Daredevil season 3, episode 5 recap: The Perfect Game


Kingpin sends the FBI Matt’s way while he learns more about Dex on the fifth episode of Daredevil.

While Marvel confirmed Dex’s real identity before this season of Daredevil began, we avoided spoiling it in the previous recaps in case people weren’t sure. However, “The Perfect Game” officially confirms in when we get to see a young Dex wearing a baseball cap with a bullseye on it. Yes, the slightly unhinged FBI Agent is well on his way to becoming the infamous Daredevil villain, Bullseye, and he’s about to be right under Fisk’s thumb.

“The Perfect Game” gives us a glimpse of Dex’s precise schedule in the morning. His apartment is bare, save for a framed photograph of him at the Brooklyn Suicide Prevention Center. It’s worth noting all of the other employees are crowded around Julie, the woman he’s been stalking, while he’s awkwardly off to the side. But Dex’s apartment is crystal clean, empty, and kept in a perfect order.

Which is why it doesn’t come as a surprise when Fisk gets Dex’s therapy records that we see why he has such a tight schedule. As a child, he was left at a boy’s home where his only release came from playing baseball. His coach buys him a brand new glove and Dex manages to pitch all strikes. However, near the end, his coach tries to sub him out and give some other kids a chance to play. Angry at being benched, Dex throws the baseball at the metal pole and it hits his coach in the end, instantly killing him.

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In therapy, young Dex admits that he did it on purpose. His therapist writes down he has psychotic tendencies and borderline personality disorder. Dr. Mercer promises that he won’t be alone anymore and she’ll help him learn to empathize with others. Flash forward, teenage Dex is distraught in his last session with Dr. Mercer. She’s dying and is retiring to spend her last few days in peace. Dex begs her to stay, but she offers him a new therapist as an alternative. He angrily pulls the breathing tube out of her nose and says he wants to kill her for leaving him.

While she seems a bit phased, it’s not enough to keep her from calmly reminding him not to speed up death with violence. He’s worried without her that he’ll succumb to his own impulses. If he won’t see a therapist, Dr. Mercer encourages him to just find a good-hearted person. This turns out to be Julie, the Suicide Prevention Center volunteer who he stalks every day.

Daredevil shows all of these flashbacks in black and white within Fisk’s latest penthouse. It’s definitely one of the most artistic sequences the show has ever done and it’s a nice payoff. Fisk is lingering within every shot, slowly learning Dex’s weaknesses and most private thoughts. It’s terrifying to think how easily he can manipulate the FBI Agent now that he’s read his entire box of files.

The first thing he does is double Julie’s pay to come work at the Presidential Hotel. At first, it seems like Fisk might’ve done this as a gesture of good faith for Dex. He gets up the courage to ask her out to drinks and things seem to be lining up for him. That is until he gets flustered and begins revealing stuff about her that he shouldn’t know. Did Fisk invite her to be kind or because he knew Dex would slip up and drive away the one person who’d been keeping him sane? Either way, he loses control and goes home in a rage. Eventually, he’s left sitting on the floor listening to his own tapes from therapy to calm down.

This is probably the most manipulative we’ve seen Kingpin yet this season. He sends Agent Nadeem knocking down Matt’s door after saying Matt has done a myriad of illegal things for him. Luckily, Matt isn’t home but his wet bloody clothes from the day before sitting on the floor. Nadeem is able to connect the dots to Karen and Foggy quickly. The former is dragged into questioning at Matt’s apartment first where she angrily accuses Nadeem of not asking the right questions. She hands him her Red Lion tip as well as Felix Manning, but he doesn’t seem to care.

His next stop is Nelson’s Meats where he disrupts Foggy’s campaign event. There he accuses Foggy of being a genuinely good person which is why he abandoned Nelson and Murdock. While Foggy might be angry at Matt, he would never throw his best friend under the bus. Even after hearing that Matt stole his bar ID, he still refuses to even budge about what Matt’s motives are. Nadeem then threatens to bring both him and Karen down with Matt, but again Foggy isn’t afraid. There’s a reason why he’s the best lawyer on Daredevil!

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Which is a good thing because Karen all of a sudden finds herself in need of a lawyer. Nadeem shows her a picture of James Wesley, who mysteriously disappeared but worked for Fisk.  It seems like Daredevil is finally forcing Karen to air out her dirty laundry. She hires Foggy as her lawyer and reveals she was the one who killed Wesly, not Matt. But if the FBI continues investigating him, then she’ll be going down anyways.

“The Perfect Game” ends with Matt Murdock stumbling home that night. He wakes up hearing Nadeem about to break in, which is why he left his bloodied clothes on the floor. However, he’s confused listening in on the FBI that morning as they say they’re hunting him down. Looks like he’ll be learning quickly that Fisk has put a target on his back.

What did you think of this episode of Daredevil? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!