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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

I was going to just skip all the recaps and go straight to reviewing the season as a whole, but then I realized I wanted to talk about the separate episodes and how much they changed over time. Besides, I’m about to do Jessica Jones, and it seems unfair to do episode by episode of her and not give Daredevil the same treatment. So we’re flashing back, and I’m allowed to be late, because this is my blog and I do what I want. Previously on Daredevil, we were introduced to Matt Murdock, a lawyer who gained super abilities when he was in a horrible radioactive accident that took his sight. He’s started to be a vigilante on the streets, dressed all in black, and he’s still learning how to be one. He struggles with his inner darkness and violence, but he has an unbeatable spirit, proven when he saved a little boy when fighting an endless amount of goons until pure exhaustion. While badly injured! We met his best friend Foggy and their new secretary/best friend Karen. Karen was framed for a crime in the first episode and they got her out of it. We also met Claire Temple, a nurse who helped patch Matt up and kept his secret. This is in a post-Avengers battlefield where Hell’s Kitchen of New York is steeped heavily in crime and violence. Can Matt fight crime while keeping control of his growing rage?

That last point is one that the entire season will focus on, so it’s not easily answered. Matt is toeing a line, a very tentative line, between a point of new return. Eventually Frank Castle aka the Punisher will show up and he’s an example of what happens to someone who walks over that line. For now, Matt’s trying to keep in the light, and his only chance of that is when he’s around the people who humanize him. The company that framed Karen offers her money in exchange for shutting up. This elegant businessman named Wesley offers Matt and Foggy a case since they helped Karen, protecting an assassin named Healy who brutally beat someone to death with a bowling ball. Yuck. Matt believes his employer is someone very, very important, so he insists on taking the job despite Foggy’s concern. Meanwhile Karen connects with Ben Urich, a talented journalist who has been forced to doing puff pieces. No one feels safe pushing the corruption going on, and some of the press seems to be in the pocket of the bad guys.┬áIt might not be the smartest idea, but Ben decides to help Karen get to the bottom of what happened to her.

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Matt does find out a name from Healy. He helped him get away with the murder only so he could track him down and confront him as Daredevil. Or at this point he’s still only known as “the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.” After realizing he gave Wilson Fisk’s name up and what that will mean for him, Healy commits suicide. It was a pretty sickening one, I winced, because eye phobia, yuck. At least it seemed pretty instant. Matt’s obviously shaken by the fact someone would rather kill themselves than face Fisk’s wrath, but it’s not going to stop him from going after the guy. He’s the big crime boss of Hell’s Kitchen. He is the enemy. Also the Kingpin, btw. We finally see Vincent D’Onofrio’s Fisk for the first time, looking at a painting of a white wall pensively. Fisk is a major character in Marvel comics. He’s an intense and terrifying bad guy, but beyond that, he’s intelligent and well written and has great depth. The show clearly understands that because this is their quiet introduction to the menacing antagonist of the series. It’s the calm before the storm. It also introduces art gallery owner Vanessa who in the comics is basically Fisk’s morality pet. She is the only thing he loves more than power, and she’s played elegantly here by Ayelet Zurer.

This was a good solid episode. It pushed forward the plot. The violence was intense in a few points, but really this was about setting the stage for the entrance of the Kingpin. Several plots are getting going here: Matt’s obsession with finding Fisk, Karen and Ben’s investigation into her framing, and the overall arc of these characters trying to survive in an increasingly dangerous world.

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