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The Crazed Spruce

S01.E07: Stick

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Stick: Rhymes with prick! *g*

 

Scott Glenn was so golden that I wanted to hit the bastard myself. I really hope he's not really gone because I don't see him (as it were) as worried about Matt's sensibilities.

 

The park scene with Kid Matt and Stick was great.

 

I don't think I'm sleeping much this weekend.

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I just finished bingeing it all. 

 

Having read the comics here and there, I love Stick. After seeing him on the show, wow, I love the interpretation and the actor. They're not exactly the same in personality, but it's definitely still the same character if that makes sense. The actor is just awesome.

Edited by Tandaemonium
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Apparently their first choice for Stick was Sonny Chiba. If we couldn't have him, Scott Glenn is a quite able substitute, a former Marine who's still a fully believable ass kicker despite his age.

 

Really racking my head trying to figure out what Marvel character that could be at the end. If this was DC I'd be thinking Ra's al Ghul, but here I've got nothing. Also, from the voice I was thinking it was Keith David, but then that clearly wasn't his body.

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Really racking my head trying to figure out what Marvel character that could be at the end. If this was DC I'd be thinking Ra's al Ghul, but here I've got nothing. Also, from the voice I was thinking it was Keith David, but then that clearly wasn't his body.

My guess would be Shang-Chi.  If they'd already announced casting, I would have said Iron Fist, but I don't know that in this universe I would expect Danny to be so...established for lack of a better word.  Nor probably quite that hulking.

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Damn! My husband just pointed out that the church is St. Agnes and the orphanage is St. Agnes which is the same orphanage where Skye comes from in S.H.I.E.L.D! Damn!! 

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Really racking my head trying to figure out what Marvel character that could be at the end.

 

I was figuring it was the leader of The Hand? Or is that not part of continuity anymore?

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My take was that Nobu was the leader of the Hand. (The only person to actually call them "Yakuza" was Matt, and that was just an assumption on his part. And when he said it to Stick, he said "You don't even know what's going on in your city." Seemed obvious to me.)

Edited by The Crazed Spruce · Reason: It helps to get the character names right
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Really racking my head trying to figure out what Marvel character that could be at the end. If this was DC I'd be thinking Ra's al Ghul, but here I've got nothing. Also, from the voice I was thinking it was Keith David, but then that clearly wasn't his body.

 

 

I'm wondering if that was supposed to be Stone, who was another one of the group that worked with Stick against the Hand in the comics. I'm guessing they're setting up the Hand as a big threat for the next season (which would entail bringing in Elektra, no doubt).

 

The Shang-Chi guess is a possible one, too.

 

I know there are plans for an Iron Fist series, so perhaps they are going to try and make all of those disparate comics properties more tightly wound in the MCU, and this guy is connected to K'un-L'un? He does mention something like "Will he be ready when the gate opens?" which could tie into a K'un-L'un connection. (Possibly it is Lei-Kung, the Thunderer?)

 

(Part of me hopes that the character was T-Ray, Deadpool's nemesis- the deep voice and scars made me think of him first- but he has no ties to Daredevil, nor to Stick or the Hand, and is probably a Fox property.)

 

In any event, Scott Glenn was awesome as Stick. I love the dynamic between him and Matt, that they were able to present him as this utterly cold, mean-spirited character, yet endow him with enough charisma and deep layers of sentiment that he comes across as very three-dimensional, and not just a caricature. 

Edited by Cthulhudrew
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I was looking forward to seeing Stick and he didn't disappoint.  I saw Scott Glenn on The Others.  He excels at playing the unlikeable but compelling prick.  He worked great off Charlie Cox here and I like seeing Matt "team-up" with someone.  Haven't seen the rest of the episodes yet so hopefully he'll be back.

 

I'm curious what the whole Black Sky thing is about.

 

Another really good episode.

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Yep, if you need have a mentor character like Stick, who is crusty, tough, and, well, kind of an asshole, you really can't go wrong with Scott Glenn.  Talk about close to perfect casting right there.  The flashbacks were great, and the build up to Matt/Stick finally coming to blows, was great.  Again, I'm sure a lot of it was stunt work, but there were still a few times I could tell it was actually Charlie Cox and Scott Glenn doing the fight, which is impressive as always.

