Daredevil, Season 1, Episode 5 (World on Fire) / Episode 6 (Condemned).
It’s weird to think it, but Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk are alike more than they should be. They both have this vision in aiding a better future for the city – but their methods may be slightly different. When discussing his criminal acts to Vanessa, Wilson honestly states that he takes “no pleasure in it”, a line which contradicts what Matt had said in Cut Man. It’s interesting to see how Matt and Wilson have near-identical ambitions and yet both character’s actions cannot be morally justified. However unlike Matt, Wilson is more prepared in making his vision become a reality. An alarming sense is created when we discover no judicial member can be trusted – Wilson practically has control and influence over all of Hell’s Kitchen. This battle between Wilson, Matt and the Russians could never end well in a crime fuelled society. The previous episode promised a “war”, and it sure is being delivered.
At first we see Claire and Matt closer than ever – until they’re not. It’s a cliché technique to distance romantic interests before a time of peril, so that after the events the two can rekindle with even more passion. This was probably the biggest give-away that something big was coming this episode (I mean, other than the overt title World on Fire). An element of surprise could have aided the episode to enhance the exhilarating plot, yet it more or less still works anyway. Also, it’s difficult to complain about Claire and Matt’s scene when it’s the first time we get to see Matt’s vision first-hand.
Karen and Foggy are once again sidelined to their own separate cases whilst Matt is made the centre of attention. It’s not to say that Karen and Foggy’s scenes weren’t touching, because they absolutely were. Yet the problem is that they aren’t given extravagant cases whilst Matt is out there kicking ass. Although even Matt’s storyline in World on Fire is a bit underplayed, being framed as Anatoly’s killer should’ve been enough for one episode. Instead, Matt is able to clear his name from the murders immediately without there being much conflict. It isn’t until the last seven minute where things pick up.
Several locations around Hell’s Kitchen burst in flames as Wilson intended to wipe out the Russian mobs. This also included Karen and Foggy who’re then given a more integral role. Wilson and Vanessa watch over the burning city, and Matt attempts to talk to Vladimir before the Wilson-influenced cops appear… Boom indeed.
Let’s talk about Matt and Vladimir first. He takes Vladimir to an abandoned warehouse and (surprise, surprise) Claire is contacted to help Matt treat Vladimir. The unpredictability of where Vladimir’s intentions lie is perhaps what amplified how interesting the two can be. At times it seems he could be aiding Matt, yet he mostly was leading him on. By the end it’s clear that Vladimir purely intended to die in fashion. He succeeded for the most part. So not only does Matt retrieve the information of Leland Owsley which he needed, but he also gets an epic confrontation with Wilson.
“That’s what makes you dangerous… It’s not the mask, it’s not the skills, it’s your ideology.”
As I’ve said, in the end we’re basically looking at characters with similar motivations, just different techniques. In the end, they both share the same ideology. Wilson actually states how he respects Matt’s conviction, because they’re essentially mutual characters. But where will these motivations lead us? The masked man is now classed as the person responsible for these attacks and it’s going to make Matt’s motivations even harder to achieve.
+ “I’m not trying to be a hero”, I find this whole concept of understanding Matt’s motivations completely well thought. It’s interesting to discover more about the character as the episodes progress.
+ “You stand there and watch me die. Is that where we draw the line ?” Can Matt have it in his heart to kill Wilson? It’s what Vladimir states is the only option, but I find it hard to believe that Marvel would be willing to have Wilson’s blood on Matt’s hands.
+ “Leslie Shumway was an accountant to your Al Capone” – It took me a second to actually realise Vladimir was playing Matt at this point.
+ “If you ever have a client that wants to chat in Punjabi, then I’m your man” – Poor Foggy!