Author Archives: Brett

TV Review: Daredevil S3E10 Karen

Hunted by Fisk and haunted by mistakes from her past, Karen seeks refuge at the church. Matt finally gets his shot, and Dex goes in for the kill.

Why did Karen run to New York? What’s up with the story about her brother? Episode ten answers all of that and more as we get a story focused on the character. It’s an origin story of sorts and depicts the troubled past we expected.

It’s also about 2/3 of the episode.

Yeah, the negative is this origin story, while interested, also takes away some of the momentum that was building in the last couple of episodes.

But, with that we get Kingpin pissed and targeting Karen with Faux-Devil. Of course that leads to a hell of a fight between Faux-Devil and Daredevil.

There’s some really solid stuff here with Karen using Matt’s ability to hear whispering to their advantage. We also get to see some of his strategy of close fighting doing damage in play and it works pretty well.

What’s really good is that the expected conclusion doesn’t happen. While this season has taken a lot on inspiration from the comics its veered where it’s needed to especially here. There’s scenes that are very reminiscent of the source material with slight twists and good ones at that.

This was a solid episode continuing the latter half of the season’s improved storytelling. There is an issue in that the Karen flashback takes so long it slows things down a bit much but still, how it’s done, and how well it’s done, makes up for that a bit.

This episode is one that I was expecting and scenes I’ve been waiting for and it delivered them in a solid way. Here’s hoping things continue in this positive direction.

Overall Rating: 7.5

TV Review: Daredevil S3E9 Revelations

Matt’s already shaky world tilts when he learns a shocking truth. Karen runs for her life. Nadeem discovers how deep Fisk’s influence runs.

Things finally have gotten interesting as early in the episode delivers a few twists. Those twists actually make the season much more interesting and begins a payoff that actually feels like one. That also could be because the previous eight episodes were so frustrating.

All those complaints I had before about the FBI being utterly incompetent? We now know why that’s the case. It makes things not quite as bad but it still leaves the issue of the first half of the season dragging. Getting to this point sooner would have made the season much more enjoyable. It’s clear in this plot alone, the Marvel Netflix issue of being about 3 episodes too long continues.

The bigger revelation is about Matt and his mother. We get the truth about his birth and we find out who his mother really is. It’s a pretty heartbreaking portion of the season but it feels like the episode didn’t give the revelation the oomph it deserved. Hopefully it’s revisited but we get to see a bit more about Matt’s childhood and it changes how we think about his father. It also touches upon an issue mother’s often face in reality but we as a society don’t talk enough about.

The episode is a better one in that it finally brings all the threads together and we get to see what Fisk, aka Kingpin’s, plan has been all along. We also get a better sense of how deep his corruption goes and spreads. It seems the latter half of the season is making up for the former showing Marvel shows continue to have issues delivering a consistent experience. Probably the best episode of the season so far.

Overall Rating: 7.75

TV Review: Daredevil S3E8 Upstairs/Downstairs

A desperate Dex reaches out for help, Matt forms an uneasy alliance with Agent Nadeem, and Karen concocts a dangerous plan to provoke Fisk.

Dex is having some issues and seeks out help from his former coworker. The season’s best moments, at least for acting and writing, seems to revolve around Dex. Yes, he’s beyond creepy or at least we thought he is. What’s interesting here is that what we thought about him, that he’s stalking women, isn’t necessarily the case. He is, but not in the way we think he has. Or maybe he did and he’s lying? The man is a sociopath, so there’s a chance it’s all an act.

But much of the episode is figuring out the truth and the pieces of the puzzle coming together. Nadeem and Daredevil team up to spy on Dex. There’s some things turned up but nothing that really nails down the fact Dex is Faux-Devil. It’s a nice emphasis that vigilante justice is different than police justice. But, Nadeem also seems to have stopped being an idiot and going where the evidence takes him.

It also leads to an action sequence that’s entertaining and again shows off Dex’s abilities.

The whole Foggy running for DA comes up again. It feels like a storyline that they decided to throw in there, forgot about it, and now bring it up whenever it’s needed to move the plot.

