Here’s a quick review of the next three episodes of Daredevil…
“In the Blood,” “World on Fire,” and “Condemned,” the series’ fourth, fifth and sixth episodes, respectively, nicely concluded the arc concerning the Russian gangsters. While I thought there were elements of the conflict that felt a little contrived, the events were exciting as always, and have successfully unveiled Wilson Fisk as an incredibly fascinating antagonist.
“In the Blood” gave us our first real introduction to Wilson Fisk, the awkward but brutal mastermind behind the crime organization in Hell’s Kitchen. We spend most of this time seeing him open up and try to swoon Vanessa, the art collector. I thought seeing this more vulnerable Fisk was very effective, especially juxtaposed with the violent end of the episode, in which he decapitates one of the Russian brothers with his car door (yikes).
I will say that “In the Blood” was probably the most disappointing episode for me. I enjoyed Daredevil coming to Claire’s rescue, and all those scenes with Fisk and Vanessa. But there were a lot of scenes with the Russian brothers, who I don’t care as much about. And the brother stupidly interrupting Fisk’s dinner, despite the protests of right-hand-man Wesley, felt like a contrived method of showing our main villain’s brutality.
This criticism is softened somewhat by the excellent episode “World on Fire.” This episode had some great stuff for Foggy and Karen (who face obstacles in trying to represent a new, sympathetic client), featured some real plot momentum as Daredevil discovers some of the corrupt cops in Fisk’s employ, and best of all, we see Wilson out maneuver the Russians. Turns out, no matter what that Russian brother did, Fisk was always planning on wiping out the human trafficking shitheads by taking over their organization. This shows Fisk to not only be a more competent adversary, but a much more interesting one as well.
The awesome cliffhanger at the end of “World on Fire” leads to a tense hour of Daredevil hiding out from Fisk’s cops in “Condemned.” I liked a lot of the scenes in this episode, especially the conversation between Daredevil and Fisk over the police officer’s radio. The tension between Daredevil and the Russian criminal…not so much. I hate it when villains tell heroes that, really, they aren’t that different when you look at it the right way…when, in actuality, Daredevil could probably kill the guy in cold blood and still stand a few moral notches above the human trafficker. I was also rolling my eyes a little bit at how much the Russian mobster was able to do, despite narrowly surviving an explosion, being shot at, getting the crap beaten out of him, falling down two stories…what, this guy is supposedly able to help Daredevil lift a heavy, metal opening of a tunnel? Bullshit! He probably shouldn’t even be standing! In a show that seems to pride itself on its realism, it was a little annoying having to suspend that much disbelief for the episode.
Overall, I really enjoyed these episodes. I think they successfully introduced a very interesting villain in Wilson Fisk (or the Kingpin, as I know him), and provided some great thrills, especially in the fifth episode, “World on Fire.” The stage now seems set for Daredevil to try to take on Fisk directly, and his adversary has already done a great job fighting back. I’m excited for the future, and remain very entertained by the show so far.
In the Blood: B
World on Fire: A-