 

Of course, I now really want to know who Stick was talking to at the end.  Have to think he is going to be a big character, considering the mystery surrounding it.

 

More movement in the Ben/Karen mystery.  Really glad that Foggy is now in the loop as well, so hopefully we'll be getting to see more interactions between those three.  The Karen/Elaine scene was fun comic relief.  Deborah Ann Woll actually had pretty good comic timing on True Blood, so I'm not surprised she is pretty good at it here.

 

Leland strikes me as someone who is probably going to boast that he totally kicked "Black Mask's" ass, and just not bring up the fact that he was distracted and used a tazer to do so.  His eventual downfall should be fun.  Bob Gunton is having a blast in this role.

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I laughed when Leland called Matt an "asshole" after getting into his car and driving off.  He's been a blast in the role.

 

Also wanted to add that I'm glad Foggy's been read in to Ben and Karen's investigating.

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And then they bring in Scott Glenn.

 

Now I kind of want to go watch 'Silverado.'

 

The dynamic between Stick and Matt was really well done... from the flashbacks to 'real time' and all the training that Stick gave Matt only to crush his paper bracelet and ditch him because he was too soft and wanted a father while Stick was only looking for a weapon/warrior. 

 

(Although I am wondering about Black Sky and what that's all about...)

 

A lot of of this episode made me think 'We're coming back to this in Iron Fist, aren't we?' Which just excites me. Everything about this series excites me for what's to come. Seriously, I may die of spontaneous fangirl explosion when the Defenders finally get together.

 

Back to the show, though... if Stick left Matt when he was still that young where did he get his training afterwards? Inquiring minds...

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And then they bring in Scott Glenn.

 

Now I kind of want to go watch 'Silverado.'

 

Because that's what right-thinking Americans should think about that! *g*

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I have to admit, the previous episodes (especially ep. 6) made my interest in the show wane, but this one brought me back on track. Stick is cool, and he brings us some tantalizing hints about the bigger mythology of the show (or so I hope). Also, we finally learn about Matt's super abilities - he was just born with them. Also, he's mother is alive - a Chekhov's gun if I ever heard one.

Like that Karen brought Foggy in... But seriously, ANOTHER damsel in distress moment? She did try to fight them off, and helped, so points for that, but this shit is getting annoying, show.

 

The "No killing" thing is getting annoying as well. I just don't feel like letting the hero stay squeaky clean fits the world of the show. If he'll manage to avoid killing anyone even accidentally, my suspension of disbelief will be broken. I really like that MCU doesn't preach this overdone no killing thing, didn't expect to encounter it on this show, of all places. I mean, I understand why the character doesn't want to do it - it makes sense, no questions - but my problem is whether the show will let him get away with it, because I vote no. If you want grittiness and realism, then go all the way with it, sometimes there really aren't any other options, like it or not.

Edited by FurryFury

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I wish we would have learned more about the Black Sky, especially because it was a kid in chains.  

 

Scott Glenn was great.  He made me both smile and hate him a little.  

 

The "No Killing" thing makes me think of Avatar Aang in The Last Airbender.  But at least Aang was just a kid.  Even if Matt doesn't want to kill himself, I don't see why he's so opposed to someone else doing it.  

 

Leland Owlsley is a hoot.  

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Leland Owlsley is a hoot.

 

Hee!

 

I wish we would have learned more about the Black Sky, especially because it was a kid in chains.

 

I would like more info, too.  I mean, Stick's an asshat, but to be that sure that killing that kid was the only way?  Not saying he had to have his arm twisted, but he had to know Matt wasn't going to be down, no matter the reason.

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If they don't at least deal with it in Iron Fist that's going to be a huge disappointment. It's actually kind of funny to me how much stuff in Daredevil strikes me as things that can be brought back in Iron Fist.

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I know we're supposed to find Stick a Stoic Magnificent Bastard, but I ended up doing other things through most of this episode because I just found him so tiresome and cliched.

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Relevant quote from Die Hard 2

 

John McClane: Guess I was wrong about you. You're not such an asshole after all.
Maj. Grant: Oh, you were right. I'm just your kind of asshole.

