The Best Daredevil Episodes, Ranked

Costumed Daredevil in Netflix series
(Image credit: Netflix)

Daredevil was a superhero series greater than it had any right to ever be. Before the show arrived, the peak live-action series of the genre was arguably The CW’s Arrow and The Flash. And no disrespect to those shows, but Netflix’s Daredevil was anything but CW material. Shows only got grittier after Daredevil, and Marvel Studios surely knows it was the cornerstone of what they are currently debuting on the Disney Plus streaming platform. 

That’s why Daredevil is returning with Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio already reprising their roles in previous MCU content. Before any more best episodes are added to the story, here’s our list of the 10 best episodes of the original Daredevil show. 

 Honorable Mention 

Season 1, Episode 13 

In this Season 1 finale, Wilson Fisk and Matt Murdock finally clash after 12 episodes of build-up. We also get the reveal of Daredevil's classic suit after being in his black wardrobe most of the show. 

Daredevil in his Man in Black suit.

(Image credit: Netflix)

10. “Into the Ring” Season 1, Episode 1 

After the first five minutes or so of the first episode, one can tell Daredevil won’t be your average superhero show. The monologue Charlie Cox gives in the confessional booth sets the tone for the amazing performances to come and the deadly serious atmosphere the show will deliver. Although watching characters loosely refer to The Avengers as “The Incident” may make you roll your eyes, this tiny bit of connection made fans at the time go wild at the possible implications. And hey, maybe those implications exist again now that the show is returning on Disney Plus.  

We are introduced to our trio Matt, Foggy, and Karen, as well as a handful (not that Hand) of villains for the season. We also meet Wesley, a representation of Fisk lurking in the shadows, and actor Toby Leonard Moore plays it up masterfully. The episode’s concluding fight is also brutal, grounded, and action-packed. It’s a great first half to a two-parter that has the quality to be its own feature film.

Daredevil in the first hallway fight.

(Image credit: Netflix)

9. “Cut Man” Season 1, Episode 2  

In "Cut Man," we’re introduced to the recurring character Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), taking on the Night Nurse role from Marvel Comics far more accurately than Doctor Strange’s Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). Dawson is another actor in the show with stellar performances who elevates any limited screen time she’s given. Another standout from this episode is Matty’s daddy Battlin’ Jack (John Patrick Hayden.) He’s a brute boxer not wanting to pass down the wrong principles to his son, so he doesn’t take the dive the mob wants and suffers the consequences. It paints a picture of why Matt lives by his code so staunchly, who he gets it from, and the way Jack looks as the crowd chants his name after his victory always hits me in the feels. 

Of course, the episode wraps with the first (and best) hallway fight scene from the Netflix x Marvel regime. It’s a (nearly perfect) continuous shot with amazing fight choreography and realistic exhaustion akin to Oldboy. And it concludes the two-parter of the first and second episodes in a way that if they were an ordinary MCU film, it’d be one of the most revered stories in the 20-something movie catalog. 

Wilson Fisk looking at himself in the mirror.

(Image credit: Netflix)

8. “Shadow in the Glass” Season 1, Episode 8 

This primary Wilson Fisk episode, "Shadow in the Glass," focuses on the main antagonist of the show and features compelling acting from the fantastic Vincent D’Onofrio and his child counterpart. The episode’s opening montage ends with him seeing himself in the mirror. Then the same shot is symmetrically used at the end to reflect both his past, his future, and what makes him tick overall. The common denominator between his past and his future, despite how optimistic the latter appears, are roads mired with blood nonetheless.

The start of Wilson Fisk’s origin story is phenomenally piecemealed throughout the episode. It’s also a fantastic display of his relationship with Wesley and how they operate as a team to use intimidation as a means to corrupt people. Hopefully, now that Daredevil is returning, we’ll somehow get to see more of Fisk and his right-hand man. 

Wilson Fisk giving an intimidation audit.

(Image credit: Netflix)

7. “Revelations” Season 3, Episode 9 

If the previous entry showcases Fisk’s brutality and cunning, "Revelations" showcases how deep that brutality and cunning runs. It also shows the damaging effect of that devilish brilliance and offers a glimpse into how his corruption of other people ultimately brings them down. We also hear people call Fisk "Kingpin" for the first time, a name that wasn’t given but earned just one season prior. 

In Season 3, we follow Agent Nadeem and his tragic downfall from an ordinary FBI agent to a man that’s hit rock bottom. It’s a compelling arc to watch unfold. Throughout the episode Nadeem realizes he’s entangled himself in the web of Fisk, coming to terms he’s now ensnared in a trap that’s corrupted every lifeline he had to free himself. Meanwhile, Matt is spiraling coming to terms with some revelations of his own, and we even get a cameo from Matty’s father from the first season.

Daredevil and The Punisher arguing ideologies.

(Image credit: Netflix)

6. “New York’s Finest” Season 2, Episode 3 

"New York's Finest" primarily focuses on the dueling hero vs vigilante ideologies between Daredevil and Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal.) Serving as our introduction to the character, there are several moments that showcase how brutal Castle is and can be if needed. 

