Daredevil: Nelson v. Murdock
May 4, 2015 4:58 AM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Foggy discovers Matt's alternate identity and confronts him about his apparent blindness and abilities, removing himself from Nelson and Murdock. Meanwhile, Karen tricks Ben into taking a trip to a nursing home in upstate New York. Fisk and Vanessa attend a fundraising party after Fisk's successful speeches to the public that earned him the respect of the people of Hell's Kitchen,.

Karen and Ben talk to Fisk's mother. Vanessa is poisoned.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter (25 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't believe Karen manipulated Ben like that! Crappy, crappy behavior.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:00 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

I don't know if there is a realistic reaction to finding out your best friend is a super-powered masked vigilante.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 6:08 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I can't believe Karen manipulated Ben like that! Crappy, crappy behavior.

Yes, but she's still on the side of the angels. I love that she would do something so morally dubious (using Fisk's mother against him) all in the name of good, it hints at how she'll easily operate in the grey zone between right and wrong.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 AM on May 4, 2015

It bothered me that Matt lied to Foggy about not having killed anyone when he had just killed that ninja...with fire, even.
posted by Sangermaine at 6:23 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also, I've liked how the series has tried to make the damage Matt suffers seems real, but I feel like they abandoned that approach in this episode. After the beatings he took from Nobu and Fisk, he'd be lucky to be able to stand or chew solid food. Instead he has a couple of superficial scars and a bruise on his face.

I know they won't how realistic injuries, but it's kind of ridiculous how well he looks when he's supposed to be badly damaged.
posted by Sangermaine at 6:32 AM on May 4, 2015

I don't think Matt intentionally killed Nobu, the ninja. It looked to me almost accidental by Nobu. In fact, one of the interesting things about the series is that Matt isn't directly responsible for any of the key deaths so far. He's the catalyst though.
posted by idb at 6:36 AM on May 4, 2015

The way the camera and editing set up the gasoline and the light bulbs implied pretty strongly that Matt knew what the consequences of his actions would be.

I do think it is possible that Matt doesn't consider himself responsible for Nobu's death, but I'm not convinced that he is right.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 6:48 AM on May 4, 2015

I don't think Matt intentionally killed Nobu, the ninja. It looked to me almost accidental by Nobu.

Matt intentionally broke the light above Nobu to drop sparks onto the gasoline he knew Nobu was standing in. That's murder. It's just not possible to argue that a guy who has superhuman senses, including a heightened sense of smell and the ability to locate people by their heartbeats, wouldn't know Nobu was standing in gasoline (or whatever that liquid was), or that a guy who is a super-ninja wouldn't know what shattering the light above Nobu would do.

Matt intentionally went for the kill against an opponent he couldn't defeat normally. He might rationalize or deny it later, but he killed the guy.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:14 AM on May 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

The show seems to, um, forget that's how it went down. It's odd.
posted by zjacreman at 7:37 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also, I've liked how the series has tried to make the damage Matt suffers seems real, but I feel like they abandoned that approach in this episode.

I'm willing to roll with it given that there's only so much realism they can go for before the plot screeches to a standstill as Matt gets surgery for massive internal wounds or whatever. As it is, I think Daredevil is a unique show for its attention to the physical consequences of violence.

In many ways, at its core, Daredevil is about violence. About being a victim and survivor of violence, about being a violent person. It's a show that pays special attention to the marks violence leaves on the body and to a lesser extent on the psyche. When Matt gets hurt, he is very visibly hurt, and he's in pain. The marks of violence last on his body, across multiple episodes, and the camera doesn't shy from them. The frequent shots of shirtless Matt aren't just there so we can leer at Charlie Cox's admittedly nice body; they're there so that we can see the bruises and stitches and scars, so we can see the physical toll of vigilantism and of violence. And in this episode we see that that physical toll has ripples, that it emotionally hurts the people who love Matt like Foggy. With all that context, when Matt fights in that skintight man in the black mask outfit, the audience can practically feel every blow that lands on him. Matt alone out of all of the MCU superheroes so far feels genuinely breakable, and Matt alone out of all of the MCU superheroes visibly grapples with what the violence of his life means.

