Luke Owen reviews the tenth episode of Daredevil…
Forget Batman v Superman, this is the comic book moment we’ve been waiting for. Okay that’s a lie, but this is still a really great episode.
At the end of the last episode, we got the shocking twist that Foggy Nelson had discovered a beaten and bloody Daredevil in Matt Murdock’s apartment – only to discover that Daredevil is Matt Murdock! So Daredevil, the man Foggy hates the most, is actually his best friend in the whole wide world. What this leads to is an entire episode based around Foggy coming to terms with this huge news – which makes for brilliant TV as Eldon Henson goes on an amazing emotional rollercoaster.
Before we get into the meat of it however, the question should be raised: is this too soon in our story for Foggy to find out? Not in terms of season one (we’re near the end now), but in the long term of Daredevil as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Foggy hating Daredevil created an interesting facet for his character and it also plays a lot into the character of Matt Murdock – he’s both hated and loved by his best friend. But now he knows the truth that they are one and the same, so does this completely change their dynamic? Has the show lost something with this plot development?
On one hand, you can argue that it has. We won’t get any of the fun that comes with a superhero trying to keep his identity a secret from his best friend and Foggy hating Daredevil in the presence of Matt was always good fun. However, there is only so long Foggy, as a character, can buy into Matt’s “accidents” before it starts getting a little silly. For example, Matt couldn’t show up in the office following the fight with Nobu and the Kingpin now, could he? It just wouldn’t make logical sense. So there is a case for both arguments.
Throughout this recap of Daredevil, we’ve questioned Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, particularly after a bad showing in the first episode. Since then he has become a lot more bearable and even, at times, pretty awesome. But here is where Henson shines. Seeing Foggy come to terms with Matt Murdock’s powers and the betrayal he feels from being deceived after all these years is heartbreaking, and that is all down to the brilliant performance by Henson. That’s not to take anything away from Charlie Cox, who has been superb in this role from the word ‘go’, as he is fantastic in this episode. The pain he goes through both physically and mentally is captivating. This really is amazing television as both of these excellent actors give a masterclass.
Throughout all this drama, we get flashbacks to the pair from when they first met at University to starting their own law firm. We’ve seen the friendship between Matt and Foggy and have bought into it hook, line and sinker – but these flashbacks add just the right amount of weight to their relationship to help back the drama of the episode. It’s simple, but perfect storytelling. It’s nice to see Matt and Foggy happier than any two friends could possibly be (at one point looking like Jay and Sightless Bob), which is then juxtaposed to a beaten down Murdock trying to convince his anger-fueled friend not to hate him.
In other news across town, we re-visit a storyline we’ve not heard from since episode three, which is Ben Urich tending to his hospital-ridden wife. Despite the emotional strain of the main episode thread, this is the part of the episode that really tugs at the ol’ heart strings. We’re shown in the most heartbreaking of fashions that Ben Urich’s wife has alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s sucks, ladies and gentlemen. It really, really sucks. And it sucks to see Ben go through this kind of emotional pain. This will drive Ben’s decisions from now as he can’t keep chasing bad guys, especially when he has a sick wife to look after.
Well, that is until Karen tricks him into chasing a possible lead, which gives us a shocking reveal.
Blimey, what an episode.
And just when you think it couldn’t get worse for our heroes – it actually gets worse for the bad guys too! At a party fundraiser for Fisk’s Better Tomorrow campaign, it appears as though so one has poisoned the waterhole. Well, the champagne actually and it looks as though Vanessa is about to bite the dust.
I’ll say it again, what an episode.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.