In the B story, Claire returns this season and shares the episode with Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson.) Nelson has a standout speech between two warring gang members in her hospital that’s also noteworthy. However, the episode’s best moments are reserved for the end and this season’s hallway fight. Although the hallway scene ups the ante a bit by having a less linear setting, the show still finds time to borrow influences from the comics. Specifically inspired by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's "The Devil by the Horns," from The Punisher #3. Which in itself is a callback to another DD vs Punisher encounter from Daredevil #184. 

Frank Castle has bad memories of the past.

(Image credit: Netflix)

5. “Penny and Dime” Season 2, Episode 4

“Penny and Dime” serves as the final act of Frank Castle’s origin story and it ends strongly.  Castle’s final speech of the episode is what gives the Frank Castle character the heart needed to eventually carry his own show in the future. I hope Bernthal’s Punisher returns just like DD and the gang. The episode also vilifies Castle’s mob targets exceptionally well. They threaten innocents and they even hurt dogs!

The episode is also a lowkey team-up between Daredevil and The Punisher, as it happens in the comics now and then. A great moment between the two is DD stopping The Punisher from killing a bad guy when they’re fighting together. It’s great to see their dueling ideologies expressed in their actions as well as their words without necessarily having to clash over them.   

Matt fighting Dex, who is wearing his old Daredevil uniform.

(Image credit: Netflix)

4. “The Devil You Know” Season 3, Episode 6

The opening scene of "The Devil You Know" is a callback to the montage from “Shadows in the Glass” scored by the same Bach song with the same level of intimacy. It’s perfectly used to show that even under 24/7 surveillance, Fisk can change any cage into his domain. What’s more, this episode is the one that brings us the “When I Was A Boy” meme, which although funny, brilliantly breaks down Agent Poindexter and compares him to himself. The manipulation culminates in Dex succumbing to his baser instincts and becoming a victim of Fisk’s web.

Round 1 of DD and the man also known as Bullseye is great and serves as a foil for Matt at this point in the season in several ways. It’s almost as if Matt is fighting his shadow self, as he’s become hesitant to take up his own mantle. It’s also a contest between ranged and close-quarters combat. Even spiritually, Bullseye serves as the Devil battling the faith-driven Matt as his faith hits a new low this season.

The Punisher in jail, doing what he does best.

(Image credit: Netflix)

3. “Seven Minutes in Heaven” Season 2, Episode 6

The number 8 entry on our list is the sympathetic origin story of Wilson Fisk, a mild-mannered child pushed to insanity. However, “Seven Minutes in Heaven” is the series’ Kingpin origin story. Fisk is introduced as a criminal mastermind but does not truly earn the moniker of Kingpin until he earns it in prison. Here, we gain perspective on how Fisk operates. He surveys the area, seeks people in need, and uses his resources and influence to get what he wants. Even if it’s just to gain more resources and influence. The crime world is just business, and business is just the animal world where the big fish eat the smaller fish.

Meanwhile, we see Matt operate with near-death clarity as he finally makes a stand against the people he loves the most about who he and Daredevil are, and that he has no plans to stop. It’s great to see the character not live in apology anymore at this moment. Frank Castle gets his version of a hallway scene and it's one of the most spectacularly violent sequences from the Netflix x Marvel collaboration. 

Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, dancing with Vanessa.

(Image credit: Netflix)

2. “A New Napkin” Season 3, Episode 13

In the series finale of the show, "A New Napkin," Fisk sees his child reflection in the mirror once more, indicating he’s in jeopardy of regressing back to a monster and losing his possible salvation. Although Fisk is close to his happily ever after, consequences are around the corner for Fisk, and its name is Daredevil. 

The episode showcases how Dex’s greatest weakness is his susceptibility to be manipulated, earlier demonstrated by Fisk. Also, the concluding fatal 3-way match is one of the most gratifying fight sequences in the entire series. Not only does the match focus on the priority of each combatant, but it also culminates into one of the greatest performances from Charlie Cox in the series. This is also the first episode we hear the phrase “The Man Without Fear,” which would be a great name for a sequel series.

Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock in the final hallway scene of the series.

(Image credit: Netflix)

1. “Blindsided” Season 3, Episode 4

In "Blindsided," we see Matt Murdock effectively blindsided when he unknowingly walks into a prison that’s actually just another Fisk territory. The culmination of every hallway scene before crescendos here is the longest unbreakable shot in the series. There’s excellent cinematography throughout, down to the red alarm lights during the prison escape, reflecting how Daredevil is acting with or without the costume. 

The episode also excellently displays Kingpin’s inescapable influence; he’s like an infection. The episode then ends with a shot pulled directly from Born Again, a comic book storyline influenced throughout the entire season. It sees a disguised taxi driver hurl a cab into the ocean in order to kill Matt via an order from Fisk.

There’s also a moment in the opening of the episode where Fisk wakes up just before the FBI conducts a “random room check.” It’s a great display that shows nobody has power over Fisk, even if you think you do. And that, unlike our hero, one of Fisk’s greatest advantages is that he is never blindsided by anything. Something Agent Poindexter is going to have to personally learn himself.

Daredevil is currently available to stream on Disney Plus. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more rankings of your favorite shows

Features Writer