Daredevil: Season 1, Episode 5: “World On Fire”

Ooh, it’s like “Girl On Fire” except it’s the whole world. And we open on Claire. This is promising. Claire is showering at Matt’s and… it’s daytime! The sun does come out in this world’s version of New York! It’s a miracle! Matt examines Claire’s back, which is bleeding again, and uses his spidey-sense to tell her she only has a hairline fracture on her rib. He can hear her creaking bones when she breathes. “What does a hairline fracture sound like?” I’m going to ignore the show on this one because I’m pretty sure the answer is “ow ow ow ow ow.” As opposed to a completely broken rib, which sounds like, “I’m dying, please don’t let Vlad turn me into a shiv.” Matt explains about all the senses to describe how he “sees,” but says the impressionistic image he gets is like a “world on fire.” Aw, that show title could have been so much more. But the VFX here are pretty cool. Matt basically tells Claire she should live with him for her own safety, and then kisses her because ain’t nothing sexier than mixed messages. Claire thinks that maybe the police are better equipped to handle taking down the Russian mob, like, “I just got a boyfriend. Please don’t die.” She thinks that Vlad is a better target than Fisk, anyway.

Vlad is waiting for Wesley, who acts all surprised to not see Anatoly. Which is not how Fisk sounded like he wanted to handle it when he told Wesley to give them the body and start a war. They did leave his body (the head is just pulp, remember) where Vlad’s people would find it and planted a mask like Daredevil’s. Oh, Fisk is starting a wuss war. He is so much less impressive now. You want me to think you’re a badass? Fight your own damn wars.

Fisk’s car is getting hosed down in the garage where he asked his subcontractors to wait for their meeting, although they don’t recognize the veiled threat so Fisk takes the veil right off and tells them where the blood came from. Still uncowed, they take offense that he didn’t consult with them first. They get all pissy that he might be cutting the Russians out so he can take their share for himself, but he says they will divide the profits four ways instead of five now. They can live with that sort of deal. Considering the alternative is getting your head pulped with a car door, they’d better.

The Russians are using their cab to drive around one of Madam Gao’s (the drug dealer) blind workers, although he waits in the cab while they exchange the drugs. What’s the point of having this guy involved in it? They try to ask him if he knows anything about the masked man, but they don’t share a language and no, he hasn’t seen anyone anyway. While they go to the deal, the camera does a fun pan around and around from inside the car, sometimes speeding up like to get to something, sometimes slowing down like waiting for the exciting thing to happen, but it’s not until the third go-round that Daredevil jumps the guys on their way back to the cab. He takes down the first two guys pretty handily, but when two more guys come out with guns he runs for it and they accidentally shoot the Chinese worker waiting in the back of the cab. Daredevil gets the drop on the two remaining guys, and starts questioning one about where Vlad is. The guy responds by begging him not to kill him like he killed Anatoly, so now Daredevil knows there’s some disturbing gossip about him going around. And the cops show up, so that line of questioning is done for now.

Karen is arguing with the scanner she bought at that auction last episode. I have long said that printers and fax machines need to come with necks so we can strangle them. Karen is explaining to Foggy that rats in the building have eaten through their phone lines when a client appears. Karen has to use her high-school Spanish to translate that the woman is friends with the cop’s mom that Foggy was bribing with cigars. What Karen actually says is “something about cigars?” but that’s what we’re supposed to understand. The client, Mrs. Cardenas, lives in a rent-controlled building so the owner is trying to get everyone out by hiring men to come with sledgehammers and just destroy their building while they’re still living in it.  She explains that there’s no amount of money that would get them out, they want to stay. Matt decides that Foggy will talk to the landlord’s attorney, who is none other than the law firm they used to intern at and hated. The feeling is now apparently mutual. Matt goes to talk to the city clerk, so Foggy will take Karen with him for moral support. Although perhaps the better term is “heckler.”

Matt goes to their officer friend, the one Foggy bribes with cigars, since their client is a friend of his mom’s so maybe he’ll help. He says the landlord stays “just this side of the ordinance” but if even a fraction of what the client said is true I don’t think that’s possible. I can’t imagine an ordinance that says it’s okay to send workers with sledgehammers to destroy the tenant’s property and deny them water and heating. From watching Judge Marilyn, I think this is actually something the ordinance is pretty clear on. Matt sits down to wait for any filed reports which gives him a chance to use his spidey-sense to listen in on the interrogation of the Russian guy who was at the drug deal. He’s giving up Wilson Fisk, which we know is an unbelievably stupid thing to do. Sure enough, the cops stage an assault and shoot him, right there in their interrogation room.

Foggy and Karen walk into the opposing law firm and find out that Foggy’s ex-girlfriend, who’s the kind of smug bitch that only exist in TV shows and lawyer offices, is representing the landlord. Her position is that the “workmen” destroyed the place in order to repair it, but had to flee the neighborhood because of a dangerous criminal element. So the building should be condemned because it’s in a bad neighborhood and no other reason? She claims there’s a backlog of cases like this all over town, but Foggy already told us that the sleazebag landlord owns buildings all over town so… yeah, math. Foggy takes her down a few pegs, then tells her he liked her when she had a soul. I have difficulty believing she ever had a soul. Karen is shocked that these two used to date, like anyone but exes could be that mean.

Foggy and Karen stop by their client’s home, and of course it’s late at night again. I think in this world, New York is up by the north pole so they’re only getting about an hour of daylight at a time. They see the big holes in her wall, and Foggy immediately decides that between his carpentry skills, his cousin who’s a “drywall guy,” and the electrician he and Matt bailed out last episode, they have everything they need to fix the whole building for free. They better be increasing their costs by at least ten fold when they sue the landlord, that’s all I can say.

