Sometimes, victory comes with a price.
The second episode of Marvel‘s “Daredevil” doesn’t give Matt Murdock much of a break. We learn more about Matt’s heartbreaking past, meet some new friends and see just how much power our choices can have.
The episode opens with Matt in deep trouble … and deep garbage. A young man named Hector finds the masked vigilante lying beaten and bleeding in a Dumpster in a dark alley. Understandably, he looks a little spooked and runs to get help. Luckily for Matt, that help comes in the form of Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson).
Claire and the young man carry Matt, who is unconscious, upstairs to her apartment. She then shoos Hector away and insists he keep his mouth shut. Claire (who also appears in Marvel’s “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist” and “The Defenders”) is an ER nurse. She removes Matt’s mask, assesses his grim-looking wounds and, of course, notices something strange about his eyes. As soon as she takes out her phone to call for help, Matt jerks into consciousness and stops her. He warns her that the men who put him in such a condition (at this point, we still don’t know how he ended up that way) will “kill everyone in the hospital” to get to him. Astoundingly, he is able to get to his feet … but he only makes it a few steps before collapsing. Cue flashback!
Young Matt is sitting alone, waiting for his father, Jack, to come home. When Jack finally walks in, it’s clear that he had a rough night in the ring. He lost the fight and is beaten black, blue and bloody. That does not stop him from doing his best to be a good dad, however. He and Matt share a sad but tender moment as Matt stitches up his father’s cut and Jack, seemingly upset that Matt watched the televised fight, insists that Matt finish his homework that night. It seems that Jack doesn’t want his son to end up like him.
Back in the present, Foggy and Karen are working late. Foggy is singing (badly) as Karen is sorting through boxes of Nelson and Murdock paperwork. Eventually, Foggy realizes that he has an audience and asks Karen why she’s still there, playfully insisting that she could be out having a social life. After a little prodding, Karen finally admits that she doesn’t feel like going home, which implies she might not feel safe there after the events of episode one. Foggy doesn’t argue. Instead, he suggests they go bar hopping. Karen asks if they should call Matt as they leave. It’s safe to say they probably won’t get an answer.
Back at Claire’s place, Matt wakes up and Claire isn’t pleased. She points out the extensive nature of his wounds, but Matt, once again refusing a hospital, is more concerned with the fact that she has seen his face. Claire counters with her observation about his eyes being nonresponsive, meaning that he’s “either blind or way more messed up” than she thought. With a pained laugh, Matt asks if he has to pick one. Claire wants to know how a blind man ended up stabbed and in the trash. Naturally, she doesn’t get the answer she wants. Matt tells her that the less she knows about him, the better. Even so, he still thanks her for her help. Claire then leaves him to rest and, you guessed it, more flashbacks.
The heartbreak returns full force. Young Matt is lying in a hospital bed, panicking and trying to pull at the bandages covering his eyes. He has woken up after the accident that took his sight. He begins crying that he can’t see and that everything is “so loud.” Jack rushes to the bed and tries to calm him, assuring Matt that he is there and that everything will be okay.
Back on Claire’s couch, Matt awakens with a choking gasp. He can’t breathe. Claire rushes in and deduces that air in his chest is causing his lung to collapse. She manages to relieve the pressure, but the scare prompts her to point out that she can’t afford to have him die on her living room couch. She needs him to convince her that the risk his worth it.
With some reluctance, Matt explains that he was tracking down Russian gangsters (you may remember them from episode one) who have been running a human trafficking ring in Hell’s Kitchen. The Russians kidnapped a young boy after beating his father. They took the boy to bait Matt and he walked into their trap, which led to him landing in Claire’s Dumpster. She doesn’t seem entirely convinced given Matt’s blindness, but she can’t ignore the possibility that the Russian’s men are out looking for him.
In fact, one may have found him. Matt suddenly goes very still and tells Claire that there is a man going door to door in the building. Her skepticism prompts him to confess that there are some things she doesn’t know about him.
“All I know is you’re very good at taking a beating.”
“Yeah … that part I got from my dad….”
He isn’t joking. In the next flashback, we see Jack training at Fogwell‘s gym. He’s awfully good at taking a punch. Young Matt sits at a table in the corner, learning how to read braille. Jack eventually joins him and seems to be proud of how smart and hardworking Matt is. The lesson is interrupted when two men in suits waltz in and call Jack over. He goes to speak with them quietly and is thrilled to learn that they got him a fight with a big-ticket opponent. The excitement is short-lived, however. There is money to be made, and the two men want Jack to throw the fight. They don’t give him much choice. He reluctantly agrees, unaware that Matt can hear them.
That super hearing comes in handy. The man that Matt heard going from door to door arrives at Claire’s. Matt is on his feet and ready to fight (with a vegetable knife of all things), but Claire convinces him to stand down and hide. The man introduces himself as a detective and claims that he’s investigating a disturbance. Claire lies and claims she hasn’t seen or heard anything. The man leaves, but unfortunately, he doesn’t buy it.
Matt overhears the man speaking in Russian on his cell phone as he hurries out of the building. Using that hearing and the well-timed drop of a fire extinguisher, Matt takes him down. The mess hasn’t gone unnoticed. Hector has seen them. Matt tells Claire to go get him so that he can help them carry the “detective” to the roof. Bewildered, Claire asks why they’re going to the roof. If she didn’t have a reason to worry before, Matt’s reply gives her several.
“Less chance of someone in the building hearing him scream.”
If you want to see what Matt has planned, keep an eye out for part two and catch this episode of “Daredevil” on Netflix!