Daredevil: Cut Man
April 10, 2015 10:10 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

As Claire nurses Matt back to health, she discovers that her patient is much more than an ordinary man. Meanwhile, Matt recalls the events that led to him becoming Daredevil.
posted by DirtyOldTown (38 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Holy shit, I cannot believe they did an homage to the hallway scene from OldBoy. I'm thinking this is the point where critics wet their pants and went full-on aboard.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:11 PM on April 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


I've rewatched that fight sequence a few times and the flying microwave is by far my favorite bit. Apparently, despite there being a few places where it seems like they could have made edits, the fight was actually done in one shot. That scene seems to be the number one thing people are talking about with this show today and it really deserves every bit of the praise it's getting, exceptionally well done.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:13 AM on April 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


TBH, I think it's possible that they might have outdone the Oldboy scene. (It's also possible I might be fanboying pretty hard right now, but hear me out here.) Park Chan-Wook directed his scene as the filmic equivalent of a side-scrolling NES beat-em-up, with the camera following a smooth left-to-right track over the course of the fight, but the Daredevil version opens up the POV by putting the camera on a second axis, exploring the length and depth of the corridor, swiveling the perspective just so to see into the adjoining rooms, etc. The choreography felt a bit more brutal as well; the significantly smaller number of combatants in the DD scene meant that every kick and punch in the fight had to count.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:09 AM on April 11, 2015


That was some brutal stuff, the violence in this show really feels like it hurts.

Does anyone feel that their attempt to keep the setting of the comic makes for a little bit of a rough fit for contemporary New York? The whole boxing backstory doesn't make much sense if Murdoch was born in the '80s and they wave their hands a bit about rebuilding Hells Kitchen after the incidents of The Avengers but the vision of Manhattan is much more fifty years ago than anything that would be believable now.
posted by octothorpe at 3:48 AM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just rewatched the fight scene at the end and would love to see a "making up" video of that. I can't figure out how the camera person got around that broken door sitting on the floor.
posted by octothorpe at 4:29 AM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Really enjoying this show, but. Mr. Loeb: your heroes ought not to be jabbing helpless people with knives (or, really, anything of that nature). It was mistake on "Agents of SHIELD" and it's a mistake here, a particularly egregious one when the hero in question is Daredevil: beyond the moral skeeviness of the whole thing, it's flawed in a dramatic sense. The dude's only superpower is enhanced senses. By having him force the kid's location out of a prisoner, you missed an opportunity to show Matt's powers in action.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:39 AM on April 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah, that fight scene was amazing, I love how Murdock/DD can barely keep on his feet in between bursts of violence.
posted by whir at 9:03 AM on April 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


Having not watched Oldboy, I didn't get the reference. Mainly at first I was thinking "Hey, you can see in the dark-cut the lights!" But overall that was a really intense scene.
posted by happyroach at 10:32 AM on April 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was impressed by the 3D nature of how the fight scene was filmed; my only problem was that I felt that many of the punches and kicks lacked weight. Perhaps that's because they were getting tired towards the end, but I wasn't convinced they were connecting.
posted by adrianhon at 2:18 PM on April 11, 2015


With the heavy blacks and saturated colours, I love the way they're evoking Gene Colan's artwork (one of my favourites of the classic Marvel artists).
posted by Grangousier at 3:59 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Also, the actors they've got playing Karen and Foggy really look like the kinds of characters Colan liked to draw, in the same way that Toby Jones in Captain America looks like he was drawn by Jack Kirby).
posted by Grangousier at 4:00 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really loved that fight scene. There's definitely a thrill to seeing the likes of supersoldiers like Captain America and the Winter Soldier just plow through people, but there's a wholly different sort of appreciation for a fight scene like the one in the hallway where the sense of effort is so visceral, where it feels so thoroughly grounded in reality. There's little fancy or flashy about the way Daredevil fights, and that combined with how we know he can get badly hurt, brings a real element of risk to his fights that just isn't there with other Marvel superheroes. I'm also reminded of how great the fights in Agent Carter were, where Peggy Carter was just an impressive as hell bruiser.

But yeah, I'm not into Matt's descents into beating the information out of people. I'm finding it increasingly troubling how much we've normalized this kind of torture-for-information thing, given that we know torture yields inaccurate information, and given that it undermines the moral authority of our putative heroes far more than I suspect the writers think it does. Take a goddamn page from Black Widow's playbook: her twisty, usually violence-free interrogations are the kind of thing that actually yields good information from thugs.
posted by yasaman at 4:49 PM on April 11, 2015 [12 favorites]


"...my only problem was that I felt that many of the punches and kicks lacked weight. Perhaps that's because they were getting tired towards the end, but I wasn't convinced they were connecting."

That was my problem with the scene and it completely ruined it for me, the other virtues notwithstanding. It was very stagey in that many of the (not-really, and slow) strikes were what they actually are when they're filmed and not what they're made to look like with careful editing. Like you, I assumed that part of that was intended to show that he was injured and tired. But injured and tired though he was, his punches and kicks had to actually injure those guys, and they wouldn't have. It completely broke my suspension of disbelief.

