“The H Word”
Written by Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez
Directed by S.J. Clarkson
In Cambodia, a shadowy lady (Elektra, but we don’t know that yet) stabs a dude before Danny and Colleen can get information from him. Danny Iron Fist punches Elektra and she disappears. The stabbed guy tells Danny and Colleen they need to go to New York for the war they’re fighting.
Jessica is getting kicked out by a bartender because it’s already daytime. Trish’s car is getting towed, except that Jessica just pulled it off the hitch. Bahaha. Trish is trying to get Jessica press for her defeat of Kilgrave because she is still Jessica’s biggest cheerleader when it comes to superheroing.
Luke is getting released from prison! The dude trying to uncuff him is slow and clumsy, so he breaks them and hands them back to the guard as wadded metal. Foggy and Bobby Fish are the ones who got Luke’s conviction overturned. Luke is more interested in seeing Claire than talking to Foggy.
Matt is rehearsing for some case and trying not to focus on the crime happening in Hell’s Kitchen. Wait, why? He has a day in court against a businessman who willfully ignored information that pointed to his products costing a young man his ability to walk. He gets the kid an $11 million payout from the company. Matt talks to the kid, who’s extremely upset about his situation, money or no money. He tells the kid he needs to take his life back, and he rolls off with slightly increased confidence. Karen is there for a statement for the Bulletin, and she invites him to get food.
Danny and Colleen fly back to New York. Danny has a nightmare of everyone from K’un-Lun dead or being killed, all staring at him accusingly. Also he has a scar across his Shou-Lao mark, which seems symbolic. Colleen wants him to talk to her. He does, a bit. They still have no idea what the Hand wants in New York.
Hello, Sigourney Weaver. Her character goes in for some kind of medical exam. She’s dying. There’s nothing the doctors can do, even with all her resources. She has somewhere between weeks and months left.
A mom and daughter are trying to get Jessica’s help because the husband/father is missing. Jessica thinks it’s simple adultery, and they start to leave. She grudgingly wishes them well because she’s not as much of a jerk as she pretends to be. She gets a voice-disguised call telling her not to look for the man the woman and her daughter were trying to get her to find. Hmmm, probably not simple adultery then.
Luke gets back to Harlem, and Claire is waiting for him. They get on that “coffee” they’ve been meaning to have. He appreciated her letters in prison. Apparently something unpleasant was happening in Harlem that she wasn’t including in those letters. Mariah is causing trouble. Claire isn’t so sure he’ll be able to balance having a life with being Harlem’s hero. They get a visit from Misty, who is amused by what they were up to. She needs to borrow him for a minute.
Karen feels very fulfilled working at the Bulletin, and Matt is pretending to be happy with all his pro-bono lawyering. Um, how is he making any money, then? Karen wonders if he regrets telling her the truth, and if he misses being Daredevil. He claims he only regrets that being Daredevil drove her and Foggy away. She assures him that Daredevil made Hell’s Kitchen a better place, so he has nothing to regret from doing that. They get around to the statement-taking for the article.
Malcolm drops in on Jessica. She’s working that case now (unofficially). He convinces her to try getting the number that just called her. It was a payphone on a block known for its heroin issues. She heads there.
Luke would like to take down Mariah and Shades, but Misty thinks it might be risky for him to get involved when he’s so fresh out of prison. She’s on a city-wide taskforce now. She shows him a very messed up parked car where a 25-year-old guy was found dead, and she knows something nasty is going on with a lot of the local youth. A bunch of guys have turned up dead after getting a mysterious job that enabled them to move their parents’ to a nice neighborhood. This particular victim was the brother of Candice (the girl Shades shot before she could testify against Mariah), and they have one brother left, who needs help.
Matt goes to confession. He lied to Karen about not missing being Daredevil. Father Lantom thinks Matt isn’t as convinced giving it up is right as he thinks. Matt wonders if he’s abandoning Elektra by not being Daredevil, even though he knows she brought out he worst in him. Father Lantom says it’s important to move on, not continue to keep himself in purgatory.
Sigourney Weaver’s character is feeding the birds, and Madame Gao sits next to her. She reminisces about when the island was all forest. She isn’t particularly fond of the city or the island. Gao says it’ll take several months, but Sigourney Weaver needs to speed up because of her personal time limit. She leaves Gao to finish feeding the birds.
