Daredevil: Season 1, Episode 7: “Stick”

We open on a guy running down a set of stairs while dramatic music plays. He’s in shadow. Is it Matt? Wesley? Oh, nope, it’s some new guy. Mustache Man. He finds a gun, loads it, and points it at the elevator. When the doors open, he fires at… the back of the elevator. Someone else shows up with a sword and interrogates him in Japanese, so apparently they’re in Japan. Mustache Man gets his hand chopped off, followed by his head, to the surprise of exactly no one. And then we see the assassin is an old man with milky eyes. We will learn that this is the titular Stick, but it takes them a while to get to that point so I’m just going to pretend they said it here and save us all some time. Credits!

The newspapers have started calling Daredevil “Devil of Hell’s Kitchen,” and Foggy is all about hopping on that bandwagon. Karen is less so, because she still recognizes him as the man who saved her life. (Sure, she recognizes him from that one little incident and not the part where HE’S SITTING THREE FEET FROM YOU! YOU TALK WITH HIM EVERY DAY! Ahem.) Karen asks Matt what he thinks but Matt pulls the whole “innocent until proven guilty” defense attorney thing. Foggy decides this is the moment to ask Karen on a faux-date at the batting cages, but she has legitimate plans she doesn’t want to talk about. Foggy decides with one strike down, it’s time to ask Matt about his love life. Since Claire left, Matt says it didn’t work out and acts sad. And probably is sad! But it’s at least partly an act to make Foggy leave him alone. He then reads his Braille notes with both hands which is apparently an actual thing that is actually very common. Sure, I feel stupid for having Googled that, but less stupid than I would have if I didn’t.

Leland Owlsley meets with Nobu to tell him that his shipment is coming and Leland totally knows why, because he wants to be scary, too. When I finish writing these recaps, I go and read the ones on the AV Club, where people also read the comics. Apparently Leland is a bad guy known as The Owl, but… why? I can’t figure out what’s supposed to make him a supervillain deserving of a nickname. Just being a dick shouldn’t be enough to qualify you as a supervillain. For example, there will be many dicks in this episode and only some of them qualify as villains, much less supervillains. Speaking of, as soon as Nobu is off, Daredevil comes out of the shadows to interrogate Leland. But Daredevil hears Stick’s white cane tapping on the floor and gets distracted, allowing Leland to tase him and get away. Stick is not impressed.

Flashback! Young Matty lies in bed, his hands over his ears. The nuns bring in Stick to help him and offer up Matty’s “sizeable inheritance” as payment. Dicks. That’s not how that works. Stick tests Matty by tossing his keys to him, then takes him out for ice cream. Funny how Matty stops hyperventilating and screaming when he’s getting attention, isn’t it? Just saying. Stick bitches about how he was born blind but you don’t hear him whining about it, to which Matty agrees and I disagree. I hear him whining about it. Just because he’s doing it in a dick way doesn’t mean the sentiment isn’t the same. Stick explains that Matty being able to hear and sense things is a special gift that he should develop and starts testing him. The old man feeding pigeons across from them is dying, but Stick uses that to expound on the futility of existence. Matty’s going to need skills for the war, but he doesn’t elaborate. I feel like Stick is one of those people without long-term friendships because as soon as people figure out he’s not ever going to say anything definitive, interesting or real, they walk away. That’s why he likes kids so much. He can string them along for a while.

Daredevil asks Stick why he’s there. Stick sniffs and says he’s there to save “you and everyone in the Kitchen from a horrible death. More or less.” Well, good to know he’s given up that nasty hyperbole/doom and gloom habit he had. This is one of those things where we’re supposed to think what Matty needed was someone to belittle his feelings when clearly all he really needed was someone to buy him ice cream.

Karen’s meeting with Ben to go over the investigation and so he can belittle her experience and efforts. Ben has uncovered the involvement of the Yakuza and the Triads, which Karen correctly pegs as two groups that should not be working together on anything. Karen thinks it’s all connected to Union Allied, which it is, but not in the way she’s thinking. It’s like one leg of the table when she’s thinking it’s the entire table top. She asks if the Devil shooting those cops is connected, and Ben reminisces that he was standing right next to the first cop who went down. So he remembers that the shots came from the WRONG DIRECTION, right? Eh, no. He just remembers that the cop kind of had it coming. He does ask Karen to run the other way if the Masked Man turns up, but she points out that he was fighting the guys who were trying to kill her, so given the choice… Ben tells her, “anything happens to you, it’s going to be on me, and I don’t want to be responsible for that.” You know what? FUCK YOU. Women get this shit all the time. She is an adult who is responsible for her own actions and her own choices and NOT your emotions. There are nicer ways of saying, “I just hope nothing happens to you.” Hey, there’s one!

