Daredevil: Condemned
April 24, 2015 4:43 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Daredevil finds himself trapped in the fallout of Fisk's plan to take control of Hell's Kitchen; Ben Urich digs closer to the truth.

(I have decided to keep the Daredevil momentum going, since He Is Only The Impostor isn't catching up promptly. I am on my second viewing of the series.)
posted by Fleebnork (30 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm impressed with you all who binge-watched this! I love the show so far, but one episode has enough tension and violence in it to last me most of the week. But keep the momentum going ... this is one of my first stops after I watch an episode, and I enjoy the discussions. For some reason it hasn't caught on with any of my friends or coworkers, and we usually have similar tastes & can talk about episodes.

I don't have much to say about this episode per se, beyond that it was another great one. But I have some random thoughts on the overall series:

- I've been reading the Brian Michael Bendis / Alex Maleev Daredevil (1998) series on Marvel, and though it is a completely different story line I really enjoy knowing some of the references (spoiler free example: the tv series has been careful in doling out everyone's names, and when they do I have an a-ha! moment when it's revealed that a in the tv series is actually hero/villain b in the comic). This might be the first time in decades that I get any outside references in a superhero movie or show.

- The photos of the next series, Jessica Jones, have been leaking. I like what I'm seeing.

- I'm not so sure how Iron Fist will fit into this world. His stories are all about secret floating Chinese cities, kung-fu white guys with magic dragon powers, and hordes of celestial crane women. I really enjoy how Daredevil is somewhat grounded in the real world. Maybe Marvel can make a last minute team-change, and bring Hawkeye over to the Defenders and send Iron Fist to the Avengers.

- Who is this Squirrel Girl that people keep talking about in other Marvel threads?
posted by kanewai at 6:09 PM on April 24, 2015


There are lots of little Easter egg mentions in Daredevil for those who know Marvel characters. It's really quite fun to pick them up.

Squirrel Girl is a character that began as a joke and has become so beloved that she now has her own monthly title. Given that she has ties to both Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, it's possible for her to show up as a guest character in the Netflix Marvel series.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:31 PM on April 24, 2015


Like Fleebnork, while I'm personally up to ep12 and have been rewatching them as they get posted. Thanks for posting, Fleebnork! I was going to wait until Monday to see if anyone would post e06. The last few have been posted about 5 days apart.

Madame Gao pulling a Philo from UHF cracked me up.

"It is a considerable distance farther. We shall not speak again."
/disappears

posted by porpoise at 7:03 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Personally I can't wait for Iron Fist. The martial arts in Daredevil have been amazing. However, for Iron Fist, you know that they are going to have to step it up a notch. It's Iron Fist. I don't know how they are going to do it, but I really want to see it.
posted by Quonab at 7:28 PM on April 24, 2015


This is when the show actually starts giving the background on Matt and that he has special abilities. If this hadn't been available all at once for me to binge-watch, I wouldn't have stuck around.

Considering that these discussions have been dominated by comic book-related comments maybe the show is only geared towards comic book fans?
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 8:47 PM on April 24, 2015


IBA - I have zero experience with the Dare Devil comics. If it wasn't based on a comic... I'm not sure I'd be as pulled in, though. On the other hand, this is an example of a creative team distilling the best bits out of a body of work and reworking it into a more refined product.

There are certainly assumptions and conceits associated with the parent genre. I could see how someone not familiar/fond-of the Marvel comic book universe might not enjoy any of the MCU shows, but I think the "hidden stuff" is more fan service and not necessary to enjoy the actual presentation.

Is The Flash worth watching?
posted by porpoise at 9:52 PM on April 24, 2015


I like Marvel stuff. I watch SHIELD and the movies. My complaint is that DD took too many episodes to explain the how and why of his powers.

Personally I found Flash skewed too young to hold my interest.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 10:16 PM on April 24, 2015


maybe the show is only geared towards comic book fans?

My track has been in the opposite direction. I haven't read a Marvel comic since I was a kid, I don't like most summer blockbuster movies, and have never seen Thor, Captain America, Hulk, or whatever other movies the Avengers was based on. I tried watching Agents of SHIELD and gave up after three episodes (though I hear the second season is better, so I might check it out).

But Netflix Daredevil rocks, and it's been my gateway drug into the Marvel comics world. And I'm pretty much geeking out over it all.
posted by kanewai at 12:28 AM on April 25, 2015


My complaint is that DD took too many episodes to explain the how and why of his powers.

I understand how that might be a little frustrating, but this show really seems to be a slow burn. I think they really take their time setting the stage and introducing you to the characters before getting deep into DD's how and why.

