And we are back with Daredevil this Wednesday. If the first episode wasn’t enough to make you fall in love with Matty (that’s what I call him because I feel we’re super close) than the second episode is sure too. The second episode, titled, “Cut Man,” also written by Drew Goddard, piggybacks off of Into The Ring’s end sequence to bring us directly into the aftermath events of Matt’s attempt to rescue a young boy who was kidnapped by the Russian Ranskahov brothers. However, Matt’s valiant attempts we less than successful as the episode opens with a badly beaten and bloody Matt lying inside of a dumpster.
Cut Man’s theme centered on the mentality of being able to getting back up after you’ve fallen or been knocked down. Pulled from a dumpster and helped by a nurse, Claire Temple played by Rosario Dawson, with broken ribs, possible internal bleeding, stab wounds and a concussion, Matt unsuspecting gains his first Daredevil related ally.
The episode split it’s segments almost evenly in half between scenes of Matt with his Father, Jack and Matt attempting to recover from his critical injuries in Claire’s apartment, whom tries to adjust to the fact that a masked, blind man is acting as Hell’s Kitchen knight in shining armor as she patches him up.
Following the flashback timeline in this episode, we were able to learn that sometimes Matt’s father, Jack would agree to throw fights in the ring for a large payout in order to support him and his son, even though he hated it and it made him ashamed. Unaware that his father threw fights, in a scene prior to Matt’s accident his father tells him, “It ain’t how you hit the mat, it’s how you get back up.”
When Matt’s pulled from a flashback/dream of the past with a collapsing lung or a pneumothorax, (thank you, Google) Claire has to puncture his chest to release the pressure/air. She becomes even more concerned that his reluctance to call an ambulance will lead to Matt’s death. Matt explains that the people who work for the Ranskahov Brothers’ would kill a ton of people if he goes to a hospital. Matt reveals to Claire that he was trying to save a kidnapped boy, but he ended up walking into a trap.
Matt senses someone in the building has come looking for him and after Claire’s attempt to get rid of the guy fails, Matt (very casually) tracks his movements down a flight of stairs before releasing a fire extinguisher onto his head, knocking him unconscious.
Elsewhere, Foggy and Karen Page, (Nelson & Murdock’s first client, now new secretary), head out for a night on the town with a few bar crawls and we learn that after her ordeal Karen now fears what lurks in the shadows around Hell’s Kitchen and to a certain extent she has been having trouble trusting in people again. I thought the plotline between these two in this episode was fantastic. Looking at just their scenes, it was like watching a mini date between a really cute pair/couple growing closer.
Claire and Matt were also growing closer, only they were bonding over the tied up, unconscious Russian on the rooftop of Claire’s building. I really enjoyed watching the interrogation scene on the roof with Matt and Claire because up until this point, Claire’s character is sort of placid. It isn’t until the Russian admits to possibly selling the young boy Matt is trying to save, we see something shift in Claire. Instead of just watching Matt, she steps into help him get the information he wants.
Matt tries to intimidate/scare the guy by dangling him over the side of the roof as says the reason he has been doing all of this vigilantly stuff is because he enjoys hurting people. Once Matt learns the location of where they are holding the young boy, Matt pushes the man over the ledge and into the same dumpster Claire found Matt in earlier that night. As Matt sets off to go find the little boy, Claire tells him that she didn’t believe him when he said that he was doing it because he enjoyed it.
It’s clear that Matt does what he does because no one else will and with his ‘abilities’ it is nearly impossible for him not do what he can to try and help as many people as he can. The closing fight/rescue scene was fantastic to watch. It was shot and staged extremely well and it made me fall in love with the episode’s director, Phil Abraham all over again. The entire scene takes place in a narrow hallway, it done in a single take and runs just under six minutes long.
This scene brings the concept of “It’s not how you hit the mat, it’s how you get back up,” full circle. Even with his injuries from his fight with the Russians hours earlier, Matt manages to keep getting back up to his feet each time he’s knocked down–he really can take a beating. There are literally moments during the fight that Matt fumbles as he fights these guys or uses them for support to stand as he beats them.
Screencap of Matt as he closes in on the Russian kidnappers.
Matt continues until the last guy is down, takes a moment to steady himself and lifts his mask before going retrieve the young boy to carry him out to safety. When the episode ended, all I had to say was that Matt fell down on that mat pretty hard, but what a way to get back up. So far, the fight/rescue scene is definitely my favorite; the choreography has this mixture of a sloppy brawl, yet it is distinctly structured. I’ve re-watched it like six times.
Episode rating: 9.5/10, because nothing is ever truly perfect, but some things come pretty darn close. This episode was impactful, layered with deeply rooted morals and a few sad revelations about Matt and his father at times, but I also found it exciting.
On Matt & His Father:
I found that there was a paralleled element implied in regards to Matt and his father’s bond which was a really close one and how that related to the boy Matt was trying to save. The scenes between him and his father were great to watch because even though Matt loses him at such a young age, we get to see that his father’s influence has clearly left a huge impact on him. Furthermore, once we see the way Matt’s father died after refusing to throw a (his last) fight, there becomes this deeper meaning behind the importance of Matt bringing this kid home to his father. On some level, I believe it makes Matt think about how young he was when he lost his father and that drives him forward to prevent this poor boy from experiencing that.
On Claire & Matt:
What I find that secures the connection between Matt and Claire is the audible pained-weight of Matt’s sincerity in the way he says, “Thank you, Claire.” She is the first person, it seems to know his secret and willingly help him since he began this mission. And I feel that it is Claire’s kindness and trust toward him that seems to be the much needed push Matt wasn’t aware he was missing. This is a connection/relationship that I look forward to following throughout the season.
So until next week’s review,