I'm also struggling a bit with the lack of any supernatural or science-handwaving explanation of his abilities. I can't fit what he can do within actual human parameters, no matter how exceptional and honed.

My feeling was that these first two episodes were pretty good and could have been bad, but also weren't quite what I was hoping for based upon the press and reviews I'd read. I was left feeling not that interested in continuing.

So I didn't, until this morning, when I watched the third episode and which I felt was much stronger. This second one didn't do that much for me, which is weird in that I really liked his interactions with Claire and find her a very interesting and compelling character.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:40 PM on April 11, 2015


I dunno - I had one of those 'holy crap I'm ten again' moments when he went from opponent to opponent, barely breathing in between, almost collapsing - I remember that moment from so many DD books as a kid. I know that it's difficult to get the level of acrobatics in that I'd want for a DD battle, but they're getting close with the muay-thai kicks and wall-hopping and such. I suddenly have a rush of questions: have they cast Electra, when does he get his billy club, is there going to be a particular graphic change to show his radar sense in the future, is he actually going to team up with Black Widow, on and on.

I'm giving myself permission to be enthusiastic about this, and I'll admit: I love the slow burn of the series format. Perfect for DD.
posted by eclectist at 9:02 PM on April 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


The third episode, man... Ben Ulrich is a very important character on TV today. He's a very darkly complected middle-aged, middle class man, a demographic previously invisible, who is smarter and more pragmatic than those around him, while never leaving his moral core behind. He also ushers Karen Page out of "Awful Girlfriend" territory into "Smart young investigator learning from the best" territory.

Foggy - alternates. The actor is playing the role deeper than the script, and I like it. The moments Foggy knows what the hell's going on, even ahead of Matt, are sharp and subtle, but obviated by the histrionics where he likes the paycheck and doesn't like the client, but his partner picks up on these conflicting cues and moves with them. The two, Elden Hensen and Charlie Cox, work very well together as actors. Hell, Cox is a natural in every scene with another strong actor/actress, chemistry overflows. Rosario Dawson! Wow.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:25 PM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just rewatched the fight scene at the end and would love to see a "making up" video of that. I can't figure out how the camera person got around that broken door sitting on the floor.

I forget, do we see the ceiling during the shot? I'm wondering if it wasn't a steadycam but a ceiling-mounted dolly. Even if we do see the ceiling at different points I can't imagine it would be too hard to CG that out.

Man, it's a great scene. I'm really digging the hell out of this show.
posted by brundlefly at 1:52 AM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm okay with watching a show that includes torture, but now I think Daredevil is more of a thuggish vigilante than perhaps the writers intended.

We'll see if this show can measure up to The Shield.
posted by squinty at 3:42 AM on April 12, 2015


I wouldn't be surprised if Daredevil's approach to torture and killing will evolve as the series progresses like Oliver Queen's does in Arrow.
posted by inturnaround at 6:45 AM on April 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


I forget, do we see the ceiling during the shot? I'm wondering if it wasn't a steadycam but a ceiling-mounted dolly. Even if we do see the ceiling at different points I can't imagine it would be too hard to CG that out.

We do see the ceiling but yeah, a ceiling mounted camera makes the most sense and it would not be hard to remove the tracks from the final image. That scene is right up there with the ambush scene from Children of Men.
posted by octothorpe at 7:02 AM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm also struggling a bit with the lack of any supernatural or science-handwaving explanation of his abilities

Don't expect an explanation. Part of what makes Daredevil an amazing character is that his abilities and the extent of his powers is kept pretty mysterious most of the time. He's one third Whatever That Chemical Did, one third Elite Ninja Training and one third Murdocks Are Fucking Tough. In my favorite Daredevil comics, the balance is never defined.

Loved this episode. Loved the hallway fight - that's one of the all-time great comic book fights on film, I'd put it up against basically any adaptation we've seen so far. I feel like part of the point of this episode was to drive all the way home, for any viewers who still have it twisted, that this ain't Batman. Batman doesn't blow his secret ID and half bleed out on a stranger's couch. Batman wishes he could take that many punches and still get up.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:16 AM on April 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Also: is Claire a stand in for Night Nurse? Did these crazy bastards put Night Nurse in their show?
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:18 AM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Shepherd and I are also going with the whole Oliver Queen/Arrow S1 arc. Matt will soon realize that if he keeps playing dirty by torturing then he is no better than the criminals he hunts and will stop using that method.

Claire Temple and Night Nurse have been combined for this show, IIRC.
posted by Kitteh at 9:53 AM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


So Arrow does snap out of that grimdark torture / murder thing? I watched episode one, saw that he was willing to kill to protect his secret ID but not willing to wear a mask, and checked out of that show for good.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:01 AM on April 12, 2015


Yup, he stops torturing/murdering folks. It can still be grimdark (and believe me, I checked out of Gotham for that exact reason) but it got so much better after S1 (which I still hate). So our guess is that DD is going to do the same thing as the series progresses.
posted by Kitteh at 10:05 AM on April 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


is Claire a stand in for Night Nurse?

