TV Review: Marvel’s Daredevil, Season 1 Episode 7 “Stick” (USA, 2015)



With the Russians out of the picture, Marvel’s Daredevil needs to send Matt in a new direction and what better way to do that then introduce his mysterious mentor Stick? Yes, Scott Glenn finally makes his appearance in the series, and though he is only due to appear in this one episode boy does he make it count. Stick is a ruthless individual, a man who has no qualms in killing those who get in the way of his mission to stop an undisclosed and impending war. Little is explained as to what this war is, but it clearly has a whole lot to do with one of the criminal bosses working with Wilson Fisk, the Japanese businessman Nobu (Peter Shinkoda).

The appearance of Stick brings us back into flashback territory, as we go back to Matt’s childhood to catch some glimpses of the training that turned him into the masked hero he became. But as we soon see, Matt’s attitude makes him unworthy in the eyes of Stick, as his desire for a parent to replace his deceased father makes him too emotional to complete his training. In the present, this still rings true, as Matt refuses to kill despite Stick’s protestations that it is an essential evil for the greater good. Matt’s refusal goes so far as to lead to him sabotaging the mission which has brought his one-time mentor back to New York, stopping the arrow meant for Nobu’s new weapon (and young child) ‘Black Sky’. Even though the child is chained up and clearly dangerous, Matt still can’t bring himself to be responsible for his death.

The final fight scene is the highlight of “Stick”, as mentor and protégé come to blows over their differing world perspectives in Matt’s apartment. It is a dirty fight, and one with far different consequences for Matt than the other brawls we have seen him take part in on the show. Stick is one man whose approval would mean the world to him, and the fact he cannot do the one thing that would lead to his approval is gut wrenching for Matt. This lament for what could have been is further exacerbated by the reveal that Stick had held on to the bracelet Matt made for him as a child, showing that although he does not express it he holds a great deal of affection for his lost protégé. Stubbornness clearly abounds on both sides, but with the hints as to what’s to come it appears like the two are very quickly going to learn how to get along.

Foggy finally gets something more to do here as well, as he uncovers the fact that Karen is working with Ben Urich to take down Union Allied. Though his methods of sleuthing, or stalking, leave a lot to be desired, I’m glad to see Matt’s offside coming into his own. He even gets something of a fight scene himself, knocking two thugs out with a baseball ball and bat. This and Nelson and Murdock’s only client Mrs. Cardenas (Judith Delgado) flat out telling Karen Foggy has the hots for her makes it look like the young secretary may now be on Team Nelson.

“Stick” sees Fisk largely interacting with Nobu, as he makes arrangements to keep the shipping yard free from police ambush as Black Sky is delivered. It is also revealed that although Fisk has little time for Nobu, he does hold deep fears for the unnamed shadowy organisation that he represents. Many have speculated that they are in fact ‘The Hand’, a group who play a major role in the Daredevil mythos. The fact that the character of Stick also has strong ties to them in the comics only adds fuel to this rumour mill fire.

“Stick” is therefore a huge episode for fans of The Man Without Fear, and though I can’t see The Hand playing a huge part in Marvel’s Daredevil at this late stage in the series, it looks like they may be laying the groundwork to set up either a hopeful second season or the upcoming The Defenders miniseries.

Episode Highlights:

  • The end of the episode saw Stick talking to a mysterious ninja-like figure who we only saw from behind. The character was credited as ‘Stone’, who in the comics is a pupil of Stick who aids him in fighting The Hand
  • Did anyone else’s heart drop when Matt found his homemade bracelet in the wreckage of his fight with Stick? That moment gave me all of the feels
  • Skylar Gaertner, who plays the young Matt Murdock, is awesome in his scenes training with Scott Glenn. I see big things in the future for this kid



Read Simon’s review of Season 1 Episode 6 “Condemned” here.

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


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