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The Crazed Spruce

S01.E08: Shadows In The Glass

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Matt may be the Man Without Fear, but Karen is braver than all of them.

Edited by starri
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From my notes (yes, I a weirdo like that):

 

*Bloodied Kid Wilson- aw.

*Mr. Potter- like him.

*I want a rabbit with or without a snowstorm for Wilson, but I'm afraid he'd kill it.

*Is Gao Wilson's Stick?

*Oh, good gawd is WF offed [sic] in the head. VDO needs the shiny trophies for this. Just because.

 

What I loved about this episode was that, while I understand how/why Fisk thinks like he does/ does what he does, I can hate fully what he is doing in the present. There were choices Wilson made after he became an grown up. He chose expedient, criminal activities.

 

Bob Gunton is wonderful as Leland. I am not a Leland fan, but he is fun to watch.

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I'm really loving VDO. He's become exactly what he hated, and he knows this on some level. Doesn't stop him from being a terrible person, but he's great at being a horrifying brutal menace combined with a guy who just wants to make his city a better place. As long as you do everything he says.

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Wilson's dad - or stepdad? Whatever! - seemed like a dick. Guess that's where he learned it. His mother seemed tired by life even when Wilson was a kid. No denying Fisk is a grown man and made his bed, but damned if this doesn't make me feel just a wee bit sorry and sad at what he ultimately became.

 

Based on the flashbacks, he seemed like a genuinely-decent kid bullied by his dad and by life.

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I liked Fisk's backstory.  I liked the idea of him staring at the white wall at his childhood home and the expensive white painting he bought ever morning.  

 

I loved the scene with Wilson , Vanessa and Fisk in Fisk's apartment.  I thought that was very well done.  Usually the Henchman doesn't like the girlfriend but the show was smart enough to make them allies.  They both love Fisk and want him to be happy.

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Fantastic performance by VDO, who has made me sympathize with Fisk even though he's a monster.  Loved the final scene and the accompanying score.  Like the Vanessa character a lot and thought the scene with Fisk and that guys partner was really good.  Glad Matt has been drawn into the plan by Foggy and Karen...isn't it nice when characters don't keep secrets from other characters for a ridiculous amount of time?

 

Fisk's dad was a monster.

Edited by benteen
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Didn't catch the name in the credits, but I'm pretty sure Wilson's dad was Domenick Lombardozzi, who was good old Herc from The Wire, but also Ralph Capone on Boardwalk Empire, so he has a bit of a connection with Charlie Cox.  Either way, that guy was all kinds of fucked up, and I can see how Fisk ended up going in the direction he did.

 

Definitely an episode where Fisk was actually the lead in a lot of ways, but I enjoyed it.  Seeing how mundane his morning ritual was, dealing with all the problems thrown at him, and then finally cracking under pressure.  And then Vanessa shows up, and he suddenly gets the boost he needed.  I know these types of stories have been done before, but I really like it, and how Vanessa has made Fisk change, and be willing to take this fight out in the open. And, I'm curious to see how this new confidence will come into play with any future dealings/tiffs with Leland, Gao, and the Triad.

 

Even though there was less then normal of the good guys, I liked how there was still big steps in the main story-line, and it wasn't filler.  Now Matt is looped into what Foggy/Karen are doing and his going to help them.  And we get our first meeting between Matt and Ben, while Matt is being the "Black Mask."  Even though Fisk beat them to the punch, I'm curious to see how this relationship will be going forward.  I really do love Ben.  Vondie Curtis-Hall brings so much to the role.

 

Aww, poor Wesley.  He's a creep, but he truly cared for his boss.  Nice henchman!

 

Have to think there is more to that Melvin Potter guy that was tailoring Leland's suit, because I've seen that actor (Matt Gerald), in enough things to make me think it won't be a one and done, background role. 

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Didn't catch the name in the credits, but I'm pretty sure Wilson's dad was Domenick Lombardozzi,

 

Yep; I was a Breakout Kings fan and was near tears that Ray was so vile and evil.

