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TV Review: Marvel's Daredevil - Season 1 Episode 8 "Shadows in the Glass"

04.21.2015
100%

Missed an episode? Check out all prior reviews of Marvel's Daredevil here.

EPISODE 8: "Shadows in the Glass"

SYNOPSIS:  While Murdock, Foggy and Karen's mission becomes clearer, Fisk's world spins further out of control in his battle for Hell's Kitchen.

BREAKDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode).  

If you are not sold on the interpretation of Wilson Fisk for this series, this episode is not going to win you over. Upon his introduction, Vincent D'Onofrio seemed to be playing Fisk as a meek, socially awkward man with psychological issues and a thirst for power. Through his appearances over the last half dozen episodes, we have seen more of the calculated plan Fisk has in action as well as his courtship of art dealer Vanessa. Through this episode, we truly see who Wilson Fisk is and will be by the end of this series.

Fisk is mired in routine as evidenced by the dialogue-free opening sequence that shows him abruptly waking from a nightmare only to calm himself by looking at the painting he purchased from Vanessa. He then rises, makes himself an omelet, and eats his meal alone as the sun rises over New York. He then picks his clothes for the day, including the cufflinks he previously told Vanessa belonged to his father. As he turns to look at himself in the mirror, he instead sees a young, chubby boy, covered in blood. Clearly, this is how Fisk sees himself and by episode's end, we know why.

Through flashbacks, we learn that Fisk's father was a brutal man who ran for city council. Using money from a local gangster, Bill Fisk treats his son and wife like garbage as he spouts the importance of being somebody and not taking shit from anyone. Despite losing the election, the elder Fisk continues to spout his philosophical beliefs while forcing his son to brutally beat an older teen who bullied him. One night, Bill Fisk forces his son to stare into a wall that looks eerily like the painting hanging in his adult bedroom and tells him not to move until he knows what kind of man he wants to be. Fisk then beats his wife with a belt until young Wilson grabs a hammer and murders his own father. If that were not enough, he and his mother proceed to chop up his body and night by night drop bags of body parts in the river.

Clearly, Wilson Fisk has daddy issues. On top of that, Nobu, Leland Owlsley, and Madame Gao are losing faith in their business partner. Gao even visits Fisk and offers him a courtesy to fix his affairs or they will cut him out of the deal. Fisk devolves into a temper tantrum of rage. Despite learning that Fisk speaks all of the languages that have thus far been translated for him, Fisk's awkward persona is no mere act. He is a troubled and lonely man. Wesley, Fisk's assistant, calls for Vanessa who spends the night. Fisk trusts Vanessa and she brings him happiness which allows him to not go through his normal routine. The next day, she picks out his clothes and different cufflinks, and when Fisk views himself in the mirror, he no longer sees the scared little boy but the man he truly is.

It is dangerous to make us care about a villain as much as this show has made us feel for Wilson Fisk. Like Hannibal Lecter or Norman Bates, Wilson Fisk now has sympathetic qualities that make us feel like we could understand and believe in him. Even the brief scenes featuring Murdock being framed for the murder of Detective Mahoney and then revealing everything he knows to Ben Urich don't dissuade us from liking Fisk. Murdock wants Fisk destroyed and uses the investigation being worked on by Foggy and Karen to help him push Urich into an article smearing the future Kingpin. Alas, the entire cast watches on the news as Fisk reveals himself to the world as someone there to help the city and stop the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, essentially destroying everything the team had worked on to date.

This was one of my favorite episodes of the season in that it gave us a ton of insight into an iconic Marvel villain in a way we have never seen before. Marvel villains have always tended to be easier to identify with in broad strokes, but this take on The Kingpin makes him more human and at the same time much more frightening than anything we have seen before. VIncent D'Onofrio's presence and range in this episode was quite stunning and he almost felt as if he could go toe to toe with Thanos or even Loki. This Kingpin in a cross between Lex Luthor's ambition and The Joker's madness which is more than enough to make him one of the best foes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: No direct references in this episode.

NEXT ON DAREDEVIL: Episode 9 "Speak of the Devil" - When Fisk gains the upper hand, the goal to destroy him becomes even more difficult, while Daredevil faces his own demons.

