After the last set of episodes I was pretty excited for the final four episodes and on the whole they don’t really disappoint but although there’s more positives than negatives, these episodes are wonderful but exceptionally annoying at times. Before I get stuck in again, as usual, huge massive spoilers ahead.
After the end of episode nine, Daredevil has been given the beating of his life, plus his partner, Foggy, has unmasked him revealing his secret identity; something Foggy doesn’t especially like as he now realises the scale of the lies Matt’s been telling him for as long as he’s known him. In this episode we get a lot of flashbacks to Matt and Foggy meeting at university, becoming friends, drinking, chatting up girls (including a massive line dropped that shows Elektra is definitely on the programme’s agenda) and deciding eventually to go into partnership to fight for the little guy in Hell’s Kitchen.
It’s a decent episode though Foggy’s anger at Matt is just a wee bit too contrived for it to really convince but the actors do as good a job as they can, though the script doesn’t quite work in this episode. This basically sets up the final episodes with a separate main trio of Karen, Matt and Foggy all trying to work out what to do next as Wilson Fisk consolidates his grip on Hell’s Kitchen. Unfortunately for Fisk at a reception he hosts for the great and good of New York, it turns out someone has poisoned the drinks and that Vanessa, Fisk’s girlfriend has drunk the poison and passed out.
Episode eleven and twelve outline how Vanessa recovers but for a couple of episodes Fisk is just sitting around useless in a hospital waiting room as people around him scheme his downfall. His Chinese allies have their operation stopped by Daredevil (in a fight scene well directed by former Doctor Who director Euros Lyn), while Karen and journalist Ben Urich have tracked down Fisk’s mother in a nursing home but as she’s suffering from dementia, she doesn’t provide any useful information apart from telling them that Wilson murdered his father. Unluckily for Karen, Fisk’s mother manages to tell Wesley, Fisk’s assistant, that she was visited by Karen and Ben. Leaving Fisk without telling him where he’s going, Wesley kidnaps Karen,points a gun at her and offers her a job. Foolishly for him, he leaves the gun on the table thinking that even if Karen picks up the gun, she’ll never use it. She does. Wesley is shot dead, and Karen legs it after cleaning up fingerprints and throws the gun in the river.
Meanwhile Matt has tracked down Fisk’s tailor, Melvin Potter (AKA The Gladiator) and after a small fight discovers Melvin is being blackmailed by Fisk, but he promises to help him if Melvin makes him a special suit. More of that in a moment…
A lot happens in episodes eleven and twelve. Vanessa is poisoned, recovers and moves in with Fisk having now fully embraced who and what he is. Major supporting characters are killed:Wesley by Karen and Ben Urich by Fisk. Matt’s secrets are found out by Foggy and he eventually tries to come to terms with who and what Matt is. Basically, there’s an awful lot of plot and characters become big broad strokes at times but as we reach the final episode things don’t look good.
The last episode starts with Urich’s funeral. An event that eventually brings the trio of Matt, Foggy and Karen back together in order to bring down Fisk before he becomes too powerful to stop. Luckily one of the crooked policemen from the first half of the series still lives and is being protected by Fisk’s accountant Leland, who is keeping him alive as collateral against Fisk as Leland is stealing from Fisk. He also poisoned Vanessa. Thinking he’s got the upper hand Leland tries to leave New York, but Fisk kills him. Before Fisk’s men kills the corrupt policeman who’s evidence would bring Fisk down, Daredevil turns up to save him. He tells him to turn himself into one of his friends in the police he can trust, and Nelson and Murdock will represent him in court.
This unleashes the authorities to arrest everyone connected to Fisk, or at least all the people they know about but they manage to nick Fisk though not before he’s given Vanessa instructions.
As Matt, Foggy and Karen celebrate in Josies, their local bar, they find out that Fisk’s police escort has been intercepted by Fisk’s troops and that they’re trying to free him, and whisk him out of the city. Matt sets out to stop this happening but not before he picks up that suit from Melvin..
It’s not a bad version of Wally Wood’s classic design, but that mask annoys me. It does look better on the screen, but it’s decent enough, but I hope they tweak a few things before we see it again.
Daredevil manages to stop Fisk’s truck, and the pair have a massive climatic fight in a dark alley, and Daredevil manages this time to reverse the result of last time the pair fought and he beats Fisk, in every sense. As the series ends Fisk is in prison, Matt, Foggy and Karen are back as friends and are trying to make Hell’s Kitchen better, and Daredevil is finally accepted as a hero by the people of the city. It’s a great ending setting up more Daredevil in the future
So what of the series as a whole? Well, the first six episodes are fantastic and although the rest of the series is of a high standard, it’s not of the same quality as the first half of the series. As a whole it is fantastic and Marvel’s insistence on casting good actors pays off big time here, though the scripts need tightening up so that it decides if it’s grim crime drama or superheroics, rather than trying to straddle the pair. Also, for a programme based around lawyers there needs to be more of Nelson and Murdock defending people in court using the system to protect them. Then there’s the costume that needs a bit sorting out here and there, but really it’s minor stuff. Daredevil is a fine attempt to bring Bill Everett and Stan Lee’s creation to life, not to mention it bodes well for the future Netlfix Marvel series, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and then all four combine in The Defenders.
I’d highly recommend this. It’s got me sucked into Netflix as well so now I’m going to finally see what the fuss is around Breaking Bad, a programme I’ve not seen a second of….