Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Daredevil: Stick

"In my experience there are no heroes, no villains, just people with different agendas."

I've only read parts of Frank Miller's fabled run on Daredevil, so I'm not too familiar with Stick, the Hand and all that. So I came to Stick pretty much for the first time here. I found the character (and performance) fascinating, and this very different episode (placed just after a turning point) to be one of the finest so far. It's time to give the arc a bit of breathing space- although Karen and Ben Urich make progress in their investigation into Fisk's misdoings, and include Foggy in their plotting- for a bit of a flashback and a bit of a character piece for Matt.

We first meet Stick in the title sequence as he carries out a rather cool assassination, establishing that, unlike Matt, he has no qualms about killing.  Then he and Matt meet up, establishing that Stick once meant a lot to Matt, but that he just upped and left, twenty years ago.

Cue flashback, Matt as a kid, Stick's training of and impression upon the young boy to whom he's given hope, and how Matt's natural affection for this gruff new father figure drives him away,disgusted at the young boy's sentimentality. Our old blind Spartan does not much care for sentimentality, or baggage.

Twenty years on they set out on a mission together, looking for a MacGuffin called Black Sky which is being delivered to Fisk. But this is a background in front of which Daredevil's good liberal conscience clashes with Stick's more cynical ways. This "Black Sky" weapon seems to be a little boy and Stick, to Matt's utter disgust, has no qualms about just killing him. The ends justify the means.

An excellent episode, mostly because of Stick, but it's also firmly convinced me how much I really like and respect Ben Urich as a character.

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