Straight after watching this, I felt that this was the first episode of this Marvel adaptation to seriously underwhelm – there’s more than one moment where you’re wondering what’s happened to Matt’s vaunted intelligence. However, on reflection, it’s what the series needs: an episode in which not that much happens (bar the now obligatory fight sequences), but which allows the characters to consider how far they’ve come and what they’ve done to get there. I’ve seriously begun to wonder if Matt remembers where the line is… and it’s clear that he does. He won’t kill Vladimir, and nearly loses his own life in the effort to save him.
The other characters also reassess: Vladimir himself, as he spends time with Matt; Claire and Karen both thinking about who the Masked Man is and what he represents; even Wilson Fisk and Wesley. Fisk may be buying time for the snipers to move into position, keeping Matt talking, but you definitely sense that had he sensed a way of bringing Matt on side, he would have taken it. But, being the ruthless son of a bitch that he is, he uses the siege as an opportunity to rid himself of at least two thorns in his flesh.
Verdict: More talky than we’ve had up to now, this is the moment when Matt realises – as does the audience – what the stakes are. 8/10