Although there’s plenty for Matt (aka The Masked Man, according to the subtitles!) to do after Claire is kidnapped by the Russians – leading to another terrific fight scene, which is topped by Claire herself descending to violence – this episode focuses far more on the bad guys. Vincent D’Onofrio may not have made an appearance until the end of episode 3, but he’s very much the centre of attention here.
This is the Kingpin I was hoping we’d have: not a standard villain, but someone drawn in three dimensions. A man whose very name inspires fear in those around him (an idea that the Vienna series of audios from Big Finish tried to establish without success), he’s stammering like a teenager when he asks Vanessa for a date. He’s almost gauche… until, that is, his dinner is interrupted.
And then we see the violent side, the reason why he’s feared so much. Even for this series, his battering of Anatoly’s head to a pulp with a car door (or “squishing” as those oh-so-helpful subtitles suggested) is extreme – but something that he will use to his own advantage.
Karen, meanwhile, is trying to bring Ben Urich on side but I seriously wonder if either of them is going to survive to the end of this run. Claire’s future also looks a bit doubtful! And as for Vanessa – well, she’s so different from the character I remember from my days of reading Marvel, that I can see her becoming Fisk’s partner… and that could be a real problem for Matt.
Verdict: You can judge a man by the quality of his enemies, they say – and Wilson Fisk is up there with the best/worst of them. 8/10