Daredevil‘s “The Ones We Leave Behind” begins immediately following Karen shooting Fisk’s right-hand man, Wesley. Realizing that she’s made something of a huge mistake, Karen throws the gun she used into the river and proceeds to drink her problems away. After taking a long shower, she falls asleep, only to wake up and find the Kingpin waiting for her in her apartment. Fisk tells her how murder is easier to pull off the more you do it, and lunges at her, only for Karen to wake up, realizing she was having quite the bad dream (even in dreams, D’Onofrio acts amazingly!) The start of this latest installment is the perfect way to demonstrate a key theme: just how damaged every character is that shares the screen. Karen clearly has something of a troubled past, and the way she is able to methodically think and rationalize how to get away with murder leads one to believe that this isn’t her first time at the rodeo. While it certainly has affected her, there have been more than enough hints here, and in prior episodes, to show just how deep the rabbit hole goes for her. There’s a scene where Karen is talking with Foggy about how she’s going to move onto “hard drugs,” which Foggy assumes she is joking around about, but you can tell that there’s a hint of honesty coming from that.
Speaking of Foggy, he and Matt are still at odds, not even daring to share the office at the same time with one another. Foggy’s character flaw is his unwavering optimism, believing that everything is going to turn out alright in the case against Wilson Fisk. Matt’s flaws are long and varied, but the key theme to Daredevil is his detriment in taking on far too many responsibilities, and in doing so, failing at most of them! Matt, after speaking with Karen after Foggy leaves, dons the suit once again and goes to speak with Ben Urich, hoping to get more information on Madame Gao. Murdock is told about her blind “helpers” and is advised by Urich once again to look into getting a better suit. They certainly have run that joke into the ground, as I think every member of the cast at this point has told Matt that he needs to put on the red suit already, in so many words.
In the meantime, Fisk sits by Vanessa’s side as she wakes from her coma, and the two having a touching reunion before Wilson tells her that he will make those responsible suffer for what they did. Vanessa smiles and states that she “would expect nothing less.” Here we have a woman who was somewhat hesitant about dating Fisk based on his profession at the beginning, slowly convincing herself that not only are his actions necessary, but now admirable. Their relationship is one of the most interesting parts of the show without a doubt. Wilson leaves Vanessa to be informed of Wesley’s death and goes to the body. His rage once again shows as he proceeds to nearly beat one of his men to death who he believes is “responsible” for letting Wesley leave.
Murdock manages to find one of the Gao’s men during a nice little violin overture, as he jumps from rooftop to rooftop following the car. This scene was pretty effective, though the stunt work in place of Charlie Cox was a little too evident from time to time (his hair changed from red to black a few times in there). Later on in the night, Matt comes back in his Daredevil “outfit” and takes down the heroin factory, encountering Gao as her headquarters burns. It’s here, with Matt and Gao alone, that things take a twist, as the elderly woman proceeds to knock Matt across the room. Obviously, there’s more to this elderly woman than meets the eye. As Gao makes her exit, the heroin factory is destroyed and Matt is back to square one. Later on, Owlsley and Gao meet, revealing that they were in fact the ones to poison Vanessa, in an attempt to strengthen Fisk’s resolve. Surprisingly, Fisk bought the line that Daredevil was responsible for the poisoning, even though he himself has fed that lie to plenty of folks.
Aside from all of this taking place, the most important part of the episode was Ben Urich’s path. After meeting with Daredevil earlier, Urich has a tête-à-tête with his boss at the Daily Report about the fact that he can’t get his Wilson Fisk piece printed. In doing so, Ben is fired, and looks to his wife for advice. Another heartwarming exchange leads to Urich realizing that the story must be told, and he decides to hit the internet and print it as a blog. Prior to him finishing however, Fisk reveals himself from the shadows and the two have a tense discussion about the state of the world today, as well as Urich going to visit Kingpin’s mother in the nursing home. I talked before about flaws and how each character has one, and in job interviews, you’ll typically be asked what your greatest weakness is. If Ben Urich were to be in such an interview, he would be honest in saying he works too hard to find the truth and will reveal it regardless of the cost. Demonstrating that he was a pillar among the characters of the show, it was of course Urich’s time to die as Fisk strangles him to death in his apartment in a shocking scene.
This episode was one of the series’ best, showing the core of each of the characters while perfectly laying the stage for the finale. Another excellent entry in the tale of Matt Murdock.
Episode Rating: ★★★★★ Excellent
The Collider Offices of Nelson and Murdock
– In the background in Matt and Foggy’s office, you can see a company named “Atlas International.” Atlas was the name of a little comic book company that would eventually become Marvel.
– Madame Gao states that she’s not from China, but from somewhere “a considerable distance farther.” This could be alluding to the mystical land, K’un L’un, where Iron Fist became the super powered kung fu master he is today.
– Ben Urich actually never dies in the comics. He’s believed dead a few times, but he’s always made it through by the skin of his teeth. It was a nice shocker to see the show pulling the trigger like that, though I will miss his character.
– Foggy: “It’s ok, it’s just me: the dick.”
– Karen: “The world fell apart, didn’t you notice?”
– Owlsley: “Maybe this isn’t the best time to beat your men to death?”
– Kingpin: “This world around us is pre-occupied with celebrity weddings and videos of cat.”