You know for being a multinational uber powerful crime lord Wilson Fisk sure is a sad manchild to say the least. “Shadows in the Glass” gives us the best look yet into who Fisk is as a person and what helped to mold him into the man he is now, but it feels like we are missing a crucial element in this telling. We see what helped to define Fisk, but never do we see how Fisk became the man we know today which leaves so many possible stories to be told. This episode is meant to help us sympathize with our villain which to some degree it accomplishes, but it does not do enough to help Fisk stand out from the crowd. While all of this is happening we get to see Matt do some more detective work, but once again something manages to seem a little off about the episode.
I will give the episode one thing, it sure knows how to show the cool aspects of a flashback as we traveled back to the 70’s to find out a little more about Fisk. Sadly a lot of the material could have been easily interpreted through subtext or just based on Fisk’s natural demeanor. For us to be forced to watch Fisk do something that at least for me was easy to see coming from a mile away felt like a cheat when a lot more information could have been revealed by the end of the episode. At no point in watching this did I feel like Fisk evolved or changed for me as a character, I felt the same at the end as I did in the beginning and that really annoys me. Fisk’s transformation can’t be as simple as kill dad become crime lord, that’s just lazy and there needs to be some sort of middle part that shows his true rise to power.
While the material in the past was a struggle to get through I did enjoy watching Fisk in his everyday life. Seeing the routine, which I can only describe as if Fisk was completely removed from reality was beautifully haunting. The tiny aspects of how despite everything that has happened in his life, Fisk is still the scared little blood covered buy who has nightmares were more effective than any part of the flashbacks. The musical que managed to work well and induce a type of Groundhog Day scenario where Fisk’s nightmare is a constant in his lonely world. More than anything I appreciated Vanessa being there to change Fisk in the slightest way as now he has something tangible to fight for. Previously it was only this idea, but now that he has a physical person to fight for that makes him all that much more of a threat.
As for the material involving our actual hero you can’t truly say that he achieved a win in this episode as Fisk managed to undermine the crap out of him. With Fisk revealing himself to the public as a “good samaritan” aiming to clean up the mess in Hell’s Kitchen, Matt has really lost a big fight against the big man. Fisk’s major weakness was his anonymity and fear of being brought into the light, but now there is seemingly nothing to fear. It was especially disheartening to watch Ben give up so easily after Fisk made his announcement. I mean Ben still could have published the article to at least have a differing view from the rest of the world and that would have at least given our heroes a chance. It is interesting to see how much Fisk has changed even since we first met him, but it should be fun to watch how exactly he takes to the limelight.
Overall a meh episode
Final Grade C
+Vanessa stepping up
+Matt helping Foggy and Karen
-Nothing new learned from the flashbacks we could not have inferred ourselves
-Team’s loss was inevitable
-Fisk is a sad sad man-child
-Leland: “Kid’s half an idiot.” Wilson: “It’s the other half that counts.” I like the fact that Fisk sees the potential in everyone who is under his thumb.
-In another world Wesley is the main in this story and it is so much more compelling.
-So the painting is not even a metaphor, that is super lame.