Last episode saw an epic battle between Poindexter (Bullseye) and Matt (sorta Daredevil). I was especially struck by Poindexter appearing as Daredevil (really clever, Fisk), while Matt, in his black costume, looked a lot more like the comic book Bullseye. Nice little piece of role reversal there. This episode is very appropriately entitled “Aftermath” as the ripples spread outward from that confrontation.
The episode starts with Fisk, quietly enjoying the luxury he’s managed to scam his way into. His alternate lawyer (I guess Donovan was busy with some other slime) tells him there’s a problem with his recovering one last piece of art he really wants. Fisk wanders around his place after the attorney leaves, and then shows just how utterly incompetent the FBI has been in this instance, and why he did some of the things Karen has been digging up in her research. Fisk clearly put in some effort here, and the media is now doing some of his work for him.
Matt, bloody, bruised, and utterly shaken, has made it back to the church. He’s not looking good, and he’s rattled by the fight with the man in his costume who fought him so well. This may be Matt’s first loss to a solo opponent since he put on a mask. Further preying on his mind is the danger Foggy and Karen were in during the attack. Maggie admits she’s out of her depth in these matters, and takes some of the blame for involving Matt’s friends. Maggie tangentially refers to the other heroes, and Matt’s response is pure, stubborn Murdock. Matt is really worried about being able to beat his foe, and Maggie offers a very useful suggestion. Sometimes all you need is a different perspective. Ray Nadeem is interviewing/interrogating Karen, and this is one of the scenes I like him in least so far. I think he is starting to realize how badly he’s screwed up, and is lashing out to find a way to keep from admitting it. Karen is traumatized but still asking the right questions, and the evidently unflappable Foggy gets in some great lines on the harried FBI Agent. Ray doesn’t want to hear that the attacker wasn’t Daredevil. Finally, Foggy pulls her out of the session, and she’s impressed by his resilience. The pile of phones formerly belonging to her coworkers, now in evidence bags, show a barrage of messages and texts coming in, and Karen is even more upset. Foggy takes a call from Marci as Karen announces she’s going to the hospital.
Ray is not maintaining a good balance either, as we see from his end of a call with his wife. Clearly, he’s letting some things slip, and ends up trying some of his boss’ advice. He gets an important note from a coworker before he finishes the call, and has to deal with the next issue. Matt pays a call on someone we haven’t seen for a bit, following up the idea Maggie had. Matt’s source is worried, and pleads that he was forced to help Fisk. He makes Matt a good offer, which Matt turns down, again from pride and stubbornness. It’s a really bad decision in my opinion, but I understand it somewhat. Matt is not going to take no for an answer, and gets very pushy here. Foggy finally makes it home and has a surprising reunion with Marci.
Honest enough to be bothered by some of Karen’s questions, Ray actually does some investigating, however reluctantly. He has proof now that things aren’t going the way they should, and needs more information. His suspect is initially blasé and evasive, then asks for a lawyer. As a general rule, innocent people who are just in for a few questions don’t feel the need to do that, and Ray knows this. Tammy, Ray’s boss, draws the same inference when Ray briefs her. In classic cop movie fashion, he asks for more time to look into things on his own, and gets it. Foggy and Marci deal with some aftermath of their own, but of a much better sort. Foggy asks her a question and she wisely doesn’t think this is the best time to get into something new. While she goes to get ready for work, Foggy starts neatening up, and makes a surprising discovery. I’m not being coy here, they don’t tell us what he found.
Karen goes to the hospital, and finds out some of the family of the wounded and dead are not at all fans of hers. This scene has a major flaw in it, right off the bat. Last episode, we saw Ellison lying on the floor at the newspaper, no attention being paid to him, no first aid, nothing. The only way that makes sense is if he’s dead. But, he’s alive and well and joking a bit as Karen comes calling. Things start off all right, but Karen hints she knows more than she’s telling. Ellison goes from relaxed to enraged in nothing flat, and gives her a very hard choice to make. Matt gets led to a new place in search of clues to the identity of Faux-Devil. There are a lot of surprises and twists here, including an epic fight, a slight lead, a nod to another comic book character, and yet another ill-timed FBI raid. Fisk really does have them doing his dirty work. Matt gets away, but his source doesn’t, and Matt loses a potentially really good resource.
Ray knows he needs to do some follow up, and goes to see Fisk. Fisk is meeting with his new aide, Wesley’s replacement I suppose. Fisk makes a decision that could sound like he’s going soft, but it’s actually the most coldly logical choice, and I understand why he does it. Ray narrowly misses making a big discovery, and has a conversation with Fisk. Fisk isn’t reassuring at all, and Ray looks ill by the end of the conversation. Matt goes to clean up, and gets once again taunted by the demons in his head, given familiar form. Not giving in, Matt goes and does something utterly unrelated to his bringing down Fisk, something a hero would do. He gets a lot of abuse for it, but delivers his message.
Marci gets home to see Foggy in what appears to be some kind of obsessive fit. He just needs a wall and some yarn or string. When she manages to get his attention, he seems fine and makes a startling announcement. A shattered Karen makes a call I didn’t think we’d see from her, and doesn’t at all get the answer she hoped for. Sobbing now, she gets some very vague parting words. I feel really bad for her in this scene.
Ray goes home, arguing about getting prison footage as he arrives. He’s definitely looking at things more closely now, and not liking the roadblocks in his way. Getting in, there’s a nice surprise for him for once, although I’m not sure how he’s surprised by it given the earlier phone call with his wife. He gets some very nice things said about him, and then a hard reality check in private. He had that one coming. Seeking to make amends, he goes downstairs to fetch more drinks. Ever notice how rarely something good happens in a basement? Ray gets an unexpected visitor, and the case is going to take a new turn after this development. It was a great place to leave things off.
What I liked: I don’t usually comment on this, but the title for this episode is dead on perfect. Everyone is dealing with what happened in the previous episode, and I’d say just about everyone could benefit from some therapy at this point, and none of them will seek it out. Ray, after hitting a new low with Karen, is starting to redeem himself, at least a bit. He’s not happy about it, but he’s starting to see the conspiracy around him. Fisk is just plain brilliant. Matt’s source and the fight they had were really impressive, even on the heels of last episode’s matchup. I felt so bad for Karen on her phone call. Matt had a very good scene with Maggie near the beginning of it. Charlie Cox played him very well as wholly thrown off by that fight.
What I didn’t: Fisk’s big reveal here was just sloppy work by the FBI. Who did the vetting here? Or are we supposed to assume this was another of the big man’s payoffs? I’m hoping he calms down when not on drugs and in pain, but I thought Ellison went a bit off the deep end. I did mention the oddness around Ellison’s apparent death last time. Something was off in there somewhere. It’s in character, but Matt turning down everything that remotely sounded like help here was irksome.
Overall, this was another really good episode, which makes the fact that this is the last season even more frustrating. I’ll give this a 4 out of 5.