Daredevil Ep. 23 – “The Man in the Box”

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“The Man in the Box” begins with a chilling scene of police investigating the bloody remains from the previous episode. Even the few people still alive are clearly emotionally scarred. This is a precursor to a fairly gruesome episode.

Suspense is built throughout the episode, as Claire needs to take care of the victims of said massacre and sees how they’ve had their fingerprints burnt off. Matt warns Karen and Foggy that they could be next. We see how real his warning is when they have a meeting with DA Samantha Reyes and she is violently gunned down with machine gun fire. Matt is only able to save himself, Karen and Foggy because of his hightened senses. But even with Matt’s interference, Foggy is wounded.

After Matt seemingly becoming smarmier throughout this season, this episode shows the good man is still there with the aforementioned scene of him rescuing his friends. Matt has a great monologue with Claire where he ponders if his presence is harming everyone he cares about. One subtle moment is when he is confronted by Fisk, who threatens to ruin both him and Nelson and Matt offers to bite the bullet for both of them.

Speaking of that scene, the confrontation between Matt and Fisk in prison is the highlight of the episode. The tension between the two is thick enough to be cut with a knife and the cinematography is well done – Wide shots are designed to emphasize distance while closeups are done in low angles – low enough to create subtle tension but not be distracting. Once again, we see how Fisk can go from calm (but still intimidating) to furious and violent without warning. It is a unique look at Fisk’s psychology that Matt’s threat of preventing Vanessa from entering the US is what sets Fisk off.

There are other good highlights – Elektra is involved in a martial arts heavy fight scene where she debuts her trademark sai. The Punisher confronts Karen in her apartment – this is a tense moment where Castle has to defend that he did not attack Reyes. When Karen’s apartment is shot up and Castle protects Karen, she finally believes him. The episode ends on a titanic cliffhanger with Hand Ninjas swarming a building and Daredevil donning his costume, preparing for battle.

Overall, this is a great episode – there is plenty of action. Even the quiet moments in between action and engaging, and every major character does something.

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