Spoilers here, but I suppose it’s been out long enough for this kind of a review. I should have done this a while ago but hey…seriously, I did like the series, but there were four things in particular that upset me and since there’s been very little criticism of any kind about the show, I thought it was important to point out where it didn’t live up to its potential.
1) Hit ’em till they talk
Look, I recognize that this is how we do things these days, so I understand why it happens, but frankly I am sick and tired of the meme where if you beat the crap out of someone, they’ll spill their guts. It makes for great drama, but it never works: if he person is loyal enough they’ll die or pass out before saying anything (and of course you’re assuming they have any information to tell anyway: just because Daredevil can hear a heartbeat doesn’t necessarily mean he can actually tell if someone is lying), and if the person isn’t so loyal you won’t have to beat them up to get information. Daredevil has other means to get information, and frankly doing what he does makes him no worse than Fisk. And speaking of which:
Here’s the thing: they never go into detail into exactly what Fisk’s plans are for Hell’s Kitchen. For all we know, things could have been an improvement over what was there: they don’t call it Hell’s Kitchen for nothing, ya know. Yes, kicking poor people outof their homes to make way for development is a pretty crappy way to do things but it’s been going on pretty much since human civilization began. What Fisk was going to do couldn’t have been any worse than anything Robert Moses ever did, and Moses is considered a hero by many people.
And frankly considering how crappy the living conditions were for that Spanish lady (there were junkies sleeping in the halls for crying out loud!), she should have taken the money offered and gone somewhere else. I mean, I like my place a lot and I realize moving can be a pain, but if I had junkies hanging around my hallways I’d be wanting to get out, and if someone offers me a buttload of money to do so I would jump on it. And it was clear that Fisk clearly loved his old neighborhood. If you want to make him a bad guy, you need to do a better job of showing why he’s a bad guy, instead of just having us assume.
As for Fisk himself, the fact of the matter is that he was outplaying everyone: the episode where he goes public was the high point in the whole show, it rocked the boat for everyone, and it adds to the idea that Fisk and Daredevil are simply the yin and yang of Hell’s Kitchen: putting him in jail at the end was a dumb move, he should have gotten away. Even the story about his father was misunderstood by Karen Page (and if she knew the real story, would it have changed her opinion about him? Probably not), and if it had come out he could have used it to his advantage: a young boy protecting his mother from an abusive father. The strength of Fisk is his ability to maintain control, and it’s something that could be played out for seasons to come.
3) Ben Urich
They absolutely ruined Urich in two ways, first by killing him, which was just dumb. He’s one of Marvel’s best characters, and it was a dumb move to just off him like they did. Urich was absolutely right when he pointed out that the biggest threat to people like Fisk were other people like Fisk: powerful and ambitious. He was also right to sit on a story until he had evidence, and he was completely wrong to let Karen Page’s feelings affect his decision-making process. He got himself fired for no reason, which only made him an easier target to get killed. Sadly there’s no time to redeem him because he’s dead..
What is this Batman pose nonsense? How is Murdock going to help Hell’s Kitchen by stppping the occasional mugger? Wouldn’t they have done better to show what he and Foggy are doing as a law team to help the poor and powerless? They could do a lot more good that way. Daredevil doesn’t have to be beating people up on the streets all the time, after all.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great series and there are plenty of good things about it. The relationship between Foggy and Karen is great, the fact that Murdock really gets the crap beat out of him instead of just coming away without a scratch, I loved that. I loved that Melvin Potter was in it as well. It was very gritty, very much like the Miller/Mazuchelli “Born Again” series that the show is based on. And if the second season is going to include both Bullseye and Elektra I’m definitely looking forward to it, as I’m looking forward to AKA Jessica Jones.