DAREDEVIL Season 1 Episode 4
Episode Title: “In the Blood”
Writer: Joe Pokaski
Director: Ken Girotti
Previously on Daredevil:
Daredevil episode 4 was all about four relationships… just not the relationships I was expecting.
The Spider-Man and Daredevil comics had already laid out the connection between Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Vanessa Marianna (Ayelet Zurer). But I’ve been surprised by the way that the writers of Daredevil have kept Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) from having much screentime with Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). Instead, Karen is off in her own storyline with Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall) while Matt is getting closer to Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson).
Then there’s the Russian mobsters, Vladimir (Nikolai Nikolaeff) and Anatoly (Gideon Emery). “In the Blood” took the time to provide a glimpse into the brothers’ past as they ramped up their efforts to track down and kill “the man in black,” aka Matt.
And not everybody made it out alive. So consider this your spoiler warning for Daredevil episode 4!
This time out, I enjoyed Curtis-Hall as Ben Urich a lot more than I did in the previous episode. Urich running from a story wouldn’t have been true to his character, so it was good to see that he was only trying to dissuade Karen from putting herself in danger as they try to expose her previous employer. Instead of a meaningless subplot, this is bound to intersect with the main storyline sooner or later.
Meanwhile, the top of the episode established that Matt has been visiting Claire whenever he needs someone to patch him up. But the Russians were finally able to track down Claire and they kidnapped her to get to Matt. However, Claire not only held out against a savage beating, Matt was actually willing to bust some heads to save her even before putting on his costume.
Matt’s assault on the Russian garage was just another terrific action sequence. It was a nice touch that Claire not only got the last hit in, but she refused to cower away from Matt’s crusade. Matt was so touched by her loyalty that he even told her his real name. It’s also refreshing that Matt and Claire seem to rely on each other without slipping into an immediate romance. That could potentially come in time, and he certainly seems to have more in common with Claire than he does with Karen.
A large part of the episode dealt with Fisk’s awkward attempts to woo Vanessa. This was the first time that D’Onofrio has been given a real chance to perform as Fisk and it was immediately compelling to see him so out of his element with her. This incarnation of Wilson Fisk isn’t suave or sophisticated. He actually had a great deal of trouble even talking with Vanessa and he was emotionally vulnerable.
Much to Fisk’s dismay, his evening with Vanessa was interrupted by the arrival of Anatoly, who wanted to accept Fisk’s offer to help the Russians take down Matt’s alter ego. But the incredibly bad timing not only ruins Fisk’s date, it also leads to Anatoly’s brutal death at Fisk’s hands. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a decapitation by car door before. The creative team behind Daredevil hasn’t avoided the more violent aspects of the story. But even on Netflix, it’s amazing what they can get away with.
In the aftermath, a war between Fisk and the remaining Russian mobsters is inevitable, while Matt and Claire seem more committed to each other. This episode was a textbook example of character and plot progression. I can’t wait to see the next episode… and fortunately, I don’t have to wait.