Fisk Is Kingpin and Karen’s Past: DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: 9/10
DAREDEVIL Season 3 is currently streaming on Netflix! Here’s out DAREDEVIL episode breakdowns for episodes 9-10. What is Fisk’s master plan? Why did Karen move to New York?
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: Episode 9
Episode 9 starts with Matt confronting Father Lantom about his mother. He’s angry about him keeping the truth for his whole life. He let Matt believe that he was alone. He chose to hide the one thing that would’ve changed everything for him. Lantom says that Maggie is flawed and tortured. She’s worked her whole life to make amends.
We get a flashback of young Maggie going to a boxing match and meeting Jack. They fall in love and have Matt. In the aftermath, Maggie sits, unmoving and paralyzed, not helping her crying baby. Eventually, Maggie goes back to the church leaving Jack and Matt. Matt says he’s stupid as the truth was right in front of him. They’ve talked his whole life about truth. His truth and God’s truth. All their conversations were a lie in Matt’s eyes. Shame on you, he tells Lantom.
Nadeem goes to Hattley’s house with Special Agent Winn. Winn starts a recording and Nadeem reports all that he knows about Dex attacking the Bulletin, and the conspiracy of Fisk making the FBI his unwitting accomplice. He shows them his wound from Dex as further proof. Nadeem wants a full investigation and wants it to be known that it was all on his watch, taking full responsibility.
Suddenly, Hattley shoots Winn in the head, screams for Nadeem to put the gun down, and then stops the tape. Felix arrives and tells Nadeem that they have his prints, his gun, and the recording. The perfect blackmail. Hattley asks him if he understands what that means. He tells his boss yes. She says that she’s not his boss anymore. It’s Fisk.
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: Karen on the Run
Foggy tells Karen that she should go public to make herself a more difficult target for Fisk like he has. She tells him it won’t work and goes on the run. Lantom tells Maggie that Matt now knows about her. She runs to the basement and finds the cross necklace she gave him. He’s gone. Matt goes to Fogwell’s gym. His father is in his head. Matt tells him that the knowledge of his mother doesn’t change a thing.
Nadeem is at home when his wife tells him he has a visitor. It’s Dex. They go outside and Dex tells Nadeem that Fisk wants to know where Daredevil is. He tells Nadeem that they’re spending the day together. Foggy refuses to run like Karen. Marci shows him that a video of his confrontation with Tower has gone viral with several cops posting it to their social media pages. Foggy might actually win the campaign with his top priority being to bring Fisk down.
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: Matt Decides to Kill Fisk
Nadeem calls Matt that Fisk is up to something. He’s setting him up for a trap. Inner Jack tells Matt that the way he found out about Maggie was poor. Matt says that they both lied and left him. Inner Jack says he never left. After an intense argument with his father, Matt decides to abandon the principles he once had. He decides to kill Fisk.
Karen goes to Maggie, hoping to find Matt. Maggie tells Karen that Matt learned the truth about her. She tells Karen that she was a danger to Matt as a baby, as she had postpartum depression. She was convinced that she was betraying God and told herself that the truth would do more harm than good. In reality, she was just scared. The Lord is showing her what’s become of her sin. Matt knows who she is and won’t be coming back. She tells Karen that he’ll need a friend. Karen can’t stay but wanted to warn him about Fisk. Maggie offers to help her run and hide from Fisk.
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: The Kingpin
Foggy visits with his family. His brother tells he has to take all that he said to Tower back. He tells them about their suppliers leaving suddenly, then Red Lion offering a loan and helping to fudge numbers. Then the suppliers came back. Fisk got to Foggy’s family. If Foggy doesn’t walk back his words against Fisk, the bank pulls the loan and his brother and parents go to jail.
Nadeem goes into a conference room with Hattley, Dex, and several other agents, all of whom Fisk controls. Dex says they don’t call him Fisk here. They go by his codename: Kingpin. This marks the first time Fisk has gone by his moniker from the comics. Fisk has ordered several FBI raids on several criminals leaders, and Nadeem participates.
