Daredevil Episode 7 Review: "Stick" it to Black Sky

I have no idea where this episode is going. Daredevil is more or less a pariah to Hell's Kitchen, which is so against the grain for the Kitchen's savior.

The lead up to this point has been high point after high point, and the only thing that I could take away from the last episode is that Matt is going to be hunting down Owlsley in this one.

Now with a title like "Stick," I can only surmise that we are finally going to catch a glimpse of Murdock's mentor. I'm not sure how or why he fits into this story, and can only surmise that he is going to be part of the re-emerging flashbacks.

Funny, but the flashbacks were such a big part of the beginning of the show, and have since disappeared. If they do re-emerge, you have to wonder if the sixth episode wasn't the shows mid-season break? It certainly ended that way.

Stick may continue the origin story, which would make sense in a mid-year replacement.

Will they keep up with the Page/Foggy story? Will they return Murdock to Claire? Will Ben get any further? If you go past this point, spoilers will be presented.

"That sounds pretty bad, but I don't speak asshole."
There's no greater indication of Frank Miller's influence on Marvel's Daredevil than this solitary episode involving one of Miller's DD created character, Stick, played masterfully by Scott Glenn. Glenn's career has weaved in and out of rough and tough characters over the years, and when he was cast as Matt Murdock's mentor, I was ecstatic. Like Vincent D'Onofrio before him (and Charlie Cox as well), it felt like Stick had been written for the veteran actor 35 years before he could actually play him.

This show begins with Stick chasing down a man in Japan, looking for "Black Sky." We're given a good indicator who Stick is, when after receiving the information he needs from the man he was chasing, he cuts his head off. The fact that he's already cut his hand off is a pretty good indicator of who Stick is. No, we aren't treated to that spectacle, as we were with Fisk, but the parallels can't be ignored. As the show enters the opening credits, we see stick in an elevator, and find out he's blind as the elevator doors close. For the Daredevil fans, we're all in. For those that are new to the character, they're treated to another "blind" assassin. The content is handled really well.

Stick is a killer, and very much different from Daredevil in that regard. You could even make a case that he's more like Fisk that Murdock ever will be. This is why he's such a fine character. Stick see's himself as a guy doing the right thing, even if he has to do the hard thing. Sound familiar?

Fisk spelled himself out in much the same way, although on a grander "scale" in the last episode, and Daredevil fashions himself in much the same way, although you could call him "Stick-lite," because he won't go that last extra step.

The kicker to this is that in Miller's Man Without Fear mini-series, Stick is adverse to killing, and stops being his mentor because of an accidental death. It's refreshing that the TV version isn't sticking to the strict guidelines of Miller's books, while still playing homage to them. They should veer off, simply because they are doing such a damn good job of telling the story.

In the flashback sequences, Stick is brought in to help the young Murdock, who can't control his overcharged senses. Also blind, it's clear that Stick is a character that's looking for other candidates to continue down his path. There's a vague-ness to this, and I have to be honest, I just don't see anyone looking at Glenn's stick as someone to help a needy blind child, but what do I know.

They build a solid relationship through the flashback scenes, as Stick teaches him the ways of the world, and the have's and have-nots of assassin.

Stick teaches him to control his senses, and hones his physical gifts, and there's a great scene with them sitting in the park discussing an ice cream cone, and people walking back and forth in front of them in which Murdock, with Stick's quick help, figures things out.

In the end, Stick quits mentoring the young, future vigilante, when he breaks a cardinal stick rule, and tries to connect by making him a bracelet out of the wrapper of the ice cream cone I mentioned previously. Stick crumbles it up, and walks out.

The loose plot of the here-and-now storyline is that Stick is chasing down "Black Sky," which is being sent to the U.S. to Peter Shinkoda's Nabu, a mysterious head to one of Fisk's crime-branch arms. Now, I'm not sure who Nabu is in the grand scheme of things, but the fact that Stick is involved in stopping something that gets to him leads me to believe that he's the head of "The Hand," Marvel's version of The League of Nations, also created by Miller in that early Daredevil run. God I hope so. I'm only through episode seven, but season two SCREAMS of a need for the Elektra/Bullseye angle, but that's for another day entirely.

It turns out that "Black Sky" is a young, chained up boy, and that Stick is trying to kill him. In the end, DD sees the boy, realizes that Stick is trying to kill him, and blocks Stick's arrow, heading towards the boy, saving him.

When Murdock returns home, Stick informs him that he caught up with the caravan taking the boy away, and killed him anyways, which starts off an intense battle, destroying his apartment. In the end, Matt defeats his mentor, who walks out of his life once more. While cleaning up, Matt finds the ice cream bracelet, which Stick has saved all these years afterall.

The episode ends with Stick standing in front of a mysterious, scarred up, muscular man who asks Stick if "he'll be ready when the doors open." Stick responds, "I have no idea."

Is this for next season?

In the end, this seemed to be a stand alone episode which stayed away from Fisk, other than Page and Urich digging around, and bringing Foggy into the mix. It also expounds on Page and Foggy's back-and-forth relationship a bit. It's clear that Page is infatuated with Daredevil, and I fear that Foggy is heading for some trouble here, both with Page, and ultimately, with Matt.

Ah, the old storylines never die.

I loved the relationship between Matt and his mentor, and it's good to see where the roots of his becoming the masked crusader come from. We are also treated to the first "Devil" reference, on the front page of the New York paper that has taken over for the Daily Bugle.

Still, this episode seemed to break the flow of the Fisk piece, and while I don't see it now, I think they could have connected Stick to the bigger picture.

Of course, they may have, and I just don't know it yet.
Share on Google Plus

About Jim Pete

Under Construction