This Daredevil review contains spoilers.
Daredevil Season 3 Episode 6
Oh dear. It turns out that if you hide your identity, anyone can dress up as you and claim to be you. And then people die. Let’s be fair, the person-imitating-superhero-by-wearing-their-superhero trope is as old as the genre, but rarely has it been this brutal devastating as Dex attacks the Bulletin offices in a Daredevil costume and finishes off Jasper Evans alongside most of Karen’s colleagues.
Showrunner Erik Oleson spoke to us recently about wanting to say something with Daredevil, and it’s hard not to draw parallels with the attacks on media organizations we’ve seen over the last few years (and indeed, possibly even on the day this review is being written). Personally, I don’t see Fisk killing a bunch of newspeople doing anything other than coming back to bite him before the end of the season.
But let’s rewind a bit. The start of this episode saw Matt come to Karen. Her reaction – cold and spiky – was a great choice for the character. Who can blame her for being done with Matt’s nonsense? Would any of us put up with the treatment she’s had from Matt Murdock?
And yet within this episode, Foggy also gives us a great speech about the selflessness of friendship, about being there for people who need you even when they say they don’t, and it all makes sense. He’s there for Matt because he wants to be better than Matt. In a way, he and Karen are the real heroes.
Of course, Karen can’t let things lie and that’s how we get to the ending, courtesy of Fisk’s manipulation of Dex. I didn’t have a clue that Fisk was going to use Bullseye to frame Daredevil (even though the framing (by someone else) is a major part of Born Again. Bullseye (as I’m going to insist on calling Dex because that’s who he is) has a history of impersonating superheroes, including Daredevil, though his longest stretch of doing this in the comics was actually filling in as the evil version of Hawkeye in the Dark Avengers.
The climax of the episode is another example of how great the action in Daredevil has been this season, with high stakes for every fight and inventive choreography. Dex going full Bullseye and trying to kill Matt with office supplies and/or whatever’s to hand reminded me of the fight in Kevin Smith’s Guardian Devil storyline, in which Daredevil knocks out two of Bulleye’s teeth only to find himself blocking them seconds later, millimetres away from striking him in both eyes. That’s why Bullseye’s terrifying.
In any case, it all goes badly and we’re left wondering what just happened. Clearly, Fisk has framed Daredevil – but where did that costume come from? Why did Bullseye claim to know Karen? And why leave Foggy and Karen alive? I’m as gripped by this show as I’ve ever been by anything. And hey, if we have to see the red suit back in action, at least it’s in a context where we’re allowed to hate it…
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