"Stick" is the seventh episode of Marvel's Daredevil.
Matt is drawn into a secret conflict when Stick, the blind martial arts master who trained him as a boy, returns to New York on an important mission.
- Ambiguously Human: The Black Sky, whatever it is, seems to be just a regular, though unhealthy looking, young boy. But due to the way the cinematography is set up, there's a certain ominous feel given when the boy is shown and Nobu is desperate to acquire him and Stick is determined to kill him (thus indicating that the boy is extremely powerful). Stick claims that if Matt hadn't been so emotional, he would've sensed what the child really was. We're ultimately never told what exactly the Black Sky is. An argument Nobu has with Fisk in the next episode also reveals that this boy isn't the only one.
- In the Batman Cold Open, the yakuza guy is running from Stick, not Matt.
- Although not shown, someone appears to be watching Urich meet with Karen, and as Matt is busy with Stick it's clearly not him. Instead of a villain however, it turns out to be Foggy trying to find out why she's acting so strange.
- Batter Up!: Foggy uses his softball bat to dispatch the guys attacking him and Karen outside Mrs. Cardenas' building.
- Born Lucky: Stick considers young Matt this with his new powers since instead of killing or maiming him, he now has super senses.
- The Cameo: Stone, a member of the Chaste in the comics, shows up in the final scene.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Unlike Matt, Stick was born blind. While he doesn't have the depth of powers that Matt does (thanks to the chemicals Matt was exposed to), there's no special explanation given in the episode as to how Stick can do what he does, over and above your average blind person, beyond extensive training.
- Chekhov's Gun: Leland's previously discussed taser gets used on Matt.
- The mace in Karen's purse gets used on one of her attackers, as does Foggy's softball and bat.
- Continuity Nod:
- St. Agnes Orphanage, where Matt was sent to live after his father's death, is the same orphanage where Skye spent her childhood.
- Ben talks about the shooting of Detective Blake. Karen remembers him from when she was arrested.
- Exact Words: To guarantee Matt's full cooperation, Stick swears to Matt "that I will not kill anybody". It is technically true, as Stick doesn't consider the Black Sky to be anything resembling human.
- Gory Discretion Shot: When Stick beheads the Japanese businessman, all that's shown is a spray of blood on the wall.
- Hey, Catch!: How Stick proves that he knows Matt isn't paralyzed because of his blindness, but because he's hyper-aware.
- Hollywood Healing: Averted. Foggy is still clutching his chest in pain from where glass shards were pulled out of him after the bombings.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Stick uses one in the cold open. He also happens to be in Japan at the time, so...When in Rome?
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The man who threatens Karen gets pepper-sprayed and walloped by a bat.
- Love Triangle: Downplayed. Karen is still attracted to Matt, but is made aware of how Foggy keeps casting her Longing Looks. His turning up to rescue her doesn't hurt either. Having just broken up with Claire though, Matt clearly isn't interested in another relationship and just gently ribs Foggy's attempt to have some after-work time with Karen.
- Mid-Season Upgrade: Daredevil gets a pair of escrima sticks which he keeps for the rest of the season.
- Mutilation Interrogation: Stick cuts off the Yakuza man's hand when interrogating him for information, threatens to cut off other parts a man never wants to lose, then cuts his head off.
- Obvious Stunt Double: Wider shots during Stick's action sequences feature a noticeably younger man wearing a dodgy wig.
- Old Master: Stick was an old man even when he trained Matt 20 years before the events of this episode, but he is still capable of fighting Daredevil and nearly beats him.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: "Black Sky" hints at supernatural elements that aren't present anywhere else in the series.
- Parental Substitute: Stick is explicitly not this, much as Matt wants (and probably needs) him to be. Emotional attachments are something Stick warns against, due to the distraction they create in warfare. Despite this, it's revealed at the end that Stick did develop similar attachment to Matt, which is likely the real reason he was so quick to leave when he was younger.
- Secret Keeper: To Urich's disproval, Karen lets Foggy know about how they're working together.
- Sequel Hook: Oddly enough, this episode right in the middle of the season has easily the most foreshadowing for future seasons with everything involving the Hand and Black Sky.
- Shout-Out: Stick mockingly raises his hand and says, "I swear I will not kill anybody."
- The Spartan Way: Invoked when Stick mentions the Spartans when urging Matt to give up comforts like lovers, friends and silk sheets.
- Stern Teacher: Stick walks the line between this and Sadist Teacher. Matt struggled with his feelings about Stick's lessons for a long time until he realized years later that Stick was simply "a dick." Stick chuckles and admits this is true.
- The Snark Knight:
- Stick has this in spades. Given how much he's done and lived through, he has very little patience for obfuscation or sugar-coating things. His first lines to Matt in the "present" evoke his attitude to Young Matt when they first met:Stick: You gonna sit on your ass all day, or are you gonna get up?
- While operating as a "kick-in-the-butt" bit of encouragement, this is also being said to Matt right after Stick has distracted him into being in this prone position in the first place (which allowed Matt to get tased by Owlsley).
- Stick has this in spades. Given how much he's done and lived through, he has very little patience for obfuscation or sugar-coating things. His first lines to Matt in the "present" evoke his attitude to Young Matt when they first met:
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Matt's philosophy, which becomes a major source of conflict with Stick when he learns the mission is to assassinate a young boy.
- Training from Hell: Stick offers no sympathy to young Matt, a newly-orphaned blind kid with new powers he barely understands, and says he should expect none from people in the future either. He's training Matt for a war, and he can either quit, or give it his all.(after a full-out, close-quarters escrima session)
Stick: Tomorrow we start on knives. Try not to get stabbed.
- Vagueness Is Coming: According to Stick, Matt will be important in whatever conflict is coming.Stone: Will he be ready when the doors open?
Stick: I have no idea.
- You Are Too Late: When Matt meets back up with Stick, swearing to stop him "destroying" the Black Sky (by which he meant murdering a child in cold blood), Stick nonchalantly says he already completed his mission on the way back to the apartment. This leads to a huge brawl between the two that wrecks Matt's home, and after finally besting his master, Matt tells Stick to "get out of [his] city."
- Wild Card: A literal version. Knowing the masked man in black is opposed to the mysterious Big Bad, Urich puts his card next to him on The Big Board.
- Would Hurt a Child: Stick kills one by the end of the episode.