I've not watched the whole season (only five episodes or so last night in a row) so this isn't spoilers based on anything I actually know, but my guess is that this episode is a sort of origin story for a cinematic version of the night nurse, who differs substantially from the comic version.
posted by advil at 11:10 AM on April 12, 2015


Don't expect an explanation. Part of what makes Daredevil an amazing character is that his abilities and the extent of his powers is kept pretty mysterious most of the time. He's one third Whatever That Chemical Did, one third Elite Ninja Training and one third Murdocks Are Fucking Tough. In my favorite Daredevil comics, the balance is never defined.

And at times authors (including IIRC Frank Miller, who we owe much of the expected modern tone of DD to) have played around with the question of whether it mattered at all. How much is external and how much is just Matt? Is it a firehose of information he learns to cope with? Is it not much more than human baseline but DD is trained into it?

I concur whole-heartedly that not having to care or having the answer is part of the appeal. The nature of this aspect of his physiology is no more interesting, IMNSHO, than talking about a Tommy John surgery.
posted by phearlez at 4:31 PM on April 12, 2015


Also: is Claire a stand in for Night Nurse? Did these crazy bastards put Night Nurse in their show?

What is Night Nurse? Although I am almost afraid to ask. A nurse-based superhero? Nursing powers activate?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:22 PM on April 12, 2015


Evidently a medic-class NPC who was once rescued by a PC and now helps out other murder hoboes in need. Was once a henchman of a very high level PC.
posted by porpoise at 6:38 PM on April 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Med pack with legs. Got it.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:56 PM on April 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wiki for Night Nurse. Interestingly, she's a crossover from Marvel's brief run of romance comics in the 70's, brought back by fanboy writers in the mid-aughts. She had a limited-edition team-up book with Dr Strange at one point, and if I recall was present in either the Bendis or Brubaker run on Daredevil, though I can't find proof of that at the moment.
posted by whir at 10:30 PM on April 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm a fan of any fight scene where dudes aren't collapsing after one punch -- and when the hero is clearly hitting less and less hard because he is fucking gassed, that's just a bonus. 10/10, would pummel again.
posted by Etrigan at 12:08 PM on April 13, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm hoping that the torture element ends up being character development too (hah - what a sentence to write). This is a very well shot show so far that seems to be doing interesting things with the superhero format, but I'm beyond sick of growling conflicted torturers. I was sick of it after a few seasons of 24, and it hasn't gotten any better since Nolan captured the public imagination with his growly marginally legal torturer. I'm hoping that the hints that Murdoch is something more complex end up paying off over the course of the series.

One thing that I do appreciate is that this is all happening in the aftermath of literal gods on Earth wreaking their own extralegal justice. The Avengers is all high flying and kinetic, but the hallway fight was something else entirely. It's more about real humans dealing with the consequences of superheroes, which is nice.
posted by codacorolla at 1:09 PM on April 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


"I'm a fan of any fight scene where dudes aren't collapsing after one punch..."

Well, but they were, basically. That was like eight guys in about a minute. You can't really have him be such an effective fighter and have the fighting be realistic in that way at the same time.

The extended and brutal fight with Nealy in the next episode worked a lot better for me in the way you describe.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:32 PM on April 13, 2015


Here's a really nicely done comparative analysis of the Oldboy & Daredevil hallway scenes
posted by gimli at 6:52 PM on April 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, just finished this one and what was making it for me was the relations between Claire and "Mike." What a guy to stumble across, eh? Very intriguing.

I'm totally agreeing with this about how the show starts, and this about the irritatingly stupid life choices of Jack Murdock. I'm sure Matt would have preferred his dad be around to one moment of cheering for him as a hero. Dude, really?
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:07 PM on April 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm sure Matt would have preferred his dad be around to one moment of cheering for him as a hero.

I got the impression that he knew he was a dead man walking when they tapped him to throw the fight, no matter what, and chose his time and place.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:38 PM on April 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah, I just read a comment here (#37) saying the same sort of thing. Okay, that makes more sense.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:01 PM on April 18, 2015


OK, so I'm still catching up on this (my wife caught ten minutes of an episode and wanted to start at the beginning (which is like, woohoo! because my wife has never been really big on the superhero stuff)), but on my second watch of this: is it not strongly implied that Matt's dad has been throwing fights for a while? The first fight in this episode features him apparently doing well until he suddenly isn't, and then he comes home with a thick envelope of cash that he seems kind of twitchy about.

I think he realized that he couldn't go on like that for much longer - both for himself and because sooner or later, he wouldn't be useful to the guys organizing the fights.

Anyways, lots of nice little touches around that I'm picking up on rewatch (the Murdoch-Creel fight poster appears at the end of the first episode, etc). I know nothing about Daredevil, so it's nice to see his corner of this universe slowly unfold with no expectations.
posted by nubs at 8:05 AM on May 21, 2015


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