 

Aaand I just realized that Wilson took out the man that caused his mom to be beaten, Rigoletto. If Bill Fisk hadn't had ambitions in the political sector, then none of the money talk would have gotten Bill upset. So, actually, the man who destroyed Wilson's parents marriage. In Wilson's mind, possibly.

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I really liked how this episode showed how, with just a few tiny changes, Fisk could totally be seen as a traditional anti-hero. Tragic family history that still haunts him, trying to do what he thinks is best for his city, girlfreind and best freind/assitant who fully support him in his actions. Hell, if this episode was all we knew of him, I'd have a hard time saying that he's not a classic anti-hero. Vanessa certainly thinks he is. There's just the small point that he's willing to kill pretty much anyone to achieve his goals.

I know that they don't have much (if any) carry over between the TV shows, but I'd really get a kick out of it if his speech was running somewhere in the background on one of the upcoming episodes of Agents of Shield.

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Fisk's morning ritual was really reminiscent of Dexter's opening.

 

I'm really suspecting Vanessa's playing him. Maybe she'll convince Wesley to turn on him or something eventually? Who knows. There's just something very calculated about Vanessa, maybe it's the actress' choices, I dunno, but I feel like she didn't meet him by chance.

 

I liked that Karen and Foggy told Matt about the investigation and that they've joined forced at least in that.

 

The journalist has already been a dead man walking and now I just can't imagine him not dying. Would be nice if he didn't, though.

 

I don't have strong feeling about Fisk, but I liked the show's insistence on showing rather than telling when it comes to him, I appreciate it. The character himself, however? Eh, nothing special. Still, didn't hate this episode despite the focus on him.

 

Fisk's Mandarin sounded awful, and I don't even know the language (still heard enough of it to recognize the horribleness of his pronunciation).

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The opening reminded me of Hannibal - the attention to certain detail, and just something about it. 

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Wesley really is a great minion, right? He goes the extra mile.

 

I thought that the Fisk backstory was great. If things had been twisted just a little bit, I could see how he could have been a hero, instead of a villain. He`s a really fascinating character. Plus great stuff with Wesley, Vanessa, Madam Gao. It really is the rare show that can make both their good guys AND their bad guys interesting, likable, and complex, but man, this show does a great job. I pretty much love everybody.  

 

I love this show. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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Am I the only one who isn't loving D'Onofrio as Fisk?  Perhaps.  Something is still bothering me with the way he delivers his lines, though I do buy him as a formidable villain.  And, I liked him being one step ahead of everyone with his news conference at the end.  

 

Loved Madame Gao putting Fisk in his place.  Certainly she heard the big tantrum he threw as she walked out of the room.  

 

A good episode but I wouldn't list it as a favorite.  The e-vol daddy back story made me chuckle a bit.  

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So now we have two men, Murdock and Fisk, who were shaped so strongly by their fathers, struggling for control of Hell's Kitchen. Fisk's backstory was incredibly sad, and he wanted to escape his father's influence, so much so that he had to murder the man with a hammer. I thought the wall's resemblance to the painting was so poignant and it recalls to mind what he said about the picture: "it makes me feel alone." This episode made me super uncomfortable but it was so necessary to see the man behind the curtain and try to understand that Fisk is certainly a monster but he's also a human being. Just some lovely characterization.

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What I don't understand is how Fisk got the media attention in the first place. Unknown man hosts press release to say man in black is bad? I mean, I don't doubt that given he owns so much of the police and the media, he can get some of them to show up. What I don't get is what the purpose of the event was to actually get TV attention.

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Maybe Fisk was only on one of those 24 hour news channels that's almost always full of filler anyway, and it's a slow news day.

 

I totally did not make the connection between the painting and the wall. That's why I need y'all.

 

The opening reminded me of Hannibal - the attention to certain detail, and just something about it.