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I thought there was more to it than Stick just being an asshole.  He wanted a soldier who wasn't swayed by emotions.  Perhaps that wasn't something that was achievable with Matt but there was a purpose behind Stick's particular brand of training.  

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When we first saw Scott Glenn, I didn't recognize him right away and for a second I thought he was some weird hybrid of David Carradine and Lance Henriksen.

 

I know we're supposed to find Stick a Stoic Magnificent Bastard, but I ended up doing other things through most of this episode because I just found him so tiresome and cliched.

 

I just wish they'd made him a more *interesting* asshole.

 

Yeah, the cryptic Zen master trope is one of my least favorite, because it relies on the Poor Communication trope as a plot-forcing device.  It's a sign of lazy/bad writing, which hasn't been in much evidence so far: I've been really enjoying the decent writing, and great characters/acting along with the cinematography.  The entire Stick character is to me a huge misstep in what's been a very solid and compelling show so far.

 

If Black Sky is so truly awful you have to shoot a kid, then why not just tell the hero that the kid is some kind of non-human walking thermonuclear weapon (or whatever he/it is/was, I've only watched through this episode)?  Or even better, instead of sitting on the roof sloooowly assembling an arrow, go down and help him lay waste to all the baddies, then you can make up some story like "This child has powerful gifts- much greater than ours, Matty- but in the wrong hands of Nobu would enact great destruction.  Let me take him, and mentor him, to be a force for good..." and then 5 minutes later when Murdock has left, you slit the kid's throat, or whatever.  Everyone is happy, and Daredevil neither interferes nor knows about your dark task.

 

Also, seriously, Stick sure took his sweet time assembling and then shooting that arrow.  Why not wait one more second while Daredevil is literally mid-swing or jumpkick during a fight to let loose the arrow, so he can't block it?  Stick, your timing sucks, and so do your communication skills. :)

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Of course Stick had to try to kill that kid with an arrow in front of Matt. How else would we get that really cool shot of Matt catching the arrow? And then the epic showdown between student and teacher? Hee.

 

I laughed (out loud, even) at a lot of Stick's lines, though. This episode was the most comedic one yet, despite the dark stuff in it.

 

When Stick was all "you can't even tag an old guy!" I had a flashback to Charlie Cox in Stardust getting beat up by the (very old) guard at the wall.

"The guard at the wall did that to you? He's ninety-seven years old."

"Well, that's given him plenty time to practice then, hasn't it?"

 

When he was giving Matt that "No more half measures" speech? I was like "Mike Ehrmantraut, is that you?"

 

Now I'm wondering if the person Matt's father called before getting killed was not Matt's mother like I initially thought. Maybe it was Stick on the phone. 'Cause stick makes it sound like he knew Jack. But then Jack never wanted his son to take up fighting, so I guess this theory doesn't make any sense.

 

I'm under the impression Stick ditched little Matt because he was starting to get attached to the kid and he didn't want to let himself get all soft and emotional by caring for someone. It was almost like he was about to cry when little Matt gave him that bracelet. And apparently Stick kept that bracelet after all this time, so some part of him is a sentimental softy even though he would never admit it.

 

I bet Stick learned not to get attached to people the hard way. As in people he loved all getting killed.

 

Matt realized Stick cares more about him than he let on, when he found that bracelet in the end (I was all "awww" at Matt's sad puppy face, poor guy looked so lost). I mean, I was all ready for Stick to be just another "zen master" trope, but there are so many more layers to Matt and Stick's relationship. It's so much more complex than I thought it would be!

 

The "No killing" thing is getting annoying as well. I just don't feel like letting the hero stay squeaky clean fits the world of the show.

Speculating here, but I think this is setting up for Matt eventually killing someone. If he has a "no killing" policy to begin with, that makes it a bigger deal if he does kill someone. A fall from grace, as it were. The devil as a tragic figure and all that.
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Now I'm wondering if the person Matt's father called before getting killed was not Matt's mother like I initially thought. Maybe it was Stick on the phone. 'Cause stick makes it sound like he knew Jack. But then Jack never wanted his son to take up fighting, so I guess this theory doesn't make any sense.

 

I seem to recall Jack specifically saying 'Maggie' when he was on the phone. So... unless that's Stick's name, I'm going to say that's not who Jack called.

