Saturday, October 20, 2018

REVIEW: 'Daredevil' - Everyone Is Surprised by Just How Powerful Fisk Has Become in 'Aftermath'

Netflix's Daredevil - Episode 3.07 "Aftermath"

The press crucifies Daredevil after the attack on the Bulletin, and Agent Nadeem suspects the FBI paid too high a price for Fisk's cooperation.

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.

"Aftermath" was written by Sarah Streicher and directed by Toa Fraser

Wilson Fisk started this season as a man in jail without any power. And now, the narrative has proven that he is smarter and more powerful than anyone else. He is working so far ahead of everyone. Of course, it also seems like a mad conspiracy with over a dozen contingency plans. Whatever his grand goal is should come into better focus in order for the audience to get a good understanding of what is worth all of this manipulation and deceit. He is no longer the man operating with the city's best interests at heart. He is clearly a villain who enjoys ruining the lives of the people who put him in prison. He has new tools in order to succeed. He has the money to pay off basically everyone in prison as well as the hotel that now houses him. Plus, he is conveniently able to disappear from the penthouse suite he is suppose to be confined to all the time. Apparently, there aren't any cameras in the bedroom. The FBI thinks the ankle monitor is enough but it isn't. He has a secret room. And yet, it's not on the same floor. Fisk has to walk down stairs to see everything that is going on in this world. That's his control room to monitor everything. And yet, the show pulls off a rather cheap thrill by making the audience think that Ray is about to expose this deception only for Fisk to magically be seen in bed by the time he comes into the room. It makes no sense whatsoever. It mostly makes it clear that Fisk is now operating as a supervillain who may not be bound to the rules of physics. He appears to be omnipresent. He is able to terrorize everyone's lives. As such, that should make everyone paranoid that they are being played and that there is nothing they can do to stop it. Of course, there is a simple solution too. The FBI could stop this arrangement and send him back to prison. The price of this operation has gotten too high. Ray argued for it because it would save lives. And now, more agents are injured and a dozen innocent civilians have been killed. Instead of following the chain of command and reporting the justifiable fears about Fisk, Ray argues for two more days to investigate further. That proves just how inept an agent he really is. Even when he confronts individuals throughout this hour, he bluntly asks the questions most pressing to him. And so, he wants to know if Fisk was responsible for his own stabbing in prison. He also wants to know if Karen came to the Bulletin with her gun because she knew an attack was coming. Him asking that of Karen is absolutely ridiculous. That's what he is choosing to focus on. Everyone is largely wondering how Karen knows for certain that the man who attacked the Bulletin wasn't Daredevil. And yes, that sends her spiraling in her own destructive arc as well. That's quite impressive and it's so devastating to hear her talking to her father wanting to escape only to be turned away. That's meaningful. This hour still has strong character work. That is also on display when it comes to Matt's relationship with Sister Maggie. She is realizing and accepting that she doesn't know his world and the challenges that he faces. She may just be good at stitching him up after he gets into a fight. And yet, she's going to continue offering her opinion because that's the relationship they have. It is filled with trust and appreciation. However, Matt is still plagued with fears about Fisk. He believes he has gotten too powerful. And yes, that does seem to be the case the show is making with how Fisk is able to destroy everyone's lives so easily. However, it's much more intriguing to see Matt trying to clear his name by forming a partnership with Ray than trying to understand or feel guilty about Melvin Potter working for Fisk once more to create another Daredevil suit. That represents yet another way that Fisk seems to have his hand in so many different corners of this world.