Episode 7 has a lot of what you're looking for.
posted by Fleebnork at 4:10 AM on April 25, 2015


Plus I really think you have your analysis backwards, Ik ben afgesneden. It's sounded (here and in earlier episode threads) like you've been sort of sneering about the slow-burn indicating that this has really been designed as a show for superfans (I think you said "fanboys"), but I think it's really the opposite: the show is shy about being in the superhero genre (maybe even a touch embarrassed with some of the early references to the MCU movies, which to my ear stick out more like product placement than world-building). It's trying to draw people in on its own terms before getting to the supernatural explanation stuff. I guess that tripped you up, the sense of not knowing exactly how far his abilities extend and what (at least somewhat) caused them?
posted by nobody at 6:45 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have to agree with nobody; the show's slowness to address Daredevil's "origin story" is much more a style choice than it is comic-book-fan-service. Much like waiting until the end of the third episode to even introduce Fisk, this show is very much taking things slow to give them the proper amount of set-up and emotional impact.

Plus I think they've done an excellent job throughout the series at showing Daredevil's abilities, using some really fantastic sound design and sound editing. That's one of the first rules of storytelling and something this show does right really consistently: show, don't tell.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:35 AM on April 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes, I've seen the entire series now. It would just have been easier for ME if all the episode 6 and beyond stuff that explained his abilities had come sooner.

I've not sneered anything or anyone and frankly I don't appreciate your saying that about me, nobody. I also don't appreciate the pile on I'm getting.

The slow burn didn't work for ME and that's OK.

I have the impression the show is geared towards superfans for two reasons:

First, because the slowburn feels like the writers felt they didn't have to explain anything upfront because the base would get it right away. Which they did, so there's that.

Second, the discussions here (I don't follow this elsewhere) have been heavily dominated by comments about comicbook elements and characters not introduced in the show i.e. Squirrels and Widows and Vanessa's over-the-top date being an allusion to the comic book version of Fisk. I'm guessing the latter from the comments.

Taken together, that creates the impression of a show geared towards insiders.

That said, I'm peaceing the fuck out of DD threads because saying I dislike an aspect of this show has apparently hit a number of people the wrong way. I get that. Few people like when their objects of affection are criticized.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 8:47 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


(For what it's worth, I didn't know anything about the character other than his blindness, and I never read comicbooks as a kid. It feels to me like wanting that information upfront would be the superhero-fan position, not the outsider one.)

( In any case, sorry about calling your comments 'sneering' -- it was comments in an earlier thread that I really did take that way, but I probably see "fanboy" as a more obnoxious term than you do. Sorry!)
posted by nobody at 9:04 AM on April 25, 2015


Oh, one more related comment:

I think this was in episode 4 or 5, but it could have been 6. The main character walks into an apartment, "looks" down toward the ground, and it cuts to a shot of a cellphone on the floor, and his hand picking it up.

It's curious because it's the most natural edit in the world, exactly how you'd cut it if it weren't for the blindness -- the head movement toward the cellphone motivates the cut -- but if you're paying attention it seems like a mistake: the cellphone isn't ringing, so how does he even know it's there? (Eventually we learn this wasn't a mistake.)

And one more unrelated comment, since I think it was that same episode that made me think of it: are the weird "Hell's Kitchen"/"my city" slippages a holdover from the comics? In present-day it's a little weird to keep referring to a neighborhood in Manhattan as though it were in any way a self-contained unit as far as crime and entrepreneurship is concerned, no?
posted by nobody at 9:30 AM on April 25, 2015


I promise I'm more perplexed than angry, so I don't mean to add to a pile-on, but I think since Lost it's become the norm in genre television to dole information out over the course of the series instead of making sure things are explained upfront. Sometimes it's just a cheap attempt at mystery that doesn't improve the story, and if it was really bothering you in this case okay, but I wouldn't necessarily attribute it to comics.

If this had been made a few decades ago I have no doubt the opening credits would have a voiceover and montage explaining everything you're curious about.

I wouldn't go as far to say like nobody that "wanting that information upfront would be the superhero-fan position." Among fans, there's a kind of eye-rolling attitude how when something gets rebooted they do the origin story again.

I knew the basics of Daredevil going in, but I would have thought "blind man who has all his other senses heightened" is enough of an archetype/cliche that most people could just roll with it, same as just rolling with the idea that he fights crime by wearing a mask and beating people up.
posted by RobotHero at 9:50 AM on April 25, 2015


Some of the confusion may be that the show uses cinematography and sound editing to suggest what Matt is doing rather than just having characters infodump about it all. Like, in the first episode you see them amplify the heartbeat sounds, then focus on Matt cocking his ear towards Karen, and the idea is that even the new viewer realizes "Oh, he has super-hearing!"
posted by kewb at 10:18 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


porpoise: I've watched all of The Flash, SHIELD, and Daredevil. It's hard to beat the casting and cinematography of Daredevil, but Flash is definitely the most fun of the three and the production quality is really quite impressive for a TV show. Despite the fact that I think Daredevil is a slightly 'better' show, I'm looking forward more to new eps of the Flash.
posted by adrianhon at 11:08 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Second, the discussions here (I don't follow this elsewhere) have been heavily dominated by comments about comicbook elements and characters not introduced in the show i.e. Squirrels and Widows and Vanessa's over-the-top date being an allusion to the comic book version of Fisk. I'm guessing the latter from the comments.

