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Recap / Daredevil S1 E5 "World on Fire"

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"World on Fire" is the fifth episode of Marvel's Daredevil.

Matt hunts for the Russians, unaware that he's been framed for the murder of Anatoly. While Fisk profits from the situation, he continues romancing Vanessa.


  • Accidental Murder: The Russian goons manage to accidentally hit the mule in the backseat of the taxi while shooting at Matt.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Despite having a pretty good idea what kind of man Fisk is, Vanessa turns up for a second date, though she carries a gun in her purse for protection. As a sign of trust, she hands the gun over to him after he levels with her about his true nature.
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  • And This Is for...: While whaling on Vladimir, Matt states "This is for Claire". Just before he can land the next punch, however, the police arrive.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After putting Vanessa's .22 pistol in his jacket, Fisk later reaches into his jacket when facing the waiter who phoned in his location. However he only takes out an envelope of money to pay him for making the call.
  • Batman Gambit: Fisk manipulates Vladimir into massing his forces in a few convenient locations where they can be taken out.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Despite Karen's claims that she only speaks Spanish at a high-school level, Deborah Ann Woll's command of it is quite impressive, using a vocabulary beyond what most high school classes would teach. Conversely, Charlie Cox's rapid-fire Spanish isn't actually that good.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Blake shoots Piotr in the head.
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  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Foggy and Karen go to Landman & Zack to get information for their client, a friend of Brett Mahoney's mother involved in a tenancy dispute. Karen's first remark on entering the lobby:
    Karen Page: Feels like a place in a movie where you'd buy a clone. Or maybe a robot baby. Or the clone of a robot baby.
  • Call-Back: Fisk justifies the deaths of the Russians to Vanessa by bringing up how they kidnapped a boy after beating up his father.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Detective Blake sarcastically refers to Wilson Fisk as King freakin' Kong. Andy Serkis (Ulysses Klaue) plays the titular character (as well as the team chef) in the 2005 remake, while Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Brie Larson (Carol Danvers), Shea Whigham (Roger Dooley), John C. Reilly (Rhomann Dey), and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) star in the 2017 reboot Kong: Skull Island.
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  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Matt being arrested at the scene of the crime.
  • Dirty Cop: Blake and Hoffman are now firmly established as these, killing Piotr in the interrogation room for saying Wilson Fisk's name.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "World on Fire" refers to how Matt perceives his surroundings with his super-senses, and the fate of the Russian hideouts in Hell's Kitchen.
  • Due to the Dead: Vladimir washes his brother's decapitated body.
  • Gainaxing: There are a few closeup shots that focus on Vanessa's cleavage.
  • Gorn: As if to make up for not showing Anatoly's beheading in detail in the previous episode, now we get some shots of bits of bone and goop being sprayed with a fire hose off the car's step and of Anatoly's headless body.
  • He Knows Too Much: Piotr is in the interrogation room being grilled by Blake and Hoffman, and he tells them Fisk's name, and wants to tell them everything he knows in exchange for a plea deal. A big mistake for him to make, because Blake and Hoffman are in Fisk's pocket.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Claire worries that Matt will become what he's fighting due to his desire to do whatever it takes.
  • Hidden Depths: Foggy shows he's not just Matt's unlucky-in-love best friend, having dated the formidable Marci Stahl and showing himself a dab hand at repairing the plumbing.
  • Hopeless with Tech: All of the office technology is acting up. Karen can't get the fax machine she got at the auction to work, and rats have apparently chewed through the phone lines.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Fisk is telling the other crime lords that he killed Anatoly over a personal matter, and then says that they'll be eliminating the rest of the Russians to keep Vladimir from retaliating:
    Wilson Fisk: We all knew that we would need to eliminate the Russians one day. They were too unpredictable.
    Leland Owlsley: This from a guy taking heads off with a car door.
  • Internal Affairs: After Blake and Hoffman kill Piotr, Fisk makes the problem go away by bribing the Internal Affairs investigators into quashing the investigation.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Fisk decides to take care of two problems by blaming Matt for Anatoly's death. He doesn't really intend either to eliminate the other, though. He just wants the Russians distracted while he takes care of them.
