Daredevil, Season 1, Episode 3 (Rabbit in a Snow Storm) / Episode 4 (In the blood).
Notably, episodes three and four avoids showing Matt as a child. After using the first two episodes to introduce audiences to this criminal fuelled New York and exploring characters Matt, Foggy and Karen, we discover who’s behind this snowstorm of chaos. Wilson Fisk was unnamed in previous episodes, so we didn’t know what kind of man he is. According to the Russian brothers, Fisk is “just a man” opposed to this antagonising villain. That’s what the writers wanted those new to Daredevil to think. Rabbit in a Snow Storm ends with Wilson Fisk looking at the painting of the snowstorm, it’s an iconic way to visually introduce Wilson and the future Vanessa Fisk. Even during In the blood, we’re lead to believe that Wilson is more-or-less an ordinary man who seeks a relationship. He likes fine art, he’s interested in a woman and he awkwardly takes her out to a new Italian restaurant – how could we possibly fear this man? Well let’s not be fooled…
Rabbit in a Snow Storm is more about putting the puzzle pieces together than Fisk himself. Matt and Foggy take on a new case assigned to them by Union Allied – yet Matt himself uses his vision and detects that there’s something fishy about this easy money. He goes ahead with the case anyway knowing that he can bring himself closer to the Russian brothers employer. During this time, Karen’s criticised of her role due to her at first being a client and then working with Matt and Foggy. It leads Karen to partake her own investigation as she tries to expose more on Union Allied. This builds a perfect bridge so that there’s two storylines between these episodes – Matt trying to find out about Wilson Fisk and Karen working with Ben Urich to uncover information about Union Allied.
The actual case which Matt and Foggy were allocated to defend wasn’t as engaging as it could be. It was extremely obvious that the defendant was guilty (we literally witnessed the murder), yet it was even more obvious that he didn’t fit into the bigger picture. They weren’t defending another prime character such as Karen – this man here was insignificant other than the fact that Union Allied were interested in his safety. Luckily, Matt fights the defendant and requests the name of the employer. Wilson Fisk is finally revealed.
Now we’re In the blood. We’re given a bit of context to the Russian brothers and their desire to never sink so low again. It’s a wonderful characterising moment, but of course the main attention is the present day conflict. The masked man has become an alerting threat to many criminals within Hell’s Kitchen and they intend to deal with him. This of course leads him to be patched up by Claire where they rightfully worry about Claire’s protection. It’s surprising that the Russian’s hadn’t found Claire as it was, yet while being threatened by Fisk’s involvement, they enforce dealing with the masked man as their priority. Claire is therefore found and kidnapped – but of course she still didn’t know Matt’s name at this point. She was essentially useless and would’ve most likely ended up dead soon (even though there were orders not to kill her), so it’s lucky Matt turned up when he did. Again, this scene feels very Arrow-esque as we’ve treaded in these kidnaps before where the light flickers and the vigilante heroically appears. It’s difficult for Daredevil to show us something unique whilst The CW are broadcasting a pop-culture programme as such, but it’s still entertaining nonetheless.
It isn’t until the end where we see the Russian’s have greatly underestimated that Wilson Fisk and the masked man are “just a man”. Matt literally had knocked out several armed men and rescued Claire – something “just a man” physically shouldn’t be able to do. Wilson on the other hand becomes upset as his date with Vanessa is intruded by Anatoly. This is when we discover why exactly Wilson Fisk is more than a man. I honestly do not believe I’m going to be capable of wiping the slamming car-door scene out of my mind. But there we are, the series has introduced its hero, now its villain – however now we’re left with a promise of starting a war. It seems it’ll be a good one, “I’m counting on it”.
+ Ben Urich wants to report on real news. There was never any doubt that he wouldn’t aid Karen in her investigation.
+ “If he had an iron suit or a magic hammer, then maybe it would explain why you keep getting your asses handed to you”… You obviously haven’t seen Daredevil in action then.
+ Head-butting yourself onto a spike? Jeez, he must really fear Wilson then.
– Rabbit in a Snow Storm shouldn’t have just been setting out the bricks for the next episode, it really felt like a wasted opportunity for some more characterisation.