Original Airdate: 04/10/2015
Written by: Drew Goddard
Directed by: Phil Abraham
Created by Drew Goddard
Based on the Marvel comics by Stan Lee and Bill Everett
Cast of Characters
Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Man in Black
Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page
Elden Henson as Franklin “Foggy” Nelson
Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple
Peter Gerety as Silke
John Patrick Hayden as Jack Murdock
Skylar Gaertner as Young Matt Murdock
Alex Falberg as Semyon
Moisés Acevedo as Santino
Kevin Nagle as Roscoe Sweeney
Susan Varon as Josie
Erick Abbate as Boy
Dean Neistat as First Cop
William Mercado as Second Cop
First Appearance: Claire Temple, Silke, Semyon, Santino, Roscoe Sweeney, Josie the Bartender
A young man finds a battered and bloodied Matt Murdock in a trash dumpster. Scared, he runs to grab a woman named Claire Temple to help. Together, they pull him from the dumpster and take Matt up to Claire’s apartment. She’s tells the young man not to tell anyone about this.
While examining his vitals and wounds, Claire notes that this assaulted man is blind. Realizing he needs more help than she can provide, Claire attempts to call the hospital, but Matt snaps to and stops her. He tells her that the men who savaged him will hurt or kill everyone at the hospital to get to him if she takes him there. Matt tries to leave but passes out.
Flashback: Young Matt watches his father, Battlin’ Jack Murdock, fight in a televised boxing match. At one point, Jack seemed to be taking his opponent, but in the end, he’s dropped to the canvas knocked out. Matt solemnly turns off the TV and goes to the small kitchen of their small apartment to wait for his dad to come home. He can hear loud music and arguing neighbors next door. Sometime later, Jack arrives home. Like a ritual, Matt tends to his father’s facial wounds. When Matt calls the other fighter a bum, Jack tells him to respect anyone with the guts to actually get into the ring. As Matt stitches a gash, Jack insists he has to do his homework. Matt reminds him the landlord is looking for the rent. Jack lays down an envelope of money he got from the fight; Matt is shocked how much it is for losing. Jack hollowly states that sometimes you can win even for losing. As Matt runs off to do his homework, Jack looks at the money with regret.
At the office of Nelson & Murdock, Karen Page settles into her new gig late. In his office with the shades drawn and door closed, Foggy Nelson begins singing loudly and badly until Karen alerts him she’s there. He insists that she should be out living life and not there, but she admits that she doesn’t feel comfortable going home. Foggy convinces her they need to go hit a bar; Karen says they should call Matt to join them.
Matt wakes on Claire’s couch, realizing he doesn’t have his mask on and Claire can see his face. He tries to move but his injuries and the pain make it tough. She points out that he appears to have broken ribs, a possible concussion, punctures, and who knows what else she can’t see. She asks how a masked blind mind ended up like this and he is adamant that it’s better she know as little as possible. Exasperated that this happening on her night off, Matt correctly guesses she’s in the medical field. She’s concerned he won’t go to the hospital and doesn’t want him to die in her place. He asks her name but he won’t give Claire his, so she calls him “Mike” after an old boyfriend who used to keep things from her. Matt touches her hand and thanks her.
Flashback: Young Matt in the hospital following the accident with the chemical waste. He freaks out because his eyes are covered and he can’t see. All of his other senses are heightened and overwhelming him. Jack tries to comfort his son.
Matt snaps awaken and can’t breathe. Claire listens to his chest and hears air that is collapsing his lung. She punctures his chest to relieve the pressure. She insists he needs to tell her something about what’s going on in case he dies and she has to explain to the cops why he was there. Matt tells her about a boy kidnapped two days earlier by the Russians running a human trafficking ring out of Hell’s Kitchen. He tracked them to a warehouse, but it turned out to be a trap to draw the Man in Black out, to pay him back for the trouble he’s been causing lately. Claire asks how he’s able to do this as a blind man, and Matt tells her there are other ways to see. She asks if he managed to save the boy, but the boy was never at the warehouse. Suddenly, Matt hears and smells a man going door to door in the building looking for someone.
Flashback: At Fogwell’s Gym, Jack spars with a young fighter, taking a punch at the end of the round. Young Matt reads a book in Braille and explains to Jack how it works. A couple of men, Roscoe and Silke, come to see Jack off in a corner. They’ve set up a fight for him with “Crusher” Creel, which excites Jack. Odds are 3 to 1 that Jack lasts the whole fight, so they want him to go down in the fifth round to get a big payday. Jack tells them he’s going to pass, which they don’t take lightly. Young Matt overhears them threatening Jack with violence to his boy. Jack reluctantly agrees to throw the fight.
Matt stumbles into the kitchen and grabs a knife. The man he senses is at Claire’s neighbor’s. He’s ready to fight him, but Claire convinces him that she can get rid of the guy. The man flashes a badge and tells her a story about a man in black who robbed a bodega, got beat up by the owner, and made his way toward this building. She says she didn’t see anything, and the man leaves. Matt can hear he didn’t believe her, and the man rushes downstairs, barking Russian into a phone. Matt grabs a fire extinguisher, judges the location of the man, then perfectly drops it down the stairwell onto the man’s head. Matt can sense the young man, Santino, watching from upstairs, and he asks Claire to get him to help drag the Russian man to the roof.
Foggy and Karen end up at Josie’s Bar, and Josie gives Foggy the business. After mock flirting with her, Foggy asks Karen what’s going on. She tells him that she can’t get Danny Fisher’s blood out of the carpet in her apartment, and there’s a dent in her wall where the man attacked her and threw her head against it before the Man in Black saved her. But it’s not the physical reminders; she sees danger everywhere. He points out some people in the bar to let Karen know that not everything’s a threat, but he understands and agrees she doesn’t have to go home.
