Don’t ever mess with Wilson Fisk on date night or you’ll end up with your head being decapitated by a car door. That’s the major message learnt in the fourth entry of Marvel’s Daredevil, an episode that gives a far greater glimpse into the life of the series villain. And let me tell you, it isn’t pretty (especially if you happen to be a Russian gang member). Farewell Anatoly (Gideon Emery), we hardly knew ye…
The Russians are a big focus this week, with Anatoly and his brother Vladimir (Nikolai Nikolaeff, who is surprisingly Australian) going after Matt/Daredevil by kidnapping Claire. This is the major plotline for Matt this week, as he tracks the cronies who kidnapped Claire to a local cab company office and makes short work of them. We even get glimpses of Claire’s “Night Nurse” inspiration from the comics, as she delivers the final blow to one unlucky man with a baseball bat. The subplot ends with Claire hiding out at Matt’s bachelor pad and discovering his real name, making a romance between the two all the more likely.
But the major love story of “In The Blood” belongs to Wilson and Vanessa, as Fisk takes the apple of his eye to a fancy restaurant and fails to impress her with his lack of knowledge of all things wine related. But somehow his awkward demeanour arouses Vanessa’s interest, that is until Anatoly barges in accepting an offer extended by Wesley early in the episode. When Vanessa subsequently tells Wilson that she may not be in it for the long haul, he celebrates his rejection by beating the man who ruined his shot at love to death.
The range of Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance in this episode is astounding, with this episode alone showing why he deserves to play this part. Going from an awkward man-child to a murderous psychopath at the drop of a hat, D’Onofrio expresses a range of emotions and shows that Fisk is a formidable figure who Matt should be very afraid of. Much of the criticism shrouding the MCU surrounds the fact that many of the villains are never really anything more than one-dimensional characters, so it is great to see that the show is going to great lengths to present Fisk as just a nuanced character as its protagonist.
Meanwhile, the newest crime fighting duo in Hell’s Kitchen, Karen Page and Ben Urich, continue to forge their alliance. Urich gives Karen a number of crucial life lessons on how to come out on top in the investigative journalism game, or at the very least, how not to end up sleeping with the fishes. By the end of “In The Blood”, Ben convinces Karen to sign the NDA and become a silent figure in their new partnership, as well as forcing her to buy a “new” fax machine from a dodgy auction for the office. I guess nobody told Karen that faxes aren’t a thing anymore, but hey, at least Foggy was stoked with his new toy.
— “If he had an iron suit or a hammer, maybe that would explain why you keep getting your arses handed to you”
— We get our first reference to the super villain Melvin Potter (Gladiator) in this episode, who is set to be played by Matt Gerald in the series. And his going to have his work cut out for him designing Wilson Fisk’s new suit
— Fisk is a guy who likes to play dirty. The fight scene between him and Anatoly was a series highlight, and I can’t wait until him and Matt finally go toe to toe
EPISODE REVIEW: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Read Simon’s review of Season 1 Episode 3 “Rabbit In A Snowstorm” here.
Marvel’s Daredevil is available to stream all 13 episodes of Season One via Netflix Australia.