I’m writing this while watching, so everything is my first, unadulterated impression.
The origin of Daredevil: I’ve always been pretty squeamish about eyes and losing my sight, so the opening action with young Matthew was effective on me. The way it was shot struck a bit of similarity to There Will Be Blood, when young HW loses his hearing in an explosion, so it’s clear that there is a lot of cinematic influence in the show, which I personally like.
Matthew’s convo with the priest: I’ll be honest, most of this bit went over my head. It’s very early in the episode for what is essentially a monologue. I understand that by the end, it’s a slow buildup to a fight scene, but very slow indeed. I’m not a religious person in any sense, and am generally disinterested with religious protagonists (Ms. Marvel is an exception, though this can be attributed to the “novelty” of a Muslim female protagonist, that it was handled in an exceptionally realistic way, and that I’m just not terribly fond of Christianity/Catholicism). I don’t think there’s anything really groundbreaking or controversial about putting religious content on television, but I don’t really know if this was Netflix’s or Marvel’s intention in the first place. I guess my point is, put something in a religious setting, and I’m bound to zone out.
The First Fight: So we’ve got evil Russians trafficking women for some evil purpose, because we’ve got to have Daredevil fight someone. Costume and setting were very Dexter, vigilante by the sea. Seeing this scene, with the genuinely very cool action and choreographed fighting, made me even angrier about the Supergirl trailer (I mean, I’m like a feminist Hulk, I’M ALWAYS ANGRY), because Matthew gets to be a hero, first and foremost. Then we’re introduced to his alternate persona. Why does Kara have to long for normalcy before becoming a hero? Why does she have to be domestic first? I could go on for ages, but this is about Daredevil, not my personal problems. Anyway, fight scene is cool.
Foggy: Oh boy. Sidekick material. Objectifies women. Official proponent of one-liners. Still forming an opinion.
Karen taking off her shirt in front of Matt: Yes, this was completely necessary to plot, character development, and themes of the story. Definitely. Not fan service at all.
“We don’t say his name” Hmmm. I have a feeling that this kind of storytelling is going to start sounding a lot like Harry Potter. Also props to the writers for making the distinction between East Asian cultures. Well done.
Madame Gao appears to be the only woman in the episode that is not in some kind of peril, and she’s an evil drug lord. Meanwhile, Karen is having the worst week of her life, but resolves it by becoming Nelson and Murdock’s cleaning lady, for free.
The very end contrasts Matt punching out a punching bag in a gym with the various nefarious doings of the villainous crime ring. The expendable people are dead, and Glasses Guy gets to drive off in a limo.
Overall, I’m uncertain if I would continue to watch the series. I understand that the pilot of any show is not necessarily indicative of the actual tone of the show, but at the same time, I’m not very engaged with the characters. I give it a 7/10.