Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Daredevil: World on Fire

"Could be the machines plotting, but I don't speak computer overlord..."

At last. Five episodes in and Daredevil clicks for me. I get the programme, I get the characters and I'm enjoying the ride. And yes, the fact that this is a superb hour of television certainly helps. I knew I was right to have faith and stick with it.

The episode is structured around three budding relationships, all very different in terms of wealth and terms of the morals of the three men. Our first couple- and, indeed, the least dwelt on- is Matt and Claire. Here we have no date, but an admission both that she's falling in love with him and that she has grave concerns both about the ethics of what he dies and, of course, his safety. They kiss. She's living with him. But there's some discomfort there. That's to continue in future episodes, though: the rest of this episode consists of Karen slowly falling in love with Foggy because he is, simply, a good man with integrity beneath the self-deprecating quips. Vanessa, in direct contrast, consents to a relationship with Fisk (there is no talk of love here) in full knowledge that what he does is morally murky, to say the least, that he had hurt and killed before, and he will hurt and kill again. 

Fisk, incidentally, is not himself right at the top of the food chain by himself: he is, it seems, one of a consortium of four, all of which we will no doubt come to know further. He is powerful nonetheless, though: in the episodes most disturbing scene a criminal gives his name to the cops and is simply killed by them, making it look like self defence. That's how far Fisk's tentacles can cover.

Foggy, though, gets a contrasting scene where he gets the better of his opponent's lawyer, from a fancy law firm, utterly devoid of ethics and, if all that wasn't enough, his ex. I'm sure Karen thought he was awesome. I know I did.

The two respective dates are a blatant contrast- Karen and Foggy in the tiny, ruined apartment of a poor but grateful client; Fisk and Vanessa in the most opulent surroundings imaginable. But one is about real attraction and the blossoming of real love, whereas the other is all about the lure of the "bad boy" and the seductiveness of power. Still, the scenes with Vanessa and Fisk are truly electrifying.

This is a masterful exercise of structure, theme, characterisation and dialogue. Superb. Quite the cliffhanger too...

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