Monday, October 22, 2018

REVIEW: 'Daredevil' - Matt and Karen Hide Out in the Church as Dex Intensifies the Hunt in 'Reunion'

Netflix's Daredevil - Episode 3.11 "Reunion"

Dex tries to run his prey to ground. Nadeem's conscience kicks in, and Fisk looks to recover a gift from Vanessa seized during this incarceration.

In 2018, it makes no sense to provide full-length reviews of each individual episode for shows released all at once on the streaming services. Sure, there are some shows out there that value the power of the episode. They do make a point in differentiating each episode to ensure it's not just one big slog to the finish. However, the ability to watch the entire season at one's own viewing pace has largely changed the way we consume and discuss these shows. So, some brief summary thoughts are really all that's actually necessary with these seasons. As such, here are my latest thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Daredevil.

"Reunion" was written by Jim Dunn & Dara Resnik and directed by Jet Wilkinson

The structure of this episode is very familiar. It's something that Daredevil has done before as the search for its hero intensifies. Here, Matt is tasked with protecting Karen because she chose not to abandon him in his time of need at the church. It just means that both of them are hiding right as Dex and Ray have locked down the block following the attack on the church. They see Daredevil as the main suspect and Karen as his accomplice. It's a story that doesn't make any sense at all when factoring in the eyewitness testimony. But it's the narrative that the FBI is pushing because they need to kill Karen for Fisk. That was the mission he sent Dex out to do. And now, he has failed at it. However, he's not the one dealing with the consequences of her still being alive. He remains completely loyal and complicit in everything that Fisk is willing to do. This hour highlights how Fisk has strived to return to the glory that he had in the first season. It wasn't enough for him to be in control of all of the crime in the city. He also wanted to be exonerated in the minds of the public. He believes he can win over the citizens once more with a rousing speech about the necessity of projects that will help the neighborhood. He emerges as a freed man here. He is finally able to get everything he has ever wanted. Of course, he can't get back the Rabbits in a Snowstorm painting that Vanessa gave to him. That may prove that his new reality can't just be the same as before. The damage has already been done because he went away to prison for his crimes. He can now exert his rage and power wherever he goes. He has no problem killing an agent simply for delivering bad news. He knows he can get away with it because he has bought off the federal government. That's what makes it so passionate when Matt, Foggy and Karen team up to take him down on the state level. The NYPD doesn't support Fisk. They aren't loyal to him due to blackmail and intimidation. They have suffered significant losses from him as well. As such, it's very smart when Foggy arrives on this scene willing to surrender Karen to Detective Mahoney instead of Dex. This is the decision that saves her life. It also leads to the reunion of the main trio as they work together to take down Fisk. That's such a passionate moment because this show is so compelling when it highlights the friendships amongst Matt, Foggy and Karen. They care about what happens to each other. They are all fighting the same fight with the same morals. Sure, it leads to Matt being chastised a little bit for wanting to kill Fisk because he now sees him as operating above the law. But it's also interesting to see a new solution presented to the problem as well. Ray started off this season as such an annoying new addition to the show. And now, he is so empathetic as he just wants to protect his boring family. His wife and son really aren't that memorable or interesting. And yet, his motivation is clear. He is trying to be an upstanding and moral person. He allows Karen to go with Detective Mahoney. But that leads to Fisk turning on Ray. He no longer serves a purpose. He and his family only survive because Matt arrives to save them. In that moment, he is willing to trust this agent with everything. He reveals his true identity in the pursuit of establishing that trust. But Matt is also asking Ray to risk everything in order to send Fisk away to prison for good. That's a daunting offer that seems bound to end in disaster because he is simply too powerful an enemy to stop right now.