Note: There will be spoilers in our summary.
The episode starts off with flashback to the chemical truck. We see that famous moment that took Matt Murdock's eyesight but also gave him other gifts. Jack Murdock comes running as we see Matt mention his eyes are burning and he can no longer see.
In the present, Matt is at church, in the confessional. Matt describes what it was like when his dad would fight and when he’d get knocked down. There was a darkness inside him, the devil was inside. “I’m not seeking penance for what I’ve done. I’m seeking forgiveness for what I’m about to do.”
Some women are being kidnapped in order to be sold. Matt shows up, dressed all in black and takes out the bad guys in a violent fashion. He almost plays with them. At the end, you can see that darkness he spoke of come out as he continues to beat on the main guy.
Foggy Nelson calls and wakes up Matt. They’re supposed to be meeting with a realtor. Foggy meets with a police friend, asking for a heads up if any interesting cases come up. With the realtor, Matt and Foggy are looking at possibly taking an office for their law practice in Hell’s Kitchen. Apparently the price is a little lower due to the construction around after the “incident,” possibly referring to the Battle for New York in The Avengers.
A woman is kneeling in front of a bloody body on the ground. She has a knife in her hands. The police bust in and she tries saying she didn’t do it. Foggy’s friend calls them about the woman picked up. Her name is Karen Page. Matt and Foggy visit her in the police interrogation room, claiming to be her lawyers. Daniel Fisher is the name of the victim, found in her apartment. It’s pointed out that she would be their first client. Karen worked with the guy. She didn’t know anything so she asked the guy out for a drink. She didn’t know what happened, all she remembers is waking up in her apartment with Fisher already dead. She begs them to believe that she didn’t do it. Matt listens to her heartbeat and says he believers her.
A guy is having lunch outside in the city. A guy comes up about some money that he owes. He’s representing someone that has taken over his debt. He shows him a live feed to his college-age daughter out in a park. It turns out his employer isn’t that concerned about the money, it’s more about his position and what he can do for them.
Foggy and Matt are discussing Karen. Foggy wants to make a deal. Matt doesn’t want to take a deal. He asks how come the police haven’t arrested her yet? Foggy says she might not be guilty, but she isn’t telling the truth. In her holding cell, Karen gets attacked, It turns out it’s the guy from the park. She’s almost killed but manages to scratch the guy in the face and scream out. Matt and Foggy want to get her released because she was almost killed. Matt wants to know why the assistant district attorney didn’t press charges. He wonders if they had too much evidence or information. Matt thinks there must be more going on.
Karen talks to Matt and Foggy about her position at the construction company, Union Allied. The construction’s been going on the past two years and there’s been some changes at the company. She accidentally opened a file for a pension meant for her boss. The amount was too large. She took it to her boss and he just laughed it off. She figured he must have been embezzling or something. Since she didn’t know anyone, she asked Fisher to get a drink so she could talk to him. He was an attorney for the company. All she remembers is getting a drink and starting to talk to him. She figures they had him killed because of her. She decides she wants to leave. She doesn’t want them to get hurt. Matt says she can stay with him for the night and he’ll keep her safe.
Matt’s place is pretty spacious. There’s a big bright billboard outside his window which allowed him to get a good price on it. Karen is curious about his blindness. He mentions it happened when he was a child. They talk some more and Matt tries to figure out why she wasn’t simply killed before. He asks if she kept the pension file. She says she didn’t keep the file. She gave it to her boss and then her computer was wiped. Is she telling the complete truth?
A discussion is underway with representatives from Union Allied and the guy representing the big boss. “We don’t say his name.” There’s mention of the vigilante in black when they ask how come their shipment was a little light. At Matt’s place, Karen sneaks out in the middle of the night. Matt, lying on the couch, is aware she’s leaving. She heads back to her place. Hiding in her ceiling is a USB thumb drive.She’s not alone in her apartment. A man attacks her and takes the thumb drive. He pulls out a knife to kill her when the masked vigilante shows up. A brutal fight takes place. The killer is skilled and puts up a good fight, which leads to them both flying out the window.
As Matt lies in the alley trying to recover from the fall, he has a flashback to his youth. His dad is trying to tell him to study so he doesn’t end up like him. Matt slowly gets up as the killer continues the fight. He finally defeats the killer and gets the thumb drive. Karen insists they can’t go to the police. The evidence is brought to the media.
Karen makes Matt and Foggy a meal out of gratitude. Foggy jokes they’ll still send her a bill, as soon as he figures out how to prepare one. She offers to help them out in the office and would work for free. Matt says she’s hired.
Matt heads to the gym where, presumedly, his dad worked out. He starts hitting a punching bag as we see things are being cleaned up. The police guard apparently shot himself and the killer Daredevil defeated hung himself in his cell. Plans are laid out to rebuild Hell’s Kitchen. Men are given guns to work the streets. Matt is then on the rooftop listening. He hears a kid’s scream for help as he’s taken away. Daredevil moves out.
This episode sets things up in a big way. Despite having to show his origin, it doesn't take the usual route in slowing things down to lay everything out. There could be some confusion for those completely unfamiliar with the character. They might not realize how a blind man can move and fight the way Matt does. Little by little, through flashbacks, more will be revealed. For comic fans, this is a great way to allow us to jump straight into the action and also build up the characters.
The show has a pretty great intro. There's a nice elegant touch to it.
The little details are fantastic. The scene between Matt and Karen in his apartment really allows them to develop. It’s a quiet and almost isolated scene. The rain and thunder outside was a nice touch. That's the nice thing about this being a "TV show" instead of a movie, things can be slowed down a little to allow the characters to be more human and we can see their relationship grow by simple conversations. In a movie, there wouldn't be the time or luxury to allow the characters to interact this way.
The fight is pretty epic. There is a higher level of violence allowed compared to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on regular television. When Karen is attacked in her apartment, it's almost like we get two fight scenes as it starts out inside and then ends with them flying through the window and continuing out in the rain. This makes it clear that the violence won't be toned down. This is serious stuff.
Again, because of the fact this is thirteen episodes, there's more room for the story to grow. We don't even see Kingpin here, although his presence is felt. The little ties to the Cinematic Universe with construction still going on, two years later, was a nice touch as well. It lets us know where this show fits in.
While we're willing to bet this won't be the absolute best episode in the series, it's an extremely strong introduction. It will make you happy with the option to immediately continue viewing the rest of the series instead of having to wait. There's a heavy cinematic feel to it, unlike your regular television programming. If this is what the rest of the series and the future Netflix Marvel shows will be like, we couldn't ask for more.
The only question is, do you continue watching the rest or allow yourself to savor them?