Season One, Episode Three – “Rabbit in a Snowstorm”
By Jarrod Jones. The third episode of Daredevil ought to be taught to future television producers who wish to adapt comic book properties. “Rabbit in a Snowstorm” is taut, terse, and terrific, all in that order. And for the fans of Marvel Comics who are nearing their AARP registration — along with comic fans who have a modicum of taste — there comes some validation: Ben Urich has arrived, and so has Wilson Fisk. Is anyone else just chomping at the bit to devour their Marvel Essentials? Because this show just got all kinds of reverent.
WHAT WORKED: The intrigue that emanates from the city desk of reporter Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall) is a promising indicator of intense things to come. And the fact that Marvel has backed such a seasoned actor to portray such a recognizable character (anyone else remember Curtis-Hall from The Sopranos?) shows that Daredevil means to see this season through with the utmost nobility.
Daredevil seriously knows how to utilize Murdock’s Radar Sense, and there has yet to be a better example of that than this episode’s courtroom sequence. How Matt can delineate that one of the jurors is compromised at the same moment that Fisk’s lackey enters the scene is a testament to how well considered this show was even before it started to film. If only other studios were as shrewd.
Every single moment of Daredevil has the pitch-black humor of a Coen Bros movie and the pathos of mid-era Sopranos. And somehow, it also has the action sequences of Mortal Kombat X. It goes places that the CW could never go, and it maintains the solidarity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What we have here is a goddamned miracle.
WHAT DIDN’T: Again, whenever the bad guys are allotted the time to delineate their schemes, Daredevil ends up picking its nose. Fortunately, it doesn’t last very long this time ’round, but for fuck’s sake: let loose the Kingpin already.
“You know somethin’, don’tcha?” “Yeah. Florida is beautiful this time of year.” – Ben Urich hits yet another wall.
“What is your problem?” “He wouldn’t even give us his name, Foggy.” “You wouldn’t care if you could see the zeroes on this check.” “Yeah, maybe you would if you couldn’t.” – Matt (Charlie Cox) and Foggy (Elden Henson) have a brotherly banter that has become one of the show’s more subtle sells. It hums like a well-oiled machine.
“That’s not a client. That’s a shark in a skin suit.” – Foggy’s Spidey-Sense is tingling. (It’s okay! I can say that now!)
“That was a hell of a speech you gave, Murdock. A hell of a speech.” – John Healy (Alex Morf), quantifying his own mortality.
BEST MOMENT: That fight scene. Once again, Daredevil somehow excels above its already sturdy storytelling with magnificent fight choreography. As Matt engages John Healy, I somehow saw captions written by Frank Miller in front of my very eyes: “Jeezus, he’s sharp.” “Trained.” “Fast.” (Plans for DoomRocket to start a Frank Miller Caption Generator have yet to be finalized.) But the fact that an inherently altruistic man has to shove a shard of glass into another man’s throat to reach the truth means that we have a long way to go before Matt starts donning his more traditional reds and blacks. That means that I’m in for the long haul.
EPISODE’S MVP: Charlie Cox. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing verbal chess with a Fisk subordinate (Toby Leonard Moore) or knocking a Fisk subordinate (Alex Morf) the fuck out, Charlie knows that he’s met a kindred spirit in Daredevil. The fact that he’s so good (and makes me want to see him in a Marvel Studios film) should be a solid indicator that Daredevil is a show to hang onto. There’s ten episodes left. Let’s hope I’m right.
– Yeah, Gramps, I know. Ben Ulrich used to be a white guy. But with Vondie Curtis-Hall on the job, does anybody really want to complain?
– Marvel is anti-anti-vax. I’m really into that.
– Matt feels more comfortable about his sunglasses being off around Foggy more so than around Karen. Ah… nuance.
– Our Mattie knows how to break a suspect. In and out of costume.
– That sophisticate chatting up Wilson Fisk? Lara, of Krypton. (Or: Ayelet Zurer.)