“Revelations” dealt with the fallout of the secrets spilt by the previous episode, while revealing that nothing is quite the way it seems.
This review of Daredevil Season 3, Episode 9, “Revelations”, 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.
The truth might set you free, but it might just as easily make you feel more trapped and isolated than ever before. Such is the case with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) in “Revelations”, having just discovered that not only is faithful Sister Maggie (Joanne Whalley) his mother, but that his closest confidante, Father Lantom (Peter McRobbie), has always known that to be the case.
Matt is understandably pissed off, and flashbacks to a young Maggie meeting and becoming pregnant by his father do nothing to assuage his fury at having been lied to his whole life – even when, as he says, he thought himself to be alone in the world following his father’s death. Nobody comments on the rather obvious age difference between young Maggie and not-so-young Jack, so neither will I. Well, not again after this, anyway.
Meanwhile, Special Agent Ray Nadeem (Jay Ali) visits the home of Special Agent in Charge Tammy Hattley (Kate Udall), along with Agent Winn (Andrew Sensenig), to reveal his suspicions about Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Agent Pointdexter (Wilson Bethel). This backfires considerably, with Hattley executing Winn, framing Nadeem for the murder, and informing him that she is no longer his boss – Wilson Fisk is. This was what we sometimes refer to in the business as “one hell of a fucking opening.”
Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) is sensibly going on the run after revealing to Fisk that she killed his “BFF”, and so, in a sense, is Matt, who returns to the old gym where his father used to train, only to be greeted by him personally. Not really, of course – it’s another delusion, similar to how Fisk regularly appears to him, and it’s nice to see that Matt’s wavering psyche isn’t being neglected as the season progresses, even if having him chat with figments of his imagination isn’t the most nuanced way of exploring it.
Speaking of things that aren’t exactly nuanced, Dex turns up at the Nadeem family home in the traditional “bad guy lets the good guy know what time it is” fashion, complimenting his wife, Seema (Sunita Deshpande), on her cooking, and showing his son how to throw a curveball. (Hopefully not at any kittens.) And now that Nadeem is ripe for blackmail, we also get to enjoy smug Dex calling him “partner” and making him ring Matt with made-up tips, which I suppose was the logical next step for him after concluding the previous episode in Fisk’s bear-like embrace.
“Revelations” isn’t really about the revelations themselves, but how the various characters deal with them now that they’re out in the open. Joanne Whalley gets some fine moments of acting in this episode as she’s forced to confront her guilt over never telling Matt the truth, even though her reasons for doing so, when explained to Karen, whom she agrees to help protect, are relatable and sympathetic. Nadeem is aghast at the sheer extent of the corruption that has permeated the Bureau; the many agents who Fisk controls sit stony-faced in a meeting room, unwilling even to say his name aloud. They instead refer to him only by his codename: Kingpin. And comic fans rejoice! As it happens, this does lead to another revelation, which is that Fisk’s plan is much cleverer, and has been developing for much longer, than anyone could have predicted.
Of course, this leads to Nadeem being forced to bait Matt into a setup, and there’s a great scene of Jack morphing into Fisk as Matt’s better judgement is overwhelmed by his desire to confront and kill his nemesis. But he isn’t as desperate as we’ve been led to believe; instead of taking the bait and gate-crashing Fisk’s meeting with other local crime bosses (always pay attention to how scenes involving Fisk are framed, by the way; D’Onofrio is a big man, but not that big), he turns up at Fisk’s secret hotel surveillance hub, where he learns that Karen is due to be bumped off. But is she? “Revelations” treats this as a cliffhanger, but I’m not convinced. With what we know about Fisk – and with how obviously he and Dex lamented him not turning up to the meeting – it seems likely to me that this is all part of a bigger plan. I guess we’ll have to see.