Where were we? Yes, I ducked out of Hell’s Kitchen for a break. Between Orphan Black returning, Mad Men ending, and life in between, I haven’t been watching Daredevil. I’m back though, and a few minutes in, I’m reminded again how much I love this show. I do wish there’d been a “previously on Daredevil” clip before watching. As the episode played on, I had to dig through my brain to recall some previous events. So much has happened in seven episodes!
While this wasn’t my favorite episode overall, I loved having so much Fisk on my screen. I was happy to finally pull back the layers of this mysterious bad guy. There was some blood splatter in this episode, but no bone crushing, and Daredevil barely laid a hand on anyone; perhaps that’s why I wasn’t as pumped after this episode as others.
Episode eight opens with Fisk waking from a nightmare. He’s immediately comforted by the painting he bought from Vanessa. He then masterfully makes an omelette and eats by himself at a large table. His apartment is stunning–all that natural light! This scene makes it very clear however that Fisk is alone. So very alone.
We then see Fisk in his impressive closet. After he’s dressed, he looks in the mirror and sees a reflection of an earlier Fisk, a younger–and, shall I say, red-faced–version of himself. Those first three minutes said so much about Fisk.
Matt wakes up, quite battered and his apartment a mess from his earlier reunion with Stick. He is more uptight than we’ve seen him before. The stress of everything is hitting him hard. Karen admits to Matt what Foggy learned the night before–she’s been speaking with Ben Urich. Of course, Matt’s not happy about this, and expresses his concern for her safety. Karen says she’s scared, but firmly reiterates how far she’s willing to go to protect others. Matt suggests they handle the situation through the legal system. Foggy has other recommendations, ones that Daredevil would be keen on.
Fisk meets with Nobu, who’s pissed off because of the incident with his cargo the previous evening. Stick and Daredevil interrupted his plans, and he faults Fisk for this. Ever the businessman, Fisk assures him that won’t happen again. Later on, Leland is also airing his complaints to Fisk. Leland is one grumpy old man. He’s scared of the masked man, certain he’ll hunt him down. Fisk offers protection, and Leland keeps griping. I’d off him myself – if I were Fisk, I mean. Leland questions the crime boss’s control of the situation. I’m pretty sure that’s going to cost him.
The first flashback of this episode confused me initially. It was clearly the ’70s and earlier than the ones involving young Matt Murdock. The cars, the music, the stickball. Then we see a young Wilson Fisk, Willy, actually. It’s a peek into Fisk’s childhood that reveals more about this villain than what we often get in superhero stories.
Fisk is seen talking on the phone with Vanessa, and it’s adorkable. I can’t help it, it is. Unfortunately, he has to cut off his chat to speak to Wilson regarding Detective Blake’s condition. Blake had been shot the night Daredevil was holed up with Vladimir. As Fisk and Wilson discuss the situation, it’s a reminder of how much power Fisk has. Who knows how many cops are in his pocket? Blake’s partner is convinced to take care of a loose end, but runs into some trouble when Daredevil shows up.
We see a young Willy Fisk eating cake with his mother, an offering to make him feel better after he was bullied. She has bruises on her as well. Fisk’s dad doesn’t approve of his cake eating, and calls him fat. His dad takes him to confront the bully, and sounds a lot like Tony Soprano in the process. Fisk wakes from his nightmare, stares at his painting, and makes an omelette. He’s a creature of habit. I can relate.
Gao shows up at Fisk’s home and makes it a point to tell him how easy it was to find where he lives. She’s onto Fisk, and doesn’t buy his inability to speak Chinese or Japanese. Nobu warns him that he’s become sloppy and emotional. Fisk appears clearly worried by her concerns and accusations. She advises him to get his house in order. An epic table-flipping follows. Hey, I’m a Jersey girl, I can’t help it if I like them.
Another flashback to Fisk as a child. His father is berating him, telling him to sit and stare at a wall and think about what kind of man he wants to be. He tells him that, as his son, he “should be a king, not some fat little pussy.” Nice, right? So basically Fisk’s dad was an abusive, misogynist ass. He then beats Fisk’s mother with his fist and belt as Wilson stares at the wall. He realizes in that moment exactly what kind of man he wants to be.
Vanessa comes by, something Fisk didn’t plan for. Wesley arranged it; I guess even slimy guys have their moments. Vanessa shows that she’s not some pushover and make choices of her own. She reminds Fisk of his promise to always be honest with her. He admits he’s afraid of how she’d look at him if she knew all his secrets. He makes an admission to her. It’s intense, but Vanessa remains understanding. We learn that Fisk’s dad was wearing the cuff links, the ones Wilson now wears every single day, on the day he died. Fisk wears the cuff-links to remind him that he’s not his father, that he’s not a monster. Vanessa assures him that he’s not.
Urich is talking on phone at night, in the rain, so of course Daredevil is going to show up, right? Daredevil tells Urich to look into Wilson Fisk. Urich wants tapes, evidence, and reliable sources to back his accusations. Of course, he can offer none of those. Daredevil insists that all he wants is for Urich to put a spotlight on Fisk; once the people see him for what he is, they’ll tear Fisk apart.
The last moments of the episode involve Fisk having yet another nightmare. He looks to his painting, then turns to the other side to look at Vanessa. He goes through his routine, making his omelette and sitting at the table, but this time in the company of Vanessa. You can tell he’s uncomfortable with this arrangement, though happy at the same time. Vanessa picks out his clothes for the day, including a different pair of cuff links.
The episode ends with Fisk coming out of the shadows, in quite a big way. It’s going to be much harder for Urich, Daredevil, or anyone else to convince the people of Hell’s Kitchen that this guy is so bad. It may be the ones Fisk is working with–Gao, Nobu, and Leland–who take him down sooner. Throughout the episode, they were questioning his ability to protect their assets and be a leader.
I’m guessing episode nine is going to have more wince-inducing smack-downs. Fingers crossed!
Daredevil is now streaming on Netflix. If you haven’t watched yet, give it a look and watch along with me!