Nadeem goes with Hattley to the Hotel. As they take the elevator, he tries to convince her to help him take Fisk on. She tells him that Fisk has had Nadeem marked for a year, being the reason his sister lost her health coverage, making him desperate for a promotion and to subsequently give Fisk everything he wanted. Hattley says she lost a child trying to fight back. They meet Fisk in his secret room. They take off his monitor and the leave the hotel in a car, Dex at the wheel. Nadeem calls Matt and gives him an address for where Fisk is going to be. Fisk says he’ll know it’s a trap but will come anyway.
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: Kingpin Makes His Offer
Inner Jack asks him if it’s a trap. Matt says it doesn’t matter. He wraps Muay Thai ropes around his fists and arms to do more damage on Dex. Inner Jack says that Maggie left him too because they’re both cursed with the Devil inside. Inner Jack tells him to be honest. The mask makes him feel better about who he is. Inner Jack becomes Inner Fisk. The mask makes him believe he’s doing something good for God but it’s not the truth. A corrupt boxer enjoying the infliction of pain on himself and others, and the son trying to convince himself he’s more than that. Matt turns around and mentally kills Inner Fisk.
All of the criminal leaders the FBI raided have been gathered in a restaurant around a table. Fisk arrives and offers them the opportunity of protection from investigations, prosecutions, and the federal government. In exchange, he wants 20% of everything they bring in. One of them disagrees and scoffs. Dex instantly kills him with a baton to the head, stepping forward as Daredevil. Fisk says the price is now 25%. They agree.
Meanwhile, Matt is sneaking through, dispatching guards as he goes. He goes into a room and shuts off the lights. However, he’s not at the restaurant. Fisk is angered that Matt didn’t show and they gather to go back to the Hotel. Matt is already there, now in Fisk’s secret room. Shelby tells him that he’ll be back in mere minutes. Then Matt hears on a monitor that Fisk’s men are onto Karen at the church. Shelby tells Matt that Fisk wants her dead.
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: Episode 9 Pros and Cons
A definite pro for this episode is the way in which Matt processes the knowledge that Maggie is his mother. His mind manifests his late father and their interaction is intense to watch.
Matt tells him he didn’t throw the fight as he should have. He chose his ego over a life with his son. Inner Jack says it’s about a man having a code, and that Matt does that same thing. He has a code too. Not anymore, says Matt. He doesn’t throw fights and he doesn’t let others suffer. Not anymore. When he gets to Fisk…he’s gonna kill him.
Matt’s decision to kill Fisk is now largely motivated by his anger towards his parents. He’s not going to hold back if it means other might be hurt, just like his parents held back the truth and hurt him. Another pro was undoubtedly Nadeem’s realization of how much power and control Fisk has, and learning that those under his influence refer to him as Kingpin. So epic and so awesome. I got chills.
I will say that a con for this episode is the fact that I would’ve liked to see more conflict in Foggy now that he has the knowledge that Fisk is going after his family. It’s almost as if his brother tells him what’s happening and Foggy just receives it, without pausing to consider what he should do. Perhaps that comes later, but it seems like odd that we don’t see that conflict at the moment.
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: Episode 10
Episode 10 of our DAREDEVIL episode breakdowns is primarily a flashback episode for Karen and her time in Vermont before she moved to New York.
Karen dances at a party then goes upstairs to sell drugs. When a customer tries to get rough, her boyfriend Todd shows up and beats him up. They go back to Todd’s trailer to count their money and she spends the night there. Karen wakes up to a call from Penny’s Place. She overslept and is late for work.
We see that the small skiing town is called Fagan Corners. Penny’s Place is a diner. As Karen walks in we see that she’s a waitress there and she owns it with her father and brother, Kevin. Kevin says he covered for her being late to their dad. Later, Karen finds her dad signing for a brand new grill that they can’t afford. He didn’t talk to her about it. While serving some eggs, Karen gets a bloody nose due to her drug use. Kevin knows she’s not sober. He attempts to help her by filling out an application to get her back to school.
Karen goes to see Todd, and Todd thinks she should let the diner go under. He offers her full-time work selling drugs with him. Karen’s dad calls and she goes back to the diner. They made dinner to celebrate Karen going back to college. She says that if she leaves the diner goes under. After their mom, Penny, died she had to take care of everything. She says that Penny only stuck around because she loved their dad. Karen says their mom hated it in Fagan Corners and it was killing her long before she got cancer.
