Daredevil Episode Guide: “World On Fire” (Season 1, Episode 5)

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Original Airdate: 04/10/2015
Written by: Luke Kalteux
Directed by: Farren Blackburn
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
Toby Leonard Moore as James Wesley
Bob Gunton as Leland Owlsley
Ayelet Zurer as Vanessa Marianna
Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple
Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk

Guest Starring

Nikolai Nikolaeff as Vladimir Ranskahov
Rob Morgan as Turk Barrett
Royce Johnson as Sgt. Brett Mahoney
Wai Ching Ho as Madame Gao
Peter Shinkoda as Nobu
Chris Tardio as Detective Blake
Daryl Edwards as Detective Hoffman
David Vadim as Sergei
Tony Naumovski as Dmitry
Judith Delgado as Elena Cardenas
Amy Rutberg as Marci Stahl
Alexander Blaise as Marcel
Dennis Duswalt as Cop #1
Paul Mann as Piotr
Kirill Nikiforov as Aslan
Meng Ai as Runner
Vincent Veloso as Suicide Drug Runner
Angel Rosa as Police Officer #1
Mike Carlsen as Police Officer #3
Roman Blat as Big Russian

First Appearance: Elena Cardenas, Marci Stahl


Claire examines her wounds and bruises as she gets ready to take a shower at Matt’s place. It’s the next morning and he’s making her breakfast as she steps out the bathroom. She asks what he does for a living and he tells her he’s a lawyer. He can taste copper in the air from the fresh blood of a wound she’s just reopened on her back. Tending to it, her can feeling the swelling in her back is diminished and hear that she’s only got hairline fracture to one of her rear ribs. Impressed and creeped out, Claire asks how he’s able to determine all of that, and Matt explains his heightened senses and the various ways he uses them to form what he calls an “impressionistic painting.” She asks what that looks like, and he says he sees a world on fire. Concerned about her safety, he asks Claire to stay with him at his place. She’s reluctant but agrees. They kiss. She asks why he doesn’t go to the police about the Russians, and he counters that gathered what he knows as a vigilante. He insists he needs to take down Wilson Fisk to stop the whole organization. She questions how he’s sure Fisk is the leader when he can’t find anything on him. Matt lays out that he thinks Fisk hired a guy to kill Prohaszka in the bowling to get the Russians his cab business but no one will talk. Claire remembers a name from the cab garage that might better help him: Vladimir.

Vladimir is frantically trying to get ahold of his brother by phone. Wesley comes to see him. He thanks the Russian for accepting their offer and says they need to work out a few more details. Playing dumb, Wesley asks where the missing Anatoly is, and Vladimir says he was going to ask the same question since he was last seen going to visit Fisk. Wesley says he left happy after agreeing to the deal. Men arrive with Anatoly’s headless body. As Vladimir mourns and examines the body, he finds a mask similar to Matt’s in a pocket. Believing the Man in Black did this, Vladimir orders his men to hunt down the man and bring Vladimir his head.

In a parking garage, Leland Owlsley, Nobu, and Madame Gao await Fisk as a goon washing the blood from Fisk’s SUV. Fisk and Wesley arrive and Fisk apologizes for his absence of late. Owlsley asks where the Russians are and Fisk tells them they are out after he killed Anatoly. Gao lays into him in Chinese, which Wesley translates as anger for Fisk making the decision on his own. Nobu concurs in Japanese, and Owlsley follows suit. Fisk explains it was a personal matter, and Wesley chimes in that Vladimir believes it was the masked man who killed his brother and will turn his attention to killing him. They were going to remove the Russians at some point anyway, Fisk reminds them. Gao asks what they will do for delivery of their product now, and Fisk insists they keep going through the Russians for the time being and then he’ll take over distribution. Owlsley caws at Fisk getting a bigger share, but the big man says they will split everything four ways, evenly. All agree and break the meeting. In English, Nobu reminds Fisk that he speaks for a group and they need to be taken care of. Fisk asks to walk Gao to her car, and she assumes he wants something from her. He just wants to put this behind them and move ahead, he says.