I think it's a mistake to assume that subtle references in the show mean the whole thing is geared only toward fans. There are "easter eggs" and subtle nods for fans to pick up on, but none of them are required for understanding or enjoying the show. Other mentions of comic book characters like Squirrel Girl are just fan wishes. SG is a pretty silly comedic character who is enjoying a bit of a renaissance in Marvel comics, but I doubt she would show up on DD given the tone of the show.

That said, I'm peaceing the fuck out of DD threads because saying I dislike an aspect of this show has apparently hit a number of people the wrong way. I get that. Few people like when their objects of affection are criticized.

Well, I hate to lose a participant in the discussion. I think it was mostly a misunderstanding, as often happens on the internet. I don't think people were trying to pile on as much as just discuss your objections and try to explain some things. Nobody offered an apology, so I hope you might reconsider.
posted by Fleebnork at 11:20 AM on April 25, 2015


So my favorite part of this episode is Vincent D'Onofrio's work playing Fisk. He's really great, so much soulful emotion and regret. Honestly I find him more sympathetic than our hero, I think because he puts himself out there in such a direct way. The "vigilante hero is as bad as the villains" trope is well worn by now (see: Batman, Arrow) but in this case it really works for me. I know nothing at all about the comic book story so this is all new to me, and I like this villain.

I'm finding it hard to like Daredevil. So far they've given us little to like. He's brutally violent. He tortures people. He's a womanizer. He talks in a gravelly voice. It must be particularly tough playing him with the mask off, he can't make eye contact with the camera in civilian contexts. Which OK, he's blind, we get it. But it makes for an off-putting result. Maybe that's on purpose though? I like him when he's the smartalecky brilliant lawyer, but this episode 6 didn't have enough of it.

I like the show, and I'll finish the first season. But I'm not sure I love it. I'm an unrepentant Arrow fan, I think it's perfect middle-brow TV. It doesn't aspire to be much, but then it's not trashy either, and it's so earnest. Daredevil feels like it's aspiring to be something more deep and meaningful which good for them for trying, but it sets them up for more criticism too. No one takes Arrow seriously enough to critique it.

(And a meta comment: this discussion and every other Daredevil thread is full of comments about future episodes, the story arc, etc. It's very weird for me reading this since I'm approaching this as a fresh serial show and I only watch a couple of episodes a week. I hate the Netflix binge structure, and apparently it's an awkward fit for us on Fanfare.)
posted by Nelson at 8:43 AM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Flash is definitely the most fun

Agreed. Fun and upbeat, but the crap pseudo-science psychobabble turned me right the f off.

posted by porpoise at 10:02 AM on April 26, 2015


It's very weird for me reading this since I'm approaching this as a fresh serial show and I only watch a couple of episodes a week. I hate the Netflix binge structure, and apparently it's an awkward fit for us on Fanfare.

Yeah, it's odd, but perhaps it's possible to start two Fanfare threads and make one a 'Rewatch' automatically? I dunno what the protocols are as this is my first venture into this corner of the MeFi universe. I mean, aside from Daredevil, Game of Thrones and MadMen, I don't watch that much TV, and I really don't have enough of a vested interest in the other two to comment on FanFare.
posted by eclectist at 4:29 PM on April 26, 2015


What I would suggest is that someone who has watched the whole series post the rest of the episodes on a daily basis -- or even two a day -- and then people who want to talk about the series as a whole can do so on the last episode thread.

That might be a better time to decide if we need a re-watch thread so soon.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:17 AM on April 27, 2015


Would it be better to just post one big binge-watch thread for people who have finished to discuss the entire series? I'm wondering how best to approach this.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:04 AM on April 27, 2015


I think a couple a week, tops, might be a reasonable compromise. I find that when posts take off, it leaves a lot of people who only watch one or two episodes a week behind really quickly.
posted by porpoise at 7:56 AM on April 27, 2015


I'm finding it hard to like Daredevil. So far they've given us little to like.

