Action/Adventure/Crime/Drama/Sci-Fi/Thriller, USA, 2015, 52 min.Synopsis
In the Utkin Prison deep in Siberia, circa 2007, a pair of guards shove Anatoly Ranskahov into a cell where his brother, Vladimir, resides. The pair doubt odds at their survival, no better than the corpse they share the cell with, but those doubts are short-lived; Vladimir has used his time in the cell to tear a rib out of the corpse to use as a weapon in a bid for freedom. Anatoly asks if their fate will see them return to Moscow, but Vladimir talks him out of it, saying that the future lies in America.In 2014, Vladimir rushes out of a building, claiming that someone has infiltrated it and demanding to know where Anatoly is; he can barely enter a taxi before a lifeless body is hurled out a window crashes onto the hood of the car, tumbling onto the pavement as Vladimir makes his escape. With the car peeling out into the streets, the intruder, Matt Murdock, clad in his vigilante outfit and standing in front of the broken window, listens to the taxi getting away from him.As Claire, currently hiding out in a co-worker's apartment, later patches up Matt's wounds, they trade dialogue about Matt's actions and the role it plays in both lives; Matt insists Claire stay hidden until the Russians aren't out for her while rebuking her requests of getting body armor, claiming it to be a hindrance to his movement. The conversation continues as the pair exchange phone numbers and Matt sheds a bit more light about the organized crime ring, searching for someone who may be able to give him a lead on Wilson Fisk before carrying it out.Wesley pays a visit to the garage of Veles Taxi, where taxis much like Anatoly's getaway vehicle are being repurposed with new logos. Wesley informs Vladimir and Anatoly that, although Fisk is willing to give the brothers' cover organization of a taxi service the assets taken from Prohazska after his death, he's also unhappy about the Ranskahovs continuing to fall short on their payments due to the masked vigilante; even Nobu and Madame Gao's patience with the Ranskahovs is starting to grow thin. Though Vladimir is quick to turn down Fisk's offer of assistance, Wesley leaves it on the table for he and Anatoly to discuss; the brothers instead choose to reach out to contacts of their own for help.Meanwhile, at the Square Diner in Tribeca, Karen sits down with Ben Urich to talk about the Union Allied case. While initially skeptical at the facts Karen provides him with, Ben takes her word, but addresses another angle of the question: with the exception of Karen, everyone involved in the case has been killed, like someone is covering their tracks. He advises Karen to stop trying to look deeper into the case, lest she want to be next. When Karen calls him out on what she considers his lack of courage, citing his past exposures of everyone from corrupt companies to teacher's unions, she asks what happened to the Ben Urich she looked up to. He responds that he's become older since then, older and less stupid, leaving the diner without giving her a chance to respond.Anatoly and Vladimir go to the hospital under the guise of visitors to find one of their contacts in critical condition; Semyon, the Russian that Matt threw off the roof of Claire's apartment. As they prepare to wake Semyon from his coma, the brothers reflect on their past in Utkin. Anatoly in particular remembers promising never to lose what they once had in Moscow, but states that he and Vladimir had lost sight of that goal and lost touch with each other. Vladimir replies by assuring Anatoly that they'll reclaim that prestige together, waking Semyon afterward by injecting a spike of adrenaline into his heart. After removing Semyon's breathing tube, he tells the Ranskahovs of Claire, and in turn, they call in another one of their contacts, a henchman named Sergei. Sergei goes Claire's apartment, accompanied by another henchman. Though they find nothing, Santino soon appears in front of the doorway, attracting the mobsters' attention.Wesley is filling Wilson Fisk in on the situation with the Ranskahovs. Wesley addresses that Anatoly is more willing to cooperate with the rest of the crime ring than Vladimir. Fisk is certain the Russians will be handled, as will the masked man, before the car stops at its destination. Fisk requests Wesley stay in the car and, after thanking him for his help, leaves to enter the art gallery.Fisk's glancing at the paintings is cut short when he meets Vanessa again; the pair trade some banter over the rabbit in a snowstorm painting before Fisk, though stumbling over his words, offers to take Vanessa to dinner. Though Vanessa turns him down, Fisk accepts her rejection, and upon seeing this, Vanessa comments about her surprise on how well Fisk is handling the subject. Fisk replies that he remains uninterested in a woman that can be bought; Vanessa decides to take him up on his offer, the pair delighting in their mutual fondness for Italian afterward.Claire's night of tending