Daredevil Season 3 Episode 8 Review: Upstairs/Downstairs

Deborah Ann Woll continues to do an excellent job in Daredevil season 3. Spoilers ahead in our episode 8 review...

This Daredevil review contains spoilers.

Daredevil Season 3 Episode 8

Ooh, we can finally talk about the Sister Maggie thing that I’ve been trying to avoid mentioning for weeks in case it came up, and that’s that she’s Matt’s biological mother. This was something skirted around during Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil – she first appeared in Daredevil #229 (1986) – but which Matt didn’t confirm for real until Kevin Smith’s (excellent) Guardian Devil storyline more than a decade later.

But that scene only forms the very end of this episode, so I won’t dwell on it more than I have. There are two huge developments here and they’re both as a result of that truly electric scene between Fisk and Karen. First, Kingpin knows that Karen killed Wesley. Second, he got confirmation from Karen that Matt is Daredevil. Both of these developments are huge, and it’s a safe bet the rest of the series from now is going to be steered by them.

further reading: Complete Daredevil Season 3 Marvel Easter Eggs Guide

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Whether or not you think Karen’s plan was smart or believable (I’m not sure I think either) it’s hard not to have been gripped by the two actors at work here. I’ve said before what a great job Deborah Ann Woll is doing here and matching D’Onofrio’s huge-as-hell performance as Fisk is no mean feat. We’ve been waiting for the Wesley shoe to drop for years and I’m glad it finally has – though it makes me certain that either Fisk or Karen are going to die this season because I can’t imagine them both living their lives with that admission out there.

Meanwhile, in plot-land, Foggy’s run for DA takes a turn when he calls Blake Tower out over Fisk, and Nadeem and Matt close in on Dex. It sort of seems ridiculous that the plan is still “let’s send Fisk back to prison” when he’s semi-openly inflicting untold brutality on everyone around him. The “Do I kill Fisk?” question was debated quite hotly during the first season of the show and while it was solved to an extent, this more desperate, cornered version of Matt should probably give it another think.

further reading: Daredevil Season 3 Ending Explained

Dex trying to reconnect with Julie was another thing I found a little bit of a stretch, and I can’t say I’m entirely thrilled that they brought her back just to fridge her, given how tired that trope is. I’d prefer Bullseye was just a psychopath rather than a psychopath upset about a dead girl. I like that Nadeem is working with Matt, though – it’s always more enjoyable when characters get on the same page in the face of things that are self-evident to the audience instead of squabbling over positions that we know are objectively wrong.

Although this series is loosely adapting Born Again, I like that they changed Karen’s role in the story. In the comics, she sells Daredevil’s identity for drugs and it gets back to Fisk. Here, she’s still the one who lets Fisk know, but it’s a much less cruel way for it to happen. I’m guessing we’ll learn about Karen’s past eventually. Probably in episode ten, which is just called “Karen.” Can you feel my TV reviewing experience?

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