There’s definite improvement in the series as it moves along the latter half but the season has definitely been peppered with pacing issues. This episode is much better in that aspect but still it feels like things could have been gotten to quicker and some other aspects just make little sense in how it’s being used like Foggy’s run for office.

The frustration continues!

Overall Rating: 6.95

TV Review: Daredevil S3E7 Aftermath

The press crucifies Daredevil after the attack on the Bulletin, and Agent Nadeem suspects the FBI paid too high a price for Fisk’s cooperation.

The episode kicks off with Fisk talking about a painting he’s missing and we learn that the feds agreed to return all of his assets. Wait, what? Who would agree to this!? And the man has an ankle bracelet to monitor his movement that doesn’t seem to really pick up when he leaves his apartment. And there’s cameras, but don’t think it’s odd he disappears into his closet for a long time? Again, the FBI are morons in this series.

But how is Matt dealing with faux-Devil? He’s ranting and raving and actor Charlie Cox drops his accent a bit in it all. But, with a little help he gets an idea of a lead he can follow which is about the first thing in this season that makes sense and seems logical.

Most of the episode revolves around individuals either dealing with the death and destruction from the previous episode in either realistic ways, Karen, or not so much, Foggy (with terrible acting too).

Then, there’s the FBI which is at times incompetent, highly competent, or trying to figure things out. It’s all a little out there and just doesn’t feel very realistic in the portrayal. They seem to dismiss leads or draw things out. Here, we get a swat team that’s dispatched rather easily on top of the usual bumbling investigations.

The episode is a transition into the latter half of the season and while it deals with the aftermath of the last episode, beyond two segments, the emotional impact seems minimal. It’s just like the rest of the season so far, great concepts, bad execution.

Overall Rating: 7.0

TV Review: Daredevil S3E6 The Devil You Know

Driven to the edge, Dex loses his way until he’s offered a lifeline by Fisk. Matt comes to Karen for help, which she agrees to give — on one condition.

The last episode of Daredevil was the highlight of the season so far and this one falls right into the suspension of disbelief you have to make the enjoy it. There’s so many things that have to come perfectly together for this season to work and that feels like it’s epitomized in this episode. The investigation into Dex doesn’t go well which of course is all planned out by Fisk which makes absolutely no sense at all. Fisk has said he’s looking to create a new villain for the city so they forget about him and this is his plan to do that. It’s convoluted especially when you have all these other villains in the Marvel universe out there. Someone else is going to distract the city from Fisk? The alien attacks, other attacks in New York haven’t done that?

There’s also Fisk setting up his room at the hotel with no one stopping him? Where’s the money coming from? How haven’t all of his assets been frozen or seized?

Then there’s Foggy and Matt playing their hand with the witness who can show how full of it the Kingpin is. The FBI gets their offer and… rejects it outright? Wait, so the FBI trusts a criminal but not two lawyers? Not even to talk? This has to be some of the dumbest FBI agents in existence. It’s a level of incompetence where you wonder how crime gets solved.

But it’s all a set up, as the season seems to do regularly, for the big action pay off of Daredevil vs. Daredevil. It’s obvious Dex is on the red suit, so other than him going a little crazy, what’s his motivation? Why does he say “sure, I’ll go murder a bunch of people.” The switch isn’t so much a good transition as it’s rather quick and bit clumsy. Again, suspending disbelief.

What’s good is the the fight. The strengths of each are enhanced with Bulldevil using long range attacks and Daredevil attempting to get close for his. It also plays off of Bulldevil’s ability to ricochet items making it more difficult to hide for Daredevil. That leads to some exciting moments and the best action of the season and one of the better sequences of any Marvel Netflix series. There’s also a nice addition of his picking up random items to use as weapons. Scissors, paperclips, baseballs, if you can throw it and it’s in an office, he uses it. It’s small details that add to the action and adds to some of the entertainment of the episode.

The fight is the highlight for what is otherwise a rather frustrating episode. The FBI are bumbling and incompetent in a way that only helps the plot. Basically, this is one to come for the fight scene and that’s about it.

Overall Rating: 7.0

TV Review: Daredevil S3E5 The Perfect Game

To quell the rising backlash over his release, Fisk serves up a scapegoat to the FBI. Dex misses the mark when he runs into a woman from his past.

