Daredevil – Episode 1: Into the Ring (pt.2)

In the second half of episode one, Matt’s good intentions cause trouble.

The episode’s first half ended with Matt taking Karen back to his place so that he could look after her for the night. They walk into the apartment, freshly soaked from the rain, and Matt apologizes for the darkness. He gives Karen a shirt to change into, and she pauses to admire the view of a large neon billboard outside of his window. Matt jokes about no one else wanting the place. Being blind, the bright light hardly bothers him.DD 1p21.png

Matt insists that Karen take his room, and the two share a moment on is couch. Karen asks Matt if he remembers what it was like to see. Matt says that he does remember and takes off his dark glasses. He tells Karen that he supposes he should say he doesn’t miss it but he would “give anything to see the sky one more time.”

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He puts his glasses back on and proceeds to ask Karen more questions about why she was framed for murder and left alive. He suspects that the attempt on her life while she was in police custody was the result of a change of plans. He goes on to imply that the only reason Karen was left alive the first time was to scare her and intimidate her into giving up something the real killers want. He suspects that Karen kept a copy of the file (containing evidence against Union Allied, her former employer) for herself. Karen insists that she didn’t, but Matt, who can hear her heartbeat, does not appear convinced.

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The scene jumps to a rooftop overlooking the city. Four men stand around waiting with one elderly woman. Two of the men speak Russian, and the woman speaks Mandarin. A third man, Nobu, is silent, while the fourth complains about the cold and demands that they get on with business. Wesley, the master manipulator from the first part of the episode, joins them in place of his mysterious employer. He asks the Russian duo about an issue with their “cargo,” and they explain that their men were attacked and beaten while loading up girls on the docks.

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Wesley expresses particular interest in the man that beat up the Russian’s traffickers. He notes that his employer will not be pleased that they are being inconvenienced by a “lone vigilante.” The Russian men angrily bring up the lack of a solution to the Union Allied problem, referring to Karen. Wesley stiffly informs them that they are handling it.

Meanwhile, Karen sneaks out of Matt’s apartment in the middle of the night and heads back to her place. Her coworker’s blood still stains the carpet. Karen retrieves a hidden flash drive that no doubt contains a copy of the Union Allied file she told Matt she didn’t have. The relieved look on her face does not last long. Karen is not alone. A man has been waiting in her apartment and attacks her, taking the flash drive. He then approaches her with a knife, but a man in a black mask interrupts.

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Matt, clad in the same get-up he wore when he attacked the dock traffickers, bursts into the apartment to save Karen. Her attacker will not go down as easily as the men on the dock, however. Matt has a true fight on his hands. They crash around Karen’s upper-story apartment and eventually break her window, tumbling out into the rainy night.

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Matt does not have a soft landing. He lay there for a moment, dazed. He flashes back to a similar rainy night after he lost his sight as a child. Young Matt sits dozing at a table, asleep on his homework, and is awakened when his father returns home from the boxing ring, bloody and beaten. Jack tells Matt to finish up his homework. When Matt complains that he is tired, Jack tells his son not to end up like him. “I never studied. Look where it got me.” Matt uses his fingers to feel the damage on his father’s face as his father tells him to “get to work.” The scene jumps back to the rainy alleyway outside of Karen’s apartment.

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Matt picks himself up off the ground and proceeds to go toe to toe with Karen’s attacker. He uses his senses and the environment around them to gain the upper hand in a stunning, nail-biting fight scene. He finally manages to disarm the attacker and knocks him unconscious with a brutal roundhouse kick. He then retrieves the flash drive. Karen, for whatever reason, has come down to the street and stares at the masked man in awe, unaware that she’s looking at Matt. When he tells her that he will get the information on the drive into the right hands, she says that he can’t trust the police or anyone else. Matt replies that they should tell everyone. The scene jumps to Karen’s attacker being dumped on the steps of the “New York Bulletin” with a package containing the drive.

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Next, we see Wesley in the car, reviewing the newspaper headline “Union Allied Corruption Scandal” while talking to his mysterious employer via speakerphone. They already have plans to cover themselves and make the Union Allied business a thing of the past. When they reach the matter of Karen, Wesley’s employer decides that she is no longer a threat, as she has given up everything she knows. He instructs Wesley to keep a file on her lawyers, Nelson and Murdock. Then he asks about the man that saved Karen. Wesley replies that he is looking into it.

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As thanks for taking her case, Karen cooks dinner for Matt and Foggy. She is still in shock over being saved by the man in black and wants to be more involved in finding the truth. Foggy and Matt decide that their new law office, Nelson and Murdock, could use someone like Karen.

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Next, Matt goes into a gym called Fogwell’s at night. He slips the janitor some cash and then, when he is left alone, wraps his hands and proceeds to work over a punching bag with the skill of a professional fighter. The camera zooms out to show remnants of Jack Murdock’s fame on the gym walls.

While Matt is putting his fists to the bag, things are happening in Hell’s Kitchen. We see the white-haired man from the roof meeting, Leeland, manipulating financial information. The security guard who attacked Karen in her cell earlier in the episode is dead of what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The man who attacked her in her apartment is also dead, hanging in his prison cell the same way Karen was almost made to do. The elderly Asian woman from the rooftop meeting is walking through a warehouse where blind workers prepare and package cocaine. Meanwhile, Nobu stands at a table with maps of Hell’s Kitchen spread out before him. The two Russian men stop a car and beat the driver before kidnapping his son.

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The scene then cuts to Matt, clad in black again, standing on a rooftop, unaware of the Pandora’s Box he has just opened. He can hear much of the city thanks to his enhanced senses, and he listens to the overlapping noise until he suddenly hears a boy screaming for his father. Matt pulls his black mask into place.

What will he find when he goes to rescue the boy? Find out in episode two, available now on Netflix.

 

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