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Recap / Daredevil S1 E6 "Condemned"

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"Condemned" is the sixth episode of Marvel's Daredevil.

Picking up from where the last episode left off, a group of police officers, led by Officer Corbin, have cornered Matt as he's beating down on Vladimir and Sergei. Pistols drawn, they advance on Matt and handcuff him. As they're about to take him away, one of the officers asks Corbin what they're to do with the other two in the alley. Corbin tells them to kill the two Russians and Leave No Witnesses. Matt, now realizing these are corrupt cops working for Fisk, promptly attacks and overpowers all three officers. During the struggle, an errant police bullet hits Vladimir in the leg. Matt then grabs Vladimir and runs off. Moments later, Officer Corbin recovers, and sees Sergei still breathing. Regaining his footing, he picks up his pistol and shoots Sergei in the head, killing him instantly, then calls in a "shots fired" call over the air.

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At the Bulletin offices, Ben Urich is busy putting together a map tying the recent criminal activities together. He's interrupted by a commotion going on outside. Mitchell Ellison informs the writing staff about the explosions and begins assigning reporters to cover the story. Urich realizes that the explosions were terrorist attacks when he learns the addresses, knowing that they're controlled by the Russians.

Word of the masked man and Vladimir's escape gets back to Fisk as he and Wesley are driven through the area. They posit that the Devil is trying to get Vladimir to talk to him about Fisk. Wesley also remarks that they may have to deal with Detective Blake, due to Matt beating him senseless and getting the addresses for the sweep off Blake's phone. Fisk tells him that they'll hold off on that matter.

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Meanwhile, Blake and Hoffman lead the sweep of one of the explosion sites, looking for survivors. They find one trapped under a pile of rubble. Blake tortures the man for information on Vladimir's whereabouts by applying pressure to the cinder blocks pinning his leg down. The henchman begs for Blake to kill him. Blake sighs, raises his pistol, and shoots the henchman in the head. He then gives orders to the other corrupt cops to do the same thing to any other survivors.

Matt, meanwhile, takes the wounded Vladimir to the second floor of an abandoned building elsewhere in Hell's Kitchen, narrowly avoiding the police. Vladimir is still mad at Matt (thinking that he killed Anatoly on Fisk's orders), as Matt tries to reason with him that Fisk wants him dead. He quickly fades out of consciousness.

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Meanwhile, Foggy and Karen have brought the wounded Mrs. Cardenas to the hospital, with Karen using a towel to stifle bleeding from Mrs. Cardenas' scalp. They hand her off to Claire Temple, who begins administering treatment. Only as Foggy is about to call Matt to check in on him do they find that Foggy took some shrapnel from the blast and has bled significantly (the bleeding hidden by his suit jacket). While Claire is stitching up Mrs. Cardenas, she receives a cell phone call from Matt. Matt assures her that the bombings were Wilson Fisk's work, not his. He asks her to guide him through stabilizing Vladimir. She warns him that it's not as easy as it looks in the movies. Claire is more outraged that she's being asked to help him save one of the men responsible for her kidnapping.

Matt looks around the floor, looking for something to use. He notices an old roadside emergency kit with flares. Claire instructs him to put a flare directly to the bullet wound to cauterize it. Matt lights the flare and directly applies it to Vladimir's skin. Vladimir recovers and begins screaming in agonizing pain. Matt attempts to silence him by covering his mouth with his right hand while holding the flare in his left.

Unfortunately, Vladimir's screams attract the attention of a police officer, Officer Sullivan, walking past the building on foot patrol. He enters the building to investigate the noise. Matt is tipped off to Sullivan's presence when he hears a door open. Matt hastily hangs up the phone. Hearing a voice prompts Officer Sullivan to call in a 10-10 (potential criminal activity) to dispatch. Anticipating trouble, he draws his pistol and flashlight and advances up the stairs to the second floor.

