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Recap / Daredevil S3E13 "A New Napkin"

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Matt prepares to cross the line, as Dex becomes more dangerous than ever and Fisk enacts his endgame.


Tropes

  • Adaptation Name Change/Pragmatic Adaptation: Due to adamantium being mostly associated with the X-Men franchise in general and Wolverine in particular, Dex gets a Cognium steel reinforcing network for his broken spine instead of getting bonded with adamantium.
  • Ax-Crazy: Dex's last shred of sanity disappears upon finding Julie's body and, taking the body with him, he goes on a warpath against Fisk, attacking and/or killing everything in his way.
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  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Fisk is the one who finally defeats Dex by slamming him back-first into a brick wall and breaking his spine.
  • Berserk Button: Matt gets Dex to go after Fisk by invoking the fact that Fisk killed Julie.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Thanks to Ray Nadeem's dying declaration and Matt revealing Fisk had Julie Barnes killed, Fisk's conspiracy is exposed, resulting in the corrupt FBI agents being arrested and Fisk being sent back to prison. Matt ultimately refuses to kill Fisk, but forces him to never come after Karen, Foggy, or anyone else, or Matt will prove that Vanessa ordered the murder of Agent Nadeem. Dex's rampage at the hotel exonerates Daredevil of Dex's crimes, and Dex's injuries during the fight have paralyzed him. Foggy drops out of the district attorney race, and manages to convince Blake Tower to not pursue criminal charges against his family, and decides to open new firm of Nelson, Murdock, and Page, with Matt and Foggy as the lawyers and Karen as their in-house investigator. However, Father Lantom, Ray Nadeem, Julie Barnes, the agents from the Fisk transfer, and a bunch of reporters at the New York Bulletin are all dead, and if anything happens to Vanessa, Fisk will come after Daredevil and company with a vengeance. The season ends with Dex undergoing an experimental surgery to repair the damage to his spine.
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  • Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: Dex's attack on Wilson and Vanessa's wedding results in Vanessa spattered with blood, though most of it gets on Wilson's jacket, which he previously gave to her.
  • Broken Pedestal: Fisk for Dex once Matt reveals to him that Fisk had Julie killed.
  • Call-Back:
    • In "Resurrection", Matt was a Death Seeker, and, after being beaten by a couple of muggers he picked a fight with, tries unsuccessfully to goad them into killing him. Here, Fisk also tries unsuccessfully to goad Daredevil into killing him after the latter defeats the former in their fight.
    • The audience is reminded about Fisk's armor-lined suits during the final fight, as he ducks into his jacket to block some of Dex's projectiles, then gives the jacket to Vanessa so she can get past Dex safely.
    • Just like in the "Nelson v. Murdock" flashbacks when Matt and Foggy were first envisioning their plans for Nelson & Murdock, Foggy once again decides to etch a doodle on a napkin, this time for Nelson, Murdock & Page.
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    • The last scene of Matt, Karen and Foggy discussing their plans as Nelson, Murdock & Page is designed to replicate the atmosphere of when they first opened Nelson & Murdock upon hiring Karen.
  • Continuity Nod: When Matt, Foggy, and Karen are discussing opening Nelson, Murdock, & Page together with Karen as an in-house detective, Foggy states that she's one hell of an investigator, and Matt adds that she's much more stable than Jessica Jones.
  • Death Seeker: After Daredevil defeats Kingpin in their final fight, Fisk tries to goad Matt into killing him; however, despite wanting to, Matt refuses to allow Fisk to decide who he's going to be.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: The FBI paints Nadeem as a mentally disturbed murderer who had to be put down in self-defense.
  • Dirty Coward: Felix Manning talks a big game when Daredevil kidnaps him, but immediately falters when he subjects him to a High-Altitude Interrogation.
  • Dramatic Ammo Depletion: Happens to Dex during his killing spree at the Fisks' wedding reception. He aims his gun at Agent Hattley, who begs him to spare her, but his gun clicks empty when he pulls the trigger. So he throws the gun at her instead.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The season ends on a much deserved positive note.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: During Matt's, Fisk's, and Dex's Mêlée à Trois, Dex is taken out of the fight when, after trying once again to attack Vanessa, Fisk slams him into a wall and breaks his spine. Once the cops show up to arrest them, Dex is heard groaning "I can't move..."
  • Guile Hero: Daredevil uses Julie's death in order to manipulate Dex into attacking Fisk.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Two big ones.
    • Dex's attempt to Kick the Dog by focusing more on killing Vanessa during the climatic fight ends up allowing Fisk to catch him off-guard and break his spine, taking him out of the fight.
