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Recap / Daredevil S1 E10 "Nelson v. Murdock"

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"Nelson v. Murdock" is the tenth episode of Marvel's Daredevil.

Matt and Foggy's friendship is tested when Foggy learns the truth about the Devil of Hell's Kitchen. An unknown enemy targets Fisk and his associates.


  • 10-Minute Retirement: Ben decides to give up the investigation because his wife needs personal care and he can't afford a proper hospice. Karen coaxes him into checking out an aged care home and talking to a resident. Ben doesn't see the point as the place is far too expensive...until he realises the resident he's talking to is the mother of Wilson Fisk.
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  • After-Action Patch-Up: Subverted; the patching-up was done by Claire offscreen and we're just seeing Matt recovering; and rather than the usual bonding it leads to two old friends being estranged.
  • Answer Cut: When Foggy asks Was It All a Lie?, we cut to Foggy and Matt sharing a drunken Friendship Moment at college.
  • Army of Lawyers: The lawyers for Roxxon Oil (including Matt and Foggy) take up the length of a boardroom table, arrayed against the single lawyer of the complainant.
  • Ballroom Blitz: Not a blitz, but a number of people are poisoned at Wilson Fisk's reception, including Vanessa.
  • Beware the Mind Reader: When Matt reveals he's a Living Lie Detector, Foggy is freaked out over the invasion of privacy. Foggy then realises that Matt must have known every time he lied to him, and just played along.
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  • Boring, but Practical: Matt just bought the parts of his superhero costume from the internet rather than make it himself.
  • Blood Knight: Foggy doesn't buy Matt's story that hearing a child being molested drove him to vigilantism, pointing out that he would have had to have maintained his martial arts skills all the years since Stick taught him. Matt admits he's not driven to vigilantism; he does it because he wants to.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The episode ends with Foggy leaving the partnership.
  • Breather Episode: This episode focuses more on the central friendship of the series and flashbacks than Matt's vigilantism. Justified as Matt needs to spend a few days recuperating from his injuries, and his friendship with Foggy just hit a massive bump. You can tell how intense the show is when an episode that features the protagonist immobile from his injures, an intensely emotional argument between two friends that leaves a massive rift between them, and a character elsewhere getting poisoned qualifies as a "breather".
  • Call-Back:
    • When Matt says he's a Living Lie Detector, Foggy realises that's how he knew Karen was innocent. He also mentions that Clare was hot, adding bitterly "But I guess you already knew that, right?" a reference to how in the pilot episode he couldn't understand how Matt always seemed to know there was an attractive woman in the room.
    • After refusing to answer Karen's call, Foggy asks if that's what Matt does when his friends want to go out drinking with him or are worried about him because bombs are going off.
  • Cardboard Box of Unemployment: In a flashback Foggy shows his willingness to pass up an offer from the prestigious law firm they're working at to go into business with Matt instead by emptying an archive box of legal papers and declaring he's going to stuff it full of bagels from the firm's canteen because they won't be able to afford their own from now on. In the present day Foggy throws their "Nelson & Murdock, Attorney At Law" sign in the trash basket, packs his stuff into another archive box and leaves.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In the flashback to Matt and Foggy's time at Landman and Zack, the firm is defending Roxxon Oil, who are suing a man who developed cancer while working for them, claiming he revealed proprietary secrets, which Matt knows he didn't.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Foggy joined the Punjabi language class in the hope of hooking up with a hot Indian girl he was sweet on, but apparently didn't learn any of the actual language.
  • Fan Disservice: A shirtless Matt with his bruising and wounds, some of which are still bleeding even after being stitched up.
  • Flipping the Bird: After Matt tries to explain how the world looks through his eyes, Foggy combines this and How Many Fingers? in response.
  • Guilt by Association: Foggy points out that if Matt is arrested, no-one will believe that Foggy and Karen didn't know about his vigilante activities.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Foggy is clean-shaven in the present day, but the flashbacks show that he had longer hair and a goatee in college.
