DAREDEVIL 1.06 ‘Condemned’ Review
DAREDEVIL Season 1 Episode 6
Episode Title: “Condemned”
Writers: Joe Pokaski & Marco Ramirez
Director: Guy Ferland
Previously on Daredevil:
The previous episode of Daredevil ended on a cliffhanger as Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) found himself being held at gunpoint by cops. “Condemned” also ended with a cliffhanger of sorts as Matt’s existence as a “the man in the black mask” was unveiled to the city… which now has a very good reason to hate and fear him.
“That sounds pretty bad, but I don’t speak asshole.” – Daredevil
From this point on, there are full spoilers ahead for Daredevil episode 6. You’ve been warned!
I am really loving this show. “Condemned” kicked off the episode with another insane fight sequence as Matt surrendered to Fisk’s corrupt cops before taking them out while wearing handcuffs. Then Matt tried to keep Vladimir (Nikolai Nikolaeff) alive long enough to get information about Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio).
One of the more impressive aspects of Daredevil is the way that it finds important roles for nearly all of its major characters in any given episode. While Matt is holed up with Vladimir, Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) got to bring a more human perspective on the aftermath of the Hell’s Kitchen explosions while Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) remotely provided Matt with much needed (medical and emotional) support in keeping Vladimir alive. Even Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall) had a terrific hero moment when he tried to keep one of Fisk’s corrupt cops alive.
The bulk of the episode revolved around Matt’s increasingly complex relationship with Vladimir, a man who wanted him dead. Even Claire balked at Matt’s efforts to help Vladimir, who wasted no time turning on Matt when he let his guard down. But the progression of the episode successfully sold the idea of Matt and Vladimir forming an impromptu alliance to stay alive. It was very clever to give Matt a problem that he couldn’t solve without Vladimir’s help. That made the resolution with both men very satisfying.
“Condemned” also brought Matt and Fisk into contact with each other for the first time via walkie-talkie. That was a pretty amazing sequence that displayed more of Fisk’s motivations. He really seems to believe that he’s saving the city on a scale that Matt can’t match. Cox and D’Onofrio played off of each other really well and I can’t wait to see what they do when Matt and Fisk finally meet face-to-face.
As resourceful as Matt has been in the previous episodes, Fisk easily comes out on top here by engineering a no win scenario for Matt. In front of the assembled media, Fisk arranged the murder of several police officers (and even one of his own corrupt cops) via a sniper with Matt’s costumed alter ego taking the blame. This isn’t a unique situation for Daredevil, but this show does a great job of increasing the tension on the title character.
Of course Matt was always going to escape the surrounded building. The only question was whether Vladimir would survive as well. It’s a testament to the writers of this episode that Vladimir actually became more compelling as the story went on. Matt went through so much trouble to keep Vladimir alive that there was almost a sense of camaraderie at the end when Vladimir told Matt that he was staying behind to hold off Fisk’s dirty cops. Vladimir even gave Matt was looking for: the name of Fisk’s money man, Leland Owlsley (Bob Gunton).
“Condemned” felt very much like a midseason finale as it left Matt on the run from the cops and set up as the most hated man in Hell’s Kitchen. Halfway through the run of 13 episodes, Daredevil hasn’t taken a false step yet.