TV Review: Marvel's Daredevil - Season 1 Ep 11 "The Path of the Righteous"

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EPISODE 11: "The Path of the Righteous"

SYNOPSIS:  Fisk and Murdock wrestle with the consequences of their chosen paths, while Ben and Karen get closer to Fisk's true past.

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

It took almost the entire season, but I found an episode of Daredevil that has fallen short. After ten great hours, "The Path of the Righteous" falls with a resounding thud. Maybe it was the lack of fight scenes or the lack of Daredevil but something in this hour felt just lacking. Everything about this episode felt cobbled together to make sure the first season of this series hit thirteen episodes and could have been excised without missing any of it.

Every character in this episode spends the 59 minute running time complaining about everything that has been going wrong to them recently. Foggy and Matt are not on speaking terms, Matt gets a chance to say a proper goodbye to Claire, Foggy bangs Marcie before drowning his sorrows in alcohol, and Wilson Fisk hopes that the new love of his life, Vanessa, survives the poisoned champagne from the gala event attended in the previous episode. But, almost none of this needs to happen as the average viewer was able to infer all of this from the last minutes of the previous hour and the first few of this hour.

By far, the biggest issue I had with this episode was Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page. After opening the series and seeming like a character that would be integral to the plot of this season, Karen has instead devolved into a plot device to propel the various characters investigating Wilson Fisk. Last hour, Karen did the shittiest thing and tricked Ben Urich into accompanying her to a rest home under the pretense that it was to look at it for his dying wife. Instead, it was to find Fisk's mother who reveals that Fisk murdered his father. She apologizes to Ben but doesn't seem to really undestand what she did was wrong. In that moment, Karen went from sympathetic to non. Throughout the hour, Karen goes from Matt to Ben to Foggy and complains about why they aren't doing anything about Fisk, which was essentially the problem with this hour.

Karen's vengeance for what she has been through this episode comes in the form of the death of a character. Leaving the side of Wilson Fisk, his friend and assistant Wesley takes it upon himself to find Karen Page and...offer her a job? In the poorest setup of anything I have seen in a Marvel series, Wesley places a loaded gun between himself and Karen while he explains why he does what he does for Wilson Fisk. Waxing philosophical, Wesley lauds his employer and when Karen takes the gun, he claims it isn't loaded. When Fisk calls, Karen unloads the clip, killing him and likely sending Fisk into a rage spiral worse than the one he is already in thanks to Vanessa's brush with death. Who poisoned her, we still do not know, but now Fisk has more motivation than ever to kill everyone in his way.

This episode also served one other purpose: creating the Daredevil costume. After learning that Fisk has an armored suit, Matt takes the advice of Karen and Claire who plead with him to be careful and do things the right way. Matt hunts down Melvin Potter, the creator of the suits. After a seemingly unnecessary fight, we realize that Melvin is not all there. He almost seems child-like and says he only made the suits for Fisk because the Kingpin threatened his friend Betsy. Matt manipulates Melvin into designing an armored suit for him and promises that Fisk will never hurt Betsy again. When Melvin asks what kind of a suit, Matt says he wants it to be a symbol.

With only two episodes left, I expected Daredevil to be ramping up and not hitting a speedbump. Between this hour and the previous episode, I have been very dissapointed with where the series has headed. There is a lot to wrap up in just two hours and, while I don't expect every storyline to be resolved neatly, I feel like this was a missed opportunity to move the narrative forward rather than stall it for a full hour. Here's hoping the next episode is more tightly crafted.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: Melvin Potter is known to comic fans as Gladiator. He was a villain turned colleague of Daredevil. Betsy was his wife/therapist.

NEXT ON DAREDEVIL: Episode 12 "The One We Leave Behind" - Fisk seeks revenge while Karen is haunted by recent events. Daredevil makes a startling discovery about Fisk's financing.

Source: JoBlo.com



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