Written by Douglas Petrie
Directed by Brad Turner
Matt tries to go after Leland but gets tased by him, and then his old ninja skills teacher, Stick, pops up. He’s in town because he has some kind of epic beef with Nobu, the Japanese crime lord. He wants to take out something called the Black Sky, which sounds like a doomsday device. Matt works with him, but is bitter about it because Stick ditched him when he was a kid after he started seeing him as a father figure. It turns out that the Black Sky is a child, so Matt’s extra angry with Stick for trying to manipulate him into helping him kill a kid. Stick is annoyed with Matt for using “half-measures” (i.e. not killing) and for having emotional attachments. He kills the kid while Matt’s busy with Nobu’s men, so Matt fights him when they get back to his apartment, beating him for the first time. Curiously, Stick was still holding onto a sentimental item little Matt gave him at least a decade and a half ago. Over in the other plotline, Karen is still working with Ben Urich to uncover the connections between all the crap going on, and she gets attacked on her way home from talking to Mrs. Cardenas about it. Foggy saves her with a timely softball throw, and she brings him to meet Ben.
Holy crap, Stick’s speech about how Matt has to cut himself off from all his connections is pretty prophetic of what happens in S2. Also judging from the little ice cream wrapper, Stick left more because he was getting too attached than because Matt was.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Would little Matt have ever gotten the hang of his enhanced senses if Stick hadn’t shown up? Or would he have continued to be traumatized by his own powers of perception, his misplaced guilt over his dad’s death, and his misery over losing his sight? I’m sure he wouldn’t have been a wreck forever, but I doubt he would’ve ended up in the same place. Also, I think his no killing rule is at least partially informed by rebellion against Stick for abandoning him. Had Stick stuck around, I’m not sure the impressionable child Matt starved for affection after Jack’s death would have opposed him when they got to the “how to snap a neck” lesson.
Karen has a level of tenacity that is both admirable and maddening. She has shockingly low regard for her own safety for someone who was framed for murder and survived two attempts on her life in the space of a few days. She needs to get much sneakier and much more alert to her surroundings if she’s going to keep turning over the kind of rocks she’s poking around and live to tell the tale.
Foggy is surprisingly perceptive for how belligerently upbeat he is. He can tell something’s off with Karen, even though she’s pretty good at keeping it on the DL now that nobody’s actively trying to murder her anymore. I guess he’s just used to Matt’s eccentricities, so it’s hard for him to read more into them. And oh boy did his perceptiveness (regarding Karen) pay off!
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.