There is always a friendship, there is always a confrontation, there is always a bottle episode. Granted it’s a unique and excellently executed bottle episode, but make no mistake “Nelson v Murdock” is a bottle episode at it’s finest. When we last left our hero Foggy had discovered Matt’s secret identity and Matt was bleeding out on his apartment floor. Naturally Foggy is pissed and we need to do a deep dive on how our two friends and what these revelations mean to their friendship. Flashbacks can be a dangerous thing I mean lets just look back at “Shadows in the Glass” as evidence of this. However when they are well constructed and actually manage to add something to the plot they can be the greatest tool in any shows arsenal. “Nelson v Murdock” success is that it has faith in the characters and arcs that are put on screen and we manage to gain so much because of that faith.
First things first, damn do Charlie Cox and Elden Henson nail every scene they have together in this episode. Everything from Foggy’s anger to Matt and Foggy simply chilling on the steps talking about becoming the “best damn avocados” was done fantastically and made me love this pairing more and more. Despite being best friends it feels as if the two characters don’t spend nearly enough time together, but this episode shows us just how much their friendship means to each other. Henson especially rises to the occasion considering so much of the episode hinges on his performance and us emphasizing with Foggy’s feelings of betrayal. Foggy and Matt’s happy go lucky college days really helped to lay the foundation for all of the depressing corporate work. You see the trust that these two have in each other as Foggy blindly follows Matt out of the company, and we see just how fractured their relationship is by the end.
Although the episode largely hinged on the flashbacks all of the present day material really hammered the message home. Watching Foggy freak out about Matt actually being able to “see” and him reevaluate everything he knew about his friend was very powerful at this point of the season. You could see Foggy’s pain as he lied to Karen about how Matt was injured and why she couldn’t come in. Foggy above all else wants to return to some sort of status quo, but Matt stops him at every turn. Similarly you can see Foggy beginning to side with Matt once he hears the story off Matt’s first vigilante takedown. Matt tried to do the right thing, he tried to get the cops and child services to come but the abuser was to smart. Matt’s last resort became his best resort and although Foggy did not approve in the end, he could easily see where Matt was coming from.
Despite everything involving Matt and Foggy being amazing there were a couple of weak points in the episode Specifically Karen and the mention of Claire. The fact that Claire patched up Matt made sense but considering how sparingly she appeared it would have been better if she was actually on screen. The bigger problem of the episode was Karen as she finally made a breakthrough on the Fisk case but in a completely unexplainable way. Karen found Fisk’s mother and yet we are never shown how she managed to come across this information. Are we supposed to assume Karen stumbled upon her by chance or was there actual detective work involved. We were just lacking in the fact that we are supposed to believe Karen is some sort of genius detective when nothing to this point has shown that this is the case.
Overall for me it was one of the strongest episodes of the season.
Final Grade A-
+The flashbacks were great
+Excellent performances all around
+Vanessa is in danger
+Matt was the bad guy
-Claire being there
-Karen finding Fisk’s mom
-Fulton Reed in college, that is how Foggy looked.
-Hey it’s a not subtle at all Elektra. Yay