In this episode, we finally get a formal introduction to Dex’s backstory and learn that underneath the seemingly well put together talented agent is a complete psychopath, smarting with his overwhelming need to be perfect. In the opening scene, we see that he seems to have some form of OCD, and, later on, we see him kill his baseball coach because he was denied a chance to pitch a perfect game compounded by the coach saying “You can pitch a billion perfect games. It won’t bring your parents back.”
In his therapy sessions, we find out that Dex is completely incapable of feeling empathy, and his therapist teaches him a specific phrase “I’m sorry, that sounds hard,” a phrase that he later uses during his time working for a suicide prevention hotline as well as during his dinner with Julie. In the present day, it is clear that Dex still hasn’t developed the ability to care for others, but he is trying to fit in with everyone who does. Is this because he’s so lonely, or is he lonely because he cannot show empathy?
The only people that we see Dex build a relationship with are his coach and his therapist, both of which he at least contemplates killing when he feels betrayed. He is so desperate for people in his life to care about him, and Fisk recognizes this as something he can exploit. He also sees Dex’s need for structure and for someone to tell him what to do and how to act, and if he can just build Dex’s loyalty, he’ll be the perfect soldier in his empire. The way they filmed Fisk’s discovery of Dex’s backstory is extremely well done, and you can see the gears turning in Fisk’s mind as he watches it all unfold.
Meanwhile, we finally revisit the fact that Karen killed Wesley in Season 1, a plot point that has been dangling for far too long, and I’m sure it will have to be part of the plot as the season continues. It’ll be interesting to see how Matt reacts to this, especially considering his views on killing, and if it will stay between them or if Fisk will find out as well.
We also get some more allusions about Karen’s background from Fisk’s money launderer, specifically around drug addicts how her parents should have been more concerned with her brother. Her drug problems are a big part of the Born Again storyline, and, though I highly doubt we’ll see a direct adaptation, it’ll be interesting to see how they weave this into the plot.
Not too much else happens in this episode aside from Nadeen continuing to pursue Matt. He informs Foggy about Matt stealing and using his law credentials, an act that must be heartbreaking for Foggy. Did Matt only confront him earlier to steal this, or was he legitimately concerned about him and Karen?
5 ricochets out of 5
I’m a sucker for villain episodes, and Bullseye’s story was everything I wanted it to be. They’re not trying to downplay his craziness a la Typhoid in Season 2 of Iron Fist. Karen’s story got much more interesting, and, even though we don’t see much of the titular character in this episode, a Bullseye centric episode was needed if he’s going to play a large role in the remainder of the season.
- The “There is no corpse” line is brilliantly pulled directly from the Born Again storyline, and used in the same context in the same setting. Pretty cool adaptation
- Is it just me, or does Kid Dex look a lot like Kid Matt? I’ve got to wonder if that’s intentional.
- The bullseye on Dex’s baseball uniform was a cool little nod. A little on the nose, but fun to see nonetheless