I feel like they skimped on the development of Matt's character in the first half of the season, expecting the audience's awareness of Matt Murdock = hero! to carry us along. This was actually the first episode where I felt like I was fully with Matt, almost entirely because we see him struggling here, we see that he doesn't really know what he's doing and that he's in over his head. This is the episode where I was strongly reminded that Matt Murdock is young: he's a newly minted lawyer who has high ideals and an urge to fight for his vision of Hell's Kitchen, whereas Fisk is a wealthy man who knows what he wants and the price he's willing to pay to get it. Matt doesn't know yet, not really. Matt doesn't have a plan, and well, that's believable. He's a dude who decided to dress up in a mask and fuck some bad guys' shit up, and because bad guys aren't just random muggers and abusers, they're part of a system, it's landed him in a situation he wasn't prepared for.

It's frustrating, but I like it as a somewhat fresh take on an origin story. In a lot of these origin stories, this period of flailing around with random vigilantism is usually the stuff of montages or a couple of one-off scenes. With an entire season to play with, there's more opportunity to build a different, more detailed sort of origin. There's no easy shortcut where putting on the costume = now I'm a superhero! We see Matt fumble through it, and struggle with the balance between violence for violence's sake and violence for a purpose.
posted by yasaman at 10:10 AM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is the episode where I was strongly reminded that Matt Murdock is young...

I had the exact same thought as you - when Fisk called Matt "young man", it reset my understanding of the character. For some reason, I'd slotted Matt Murdock as early-30s-ish without really thinking about it much (based on him Being A Lawyer and the age the actor looks), but god, he's probably only in his mid to late 20s. He's 26, maybe? (If his exact age comes up in a future episode, I'm not there yet - I've only seen as far as this episode.)

But like you said, fresh out of law school - fresh out of school for the first time in his life. He's frustrated and angry and is doing this thing where he puts on a mask and goes out and uses some of the most basic skills in his toolbox, embedded in him as a child - violence and the ability to take a beating. The show keeps describing him as a womanizer, but what, he slept with chicks in college? Maybe a woman or two at the law firm he interned at? He's YOUNG.

It was eye-opening in a really surprising way, and I agree - it feels like they're doing a slow burn origin story, much like Arrow did its first season, and I am really, really enjoying it.
posted by blithers at 10:33 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I threw out the word womanizer, based mostly on his hitting on the nurse lady. To be fair she seemed fine with it, but it felt icky to me. Also Foggy keeps going on about how Matt's so good with the ladies, but at least Matt has the decency to look embarrassed about that.
posted by Nelson at 10:57 AM on April 28, 2015


Late to the DD party, but I'll comment for others who are also late like me:

If you're like me and you've not read comics in a while, if you mostly only read other Marvel Comics when you did (X-Men and associates fan, all the way) and only know vaguely about the rest of the Marvel Comics Universe, then everything about how this series is paced for a newcomer is a treat.

Before watching this series, I think that most of what anyone "needs to know" about the Daredevil character is that he's not going to take any kind of shit when it comes to protecting his corner of New York City. What anyone needs to know about Matt Murdock is that he was blinded as a kid, his other senses were artificially heightened as a result, and he used his abilities to become a badass fighter. I think they revealed those things fairly well up to this point with the use of the aural cues around both Murdock and Daredevil. (Also, I give major props to the foley and sound editing people because the noise of the fighting would of course be magnified in DD's head and thereby the viewers' as well.)

All of the other things that everyone's been gleefully speculating about regarding future series hasn't passed through my head as a result of my unfamiliarity with the recent comics, and so therefore it was just like set dressing to me. And that's also okay, because when it does become a thing later on, I can go, "Ooh! That was a thing from DD, how awesome that they set that up so early on!"

But speaking specifically about this episode, I'm very glad that Fisk and DD's first meeting wasn't in person, because it meant that Fisk was just as blind to what he believes DD is as DD is to him. They only had their words and the consequences of their actions to go off of with each other and both have spoken very loudly to what they want.

(On a tangential note, I wish that the rookie who had been taken hostage, Officer Sullivan, had been a woman because the character didn't need to be a man. Why are almost all of the cops in this NYC dudes? Also, it could have lead more intensity to the uncertainty about whether or not Officer Sullivan was also in Fisk's pocket, because other than Madame Gao, no other women have been revealed to be antagonists.)
posted by TrishaLynn at 6:17 AM on August 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is the episode where I was strongly reminded that Matt Murdock is young...

I had the exact same thought as you - when Fisk called Matt "young man", it reset my understanding of the character. For some reason, I'd slotted Matt Murdock as early-30s-ish without really thinking about it much (based on him Being A Lawyer and the age the actor looks), but god, he's probably only in his mid to late 20s.


It was exactly the same for me. The actor is 33, and I assumed Matt was around that age. Thinking of him as ten years younger makes a lot more sense.
posted by homunculus at 6:27 PM on December 2, 2015


I threw out the word womanizer, based mostly on his hitting on the nurse lady. To be fair she seemed fine with it, but it felt icky to me.

Me too.
posted by homunculus at 6:29 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


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