What’s the deal with Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter? This episode gives us the origin of the mysterious agent who Wilson Fisk has taken an interest in. And, it’s through Wilson’s interest that we learn more about this man who seems to have a certain perfection about him.

The episode so far is the high point of the season diving into Dex and making him out to be much deeper than we were expecting. He’s not just a guy who’s a great shot but also has had a troubling childhood and is possibly still a sociopath.

What isn’t answered is how this individual passed any psych exams for the FBI and has been let in. It’s a big hole in the plot that needs to be answered.

But, we learn about Dex’s history as a kid, hints at his ability and also that he has a hell of a temper.

Fisk also manipulates the FBI into going after Murdock claiming he did some illegal thing for him. No evidence is presented but the FBI takes the word of a criminal who Murdock and Foggy put in jail. It makes absolutely no sense at all and makes out the FBI to be beyond moronic. Why would the people who put Fisk away be working for him? Where does that make sense in any way?

This episode is one that you just need to go with eventually as it takes a solid focus on Dex and then ruins it with other plot points that are rather maddening.

Overall Rating: 7.15

TV Review: Daredevil S3E4 Blindsided

While Matt infiltrates a prison to find information on the Albanians, Fisk puts Dex in his crosshairs and a fed-up Foggy goes on the offensive.

The fourth episode of Daredevil is where things pick up a bit as we get a better ideas as to why Wilson Fisk is targeting the Albanians and we get some real action as far as Matt Murdock.

The episode sees Murdock heading to a prison to try to find out why Fisk is targeting the Albanians and he gets some help there. That sets up what feels like a rather elaborate sequence and one you have to just go with when the prison begins to riot. The camera work is impressive as it feels like a single camera tracking shot throughout. The issue though is some of it we’ve seen before including the hall fight sequence which has so far been a part of every season. That’s part of the issue of this third season, it doesn’t feel all that imaginative at this point. Instead giving us what it thinks is the beats we want as an audience. The riot itself is a little over the top and rather silly when you think about it but without it, the episode would be yet another boring entry.

It’s clear though that Fisk is playing the long game and has a plan in place based off of numerous actions in the episode and this is expected. It’s also predictable. Again, an issue with the season. It’s also one of those connect the dots that you have to feign disbelief to enjoy.

The more interesting aspect is Foggy’s storyline which has him making a decision of how he’ll take on Fisk. It too is a bit of a stretch playing out the long game if it were to work. We’ll see where that goes. But, at least it’s something different. Though, it feels like the writers didn’t know what to do with Foggy and this is what they came up with.

It’s not a bad episode and picks up the pace but there’s just so much that’s too over the top to take seriously. Instead, it feels like a bunch of scenes tied together loosely. Action sequences we’re expected to enjoy but not think about.

Still, the season finally is moving along. It’s just taken too long to get to this point.

Overall Rating: 6.95

TV Review: Daredevil S3E3 No Good Deed

As Fisk moves into swanky new digs amid a public outcry, Matt wrestles with how far he’s ready to go to right this wrong. Dex’s aim comes into focus.

Fisk has been attacked by a rival gang and is whisked away by the FBI getting him to a safe house where he’ll be protected. All Fisk cares about is Vanessa who’s on the run from the FBI. It makes for an interesting dynamic to see him actually being caring but also a little odd as his knowing where she is could get him in more trouble. It’s an odd play for a man who usually has things under control and manipulated.

But, word gets out that Fisk is free setting off protests and haunting those who’ve been hurt by him, Karen, Foggy, and Matt. Matt is literally haunted by him which is both silly and interesting. It adds some depth to Matt in a way but also feels like it spells things out a bit too much as to where he is and what he’s worried about. That seems to be an ongoing issue this season as things are “told” instead of “showed” a bit too much.

But, the episode also dials that back in a way too in Matt’s hunting of Fisk. That’s the tension of the episode. Will he get to Fisk? Will he harm FBI agents to do so? Will he embrace being Daredevil? That seems to be the point of the episode as more things get in order. How far will he go?

While that’s interesting, it then spoils the tension towards the end by again telling and not showing, continuing the frustration of the season. The direction is decent and concepts are solid, it’s just going over the top laying things out and not letting the audience come to conclusions themselves hampers the experience.