I know! It's the stylish interiors plus the classical music and the fact that we know he is a killer and we're just watching him quietly prepare and eat a meal. Though Hannibal would have made something way fancier than an omelet, and his food would have people in it.
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What I don't understand is how Fisk got the media attention in the first place. Unknown man hosts press release to say man in black is bad? I mean, I don't doubt that given he owns so much of the police and the media, he can get some of them to show up. What I don't get is what the purpose of the event was to actually get TV attention.

I mean, he has to legitimately own one or more businesses in the Kitchen, even if they are fronts for something else. He's got enough clean money to buy that big ass penthouse and pay off the cops and stick his fingers in everyone's pies. So perhaps he gave the press conference as a businessman/developer interested in revitalizing Hell's Kitchen who has no ulterior motives and will be taking more visible steps to change the neighborhood and by the way, don't trust the guy living in the shadows, he's got something to hide. It's kind of brilliant, actually, turning Matt's neighborhood against him.

Edited by Smug47

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Maybe Fisk was only on one of those 24 hour news channels that's almost always full of filler anyway, and it's a slow news day.

NY1 is like the developmentally disabled version of the local news.  It's exactly the kind of thing they'd put on.

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I don't think anything would ever get me angry enough to smash a laptop. Even if it was a Dell. Matt, what are you doing, laptops are expensive. Smash your fruit bowl if you must smash something. It would make an even more satisfying shattering sound, anyway.

 

That scene would make a good gif, though. Daredevil smash!

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I thought that the Fisk backstory was great. If things had been twisted just a little bit, I could see how he could have been a hero, instead of a villain. He`s a really fascinating character.

 

 

The bad guys are way more fascinating on DD so far than the good guys, especially Foggy, who I find grating. And given the screwed up state of the city, not sure Fisk's way isn't the answer, assuming he doesn't intend to elect homself king after he rebuilds the place.

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I don't know, it's not the people of modest means who just wants to live in their homes (like Mrs Cardenas) who are the source of the crime in the city. And these are the people Fisk is pushing out to, I guess, build shiny condos or whatever.

 

I've lived in densely populated cities (though not New York), and there has long been speculation that real estate developers are in tight with organized crime. Somehow old buildings with old people living in them are always vandalized, maybe even set on fire, when developers want to buy it out and build something new there. Convienent, that.

 

Is it really the residents themselves turning their own neighborhoods into scary shitholes? Or is somebody else doing it for profit? Creating excuses for developers to bulldoze over everything and act like they're doing everyone a favor?

 

And who are the people buying up the overpriced new condos and leaving them empty ghost towns? Where does their money come from? Is it the proceeds of crime? Political corruption? Drug trade? Human trafficking?

 

But of course, if there's a connection at all, they cover their asses really well so it's just relegated to the realm of "conspiracy theory".

 

Not sure how I feel about the show using this as a story. It might make more people think about the possible connections in real life, but it can also make people scoff and say "isn't that just the plot of a TV show?"

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Not to derail or go off-topic, but Batman: The Animated Series did a similar plot, and Dagget, that ass, blew up the buildings in Crime Alley too, to push out the ones that were living their, and who considered it their homes.

 

Sadly, Dagget got his minions to take the fall for it, and he went on scott-free, but still, it was a very good episode.

 

Dagget was voiced by the great Ed Asner.

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The idea that Fisk is just in it for the real estate development and 'creating something beautiful' strikes me as purposefully ignoring everything he actually does. From the very first episode he is killing people. The very first. He dismantled the mob boss that ran the area and took over for him. His crooked development company got found out by accident by Karen and he sent his people to frame her for murder by drugging her and then murdering someone else so she could wake up next to that and get arrested for it. He bribed a cop by sending his right hand to threaten the man's daughter in order to get him to murder Karen... and at the end of that episode, he was on the phone talking to Wesley about how they had tied up the loose ends of episode one's situation by killing off their fall guy via drug overdose.