Daredevil jumps the cop who shot the Russian and works on breaking his arm. The cop repeats the bit about Daredevil taking off Anatoly’s head, but Daredevil just rolls with it. Until the cop laughs at him and then he knocks him out. By the way, I learned this week that besides being blind and Catholic, Daredevil’s big thing is that he doesn’t kill anyone. It’s like how I have a rule: No death. Sometimes people try to argue with the rule, and I tell them it is simple but absolute. No. Death. And if they say, “But what if the guy really deserves it?” I say, “The rule says nothing about maiming.”

Vanessa and Fisk are having their second date after all. She’s wearing a vinyl-looking dress, so she’s ready for her descent into villainy. Fisk has obviously bought out the restaurant this time, but makes it clear he doesn’t consider this a “grand gesture.”

An informant with a friend at the garage where Fisk was getting his car hosed out comes to Vlad with information on who actually killed Anatoly. The game of telephone it took to get the information means he got some of it wrong and thinks Daredevil committed the murder, but on Fisk’s say-so. It’s a step closer to the truth, anyway, and now Vlad’s focused on the correct target.

Foggy and Karen fix Mrs. Cardena’s kitchen faucet, so she makes them a romantic dinner to thank them, and leaves them to it. She cooked it in the apartment downstairs because “we take care of one another” which means she’s taking shameless advantage, but probably they don’t mind at first because she’s so cute.

Matt has Claire going through the cop’s phone and recognizes addresses that belong to the Russians. This scene gets really hand-held and shaky. It’s jarring. Claire points out that maybe an entire city is too much burden for one person, and if Matt won’t give it up she at least needs to emotionally protect herself. All of which is reasonable. But Matt’s too busy playing martyr to think he deserves a girlfriend, so he stalks off with his mask on. None so blind as those who will not see, etc.

Vanessa and Fisk are having a lovely time, with Vanessa bragging about her past dates and Fisk being all jealous of the pickup lines other guys have tried. Is she negging him? Maybe not exactly, but I think there is a pickup artist technique like this. She breaks all the rules, not just for dating but for basic human courtesy. But Fisk eats it up. It’s sad for a not-bad person to fall in with a decidedly bad person, but at the same time I can’t imagine anyone else who could put up with either of these two. Vanessa asks Fisk about his business, and he says he wants to rebuild the city as a thing of beauty, and for some reason this makes him lonely. Not if you do it right. Ahem. She asks about his cufflinks, and he says he wears them to remember his father. He asks permission to ask her a question, so we’re all ready for it to be intimate and sexy but instead he asks what kind of gun she has in her purse. She reveals that she knows he’s really a crime lord. He tries to play it off like, “just affecting change!” and she’s fine with him being a bad boy. He says he takes no pleasure in cruelty, in contrast to Daredevil telling that guy on the roof that he tortures because he likes it. She hands her gun over to Fisk. Why? Yeah, she’s not going to shoot him, she trusts him, whatever. It’s HER gun. If it ever goes off, at any time and under any circumstances, she’s responsible for it. Fool.

Foggy and Karen are having their own, lovely date when Karen asks Foggy about the ex-girlfriend they saw at the law firm, but they quickly change the subject to Matt’s sexual past. Nothing says romance like discussing your friend’s dick. Foggy nearly walks right into the compliment Karen’s fishing for, about if he’s ever discussed with Matt how pretty she is (he has, we’ve seen it) but he sees giant warning signs and stops that train. Dude. Dude, no. Then she says she wants him to feel her face, apparently jealous of how intimate Matt can get with acquaintances. DUDE, NO. We cut away before we have to watch them being creepy.

A new delivery guy for Madam Gao shows up, still blind and Chinese but not in a taxi this time. Daredevil “watches” him go inside (this one actually does deliveries!) and then attacks the guards outside. Unfortunately for all of them, the delivery guy is a suicide bomber. Daredevil only hears the bomb when it’s detonated, so the best he can do is to use the guard he’s fighting as a human shield.

Ick! Foggy and Karen! Your hands were just fixing plumbing, get them off of your own and your friend’s faces! I am yelling on behalf of my aunts who sell Mary Kay. Suddenly, there’s an explosion from outside and Mrs. Cardenas wanders in, face covered in shrapnel. There’s another explosion and they sit her down away from the window. Dude, that was ANOTHER EXPLOSION. Perhaps where you are isn’t safe.

Vanessa is watching the b-roll from Fight Club so we can see that all of Hell’s Kitchen was targeted and is burning. Ooh, sexy. Fisk just says it was about taking out the Russians (it sounds less racist when he says it) and Vanessa’s okay with it. He pays off the maitre’d on his way out, “especially for making this call for me,” so it’s not clear if he asked the guy to call Vlad and tell him where he was, but I think we’re supposed to think that’s all part of the plan.

Daredevil wakes up under his human shield and debris and almost immediately hears someone calling for Vlad.

The guy who told Vlad that Daredevil was working for Fisk was apparently working for Wesley. So Fisk did want Vlad to come after him and made sure he got an address for where he was, but that address was actually one of the Russian gang hideouts where the bombs went off. And Vlad fell for it. I am mostly confused. Daredevil finds Vlad and is halfway through beating the snot out of him when the police show up. Ooh, I think the police are allowed to take his mask off. Now THIS is a cliffhanger!

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About Generation Coax

I am an aspiring TV writer, amateur photographer, and craft hobbyist.
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