Sunday, October 21, 2018

REVIEW: 'Daredevil' - A Massive Secret Sends Matt Spinning and Questioning the Actions of His Friends in 'Revelations'

Netflix's Daredevil - Episode 3.09 "Revelations"

Matt's already shaky world tilts when he learns a shocking truth. Karen runs for her life. Nadeem discovers how deep Fisk's influence runs.

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.

"Revelations" was written by Erik Oleson & Sam Ernst and directed by Jennifer Lynch

This is absolutely a creative highpoint for the season so far. In fact, it's so surprising just how engaging the FBI story has become here. In the earlier episodes, it was easy to criticize that portion of the narrative for how silly it was acting. It seemed as if those characters were nothing more than plot devices to ensure that Fisk was shielded with some safety as he worked on his master plan. And now, it's revealed that he has a controlling interest in the FBI. Dex isn't the only agent he has corrupted into working for him. Sure, he may be the only person who enjoys the new association. Wilson Bethel is so much better as a performer here when he just gets to be a creepy and intimidating villain. When he was asked to be a morally complicated individual, it was a little more difficult to be invested in his journey. But now, his loyalty to Fisk is plain to see and he takes great pleasure at being able to fling any object at anyone knowing that it will be a lethal shot. For everyone else, they are working for Fisk because of an intense amount of blackmail and threats. Ray goes to his boss with proof that this conspiracy exists. She reacts by killing the other agent present who isn't a part of this secret task force. That is such a shocking moment. And then, she is still hoping to have some sense of sympathy because she believes she was saving Ray's life in the moment. Sure, she was framing him for the murder of a government official. But she was also sparing his life from whatever Fisk's wrath could be. He has no problem killing families including children. She is loyal to him because one daughter was taken from her. She doesn't want that same fate for her other child - even though it's curious that she doesn't hear the gunshot in her own house. That construction must really provide some excellent soundproofing. But all of this allows Ray to become a great and empathetic character as he becomes an unwilling participant to all of this. He is helping Fisk plot his escape and meet with all of the crime bosses left in the city. Fisk has an offer they can't refuse. If they do, Dex will kill them. That's horrifying. It continues to show that Fisk has his hand in everything and has plotted things so far in advance that it's somewhat miraculous that it has all worked out in his favor so far.

This is also such a meaningful hour for Matt as he confronts the various father figures in his life. He is sent spinning after learning that Maggie is his mother. She didn't share the truth with him. Nor does he go confront her about it. Instead, he sees Father Lantom's deceit as much more significant. Lantom has been a consistent part of his life. He chose to keep this a secret. He has no good reason for doing so either. He believed it wasn't his place. And yet, this threatens to destroy Matt's entire relationship with religion because he can no longer see these conversations without thinking about the hypocrisy of it all. Lantom told Matt that he needed to be honest in his life even when he was keeping this massive secret from him about his mother. Plus, Maggie remains such a complicated figure. It's clear that she messed up her son by leaving just as much as his father did by dying instead of throwing a fight. She left because she was suffering from postpartum depression. Even when Matt returned to her at a young age, it was simply easier to lie. Only now does she have the self awareness to realize that she's actually a coward. She didn't reveal this news hoping that Matt would hear it. She's shocked and knows the consequences this will carry for their relationship. She is unlikely to ever see him again. Instead, she is confessing her sins to Karen who just wants to warn Matt before she runs as far away from Fisk as possible. That's what makes it so meaningful when she decides to stay at the church under Maggie's protection even though she isn't safe there. Again, it's questionable how she is spotted so easily when Matt was in hiding for over a year in the same exact place. It shows just how widespread and determined Fisk's new agents are at this job. They fear him as a kingpin for a reason. But it all harkens back to Matt's desire to put an end to this fight to ensure that no one else gets hurt. He believes that death is the only punishment that Fisk deserves. And yet, he goes to save Karen instead of waiting to pull off his perfect trap for Fisk in his penthouse which isn't as secure as everyone believed it was.