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REVIEW: Daredevil 1×04 “In The Blood”

Written by Scott Swartz

Ok, I get it, Kingpin is not to be screwed with, especially on date night. Our fourth episode “In The Blood” gave us our first real insight into who Wilson Fisk, and just how large a threat he is to our hero. In the mean time our hero’s help sidekick Claire gets kidnapped by the Russians and Matt must find someway to save her. It’s a very tall order to have compelling villains as often they are just thrown to the wayside or a second thought for the epic destruction that they carry out. Luckily, Steven DeKnight knows how to make compelling villains as evidenced by his work on Spartacus and Fisk manages to be a very polarizing character in terms of how he is portrayed vs the expectations we have when it comes to the Kingpin. There were definitely some interesting choices in the episode which manage to set up a very interesting character for moving forward.

So let’s talk about Fisk because he is certainly not the man we know and fear from the comics. It certainly is confusing as I was not really afraid or even bothered by Fisk until those final few moments of the episode as Vincent D’Onofrio took the character into a very interesting realm. Fisk is not really imposing and rather seems timid and weak in comparison to the other characters on the show. His antisocial nature and shyness certainly add a specific layer to the character that we have not seen before, however I am not sure whether I like it or not. For any villain to truly be a threat to our hero they have to somehow mange to make a strong impression as to their motives as well as the fear factor. I can clearly see why we should be afraid of Fisk but I don’t quite understand his motivation as there has to be something more to him than “I want to fix Hell’s Kitchen”.

As for that fear part there are the briefest of moments where you can see just how terrifying Fisk can truly be. Watching him take down the Russian and not only beat him to death, but physically crush his head in a car door to the point where it was pulp was certainly shocking. I loved everything about that scene as it was shot in just the right way where we could infer the damage that Fisk was doing. The other great bit about that scene was the way in which the inciting incident had nothing to do with Fisk being offered but rather because he was embarrassed in front of Vanessa. It shows that Fisk is not worried about what he thinks of himself but rather how the people around him view his actions. For Fisk to be embarrassed and humiliated in some sense in front of a woman he was trying to impress shows us just where Fisk’s line is and how easy it is to possibly cross it.

Despite Fisk having the center stage in this episode I found myself more excited with the Claire storyline as it helped to open up Matt as a character. Up to this point Matt has been fighting by himself so for him to not only openly accept Claire as a partner, but also to fail at protecting her in some way was a beautiful turn of events. I loved watching Matt struggle to save Claire and Charlie Cox nails Matt’s emotional spectrum during the entire affair. Even more impressive was watching Matt take apart all of the Russian’s like they were nothing as it displayed just how powerful Matt Murdock can truly be. Matt definitely had a certain Batman-esque quality during the rescue and it made for an excellent sense of tension and excitement as he took down each thug. Matt brought them in to his world and luckily Matt had the advantage once the Russians realized they were without sight.

Overall it was a very strong episode.

Final Grade A-

+Fisk debuted

+Fisk and the car door

+Claire being rescued

+Matt’s fear

-Why is Fisk such a pansy.

Extra Thoughts

-I feel like Fisk should be on some type of medication for anxiety, he is clearly not in a good place.

-I am not sure of Ben and Foggy’s usefulness yet, they seem really superfluous for the importance of their characters.

About the author

Scott Swartz