    • Fisk himself is forced to back off from killing Karen and Foggy, and exposing Matt's identity when the latter counters that he'll have Vanessa thrown in prison as well for ordering Nadeem's assassination. It's particularly sweet that Fisk, an avid blackmailer, is blackmailed into submission himself.
  • Hollywood Law: Foggy sketches a doodle for the trio's new firm on a napkin, calling it Nelson Murdock & Page. Thing is, Karen is not a lawyer, and in New York, it's actually a violation of ethics for a non-lawyer to have a partnership stake in a law firm.
  • I Want Grandkids: Foggy's parents.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Matt uses one on Felix by shoving him off the roof, dangling from the building by a rope tied to one ankle, to get Felix to tell him what he needs to know about Fisk's plans.
  • Jump Scare: When Fisk is putting on his suit, he has a sudden vision of his 12-year old self, bloodied and with the hammer he used to murder his father.
  • Karma Houdini: Vanessa gets to remain free despite becoming directly complicit in her husband's actions this time, as part of a deal between Matt and Fisk. This is on a very tight leash however, as Matt warns that if Fisk were to retaliate against him, then Vanessa will be sent to prison for ordering Nadeem's death.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Brett Mahoney refuses to give Fisk a moment to say goodbye to Vanessa.
    "Did you give one to Ray Nadeem?"
  • Mêlée à Trois: Between Matt, Dex, and Fisk.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: Dex takes Julie's body out of the walk-in freezer and puts it in the passenger seat of the SUV he arrives to crash Fisk and Vanessa's wedding reception. He talks to it at one point.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Matt's eulogy for Father Lantom seems to heavily evoke the eulogy he gives for Karen in "Guardian Devil". This is even seen in the turnout of many of the main and supporting cast, given that we see a who's-who of guests in attendance on Matt's side, with Karen, Foggy, Marci, Brett, Ellison, and Tower all being in attendance.
    • During the eulogy, Matt mentions how Father Lantom counseled him to become "a man without fear." "The Man Without Fear" was both Daredevil's nickname and longtime series subtitle.
    • Bullseye's symbol appears in Dex's irises during his operation.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Vanessa's persuading Fisk to have Nadeem killed instead of just discrediting him ends up coming back to bite them on the butt big-time, as it ends up validating his dying declaration, which otherwise would probably have been dismissed as hearsay.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Matt beats Fisk black and blue, stopping short of snapping his neck. Dex doesn't get beaten up quite so badly by Fisk himself, but he comes out of the fight much worse than either of the other two, ending up with a broken spine.
  • Oh, Crap!: Fisk's reaction when he sees Nadeem's video on the phone of one of his wedding guests.
  • Reality Ensues: While Fisk is being arrested along with the corrupted FBI force, whether or not they're being blackmailed — they were still aiding and abetting one of the most dangerous criminals known to New York.
  • Revenge by Proxy: When attacking the Fisk wedding in revenge for Julie's death, Dex goes out of his way several times to attack Vanessa instead of Fisk himself, including his initial attack.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Dex goes on one of these against Fisk when he learns from Matt that Fisk had Julie killed.
  • Save the Villain: Matt saves both Vanessa and Fisk himself numerous times from Dex's deadly attacks.
  • Secret Keeper: Matt forces Fisk (and by extension, Vanessa) to become this for him by promising that, if Fisk ever outs him (or targets Foggy or Karen again), Matt will ensure that Vanessa is put in prison.
  • Sequel Hook: The very last scene of the episode has two doctors performing some kind of experiment/surgery on Dex, whose eyes shoot open wide, with the Bullseye symbol reflected in them.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Dex is initially unfazed when Matt confronts him about his past.
  • Stuffed In A Fridge: Matt points Dex to the location where Manning stored Julie's corpse, as well as those of the two hitmen that had killed her. The 3 bodies he finds are also literally in a fridge (more specifically, a walk-in freezer).
  • Thanatos Gambit: Nadeem left a testimony behind to incriminate Fisk.
  • They Do: Fisk and Vanessa marry in this episode. Unfortunately for them, shit completely hits the fan at their reception.
  • Threat Backfire: To try to goad Daredevil into killing him, Fisk threatens to continue targeting Foggy and Karen, and to expose his true identity as Matt Murdock to the world. However, Matt responds by counter-threatening that, if Fisk does any of those things, Matt will reveal that Vanessa ordered Ray Nadeem's assassination and make sure that she's thrown in jail, too, forcing Fisk to back down.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: After a rocky start last episode, the public now firmly rallies behind Fisk. But only until the Nadeem video goes online.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The two contractors/hitmen employed by Manning to murder Julie and dispose of her body suffered the same fate. Dex finds their bodies inside the freezer where Julie's corpse was kept.

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