If they hadn’t already used “Aftermath” as a title, it would have worked for this one. The two recurring themes were Matt dealing with the surprise at the end of last episode, and the ever-increasing scope and width of Fisk’s web of corruption and influence. None of the good guys come out of this one in a better place than they went in. it was another episode high in tension and low on action, but it was a really well done piece of storytelling. In a lot of different, and mostly bad, ways, over and over again we see “Revelations.”
The episode opens with Matt going to confront Lantom about a big secret the priest has been keeping. Lantom is someplace you wouldn’t expect to find him doing something interesting that’s a great character piece, but that never gets touched on as Matt drives home his questions and rage. I have to say, he handles himself well, stays in perfect control, and is very justified in his anger. In flashback, we see the first meeting between Sister Maggie-to-be and Battlin’ Jack Murdock, then some of what led to her leaving Jack and baby Matt. Matt gets in a sharp parting line and leaves the priest behind.
Ray, still bleeding a bit, goes to an off-site, off the books meeting with his boss and Agent Winn from OPR. At the risk of understatement, nothing goes as expected, and Ray finds out some things he really didn’t want to know, and gets put in a very bad situation. Karen is frantically packing, while Foggy tries to talk her out of fleeing. They both make good points, Foggy gives her the little help he can, and they go their separate ways. In her position, I’d probably run, too.
Sister Maggie helps a kid get ready for a big change, doing her good work. Lantom brings her an unsettling message, and she runs. As she mourns something she’s lost, Matt breaks into a facility we’ve seen before. The man’s running out of places to stay. Past a familiar poster that mentions a character from another show, Matt makes some preparations and talks with a ghost from his past. Ray takes care of himself as best he can after his wounding. He gets an unexpected visitor who carries a strongly implied threat to his family and shows him how much his work life has changed. It’s another nicely crafted, very tense scene.
Foggy struggles with some home repair issues as Marci comes in. She brings some rare good news that completely stuns him. Ray makes a call that shows how much he’s fallen under the sway of the dark side, but he really doesn’t have a choice. I’ve not liked him for a lot of this season, but I actually feel really bad for him this episode. Matt continues his preparations, talks with a ghost of his past, and makes an ominous declaration. Maggie, slightly recovered from earlier, tends to one of her young charges in the park, which is where Karen finds her. They have a talk, filling each other in on what’s going on with Matt, and Maggie tells Karen about Matt’s past. Maggie makes Karen an offer that I don’t imagine is going to make anyone’s life any easier, but it’s well meant.
Ray continues to have a really bad day at work, and gets put under close observation as the net draws tighter around him. He gets more threats tossed his way, and looks like he’s slowly being crushed under the accumulating weight on his shoulders. Foggy’s family is watching a new viral video and celebrating what it might mean, when brother Theo pulls Foggy aside. Theo comes bearing more bad news and once again demonstrating how far Fisk’s reach goes. He really does have his tentacles everywhere, even if that’s more a Hydra image. Ray’s day gets even worse, and it’s the first time we hear Fisk’s comic book handle, Kingpin. Ray’s team gets sent on some missions that aren’t at all what they seem on paper, and round up some familiar and new names, including a recurring character from Luke Cage. Things really are getting to the point where Matt needs to swallow some damn pride and get some help. Ray also hears a story behind how Fisk got his hooks in someone.
Fisk changes to a new outfit, and does a minor flexing of his power to make someone help him. Ray is pushed into relaying another message and it almost brings him to tears. Fisk makes his plans and points out the obvious. The man has some very keen insight into his foes, which is part of what makes him so dangerous.
Matt gets some advice and character analysis, both of which he chooses to ignore. His fellow conversationalist changes suddenly, and taunts him badly. Matt loses his temper and shows the reality of his situation. I suspect he knew it already, but this demonstrated it more clearly. Naturally, he ignores this, too. A very unexpected meeting is called, with the participants having no say in their attendance. The man behind it reveals himself, and what happens to those who refuse him. He also shows an enforcer that startles everyone at the table.
The civilian garbed Matt gets where he’s going, changes to working clothes, and makes a few preparations. As it turns out, several people aren’t where we were made to think, or where some others expected them to be. Tensions get worse among people who are being forced to work together. Matt makes his own plans, and finds a few secrets. He has a terse conversation with someone who shows they have no interest in being a hero in any sense. Matt’s mission, that he’s set up very cleverly, gets derailed when he overhears a radio transmission with a surprising name and location. It’s a big cliffhanger to end on, leaving Matt a difficult choice.
What I liked: The writing and acting on this show continues to impress me. The different plots and plans are intersecting in unexpected ways. Fisk’s influence is truly amazing, as is his long-term planning. There were a lot of shocking reveals and unexpected secrets. I liked how they handled the scene with Matt and Lantom at the beginning, as well as the peek at Lantom’s off-hours. I feel really bad for both Foggy and Ray, who are both in horrible situations. I’m not sure what to make of the Karen/Maggie alliance, but I can’t see it ending well.
What I didn’t: As I keep saying, Fisk’s reach borders on the unbelievable without some kind of powered asset on his side, which we’ve seen no sign of. Things are so bad at this point I’m not sure I see a way out for the good guys, the few of them left on that side anyway.
This is a really short review, because there were so many intricate details I don’t want to spoil. I’ll once again give this a 4 out of 5. Really impressive work.