  • Happy Flashback: To Matt and Foggy's college days.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The flashback in this episode shows that Matt and Foggy met in college and then became extremely tight friends. Foggy trusts and cares for Matt so much he's willing to walk away from a lucrative legal position because Matt thought it wasn't ethical.
  • Hope Spot: Ben's wife appears to recover and encourages him to keep fighting as a reporter. She then goes blank for a moment, then responds to Ben as if she's just woken up, having forgotten the conversation she's just had. Then his nurse friend informs him that the extension she wrangled for him has just run out.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Foggy is furious that his friend who inspired him to give up a lucrative legal career to act as a poverty lawyer for purely ethical reasons, turns out to be inflicting vigilante justice without trial and using his super senses to spy on people without their consent.
    • After calling out Matt for lying to him, Foggy chooses to lie to Karen to keep Matt's secret. Foggy is rightly infuriated at being forced to make that choice.
    • Foggy calls Matt one for being a lawyer by day and a vigilante at night. Matt responds that sometimes the law isn't enough. Except Foggy is guilty of the same thing (going out and snooping for crime and physically putting a stop to it should it find him), though not to the extremes of violence Matt inflicts or is subjected to.
    • Leland Owlsley calls Fisk out for letting his courting of Vanessa distract him from the operation. Fisk reminds Leland that he has a son (who he's mentioned a few times), meaning he also once settled down with a woman and had a family.
  • In Vino Veritas: Matt almost lets slip about his super senses when Foggy asks if he gets disoriented while drunk.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Matt's first act as Daredevil was to beat an abusive father so badly that he spent a month in the hospital eating through a straw.
  • Manly Tears: Matt and Foggy both get misty during the argument, and just before Foggy walks out, Matt begins to sob openly.
  • Match Cut: The first flashback (of Matt and Foggy meeting in their dorms) has Foggy in the flashback standing up, cut to Foggy in the present day standing up.
  • Mythology Gag: In a flashback to Matt and Foggy's college days, Foggy references that "Greek girl" that Matt dated. At the time it was just a gag, but come season 2, it foreshadows Elektra's appearance in this very show.
  • Not So Different: Matt tells Foggy "We don't live in a world that's fair. We live in this one. And I'm doing everything I can to make it a better place." This disturbs Foggy because that's exactly what Wilson Fisk keeps saying. In this case, Foggy is concluding that Matt's vigilantism makes him no better than Fisk.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Foggy snaps at Karen over the phone when she offers to come around and help after Matt's 'accident', telling her he's handling it and she needs to stay at the office.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the flashback, Foggy calls Matt "young Padawan" while doing a Yoda impersonation.
    • After Foggy learns about Stick, he questions Matt on it.
    Foggy Nelson: A blind old man taught you the ancient ways of martial arts. Isn't that the plot to Kung Fu?
  • Single Tear: Matt weeps a single tear when Foggy demands to know if he committed the cop-killings and bombings the Devil of Hell's Kitchen is accused of.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Someone poisons the champagne at the benefit.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Foggy gushes about how handsome Matt is, causing him to be Mistaken for Gay before he clarifies that he's actually enthusiastic about Matt as a Romantic Wingman for helping pick up a better class of girl.
  • Translation Train Wreck: Foggy tries to speak Gratuitous Spanish and repeatedly says he and Matt will be great "avocados" instead of "abogados" (lawyers).
  • Undressing the Unconscious: Matt wakes to finds himself only in his briefs, as he had just received the beating of a lifetime in the last episode, and his friends had to undress him off-screen to treat his wounds.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Foggy starts to (quite rightly) question everything Matt has ever told him, starting with whether Matt is even really blind.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Foggy gives Matt one of these for the entire episode: you're a vigilante, you're a Blood Knight, you're a hypocrite, you lied to me, you put me and Karen in danger, you're going to get yourself killed, etc. It ends with both of them in tears and their friendship hanging by a thread.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Foggy reaction to being told his friend fought a ninja and was taught martial arts by a blind old man.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Turns out the junkie who killed Elena fell off a rooftop. Matt assures Foggy that this is Fisk's work, but naturally Foggy has trouble believing him.


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