DAREDEVIL Season 1 Episode 8
Episode Title: “Shadows in the Glass”
Writer: Steven S. DeKnight
Director: Stephen Surjik
Previously on Daredevil:
Episode 8 of Daredevil exists to emasculate the future Kingpin, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio). “Shadows in the Glass” pulls Fisk down and unveils the hidden life that he’s created for himself while revisiting his formative years.
For the first time, we see Fisk cowering to Nobu (Peter Shinkoda) after the loss of Black Sky in the previous episode. It seems that Stick (Scott Glenn) was correct about Fisk fearing Nobu like no other man. Fisk is also unraveled by the unsettling appearance Madam Gao (Wai Ching Ho) at his home, as she illustrates that his sloppiness may destroy his empire before it has even begun.
Fisk falls to his lowest point before our eyes, only to rise again as a much bigger threat to Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and his friends. Because the man in the shadows is now the man in the public eye.
From this point forward, there are full spoilers ahead for Daredevil episode 8!
Throughout the episode, “Shadows in the Glass” took the viewer back to Fisk’s childhood, a time when he was just an overweight boy (as played by Cole Jensen) who was dominated by his father, Bill Fisk. The Wire veteran, Domenick Lombardozzi wouldn’t have been a bad choice to play Wilson Fisk, and he makes an effective turn here as Fisk’s father.
Bill FIsk was a petty little man who thought he could rise from ambition alone. But the only control Bill really had was over his wife, Marlene (Angela Reed) and their son. Without that, Bill was nothing. And perhaps that fueled his anger at his family.
The episode very neatly ties Fisk’s past to the present through the “Rabbit in a Snow Storm” painting that reminds him of the walls that his father forced him to stare at. And when the adult Wilson Fisk looks into the mirror, he sees the weak child that he was staring back at him.
Even in the present, Fisk shows signs of weakness that weren’t there before. His anger is out of control and he seems to sense his opportunities slipping away. His only saving grace is Vanessa Marianna (Ayelet Zurer), who turns out to be a much darker character than she initially appealed. It’s not that Vanessa harbors a capacity for violence herself, but she enables Fisk to embrace his inner darkness again. She doesn’t even blink when he confesses that he murdered his father for himself, rather than his long suffering mother.
On the other side of Hell’s Kitchen, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) was finally brought into the plot by Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) to expose the people behind Union Allied, another front of Fisk’s criminal empire. Matt actually makes the smart play by insisting that Foggy and Karen stop endangering themselves by openly investigating the case.
This also leads Matt to formally introduce himself to Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall) as “the man in the black mask,” or “the devil of Hell’s Kitchen” as he’s now known in the press. It’s good to see that the subplot of the supporting characters is now united with Matt’s storyline. That was a little bit overdue.
As it turns out, Matt and his friends were too late. Even before Urich could write his first piece on Fisk, the man himself went public with Vanessa by his side and he declared his intention rebuild the city and fight corruption. With one simple move, Fisk just outmaneuvered Matt in the court of public opinion. That’s a battle that Matt is losing by a wide margin.
Fisk needed a spotlight episode like this one, but “Shadows in the Glass” left a lot of unanswered questions about his rise to power from a poor boy to a man who has clearly developed a taste for the finer things in life. There’s still a lot of room to explore Fisk’s past, but this episode went a long way towards humanizing Daredevil’s nemesis.