On the roof at Claire’s, Matt ties the Russian up. She complains that she didn’t sign up for this and he asks what she did sign up for. Concerned to get into it in front of the Russian, Matt checks his senses and assures her he’s knocked out. She points to that and Matt asks why she helped him. Claire tells him she’s a nurse, and she’s seen criminals and victims brought into the ER over the last few weeks telling stories about a masked man helping people. She wants to believe in what he’s doing, but torturing a guy is too much. He insists that she can’t give into fear because that is how this criminals win.
Flashback: Young Matt reads aloud a Thurgood Marshall quote on democracy and justice ascending from fear from a Braille book. Jack opens a package with his fight robe and gear. Matt takes a moment to touch it, reminds his dad that Murdocks take hits but they get up, they keep getting back up. Jack takes the words to heart. Down at the gym, he calls his bookie friend and has him place a bet on himself winning by KO. He gives detailed instructions on putting the money in an account for Matt. After, he calls another number and gets a woman’s voicemail. He tells her that he’s going to go be the Jack Murdock he should be one last time and that Matt might need her help to look after the boy. He just wants to give his son the gift of hearing a crowd cheer for his old man once.
Drunk Foggy and Karen show up at Matt’s apartment, beating on the door to try to get him to answer. He’s not there. Meanwhile, the Russian wakes up on top of Claire’s building. Matt asks where the boy is, but the Russian won’t tell him. Matt intends to cut him with the knife, but now masked Claire tells him about a spot above the eye to push the knife into to cause significant pain. It briefly works but the Russian tells them that someone else will just take his place. Matt cuts him down and drags him to the edge of the roof. Hanging him over the edge, he tells the Russian that he doesn’t just want information but likes to inflict pain. Tipping the man further over the edge, he finally reveals the location of the boy. Matt pulls him back up, and the Russian just laughs and says they will be waiting for him. To Claire’s horror, Matt pushes the Russian off the roof. He lands hard in the same dumpster Matt was found in below. Claire asks if he’s dead. Matt checks for a moment and says the man will live. He tells Claire she needs to leave because they’ll come looking for her. She has a place to go stay, and he asks for the address in case he needs her help after going to get the boy. She hesitates but gives it to him. Matt thanks her, while Claire says she doesn’t believe that he enjoys any of this.
Flashback: Jack steps into the arena in his red & yellow robe. Young Matt listens to the fight on TV at home, as Jack dismantles Crusher Creel. Creel goes down by knockout. Matt cheers, while at the arena, Jack rushes into the locker room to get changed fast so he can run. He pauses as he hears the crowd loudly chant his name. Hours later, young Matt is startled awake by a gunshot. His dad is still not home. The boy rushes out to a crime scene and finds his father beaten and murdered.
At the tenement where the boy is being held captive, one of the Russians takes him some food. The man joins others in another room playing poker. Another man leaves the table and joins some others talking in another room. The Man in Black enters the hall. He skulks to the talking room then bursts in, fighting about five guys. He throws one through the door into the hall. Another man comes from the poker room and is hit in the head with a microwave, while yet another guy is thrown from the talking room. Matt steps into the hall to fight a guy with a shotgun as another man shoots at them. He takes them down and gun whips them with the shotgun and a handgun. Guys stumble up from the floor and Matt works his way through them, taking his share of licks as well. One or two more join from the rooms, and Matt muscles his way through. With the last guy taken down, Matt pauses to lift his mask and free the boy, telling him he’s going to get him home to his father.
- Matt’s full name is Matthew Michael Murdock. Claire calls Matt “Mike” after he won’t tell her his name. For a time in the comics, to throw off Foggy’s and Karen’s suspicions that Matt was Daredevil, he created the fake persona of a sighted twin brother, Michael Murdock, who was said to actually be Daredevil.
- The Thurgood Marshall quote Young Matt reads is from his 1992 Liberty Medal acceptance speech, though the quote is chopped up. From the original:
“But there is a price to be paid for division and isolation as recent events in California indicate. Look around. Can’t you see the tension in Watts? Can’t you feel the fear in Scarsdale? Can’t you sense the alienation in Simi Valley? The despair in the South Bronx? The rage in Brooklyn?
We cannot play ostrich. Democracy just cannot flourish amid fear. Liberty cannot bloom amid hate. Justice cannot take root amid rage. America must get to work. In the chill climate in which we live, we must go against the prevailing wind. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.
- The woman Jack Murdock calls is likely Matt’s mother, Maggie. In the comics, Maggie suffered from postpartum depression following Matt’s birth, which eventually manifested into paranoia. She attempted to hurt baby Matt. After realizing what she’d done, she left Jack and Matt and was eventually taken in by a church, where she became a nun.
- Jack’s colors for the fight with Creel are red & yellow/gold. These are the colors of Daredevil’s original costume in the comics, said to be made from his father’s fight robe.
Claire: “Your outfit kind of sucks, by the way.”
Matt: “Yeah, it’s a work in progress.”
Claire: “So, they took this kid just to get to you?”
Matt: “Yeah, I’ve been making their lives difficult lately.”
Claire: “But you’re blind.”
Matt: “There are other ways to see.”
Claire: “This is what you do, you make life difficult for bad men?”
Matt: “That’s one way of putting it.”
Claire: “No offense, but you don’t seem to be very good at it.”
Matt: (laughs) “Yeah, well, you’re catching me on an off night.”
Young Matt: “Good thing about red.”
Young Matt: “Can’t tell how much you’re bleeding.”
Jack: “Who says I’m even gonna get hit?”
Young Matt: “We’re Murdocks. We get hit a lot.”
Foggy: “I drank the eel! Not a euphemism.”