Reaching the second floor, Officer Sullivan enters the area where Matt had been. He finds nothing there but an unconscious Vladimir lying on the ground. He raises his pistol and orders Vladimir to show his hands. Matt then suddenly appears and overpowers Officer Sullivan. After taking Sullivan's gun away, Matt asks him who he works for. Sullivan says he works for the City of New York, and has been on the job for only two months. Matt realizes that Sullivan is not a corrupt cop in Fisk's pocket. He tells Sullivan to call the dispatcher and report this as a false alarm. Sullivan asks if Matt will let him leave, to which Matt replies, "Eventually." Sullivan takes his radio and reports in, and promptly shouts his location into the speaker. Matt quickly knocks Sullivan out, but it's too late to prevent the dispatcher from sending out a 10-13 (officer needs assistance) to other units.

Police cars swarm the area and converge on the building. Detectives Blake and Hoffman assume HNT (hostage negotiators) and establish a perimeter. That Sullivan has told dispatch that he's trapped with a masked man and wounded civilian leads Blake to be certain that Vladimir is inside. Hoffman is about to call Fisk to relay the information when they are interrupted by the arrival of Ben Urich. Urich is somewhat incredulous to see Blake and Hoffman on the street rather than riding a desk after their killing of Piotr in the interrogation room. The two detectives, though caught off guard, manage to provide enough vague answers to satisfy Urich, then make the call.

The information is relayed to Wesley, who reports the news to Fisk. Wesley warns that they need to be careful to make sure Urich doesn't see anything suspicious going on.

Inside the building, Matt handcuffs Officer Sullivan to a column, binds his mouth with duct tape, and disassembles his gun. He tries to ask Vladimir for more info on Fisk. Vladimir chides Matt for thinking he's any different from Fisk. Matt warns Vladimir that with the number of cops in Fisk's pocket, he may not leave the building alive. Vladimir begins talking, mentioning Wesley's visit to him and Anatoly at the garage. He also mentions Fisk's connections to Madame Gao and the corrupt cops and politicians. He skirts around mentioning Owlsley as the accountant who handled the money, allowing Matt to lean in close enough for Vladimir to attack him by surprise. In the struggle, the two end up falling through the floorboards, temporarily knocking them out.

Outside, media vans begin to converge on the scene. Blake and Hoffman make dry quips to Urich about him being irrelevant compared to the TV reporters.

Inside the building, Matt regains consciousness and immediately begins performing CPR trying to roust Vladimir. Vladimir is incredulous that Matt refuses to kill him, to which Matt replies that he just wants info on Fisk.

Elsewhere, Fisk's convoy makes a stop at a precinct so that Wesley can pick up a police radio. As Wesley gets back in the car, he informs Fisk that the Emergency Service Unit is en route, and Blake and Hoffman are clearing a channel for Fisk.

At the standoff, Urich's attention is drawn away as a dark black Grumman Step-Van screeches to a halt on the corner, and an ESU team piles out, all clad in helmets, goggles, body armor and carrying M4 rifles. Blake gives an order to the officers on scene to change to another radio channel and maintain radio discipline.

Matt senses the ESU team's arrival. He begins seeking a way out, but is interrupted when he hears Fisk's voice asking to speak with him. Underneath some rubble, Matt finds Officer Sullivan's radio and starts a dialogue with Fisk. Fisk uses the conversation to dig into his admiration for what Matt is trying to do, even though it clashes with Fisk's own plans. Not that Matt believes a word that comes out of Fisk's mouth.

While the two are conversing, one ESU officer breaks away from the rest of the team, and goes to the rooftop of a building overlooking the police perimeter. He takes off the M4A1 rifle slung over his shoulder, unzips his backpack, and begins assembling a Nemesis Arms Vanquish rifle stashed inside. When the sniper is given the go-ahead from Fisk, he sets his rifle down on the edge of the roof and scans the assembled cops, looking for an easy target.

