It’s episode 2! Which I went back and checked, because we start out with Daredevil stabbed and bloody and gasping for air in a Dumpster. It feels like an episode is missing, but no, we just missed some really cool stuff. A young Latino and Rosario Dawson who is a doctor pull him out of the Dumpster and bring him to her apartment, where she starts administering first aid. She’s discouraged that his eyes don’t react to light because she doesn’t know that’s normal for him so she assumes it means brain damage, but continues caring for him anyway. Maybe she’s hoping to keep his organs alive? She decides this is a good time to call 911, presumably so he’ll die on someone else’s floor, but Matt (she took off his mask) picks that moment to wake up and tell her if she calls, “they’ll kill everyone.” Well, at least that’s not melodramatic. He tries to walk out the door but trips over something and finds the floor again.
Unconscious flashback! A young, sighted Matty watches his dad lose a boxing match on TV. It sounds like he probably threw the fight. Matty turns off the TV and listens to his neighbors fighting until his dad comes home so he can stitch him up. The first aid kit has playing cards in it. Anyone familiar with the comics know what that means? Dad has Matty drink a little scotch before sewing his face, so now we know where Matt gets his common sense from. Then he shows off the money he made from throwing the fight. So sometimes losing is a winning tactic. Don’t think the future Daredevil quite planned on losing his fight, though. BTW- I think this scene is where the episode gets its title, because Matty is cleaning up his father’s cuts. But isn’t the “cut man” the one who cuts your eyelids if they’re so full of blood you can’t see?
Foggy is singing increasingly loudly in his office, not realizing Karen was hanging out at a table with a lamp literally shuffling paper until she calls out. They both discuss how they should not be at the office at nearly midnight (!) especially considering neither of them is getting paid. They are adorable together, and then decide to go hit some bars and give Matt a call. Matt is currently waking up on the doctor’s couch and realizing she’s seen his face. This is disappointing to him, because he assumes everyone is as incapable of recognizing his voice as Karen. The doctor goes through the litany of his injuries, but Matt is nonplussed. The doctor’s name is Claire. I like these short names. When Matt declines to give his name, she decides to call him Mike because of “a guy I used to date. He was very good at keeping secrets too.” Ha. My ex-Mike was terrible at keeping secrets. Matt grabs Claire’s hand and thanks her, so by the transitive properties of “doing work just because you’re a good guy and love it,” she sighs and does not call an ambulance. She will regret this decision.
Another unconscious flashback! This one to Matty in the hospital, newly blind and freaking out. Apparently the “heightened senses” thing was immediate. Matt wakes up on Claire’s couch, still freaking out because his lung has collapsed and he can’t breathe. Claire shoves a needle in his chest and fixes the problem. Charlie Cox does a really good job of wheezing and such. Claire asks if Matt has any death plans, so Matt explains that he was trying to save the little boy from the last episode (“two days ago”) but that kidnapping was an ambush. He wasn’t even able to save the kid, so that’s on the to-do list. Matt uses his spidey-sense to tell her there’s a guy going through the building looking for him so they’re in danger.
Ooh, a conscious flashback! Haven’t gotten one of those. Newly-blind Matty is practicing his Braille skills while his dad practices his boxing skills at the gym. Then a couple guys show up and offer dad a lot of money to throw a fight. Matty, of course, can hear everything because of the super-hearing.
Matt (captioning is referring to him as “masked man” even though he’s not wearing the mask) picks out a nice paring knife, but Claire points out he’s not exactly in prime fighting shape so he agrees to hide by the door. Claire tells the “NYPD” (he has a badge, so maybe Karen’s instinct last episode was right) she hasn’t seen or heard anything. She’s a terrible liar, though, which is why he immediately pulls out his phone and calls for backup while walking down the stairs. Matt takes the fire extinguisher from the wall and drops it on the guy. The kid who helped carry Matt into Claire’s place sees the whole thing which, understandably, freaks him out. Matt tells Claire to go calm him so he can help carry the guy onto the roof, which is definitely the most calming conversation you can imagine.
Foggy takes Karen to Josie’s, a dive bar where they drink for free (they absolutely cannot drink for free). They continue to be cute, until Foggy can see Karen is thinking of her recent trauma and asks if she wants to talk. She says no, then immediately tells him about all the violence that happened in her apartment and now she only sees the bad parts of the city. Foggy points out everyone in the bar and tells Karen their life stories (“okay, he’s a criminal”) so she won’t be scared and promises to stay out all night if she wants. As long as he keeps taking her to well-lit, classy places like this, how could she possibly refuse?
