cousin who does drywall and Karen with a blank space for a past, they’re perfect for the job! Mrs. Cardenas is so touched she cooks for them and leaves them for their “date,” which Karen now agrees it is. She’s clearly warmed up to Foggy in the past few episodes, not least because of his standing up to Marci. Her eyes still flicker when Foggy talks about the girls Matt has dated. Foggy says that Matt used to ask the pretty girls if he could touch their face to tell what they looked like — so of course, Karen asks Foggy to touch her face.

When Matt questions one of the cops later, he goes with the idea that he killed Anatoly, and gets the cop’s burner phone. Claire, who’s stuck in Matt’s apartment (with, I hope, a Wi-Fi password), finds a list of locations on it, which Matt realizes is where the Russians are located. Despite making out that morning, though, Claire isn’t sure about Matt when he runs off to beat up on the Russians that night. She says she’s not sure if she can be with him when his moral code is so blurry. She’s kind of wishy-washy about it, which, girl — if you’re going to date and live with a vigilante (anyone, really, but I feel this goes double for vigilantes), you need to be clear about what you want and expect from them, especially their moral code.

You know whose love life is going well, comparatively? Wilson Fisk’s. He managed to convince Vanessa to come on a second date, wearing a dress carved by the same person who did her cheekbones. This time he promises her that he will be honest, and he will be fine if she leaves. She sticks around, and Wilson listens to her boring stories. He asks her why she bought a gun, and she tells him she knows he’s a dangerous man, but slides the gun over to him in a show of trust.

Vladimir hears from Turk (our gun-seller from last episode), who tells him information that implies Fisk and the masked man are in it together. The Russians prepare their guns, which, ugh. Yes, this show is violent but the lack of gun violence has made that violence more palatable, if only because it means each blow and hit is so viscerally felt. Luckily, Turk is being paid by Wesley, and one of Madame Gao’s blind heroin makers – Fisk’s favor – comes to visit with a bomb button, which Matt hears set up right before the blast. The blast hits right near Mrs. Cardenas, right when Foggy was feeling up Karen’s face on her request. Vanessa and Wilson watch as four fiery holes open up in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen. Wilson explains that he took down the men who stole the little boy that Vanessa read about on the news. He conveniently ignores the fact that he’ll be taking over their businesses, but that’s clearly just not second date stuff.

Vladimir survived the blast, just in time for him to walk into Matt, who gives him a bloody pummeling. He whispers, “This one’s for Claire,” before the punch he never gets to throw, because the cops show up and ask him to put his hands in the air.

• Matt explains his powers to Claire as, he can only physically see a “world on fire,” he uses his other senses to get an “impressionist painting,” which explains the Vaseline images we’ve seen when Matt is “looking” at something. He also tells her how he can hear her bones grind under her skin (sexy) and tastes copper in the air when she bleeds, which should come in handy later in their relationship.

• Wesley suggests that Anatoly might’ve been gay, and Vladimir doesn’t blink. Seriously? Is the one queer character going to be queer after the fact? Though I wonder if Wesley is gay, if only because we still haven’t gotten his whole backstory yet. Which villain’s backstory are we going to explore before Claire’s or Karen’s? I mean, Nobu does tell Fisk, “Remember your promise to me and those I speak for,” so my bet’s on him.

• A nice detail: When Matt gets up before everyone else does in the precinct, when he hears the gun cock in the interrogation room.

• Matt doesn’t reveal he knows Spanish until Karen’s struggled through a few translations. The man who just left a lady who got beat up for him at his apartment tells her to go on: “No, I like this in your voice.” Matt, NO.

• It occurs to me that Matt could probably tell when a girl liked him because of the way her heart beat around him. Maybe he can tell that Foggy likes Karen because of those heartbeats, and that’s why he suggested Karen join him to go to the law firm.

• Did y’all notice Matt ruffles the cop’s hair after he beats him up? I’m grateful for the lack of quips, but that made me laugh.