Stick makes himself right at home in Matt’s apartment. When Matt tells him that his recent lady-friend will not be making a return trip, Stick responds, “Good. Women are a distraction. Just like furniture, apartments…” Yep, he compared women to possessions. I know the point of all of this is that Stick is someone that Matty really looked up to and saw as a father-figure, but he’s a total dick. He thinks Matt’s gone soft because he’s not sleeping on the streets and eschewing all human contact. So, you’re planning on sleeping on your mentee’s couch, right, Dick? Stick takes it a step too far when he starts mocking Matt’s dad, but Matt’s still not quite fast enough for him.

Which is our transition to a training flashback! Stick is beating on Matty because it makes him feel big and he likes knowing that someone’s listening to him spout nonsense. Matty decides to change the topic spontaneously and starts screeching that his dad died because Matty wanted to see him win a fight. I mean, that didn’t hurt? But his dad was the one who made his decisions. They go back to sparring and the music changes substantially so we’re supposed to think Matty’s getting the upper hand, but he’s doing the same exact impressive moves with the same exact lack of results that we just saw him getting.

Transition to today! And the same fight happening again, but it’s just a little spar. Matt says Stick’s a dick (yes!) and Stick agrees (this does not impress me. Being a better person impresses me). Stick ricochets a beer bottle cap into the trash just to amuse himself. OMG I hate this shaky cam they have going on in Matt’s apartment! I know you can’t afford extras or licensed music but you must be able to afford a tripod! Get a rolling office chair and use it as a dolly if you have to! This is where Matt is supposed to be most relaxed; don’t make me motion sick when you show it to me. Stick tells Matt about the weapon that Leland is moving for Nobu, called Dark Sky and how he’s going to destroy it. Then he belittles Matt for his “no killing” policy, insisting that this is a war and in war, people die. But Matt will only go out hunting Dark Sky with Stick if Stick promises not to kill anyone. Stick so promises.

Karen’s bringing Mrs. Cardenas groceries and is surprised when Mrs. Cardenas refers to Foggy as the cute one and even more surprised when Mrs. Cardenas says he’s in love. Karen asks Ms. Cardenas if she has any evidence for their lawsuit, basically, and she is surprised to learn her slumlord is on vacation. So, still, nobody has explained to her how all this works?

Karen leaves and there’s a couple of men on the street. Clearly they are there to attack her because there’s no one else. This show seriously can’t afford extras. Foggy makes his grand entrance then and hits the guys with a softball (literally) and then a bat because he has been following Karen because he was worried about her. She is offended and takes it out by macing her attackers now that Foggy has them disabled on the ground.

Stick and Matt are watching this cargo transfer of Dark Sky happen. Stick sends Matt to thin out the herd, which he rather hilariously does. No one notices one person at a time disappearing. The weapon is then revealed to be a small, chained-up child, which doesn’t change anything that Stick said about destroying it. Daredevil redirects the arrow that Stick shoots to kill the boy and then battles some of the guys up front while Nobu spirits Dark Sky away.

Flashback! Matty’s a better fighter and has developed a rapport with Stick. He even makes Stick laugh, which is probably seriously the highlight of his day, poor kid. He gives Stick a bracelet he made from the paper on the ice cream cone Stick gave him when they met, which is Stick’s cue that Matty feels affection and must therefore be cut off, because Stick is a dick.

Stick’s already in Matt’s apartment when Matt gets back. Did Matt stop for groceries or something? Matt’s a little peeved that Stick plain lied to him about not killing anyone. He’s even more peeved when Stick says he already tracked the kid down again and killed him. Then they fight and smash all kinds of furniture. Hey, just a thought, maybe you could have saved the coffee table and instead hired a couple of extras for the street scenes? Matt beats up Stick pretty heavily and then throws him out. Stick gives an extra-dickish “maybe there’s hope for you yet,” like he’s still trying to pretend he’s the better fighter or person or anything. Dick.

Karen brings Foggy to Ben’s office as a reward for Foggy saving her from the only other pedestrians in the city. Karen shows Foggy the suite-of-cards-board and explains it, which, fortunately, doesn’t need much explaining. Ben says that the King of Diamonds is Wilson Fisk (he doesn’t know his name yet, but that’s what he’s getting at) and the Jack of Hearts is the Masked Man. He puts them up against each other and asks, “which one trumps the other?” Ha-ha, it is a card joke! Because of course a king trumps a jack but Ben is making this metaphor up as he goes and it has nothing to do with the facts or actual people involved!

Matt sits in his destroyed apartment and cries over the one sort-of familial relationship he thought he had being with a guy who’s a dick.

Stick meets with a scarred man about his task being done and not being sure if Matt’s ready. This is just there to end the episode on a suspenseful note, but it won’t pick up again in episode eight so we can ignore it for now. Just pretend it ended on the emotional beat of Matt, all alone.

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About Generation Coax

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