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I seem to recall Jack specifically saying 'Maggie' when he was on the phone. So... unless that's Stick's name, I'm going to say that's not who Jack called.

 

Plus, we heard her voice on the answering machine to leave a message...and it didn't sound like Stick, either.

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I totally forgot about that and I only watched it yesterday. Ha, my memory is like a steel trap.

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By the way, what a bit of white privilege*: Foggy can walk around Hell's Kitchen - which the show repeatedly tells us is a grimy slum (kinda like the real-life 70s and 80s neighborhood and not so much the current Hell's Kitchen) - just openly carrying a baseball bat, and no one stops him or thinks he's a bad guy.  Yes, it also helps that he's wearing a suit and has no (visible) tattoos, I guess.

 

* and also main character privilege, etc.

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Maybe he's going to the batting cage. You don't know his life!

 

In all seriousness, I just figured that people carrying weapons around was a common enough occurrence in Marvel!Hell's Kitchen that it's noticeable but not something you get all weird about.

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Anyway...

 

What I do remember, is that Kobu was looking at blueprints of Hell's Kitchen when there was that montage of criminal activity in the first episode. It said "Black Sky" in kanji on a blueprint of what looks like city blocks. If the kid is Black Sky, what does he have to do with the blueprints?

 

Okay, time to keep watching and see if the later episodes tie this together.

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I honestly can't recall who the kid is supposed to be in the comics... any ideas?

Stick was... meh... though I think the break should have happened 1, 2 or even 3 years later, not just 1 year later. :)

 

I do wonder, how old is he supposed to be? Since he looks around 70's in the flashback and he looks the same now as well... so, either he IS really slow at aging or that yoga thing is damn good. :)

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What I do remember, is that Kobu was looking at blueprints of Hell's Kitchen when there was that montage of criminal activity in the first episode. It said "Black Sky" in kanji on a blueprint of what looks like city blocks. If the kid is Black Sky, what does he have to do with the blueprints?

There was a Daredevil story about eight years ago called Shadowland where the...let's just say leader...of the Hand built this huge Japanese temple/prison in the middle of Hell's Kitchen and was trying (very brutally) to maintain order.  I assumed that's what they were going for.

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Maybe he's going to the batting cage. You don't know his life!

 

In all seriousness, I just figured that people carrying weapons around was a common enough occurrence in Marvel!Hell's Kitchen that it's noticeable but not something you get all weird about.

In the real world a guy walking around with a baseball bat would be an issue. But this isn't the real world. This is a world where there have been at least 2 large scale alien invasions (one in NYC one in London), a huge portion of the government, and a major intelligence organization (including at least one senator) was infiltrated by a terrorist/Nazi organization and alien abductions are real. Plus that old lady kept looking to her picture of Jesus, but keep in mind that the world has confirmed that one religion is actually real with real gods, but for most people it isn't the religion they believe in. So to me the amount of general stress people must have must be crazy, and a dude carrying around a baseball bat in public probably isn't that big a deal.

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'Okay, so we need someone to play a character who is a reprehensible old asshole that no one likes, but who can still somehow make you believe that Matt once looked up to him as a father figure.'

'Hmm... what's Scott Glenn up to?'

 

I doubt the casting process for Stick was any more complicated than that. Scott Glenn has cornered the market in curmudgeonly pricks who might just have a heart in there, if you did deep enough. He was a fun addition, but I'm glad it was only for the one episode. And we got to see some more of Matt's past, and more of what has made him the man he is today.

 

Not sure about all the war stuff, and I don't know enough about the Daredevil universe to figure out who the guy Stick was talking to might be. Shang Chi seems like a good shout, as asian Marvel characters go.

 

No idea what the Black Sky kid was, but that seems like a seed being planted. And while the idea of some super-dangerous kid seems a bit off for this show, I need to remember that they are in the same world as Thor and Captain America and the Chitauri destroying large parts of New York.

 

I'm still really enjoying Karen, and she seems to be coming into her own. Her horrified reaction to the idea of Foggy being in love with her was pretty amusing, and it also fended off my concerns that she's going to end up 'torn between two friends'. Just let them all be buds. I do feel that she and Foggy are too detached from whatever's going on with Matt, a lot of the time. Hopefully that'll change when they inevitably figure out that all his rather serious wounds are not caused by tripping over steps and walking into doors.

