Spoiler-Free Review: Marvel’s Daredevil: Episode 10: Nelson v. Murdock


First things first: how awesome is it that Jon Bernthal will be playing The Punisher in season two of Daredevil? I was delighted at the news, and was even more excited when I saw this tweet. That picture may or may not be hanging on my wall. Back to the matter at hand.

Episode ten had very little fighting. However, my usual caution about not eating before watching holds. We learn a lot more about Foggy and Matt – how they met and how their law firm came to be. We also see continued concern for Fisk’s ability to lead. This mirrors the worry some have for Matt’s ability to survive his after-hours beatings. I watched this episode on my laptop, and I think that’s how I’ll finish out the series. The layers of sound and noises I picked up through my headphones were incredible and added a whole new dynamic to the show.

I’ve promised to keep my reviews spoiler-free. This gets more difficult with each episode. So many pieces are coming together, or at times falling apart, that it’s hard to leave out certain details. If you aren’t watching yet, what are you waiting for? Yes, I know Hannibal is back and several other shows have been occupying my time. Still, dedicate one hour a week to Daredevil. You won’t be disappointed.

When this episode opens, I didn’t recognize who the camera was on for a moment. Matt has blood splattered all over him and lots of stitches. Ouch. He peels off a bandage, which was gross and part of the reason for my no-eating policy. The other is a flashback to the first time Matt acted on his “Daredevil instinct,” to help save a little girl from abuse. This story is vital because it builds upon not only Matt becoming Daredevil, but about his experience with the system not working.

There’s a lot of conflict between Foggy and Matt in this episode. Foggy remains a source of comic relief through these tense moments. There’s a reference to Kung Fu that cracked me up. Matt’s doing his best to calm the situation, but it’s going to take time before these two are on good terms again. Foggy sees a lot of contradiction in Matt’s words versus his actions.

His hurt is entirely understandable, as we learn the depths of their relationship through a series of flashbacks. Beyond just a close friendship, Foggy has made important decisions about his life and career based upon his faith in Matt.

Matt is again left to consider the safety of those closest to him. He’s overcome with guilt, or sheer concern, maybe both. He and Fisk are at a crossroads: do they keep the people or person they love, putting them at risk, or do they take the solo, safer, path?

The flashbacks were pretty great. College Foggy looks exactly as I’d imagined. He tells Matt at one point that they’re “gonna be like Maverick & Goose.” Top Gun mentions? Just when I thought I can’t love this show anymore. Even more hilarious was Matt pointing out that Goose died. Love it.

During a flashback to a night of drinking, Matt starts to tell Foggy about his super senses. He cuts himself off though. They chat about the future. The seeds of Nelson and Murdock were planted early on. They just may end up being the ”best damn avocados” yet. I’m going to think avocado every time I see a lawyer from now on. (You’ll get that when you see it.)

During their internship, Matt leads them to where they are now. He wants to help people, not corporations. Foggy is thrilled at the prospects of an office and prestigious gig. He believes in Matt though; he calls him Mother Theresa and decides not to go the route of fancy law firm. Every step of the way, Foggy has followed Matt.

Ben Urich is visiting his wife in the hospital. I almost forgot about this storyline. They’re so sweet together. He wants to be with her instead of chasing down leads. She disagrees with this and tells him, “Your name is Ben Urich and you are a reporter.” He thinks otherwise, but she continues to give him some perspective and thinks his best work is still ahead. Sadly, things are not going as Ben had hoped. He has some hard decisions to make.

Back in his office, he’s presented with a new job opportunity. His boss reminds him of the increased pay and better benefits that go along with the position. I’m sure it’s a tough decision to make, deciding between his passion and what may be better options for his wife.

Ben visits Karen and tells her he’s taking time off to care for his wife. Karen asks him to take a ride with her, to see a nursing home upstate. It seemed odd that this scene took place at night. It was also obvious Karen was up to something. I assumed she had connections at the nursing home and could get Ben a good deal.

This nursing home is a gorgeous mansion. The furnishings are incredible. No part of it resembles any nursing home I’ve ever been to. There’s an odd scene there; it didn’t feel right and seemed like too much of a stretch. Yes, even for this show. Maybe I was just so thrown off by the nursing home, everything else seemed out of whack. There was a point in this where I wondered why Karen would drag Ben hours and miles away from his sick wife. It seems selfish to me; perhaps there’s more to it. I still hope Ben gets something out of that visit.

Fisk gets flack again from Gao and Leland. Both of them say that he’s changed since starting his relationship with Vanessa. Gao warns that his mind’s being pulled in two directions, and cautions him about “longings of the heart.” She tells him that there’s conflict within him, that he cannot be light and shadow. Leland seems to concur. Fisk, however, is getting pretty ticked off at this point. Really though, is there a rule against criminal masterminds dating?

He gives a speech at a fancy shindig, Vanessa by his side, and the crowd eats it up. Fisk even works the crowd, thanking people for their donations and mingling with politicians. His influence continues to spread. Leland continues to complain about everything. Wesley, and perhaps this is because he had about two lines in the episode, seemed less weasely. People start dropping like flies at the event, and it appears that something was put in the champagne. I’m left contemplating who is responsible for this, and if the effects are lethal.

Episode ten ends on a sad note. Foggy and Matt are at a bar, fresh out of college, and Foggy has drawn their sign on a napkin. He declares how much he trusts Matt, that whatever he advises, Foggy will do. It’s a relationship more bonded and assured than some marriages I know. They make a toast to their dreams. The sadness comes as we see Foggy return to the office. He looks at the sign, still sitting on Karen’s desk. We’re left to wonder about the future of Nelson and Murdock and, worse, about the friendship between Foggy and Matt.

With only a couple more episodes to go, I’m buckling up for what’s sure to be an exhilarating end to a fantastic first season.

Still not watching? Join in on the fun! Daredevil is streaming now on Netflix.

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