There’s also an issue with plotting things out rather predictably so far this season. It feels very paint by numbers so far leaving very little to be surprising. It’s not bad, it’s just also not good or interesting. The concepts so far are good, as presented they’re not. It’s just a frustrating season so far.

Overall Rating: 7.0

TV Review: Daredevil S3E2 Please

Grieving for the life he’s abandoned, Matt suffers a crisis of faith. Fisk makes a deal with the FBI that turns him into a target.

Things pick up in the second episode of the third season of Daredevil. Matt decides to figure out who the people he tussled with in the first episode were. But, the bigger story is really Wilson Fisk and his decision to flip and provide information.

What’s interesting is that it portrays Fisk in a way we haven’t quite seen before. He’s manipulated people and absolutely played games but here he’s betraying other criminals. Of course there’s a long game to his plans and really it’s a set up to get him out of jail and protect some of the folks he actually cares about. But, there’s also a sense of him being a bit scared as well.

But, what that’s all about is to bring in agent Ray Nadeem. Nadeem is an FBI agent who is in debt due to medical issues which has limited his promotions ability. He seems like a decent person, trying to do the right thing. That also puts him directly in dealing with Fisk and there’s no way he’s not being corrupted by that experience. Things are choreographed a bit too much to make it interesting. Overall, it seems like lazy writing.

But, the episode gets things going at least with a gang war of sorts and upping the conflict in both getting Daredevil into action and Fisk into some as well. It’s the latter half of the episode where things get interesting as the first half is a lot more introspection that’s a bit boring. There’s just too much “woe is me.” Much of that is either revolving around Matt/Daredevil, his Catholic faith, and God, or whether it’s better to make a deal with Fisk/Kingpin or allow a gang to run free. There’s themes that fit both when it comes to what we must do to do right things but it’s all plotted out in a rather boring fashion. The seasons seems to be better concepts than execution of them so far.

Much like the first episode, the second is set up, and a slow one at that. The latter half picks things up but it’s a rough one to get through. Condensing the two into one episode would have done a lot to improve things and this season seems to be suffering the curse of Netflix decompression.

Overall Rating: 6.5

TV Review: Daredevil S3E1 Resurrection

Shattered physically and spiritually, Matt rethinks his purpose and place in Hell’s Kitchen. Meanwhile, Fisk puts a plan in motion from behind bars.

After the events of the Hand and the destruction of the building Daredevil will have to protect his city once more, or does he? With the The Defenders in the past, Matt has survived a building falling on him and winds up in the orphanage and church that took care of him when he was younger. He’s hurt, he’s broken, and he’s feeling sorry for himself. He has to make the decision as to what to do with his life. It’s a shit or get off the pot sort of episode.

There’s that part in Rocky, when Balboa is broken and hurt, feeling sorry for himself. It seems to happen in every film. Then there’s the epiphany where something clicks and he realizes he’s stronger than he thinks he is which results in a montage where he gets into shape for the big fight. Daredevil returns for season three with a first episode that’s one drawn out version of that.

Matt is hurting post building collapse. An ear is blown out and his radar isn’t functioning the way it should, or really at all. His senses are muted and he’s actually blind for the first time. That of course leads to the pitty party as he must deal with his new reality and discovers that things have just changed. The episode falls in to the montage trap without the catchy music as he attempts to get back on his feat. It’s all just ok to to watch if not rather predictable and slow.

Then there’s his friends Karen and Foggy who are convinced Matt is dead yet keep his apartment for him and never quite show the emotion one would expect in this type of situation. It’s an odd disconnect of concept and execution. The idea of them doing this is fine, being in denial of what they think is reality. But, the two never really sell what they’re thinking.

And we get the tease of the return of the Kingpin who’s in jail and must make some decisions as to what he wants to do from there.

The debut episode isn’t bad in any way, it’s just a slow, drawn out drama with predictable beats and moments that while fine, they’re also not quite interesting. If this was a new series, I’m not sure I’d continue it at all. Everything is pretty predictable and average. Not bad, just not good.

Overall Rating: 6.5

« Older Entries