Review by Logan
Daredevil has succeeded where other superhero adaptations have failed because of its stellar focus on character development. When the show looks like it’s going to descend into the simple mantra of “the good guy beating up the bad guy,” they introduce a theological discussion with a priest, or a poor Hispanic woman who becomes like family. That’s good for the show – it makes it much deeper than the simple good versus evil motif which, while worthwhile, is in danger of becoming cliche, especially given the theological backdrop for martrydom and the devil in the context of Matt Murdock’s Catholicism. But unfortunately, for all the good the slowing down to develop the conflict does, it really makes the first half of this episode almost unbearably boring.
Matt is still recovering from his almost lethal bout with Nobu two episodes ago, and Foggy has already declared the end to their friendship because of Matt’s lies. He’s still recovering, and Karen is trying to figure out what’s going on between them. Meanwhile, Vanessa is still in the hospital, and Fisk is hoping she recovers.
That’s pretty much the plot of the episode. It’s the calm before the storm, the slow episode that essentially exists to set up the final climax of the series. So we have Daredevil seeking out an actual costume while coming to terms with possible death. We have Foggy processing his best friend’s betrayal before what will inevitably be forgiveness. We have Fisk confronting what he knows must be a betrayal by someone close to him. So the episode feels mostly like a filler episode.
That is, in the first half.
Later on in the episode, Karen becomes a more major focus. In the beginning, we see her trying fruitlessly to foster reconciliation between Matt and Foggy. The focus on her becomes more compelling, however, as she continues her investigation into Fisk and his past. Having hit a brick wall in the form of Ben’s grim realism, seeing how little revealing Fisk’s childhood crime would be, she still charges ahead. And that’s when we realize that in many ways, Karen and Matt are not so different. Because her efforts to reunite the team are not exclusively or even primarily about making sure her only friends are getting along and not feeling lonely and making sure she still has a job. It’s about morality. It’s about justice. It’s about making sure that Fisk pays for what he’s done, no matter what it costs her personally.
In Romans 12:9, Paul says to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. If were in Karen’s place, I probably would have forgotten about that whole hate what is evil part. When talking to Foggy, I probably would have said something more along the lines of “I can’t lose you guys, you’re the only friends I have!” instead of “Fisk is still out there.” This, combined with a rather surprising ending to the episode, really leaves you with a greater appreciation for how strong of a character Karen really is, and makes me just as interested in her character arc as any other character in the series. So ultimately, the episode plays in a good part in the series as a whole, but the amount of filler it took to get to that part was still a bit ridiculous.