Review by Logan
In the first two episodes of Daredevil, we were introduced to the world of a blind superhero. With it came the gritty tone of desperation in the world of Hell’s Kitchen, the flavor of a crime drama intermixed with the action of a dark action film. With the third episode, however, things slow down. The gritty action flavor is replaced with courtroom drama, and Matt Murdock’s alter-ego takes a seat on the bench.
If we are looking at the show as a crime drama (which the writers have said it is), then it’s not quite fair to call this a bad episode because of it. This part of the story unveils more corruption and brings us closer to meeting Wilson Fisk, and adds a new layer of story by exploring Ben Urich’s character, the prestigious journalist who exposed Union Allied. We also get a hint at Matt’s inner conflicts related to his faith in a very brief conversation with his priest.
That’s all, of course, if we’re looking at it as a crime drama. But for some of us, that’s not what we’re approaching it as. After all, this is a Marvel show; we’re looking at it as a superhero drama, in competition with shows like Arrow, Gotham, and The Flash. From that perspective, it is disappointing that we see the main character in costume for only a few chance minutes while the court case itself takes up much of the episode’s time. If you’re binge-watching the series as a whole, it may not bother you that much – it certainly didn’t during my first viewing – but if you look at the episode by itself and on its own merit, it really does seem like a disruption in the series arc.
Looking past that, however, the episode does have some great things to offer. In his closing statement of the court case, Matt delivers some compelling thoughts on justice and morality. These include how the moral line is sometimes a blur and sometimes “you know it when you see it.” For Matt, we can see what’s going on beneath those words. He can use the trial of a guilty man to get closer to the truth about the city’s organized crime, but is that ethical? If something isn’t ethical, but it can lead to justice, which path is the correct one?
Especially in this early part of the show, the purpose of these questions is not to provide answers – at least just yet – but to get us thinking. It’s worth some thought to the Christian to consider that, sometimes, there are true moral dilemmas. There isn’t always a clear-cut answer when you’re trying to live in a way to protect the vulnerable and uphold justice. There are even scriptural examples of moral dilemmas – does Rahab lie or betray the Israelite spies sent from God? Do the Hebrew midwives in Egypt kill baby boys or lie to Pharaoh?
Dealing with these difficult questions as Christians is important because there may come a time when we face a sort of moral dilemma. And if Daredevil does nothing else, it is at least asking us to ponder those things. It’s more than just another fun, flashy comic book film or show in at least that way. And I daresay it’s a much better show for it.