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DAREDEVIL Episode 10 Recap: Who Is ‘The Man in the Box?’

Warning: This recap contains spoilers for the Daredevil episode “The Man in the Box.” Leave the ring and find a fight away from this page if you haven’t seen the episode yet.

Well, hell. I don’t think it’s acceptable for my recap to be a string of exclamation points, but the punctuation would be an appropriate summary for the tenth episode of season two of Marvel’s Daredevil. “The Man in the Box” was comprised of a string of violent, bizarre events and an insanely intense confrontation between Matt and Fisk. Let’s start with their chat because it was the most compelling part of the excellent episode.

After learning Frank escaped from prison and realizing he was in the same cell block as Fisk, Matt smartly jumped to the conclusion Fisk played a part in Frank’s sudden change of address. He visited Fisk and, for better or worse, Matt didn’t respond to intimidation. Fisk is usually so careful about maintaining a calm and collected exterior; his demeanor means he’s not as likely to be a suspect should anything go awry. The wonder of Vincent D’Onofrio in this role is that he’s chilling whether he’s playing innocent or unleashing fury. He’s masterful and it was electric to watch him go up against Charlie Cox.

However, Matt went too far in their verbal face-off when he threatened Vanessa. It didn’t really get him answers–Matt went in already knowing Fisk was wielding a ton of power within the prison–and it just served to put him higher up on Fisk’s to-murder list, along with Foggy. And dumb, foolish Matt tried to talk Fisk out of targeting Foggy; his pleas likely only encouraged Fisk to give Foggy more attention. Bravado isn’t always a good thing, and Matt is usually more controlled in these situations. I think his recent failures and lack of progress are pushing him over the edge. He’s taking more risks, and he’s not in a position where he should be rocking the boat. Like Claire said, he needs to go home and sleep for at least three days.

Fisk flipping the help out wasn’t the only shocking surprise of “The Man in the Box.” The biggest “what the hell” moment came early in the episode when Reyes called Matt, Foggy, and Karen to her office. The secrets she’d been keeping about Frank tumbled out. It was apparent before she said a word that she was frazzled and desperate. She felt responsible for everything Frank has done since she covered up the murder of his family. Though Frank didn’t pull the trigger, someone else decided to punish Reyes–well, actually it was more about keeping her quiet.

Daredevil isn’t a warm and fuzzy series. We see lots of blood, cuts, and scrapes. Still, something about watching Foggy huddling on the floor, shot, and covered in Reyes’ blood–the image is burned into my brain.

The shooter struck again at Karen’s apartment. She’s moved forward with investigating the conspiracy, and I’m so happy with her arc over the season. She’s occasionally too over-eager, but she’s driven and I like her having a path that has nothing to do with Foggy or Matt. She’s found this and established the working relationship with Ellison on her own.

The weirdness continued at the hospital. Matt had the victims from the Farm, who were having their blood drained, taken to Claire, and she was less than excited to see him. Poor Claire. Her only mistake has been being kind to the weirdos in her city, and it’s brought her nothing but grief.

Besides the fact Rosario Dawson is a treasure, Claire’s a valuable perspective to have around. She knows Matt’s secret and she doesn’t bring the same baggage to the table as Foggy. (By the way, I know it doesn’t make sense for the story right now, but I need Foggy and Matt to be friends again.) Claire, by and large, gave Matt the same advice as Foggy. She’s worried about him isolating himself. It’s not healthy. When in the history of ever has a superhero done well by closing him or herself off from people around them? Matt admitted he’s feeling useless since everything he’s done has been undone. His frustrations weren’t wrong, and a huge number of ninjas showing up at the hospital to extract the Farm subjects probably didn’t help Matt’s insecurities.

“The Man in the Box” centered on Matt and the doubt he’s facing. I’ve been entertained by Elektra, Frank, and Fisk, but thanks to Matt’s chat with Claire, we got a more honest idea of what was happening in his head. He’s running on fumes, he’s a bit downtrodden, and it’s not a great place to be. The last thing he needs to deal with right now is all those ninjas (which is honestly the last thing any of us need to deal with ever).

Random thoughts:

  • Damn, D’Onofrio does unadulterated rage like no one else. I sort of forgot how scary he can be.
  • Claire is the wise voice of reason. We get it. She doesn’t need to speak only in cliche-like phrases.

Favorite quotes:

  • “And here I was hoping my day wouldn’t get worse.” – Claire
  • “Rules are what separate us from the animals.” – Donovan

Were you shocked by what happened with Reyes? How did you feel about Fisk and Matt’s talk? Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments.

IMAGES: Netflix, Malisses Icons

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