For the normal TV show, ‘World on Fire’ would make an ideal break point to have viewers salivating over that crazy cliffhanger, but for ‘Daredevil,’ it’ll easily prove an episode that happily has an immediate 20 second payoff. The decision to put this on Netflix to allow for binge viewing? Brilliant.
Vladamir is searching for his brother, Anatoly, whose brain matter is being washed out in Fisk’s SUV. Wesley comes by to sell the notion that all is still good with The Russians and Fisk. Toby Leonard Moore is the unsung MVP of this initial arc of episodes as he makes Wesley a right-hand man with some pizazz that frequently results in some sly humor. Vladamir finally gets the news that his brother is dead and his men bring Anatoly’s body — sans head — to his office. In his pocket is the man in black’s mask. As far as scapegoats go, pinning Anatoly’s murder on the guy with a mad-on against the Russians makes a lot of sense.
While Vladamir is in the dark about who really killed his brother, Fisk confides in his other business partners that he killed Anatoly. Leland Owsley (Bob Gunton) continues to be the most sensible of Fisk’s allies questioning the decision and the payoff, but not so much that he’ll lose his head. The writers are doing a fantastic job of establishing distinct characters in this sector of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many of whom you could easily see being incorporated in some fashion into the feature films.
Vladamir calls in his street level associate Turk Barrett (Rob Morgan), who reveals Fisk was behind Anatoly’s death as he’s in league with the masked man. Turk seemed like he was just going to be a one-off character, but he’s become an interesting regular as a unpredictable and loyalty-shifting crook.
Since the Russians know her identity, Matt asks Claire to stay at his place. He explains how he is able to ‘see’ and we get a glimpse of Matt’s radar sense, which here resembles mini sparks of fire. Good enough. Paying off the undeniable chemistry between the two, Matt kisses her. This romance may be short-lived though as Claire questions Matt’s long-term plan for stopping the Russians and warns him she can’t fall for a man so close to being what he hates.
The other potential couples fare much better. Against her better judgment, Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer) decides to go out with Fisk again. She knows he’s dangerous, but is intrigued and wants a reason to stay clearly falling for the baddest of bad boys in Hell’s Kitchen. Fisk reveals the cufflinks he wears are his father’s and he puts them on daily to remember him. Fisk thinks ascots are a bit much in terms of attire, a reference to the comic book version’s regular accessory. He opens up and tells her he is cleaning up the city, but it has to die before it can be reborn. Dinner scenes shouldn’t be this fascinating, but between Zurer’s vivacious line delivery and D’Onofrio speaking in a clipped tone as if he’s barely restraining the rage, these segments are series standouts.
Foggy and Karen try to help a client threatened with eviction by a slumlord and his attorneys so they arrange a meeting at their law firm where Foggy encounters his ex, Marci (Amy Rutberg). Watching Foggy stand up for their client as well as sizing up Marci seems to spark some interest for Karen. Since Matt is sorta with Claire, let’s develop the potential Foggy/Karen pairing.
Matt is keeping a radar ear out for any mention of Fisk and has some success when he overhears a police interrogation and one of Vladamir’s men offers Fisk’s name up in exchange for a deal. The cops are in Fisk’s back-pocket though and kill him forcing Daredevil to get some answers from one of the crooked cops.
The explosion’s concussive force knocks out the windows of Foggy’s client’s apartment and he asks Karen to stay with her while he checks on any other wounded. Reminder Karen, Foggy is a good dude. Don’t try to better deal him with Matt.
As the explosions light up the skyline, Vanessa watches on somewhat shocked. Fisk tells her the Russians who kidnapped the boy (back at the end of the series premiere. Who knew that would still be such an important plot point?) have now been taking care of so they won’t infest the city anymore. She can live with that.
After freeing himself from the debris, Daredevil tracks Vladamir stumbling out as well and starts attacking him. Most interesting here is how Matt is aimlessly carrying out Fisk’s plan. Just as he starts getting in some licks for Claire, the police arrive and surround him. With no fancy gadgets or even smoke pellets, how in the world will Matt get out of this one? Only one way to find out…
This was another outstanding episode with Vanessa realizing she’s OK being in a relationship with a dangerous crook, Matt making a move with Claire and a brutally effective way to end a gang war.