the magnificant grandiosity of the law working as it should

*****Spoilers: Daredevil Season One (yes, all of it)*****

There is a moment in the final episode of Daredevil’s first (there will be a second, we now know!) season which should strike us as overdone. The law is finally functioning to its full capacity; good cops are arresting bad cops; dirty judges and lawyers and businessmen are showing up in handcuffs. Opera music plays loudly, overlaying all the scenes in the montage of justice being served. What we should feel is sheepish. We should be wincing. This isn’t the opening 30 minutes of Femme Fatale, after all. This should be over-the-top. This should be weighing too heavily, musically and visually, on what should be a normal occurrence: the law working as it should.

But it’s not over the top. Because as the last few weeks have made abundantly clear, at least in America–the law does not work as it should, all of the time. Not even close to all of the time. Murder without trial; vile acts without the proper legal mechanisms which we so grandly tout in our eighth-grade civics classes ever clicking into action–this is the norm. It isn’t the exception, it’s the norm.

So yes, when things go right, it is a grand event. Things are working the way they ought to. It is deserving of such pomp and circumstance. Precisely because it is so very rare an occurrence.

“It.” The working of the law, I hasten to add. Not “justice.” I didn’t mean that. It may suit Matt Murdock not to kill. We may root for him not to, in order to preserve the sanctity of his Catholic conscience. But that is because he is drop-dead gorgeous–when you cannot see, after all, when we see your face you are always nakedly looking for meaning, and even if you only want to know where the wall ends and the stairs begin, we can read your face as reaching for a meaning the quest for which most hide deep within. Out of sight.

But justice? Tell that to the women in the other shipping containers–the ones before the season opener. The peace of the blank white wall is not justice.

Let us clap for the law, though. Rah, rah. May it work, so that our gorgeous superhero retains his sense of decency. At least until his friendship with Foggy can be put on the rocks again. Much more so than during any sexual liaison, his face at the prospect of losing his friend–of trying to prevent that from happening–is melt-worthy. Bring on the tears.

I suppose justice can wait. We certainly don’t have a track record of being troubled by its delay.

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