The body as a site of violence gets a fair amount of attention in the show, and I don't know if I just started fixating on it because I noticed a pattern, or if it was deliberate. But we have Matt's father, a boxer, who we see Matt stitching up. We see Matt being stitched up himself, and we see his bloody knuckles. We see Fisk's explosive bursts of violence and some of the impact they leave on others' bodies. The violence on this show has consequence and weight, much of that consequence writ on the bodies of its characters. That's interesting. That feels different, compared to the rest of the MCU, where we may see characters getting hurt, but it's easy to...let it go, I guess, in the shorter time frame of a movie, without the cumulative effect of 10+ hours of watching Matt get beat on and beat other people. And besides, the MCU movies are focused on a different sort of theme re bodies, where it's not so much about the body as a site of physical violence as it is about changes in the body and body horror, which is a whole different sort of violence.

So even if it at times edges into the unbelievable that Matt is still standing, I very much appreciate the show's treatment of the impact of violence on the body. I can't think of many other shows that do anything like it.
posted by yasaman at 9:34 AM on May 4, 2015 [9 favorites]

I though this was the best episode of the show. The contrast between Foggy's confrontation of Matt and their adorable bro-itude during college...man.

Baaaaad Karen, bad.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:04 AM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

wouldn't know what shattering the light above Nobu would do.

Ehhh, that deflection, the light breaking and those magnificent sparks seem like a pretty unlikely confluence. I feel like the fire extinguisher and 5 storey drop (same guy, right?) are way more likely to kill someone and probably more likely to be tried as first degree murder when they do.
posted by ODiV at 1:54 PM on May 4, 2015

This was hands-down my favorite episode. College Foggy and Matt are adorable.

I figured Nobu had the option to stop, drop, and roll, and instead chose to continue fighting until he was incapable of doing anything but collapsing. Also, Fisk chose not to put him out (I think he says something like "Let him burn") so it might've been possible to extinguish/rescue him had he possessed less cutthroat allies... so I'm generally not sure I'd credit Matt with 100% of the death there.
posted by tautological at 3:39 PM on May 4, 2015

So even if it at times edges into the unbelievable that Matt is still standing,

One of the show's more handwavier moment - Stick mentioning that meditation could help wounds heal faster, and that's why he's still alive. So Murdoch has an implied ninja healing factor.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:16 PM on May 4, 2015

I think it's an underappreciated skill in writing to keep in mind what each of your characters knows and doesn't know, and how their various levels of cluefullness stack up against that of your viewer. That way you can remember to be sure to have the angry law partner who's just discovered his friend is a super hero to ask the most obvious question: "Are you even really blind?"
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:40 AM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh my god, college Foggy and Matt were so adorable. I think the Foggy/Matt friendship is the squishy beating heart of the show, so I was pleased to get so much focus on it this episode. I really appreciated that their argument and conflict was, y'know, weepy and ugly and real. There was no stoic jaw clenching or really any effort at all to hide how devastating both of them found this argument. How often do we see two unrelated men in tears over their friendship? Men! Having emotions! That they don't immediately sublimate into violence or sex! It's kind of shocking how rare that is. It's both another reminder of how young they are and of the emotional stakes.
posted by yasaman at 11:21 AM on May 5, 2015 [14 favorites]

Nice oblique reference to Electra Natchios in the college graduation flashback.

Least believable thing in the whole series: two new grads not sweating the bar exam one bit.
posted by phearlez at 11:24 AM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

Matt was trying to gain an advantage by turning out the lights. This episode sets out clearly that there was just one person he intended to kill, even in the heat of battle, and that person beat the crap out of him. (Also, this same person rage-flipped a table. A table made of 3" thick slabs of granite. That was 8' long. Pretty close to 1200lbs, just... flipped.)

Also, this ep sets up the perfect best-buddies-forever dynamic that feels genuine and organic, and that is ripped asunder at the last scene.

It also also features Ben being bribed. Ben deciding he he can be bribed, for the sake of an amazing woman(Not Karen). Karen getting them both neck deep in shit, and doing it on purpose, because she needs Ben... and now there's no way out, just as Fisk finds he's personally under attack, and those he cares for are suffering for it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:29 PM on May 7, 2015

I had a progression while watching this show, from anticipatory because I'd heard good things, to intrigued, to bored, to really irritated. This is the episode where I hit really irritated.

Fighty fighty fighty - I don't care. I'm interested in plot (like actual plots within episodes) and character.