Some Russians drive a Chinese man wearing sunglasses at night around in a cab as he sings a traditional Chinese song. They try to ask him about the Man in Black but he doesn’t respond. They stop at a location, grab a bag from the Chinese man, and walk it inside a building. Matt arrives, in mask, as the Chinese man continues to sing, unaware. The Russians comes back outside and Matt attacks. Some others run out of the building and start firing guns, killing the Chinese man. Matt takes them down and the first two start running. He stops one and tries to ask him about Vladimir. Scared, the man pleads for him not to take his head off. Confused, Matt gets the man to tell him about Anatoly and how the Russians believe he was decapitated by Matt. The cops arrive and Matt runs as they arrest the Russians.

Karen tries to work an obsolete copy machine in the office the next day with little luck. Matt shows up and asks her and Foggy if they’ve heard anything about a Russian getting his head cut off. They haven’t. A woman, Elena Cardenas, enters and asks if they are the law firm. In the conference, she says she was referred to them by Bess Mahoney, Brett’s mom. She explains how her apartment is rent controlled but the building landlord, Armin Tully, who Foggy recognizes as a known slumlord, wants to convert the building to condos and is trying to kick out the tenants. She explains this in Spanish, which Karen loosely translates, but Matt is actually fluent in the language. Karen says he should continue but he pushes that she should because he likes the sound of her voice. Mrs. Cardenas tells how men showed up with sledgehammers to try to drive people out, and how there is no running water or electricity. The tenants tried calling the police, but they said they couldn’t help and needed to contact the city. Foggy reviews an offer from Tully to pay $10,000 to each person to leave and wonders if they could leverage him for more money. Mrs. Cardenas insists they want to stay in their homes. In Spanish, Matt assures Mrs. Cardenas they will help. He says Foggy will speak to Tully’s lawyer while he goes to talk to the police. Foggy objects to talking to the lawyer because Tully’s represented by Landman & Zack, the firm they interned with and were offered jobs at before turning them down to go out on their own. Saying he can’t go alone, Matt offers for Karen to go with Foggy, which she agrees to.

Matt arrives at the precinct and runs into Brett Mahoney. Mentions his mother and their case. Brett immediately recognizes that it’s about Tully, and he’s surprised Matt & Foggy are going to go after him. Matt asks if he can pull any complaints against Tully from the tenants that they can review. Matt sits and waits while Brett goes for the files, and he overhears detectives questioning one of the Russians he attacked the night before. The Russian gives up Fisk’s name to save his bacon. Detectives Blake and Hoffman free the Russian, then Blake punches Hoffman to stage an attempted escape. Blake pulls his gun and shoots to Russian, telling him he really shouldn’t have said Fisk’s name. Matt is stunned by the exchange.

Foggy and Karen show up to Landman & Zack. They are met by Marci Stahl, one of the firm’s lawyers, and an old flame of Foggy’s. Marci is part of the team representing Tully and she tells them that there won’t be any budge; the tenants can take the settlement in live in poor conditions until they are evicted. Foggy and Karen protest, mentioning the workers with sledgehammers that wrecked the place. Marci insists they were requested repairs and the work wasn’t done because the workers fled for fear of their safety. The criminal element in the building is too severe, she says. With hundreds of similar cases in the system, Marci is adamant that they tenants will have to play ball to get anything out of this. Foggy spins it on her, asserting that Tully is afraid because the tenants could potentially wait him out in their meager surroundings. If he tried to force them out, he would be in violation of the law. So, he sees it going to court, where they would win and he’s certainly Tully is afraid of that and Landman & Zack would be concerned that they lose Tully as a client. Marci is impressed and says he should’ve stayed. He tells her she shouldn’t have traded her soul to work for the firm.

Fisk and Wesley discuss what went down at the precinct. Fisk is concerned about events like this going down when there might be others who aren’t “their people” around. Wesley assures him they’ve got Internal Affairs covered with the police and that everything is taken care of. He also offers that Vladimir is going to be done to no one to trust. Foggy and Karen show up to Mrs. Cardenas’ apartment and offer to help her with repairs. Meanwhile, outside the precinct, the Man in Black pays a visit to Detective Blake. He forces the cop to admit to him that he killed the Russian because he said Fisk’s name. Leveraging the belief he took of Anatoly’s head, Matt urges Blake to tell him where Vladimir is. He swears he doesn’t know and Matt can hear by his heartbeat that he’s telling the truth. He asks the cop what the connection between Fisk and the Russians is, why kill Prohaszka. Blake is incredulous that the vigilante doesn’t know and uses the moment to try to pull a gun from an ankle holster. Matt knocks him out. Blake’s phone rings and Matt picks it up.

