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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.


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  • 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.
  • Batman Gambit: On her late husband's advice, Nadeem's wife goes to the FBI pretending to be shocked over his crimes, to convince them that she knows nothing and therefore there's no reason to harm her and her son.
  • 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. Matt has successfully repaired his friendships with Foggy and Karen and also made peace with his mother. 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, & 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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  • Blatant Lies: Felix explains how come he was left hanging off a building by Daredevil as "I tripped."
  • 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.
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    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Cops Need the Vigilante: Brett Mahoney is fully prepared to let Daredevil kill Fisk, and only reluctantly agrees to beef up the security at the wedding with a C-List team to try and deter Matt. After entering Fisk's apartment to arrest him and the fake Daredevil, he calls the officers attention to the real Daredevil, whom they all let leave without any attempt at pursuit.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Fisk's wedding suit is just like all his others - it has the special bullet/knife-resistant lining all his suits have. He puts it on Vanessa in the final fight, making himself vulnerable.
  • Deathbed Confession: Turns out that final video call that Nadeem made to his wife included a confession, which he knew would be admissible in court given that he believed he was going to die.
  • 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.
  • Eye Awaken: The final shot is Dex's eyes opening while he's on the operating table, to show his irises have changed color to a bullseye pattern, presumably a side effect of the cognium.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Matt refuses to kill Fisk, saying he will instead spend the rest of his life in prison knowing that Daredevil beat him, and never to see Vanessa again.
  • 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.
  • Hope Spot: Oddly, one for a villain. Fisk has gotten everything he wants: Power, respect, the people of New York believing him a wronged party, his growing criminal empire and, most importantly, his wife back in his arms...and then Nadeem's confession lights up the phones of the entire wedding party and everything Fisk worked for crumbles in an instant.
    • Hattley is on her knees with Dex holding a gun on her, pulling the trigger...and it clicks as it's empty. Dex walks off but before Hattley can even sigh in relief, he nonchalantly throws his club behind his back and hits her. Fortunately for her and her daughter, she is only knocked out and later scene being arrested with the other FBI agents.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Fisk screams in pain when he accidentally punches a brick wall during the final fight, though it doesn't stop him.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Briefly for Fisk. Even with Nadeem's confession going public, he still insists he can find a way to get out of this, ignoring how all his FBI guys are going to be too busy keeping themselves out of jail to help him out. It takes Vanessa's logical words to get Fisk to face how he can't just bribe or threaten his way out of this.
  • 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?"
  • Let's You and Him Fight: There's no way for Matt to get through Fisk's beefed up security, so he calls Dex and tells him where to find Julie, knowing Dex will go nuts and cut through the security for him.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Between Matt, Dex, and Fisk.
  • Multitasked Conversation: Knowing Fisk's corrupted FBI agents won't care about attorney-client privilege and so have the room bugged, Nadeem pretends to talk to Foggy about representing her to get the FBI to release her widows benefits, while writing what she actually wants to say on a legal pad.
  • 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.
  • Neutral Female: Justified with Vanessa, who doesn't have the training or background to take on the likes of Dex or Daredevil without a firearm.
  • 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.
  • Parting Words Regret: While reconciling with his mother, Matt regrets not being able to take back the harsh words he exchanged with Father Lantom.
  • Pet the Dog: During his rampage Dex doesn't actually kill any of his fellow FBI agents, despite his lethal skill with thrown objects (though in Hattley's case only because his gun was empty).
  • 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.
  • Screaming Warrior: Both Matt and Fisk share a primal roar of rage on finally confronting each other.
  • 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.
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: Fisk tries to goad Matt into killing him. He doesn't take the bait.
  • 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.
  • Wedding Smashers: Wilson and Vanessa's wedding reception is trashed by Dex's rampage and the ensuing Mêlée à Trois once Matt gets involved.
  • White Shirt of Death: Fisk's white suit, Vanessa's white wedding dress, and "Rabbit in a Snowstorm" all get splattered with blood, all of Fisk's.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The two contractors/hitmen employed by Manning to murder Julie and dispose of her body suffered the same fate, following their failure to kill Nadeem and his family. Dex finds their bodies inside the freezer where Julie's corpse was kept.

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