Saturday, November 3, 2018

Daredevil - The Perfect Game / The Devil You Know

Despite still being under house arrest by the FBI, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) goes on the offensive. When his plan to have Matt Murdock's (Charlie Cox) killed fails, the Kingpin tries a different tack by attempting to slime the missing attorney's reputation by alleging Murdock worked for Fisk as a fixer. Despite offering no proof to back up his claims, other than a single case that Nelson & Murdock worked for one of the Kingpin's shell companies back in Season One, the FBI runs with the story and begins to hunt Matt Murdock. At the same time, using information gathered about Benjamin Poindexter (Wilson Bethel), the Kingpin goes to work on the man's thin support system, slowly bending Dex to his will ending in the agent dressed in Daredevil's costume murdering an entire newsroom under Fisk's orders.

With these two episodes it's obvious that Daredevil's Third Season is relying heavily on Frank Miller's comic run as the show has gotten back to basics and left the Hand, the Defenders, and the Punisher in the show's rear view mirror. Digging up Karen's (Deborah Ann Woll) shooting and her conversations with Foggy (Elden Henson) and Maggie (Joanne Whalley) about helping Matt, whether he deserves it or not, make for some pretty solid filler. As for the delve into Dex's past, even if the sequences drag on a bit too long (and the bullseye hat feels like too much fan service), the framing works quite well and helps flesh out the backstory for one of Daredevil's deadliest enemies. Fisk's orchestrating of Dex and sicking the FBI on Murdock are both well-played (although you would expect some actual evidence on Murdock to be offered up, especially given his motives to attack one of the lawyers who sent him to prison, in order to have the FBI jump so readily into action). As for the climactic first meeting of Daredevil vs. Daredevil, it turns out to be one of the show's best fight sequences and gives the Kingpin yet another win by beginning to turn the authorities, and the city, against the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.

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