TV Review: Marvel’s Daredevil Season 1 Episode 10 “Nelson V Murdock” (USA, 2015)

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The previous episode of Marvel’s Daredevil ended with perhaps the biggest cliffhanger of the series to date, with Matt’s best friend and partner Foggy Nelson discovering the truth about his secret identity. As the title “Nelson v Murdock” suggests, this episode is largely occupied by the repercussions of this discovery, and the consequences it may have on both their friendship and the future of their burgeoning legal practice. With Matt recovering from the wounds of his fights with both Nobu and Wilson Fisk, Foggy Nelson is finally given a much meatier role to play, and it’s great to see Elden Henson a chance to really bust his acting chops.

As we haven’t spent a great deal of time in the world of Nelson and Murdock, we have presented with a series of flashbacks to the pair at law school in order to give the audience a greater idea of just how firm their friendship is. As we see early in the episode, the pair started off as roommates at Columbia University, with Matt instantly taking a liking to the slightly weird guy who looked past his blindness and instead saw a perfectly normal peer. It becomes clear that Foggy is both a strong pillar of strength in Matt’s life and the only real family he has, making Foggy’s rejection following the news of his nighttime activities all the more soul crushing.

It is obvious Foggy has fair standing for this reaction though, as from his standpoint Matt has been lying to him from the first moment they met. It is not the fact he is a masked vigilante that hurts him, but that Matt never trusted him with the knowledge of his ‘special abilities’. Not even the revelation of why Matt first donned the mask, to save a young girl being abused by her father, is enough to regain his faith. By episode end, it looks like Foggy has quit the firm, but with the other events that occur in the episode this hopefully won’t last for long.

It looks like Fisk’s enterprise is taking a massive hit, as he faces questions over his decisions to let Nobu die. Leland Owlsley and Madame Gao are clearly not impressed, and understandably face reservations as to whether or not they too will find themselves in the crossfire. They also worry about Fisk’s commitment to their cause following distractions caused by his wooing of Vanessa, but they may not have to worry about this for too much longer. At a benefit run by Fisk a number of those in attendance are poisoned, the love of Wilson’s life included. With both Fisk’s professional and personal life falling apart at the seams it seems like only a matter of time before he snaps big time.

The final nail in Fisk’s coffin comes from a major discovery in Ben and Karen’s investigations. When Ben reveals to Karen that he can no longer afford to keep his wife in the hospital and is looking to admit her to a hospice, she comes back to him with a proposition to visit a facility outside of the city. However, it is soon revealed that Karen is only using Ben’s personal predicament to get him to the hospice, with the true nature of their visit being the revelation that Fisk’s mother is a patient.

Though she is now in the later stages of dementia, Marlene (Phyllis Somerville) becomes lucid enough to tell the two about Daddy Fisk’s unfortunate end at the hands of his now maniacal son. It looks like Ben and Karen finally have the smoking gun they’ve been looking for to take Fisk down for good.

“Nelson v Murdock” is much lighter on the action than previous episodes, but it delivers enough of an emotional wallop to have as big of an impact as the events that have proceeded it.

Episode Highlights:

  • In one of the flashbacks to Matt and Foggy’s time at university, a brief reference is made to a “Greek girl” Matt was romantically involved with. It’s official; Elektra Natchios exists in the MCU!
  • Nelson and Murdock: Avocados at Law
  • It is also revealed that one of the unseen businessmen who donated money to Fisk’s benefit is one Cornelius Van Lunt, who is the head of the criminal network Zodiac Cartel in Marvel comics

REVIEW SCORE: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Read the rest of Simon’s Marvel’s Daredevil reviews here.

Marvel’s Daredevil is available to stream all 13 episodes of Season One on Netflix Australia.

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