“Nelson v. Murdock”
Written by Luke Kalteux
Directed by Farren Blackburn
Foggy patches Matt up, and then they have a long, very fraught conversation about what Matt’s been doing and how unhappy Foggy is that Matt’s been lying to him since they met. These scenes are intercut with flashbacks showing the history of Matt and Foggy’s friendship, starting with being potluck roommates in college (although Foggy had heard about the kid who was blinded in an accident saving an old man) and ending with them leaving the law firm where they almost got steady jobs working as kinda sleazy lawyers. On Karen’s side of things, she keeps poking around for legitimate sources to nail Fisk, and when she can’t reach Matt or Foggy because of the aforementioned fraught conversation and flashbacks, she turns to Ben, but Ben wants out because of his wife’s situation. She tricks him into checking out a rest home, which happens to be where Fisk’s mom lives. She tells them all about Fisk killing his dad (because she has dementia and therefore no filter). Fisk and Vanessa attend some kind of benefit, and then several of the people there, including Vanessa, suddenly collapse, foam dribbling from their mouths. Poison!
Matt’s dad didn’t want him to use his fists, and Fisk’s dad made him kick a man when he was down. Matt blames himself for his dad’s death, and Fisk actually killed his dad (not that I’m sorry he died).
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Matt cares so much about Foggy. This has got to be one of the most unpleasant days of his life, after the day his dad died. He’s more injured than he’s possibly ever been and his best friend possibly hates him for everything he’s been trying to do to help the city. Would it have been better if he’d told Foggy about his heightened senses while they were roommates? I think there was a good opening there on the steps, when he fumbles a bit after almost accidentally letting it out. He’d clearly become comfortable enough with Foggy by then that he trusted him. Foggy was pretty much pledging that the two of them would become the best lawyers ever together, and Matt could have reciprocated by telling him his secret. I think it would’ve gone over well. But the real reason Matt didn’t want to tell Foggy (or anyone) isn’t only that he wanted to protect them; it’s also that he’s not entirely convinced he’s doing the right thing. And sure enough, Foggy can’t see how this is necessary. But I do think Matt makes a great case, at least regarding that one guy who was sexually abusing his daughter and getting away with it. The law isn’t perfect. Are victims just supposed to suffer anyway? How could Matt live with himself if he can do something about it but chooses not to? A world with superheroes is a complicated one.
Karen, stop using your sweet, innocent face to trick Ben into getting deeper in this mess! He’s trying to take care of his mentally deteriorating wife! He doesn’t need reasons to keep going down these rabbit holes.
Foggy pinned his whole future on Matt’s idealistic idea of law, only to learn that Matt has been working outside the law in a way that could get him killed or imprisoned and Foggy’s and Karen’s credibility completely obliterated. I do want, at some point, to watch a show where the best friend or significant other or whoever to find out the truth about the secret superhero and react like this: “…Dude, that is awesome. And it explains a lot.” But I totally get why Foggy is having a super hard time coming to terms with it.
Ben is in an incredibly sucky position. His editor won’t let him pursue the stories he wants to and he shouldn’t push it because that would make his wife’s situation even more tenuous, but the Fisk story is possibly the most important organized crime exposé of his career. How can he continue to have journalistic integrity in this economy, while he also has to support his wife? He’s in about as sticky of a place as Matt. It all kind of goes back to what Stick said about having attachments. I don’t agree with Stick that you should cut yourself off from everyone and just focus on the mission, but having rich, uplifting relationships certainly can make the mission trickier.
Fisk is getting closer and closer to snapping. Leland should back away from that line before he crosses it. Or, hey, he could just poison Vanessa instead. Whatever. He isn’t the subtlest of actors. I still don’t agree that Vanessa is the problem with Fisk’s ability to keep his organization together. Matt is slowly knocking the foundation out from under it. Fisk’s delusion that he’s saving the city by rebuilding it from the ashes is rather thoroughly undermined by the fact that a masked vigilante is now working against him. Matt’s crisis is that he’s worried he’s a villain even as he tries to be a hero. Fisk’s is that he fancies himself the hero, but he’s the criminal overlord.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.