Daredevil – Season 3 Episodes 5 – 9 Review

Daredevil S3 P2

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for Matt Murdock / Daredevil, along comes a super-talented corrupt agent wearing his own suit! Typical. Seriously though, these five episodes are pretty much entirely about turning Agent Poindexter into Bullseye (though without that codename…) and it does that brilliantly. Let’s take a closer look!

Synopsis:

Matt Murdock was last seen plunging into the watery depths in a taxi, but he’s fine really. Something that Mr. Fisk somehow isn’t too shocked at, after all, the Kingpin always has back up plans…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

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Ah, a lawyer vs. the police. The endless struggle…

Matt Murdock / Daredevil (Charlie Cox) – After managing to survive nearly drowning in the back of a taxi, Murdock travels back to his old apartment, planning his next move… a move that may need to involve his old friend Karen…

Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) – Karen is still extremely mad about what Matt has done to her and Foggy recently, but all that being said, Fisk being out and manipulating the FBI is more of a concern…

Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) – Foggy thinks he can remain safe by outing and verbally attacking Fisk as a D.A. candidate, all the while hoping his friends can survive long enough to see Fisk’s run come to an end…

Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) – Wilson Fisk has a plan, and a plan within a plan. He knows exactly how to manipulate New York in order to regain everything he lost, including his love Vanessa…

Benjamin Poindexter (Wilson Bethel) – Dex is a certified psychopath, having killed his baseball coach with a well aimed throw of a baseball when he was just a kid, feeling no guilt from it. As his world slowly collapses, he’s finding Wilson Fisk might be the only person who understands him…

Rahul Nadeem (Jay Ali) – Ray is getting more and more confused the more his deal with Fisk increases in complexity. There is something more to this than he knows, and he may regret finding out…

Plus more!

The Good:

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Now just saw the horns off, paint a white bullseye on the forehead, and there we go!

As I alluded to in the opening paragraph, the key character here is Dex. A whole half an episode was beautifully dedicated to his history, featuring Fisk walking around in his memories as he reads his case file. It’s a really believable backstory of a kid who had no-one developing psychopathic tendencies, only finding some solace in therapy, which is cruelly taken away from him when his psychiatrist dies. Scenes of him in a suicide prevention hotline, falling for a beautiful woman while secretly trying to convince callers that suicide isn’t the answer, but maybe killing in revenge is. I’m not quite sure how he ended up in the FBI with that kind of heavy, documented backstory of insanity, but hey-ho, it was a really interesting series of flashbacks.

In the present Kingpin manipulates him by setting him up with the woman he loved, only to take her away from him, finally breaking him and convincing him that it’s okay to kill… for his sake. He puts Dex in the Daredevil suit and gets him to slaughter a bunch of innocent people at Karen’s newspaper office, before talking to Karen and walking off, framing her as some sort of accomplice. Matt appears during this and the two have the first MCU Daredevil-Bullseye fight, complete with DD having the edge in close range, but the latter excelling at a distance, including crazy accurate rebound shots and generally super-accurate tosses with various regular objects. He may not be called Bullseye, but the show does a great job of giving Dex the same kind of “powers” as the comic version.

Agent Nadeem has a rough time of it as well. He’s manipulated by Fisk into thinking Matt Murdock was a “fixer” of his, and then obviously Daredevil becomes public enemy #1 (despite Karen trying to convince him that it wasn’t the same Daredevil as before) so he and the rest of the FBI start doing Fisk’s dirty work for him. Ray does eventually come to Matt and Karen’s side, and even snoops around Dex’s house with Matt, which leads to a great getaway featuring more crazy accuracy from Poindexter. Sadly for Ray, he gets too close to the truth, and when tries to tell his boss about everything, the third agent in the room is shot dead with Nadeem’s gun, and Ray is flatly told that he works for Fisk now…

Speaking of Fisk, not only does he start walking around in a white suit at last, but the FBI agents on his payroll, to avoid anyone potentially overhearing them talk about their true boss, refer to him as “Kingpin”, FINALLY giving Fisk his comicbook name, even if it is only for a small circle of characters. He’s still such a compelling villain, so multi-layered, so clever, and clearly ruthless.

So how about Matt/Daredevil? Well, he spends this chunk of episodes on the loosing end of Bullseye, and not to mention finally finding out that Sister Maggie is his mother, and that everyone had been lying to him his whole life. That didn’t help his outlook… So yeah. It’s good stuff, but this chunk was really about building the world around him, making things as grim for him as possible to set up his rise. At the end of the last episode he successfully infiltrates Fisk’s penthouse and is ready to attack him, but then he overhears that Karen is going to be killed at his old Church, so runs to save her instead…

Karen is good here as well. She uses her reporter status to get an interview with Kingpin, and tries to get him to attack her in front of all the FBI agents so he gets sent back to prison. She does this by admitting to being the one whole killed Fisk’s old friend James Wesley from season 1. This nearly works before she’s saved by Foggy calling the FBI to warn them of what Karen was planning. Foggy, by the way, is still a fun character, and has some good speeches and stuff, but nothing worth shouting from the rooftops about.

The Bad:

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“Wait, I was wearing this? It’s ugly! …. Oh wait, I’m blind still… never mind”

Not a lot, to be honest. The Dex turn is done brilliantly, which leads into the big showdown at Karen’s workplace, which then leads to some great after-effects like Nadeem’s struggle, Matt’s further woes and Karen’s attempts at revenge.

About the only thing I guess, thinking about it, was Matt fighting Melvin, the simple-minded man who made his costume, and therefore made the duplicate for Fisk. It was good, just not as good as other fights before and after it, and it was a loose end that didn’t really need to be tied up. Still not really bad though!

Overall Thoughts:

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A white suit! All we need now is a ruffled “jabot” and we’d be done!

Daredevil’s third season continues to be a masterclass of storytelling, compelling characters and great set-pieces, much like its first. I can’t see them dropping the ball for the finale, so it’s looking like another fine example of TV in general, let alone comic book adaptations, is about to be produced by the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.

5 Star Watch

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