DAREDEVIL Recap: “Nelson v Murdock”

     May 11, 2015

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New episodic recaps of Daredevil’s first season post on Mondays and Thursdays. You can read all previous installments here.

That’s right, Matt and Foggy come to emotional blows in “Nelson v Murdock,” and man, are the gloves ever off! This episode not only presented some really dramatic scenes, but it also presented a lot of information about Daredevil as a character that not even the comics delved into with such depth (which is surprising!) We flash from the present — perhaps the worst time in the relationship of our two attorneys — to the past, and the first time they met at law school (arguably the best time, sans for Foggy’s awful facial hair). Matt, in the present, is in the worst shape we’ve ever seen him, covered in blood and stitches from the awful beating he received from Nobu in the last installment. Waking up to a worried, frantic Foggy, he gets grilled by his best friend regarding his nightly activities. It’s in Foggy’s questioning that we are presented with the ethical implications of Matt’s super abilities. Since Murdock can tell when anyone is lying, and “see the world on fire” as Foggy humorously brings up, it makes him beyond uncomfortable knowing that Matt knew whenever he was lying.

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Image via Netflix

It’s in the argument between the two that we’re given an in-depth look as to why Matt dons the black suit every night and hits the rooftops to fight crime. Granted, the death of his father alone would be the typical reason for most heroes to don the colored spandex, but things take a turn as we learn that Matt continues to fight crime due in part to his powers. As a child, Murdock would listen for ambulance and police sirens, creating stories as part of a game to think about where they were going. After Matt was splashed with the toxic waste that granted him powers, he couldn’t help but know exactly where the sirens were actually going and how many there were in total. In one particular example, Matt hears a father molesting his daughter and decides to don a makeshift mask and put the man in the hospital for a month when social services does nothing. It’s a pretty original idea for an origin story, and certainly one of the most compelling (and ironic: Matt can never just turn a blind eye).


Meanwhile, on the Wilson Fisk side of things, the Kingpin met up with Madame Gao to discuss the loss of Nobu. Understandably, Gao is pretty nervous that she is next on the chopping block, considering Fisk has already taken out the Russians and Nobu, albeit by using Daredevil as his pawn. It’s another tense scene and it works especially well with the backdrop of New York City. Fisk later is unfortunately brought low once again as Vanessa drinks drugged champagne at Wilson’s swarey, bringing her close to death.

I haven’t mentioned much about the fact that this series, and the other upcoming Netflix series, are filmed in the heart of New York City, and it really makes the show that much stronger for that. I think that were this show filmed in Vancouver or Atlanta, the grime and underbelly of the city wouldn’t be portrayed as strongly as it is here in the Big Apple.

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Image via Netflix

Ben Urich, at this time, is discussing his past with his ailing wife, and this scene pulls the most heart strings. In a scene reminiscent to the one that took place between Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Urich and his wife have a wonderful heart to heart, only for her to forget that they had even been talking a minute prior. The stress of the situation is palpably felt in Urich’s demeanor, as he’s told in the background that his insurance claims for his wife are being turned down once again. Realizing that he may have bitten off more than he can chew in the case against Fisk, he pays a visit to Karen and hands over to her everything he’s compiled. The show somewhat stalls here, as Karen brings Urich to see Fisk’s mother. Understandably, the writers were trying to build the mystery of what Karen was going to show Ben here, but it falls flat and goes on for a tad too long.

As the episode came to a close, Foggy tearfully let Matt know that “Nelson and Murdock, Attorneys at Law” is officially kaput, as is their friendship. The idea that Foggy would have told Matt if he were in the same position is quite possible, and it makes you wonder if Matt is really doing this for the city or himself. Regardless, the show ends on a high note and is another solid outing for Marvel’s Daredevil.

Episode Rating: ★★★★ Very good

The Collider Offices of Nelson and Murdock


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– In the flashback to their college years, Foggy mentions that Matt moved seats in one of his classes to be closer to the “hot Greek chick.” He is of course referencing Elektra Natchios, one of the biggest love interests in Matt’s life who is killed by Bullseye (but don’t worry, she gets better).

– Roxxon Industries is mentioned in another flashback, which is one of the big evil companies in the Marvel Universe. While not necessarily full-on super villains like Hydra or the Hand, Roxxon is corrupt to its core and is responsible for producing some of the villains that give heroes problems on a regular basis.

– In the party scene, Owlsley mentions “keeping Richmond on the list.” He is possibly referring to Kyle Richmon, a.k.a. Nighthawk, who is another member of the Defenders in the comics. Point of fact, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones haven’t really ever been prominent members of the Defenders team in the books, but the team name works well for them, and so Marvel ran with it (beats Heroes for Hire, that’s for sure).

– Foggy: “What the hell do I know about Matt Murdock?”

– Murdock: “Hi, I’m Matt. I got splashed with chemicals in my eyes when I was a kid and got heightened senses.”
Foggy: “Well you didn’t have to lead with that!”

– Fisk: “Am I the snake or the elephant?”

– Foggy: “Where’d you get all this?”
Murdock: “The internet.”

– Foggy: “El Grande Avocados!”

 


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