“Into the ring” wasted no time in landing the first punch. We already have a sense of Murdock’s conflicted nature between struggling defense attorney by day and crime fighting vigilante by night. The former is a sensitive, gentle soul who is reaching out to the oppressed of a crime-ridden and corrupted city, while the latter is a violent brutal personification of a man who is fed up. It’s very clear that his fighting methods are just as much about subduing wrongdoers as they are about him releasing a pent up rage or as Murdock himself puts it a chance for him to “Let the Devil Out”. It’s this precise complexity that gives Murdock a sense of depth and emulates the Marvel fueled “flawed character” moniker that makes Daredevil such an interesting character.
Speaking of which I thought the writers of the series got it right when they choose, not necessarily to forego the origin story, but to implement it into the plot in bite-size relevant flashbacks. Instead of having to sit through a half-hour of Matt trying to deal with being blind, then a half hour of him trying to learn how to fight crime, we are hit immediately with the traumatic impact of losing his sight and for the most part he appears to already be an adept fighter. In doing so, the writers started out strong and didn’t lose momentum in their story by having to spend a majority of the episode leading back to the actual meat of the story. Given, this does raise some question but it’s the type that pulls viewers in and makes them want to keep watching rather than annoys them for being vague and confusing.
Matt isn’t the only character that is written well. His longtime friend and law partner, Foggy Nelson, also has an element of being a flawed, multi-layered individual with more to offer to the plot than just merely being an archetype. Foggy comes off as being overly-confident, smooth and very sure of himself. However from his interactions with Matt we can gather that his confident demeanor is actually a façade for his own inferiority. Nelson is much more than just comedic relief for an otherwise dark series, there is a sense of dynamic to him that is already very apparent in how he views Matt. He’s just one example of the writers giving depth to their characters, something that I really hope continues throughout the series.
Additionally, there is already a multi-faceted complex white collar crime in place that introduces us both to a web of criminal activity and begins foreshadowing of a larger player in the game. Even those who have never read Daredevil and have absolutely no prior knowledge of it will find themselves drawn into the dark overtones, the sophisticated cerebral foreshadowing and the complex interlocking plot that’s just dripping with intrigue. Given, main antagonist build-up sometimes falls into the trap of being telegraphed and at worse will force characters into fits of expository dialogue; Daredevil mentions a larger character in the game by integrating it into the plot seamlessly, rather than shoving it in our face and retracting from the immediate plot.
In a sense that’s what I find immediately charming about Daredevil. It succeeded in introducing a complex plot with dark sophisticated overtones that doesn’t lose sight of the heroic, comic book charm that many movies and shows lose touch with. While only into the first episode I already like the direction the writers are taking with the story. It’s dark, cerebral but not so much that it comes off as being teenage angst fanfiction nor does it lose touch with the childlike wonder that come with super heroes. I guess what I’m trying to say that even though I am only one episode into the series, the show is already making me feel like a child again but at the same time it feels much deeper than that. While there is still plenty of time for the show to lose its way, so far Daredevil features a complex, jarring and even brutal showing that somehow manages to keep in contact with its inner-child.