Review: Daredevil, Season 1, Episode 6, ‘Condemned’ ( Great? Guilty as Charged!)

daredevil netflix(SPOILERS AHEAD)

“I don’t really go to the movies” 

‘Condemned’ continued Daredevil’s streak of brilliance. Although it mainly took place in one location, the pace and plot never took a turn for the worse. Murdock and Fisk spoke for the first time, outlining their differences (and similarities). Claire actually did some hospital work in the aftermath of the explosions that rocked Hell’s Kitchen. She even paused to give Murdock advice on how to keep Vladimir alive. At the end of the episode, Vladimir has his moment in the sun. Foggy and Karen are relegated to onlookers, watching a TV to see what’s happening. Their part is the only bit that falls flat, but everything else works perfectly. Fisk is dominating the chess game between him and Murdock… 

The cliffhanger was resolved with ease by Murdock. He allows the cops to cuff him, but flips all over the place and batters them. A quick but great fight scene. Murdock escapes with Vladimir to an abandoned warehouse. In and around the warehouse is where we spend much of the episode. Their location is found by the police, who eventually surround the warehouse. Fisk is controlling the operation behind the scenes, in the place where we are used to seeing him: the back of his chauffeur-driven expensive car. Murdock struggle to keep Vladimir alive and to find a way out…

Of course, Murdock cannot let Vladimir die, so he rings up Claire for some medical advice. He uses a flare to cauterise Vladmir’s wound. Vladimir shows his gratitude for saving his life by mocking Murdock. He couldn’t let Murdock die, and that is where he fails. What is the difference between letting someone die and killing someone? Murdock’s excuse for keeping Vladimir alive is that Vladimir has information about Fisk. True, but we know the real reason; Murdock is not a murderer. Yes, he can put someone in a coma. But he cannot cross the line and kill somebody.

Need a light?
Need a light?

 “Problems are just opportunities that haven’t presented themselves”

The dilemma for Murdock posed by this episode is that murder might be Murdock’s only way to dispose of Fisk. Fisk controls the police operation to surround the warehouse. The police who handcuffed Murdock at the start had orders to murder the surviving Russians. However, Fisk and Murdock have first contact during the warehouse siege in the form of a radio conversation. Fisk says that they both want to save the city in different ways. “We both can’t have what we want,” Fisk sneers. Murdock’s ideology is dangerous and needs to be stopped. Fisk warns that the city will burn the masked man “as effigy, in abhorrence and disgust.” He offers Murdock a way out: kill Vladimir and stop being a hero. Murdock refuses.

Fisk’s chess-like thinking appears in full force as a result. When news broke out about the explosion, Ben Ulrich immediately knew the Russians were the target. He arrived at the warehouse scene after the police arrived. To counteract the nuisance, Fisk had his contacts call the entire media faction to the scene. After Murdock refuses to play ball, Fisk gives the go ahead to a sniper, placed high in the rooftops. The sniper shoots several policemen. Footage is released to the news channel showing Murdock battering the police at the start of the episode. The ‘masked man’ as Murdock is known is held responsible for the shootings and possibly the explosions. “Whose side is this man on?” the headline screams from the screen.

“Maybe I stay”

Vladimir ends up helping Murdock to escape, and having a great moment of redemption. Yes, it was obvious it would happen, but when Vladimir grabs a gun and shouts at Murdock to leave, I smiled! From the depths of a Siberian prison to running drugs in New York, Vladimir hasn’t led the greatest of lives. His act of heroism was a hope that Murdock will avenge his brother Anatoly’s death, but a good selfish act is still a good act, right? Or is it? Either way, Vladimir had some biting parting words for Murdock. “There’s only one way to stop Fisk,” Vladimir says. But can Murdock murder someone? Vladimir questions how Murdock will feel when Fisk attacks Murdock the way he attacked Vladimir. Before making a last stand, he gives Murdock the name ‘Leland Owlsley.’ Murdock, with the deck stacked against him, has an ace up his sleeve…

VERDICT: 8/10. The dynamic between Fisk and Murdock continues to delight. The parallel between the hero and the villain is a well-worn superhero theme, but Daredevil takes it to another level. The tension keeps on building…

(Click here for my review of Daredevil, Season 1, Episode 5: World On Fire)

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