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Recap / Daredevil S1 E3 "Rabbit in a Snowstorm"

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John Healy walks into a bowling alley late at night, approaches the on-duty attendant, and asks for some shoes. She tells him that the alley is closed; only Prohashka, a gangster who worked out a special arrangement with the owner, is allowed to stay after hours. Healy approaches Prohashka about joining his game, but it turns out this is all pretense as he's actually a hitman here to kill Prohashka. He promptly disables Prohashka's two bodyguards, then draws a gun he just purchased from Turk Barrett just 36 hours earlier. He pulls the trigger...and the gun promptly jams (in spite of Turk's promise that it wouldn't). After a bout of fisticuffs, Healy breaks Prohashka's arms, then finishes him off by crushing his head with a bowling ball. As Healy catches his breath, he looks up and sees the lone employee has called 911 to summon the police. Healy hides the useless gun in a pinball machine, then surrenders to the police when they arrive and demands a lawyer.


The next morning, Matt is sitting on a bench outside his church. He is recognized by Father Lantom, who knows him as Jack Murdock's son. Father Lantom invites Matt to take confession, or even a latte, but Matt declines the chance to talk.

At the docks, New York Bulletin reporter Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall) meets with Silvio, an Italian mobster and long-time source. Silvio is planning on retiring to Florida to avoid being killed like so many other New York gangsters. Ben has heard talk of someone hitting the Russians, and that there's a new player on the criminal scene, but Silvio warns Ben that pursuing the story is dangerous.

At Nelson & Murdock, Karen is already in and looking at a summons she's received in the mail. She quickly stashes the summons in her purse as Foggy arrives, followed shortly after by Matt. The three banter about Karen's salary and a visible bruise Matt has around his right eye from last night's fight with the Russians, which he claims is from tripping. They're interrupted by a knock at the door from a client...


...specifically, James Wesley. Wesley refuses to give his name or talk about Confederated Global, the multinational corporation he claims he works for, but he seems to know a lot about Matt, Foggy, and Karen's histories. Wesley says he wants to put the firm on a generous retainer in exchange for their services and discretion, but first they must take on a case: defending Healy. Foggy is eager to accept Wesley's money, but Matt is suspicious after Wesley recognizes Karen from his attempt to have her framed for murder. Matt follows Wesley out of the office, tailing him for a few blocks until he gets into the middle vehicle in a convoy of three Cadillac Escalades. He sits down across from another figure in the car and assures him that "It's been taken care of." Matt stands for a moment as the Cadillacs drive away, then turns around to head for the precinct, while feeling one of his wounds reopening up from stress, leaving a small bloodstain on his shirt.


Foggy goes to the precinct and meets Healy, who claims self-defense and is clearly willing to lie through his teeth about the circumstances of the attack. Just as Foggy is ready to drop the case, Matt arrives and agrees to represent Healy, believing it's the best way to learn more about Wesley. However, Healy deflects all questions about Wesley or why Confederated Global is paying his legal bills, and insists on going to trial rather than taking a plea.

In his officer at the Bulletin, Ben finishes up a call with the hospital trying to deal with the insurance for his wife Doris, who is afflicted with Alzheimer's. He tries to convince his editor-in-chief, Mitchell Ellison, to let him pursue the Union Allied story, but is told that he needs to write fluff pieces to try and boost the ailing paper's circulation. Ben reluctantly concedes once Ellison offers to pull some strings with Ben's insurance provider.

Wesley goes to the bowling alley and retrieves Healy's gun from its hiding place. Meanwhile, Matt and Foggy settles their disagreement over the case and come up with a strategy for the defense. Matt suggests that Karen investigate Confederated Global, but Karen has left the office to answer a summons from Union Allied's lawyers. Union Allied – which is in the process of being dissolved – argues that Karen breached her non-disclosure agreements by releasing the pension file to the media and could be sued. Instead, they agree to pay her six months' salary in exchange for her silence, as long as she signs a contract to that effect.

Ben visits Metro-General Hospital to visit his wife. Although his insurance doesn't cover Doris's continued treatment, he manages to petition the hospital's administrator Shirley Benson into buying him another week of care so he can have extra time to file appeals. Later, he visits Doris's private room, though she's not awake.

At Nelson & Murdock, Foggy gripes about their poor office equipment as the team puts together Healy's defense. Karen digs up information on Confederated Global, but is only able to find a string of shell companies. When Matt reminds her to not take any long lunch breaks, she doesn't mention the Union Allied payoff. Some time later, Healy's case goes to trial, but while Foggy is giving the opening statement, Matt observes that one of the jurors becomes agitated when Wesley enters the courtroom.

Suspicious, Matt follows the juror that night in his vigilante outfit and learns that she's being blackmailed by one of Wesley's henchmen. Matt beats up the thug to learn more and demands a name, but the thug tells him that he has never been given one: All he knows is to watch out for a window in a certain building, and if the light is on he has a job. Matt then the settles for telling the thug to leave the juror alone and skip town. By the trial's end, the juror is excused from duty before Matt gives his final summation.