  • Manly Tears: Vladimir, on seeing Anatoly's headless body.
  • Meaningful Background Event: At the precinct, you can notice behind Matt a poster saying "You don't have to reveal your identity to solve violent crime."
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Vanessa tells Fisk a story of how a prince dressed in all white with an ascot tried to seduce her. Fisk comments that his attire was a bit much. Fisk in the comics is portrayed as a Villain in a White Suit more often than not.
    • Claire jokes about Matt not needing a day job because he's a billionaire playboy, references to both Batman and Green Arrow.
  • Nominal Importance: Repeatedly invoked for Elena Cardenas. Foggy, Karen and Matt repeatedly refer to her by name, of course, and Foggy insists on it when dealing with Marci.
  • Oh, Crap!: Piotr's face when he realizes that the police detectives he just told Fisk's name to are in fact on Fisk's payroll, and are fully intent on killing him for doing so.
  • The Oner: The cab scene.
  • Orbital Shot: The camera does several 360 turns on an orbital rig while inside the cab.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • For a given value of "stupid." Vanessa can pretend like she doesn't know what Fisk does, but she knows. She understands very much. And when he tells her why the buildings on fire have been removed from the city, all she can say is, "...Good."
    • Wesley asks Vladimir the whereabouts of Anatoly and pretends that he wasn't there when Fisk killed him.
  • Police Brutality: Detectives Blake and Hoffman murder Piotr in their interrogation room for giving up Fisk's name.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Marci tries to condescendingly convince Foggy to drop his current case, where Mrs. Cardenas is worried about her and several others being evicted from their building. Foggy responds accordingly:
    Foggy Nelson: Marci? [sighs] Convincing my client to agree to your terms? That's your job, and I'm not going to do it for you. See, you think there are only two options: These tenants take the payout and leave, or leave without taking it. But given how long they've put up with Tully's bullshit, I think you're actually afraid that Mrs. Cardenas and her neighbors will find a way to eke by. And short of physically and very illegally forcing tenants from their rent-controlled homes, Armand Tully loses his condos. Your firm loses Tully. And that's very bad for business. You want me and my client to think that you're doing us a favor, that we have no leverage. When really, we have all of it. So you're gonna see us in court where I will absolutely dismantle you, from the top of your salon blowout to the bottom of your overpriced pumps. [Karen grins]
    Marci Stahl: [pause] You would've killed it here, Foggy Bear. You never should have left.
    Foggy Nelson: You never should have signed on, Marce. You were really something, back in the day. When you had a soul.
    [he and Karen walk away]
  • Shipper on Deck: Mrs. Cardenas, for Karen and Foggy.
  • Ship Tease
    • Karen and Foggy accept Mrs. Cardenas invitation, which they play off as a date. As Karen is inviting Foggy to touch her face and tell her what it feels like, a bomb goes off.
    • Matt and Claire have a Relationship Upgrade. They kiss after she agrees to shelter at his place, and she even admits she's falling in love with him.
  • Shout-Out: Matt can sense "micro-changes in air density".
  • Suicide Attack: The mule sent to the Russians by Gao is carrying a bomb in his backpack that destroys the Russians just as they're assembling to go to war. Similar bombs destroy three other assembly points, removing Vladimir's forces at a stroke.
  • Traitor Shot: Subverted; the waiter is shown phoning in Fisk's location to the Russians, but Fisk later pays him for doing so, showing it was All According to Plan.
  • Translation: "Yes": During an underground meeting, Madame Gao laughs and says a long string of untranslated Chinese on seeing Fisk. Wesley just translates it to "she's happy to see you."
  • Tactful Translation: Moments later, Fisk informs the other crime lords that he killed Anatoly:
    Madame Gao: [Speaks angrily in Mandarin]
    James Wesley: She's upset that they weren't consulted.
    Nobu: [angrily swears in Japanese]
    James Wesley: ...He isn't happy either.
    Leland Owlsley: Deal me in on that!
  • Villains Out Shopping: Or rather, out dining. The second dinner date for Fisk and Vanessa goes much better, explosive demolition of several buildings notwithstanding.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Fisk presents himself to Vanessa as this. He genuinely wants to help the city, and is doing whatever it takes no matter how cruel and ruthless. It doesn't help that Matt is suggested to be Not So Different in that way by Claire.
  • Wham Episode: Not for nothing was this the final episode pre-released to critics, with Fisk blowing up the Russians' operation while Matt gets caught by the cops.
  • Wham Line: "What kind of gun do you have in your purse?"


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