 

The look into Fisk's past and what shaped him was interesting. (Certainly better than finding out what turned Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader.) And I like a full fleshed out villain but this doesn't change anything... not for me. Fisk's chatter about what he wants to create just comes off as the ultimate in unreliable narrators. I believe Matt when he says he wants to make his city a better place because he's beating up human traffickers and kidnappers and drug dealers and murderers... I don't believe Fisk because he's working with, or even leading, the human traffickers and kidnappers and drug dealers and murderers. Maybe Fisk wants to rule everything... to make himself the absolute authority and recreate Hell's Kitchen and probably all of New York in his very specific vision. And if anyone deviates from that, they will die... probably horribly. Or be sold into sex slavery. What awesome options.

 

So Fisk being 'just like' Matt? Nope. Not buying it. Sure they cast some fuzzy lens on the concept but, ultimately, Fisk is a bad man doing bad things and claiming they're for an unspecified 'better tomorrow.' That's not the tomorrow I'd want to be a part of.

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Great episode. One thing I thought that would have made it cooler is when Fisk was looking out those crazy huge windows of his crazy expensive apartment if you could have seen the big 'A' from Stark Tower in the far background. Normally name dropping in the MCU bugs (looking at you Agents of Shield), but a subtle reminder like that it is in the same world, but Iron Man is still so very far away could have been interesting.

 

Also if it took them a week to carry the body parts of Fisk senior to the river, how bad did that apartment smell by the end?

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Also if it took them a week to carry the body parts of Fisk senior to the river, how bad did that apartment smell by the end?

 

Yeah, I've wondered that myself. It's like... ewwww... did they keep him in the freezer or something? I don't even know but... ewwwwwww...

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The flashbacks didn't do much for me, to be honest. I think Fisk is an interesting character, but I had no desire to see his sad childhood and his mean dad. Took up too much of the episode, and I gathered that dad was a pathetic specimen who failed at life and took out his frustrations on his family just from the first scene. Didn't need a whole load of them to establish that.

 

Vanessa is officially as crazy as Fisk himself, to appear equal parts sympathetic and turned on by his touching story of carving up his dad's corpse and disposing of it. Those two were made for each other, I think. However, if I were her, I would avoid any more stories about sleeping with other men. I don't think he's likely to react well to hearing any more about her sexual history.

 

This is where I did like how the goals of Matt and Fisk seem similar, but are so far apart in reality. Fisk claims he wants to make the city a better place, to rid it of crime and poverty and turn it into a utopia. But he plans to do that be removing the people who he feels are responsible for all that, and replacing them with better people. Matt wants to actually help the people who are already there and who need any assistance that can be offered. It sums up the street level hero so well, and I really love that they haven't had anyone buttonhole that parallel with some clunky, 'I'm not like you' speechifying.

 

I don't doubt that Fisk ultimately plans to stamp out crime in the city, that he wants this vision of his to be unblemished and 'good'. But his path to getting there is horrific. I think he knows that, but he believes that his intended greater good is more important. He may be the most nuanced Marvel Cinematic villain we've seen.

 

I would like to know more about how Fisk and Wesley became friends, and how they seem to have total trust and love for one another. Wesley arranging the Vanessa booty call, was such a nice bro moment (and she look outstanding in that white dress, I must say), even if it was between two murdering, conniving thugs.

 

Showing Matt's uncontrollable anger at the end was an interesting touch too. He does have that same rage inside him, which is one real similarity between him and Fisk. Righteous anger and no small measure of helplessness, and you rarely see how it eats at him. I imagine the inside of his mind is a scary place indeed.

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I agree, the flashbacks didn't do much for me.  I can't really say I care at all about Fisk's/Kingpin's origin.  The man is despicable in all ways and Vanessa isn't much better since she seems turned on by it.  I do hope that this is the last we have to suffer thru the Fisk flashbacks.   

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Some Marvel versions of Fisk clearly separate him from The Kingpin. No one is supposed to know that the wealthy developer is the head of organized crime in Hell's Kitchen as well. That's one of the things that makes Fisk different from Matt. Davedevil is trying to stop crime and scare the criminal element into the shadows, kind of like Batman. Fisk has already said that DD is young and doesn't understand the world. He's realized that you can't get rid of crime. The only alternative is to be in charge of the heroes and the villains. He decides who can do what in his part of the city. People who turn against him find themselves the victims of the criminals he controls.