At an emptied restaurant, Vanessa meets Fisk for another dinner. He expresses surprise she came, she expresses the same, but he’s grateful. She mentions being lied to by others in the past, even about simple stuff that required no lies, and asks if he’ll lie to her. He offers that he hates being in public and hates being questioned, but that he will answer anything she ever asks him honestly. She considers a moment, then asks what wine they will be drinking.

Vladimir washes his brother’s body in his office. Turk Barrett arrives with Sergei, supposedly with information about the Man in Black. Turk tells them he’s got an old prisonmate who told him he that an SUV came to the chopshop he was working in the day before, covered in blood and brains, to be detailed. Vladimir asks who owns the SUV and Turk describes Fisk. Turk says his friend couldn’t hear everything but it sounded like Fisk and the Man in Black were close. Vladimir assumes the vigilante is work for Fisk. He orders Sergei to get all the men and guns he can. Then, he tells Turk to put out a bounty on the location of Fisk for $1 million.

At the apartment building, Foggy and Karen get the water going in Mrs. Cardenas’ place. She’s so appreciative that she cooked food for them. With no working appliances in her place, they ask how she was able to cook. She says she did so at an apartment downstairs, that all of the neighbors are sharing to look out for one another. As preps the table for them, Mrs. Cardenas’ assumes they are couple, which Foggy picks up on. He asks Karen if this is a date, and she happily agrees that it seems to be. Claire looks over the burner phone Matt got off of Blake back at his place. There is nothing on there but a text with four locations. She reads the text to Matt and he recognizes one of the locations as the place where he went to rescue the boy. He assumes one of them has to be where Vladimir is and begins to head out. Claire stops him to offer concern about what he’s becoming. She believes in what he’s doing but she feels that he’s becoming as dark as the people he is fighting. She says that she can’t fall for someone like that. He tells her she shouldn’t and leaves her in tears.

Vanessa tells Fisk about a prince who hit on her, using a bold pick-up line that got her into bed with him. Fisk seems a bit disturbed by this, which Vanessa assumes is a prudish response to her sleeping with the man so quickly. He says that he wished he had come up with such a line when they first met. She’s glad that he didn’t. She comments on the wine and asks if he picked it. Fisk admits that it was Wesley who did and describes him as an assistant and a friend. Vanessa is glad to hear he has friends considering he described himself as alone previously. Fisk says that his business can leave one feeling lonely. She asks what he does, and he tells her that he rebuilds the city in an effort to make it better. She calls him an artist, he says man with a dream. She notes his cufflinks, the same ones from before, and that he’s playing with them again. Fisk explains they were his father’s and he wears them every day to remember him. He died when Fisk was a child. He asks if he can ask her a question now; she agrees. He asks what kind of gun she has in her purse and if she brought it specifically to protect herself from him. Vanessa states she’s insulted that they’ve talked for hours and he’s still trying to hide the kind of man she knows he is from her. He asserts that he told her the truth about what he wants for the city, but that money and power can’t bring change on this scale along. Force is necessary. She know he’s dangerous and that’s why she brought the gun. He owns up to hurting people and that he will hurt more to accomplish what he set out to do. So she doesn’t need the gun, she asks. He insists that by his side is the safest place she can be. Vanessa hands the gun to him. As this goes on, the maitre’d fields a phone call and looks conspicuously at Fisk.

Sergei meets with Vladimir. Turk received a call from the maitre’d and knows where Fisk is. Matt overhears their conversation from the roof above. At the Cardenas apartment, Foggy shares a story about pulling a prank on Matt in college and moving his furniture out into a different dorm as they finish dinner. Karen asks about Foggy and Marci. He doesn’t want to get into it but chalks it up to influence from Matt, who always seems to date bad girls. Intrigued, Karen asks if Matt dates a lot. Foggy explains that he doesn’t really date anyone longer than a month or two. He mentions Matt getting to touch a lot of women, clarifying that he feels their faces to see how they look. Matt always seems to know the beautiful ones beforehand, though, Foggy notes. Karen is curious if he let Matt touch his face. Once, briefly, he insists. She asks if Foggy ever told Matt what she looks like. No, he’s probably got a good image in his head, Foggy says. And if it hadn’t hit him up to that point, Karen asks if he would touch her face to get an idea of what a blind person does to get a feel for how someone looks. She offers to do it to him, too. Awkward as it is, Foggy agrees.

