Daredevil’s third season comes to a satisfying conclusion with A New Napkin. Given the Iron Fist and Luke Cage cancellations and the neat ending here, it wouldn’t be shocking if this was the series finale…on Netflix at least. But what a heck of a way to go out.
Daredevil has tracked down Fisk’s right-hand man Felix. Initially, Felix doesn’t put Matt anywhere close to Fisk on the fear factor front. Right up until the moment Matt borrows a page from Batman’s playbook with the drop them off the ledge bit. Soon, Felix is giving up everything from Fisk’s wedding plans to Julie Barnes. The latter would prove especially useful.
Time for Matt to play Vince Vaughn and crash this wedding. But who’s going to be his Owen Wilson? Well… Dex is blonde, he just needs the proper motivation. Matt dials him up using Felix’s phone. I loved Matt saying I’m coming for you Dex…and my suit. He tells Dex that Fisk had Julie killed so he could be Dex’s North Star. And to prove it, Matt has the address where all the bodies are buried…frozen. Felix kept a little insurance and had Julie’s body stuffed away in a freezer. Along with possibly Melvin? Who’s going to design the next costume??
When Dex asks why Matt is telling him all of this, Matt gives a fitting response that Wilson Fisk doesn’t deserve a life of happily ever after. Indeed.
Foggy and Karen had their own plans to carry out. First up, Foggy had to do all he could to prevent Matt from killing Fisk. That meant warning Mahoney about a possible assassination of Fisk, I really appreciated Mahoney’s lack of concern. Fisk doesn’t need protection from some of the same men and women whose peers he’s had killed. If nothing else, protecting Fisk protects the case the feds who aligned with him. Nice argument, counselor.
But Foggy might need a little protection himself as Dex calls him into the federal headquarters. It’s not a hit as Seema Nadeem (Sunita Deshpande) asked them to call him in. Seema got Ray’s cell phone video message and played along with Dex to keep the feds away from her family.
This strategic deception was necessary as the feds pegged Ray for going rogue and killing Agent Winn. Fortunately in his recording, Ray named all the names and his specific role in everything. This was a nice final scene for Jay Ali, who made Ray such a sympathetic character. Ray was a dead man walking, but he set in motion everything to take Fisk down since his dying declaration would hold up in court.
Fisk is in his happy place as he prepares for his nuptials. He’s rocking a signature red rose in his lapel and all is right in his world. The mob underworld, including Rosalie Carbone (Annabella Sciorra) and John Hammer (Ezra Knight) are in attendance.
Karen carries out her part by taking the recording to Ellison to put on full blast online. It’s a damaging testimony and causes at least a few grumblings during the reception. For a gruff and dude full of rage, Fisk is a surprisingly nimble dancer. Who knew?
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Dex is just as skillful with his hands, but we have been made keenly aware of that bit of trivia. In the Daredevil costume, Dex eviscerates Fisk’s guards and slowly makes his way to the reception with Matt in close pursuit. This was a pretty brilliant plan to let Dex storm the gates and serve as a crooked federal agent killing distraction.
Now it’s time for the big showdown: Daredevil vs Kingpin vs Dex. Vanessa understands what’s at stake here and advises Wilson to be angry later and be smart now. Vanessa is such an interesting character and Ayelet Zurer brings such an air of grace and mystery to her.
Dex knows killing Vanessa will destroy Fisk so he focuses his attack on throwing every projectile her way. Matt has to block them while battling both foes. It’s a beautifully staged fight scene that feels fitting for the final showdown this season.
Fisk gets hold of Dex and snaps his back against the brick wall, but he’s no match for the enraged Matt. Daredevil whips Fisk and bloodies up Rabbit in a Snowstorm for even more irony. Vanessa’s pleas get through and Matt stops short of killing Fisk. Matt doesn’t take Fisk’s bait to kill him or risk his identity and his friends’ safety. He doesn’t have to worry since Matt can hold Vanessa over him in the same manner Fisk has done to so many others.
Mahoney escorts Fisk and his cronies out of the hotel to the relief of Foggy and Karen. Matt didn’t give in to the dark side.
With Fisk taken care of, Matt now starts getting the rest of his life on track. I liked the simplicity of Matt essentially giving Maggie a second chance and an opportunity to truly get to know each other. Matt explains everything that happened to him was a result of God’s plan. It was great to see Matt, a character so strongly rooted in his faith, make peace with everyone including God by the end of the season.
Foggy managed to work some magic and the Red Lion case against his parents blown off and Fisk is back in prison. The only thing left now is the need for a new napkin so Foggy can write Nelson, Murdock and Page. She might not be a lawyer, but Matt gets a good joke off of her being a far more stable investigator than Jessica Jones. Speaking of, is Matt really going to play a Phil Coulson and not tell his Defenders allies that he’s alive?
In what would probably be the end credits stinger if this was a film, Dex is getting surgery on his back to possibly restore movement in his body. We get a tight close up with a target appearing in his eyes. He might never have worn his costume, but this was about a perfect a take on Bullseye as we’re likely to ever see in live action.
Daredevil Season 3 was every bit as epic as expected. A New Napkin was a terrific conclusion to this season that doesn’t need any cliffhangers or stunts to have viewers on edge waiting for news of a fourth installment.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Photo Credit: David Lee/Netflix