Daredevil Season 1, Episodes 8-13 Review
Warning! Spoilers may occur!
Well, it’s done. I did it. I finished the show. Hooray for me.
Here are the thoughts.
Keep in mind, I did say spoilers might occur so I’ll start with
Ben Urich was killed! WHAT IN THE LIVING HELL, MAN?! IT’S BEN URICH! HOW?! WHY, GOD?!…And Owlsley but I’m not sure if they were ever going to turn him into what he is in the comic.
I guess I’ve got to eat my words that the threat of death with these characters isn’t what it is with other TV shows that aren’t based on currently existing properties. That, and I figured that since this is Marvel Studios, they don’t like taking risks with their characters for fear they couldn’t make twelve sequels for them.
But hey, this is a Netflix show and they’ve got more balls it looks like. From Fisk’s back story as a kid and his abusive father to the crimes committed Matt’s trying to put a stop to, this seems like it’s the show other superhero shows want to be but don’t have the patience to be. I’ve watched the first episode of Gotham and couldn’t believe how many mainstay characters would in the first episode; Poison Ivy, the Penguin, Joker, Mr. Freeze, The Riddler, and others all show up in the very first hour of the series and it makes me think we’re meant to be baited in rather than actually hooked.
But to Daredevil, I’ve got to give the credit of actually taking it’s time to tell a story. Before the series started, I said I’d be perfectly fine if we didn’t see the red costume until the end of the last episode, a la The Man Without Fear storyline, and man, they actually stuck with it. Had they gone another direction, I wouldn’t have necessarily held it against them, I’m just surprised they stuck to their guns to tell the story of a hero on the rise rather than flawless from the beginning, spectacular no matter what he does.
It’s not perfect of course. But the only real corrections I can think of are things that I would personally have liked better rather than real improvements on the show. I’m still not a fan of Elden Henson’s Foggy, the dialogue can be a bit much at times, the yellow lighting really feels too much like Batman Begins and the red costume had a really stiff look to it compared to the regular black outfit. But beggars can’t be choosers and I would have to say this is definitely one of the best things Marvel has done. I’ve been skeptical (not cynical) from the beginning and I can finally drop it to just sit back and tell you that as far as comic books shows/movies go, you should watch this.
I think a big thing with me is that Daredevil was my favorite superhero/comic book growing up and I really would almost rather reject an adaption entirely than watch another movie like the 2003 one. So because of that, I’ve had it in my mind what Daredevil is to me, what I like about him, etc., and I’ve just left it at that. The Bendis-era of Daredevil might actually be my favorite, though Miller knew what he was doing too, of course.
But the show ain’t no slouch.
The take on Karen Page is an interesting one. In the comics, she goes from being the girl-next-door to a crackhead. A lot of fans felt disrespected by the seemingly sudden change of Daredevil’s original love interest but in the series, though she seems almost unbreakable in her will to find out the truth behind Fisk and his criminal activities, actress Deborah Ann Woll and co. have done a great job at showing the underlying darkness that stays with Karen and the world she lives in. I’m intrigued to see where she goes from here, as I am with just about every character they’ve introduced.
The more show the show went on, the more it felt like a Superman/Lex Luthor rivalry with Daredevil and Kingpi-er, I mean, uh, Wilson Fisk. Both see themselves as the heroes of the city, born and raised but sure that their way is the right way because of how things really are. While you never once really question that Fisk is the villain, the writers do make you take a look at what Matt is doing also and if he’s not doing what he does simply to beat people up and make himself feel better.
Maybe one of the most exciting scenes really was the climax of episode 13, aptly titled “Daredevil”, where Fisk is being arrested and taken away. But he wouldn’t be Fisk without something up his sleeve and his breakout and escape is attempted by every corrupt cop he still owns. It’s this that felt almost like a scene from Heat and the type of place Daredevil lives in. There’s no reason to describe the scene because if you’re reading this, you’ve probably watched it. But the entire finale felt as exciting as they wanted it to be, I’m sure.
I’d been waiting for Fisk the animal to break out and I imagine he’ll get worse as the series progresses, and I hope he does because otherwise I’ll just be left wondering why Kingpin has some kind of a speech impediment that goes entirely unexplained.
And I don’t mean to leave out Charlie Cox, who I haven’t talked much about at all, even though he’s the leading man/title character. Like I’d said, I hadn’t really been familiar with Cox’s work before this which is a good thing in this case because it’s a bit easier for actors to slip into character when you don’t know who they really are. With that said, he looks as though he’s worked hard to get into the role physically (I don’t care who thinks that’s shallow in acting, it’s necessary people. And probably said by fat writers) and he brings a certain level of practicality to the role. I’ve never liked when writers/actors/whoever else take something that’s dramatic enough itself and then pile on the melodrama only to claim it “Noir.”
Daredevil, to me, has always been about a guy playing the crappy hand he was dealt and just moving through the crap. He doesn’t piss and moan, but he doesn’t bottle everything up. He doesn’t make Spider-Man’s jokes to deal with it all, but just deals, period. Problems with previous incarnations want to make a story that’s dark and gritty (Guh), so we get a guy we can’t relate to in a story we don’t want to be a part of. Cox’s portrayal of Daredevil is a nice balance. He’s not swinging through the skyscrapers like Spider-Man but he’s not making his world any darker than it already is.
If you get a chance, watch this show. It’s not perfection, but it’s definitely redemption.
Also, the newspaper that features Daredevil on the front page of episode 13 is from the Bendis/Alex Maleev Daredevil storyline. It was a nice touch.