Another Chinese man in sunglasses makes way down an alley. He’s using a cane for the blind. He’s stopped by two of the Russians and says he has a delivery from Gao. One of them takes him inside. Matt shows up and takes the other guard down. The Russians get armed and armored up as Gao’s delivery man is brought into the building. Suddenly, he reveals the trigger to a bomb in his hand and Vladimir and Sergei duck for cover. The delivery man blows the bomb. A door is blown into Matt and the Russian outside as the building goes up. At the apartment, Foggy closes his eyes and begins to touch Karen’s face when another bomb goes off outside. Mrs. Cardenas stumbles into the room with a head injury. As Karen tends to her, Foggy runs to check on others in the building. All four locations explode. At the restaurant, Vanessa watches them burn from the window. She’s appalled. Fisk reminds her of the boy who watched his father taken from their van and beaten, who was then kidnapped. He says that those responsible will no longer bring harm to anyone. Understanding now, she is accepting and glad.

Matt wakes on the ground, shaken by the bomb, and stumbles to his feet. He overhears Sergei looking for Vladimir inside the building. On the road, Turk counts money as he talks to Wesley. He sold out the Russians. Turk asks why they planted the mask on Anatoly if this was their plan all along. Strictly to misdirect and keep Vladimir busy so he didn’t see it coming, Wesley tells him. Sergei and Vladimir try to escape, but Matt meets up with them. Knocking Sergei down, Matt goes after Vladimir for hurting Claire. He pummels him badly. Before he can do any more damage, the cops show up and tell him to raise his hands and get on the ground.


  • In the comics, the radioactive waste that blinded him as a kid also affected Matt’s other senses, heightening them to superhuman levels. Matt spent years honing his senses to develop what is commonly referred to as his “radar sense.” In the 2003 Daredevil movie, this was depicted as kind of visual sonar, where sound would bounce off of everything to locate it and Matt’s other senses would hone and shape that into a shadowy sight of the world around him. A similar technique was employed for the DC character of Batman in the Arkham series of video games, referred to as “Detective Mode.” This also found its way into the 2008 film The Dark Knight where Batman uses echo location by pinging sounds off of every cellphone in Gotham to locate the Joker. Here, we are treated to a unique view of Matt’s inner vision, a world depicted like fire, which plays into the devil theme.
  • The outfit of the prince who hit on Vanessa that she describes — a white suit with an ascot — is a nod to the iconic look of the Kingpin in the comics. As an inside joke, Fisk scoffs at the ascot.


Claire: “Lawyer by day, vigilante by night. How does that work?”
Matt: “I’ll let you know when I figure it out.”

Matt: “You just opened one of the cuts on your back.”
Claire: “How do you know that?”
Matt: “Can taste copper in the air”
Claire: (laughs) “Copper in the air.”
Matt: “May I?”
Claire: “Knock yourself out, Houdini.”
Matt: (opens her robe and feels her back) “The swelling’s down. The rib fracture’s only a hairline. I couldn’t tell before.”
Claire: “You have x-ray fingers now?”
Matt: (laughs) “I can hear your bones shift when you breathe. No grinding means nothing’s broken.”
Claire: “What does a hairline fracture sound like?”
Matt: (considers) “An old ship…”
Claire: “How do you… I mean, I mean, I know that you’re blind, but you see so much. How?”
Matt: “I guess, you have to think of it as more than just five senses. I can’t see, not like everyone else, but I can feel. Things like balance and direction. Microchanges in air density, vibrations, blankets of temperature variations. Mix all that with what I hear, subtle smells. All of the fragments form a sort of … impressionistic painting.”
Claire: “Okay, but what does that look like? Like, what do you actually see?”
Matt: “A world on fire.”
Claire: “If all I saw was fire, I’d probably want to hit people, too.”

Madame Gao: (speaks irately in Chinese)
Wesley: “She’s upset they weren’t consulted.”
Nobu: (speaks angrily in Japanese)
Wesley: “He isn’t happy, either.”
Owlsley: “Deal me in on that.”

Elena Cardenas: “Excuse… Is this Señor Foggy law?”

Foggy: “I can’t go to L&Z alone. They’re gonna shark attack me, Matt. Look at me. I’m delicious.”

Detective Hoffman: “Ut oh. That’ll buy you a one-way ticket to 30 years in Asshole Land.”

Karen: “Feels like a place in a movie where you buy a clone. Maybe a robot baby. Or the clone of a robot baby.”

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