Saturday, October 20, 2018

REVIEW: 'Daredevil' - An Ordinary Office Hosts the Latest Action Sequence for Daredevil in 'The Devil You Know'

Netflix's Daredevil - Episode 3.06 "The Devil You Know"

Driven to the edge, Dex loses his way until he's offered a lifeline by Fisk. Matt comes to Karen for help, which she agrees to give - on one condition.

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.

"The Devil You Know" was written by Dylan Gallagher and directed by Stephen Surjik

As was common throughout the first two seasons, Daredevil is at its most exciting during its moments of intense action. That was true earlier this year with Matt's escape from prison. It's true here as well with his face off with Dex in the offices of the New York Bulletin. The season has apparently been building to that moment. Fisk talked about creating a new villain to distract the citizens of New York so that he could continue to mount his master plan. And now, it turns out that new villain is actually making a familiar face into evil in the eyes of the public. Daredevil has always been a complicated figure in Hell's Kitchen. Some revered him with respect for making a difference in a way that law enforcement could not. Others couldn't condone his actions because he was taking matters into his own hands. It's a common debate in superhero stories. The relationship between a vigilante hero and local law enforcement has to carry weight to it. All of this explains why Fisk didn't out Matt as Daredevil. He wanted to keep up the allure and mystery of the devil's identity. Even though Daredevil hasn't been seen in a long time, he is still recognizable to the citizens of this world. Matt hasn't been seen in the city wearing that costume again. His was destroyed during the crumbling of Midland Circle. Fisk is now able to gift Dex with a new version that is virtually the same. As such, it is the season essentially putting Matt's internal conflict into physical context. He is literally fighting against the core part of his identity he has been trying to embrace this season. He didn't want to live as Matt Murdock any more. He didn't want to ask for his friends' help only to put them in harm's way. And now, Matt Murdock is a wanted fugitive being hunted by the FBI. Karen and Foggy are just as entangled in the Fisk investigation as ever before. And someone new is posing as Daredevil and acting as the vigilante making a difference in the world. That transition for Dex is a little forced and relies entirely on his unstable personality. Again, it's a thrilling moment when it comes to the action set piece. He may not have the same senses that Matt does. But he proves himself to be such an efficient and excellent fighter who is able to turn any ordinary object into a weapon. Things are so peaceful and simple in the newspaper office. And yet, the desks of the latest victims hold the objects that can be turned into murder weapons. Dex is even able to surprise Matt with his accuracy. It makes him seem like an equal villain who can match Matt with his abilities in a fight. It's still being utilized as one big distraction. Because the story is focused on getting the former inmate on the record and Dex being put on leave by the FBI and becoming the new Daredevil, no one is really focusing on Fisk. He's not providing new intelligence that can be acted upon by the FBI. In fact, the FBI is still making silly moves. Ray gets his promotion despite his money problems that make him vulnerable. Meanwhile, they continue to vilify Matt simply because they believe he is bluffing with this accusation that Fisk is playing all of them. In the end, they realize that he, Karen and Foggy were telling the truth. It only took disaster to strike for them to do so. That still makes them seem like a bunch of walking plot devices instead of fully-dimensional human beings who can see the obvious machinations of this world. They are still being fooled by Fisk because now they are going on the hunt for Daredevil not knowing that they are partially responsible for the new version's creation.