Friday, October 19, 2018

REVIEW: 'Daredevil' - Fisk Remains a Massive Target No Matter Where He Goes in 'Please'

Netflix's Daredevil - Episode 3.02 "Please"

Grieving for the life he's abandoned, Matt suffers a crisis of faith. Fisk makes a deal with the FBI that turns him into a target.

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.

"Please"  was written by Jim Dunn and directed by Lukas Ettlin

A character being broken out of prison in the middle of their transfer to a second location has become such a familiar and contrived plot device. It has already become inevitable and expected for the viewers. So throughout the scene of Ray getting everyone on board with this plan, the audience is screaming that it's going to go awry somehow. The only real pleasure that can be taken from this kind of twist is how the show ultimately executes it. And yes, Daredevil does provide some nice stylistic flourishes by framing the entire sequence from Wilson Fisk's perspective trapped inside the vehicle. This is a monumental action against him and the FBI. He was being transferred from prison and now it seems like he's out for good. That's the suggestion that spreads like wild fire when Matt is just outside the hospital. That's very dangerous. But that sequence is powerful because of how weak Fisk is. He is powerless to stop any of this from happening. He is only saved by some newcomer to the story coming in and killing every single one of these enemy combatants. The action points out that he kills them even when they surrender. So, he will fall into the camp of morally compromised hero. He still treats Fisk as a convict though. That means there is still the expectation that he will continue to work with the FBI even though he now has an incredible target on his back because of the criminal enterprises he is disrupting as an FBI informant. That's certainly more thrilling than what is currently going on with Karen and Foggy. There is such little patience for their stories because it seems like they are just wallowing in despair and uncertainty as long as they don't know that Matt is still alive. Karen seems obsessed with this feeling that Matt will return to them eventually. Foggy is coming to terms with his life possibly not being what he expected from it. But again, they are mostly just boring. The drama won't turn up in a satisfying way until Matt comes back into their lives to throw them for a loop because he didn't reach out in the months following the destruction of Midland Circle. Instead, he chose to recover at the orphanage. His healers don't even represent his new view on the world. His faith has always been so defining of his core character arc. And now, he has lost it. He wouldn't put it in those words. But he certainly sees the irrelevance of God in his calling as Daredevil. He believed he saved people as a servant of a higher power. This is what he was asked to do to answer people's prayers in their time of need. He now sees it as him being gifted with these abilities and just needlessly attributing some grand purpose extended from God. Of course, this is terrifying to the people who have been with him for months. Father Lantom and Sister Maggie have known him throughout his life. He isn't a stranger to them. They are just now seeing him as he truly is. He has grown much darker and more depressed. He needs to be able to rely on these abilities to make a difference in the world. He ultimately does that too. It just remains a struggle because he's not as good as he was. He still feels the need to fight. And yet, that has the potential to end tragically for the people in his life more so than him attributing his identity as the devil corrupting those he cares about.