“You gotta bad attitude, my friend”
‘Rabbit in a Snowstorm’ continues the quality of Daredevil, unsurprisingly. It retain the restrained pace of ‘Cut Man,’ with the focus on story progression rather than action. But as the story is involving and intricate, our attention never waivers. It’s an episode to set up events in the future, but never feels like it’s waiting for something to happen. We see how integrated the criminal world is into all sections of society. Once again, I fail to find many flaws with it!
It begins with a brutal murder of a guy named Prohashka. John Healy takes him out in a particularly brutal fashion with a bowling ball to the head. That’s gotta hurt! Later on, Wesley comes into the office of Murdock and Nelson and requests their services to defend John Healy. Both Murdock and Nelson know that something is wrong, but Murdock convinces Nelson to take on the case. In a reversal of roles, Murdock cites money as the main reason for taking it. During the court trial, Murdock hears a member of the jury’s heart beating faster than usual. He follows her, as Daredevil, and finds out that she is being blackmailed. After finding the blackmailer, he comes to a dead end; the blackmailer says that someone else will take his place.
“I’ve been preoccupied with questions of morality…”
It’s here that Murdock finds out how deep the rabbit hole goes. The criminals have no limit to their reach, even in a courtroom. The blackmailed juror is replaced, but another juror is apparently blackmailed. The outcome is a hung jury, and Healy is set free. It’s Murdock’s closing statement that is crucial to proceedings, however. Facts matter in the court room, not moral judgements. Healy may face moral judgement outside the court room, however. Murdock knows that the jury has been rigged. So the only recourse he has is to become Daredevil. Things have changed. The courtroom is not where justice is in Hell’s Kitcen.
It mirrors a similar scene between journalist, Ben Ulrich, and a gangster. Ulrich wants to know the name of the new kid on the block, the new criminal who taking everything over. The gangster says that the rules have changed. In the past, you would send flowers to the wife of someone you murdered. In modern times, you kill the wife as well. “There are no rules, no anymore,” he says, and expresses his wish to move away from Hell’s Kitchen. Ulrich’s story has resonance of it’s own. He wants to dig deep into the new, mysterious crime lord. But his editor doesn’t want any of that. The editor, Ellison, wants Ben to do a story on the colour of a new subway line going through Hell’s Kitchen. It’s that type of story that sells newspapers. Not ‘real’ journalism. The ‘blogosphere’ is destroying the paper news. The editor says that people sat on their asses blogging at home are making much more than they are, slugging away in an office. Karen’s story overlaps with Ulrich’s. UA’s lawyer tries to get her to sign papers that will silence her knowledge of the corruption in UA. Of course, there’s big monetary compensation if she signs. She ends up in Ulrich’s office…
At the end, we get the big reveal of the new kid on the block: Wilson Fisk. Daredevil also beats the name out of Healy, in a scene similar to one in The Dark Knight. Fisk is in an art gallery, looking at a painting called ‘Rabbit in a Snowstorm.’ Of course, the meta-meaning of the painting is what happens to people who get in Fisk’s way: they disappear, like a rabbit in a snowstorm. It rounds off a complete episode, one that keeps the story progressing in a slow and steady fashion. It doesn’t need to rely on an epic last fight, like ‘Cut Man,’ to round off the story. Instead, we get a glimpse of the supervillain as he takes a liking to an art dealer called Vanessa.
VERDICT: 8/10. A step below ‘Cut Man,’ but only a small step. A set-up episode that puts the pieces in place and reveals the villain of the board. Like watching a chess game beginning, there’s anticipation and surprises. And Murdock’s closing statement is the best monologue in the series so far…
(Click here for my review of Episode 2, ‘Cut Man’)
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