Some episodes will succeed on merit, some on innovation and reveals, some on sheer force of dialogue, but this one lives because it proves just how dangerous Matt Murdock can be. “Cut Man” is fantastic because at its core it’s an episode about a character learning about Matt Murdock and just how damaged he is due do his upbringing. We get to see Claire, played by Rosario Dawson, go through the multiple stages of discovery from masked man bleeding out in her dumpster to basically becoming Matt’s own cut man for the fights to come. What elevated this episode from good to great however was that we as the audience got to see Matt’s relationship with his father as well as the fateful night where everything changed for our hero. The way in which the episode builds up these two defining narratives for our hero helps to show the potential that this series has.
First off how great is Claire as Matt’s reluctant cut man and new found partner in crime. Rosario Dawson does some really great work going from reluctant helper to full blown assistant in record time. I loved the fact that Daredevil’s legend has begun floating around and the people at the hospital have heard rumors about him saving people. Even more to the point was the fact that Claire realized the good Matt was doing for the community through his vigilante acts. She could have easily been thrown off or angry at what Matt was doing, but she chose to act rationally once she found out a child’s life hung in the balance. The highlight for me of all of her scenes was the interrogation scene on the roof where Claire told Matt the exact right way to inflict pain on the Russian. It was the perfect mixture of brutality and anger that we would see in a much darker world as Matt needed the information as quickly as possible. Claire seems like she will be useful in Matt’s crusade as well as allowing him to have someone to confide in about what is really going on in the city.
This was combined with a great mixture of flashbacks and getting to see exactly how Matt ended up as an orphan as well as the relationship he had with his father. The smaller moments of watching Matt patch up his father or teach him about braille were great and showed just how much the Murdock’s cared for each other. It was even more gratifying to see Matt subtly persuade his father to not take a fall as “Murdock’s always get back up”. Despite knowing full well the repercussions of his actions Jack wanted to set the right example for his son and in the end it set Matt on his own path of being a real Murdock. Fighting for his family and what he believes in and never laying down no matter how much of a beating he takes. Knowing how his father died because of his choice definitely effected Matt’s decision making style as he refuses to risk anyone else and puts the load on his own shoulders.
Of course the main spectacle of the entire episode was that single take hallway fight scene which may indeed be one of the most brutal fights I have seen put on screen. Watching an in pain Daredevil struggle and wheeze as he takes down a bunch of mobsters is some beautiful imagery. You can see the way Matt pains himself every time he throws a punch or grasps for air, it is something rarely seen in a fight and it really increases the visceral nature of the entire affair. I especially loved that we never leave that hallway and we are left to our imaginations to assume that Matt is doing ok in those smaller fights despite knowing how much pain he is truly in. The capper however, oh the beautiful capper is once the fight is over and Matt reaches the little boy knows he can’t just barge into that room all hooded up. Matt choosing to reveal himself to the little boy in order to gain his trust his the perfect was to show us despite all of the terrible things Matt did to get there, he managed to save the life of an innocent. It was beautiful for it to be mixed in with all of that brutality and was really a perfect cap to the episode.
Daredevil definitely improved in it’s second episode now let’s just hope it can keep it up.
Final Grade A-
+Claire is a cool character
+The interrogation on the roof
+That final fight scene
-Karen and Foggy material kind of felt out of place
-Still no Fisk
-I love the way Matt’s Daredevil costume looks. Those slight tinges of red are beautiful in every way.
-Claire: “Okay, that right there, that’s what I’m talking about. I find a guy in a dumpster who turns out to be some kind of blind vigilante who can do all this really weird shit, like smell cologne through walls and sense whether someone’s unconscious or faking it. Slap on top of that, he can take an unbelievable amount of punishment without one damn complaint.” Matt: “The last part’s the Catholicism.” Despite being broken and bleeding Matt still has time for the jokes.
-I have watched the entire series and know when Fisk shows up, but it still frustrates me that it is taking so long.
-I don’t know why but Claire’s “mask” reminded me a lot of Moon Knight.