Hell’s Kitchen mourns Ben Urich, Filson loses his grip on the city, and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen dares to pin down the king.
With the tragic death of Ben Urich, unknowingly at the hands of Wilson Fisk, the characters that have populated and represented Hell’s Kitchen gather to say their farewells. Matt and Karen, Mrs. Urich, Ellison, editor of the New York Bulletin, and Father Lantom presiding over the service. The death of Urich has shaken them all, and spurred Foggy and Matt to come together and find a way to move forward in their friendship and partnership.
Fisk, mourning the loss of his own friend, Wesley, discovers irregularities in Owlsley’s accounting. When confronted, Leland admits to his stealing, to the attempted murder of Vanessa, and he reveals his trump card: Det. Hoffman, the policeman Fisk paid off to murder his partner and friend for fear of being exposed. This fact does not change Fisk’s mind the way he’d hoped, as Fisk throws a terrified accountant down an elevator shaft.
With Foggy and Matt working together with Sgt. Brett Mahoney, Hoffman is discovered, and saved from a cop hit squad by the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, who politely tells Hoffman he’s going to confess to Mahoney, the one cop they know to be clean, and to the attorney’s of Nelson and Murdock, two lawyers that can’t be bought. With Hoffman making his statement, the empire Fisk has built through corruption begins to fall down around him and he’s brought into custody But, he has one last move to make; escaping his captors and running into a confrontation with the newly suited-up Daredevil.
The first season finale of Marvel’s Daredevil cleanly (metaphorically speaking) ties together all of it’s story arcs as they began at the beginning of the season. Urich’s funeral serves as a climax of the series, a point of no return, bringing many of the characters to the same place and conclusion, not just for the death of reporter, husband, and friend, Ben Urich, but for the dying neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen at the hands of Wilson Fisk. Ben Urich was a strong character, and also a strong representation of the city itself fighting back against Wilson’s corrupted “better tomorrow.”
Final Words on Marvel’s Daredevil Season One
A few days after Daredevil released it’s first season onto Netflix, after the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) die hard fans had forgone sleep and spent their weekend devouring the new superhero show (myself included), I read a comment that, to me, summed up Marvel Studios’ latest television endeavor.
‘”I hate the way Disney is kiddie-fying Marvel,” said no one after watching Daredevil.”
I don’t know who made the comment, or on what forum (probably reddit), but I wish I did, because that statement rings true. Daredevil, as a series, has gone to new levels (literally) than the MCU has gone before. Specifically, it brings the universe down to the dirty, gritty, street level. Everyone knows about the Battle of New York, the falling of SHIELD, Captain America and Iron Man. Stores inside the MCU sell toys of the Avengers (even Black Widow ones). But only a few in a small New York neighborhood know about Wilson Fisk’s better tomorrow and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.
Fisk and his cronies would be short work for the likes of Thor and the Hulk, but they were busy, so the introduction of Daredevil was brought into play to serve as the universe’s first street-level, masked vigilante superhero.
The hero of the story was not a billionaire-genius-playboy-philanthropist, a government science experiment of a super soldier serum, or a God from another world. He was a kid from Hell’s Kitchen, who happened to have an accident that gave him heightened senses. He was able to use these senses, and some slightly mystical training, not to save the world, but save his home and the people he cared about. And he got beat up A LOT doing it. Unlike most hero’s in movies and TV shows who have an epic battle in one episode and are miraculously healed in the next, Daredevil gets beaten down hard, and suffers from his losses. He doesn’t have super strength or speed. His power is his enhanced senses. He observes his surroundings.
However, the show wasn’t perfect. There are two areas that I feel the show was a little flat. The first being in Daredevil’s secret identity as Matt Murdock, blind attorney, specifically, the attorney part. The lawyers of Nelson and Murdock did their fair share of research into laws and their cases, but only once, in the beginning of the series, did we see a courtroom. That one episode had great moments between Foggy and Matt defending their assassin client. More instances like that one would have added to the show. But, there perhaps wasn’t enough time to spend in the courtroom hearing moving speeches, as they spent much of the show’s time in flashbacks. These flashbacks did show different levels and motivations to various characters, but the downside of using flashbacks is that it takes the audience out of the present action to tell a different story that may have a passing significance to the overall plot. Then, once the flashback is done, we’re thrust back into the action with a feeling of “Wait, what was going on? Oh yeah.”
The fact that the final confrontation between good and evil took place in a small back alley gives a perspective of where these events register in the MCU. With the help of intricate stories, fleshed out characters, and brutal stunt choreography, Charlie Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio, and the rest of the exceptional cast, brought these characters, and this story, to life.