Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Daredevil - World on Fire / Condemned

"World on Fire" and "Condemned" conclude the Russian mob arc from Daredevil's First Season as Wilson Fisk's (Vincent D’Onofrio) attempts to pin the murder of Anatoly Ranskahov (Gideon Emery) on Hell's Kitchen's new vigilante lead to Daredevil (Charlie Cox) being cornered by the police under the command of the city's would-be kingpin of crime. Although Vladimir (Nikolai Nikolaeff) will learn the truth about Fisk's involvement in Anatoly's death it won't prevent him from meeting a similar end. Just when I was finally getting intrested in the Russians, whose back story is finally explored here, the show writes both off the show leading to the showdown between the show's hero and big bad in the season finale.

Opening up another ongoing storyline Nelson & Murdock take a case against a slum lord represented by their old firm which leads to Foggy (Elden Henson) and Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) on unusual date fixing their client's (Judith Delgado) apartment. These two episodes also continue the romantic relationship between Fisk and Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer) who, despite the altercation which revealed a glimpse of the darkness behind her suitor's sometimes bumbling veneer, is attracted rather than repelled by the real Wilson Fisk. The pair's relationship will continue to be a large part of the season, revealing aspects of the Kinpin's past, and showing us examples of Vanessa not only condoning his more brutal actions but even encouraging them to continue.

Matt's love life doesn't go so smoothly as he pushes Claire (Rosario Dawson) away and then calls on her help to save one of the men responsible for her attack and kidnapping. Sadly this means will see very little of the character over the remainder of the season although the door is left open for Dawson to return for the show's upcoming Second Season. Dawson appears to have drawn the short straw with the other female characters having larger roles in the season's arc, but Claire's an intriguing figure whose comic influences make me believe she may be the Nick Fury of Marvel's various Netflix series helping to tie the various upcoming shows together.

The explosions that wreck the city help Fisk wrest final control from the now all but destroyed Russian mob. That along with a police shooting also help the crime lord paint the city's vigilante as the man responsible for all the recent trouble in Hell's Kitchen and turn Daredevil into public enemy number one. We even get a scene between criminal and hero over a police radio band (that conveniently no one else notices?) offering audiences the show's first real confrontation between the two (and it will have to last as we don't get another direct confrontation until the season finale). With the following episode dealing largely with a figure from Matt's past, "Condemned" concludes the first-half of the season on a strong note even if it will take several more episodes before the various storylines laid in these six episodes each begin to pay off.

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