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: Death in the Family
Karen goes to a photo of their mom with a lottery ticket inside. She says the real reason she bought tickets was not out of hope. It was that if she ever won she would’ve taken them out of Fagan Corners. She scratches the ticket despite her father’s protests. Mom lost again, she says. They all lost.
Karen leaves with Todd. They take drugs and drink. When they go back to the trailer, it’s on fire. Kevin set the fire and Todd beats him with a tire iron. Karen shoots Todd in the arm. Karen leaves with Kevin in her car, but she flips the car, killing Kevin.
Later, Penny’s is closed. Karen and her dad face each other. He tells Karen that he thanks god her mother wasn’t alive to witness what’s happening. He tells Karen that the public story will just be Kevin in the car. Not about her. He wants her to leave and doesn’t want her near him.
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: Matt’s Choice
Back to the present, Karen is hiding in the church, and Lantom invites her to mass. Everyone is fighting a battle that you can’t see, he says. However, sometimes you can. Karen asks him what you’re supposed to do when you realize that you’ve lost. He tells her about Matt confronting him about his mother. Lantom had a choice of evils, and Matt blames him for how his life has turned out. He can’t argue with him, he just has to live with it. Whatever you’ve done or haven’t done can still be redeemed. She’s not so sure she believes that.
Fisk is sitting in a car with Dex. Fisk tells him that one of the few people he let get close to him was James Wesley. Dex reminds Fisk of him. He tells him there’s one more thing they have to do tonight. Fisk tells Dex that he now knows that Karen killed Wesley. Fisk tells Dex to go and kill Karen. Dex tells him to consider it done.
Back to Matt in the secret room, he now has a choice: Wait to kill Fisk, or save Karen. Shelby warns that Fisk will triple security. Even so, Matt goes to save Karen.
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: Matt vs. Dex
Nadeem drives Dex to the church, dressed as Daredevil. In the church, Lantom thanks people for coming to mass despite their fears. Dex arrives and yells Karen’s name. She steps out to protect the people. Matt attacks Dex.
They fight, Matt trying to keep it close quarters. However, Dex knocks him back and throws a baton at Karen. However, Father Lantom steps in front of her and gets hit instead.
Matt yells and beats Dex down. He hears Lantom’s dying breath: forgive us. Dex gets up and throws another baton at Karen while she tries to get the people out. It narrowly misses her thanks to Matt. Dex then starts to throw beads with deadly speed. Karen runs to the balcony with Dex close behind. Matt intercepts. Then Karen hits Dex off the balcony, falling to the floor below. Matt lies unconscious in Karen’s arms.
DAREDEVIL Episode Breakdowns: Episode 10 Pros and Cons
Lastly for our DAREDEVIL episode breakdowns is our pros and cons for episode 10.
Episode 10’s focus on Karen’s past is a pretty good pro. I feel as though the timing was perfect for a Karen backstory episode. Any earlier and it would’ve seemed forced. The slow burn of audience curiosity ever since those references to her troubled past in Season 1 led to a very satisfying payout. Her past is tragic and dark, providing context for her choices and conflicts currently.
The tenth episode’s fight between Dex and Matt was very cool and entertaining, the personal stakes for Matt being raised even higher with Father Lantom’s death, let alone trying to protect Karen. Pitting them against each other is always entertaining as it’s one man who can’t see, relying on his other heightened sense, against another who relies on his heightened sight. It’s just awesome and epic.
Another pro is the reference to the comics when Bullseye kills Karen in a church. In the comics, Karen lies in Matt’s arms which mirrors the end of episode 10 which Matt lying in her arms.
A con for this episode would be that I would’ve liked the entire episode to be about Karen’s past. Instead, about 2/3 of the episode is on her past before the rest is back in the present. We could have seen more of the trouble she gets into with Todd, making the tragedy of her brother’s death even more hard to watch, as we would be able to greater empathize with Karen and her guilt.
DAREDEVIL is streaming on Netflix now.