Luke tracks down that kid, who is in awe. Luke offers his condolences and asks about how his brother died. The kid doesn’t know anything about the mysterious new job he got before he died. Luke notices that the kid has quite a few new pairs of nice shoes. He warns him not to do anything to break his mom’s heart even more, when she’s already lost two kids. This guy doesn’t think there’s any help possible for him.
Jessica goes to the sketchy block looking for John Raymond, the missing guy. She makes to bust in, but the doorknob is already broken. Uh oh. She finds quite a few crates of C-4 inside, but no John Raymond. On a rooftop, Gao finds Sigourney Weaver to let her know the arrangements have been made. Danny and Colleen are back. She’s happier about it than he is. Matt gets back to his apartment and there’s an earthquake. It shakes the building Jessica’s in too, and Danny and Colleen watch the power go out in many buildings and a large crack run between them (which had better not be symbolic for anything). Luke stops a streetlamp from crushing a nice lady in Harlem. Sigourney weaver tucks Elektra’s hair behind her ears. Matt finishes riding out the earthquake and hears all the chaos of the aftermath. He can’t do nothing...can he?
This is an excellent first episode of an ambitious team-up series. I love that it’s basically four mini-sodes focusing on the leads of the parent shows. There are eight episodes; Matt, Jessica, Luke, and Danny don’t have to be working together or even in the same place by the end of the first one, and if they had, it’d be weird and rushed. It’s much better for them each to follow separate plot threads to eventually end up in the same place. Jessica has a case that is turning out much bigger than she thought, Luke needs to find out what’s endangering all these young people in Harlem, Danny needs to figure out what the Hand wants with New York, and Matt needs to...stop avoiding the fight? Anyway, my only complaint so far is that I think it probably would’ve been better for Madame Gao, who has had so much of a presence in the stories of Matt and Danny already, to have been the leader of the Hand, not Sigourney Weaver’s character. I wonder if that was the original plan until they cast Sigourney Weaver, actually.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Unlike Luke and Jessica, Matt always did his heroing in disguise, so if the disguise is in a box in his closet, then he’s not going to be inundated with people trying to get his help. However, unlike Luke and Jessica, he has super hearing, so he’ll hear all those cries for help even if they aren’t specifically directed at him. I’m not sure I understand why he put away his Daredevil suit. He’s grieving Elektra and he regrets that letting her back into his life led to him pushing Foggy and Karen out of it, but he was doing okay at being Matt and Daredevil before she showed up. And he doesn’t seem to have done much to fix things with Foggy and Karen. His scenes with Karen make it pretty clear that there are unresolved feelings between them (dangit), but they have obviously not been in regular contact since Christmas. This might even have been one of the first times they ran into each other in any significant way since then, and it was only because their careers crossed paths. And seriously, how is Matt paying his bills? Did Elektra make him the heir of her money so now he can afford to lawyer without getting paid for it? Or does he take enough paying clients to avoid money trouble?
Jessica is managing to be even more prickly than she was on her own show, even though Kilgrave is in the past. She doesn’t like all these people treating her like a hero, and she’s not taking all the cases coming her way even though it’d probably make it easier to pay the bills. But just like helping Hope, she can’t resist a case where it seems like someone’s really in trouble.
Luke is as averse to the hero label and resultant attention as Jessica, but he’s nothing resembling prickly. He’s eager to help, even if he’d like to be spending his time with Claire instead. I think that makes him the opposite of Matt. Matt has put Daredevil away in favor of just helping people as a lawyer, but Luke isn’t too bothered about figuring out stuff like a job right away when he could be helping people with his abilities. (Not gonna lie, I’m looking for reasons he and Claire won’t work longterm, and it seems like her main concern at the moment is his questionable ability to be Harlem’s hero while maintaining enough of a life for himself.)
Danny is the only one of the main four who has no problem doing stuff related to his abilities. He is, in fact, already doing that full-time and still wishes he could do more. So he’s the only one who doesn’t need a Call to Adventure, he just needs to be pointed in the right direction and will probably end up dragging everyone else along with him. He will likely be the most plot-driving character of the group and will therefore have the least significant character arc for himself. It’s probably for the best, since his show was the weakest, but hopefully he’ll at least be a more coherent character here, if not a more dynamic one.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.