On the street, Urich begins to think something's fishy as Blake and Hoffman don't seem to be engaged in any form of hostage negotiation. The exasperated Blake approaches Urich to tell him off, but Urich refuses to back down, demanding more answers. At that exact moment, the ESU sniper opens fire. His first bullet hits Blake in the chest, puncturing his right lung and knocking him to the ground in front of Urich. Cops and civilians alike immediately scramble for cover. As Hoffman rushes to Blake, the sniper shoots and kills two uniformed police officers standing near Hoffman, before he's forced to retreat out of sight from a police helicopter. Hoffman and Urich rush to Blake's aid, with Urich being the unlucky one left to apply pressure to Blake's bullet wound in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

With the sniper retreating, Fisk tells Matt over the radio that they won't be speaking again, and cuts communication. He then has Wesley send a tape to the media outlets of Matt beating on the cops who killed Sergei.

Seeing the newscasts of the shooting, Claire calls Matt and demands answers. Matt is briefly distracted as he picks up the sound of police radios. Outside, the ESU team is assembled and preparing to breach the building. Knowing he doesn't have much time, Matt makes a heartfelt goodbye to Claire before hanging up. Moments later, the ESU team breaches one entry point with a battering ram and enters the building, guns drawn. Matt begins pulling on a manhole cover, hoping to escape into the underground tunnels, but the cover fails to budge, at least, until Vladimir pitches in and helps him.

One group of ESU officers advances up the stairs and enters the room where Officer Sullivan is tied up, and has regained consciousness. The lead ESU cop kneels down next to Officer Sullivan and reports into his radio, "Officer Sullivan is dead. I say again, Officer Sullivan is dead." Sullivan tries to scream, but the ESU officer promptly kills him by partially cutting his throat with a small knife.

Matt and Vladimir manage to escape down a ladder into access tunnels underneath the building. It isn't long before another ESU team catches wind of the duo, but Matt is able to overpower all of them. Vladimir grabs one of the officers' rifles, telling Matt that this is as far as he goes. Before Matt leaves, Vladimir gives him one crucial clue: the name of Fisk's money launderer Owlsley. He then raises his acquired rifle and aims it in the direction of the approaching reinforcements. The episode ends with Matt power-walking down another tunnel while the gunfire from Vladimir's last stand echoes in the background.


