Monday, June 8, 2015

Daredevil - Shadows in the Glass

For a show that's shown us only glimpses of the main character's past I have mixed feelings about devoting nearly an entire episode to examine the past of the Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio). One of the lessons of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight is that we are given multiple possible origins for the Joker but the truth of his past isn't important to who the man is today. Wilson Fisk is our bad guy, he's the head of organized crime in New York with plans of branding himself to the public as a philanthropist. What happened in his past to create the man he is isn't necessary information for Daredevil (Charlie Cox) to defeat him. Of course the fact the Arrow already did the exact same storyline with Brother Blood (murdered his father as a kid, attempted to take over the city as a shadowy figure, pretending his mother is dead while hiding her away in a private institution) makes the episode feel like slightly under-heated leftovers.

The sequences between Wilson and his father allow the shows to continue to mine so dark themes, highlighted by yet anogher brutal murder, but I don't need an explanation or an excuse for why Wilson Fisk isn't a nice man. I already knew that he wasn't. The one thing the flashbacks do add is the explanation for Fisk's obsession with the painting he finds, but that's such a minor piece of the overall story it could have been developed in far less time. The storyline also breaks from the show's set-up as it delivers the audience us specific information Matt Murdock doesn't learn himself.

The present day storylines helps move forward Fisk into his fully-realized role as the show's villain when Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho) warns Fisk about how his relationship with Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer) is threatening his work. Just exactly how this is the case is a bit unclear as at this point in the series the Kingpin has an even stronger stranglehold on organized crime than in the first episode. The only thing standing in his way is Daredevil, which although troublesome isn't connected to Fisk's new girlfriend. The best scene from the episode is the final one as Daredevil's attempt to alert Urich to the identity of the city's Kingpin is all for not as Fisk stays one-step ahead of his enemies in yet another victory.

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