And just after complaining about those less-than gory fight sequences, we get some doozies in this one. John Healy (Alex Morf) reads like a cross between Walton Goggins, but when he was on Community, with a little bit of, well, Joss Whedon. His earnest request about bowling contrasts nicely with the next scene, where he snaps Mr. Prohaszka’s bones and smashes his head with a bowling ball. Well, he had to. A random 36-hour flashback shows that Turk Barrett promised him his revolver would work when it counted. I thought that flashback would be a whole episode aspect, and when it was just a onetime gag, it became my favorite bit in this already good episode — one that brings our villain into the fore, and lays out some ground rules for the Daredevil universe.
But first, we get a new character thread: Ben Urich, a reporter at the New York Bulletin, who meets a man by the river. This man Knows Things, like how Rigoletto, the man the prison guard was originally indebted to, was found “in pieces.” Urich tries to needle him on the Russians, but the man shakes his head, saying he shouldn’t go into it. Urich is also rebuffed by his editor about exploring the story. When he, like everyone else in the New York Times comment section, says they used to write about real news, his editor responds that they are being outpaced by bloggers (ha! Sure, okay, this is an alternate universe), and all that kind of news story will do is put a bunch of “fat old guys in white-collar prison.” What they really need is new readers! So he puts him on a story about the Hell’s Kitchen subway line, not asking, “Will they ever make a line go direct to Javits Center so events like the New York Comic-Con and International Restaurant and Food Show are easier to get to?” but the least important question: “What color should it be?”
But Urich needs to be employed at this modern-day “girlie mag” (no one called them that ever, Urich!) because he needs to push his insurance policy to pay for his wife’s private hospital room. (At least, that’s what I figured — surely his policy is connected to his job?) He’s given a bit of a break when Karen approaches him at the end of the episode.
Ah, right: Karen. I’m not sure how I feel about Karen’s character, because she seems overly idealistic without enough savvy. In all, the female characters seem to be innocents, or victims, or pawns, or naïve. There also don’t seem to be too many of them. I want to hope for an Alice Morgan–like wrench in the works, and Karen might be that. But so far I haven’t seen a true savvy to her, though the fact that she hides something away at the law firm means she’s not too trusting.
Karen reaches out to Urich when she’s asked by the now-defunct (or rather, renamed) Union Allied’s lawyers to sign an agreement for six months’ salary and silence on the matter. She reaches out to her murdered co-worker’s wife for guidance, but she tells Karen she’s already signed the agreement. She also reveals that she was the one who told her husband to step forward, highlighting one of the main rules of the Daredevil universe: Even wanting to do the right thing can get you killed. I like this, because here we have the politics and intrigue. The same reason no one on The Good Wife, Game of Thrones, or House of Cards is innocent — or at least, no one who sticks to some ideals lasts very long. The only escapees of this so far on the show are Matt and Karen, but Karen is still an innocent. So we’ll see which goes first: her life or her naïveté.
But back to our favorite law firm without any clients: Wesley comes in, asking them to represent a phony association by taking on Healy, the “shark in the skin suit,” as their client. It’s clearly not Healy’s first rodeo, and Matt needles him in his Matt-y way, but Healy’s not budging. He wants to go to trial, and while Matt is appropriately worried about Wesley — whom he only knows from the tick of his ridiculously hard-to-read Cartier watch — he’s incredibly discomfited when he realizes that a woman in the jury is being blackmailed. He goes after the jerk bothering her, but the jury is hung, anyway. At least they didn’t straight-up find him innocent when Moriarty pulled this on Sherlock.
Wesley explains his reasoning to Leland: “Heckle and Jeckle,” as Leland calls them, are completely clean, and they needed to deal with this problem within the confines of the law for once. He also tells him the boss is out looking at art — specifically, a blank white canvas, which, as he mournfully admits to the gallery owner, makes him feel “alone.”
But who is he? We find this out when Matt follows Healy to a dark alley after the trial — another good, more realistic, but still visceral fight — and tortures (seriously?) a name out of him: Wilson Fisk. Healy wails that Matt’s left him for a fate worse than death, a consequence that depresses Matt — and then totally freaks him out when Healy impales himself on a spike.
- Bobby’s wife says, “I have two kids, and they’re all that matter to me now.” Again, the argument of having and caring for kids is mutually exclusive to having and keeping a certain degree of integrity …
- Matt’s priest returns, affable and open to making him a latte for some hangout time. I hope Matt takes him up on the offer!
- Wesley goes back to the arcade to get the gun — will it mean something later? I didn’t get that sense, but you can never tell with a Netflix show …
- By the way, a few commenters have pointed out that the damage “two years ago” Matt referenced in episode one is from the “Battle of New York” in The Avengers.