Daredevil Season 3 Episode 5 Review: The Perfect Game

The Kingpin learns about Bullseye’s dark past in Marvel's Daredevil season 3 episode 5 on Netflix.

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

This Daredevil review contains spoilers.

Daredevil Season 3 Episode 2

Ooh, it’s a bold move to do an episode of Daredevil that barely has Daredevil in it, but I don’t need to tell you guys I am completely in the can for it. Of course, I didn’t expect for a second that Matt might actually die in the river but the knowledge that he would be back – and indeed, that he made it out somehow – was enough to keep me on edge for the entire episode.

There’s a certain coolness to the FBI turning up at Matt’s house demanding he show himself, not least because that has previously been Matt’s sanctuary. Once your enemies show up there, there’s no going back to it. Fisk trying to frame Matt is a cruel way for him to take revenge, but I do wonder if he realizes the extent to which Matt is trying to cut people off. Will it actually slow him down?

Foggy bringing Karen in on the matter of Matt’s alive-ness is a good way to show that the characters will be avoiding the mistakes of the past, at least. Matt might sincerely want to protect Karen, but Foggy knows from experience not to make Karen’s decisions for her. As a result, Foggy gets brought in on her secret: finally, we’re having the Wesley conversation, we might get to learn more about the darkness in Karen’s past too.

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further reading – Daredevil Season 3 Villain Revealed: Wilson Bethel on Becoming Bullseye

The best sequence in the episode, though, was the Kingpin’s trawl through Dex’s past. The cinematic technique of having the Kingpin watching the events unfold silently as a way of dramatizing his search through audio tapes and paper files was surprisingly powerful, if only for the juxtaposition of his huge frame and predatory manner over the vulnerable and confused child version of Dex. It’s rare we talk about the ambition of a Netflix TV production, but between the long take sequence last episode and the unique spin on this flashback, it’s hard not to be impressed by just how unworkmanlike Daredevil is being.

Of course, the guy himself – the adult Dex – is manipulated quite expertly by the Kingpin, who does what he does best: manipulates his vulnerability. We can only assume that he knew Dex would fail to reconnect with Julie in anything other than a catastrophic way. You can say this for Daredevil: it might not be quick, but every scene is advancing some plot in a non-trivial way, and we really feel the consequences of how things play out. This is a show using its time well.

Agent Nadeem is also playing straight into Fisk’s hands. I’m unsure whether he’s going to get turned or whether he’s just too dumb and eager to see the forest for the trees. I believe he’s a good guy, but I’m not sure he’s doing the right thing by trusting Fisk to the extent that he is. One thing’s for sure: he’s inches away from a much bigger story than he realises, and knowing the storyline they’re playing with here I can’t help but wonder what direction things will go in.

further reading – Complete Daredevil Season 3 Marvel Comics References and Easter Egg Guide

Comics-wise, there are a few things to note in this episode. Firstly, Felix Manning first appears as a Fixer for the Kingpin in Born Again (Daredevil #230, 1986) and dies an issue later. More excitingly, this version of Bullseye’s backstory cobbles together its own ideas with the version from Bullseye: Greatest Hits (2004) where he’s a pitcher who deliberately kills a batter with a throw, and the version from Elektra #2 (1986) where he’s a kid with precocious aiming abilities.

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further reading – Daredevil: A Bullseye Reading Order

The name, though, comes from a Bullseye miniseries of the same name from 2011 where he, er, spends a year away from crime as a baseball pitcher. Oh, and Dex’s baseball team has the Bullseye logo as their own. Will we see him wear it? The realist in me says probably not, but the comics nerd in me would love them to just own it. Guess we’ll find out…

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