Friday, October 19, 2018

REVIEW: 'Daredevil' - Matt's Visit to a Prison Leads to the Latest One-Shot Action Sequence in 'Blindsided'

Netflix's Daredevil - Episode 3.04 "Blindsided"

While Matt infiltrates a prison to find information on the Albanians, Fisk puts Dex in his crosshairs and a fed-up Foggy goes on the offensive.

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.

"Blindsided" was written by Lewaa Nasserdeen and directed by Alex Garcia Lopez

In its first season, Daredevil earned praised for an action sequence set in a hallway that was seemingly shot in one-take with no cuts whatsoever. That has proven to be a consistent storytelling device for this show as well. It was the moment that proved that there was something special and unique here. None of the other Netflix-Marvel shows can match Daredevil when it comes to hand-to-hand combat. The other heroes have their special powers that allow different visual flourishes. But here, it's consistent that at least once a season there is a long one-take sequence that highlights just how effective Daredevil is as a fighter even though it wears him down as well. At first, it seems like the three prisoners immediately outside the infirmary would be this year's one-take sequence. And yet, it keeps on going. From the moment that Fisk hangs up the phone to Matt getting in the taxi, there are no cuts. The camera is just following Matt along on this intense journey. It's absolutely stunning to watch. It was probably so technically difficult to stage that entire sequence. But it works in the end as well because it feels like it is doing more than simply telling a fight in a different way. There are genuine stakes here. Matt goes into this prison expecting to get information but eventually walks into a trap. That proves that there is still so much that Fisk is capable of doing even though he's apparently under constant supervision by the FBI. He still has access to a phone and computer. He can still be very controlling and manipulative. The FBI has actually given him his freedom back. Matt still survives though. He manages to make it back to the taxi in time to just pass out. He walks away with a new partnership with the Armenians. That may work out or it may lead to even more chaos and destruction. Of course, Matt isn't safe just because he made it out of the prison. His driver was replaced by someone else who drives him into the river. That's a perilous cliffhanger. In fact, it proves that Matt's story is more consistently entertaining and action-packed than anything else currently happening on the show. That ties into Fisk's story as well. His presence still looms over absolutely everything. Right now, he is putting in the work to get inside Dex's head. He is giving him sympathy for protecting him even though he killed several people who were surrendering to him. Dex should suspect that something more is going on. And yet, he has to protect his own career as well. So that may make Fisk an unlikely ally in that fight. At least that's more engaging than Ray worrying about his family and how they are coping after the deaths of his colleagues. Meanwhile, Karen is making some progress in her investigation to prove that Fisk has deceived the FBI. However, that's mostly a cryptic investigation that is bound to lead to complications at some point because she's not keeping Ellison completely in the loop. Karen and Foggy are also taking action in order to feel strong now that they are facing off with Fisk once more. Foggy is doing so by running a write-in campaign for district attorney just to bring more publicity to the idea that Fisk should not be out of prison. And Karen is doing so by intimidating people on the street with her gun, which could take a nasty turn so easily if she continues to pursue it.