“Shadows In The Glass” is most definitely the Wilson Fisk show, and it may just be the best episode of Marvel’s Daredevil so far. The show has spent a great deal of time flashing back to Matt Murdock’s past, but this episode is all about taking a trip back in time to meet young ‘Willie’ (Cole Jensen). It also cements a rising theme of the role of patriarchal figures in the shaping of young men, as we discover that many of Wilson’s attributes come from the lessons taught to him by his abusive father Bill (Domenick Lombardozzi). Bill is a man with big dreams and a love for his city just like his grown up son, but unlike Wilson he has neither the money nor connections to realise them.
In the present we are also shown a repeated montage of Wilson’s morning routine, which begins with him waking up from a recurring nightmare and staring sadly at the painting he purchased from Vanessa. In the first of these montages he appears as his young self covered in blood, making it clear that his childhood was not a happy one.
The flashbacks more than confirm this, as young Willie bludgeons Bill in the back of the head with a hammer when he attacks his mum Marlene (Angela Reed). This is easily the most graphic scene of the show so far, as not only is it just as violent as anything shown before but it also represents Willie’s sudden loss of childlike innocence as he not only kills his dad but then subsequently watches his mum hack Bill’s body apart with a saw.
Matt’s arc takes a bit of a backburner in this episode, as the flashbacks are interspersed with Wilson dealing with the various members of his enterprise who are becoming increasingly unsatisfied by his actions. Leland is worried for his safety after an encounter with the now monikered ‘Devil of Hell’s Kitchen’, and is none too happy with the new security arrangements surrounding him. He does get an awesome body armoured suit though, designed by Melvin Potter in his first onscreen appearance. Nobu is similarly enraged that Black Sky has been lost, and blames Wilson for Matt and Stick’s role in this.
Following a sour conversation with Heroin producer Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho), Fisk becomes enraged and refuses aid from right hand man Wesley. However there is one person who is able to bring him back from his rage and help him cement his plans to gain a stronghold over Hell’s Kitchen. The true purpose of the flashbacks is revealed to be Fisk detailing the murder of his father to Vanessa, which is also explained to be his recurring nightmare. In a further twist of fate, his new painting bears an uncanny resemblance to the wall paint of his childhood apartment, which he was forced to stare at while his father beat his mum.
The episode ends with Fisk making his first public appearance on the steps of city hall, detailing his plans for the city’s future with Vanessa by his side. The Wilson Fisk of this show has so far been worlds apart from his comic counterpart, but in this scene he looks as though he is well on the road to becoming The Kingpin that we all know and love to hate. And all it took was a little bit of support and affection. If you ask me, Wilson Fisk may be a dangerous man, but Vanessa’s acceptance of everything he has done suggests something far more sinister.
With Wilson Fisk now out in the open, and blaming The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen for his crimes, it looks like Matt is going to have a much harder time of taking him down.
- Matt finds out about Ben Urich, and officially joins his investigations with Karen and Foggy. I will be interested to see if he is more of a help or a hindrance to his friends, as at this stage he seems set on taking down Fisk as Daredevil rather than prosecuting him under the law
- The Rolling Stones are a Fisk family favourite. But Bill likes it up loud, much to Marlene’s dismay
- The scene where Willie attacks the neighbourhood bully under his father’s tutelage has quite a few similarities to his attack on Anatoly in the fourth episode. Fisk clearly loves kicking a man while his down, and I love seeing small details like this come full circle
EPISODE SCORE: FOUR AND A HALF 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.