I’m just going to go ahead and say that this was my favorite episode of the series. There’s nothing I love more than a well-developed villain and Fisk, my friends? He is that villain. After spending seven episodes focusing on Matt Murdock’s history, we learn more about Wilson Fisk. Fisk is a man of quiet routine, but as we saw in the fourth episode, bubbling just under his skin is an animal just begging to be released. In “Shadows in the Glass” we start to learn why.
Fisk is haunted by his younger self. Chubby and bullied, Fisk is told by father to take what he wants in this world. When facing a bully, Fisk’s father, Bill, beats the other kid to the ground and then tells Fisk to “keep kicking.” A message Fisk eerily repeats after bashing in his father’s skull with a hammer in order to protect his mother from Bill’s constant abuse.
The eighth episode is a much quieter one, which sounds odd considering a boy murders his father and then his mother cuts him up and dumps him in the river. But it is. It’s focus is more on the silent moments, the looks shared by Fisk and Vanessa as he tells her about his past. And we start to understand why he bought the Rabbit in a Snowstorm painting–because it looked exactly like the plastered wall he was forced to stare at while his father beat his mother. That image is a haunting reminder of the horrors he’s faced and the rage he needs to maintain as a leader.
But Vanessa sees past all that, taking his hand and helping through subtle changes like the suit jacket and cuff links. I shouldn’t root for their relationship. My mind tells me that it’s insane to want good things for an insane man like Fisk, but then I see the way he looks at Vanessa with such vulnerability and she takes his hand, I melt. There, I said it. I’m shipping it.