Yes folks, it seem that Ben Urich is really dead, as our first shot is of his coffin being lowered into the ground. Now to be fair, in the comics, Ben had “died” once before, only for it to be revealed to be a way for Urich to stop people from attacking him, though I get the distinct feeling that’s not the case here. In another touching scene, Ben’s wife talks with Karen about how, even in death, Ben is “looking out for her.” It’s really a shame that we have to lose Vondie Curtis-Hall from the show, but I can understand the necessity behind it. As I mentioned in my previous recap, Ben was the shining beacon for our heroes, a man who refused to bend in any aspect of his life, while everyone else was seemingly crushed beneath a combination of selfishness and compromise. Matt’s nightly activities may be altruistic, but at the end of the day, it’s something he needs for himself. Ben’s search for the truth, and the exposing of it, is an altruistic pursuit, even managing to juggle the problems of his wife and the inevitable death of print media. I can’t help but feel that Daredevil‘s second season will have something missing without him.
Foggy and Matt’s relationship is still on the ropes of course, with Foggy unable to come to grips with being lied to for so long. Karen, meanwhile, is still panicking over the possibility of Fisk discovering that she was behind the death of Wesley, and rightfully so. The Kingpin of Crime though could hardly care less about Karen at present, as Vanessa has awoken from her coma, and he has a meeting with Owlsley to discuss finances. Going into this season, I was amazed when it was announced that “The Owl” would be appearing in nearly every episode, but his role as Fisk’s money man worked well, and he was an enjoyable character in that he added some brevity to the mafioso collective. Of course, it was only a matter of time until he fell under Fisk’s fists himself and is thrown into an open elevator shaft. Owlsley, throughout the series, makes mention of his son quite a few times so maybe the younger generation will fly around the city threatening Daredevil. Before his demise however, Owlsley attempted to blackmail Fisk with the knowledge that he still has Detective Hoffman in his grasp and will feed him to the FBI should Wilson try anything, which obviously didn’t work.
Now before we go into what happens with Hoffman, I want to get into a piece of this episode that I didn’t particularly care for. Hoffman was the detective who was told by Fisk to “off” his liability of a partner in the hospital, giving viewers one of the best conversations of the series. Having committed the deed, understandably Hoffman could be seen as a liability by Fisk and his empire — and he certainly would be a pain in the butt — hence Matt eventually rescuing him. However, I just cannot believe that his sole testimony is enough to completely destroy Fisk’s entire empire. Granted, Murdock and crew are able to do some legwork along with Urich’s theories in the shoebox, but it’s just hard to believe that everything is wrapped up in such a neat little package by the end, considering how insurmountable the odds seemed when taking on Fisk. When creating a villain so powerful that he literally has nearly every facet of New York City under his thumb, it’s hard to believe that the testimony of one man would be enough to bring him, and everyone involved with him (judges, police officers, lawyers and the like) down. To be fair, I suppose this is arguably one of the main themes of the series, how much of a difference can one man make, but it felt a bit too earlier in the show to see the downfall of Wilson Fisk, even if it was the season finale.
So, as mentioned, Daredevil is able to eventually rescue Hoffman and deliver him to the proper authorities not linked to Wilson Fisk. With the walls now closing around him, Fisk whisks away Vanessa and is taken into custody. It’s here, as Wilson is transported in the back of a police van, that he delivers the best monologue of the series, and it’s Vincent D’Onofrio’s finest performance as Fisk. Informing the armed guards about the story of the “Samaritan,” Kingpin compares the story to his own life, not choosing to be the “Samaritan, the priest, or the Levite” but rather seeing himself as the “ill intent” that befell the Samaritan on his travels. Promptly after his speech is delivered, Fisk is freed by his own men and the guards are killed. He nearly manages to escape, that is until he is confronted by Murdock, outfitted in his new red and black costume with billy clubs in hand. That’s right, Matt had made a stop to Melvin Potter’s workshop prior to reaching Fisk and thus, Daredevil is born!
I would be remiss if I didn’t spend some time talking about the costume, as it’s been something most viewers have been waiting for for some time (Lord knows, the show certainly hinted at it enough). While I think the suit is great in it’s own right, I can also see how it lacks in a few other departments. It’s a tad too bulky for my taste, taking it in almost a polar opposite direction from the black ninja suit Matt had been wearing for the entirety of the season. I also think that the helmet/mask is a little uneven, and perhaps a bit too bulky as well. Ultimately though, it retains the spirit of the original red costume while putting it’s own real-life spin on it. If you feel like you absolutely do not like the suit, there is an “out,” as Matt takes the costume before Potter was finished completing it, so who’s to say that next season the suit isn’t a little more fine-tuned?
With that out of the way, Murdock runs down Fisk into an abandoned alley, and the two have their big blowout fight, wailing on one another while representing two opposing sides of the city. Fisk’s hatred and rage bubble to the surface as he wishes for the city to “drown in its own filth,” while Matt sees the city as his family. These rivals will always be two sides of the same coin and this final fight does a nice job of proving that fact. Murdock is able to lay Fisk low, and the reign of the Kingpin is brought to an end, as the law offices of Nelson and Murdock are able to patch up their internal wounds and come together once again. The final scene of Kingpin is him sitting in his cell, waking up and looking at the wall, much like he did at the painting in his luxury apartment. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Ultimately, while not everything was perfect with the series, I feel that Daredevil is one of the best things that Marvel Studios has produced so far, and just an excellent series overall. The gritty, realistic portrayal of Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk’s lives were laid bare in this series, and even if some episodes didn’t quite live up to the exceptional nature of others, each was still compelling in its own right.
Episode Rating: ★★★★ Very good
Season Rating: ★★★★★ Excellent
The Collider Offices Of Nelson and Murdock
– I was honestly surprised to see the Daredevil suit appear when it did. I was expecting it to be either far earlier than the finale or, if in the finale, to appear in practically the last frame, as it had in the graphic novel: Daredevil, Man Without Fear.
– Stan Lee cameo! The Main Man himself appears in the police precinct, as a picture hanging from the wall behind Officer Mahoney.
– Daredevil Season 2 has already been confirmed, and Charlie Cox is signed up to potentially appear in the Marvel films. D’Onofrio has expressed interest in bringing Fisk to other corners of the world as well, so it should be nice to see these two butt heads again in the years to come.