to her co-worker's pet cat is disturbed by nearby noises; after checking, she spots a woman going past the hallway, and pays it no mind as she carries on with her night, unaware of a figure glancing at her from outside her curtained windows. Meanwhile, Foggy and Matt are leaving the precinct, Foggy regaling Matt with stories of how his mother wanted him to be a butcher and not a lawyer, when the ensuing conversation about their former law firm is cut short by Matt answering his phone to the sound of Claire screaming as she's kidnapped from her apartment. As Foggy hails a taxi to go back to the office, Matt races back to Claire's temporary abode, but finds it empty.Karen goes to an auction house where Union Allied assets such as phones, computers and fax machines are being auctioned off. She sketches the outlines of some potentially suspicious bidders, like the individual who buys up a Union Allied lot. She runs in to Ben, who advises her to bid on some of the smaller lots to keep her cover intact.Claire is loaded into a Veles taxi and taken by Sergei to the taxi company's garage. During this time, Matt has found a distraught Santino, but after calming him down, he learns that the Russians took Claire and left in a Veles taxi.Fisk and Vanessa's date takes place at a new upscale restaurant. Fisk pours his heart out to Vanessa, how Hell's Kitchen is a part of him, his dreams of making it a better place; a scene contrasted by the Russians attempting to extract information on the masked man from Claire, but to her aid comes the vigilante himself. With Matt cutting the power, the Russians find themselves being taken down one at a time before Sergei takes Claire hostage in a move that ends poorly for him, as he finds himself at the mercy of Claire and the masked man afterward.Ben and Karen regroup at the Square Diner, where Ben advises Karen that, if she still wishes to look into the Union Allied case, she should plan her actions with much more care from now on, starting with signing the Union Allied contract.Meanwhile, the Ranskahovs return to the garage and, seeing their men laying on the ground, Anatoly decides to make good on Wesley's offer and ask Fisk for help; albeit begrudgingly, Vladimir lets him go. Fisk, in the midst of his date, has the chance to share his favorite dessert - zuppa inglese - with Vanessa. The dinner is interrupted by Anatoly who, despite Wesley's warnings, has stormed through Fisk's guards in an attempt to accept the offer.As it turns out, Karen bid on and did win some office equipment at the auction. She charges it and has it delivered to Nelson & Murdock, inventing a cover story to explain to Foggy.Matt now tends to Claire's injuries at his apartment, and, during the ensuing conversation, Matt begins to express his doubts that he's actually making a difference in the city. Claire assures him that despite how scared she is about the predicament, Matt can quell those fears and truly make New York City a better place, and in turn, Claire learns his real name.In the aftermath of Anatoly disturbing the date, Vanessa seems to have her perception of Fisk shattered, unsure of if she can trust him, unsure of how she feels towards him. In the car, meanwhile, Wesley shares a talk with Anatoly, wherein he expresses he wanted to make amends with Fisk despite the Russians' past mistakes. When they come to a stop in a deserted lot by the eastern landing of the Queensboro Bridge, Wesley shares some parting words with Anatoly before he gets a phone call. He hangs up, and Anatoly asks if that was Fisk. Wesley confirms that it was, and he wants to have a word with Anatoly. A split second later, Fisk suddenly yanks open the door and pulls Anatoly from the car, the two getting involved in fisticuffs. Anatoly is repeatedly pummeled by Fisk, and even with a switchblade can Anatoly do no harm to his armor-clad superior, who promptly pins Anatoly to the car and stabs him with his own knife.Now with the upper hand, Fisk viciously beats Anatoly into the pavement, Wesley quietly listening to the commotion. Desperately, Anatoly tries to crawl back into the car, but can only utter defiantly to Wesley before Fisk knocks him out, plants his head in the door frame and begins bashing it in with the door. Wesley barely flinches, as Fisk smashes Anatoly's skull in, his brain falling to the pavement, until he finally destroys Anatoly's skull, and the rest of the body goes limp. Seething with fury, Fisk catches his breath. Wesley notices the gash in Fisk's suit from Anatoly's knife, revealing the body armor underneath. As Fisk wipes Anatoly's blood off his face, he asks Wesley to contact his tailor and request a new suit and also send Anatoly's remains to Vladimir as a message. Wesley warns Fisk that Vladimir will likely go to war with him for this, but Fisk is counting on it.
Directed by Ken Girotti Starring Charlie Cox
, Deborah Ann Woll
, Elden Henson
, Toby Leonard Moore
, Vondie Curtis-Hall
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