Source: JoBlo.com

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4:48PM on 04/21/2015

Really good, but

Just binged the entire series, and thought it was fantastic. Only negative for me was the final suit. Didn't love it. Thought it was a bit like the 1980 armor one With the black chest plates
Just binged the entire series, and thought it was fantastic. Only negative for me was the final suit. Didn't love it. Thought it was a bit like the 1980 armor one With the black chest plates
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8:21AM on 04/21/2015
I'm loving this series and this episode was great but, and I'm going to get shot for this on these boards, but I'm not sure that I love the portrayal of Fisk. D'Onofrio is amazing in the character he is portraying, but I can't say its the way I imagined the Kingpin. Every story I have read with him in it is a confident, powerful, and decisive man. Yet in this he is an emotionally shattered man that looks like he is about to cry every word that comes out of his mouth. Its like he is a child that
I'm loving this series and this episode was great but, and I'm going to get shot for this on these boards, but I'm not sure that I love the portrayal of Fisk. D'Onofrio is amazing in the character he is portraying, but I can't say its the way I imagined the Kingpin. Every story I have read with him in it is a confident, powerful, and decisive man. Yet in this he is an emotionally shattered man that looks like he is about to cry every word that comes out of his mouth. Its like he is a child that just needs a hug and lashes out at anyone who hurts his feelings. He doesn't scream the ultimate crime lord of NYC to me. He screams emotional mess that should be in therapy more than trying to run the city. D'Onofrio's character portrayal is fascination and he should be applauded for it, but I can't say its what I think the character should be like. Granted I am saying this having only seen through this episode 8.
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2:12PM on 04/21/2015
My take is that it's as much an origin story for Wilson Fisk becoming the Kingpin as it is for Matt Murdock becoming Daredevil. He's not the Kingpin yet, I feel that once he has taken on this mantle in the future then we my see the all powerful crime lord that people know.
My take is that it's as much an origin story for Wilson Fisk becoming the Kingpin as it is for Matt Murdock becoming Daredevil. He's not the Kingpin yet, I feel that once he has taken on this mantle in the future then we my see the all powerful crime lord that people know.
3:59PM on 04/21/2015
Yeah, notice how the word "Kingpin" wasn't used even once this season. I'm certain that was intentional. My guess is he grows to become THE Kingpin either in season 2 or in the Defenders. Whichever comes first.
Yeah, notice how the word "Kingpin" wasn't used even once this season. I'm certain that was intentional. My guess is he grows to become THE Kingpin either in season 2 or in the Defenders. Whichever comes first.
7:00AM on 04/21/2015
Just finished the entire series last night, I thought it was great. The fight scenes were well choreographed & Cox nailed Murdock/ Daredevil. Thought D'Onofrio was perfectly cast as Fisk as well, though his voice got kinda similar to his Men In Black character. Was shocked how many characters were already killed off. The supporting cast was just as good, Dawson, Woll & Henson all shined. My only real complaint & I'd hate to sound negative, was the Daredevil suit itself, looked too much like a
Just finished the entire series last night, I thought it was great. The fight scenes were well choreographed & Cox nailed Murdock/ Daredevil. Thought D'Onofrio was perfectly cast as Fisk as well, though his voice got kinda similar to his Men In Black character. Was shocked how many characters were already killed off. The supporting cast was just as good, Dawson, Woll & Henson all shined. My only real complaint & I'd hate to sound negative, was the Daredevil suit itself, looked too much like a sporting outfit, goalie mixed with a catcher. Maybe it was just a prototype & will improve for next season, if there is one.

About this particular episode, it's definitely of the most intense & darkest of the series.
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+1
5:29AM on 04/21/2015
SEASON ENDING SPOILERS AHEAD...



Great episode and I loved how his actions come episode's end destroyed everything Murdock and co could use against him - really enjoyed how that scene played out with Ben writing his article and Murdock listening from home.

I'm 50/50 on this portrayal of Fisk - on the one hand, I do like it when you can sympathise with the main villain, picture him totally as the good guy in another life - some of my best episodes of any show I've ever watched have
SEASON ENDING SPOILERS AHEAD...



Great episode and I loved how his actions come episode's end destroyed everything Murdock and co could use against him - really enjoyed how that scene played out with Ben writing his article and Murdock listening from home.

I'm 50/50 on this portrayal of Fisk - on the one hand, I do like it when you can sympathise with the main villain, picture him totally as the good guy in another life - some of my best episodes of any show I've ever watched have been when we’ve seen the villain join forces with the hero and you see him not be a jerk for once. However, ultimately, they are supposed to be the the villains so I would prefer to not to be thinking about how nice they can be or in Fisk's case in every episode (note how many times you see Fisk be polite and thank someone!). I’m also 50/50 on Fisk’s mannerisms – on the one hand D'Onofrio should be commended for bringing the kind of unique mannerism that Ledger bought to his Joker – that talking with his head down at an angle is great – it adds to the character and the sympathy we feel for him – but then like I said, I don’t think I want it there all of the time and often it looks like he’s going to burst out crying. This is very evident in the final episode when he confronts DD – heck, that’s his stating point when they he bursts in to a hissy fit and they fight.

That all said, the sympathy aspect to Fisk will go by season’s end given what takes place in that episode and I think you’ll realise this series was as much about Fisk finding himself as it was for Murdock – I envisage a different Fisk (the full on evil one) should he return next season or in seasons after.
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3:39AM on 04/21/2015
10/10 sounds right, seriously this show delivers on so many levels, it highly surpassed my high expectations and gave me a chance to see the true Daredevil I have always wanted to see. Fisk was excellent in this episode, just such an amazing first season!
10/10 sounds right, seriously this show delivers on so many levels, it highly surpassed my high expectations and gave me a chance to see the true Daredevil I have always wanted to see. Fisk was excellent in this episode, just such an amazing first season!
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1:40AM on 04/21/2015
My God, this was such a great episode. Humanising someone like Kingpin is quite the achievement.
My God, this was such a great episode. Humanising someone like Kingpin is quite the achievement.
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