Matt: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, forgive me if I seem distracted. I've been preoccupied of late with, uh, questions of morality. Of right and wrong, good and evil. Sometimes the delineation between the two is a sharp line. Sometimes it's a blur. And often it's like pornography: you just know when you see it. [...] A man is dead. And my client, John Healy took his life. This is not in dispute. It is a matter of record. Of fact. And facts have no moral judgment. They merely state what is. Not what we think of them, not what we feel; they just are. What was in my client's heart when he took Mr. Prohaszka's life, whether he is a good man or something else entirely, is irrelevant. These questions of good and evil, as important as they are, have no place in a court of law. Only the facts matter. My client claims he acted in self-defense. Mr. Prohaszka's associates have refused to make a statement regarding the incident. The only other witness, a frightened young woman, has stated that my client was pleasant and friendly, and that she only saw the struggle with Mr. Prohaszka after it had started. Those are the facts. Based on these and these alone, the prosecution has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client was not acting solely in self-defense. And those, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, are the facts. My client, based purely on the sanctity of the law which we've all sworn an oath to uphold must be acquitted of these charges. Now, beyond that, beyond these walls, he may well face a judgment of his own making. But here in this courtroom, the judgment is yours and yours alone.

Owlsley is somewhat desperate to meet with Wesley's employer, believing the Healy situation is spinning out of control and he should simply be killed, but Wesley says they can't afford to leave any more bodies in light of everyone they killed to silence the Union Allied matter, so using a couple of lawyers who've just opened a practice is the most effective way of clearing things up.

Karen meets with Daniel Fisher's widow, who is moving out of New York with her children. Jennifer feels guilty for pushing her husband to do the right thing, and though Karen begs for help in exposing the conspiracy around Union Allied, Jennifer has already signed the payoff contract. Not knowing where else to go for help, Karen visits Ben at his office, claiming to have more on the Union Allied story.

In court, the jury returns from deliberation, but Matt realizes from reading the jurors' heartbeats that the jury is hung, and though multiple hung juries would normally result in a retrial, Matt is confident that Wesley and his people will make sure the case goes away. Sure enough, Healy goes free a few nights later, but Matt confronts him in his vigilante outfit, beats him into submission and tortures him until Healy gives up the name of Wesley's employer: Wilson Fisk. But then the professional killer starts shaking in fear, as he tells Matt that Fisk kills anyone who says his name, as well as everyone they care about, just to make an example of them. Despairingly, Healy calls Matt a coward, and tells him he should just have killed him instead of making him talk, and then, without hesitating, he commits suicide by impaling his head on a spike, much to Matt's shock.

The art dealer at an expensive gallery, Vanessa Marianna, is drawn to a large bald man who is transfixed by a painting that seems to be nothing but gradations of white.

Vanessa: There's an old children's joke. You hold up a white piece of paper and you ask, what's this? A rabbit in a snowstorm.

When Vanessa asks how the painting makes him feel, Wilson Fisk answers that it makes him feel alone.


  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: When Turk is selling the gun to Healy, the guns are shown being transported magazines in. This is not a smart move as that makes it impossible to verify if the weapon is unloaded. It's also implied the gun was probably a low quality knock-off that was not stored and maintained properly after it left the factory, so there's also a failure on Healy's part in not test-firing the gun before the hit. Later seasons establish that Turk specializes in selling extremely cheap and unreliable guns that are at their deadliest when used to bludgeon someone to death.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: When Healy reveals the name of his employer, he's so afraid of the prospect of what Wilson Fisk will do in retaliation that he immediately rams his face into a fence spike.
  • Bribe Backfire: Fisk's people attempt to bribe Karen with the equivalent of six months' salary in exchange for her silence. It's pretty obvious that Karen sees it for the bribe it truly is.
  • Call-Back:
    • Owlsley mentions the method of Rance's murder as a possible way to off Healy.
    • While dealing with Ben's insurance, Shirley mentions that her best nurse is out sick with the who-the-hell-knows what, which clearly is referring to Claire Temple.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: John Healy is never called "Oddball," in keeping with his being reimagined as a hitman.
  • Continuity Nod: The framed newspapers in Ben Urich's office reference the Harlem Terror and The Battle of NY.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Silvio Manfredi, the old-time mobster Ben Urich is talking to in the opening.
    Silvio: When I went up for my ten, every paper in town dragged my name through the shit. But you, you did it without mentioning my kids. Always been grateful for that.
    • Even Healy, presented as a sociopathic professional killer, has people he cares about so much he'd take his own life so Fisk won't exact retaliation on them.
  • Eye Scream: Healy impales his own face on a fence spike so that Fisk won't kill those he cares about.
  • Food as Bribe: Ben uses this on Shirley Benson. In a twist, he does it after the nurse has helped him out.
    Shirley Benson: You should've led with that.
    Ben Urich: That'd be cheating.
  • Friend on the Force: Wesley claims that he knows of Karen's legal situation because of his police contacts (read: corrupt cops on Fisk's payroll), and not because he was involved in setting her up or trying to have her killed in jail, and also makes clear he's aware of Matt and Foggy's relationship with Brett Mahoney.


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