I'd been thinking for multiple episodes that Matt was a totally crap friend and that I didn't have any warm feelings about him as part of the core group, and yet, Foggy telling him the exact same thing didn't make me feel any better.

Matt can take a beating - so what? That means jack-shit to me. He seems like a really stupid guy without a plan other than to beat information out of people. He's not even saving individuals anymore, just going around doin' lots of hand-to-hand without the brains to carry back-up weapons.

Matt is a shit-head and a liar, Karen is sneaky and a lying liar, Fisk was interesting for a little while but watching him moon around a hospital is boring, and the entire endeavor is totally plotless.

I'll watch to the end but I have no interest in a grimdark, punch-porn, apology for using torture on our enemies, season two.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:15 PM on May 8, 2015

Like Slap Happy, I also think he was trying to gain an advantage by darkening the room, not light Nobu on Fire.
posted by snofoam at 5:10 PM on May 8, 2015

I'm glad we got past the "no one knows Matt's terrible secret!" story, it just makes things too awkward. Of course Foggy should know, really he should have figured out long ago his best friend / business partner had some weird ninja skills. But at least now he knows and we can move on. It helps that Elden Henson is acting the shit out of Foggy. It's kind of a lame role, the dopey sidekick, and he's brought a lot more to it than the words coming out of his mouth.

Speaking of weird ninja skills, one thing Matt says in this episode is that his heightened senses have something to do with the chemicals in his eyes. So it's not just the well-worn trope of "other senses compensate for blindness", he has some mystery-science superpowers. I'm glad they said that, because otherwise his skills of perception are highly improbable. (I mean really, judging a whirling blade-of-chain-death's position to within inches entirely by hearing? Um, no.) Grounds out Daredevil's powers to silly comic book origin stories which is only appropriate for a comic book TV show, but it's a bit at odds with the mostly-realistic TV style.

I hated the Karen/Ben B-plot in the nursing home. Very clumsy.
posted by Nelson at 10:46 AM on May 18, 2015

It's really interesting to me both that this is a Universe where they actually have superheros -- Foggy can make a reference to Captain America and not be talking about a comic book, this is just something people do, but also that it's a Universe where there's no real established history (so far) of superheros with secret identities. Everyone knows who Iron Man is, Captain America, Thor is just that friendly alien who keeps showing up to smash other not-so-friendly aliens occasionally, I'm not sure about Bruce Banner but certainly all the folks over at SHIELD seem to know his name.

Everyone is out there doing this stuff, but they're doing it pretty openly. Matt isn't an agent of something, and he hasn't got the money of Tony Stark to deal with lawsuits or nutjobs, or the war time hero status of Steve, and no nice planet somewhere else to retreat. He's working on a micro-level compared to the others, but he's taking on a lot more personal risk in some ways. I appreciate that they gave us basically an entire episode to deal with the consequences of not having a team to back him up and the fact that he really needs people to back him up if he's going to do this nonsense. He's just the king of bad choices and planning that he's managing to justify to himself while demanding other people take no risks at all because STUPID.

We also got all this gorgeous Foggy and Matt back story, which is the kind of thing I show up for. Foggy literally quit his job and changed his life for Matt. He has a right to be upset that Matt is doing stuff that jeopardizes him like this without letting him know. They are best freaking friends (or he thought they were) and he has to question everything Matt has ever said to him. Now I need them to get over it super quick so I can have them being best buds again and more teamy goodness in my life.

(Also, how is it that Oliver Queen has killed a billion or so people and Matt has killed like one and yet this show is so much more violent than Arrow that there are entire chunks of episodes where we just sit there like "LA LA LA GONNA READ COMMENTS ON MY LAPTOP THROUGH THIS BIT KTHX.")
posted by instead of three wishes at 7:50 AM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just getting back into the show after a few months off and regretting that I didn't watch it all the way through. I wish that the MCU films looked and moved as well as this series.
posted by octothorpe at 6:33 PM on September 9, 2015

I also wish the MCU 'now the heroes have an argument and falling out' scenes that we see at least once an Avengers film carried nearly as much emotional weight as the argument between Matt and Foggy does in this episode.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:54 AM on September 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

Foggy is hilarious, and I want him to get his own episodes/series.
posted by jjwiseman at 10:04 AM on June 18, 2018

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