“Reunion” included some major plot developments, as Fisk hit the streets (and a run of bad luck) while Team Daredevil found a new member.
This review of Daredevil Season 3, Episode 11, “Reunion”, contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free review of the first six episodes by clicking these words, and find our review of the previous episode by clicking these ones.
In the aftermath of Dex’s (Wilson Bethel) attack on the church at the end of the previous episode, let’s take stock of the chaos. Dex, while we’re on the subject, is losing it. Unfortunately his sulking also includes throwing things at people, and doing so while dressed as Daredevil, so the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen is now a federal fugitive. He’s also in bad shape. Matt (Charlie Cox) has had his arse handed to him multiple times throughout the season, and now he needs to go on the run – and with Karen (Deborah Ann Woll), who can’t stay behind to cover for him because Special Agent Nadeem (Jay Ali) and God-knows-who-else is on Wilson Fisk’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) payroll.
Sister Maggie (Joanne Whalley), meanwhile, is sniffing around outside and realising that all is not quite what it seems with the FBI’s investigation. She also smartly delays their attempts to access the bowels of the church by making as much noise as she possibly can to alert Matt of their presence. And look, let’s not lump Agent Nadeem in with Dex and Fisk at this point – it’s clear very early on in “Reunion” that his conscience is starting to get the better of him.
So who is being reunited with whom here? The episode might easily get its title from Fisk’s reunion with freedom; through some complex legal shenanigans, all charges against him are dropped, and he’s released back into the wild, but not before delivering a typically Fiskian speech to the booing public. Dewy-eyed, indignant Kingpin might be my favourite variety. And it’s not too difficult to believe, in our current climate, that an obviously manipulative and dangerous criminal might be given the benefit of the doubt by an indifferent citizenry.
With Fisk free, some outside-the-box thinking is required to get Karen to safety, which involves Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), who had previously been busying himself with his own, mildly uninteresting personal issues, leveraging his newfound campaign support within local law enforcement to have Karen taken into the custody of the NYPD, rather than the FBI.
“Reunion” also contains an intriguing detour, as Fisk personally visits a notably tiny woman in an attempt to regain his favourite painting. After regaling him with a horror story about how her family were killed by the Gestapo, she likens Fisk to those oppressors, and insists that he and people like him will get no more from her – including the painting. So there’s no reunion here.
But the real reunion of the episode is between Matt, Karen and Foggy, who finally decide to be best buds again, albeit after an argument about the merits of Matt’s intention to kill Fisk and those of Foggy’s plan to put him behind bars – again. I must concede that it’s difficult to get behind Foggy’s argument here, however much faith you place in law and order, but Daredevil as a character has certain moral standards he must uphold, and the whole no killing thing is one he’s pretty serious about. So the new plan is to convince someone with knowledge of Fisk’s operation to reveal what they know… gee, I wonder who that could be?
Luckily for Team Daredevil, Fisk decides that since Nadeem allowed Karen to be handed over to the NYPD, he and his family are worthy of extermination. (He makes this clear by battering another Fed to death just for delivering the news.) I must admit that the shootout between Nadeem and the assassins was one of the best moments of the season thus far, at least for me; not in terms of the staging (competent, as ever, but nothing special) but the significance for the character. A lot of action sequences in this season have worked the same way, and the best action sequences always do. It might seem a little too convenient that Matt arrives in the nick of time to bail Nadeem out, especially since Matt needs Nadeem to testify against Fisk and ordering his assassination is a good reason for him to do so, but I like that the script insisted on Nadeem not offering his services quite so easily. He, reasonably, doesn’t trust anyone. So, to win him over, Matt removes his mask – surprise! I suppose that’s a reunion of a kind.