Claire and Matt finish stringing up the bad guy by his arms and Claire suddenly realizes that she’s been taking the word of a strange man who showed up in her Dumpster bleeding and unconscious over the word of a man who had a legitimate-looking police badge. Matt doesn’t help things by telling her that’s just what she signed up for when she helped him. Isn’t that how abusive relationships start? “You knew which side you were on the moment you helped me.” No, she legitimately didn’t. Claire finally says she’s a nurse and she’s been seeing Daredevil’s victims in the ER so she knew he was a good guy. Which retroactively makes what he said true, but that doesn’t count. And this still looks more like torture than justice.
Conscious flashback! Matty’s reading his Braille homework, impressing his dad, who is unwrapping his new boxing costume. It’s really red, “so no one can tell how much you’re bleeding.” Matty’s faith in his dad inspires dad to change his mind on throwing the fight. I think this is the first time we’re seeing a flashback scene that Matty wasn’t present for. Dad changes his bet so he’ll win and tells the bookie to immediately deposit it in an account under Matty’s name. So he thinks they might kill him for this. Then he leaves a message on a woman’s answering machine that “Matty’s going to need you.”So he thinks they’ll definitely kill him for this. I mean, I get it, but is this really the sword you’re going to fall on?
Foggy and Karen, drunk, go to Matt’s apartment to be obnoxious because they don’t know he’s not there so they just annoy his neighbors. Karen is rethinking her “never sleeping” plan until Foggy talks her back into it. These two are cute and all, but this subplot seems to exist just because the characters are great (because they are!) and not because they have anything to do (because they don’t).
The bad guy finally wakes up, although to be fair, I wouldn’t want to wake up with a fire-extinguisher headache either. Hey, Claire’s got a mask now too! Daredevil explains his little lie-detector spidey-sense, but the guy clearly doesn’t believe him because the first thing he says is the kid is dead, which earns him a punch to the face. “We figured you’d come running.” And you figured it would take two days? ‘Cause I’ll be honest, that surprised me. Claire gives Daredevil some tips on torturing the bad guy by stabbing him in his face, which makes the guy scream but not give up any information. Daredevil then announces that he really likes torturing people and dangles the bad guy over the side of the building. He gives them the information they want, but he gloats over it a bit much so Daredevil launches him into the same Dumpster Claire pulled him out of. He’ll live. Maybe. Depends on how trustworthy you think Matt is in this moment.
Conscious flashback! Dad goes to his fight and knocks out his opponent. Matty’s on his feet in his living room, cheering on his dad. Dad runs to his locker to disrobe and try to get out before he’s killed, but he takes a moment to soak in the cheering of the crowds. Is that the moment that gets him shot outside his home, where Matty can hear? Maybe. The cops let him run up and feel his father’s dead face because he’s blind. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter what a kid’s sob story is, you shouldn’t let him feel up dead people. But what do I know?
In a basement, the kidnapped kid is getting his dinner and crying for his daddy while a bunch of Russians play poker. Daredevil shows up. Hey, he’s modified his costume slightly. Aside from where it was cut when he was being stabbed, he’s wrapped a bunch of rope around his hands and wrists like boxing rags. He bursts in on the poker players but we don’t get to see him taking them out, just hear the grunts and things bouncing against the walls. The fight spills into the hallway, where we finally get to see some action in one long shot. Because they’re in a narrow hallway, we’ve got a pretty good sense of the geography of the fight, which I appreciate. Also, Daredevil gets tired. The fight takes as much out of him as the bad guys. Good touch. Matt pulls up his mask so he doesn’t freak out the kid when he rescues him, but then has it pulled back down when he emerges with the boy. Huh? Anyway, he is victorious!
There’s a lot of this episode that happens off-screen, either before the episode starts or just on the other side of a door. Those two days of Daredevil tracking the kidnappers and racing in to rescue the boy, only to be ambushed and badly beaten, probably would have made for a very fulfilling episode. But it also would have made for a very traditional episode until the part where he ends on a losing note. The writers chose a path that starts us off-kilter, with none of the information that we’re accustomed to having, but then ends on a very traditional note, with the hero emerging triumphant. I appreciate that they just don’t have much in terms of budget to work with, and so this is a way of keeping the audience off-balance and making the story interesting in other ways. Still, if Foggy and Karen couldn’t be given anything to actually do, maybe their wandering around could have done more to fill in the city and give it character? New York, even Hell’s Kitchen, even after “the incident” and even in the middle of the night, can be something besides “dangerous” or “lonely,” but that’s all we’ve gotten so far. But it is only episode 2 and much of it was spent introducing Claire, who I understand will be a regular.