Daredevil season 3, episode 13 finale recap: A New Napkin


Matt and Fisk finally face off in the explosive third season finale of Daredevil.

Daredevil has one of its best introductions yet in “A New Napkin” with the dueling imagery of Matt and Fisk. Both are the heroes of their own stories, with Matt draped in darkness in his black costume while Kingpin is covered in the light from his penthouse and white suit. Like good and evil, one cannot exist without the other.

The finale opens up with Fisk preparing for his wedding to Vanessa. Everything has come together for him: the girl, the public adoration, and the business. His main concern right now is that he doesn’t deserve Vanessa and one day she’ll realize it. Luckily, she comforts him by saying everyone is broken, but the key is finding someone who understands you no matter what. Considering Vanessa appears to be a burgeoning mob boss on her own, it seems like these two have more in common than Fisk initially realized.

However, Matt plans to be the one who gets in his way. After kidnapping Felix Manning, he discovers all of Kingpin’s plans as well as the upcoming nuptials. Felix doesn’t seem to have much info for Matt, so the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen tosses him over the side of a building. Thankfully, there’s a rope attached to Felix’s leg, but that doesn’t hurt any less. He offers to testify about Vanessa ordering the murder of Nadeem and Fisk’s many hits, but Matt is only interested in one: Julie Barnes.

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Detective Mahoney finds Felix the next morning, and understandably he’s refusing to talk. Foggy comes by to warn Mahoney about “someone” planning to murder Fisk. However, the Detective is tired of watching Fisk win and is prepared to let, whoever it is, carry out the attack. Foggy implores him to help, not just for the sake of saving his best friend’s soul, but for preventing the complicit FBI agents from getting away with breaking the law. Ultimately, Mahoney agrees to tighten security around the hotel but that’s it.

Foggy seems to be the only one still clinging onto hope. He finds Karen at the boxing club where she’s angrily watching the news label her a liar and Nadeem mentally unstable. She disagrees with his decision to warn the police because it will only hinder Matt. At this point, Karen doesn’t want him to kill Fisk but isn’t entirely convinced that they have any other option. However, Foggy reels her back in. If Matt kills someone, then he’ll lose everything which makes him Matt. Karen ultimately relents, but they don’t get to speak for much longer because Foggy gets called to the FBI.

He’s greeted by Dex, who smugly offers his condolences for how everything turned out with Ray. Foggy holds his own though and is brought into a meeting with Mrs. Nadeem and Hattley. There she says she’s willing to cooperate with the FBI and hopes Foggy will represent her. However, this is all a cover because she really wants to talk to him about the video that Ray left her. They write everything out because Seema knows someone, specifically Dex, is listening.

She gives Foggy the phone, and he returns to the club to watch it with Karen. It’s heartbreaking witnessing his final confession, where he provides testimony for all the things the FBI has done, and who he knows was involved. Even more so is hearing him admit that he aided and abetted in assisting Dex despite knowing he had wreaked carnage at the Bulletin and planned to do so again at the Church. But the hardest moment of all is at the end when Ray breaks down trying to tell Seema how to act in order to keep herself and Sami alive. At least Ray does get to go out being a hero because his dying declaration can hold up in court and take Fisk down.

Dex goes on a fact-finding mission of his own after a phone call from Matt. He tries to get inside the FBI Agent’s head, but Dex easily brushes it aside. What he can’t do is ignore Matt’s claim that Fisk had Julie killed. Considering he’s calling from Felix’s phone when Matt provides an address to check out, Dex is compelled to check. There, he finds a freezer full of the bodies that Fisk had killed, including Julie. He’s immediately overcome with grief and rage, not exactly the combination Fisk wants heading his way.

Especially because Matt knows exactly what to say to ensure Dex will head to the hotel and disrupt Fisk’s wedding. He doesn’t think Kingpin deserves a “happily ever after”. Looks like Matt has the distraction he needed in order to get to Fisk himself. Meanwhile, Dex dons his Daredevil suit and heads over to crash the wedding. His date, a frozen Julie, sits by his side as the two roll in as the creepiest couple of the year.

Fisk doesn’t realize any of this happening as he blissfully enjoys his wedding. He’s completely in love with Vanessa, and the two are happy as ever heading to their reception. Unfortunately, their first dance is interrupted by Ray’s testimony hitting the web. Karen had brought it to the Bulletin earlier in the episode, finding the perfect way to ruin Fisk’s night. Vanessa confidently tells him to pretend as though none of it matters and to continue dancing. But Dex drops in to give his congratulations to the happy couple. Of course, he speaks on behalf of himself and Julie before hurling the mic at Fisk.

Matt stops the mic with a serving tray and the ballroom breaks out into a war zone. Fisk drags Vanessa out of there while the FBI fires upon both Daredevils. While Matt prevents Dex from killing a couple of them, he uses the distraction to rush after Kingpin. It’s the right call because Vanessa has talked him into running today so they can fight again tomorrow.

In Fisk’s security room, Matt has the woman in charge stop the elevators so no one can interrupt him. She immediately does so, which kind of implies that she trusts Daredevil more than the NYPD. Can’t exactly blame her considering how the FBI handled things. He heads upstairs where he comes face to face with Fisk. The two begin an epic brawl, which showcases Fisk’s strength versus Matt’s training. However, things get interesting when Dex shows up just as Vanessa goes to escape.

She might be guilty of ordering Nadeem’s murder, but Matt isn’t going to let Vanessa die. He quickly interjects, saving her life quite a few times throughout the fight. The scene definitely builds up the rivalry forming between Matt and Dex, which has a lot of promise if Daredevil gets another season. Ultimately, Dex is incapacitated when Kingpin breaks his back against a stone wall.

Does Matt kill Kingpin? Well he certainly has the opportunity, and Fisk even begs him too, but he ultimately chooses to let him live. Matt lets loose a scream of rage, similar to the one Dex does throughout the season, before choosing to cut a deal. He won’t let Fisk destroy him, instead, he offers to let Vanessa walk free so long as Kingpin returns to jail and keeps his secret. Kingpin agrees to the demands because it’s the only thing that guarantees Vanessa doesn’t spend her life behind bars too.

After rejecting the darkness which almost took him, Matt is back as Daredevil listening to voices praying for help. He returns to the Church where he makes amends with his mother and admits maybe she needed to leave so God could put him on this path. At the service for Father Lantom, Matt finally seems to make peace with his past and the things that have happened to him.  He gives a moving sermon, which reminds all of us why so many people fell in love with his character in the first place.

Karen, Matt, and Foggy all end things in a solid place as well. While the former two don’t have any romantic conclusions, the ending does hint that they could eventually get back to that place. Meanwhile Foggy suggests they form a new law firm: Nelson, Murdock & Page. Marci isn’t that upset she won’t be marrying the DA (did Foggy ever officially propose again?) and Karen seems like she’ll be hanging up her journalism cape to take up an investigative new one. Not to mention, Matt throws out a reference to Jessica Jones, which probably brings a smile to any viewer who loved their friendship in The Defenders. 

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If Daredevil returns next season then it looks like there could be two different villains. Dex is undergoing spinal surgery and the final shot of the series is a bullseye reflection in his eye. Vanessa was very calm about getting arrested and it does feel as though she’s taking her own advice of running to fight another day. It’s doubtful she’ll give up on a Fisk anytime soon, and maybe there’s still potential for a partnership between her and Bullseye.

What did you think of Daredevil season 3? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!