 

As for Foggy carrying a baseball bat, he wasn't carrying it as a weapon, he was heading to, or from, a batting cage. He said so himself. He had a sports bag and baseballs with him as well. I would have thought seeing a guy carry sports equipment would be a fairly usual sight. How else do you Americans get your baseball bats from your homes to your batting cages, huh?

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I don't know what Black Sky is... but it seems there's more than one... although they're rare.

 

I'm just going to say they're like the dark version of Airbenders. Airbenders are RARE, y'all! [/Avatar]

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I can't pull out of my head a story by Neil Gaiman - about a young boy which was sold... I don't remember the name of the story but something remings me of it.

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In the real world a guy walking around with a baseball bat would be an issue. But this isn't the real world. This is a world where there have been at least 2 large scale alien invasions (one in NYC one in London), a huge portion of the government, and a major intelligence organization (including at least one senator) was infiltrated by a terrorist/Nazi organization and alien abductions are real. Plus that old lady kept looking to her picture of Jesus, but keep in mind that the world has confirmed that one religion is actually real with real gods, but for most people it isn't the religion they believe in. So to me the amount of general stress people must have must be crazy, and a dude carrying around a baseball bat in public probably isn't that big a deal.

Actually, we only know that the Norse religion is based on real aliens, not that they are true deities. To quote the Hulk, they are puny gods.

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Actually, we only know that the Norse religion is based on real aliens, not that they are true deities. To quote the Hulk, they are puny gods.

I don't know to me, super advanced, nearly immortal aliens that people used to worship and actual deities are pretty much the same thing. It just seems interesting to me that in the MCU, Norse mythology from a long time ago, has basically been proven to be correct, but as far as I know no other mythologies or religions have. Makes me wonder how that would really mess up people's belief systems.

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I don't know to me, super advanced, nearly immortal aliens that people used to worship and actual deities are pretty much the same thing. It just seems interesting to me that in the MCU, Norse mythology from a long time ago, has basically been proven to be correct, but as far as I know no other mythologies or religions have. Makes me wonder how that would really mess up people's belief systems.

 

Well the Norse 'gods' of the Marvel Universe aren't laying claim to having actually created the world, or human beings. As far as I know, anyway. So in a way, that could actually reinforce the belief systems for some. 'One particular set of divine beliefs has been categorically proved to be based on these beings that we now know were not gods, so that means my beliefs are that much more likely to be the right ones'. I suppose it depends on your point of view.

 

I guess, when you look at it, the story doesn't really have a logical consistency anyway. Because wasn't Thor himself new to Earth in his first movie? I don't recall him having visited before, yet he's one of the most prominent gods in the Norse pantheon.

 

Anyway, this revelation doesn't seem to have shaken Matt's Catholic beliefs any. He seems devout enough to want to confess and receive forgiveness, which are some of the hallmarks of religious faith. Not all of them, but one of Frank Miller's more astute observations made Matt something of a hypocrite a long time ago (a lawyer and a vigilante?), so it works for the character.

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Where did Claire go to NEVER come back? Did I miss a scene?

 

To the land of "Rosario Dawson must have cost too much to be put into every episode", is my guess. But it has already been announced that RD/Claire will return for season 2.

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On 4/13/2015 at 1:01 PM, Dandesun said:

 

Back to the show, though... if Stick left Matt when he was still that young where did he get his training afterwards? Inquiring minds...

Since I watched this a few weeks ago I've been wondering about the time line. Matt is nine when he meets Stick. I think they didn't recast the young actor, but I believe Matt is supposed to be say, 15, when Stick ghosts him. Stick is in New York with the Chaste and Elektra at the time and possibly originally takes the job to get some extra money to support the dojo. It really does not follow that Matt would have learned what he learned in a year or two years, it just doesn't make sense. Stick tells him he needs to meditate and learn weapons. At 15 he can probably find people to spar with, maybe hiding his blindness. Or, you know, start his lifelong hobby of beating up people on the street.

I wouldn't put it past Stick to make opportunities cross Matt's path, in the form of teachers who also are members of the Chaste.

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