[Vanessa] solves a dispiriting problem faced by contemporary TV: A lot of people who watch antihero shows hate the women on them. Just ask someone who plays one! Because they present an obstacle of doubt, derision, or suspicion in the path of the larger-than-life men in their lives, viewers who live vicariously through those men want those obstacles taken out with extreme prejudice. This is almost never the fault of the shows or the characters — Skyler White, Carmela Soprano, and Betty Draper, to name three commonly cited examples, are as complex and engaging as Walter, Tony, and Don. But if you’re looking to hack the structural security of New Golden Age TV Dramas, it’s an easy entry point to exploit.
The courtship of Kingpin and Vanessa breaks this mold in several ways. We meet them not years into a long-term relationship, but as they’re first getting to know each other. It’s a wonderfully oddball way to introduce your series’ main villain, yeah, but it also cuts through the Gordian Knot of the so-called “wife problem”: Vanessa is going into this with her eyes wide open.
I reviewed episode five of Daredevil for Decider, and got them to run my favorite gif of Ayelet Zurer three times, because that’s what being a hero means.