DAREDEVIL 1.07 ‘Stick’ Review
DAREDEVIL Season 1 Episode 7
Episode Title: “Stick”
Writer: Douglas Petrie
Director: Brad Turner
Previously on Daredevil:
The first half of Daredevil Season 1 felt like a gritty crime drama that just happened to take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Daredevil episode 7 feels like something else entirely, as Stick (Scott Glenn) dropped by to make life…. interesting for his former pupil, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox).
Frank Miller’s Daredevil run has been obvious inspiration for this series, but if the show is bringing in Stick this early then some of Miller’s more fantastical elements might be close behind. That could mean that The Hand (an evil and crazy ninja clan from Japan) might be around the corner.
But for once, I had absolutely no idea what the Daredevil creative team was trying to do with the revelation of Black Sky. This must be what non-comic book fans experience in most superhero adaptations.
From this point forward, there are full spoilers for Daredevil episode 7: “Stick.” You’ve been warned!
I loved Scott Glenn’s take on Stick. He’s such a huge asshole to Matt that their scenes together became inherently funny. As intense as Matt can be, Stick is even more so. Stick doesn’t share Matt’s abhorrence for killing his enemies and he hilariously mocks Matt’s soft life and his morals. I believe that “pussy” was Stick’s exact word for Matt, after his former pupil made Stick promise not to kill.
It’s ironic that Stick is telling Matt to cut his friends out of his life when we barely even see Matt with Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) or Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). That’s been a rare stumbling block for the Daredevil creative team. They know what to do with Matt and they’ve put Karen and Foggy into their own subplot with Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall). But there’s been no meaningful interaction between Matt and Foggy or Karen for several episodes.
In this episode in particular, a long exposition sequence takes place in Spanish just so Karen can realize that Foggy has real romantic feelings for her. But when the “handsome lawyer” is mentioned, Karen automatically assumes that those words were describing Matt, not Foggy. I also have to call bullshit on Karen being followed from the old woman’s apartment by two of Fisk’s thugs just so Foggy can be the hero for her. Although it was funny to see Karen set off the can of mace in the thug’s face.
The most important thing that the subplot accomplished was that it brought Foggy fully onboard with Karen and Ben’s plans to expose the people who tried to kill her. But if Fisk’s men are already watching Karen then they’re all in pretty severe danger. I kept expecting the reveal of someone watching Karen and Ben during their meeting earlier in the episode.
A few extended flashbacks throughout the episode reintroduced Skylar Gaertner as the young Matt Murdock under Stick’s tutelage. Stick’s brand of no bullshit was really refreshing. In the past and the present, Stick challenged Matt to be more than he currently is. But Stick apparently had no intention of keeping his “no killing” promise to Matt.
I am totally mystified about Black Sky (Bonale Fambrini), who was revealed to be a young boy kept in chains by the Yakuza. The initial revelation was quite alarming, but I was disappointed that the episode didn’t give us more. And if Black Sky really was killed off screen by Stick then it seems like an even bigger head scratcher. That was a moment that should have been seen, if Stick was telling the truth.
That led to a fantastic and intense battle between Matt and Stick in which the younger man finally defeated his former mentor. Stick even seemed happy about Matt’s newfound brutality before shuffling out of town. But the big surprise was that Stick held on to the ice cream wrapper bracelet that young Matt made for him twenty years before. He wouldn’t have done that if he didn’t care for Matt, even though Stick used it as an excuse to cut ties with his pupil.
This was a very strange episode of Daredevil. I’m not sure if the introduction of Stick and Black Sky marks the beginning of a new plotline that will carry through to the end of the season… or if this is just a strange interlude that may lead into something further down the road. Assuming that Daredevil gets a second season. But at this point, I would be shocked if Marvel and Netflix don’t immediately announce plans for more Daredevil as soon as possible.