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REVIEW: Daredevil 1×05 “World on Fire”

One of my favorite things about this episode of Daredevil has to be the title. Weird, right? The reason I love “World on Fire” is because it has so many different meanings that apply to various aspects of the entire show. I love me a good double entendre. I can see this episode receiving polarized reactions from the general audience, but for me, there’s really no question regarding its awesomeness. (spoilers ahead!)

After the Hell she just went through, Claire is now safely recovering in Matt’s apartment. The beginning of this episode has the two characters discussing Matt’s blindness and how he carries out his vigilante ways despite the handicap. When Claire asks what he sees, our hero responds with “a world on fire”. This is the first time we see what Matt sees, and a world on fire is probably the best description for the scenery.



This method of sensory perception is much better than what we saw in 2003’s Daredevil. I can go on and on about how the fiery hue of everything is symbolic to Matt’s life and crime-fighting, but I’ll spare you my rambling.

Shortly after the reveal of his “sight”, Matt and Claire share their first kiss. It’s about damn time, isn’t it? We all saw it coming and you’d have to be blind (no pun intended) to miss the impending love story between them. I was surprised at how well Rosario Dawson and Charlie Cox have bonded in the few episodes they’ve shared together. The chemistry is impeccable and you really believe that they are falling for each other.

But love isn’t restricted solely to our heroes. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Wilson Fisk and Vanessa coming closer together. I find it amazing how Fisk can be such a deviant criminal who decapitates a man with a car door, yet hold his composure so well in the presence of a woman he desperately wants to impress. Fisk is a charming and charismatic man; it’s hard to believe that he would struggle so much when it comes to relationships. But it’s great to see how he fumbles over himself whenever Vanessa is present, showing that he is indeed human and not just a cold, calculating monster.

That’s not to say that Fisk should be underestimated. Remember the Russian mobster Anatoly who he killed last episode? After the murder, Fisk and his men planted a black mask on the corpse, so that when Anatoly’s brother Vladimir found it, he’d assume it was the vigilante who did this. Like clockwork, Vlad finds the body and immediately puts out a hit on the crime-fighter, setting Fisk’s plans into motion and demonstrating what kind of a mastermind he is deep down inside.

Elsewhere, the Nelson & Murdock crew adopt a new client, Ms. Cardenas, who is being forced out of her apartment building with the other tenants so that the landlord can build new condominiums. While Matt goes off and does his own thing, Foggy and Karen head to the Cardenas residence and help out around the apartment while giving their client some advice on the case. During this time, Foggy and Karen become closer, though, I’m still not feeling anything romantic between them yet. It’s a little predictable that they’re going to fall in love, but why am I not feeling it?

Things get crazy in the last few minutes of the show as we finally see the true definition of a “world on fire”. Fisk coordinates the bombing of four different locations across Hell’s Kitchen in an attempt to eradicate the Russians and to gain further control of the criminal underworld. This entire scene is breathtaking and chill-inducing, especially as you see the different areas being affected. In one section, we see Matt getting his senses jarred by the ear-shattering explosions.

In another area, Foggy, Karen, and Ms. Cardenas, who are right next-door to one of the bombed buildings, are blasted across the room and suffer major injuries. Finally, overlooking the entire scene, we see Fisk with Vanessa by his side. In his twisted sense of justice, this “world on fire” is what he finds necessary to impress a woman and to rebuild Hell’s Kitchen in a better setting. Truly astonishing.

The end of the episode consists of a cliffhanger that will make you anxious to start the next installment right away, which is always the best part of most shows. You need something that keeps you coming back for more, and Daredevil has nailed that quality perfectly.

Final Grade: B +

+ Loved the multiple meanings to “world on fire”.

+ Everyone gave a great performance.

+ An excellent cliffhanger made me crave for more.


– There were small parts here and there that were a little slow (namely the discussions with Ms. Cardenas).

– Sometimes actors mumble and it’s difficult to hear them.

– I get a little annoyed how only certain characters have subtitles and how someone has to translate for others; the show needs to pick one method and stick with it.

Extra Thought:

– How long will Claire stick around? The baddies know where she lives, so it might be time for her to pack up and leave Hell’s Kitchen for a while.

What were your thoughts on “World on Fire”? Did you enjoy it? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!