Tropes

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Matt's entire conversation over the radio with Fisk.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Claire is outraged that she has to help Vladimir, and relishes instructing Matt to cauterize his wound with a road flare.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The song Vladimir is humming as he prepares for his last stand against Fisk's men will be recognizable to anyone who knows Russian as "We Will Be Raised From the Ashes (The Tanks Were Rumbling in the Field)".
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • Upon recovering from being attacked by Matt, Officer Corbin shoots Sergei in the head.
    • The Russian in the warehouse that Blake kills
    • The two cops shot by the ESU sniper to cover up Blake's shooting. Officer Penske is hit in the neck, while another officer standing by the ESU truck appears to be hit in the head (a frame-by-frame analysis shows blood spraying on the side of the truck).
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The episode ends with Matt walking towards the camera while the sound of Vladimir's last stand against the corrupt ESU team echoes in the background.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Officer Sullivan, the young patrolman who stumbles upon Matt interrogating Vladimir, is one of the first cops besides Brett Mahoney to not be in Fisk's pay, to Matt's surprise. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the ESU team sent in to "rescue" him.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Blake tortures a henchman trapped under debris by applying pressure to a cinderblock pinning his leg.
  • Continuity Nod: The first TV crew to set up at the scene of the hostage standoff is from WHiH-TV, the TV network that Christine Everhart works at.
  • Cop Killer: Officer Sullivan, a rookie with just six months on the job, stumbles upon Matt Murdock and a wounded Vladimir Ranskahov in an abandoned building. Despite Matt's efforts to talk him into leaving, Sullivan calls in a hostage situation, forcing Matt to knock him out and handcuff him to a pole. This ends up summoning numerous cops to the scene including Christian Blake and Carl Hoffman, a pair of corrupt detectives Matt and Foggy have dealt with, and who Matt just witnessed killing one of Vladimir's men in an interrogation room at the precinct. Blake has become a liability to Fisk as in between these incidents, Matt attacked Blake, broke his arm, and stole his cell phone, which contained the addresses of Vladimir's stashhouses. While Blake is trying to shoo away an increasingly suspicious Ben Urich, an ESU sniper in Fisk's employ suddenly opens fire on the cops, critically wounding Blake with a bullet to the chest and killing two uniformed cops nearbynote . The ESU team that enters the abandoned building, meanwhile, kills Officer Sullivan by cutting his throat with a knife.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The ESU sniper who takes out Blake is implied to be Daredevil's second arch-enemy Bullseye, from the fact that there appears to be an Ace of Spades in his backpack when he's assembling his rifle.
  • Enemy Mine: Matt and Vladimir are forced to work together while trying to escape the corrupt ESU team.
  • Faceless Goons: The ESU team sent into the building to kill Officer Sullivan, including the sniper who guns down Blake. All of them have their helmets on and goggles lowered.
  • He Knows Too Much: The ESU team kills Officer Sullivan because they suspect he overheard Matt's conversation with Vladimir.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Fisk successfully has planted evidence to suggest "the Devil of Hell's Kitchen" is behind the bombings, as well as the shootings of several cops.
  • Hollywood CB: Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk speak to each other using standard 2-way police radios - call and response. You never see or hear them actuate the call buttons. They speak as if they are talking on a phone.
  • Killer Cop:
    • Blake, Hoffman, and Corbin are shown killing Russian goons who survived the bombings.
    • The ESU team is so dirty they are willing to murder fellow officers who aren't on the take. One of their snipers goes to a rooftop and guns down Blake (for becoming a liability) and two other cops (to cover that fact). After that, the team storms the building to mount a "rescue" attempt on Officer Sullivan, and by "rescue," we mean "enter and kill him by partially cutting his throat".
  • Mercy Kill: The Russian that Blake kills in the warehouse may very well have been this trope, since he was trapped under rubble and probably would've bled out before any real emergency workers could arrive.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Well, Claire kinda is responsible for the entire second half of the episode since the light from the road flare and the sound of Vladimir's scream are what draw Officer Sullivan into that building.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Wilson Fisk is able to do quite a lot of damage calling all the shots from his car, with Wesley relaying orders from Fisk to the cops in their pocket.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Blake mutters "Oh, Christ," under his breath when Ben Urich shows up at the scene.
    • Officer Sullivan when he realizes that the ESU guys have actually come to kill him.
  • Pre-emptive Declaration: The corrupt members of the ESU team enter the room where Officer Sullivan is tied to a column and gagged.
    ESU Officer: [into radio] Officer Sullivan is dead.
    Officer Sullivan: [muffled] HMM?!
    ESU Officer: I say again, Officer Sullivan is dead.
    Officer Sullivan: No, I'm fine! NO! [The ESU officer produces a small knife and stabs him through the neck]
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: The ESU sniper who fires on the cops shoots Blake and two other uniforms. As implied by "Shadows in the Glass," Blake is the only one of the three being targeted for death. The other two were shot as set decoration. If just Blake got shot, it would be clear that he was the target and an investigation would eventually uncover his ties to Fisk; but if Blake is just one of a few cops to get shot, it looks like someone with an anti-NYPD vendetta is responsible.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out: Defied. When Matt suggests this, Claire helpfully informs him that digging around for a bullet is the surest way to make someone bleed out.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Fisk had Blake shot because he let Matt get his phone, the phone with the Russians' addresses on it. The sniper also shoots two redshirt patrol cops to hide this fact.

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