 

Vanessa seems equally worldly. She's met men who are rich and powerful and think they can have anything they want because they can have just about anything they want. At least Fisk wants to regulate the chaos of crime by leading it. I suspect for her, Fisk is a superior man who shapes his environment through sheer will. That's what turns her on.

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I was expecting something along this line for Fisk's father after the cufflink conversation, but I thought this was really well done.  It helps explain why he is emotionally stunted and I love the symbolism of the painting now that we know what's behind it.

 

It was interesting that Fisk really wanted Wesley included in these conversations, and I don't think it was only to hide what Fisk knows.  Wesley can give his own subtle read on a situation with his translation, and Fisk gets a few extra seconds to think over the situation before he is supposed to know what the question is.  Wesley knows him very well, and does seem to care about him too.

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What I don't understand is how Fisk got the media attention in the first place. Unknown man hosts press release to say man in black is bad? I mean, I don't doubt that given he owns so much of the police and the media, he can get some of them to show up. What I don't get is what the purpose of the event was to actually get TV attention.

I assumed that Fisk probably has his claws in the media, just like with the police. I mean, the best way to keep your name out of the local press is to own the local press, conversely, the best way to reveal oneself is through the very same owned press.

I personally like VDO's performance. I like his deeply traumatized, perhaps mildly autistic take on Fisk. As others have noted, while utterly reprehensible, Fisk's choices and the way he goes about things is understandable.

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I did like the foreshadowing of Wilson hitting Bill with the hammer from earlier in the episode when Bill pounded a nail right into the forehead of his own image on the political sign. Nicely done.

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Is it really the residents themselves turning their own neighborhoods into scary shitholes?

 

In my experience, landlords in inexpensive neighborhoods aren't always motivated to keep things up. (Not a condemnation of all landlords of affordable apartments, I'm just saying the situation occurs sometimes.) Walls that need a fresh coat of paint might not get one, light bulbs in stairwells might not get replaced, broken things might not get repaired right away. There is the potential to let it spiral, to the point where only the financially desperate are willing to live in a building because it's all they can afford, and landlords end up with tenants who sometimes end up being late with their rent b/c of financial emergencies, reinforcing the lack of interest in keeping up with repairs/maintenance. And yes, sometimes tenants just destroy everything around them. It happens.

 

I enjoyed this episode except for one line, from Fisk to Gao: "So you speak English."

WELL, DUH. Since we've been introduced to them, Mrs. Gao and Nobu have been very active participants in every negotiation with Fisk and never have we heard anyone translate for their benefit (that I can recall). Yes, there's a difference between speaking and listening comprehension, but if she understands English well enough to rely on her own comprehension for big-money business deals, she can darn well make her point in English if necessary. Refusing to speak someone else's language is an assertion of power, as well as part of the mind-games all of them are playing on each other. To the poster above who commented that Fisk's Chinese sounded awkward, I would say that would be understandable. You can have a very good grasp of a language's structure and be able to communicate well without having beautiful pronunciation. I doubt Fisk had the opportunity to spend any time immersed in the language environment, such as foreign study, so his accent probably would be unpolished, to say the least.

Count me in as someone who is in the dark as to what Fisk's "grand vision" is for Hell's Kitchen. Particularly telling after Daddy Fisk's speeches about the City Council position as basically nothing but a bribe machine, not even pretending that he would do a single positive thing for his constituents once elected.

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Funniest line:

Gao: I speak all of them.

 

Me (snort): all approximately 7000 of them?

 

Ok, I loved this one while the one with Stick really felt like a cookie cutter comicbook episode with the sage mentor who is a prick.

 

Nicely shaded bad guy who is equally or even more interesting than the so-called hero of the piece. Who I still find rather un-engaging. I like the idea of him but the actor just doesn't do anything for me.

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I was going to wait until i finished the season to jump in but, I got a chuckle out of Fisk's writer hitting the same bullet points that Ben Urich had for his story

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