Daredevil: Season 1, Episode 6: “Condemned”

We pick up right where we left off, with Daredevil being held at gunpoint by a bunch of cops who caught him beating up Vlad. The cuffs have just gone on Daredevil when the cops reveal they’re there to kill Vlad. That’s not nice. Daredevil hunted Vlad for a long time. So, handcuffed, he has to take out three armed cops. He does this with only one standing flip, although Vlad gets a little bit shot. By the time the cops wake up, the only one left for them to shoot is Vlad’s sidekick. Is it Sergei? I tend to think they’re all Sergei. Captioning tells me this one’s Sergei.

Ben, the journalist, is using a slightly oversized deck of playing cards to map out the Russian mob. Because if it doesn’t fit in a neat 4 suite, 52 card deck, you don’t have the whole picture. Or something. The card he’s placing very carefully just has a big question mark on it. Never let it be said Ben is not, first and foremost, an investigator. Word of the explosions hits the newsroom, and Ben instantly recognizes the addresses of Russian mob headquarters and runs out to see for himself.

Wesley gives Fisk the bad news that Vlad got away/was carried away and the cops suck. Fisk mopes that he’ll disappoint Madam Gao, and the last person you want to disappoint is a tiny Chinese heroin dealer. He will tell her, truthfully, that their next move is to let the police do their jobs. “That’s what I pay them for, isn’t it?” Dude, have you not been paying attention? Your cops SUCK.

Speaking of, the cops are picking their way through the wreckage of a bombing site. They’re finding survivors and torturing them to find out where Vlad is. Considering they have been clearly trapped under rubble since before Vlad went AWOL, this is really stupid. So then the cops decide to just shoot any survivors. Arguably more efficient.

Daredevil drops Vlad like a sack of potatoes (vodka joke!) in an abandoned building where he can watch the police presence. Vlad wakes up and accuses him of killing Anatoly. Daredevil explains his “no killing, only maiming” stance. He wants Fisk to stand trial for all of his crimes. Oh, no, it doesn’t work like that. You know how they finally got Capone for tax evasion? Yeah, here’s the thing: they ONLY got him for tax evasion.

Foggy and Karen bring Mrs. Cardenas to the hospital to get stitches in her head and hand her off to Claire, although none of them knows they have a friend in common. They eventually notice that Foggy is also bleeding and probably needs some stitches of his own. While they’re also calling Matt in a panic to be sure he’s okay, he’s on the phone with Claire to get some advice on keeping Vlad alive but not happy. She recognizes his name immediately, so really she needs to be talked into not making Matt kill him immediately. She asks Matt what he has available. He can count the road flares in an open emergency roadside kit facing away from him from halfway across the room. She talks him through using the road flares to cauterize the wound without anesthesia, but Vlad’s screams draw the attention of a cop. The cop calls for backup, then yells at the now-unconscious Vlad to show his hands. This distracts him enough that Daredevil gets the drop on him because there is no part of joining the NYPD that apparently involves demonstrating any sense at all. But when Matt hands him his radio and tells him to call an all-clear, the cop instead screams their location into the radio. So this one is selectively dumb, then.

The entire NYPD surrounds the building, but Fisk’s guys decide to treat it like a hostage situation which means they don’t storm the building. Ben is immediately on scene trying to interview the cops, which they tolerate because they do at least need the press on their side if they’re going to stay so unapologetically corrupt.

Wesley lets Fisk know what’s going on, and Fisk agrees the press needs to be involved so “everyone in Hell’s Kitchen [will] see what’s about to happen.” I’m assuming his intention is to kill Daredevil and blame the bombings on him. Which would be great if Daredevil were an actual symbol of the citizens standing up for themselves, but they don’t seem to be aware he’s there. Claire’s the only one who put it together and she didn’t tell anyone.

Apparently the building is surrounded by 10 officers and 4 dogs. I mean, yeah, that’s intimidating, but it’s hardly the army they’d implied. Vlad wakes up and heckles Daredevil until he points out Vlad has exactly one person not trying to kill him, and frankly that person’s not his biggest fan either. Vlad lays out how Fisk came to him and set him up as a distributor of Chinese drugs. Daredevil had no idea there were multiple ethnicities involved, which is when Vlad realizes he’s really dealing with a n00b and makes up the name Leslie Shumway as the man Daredevil should be going after. It’s a metaphor (Shumway was Capone’s money man), but Vlad won’t give the name of the money man. Instead, he plays asleep until Daredevil leans in close to hear him muttering and then slams him with a board and jumps to his feet, feeling much better than we’d been lead to believe. Unfortunately for them both, this building is abandoned for a reason and they fall through two floors before there’s one solid enough to stop them.

The cops tease Ben about his industry dying because of young, pretty newscasters, but Ben just points out that’s totally not why journalism is dying, Luddites. Sick burn. We transition through the news to Karen at the hospital, still trying to get Matt on his phone and the panic is rising. Foggy gives her something else to worry about by declaring that he’s going out looking for Matt, which successfully distracts her into calming them both down. Foggy leaves another voicemail for Matt, which brings us to him lying unconscious in the abandoned building, as if that’s why he’s not answering the phone and not the part where he doesn’t bring his smartphone with him on these excursions.

Daredevil wakes up to Vlad, happily watching him bleed, but then hears Vlad’s heart slowing down as he takes a turn losing consciousness. Daredevil pounds Vlad’s heart into submission (amazingly not cracking any ribs). He refuses to allow Vlad to die until Vlad tells him what he needs to know. That’s what I call motivation!

All of Fisk’s men have arrived at the warehouse, so they’re finally ready to storm the place. This is Daredevil’s cue to notice a rather huge storm drain in the floor. Before he can successfully lift it, Fisk radios Daredevil himself. Fisk lays out the basis of the hero/villain relationship while his sniper gets into position and Daredevil is too distracted to keep trying to get them out of there. In their little verbal chess, each celebrates his victory. Fisk gives away that Vlad has important information, Daredevil gives away that Vlad hasn’t told him that information yet. Daredevil goes back to his escape plan just as Fisk starts wrapping up, but then Fisk has his sniper start taking out cops (his own cops, incidentally) so he can blame Daredevil for the carnage. He also releases surveillance footage of Daredevil beating up the cops at the start of the episode to really drive the point home for the home viewer.

Claire calls to confirm the news reports are lies. Daredevil can hear the cops about to break into the building so he takes this opportunity to say good-bye. Vlad, who, you’ll remember, died a moment ago and still has a bullet rattling around in him, helps Daredevil pry open the storm drain. They make it into the access tunnels, which apparently run under the whole city because of course they do. Nobody in these shows ever has to worry about the structural integrity of the buildings above them. Two cops follow them with semi-automatic weapons, but Daredevil takes them out by running up the walls a couple times. He doesn’t even get Vlad shot this time! But Vlad grabs one of the guns and announces this is his last stand. He will take out the five cops already on their way. He gives up the name of Leland Owlsley, the accountant, but warns Daredevil that justice will never truly be his. Daredevil takes off, but hears the gunfire behind him signalling the end of Vlad. It is the beat of his own determination.


About Generation Coax

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