Matt confronts Madame Gao, Karen tries to hold everything together, and Ben is visited by Wilson Fisk.
The act of killing Wesley, Fisk’s right hand man, weighs heavily on Karen’s conscience. She quickly turns to drink for comfort during her sleepless night as she fears the consequences of the previous events. While all three of the employees of Nelson and Murdock remain somewhat estranged, both Matt and Foggy show concern for Karen, and remind her that while they are in a hard place personally, no one has stopped trying to bring Fisk down.
Matt gets a tip from Ben Urich concerning the connection Fisk has with the Triad and follows one of Madame Gao’s blind workers to a warehouse, full of armed Triad guards. What Matt finds there disturbs him on a level he didn’t think was possible. As Madame Gao explains to him, her workers blinded themselves out of faith for something better. Before he can get any other answers from the old woman, she attacks him with an incredible amount of strength, sending him flying across the room.
As her warehouse burns to the ground after her confrontation with the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, Madame Gao and Leland Owlsley meet to discuss their attempt on Vanessa’s life. They agree that Vanessa is a distraction to Wilson, and should be removed, but Vanessa was stronger than assumed. With a final cryptic warning, Madame Gao leaves for her homeland, a place that is a considerable distance further than China.
With urging from the now scared Karen, Ben sets in motion to print the true story of Wilson Fisk. Though, just as before, he’s met with a stonewall of rejection from The New York Bulletin’s Editor, Ellison. After a harsh exchange of words, pushing Ben Urich over the edge to say how he really feels about the Bulletin’s journalistic integrity, that he feels like a “whore” more than a journalist, and his accusations of Ellison being on Fisk’s payroll, Ellison fires Ben. This doesn’t deter the veteran reporter from pursuing the truth of Wilson Fisk, and he decides to post the story on the internet. As he sits down to write, he discovers Wilson Fisk waiting for him in his home, and he’d like to have a conversation.
From the start of this series, there was a strong partnership between Foggy and Matt, and then with the new addition to their team, Karen Page. “The Ones We Leave Behind” shows just how far apart the events in Hell’s Kitchen have pushed the employees of Nelson and Murdock. The same is shown within the ranks of Wilson’s associates, originally consisting of the Russians lead by Vladimir and Anatoly, the Japanese Yakuza lead by Nobu, the Chinese Triad lead by Madame Gao, the accountant, Leland Owlsley, and Fisk’s right hand man Wesley. Now, Wilson only has Leland backing him, and it’s now shown that he may not be as supportive as he believes.
The final scene between Fisk and Urich is well shot and creative in it’s mimicking of the first with Karen and her dream of Wilson. The same kind of lighting from Karen’s home is brought to Ben’s, Wilson is shrouded in Shadow in both shots, and both Karen and Ben are having a drink at the beginning of each encounter with Wilson.
As the show moves into it’s season finale, many questions remain to be answered, specifically those surrounding the already mysterious Madame Gao. What are her motives? How is she that strong? Where is her homeland? Many of these questions may be answered in the final episode, or possibly brought over to other shows such as Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, or Iron Fist.