By Dr. Zaius
Monday, March 28th, 2016 at 5:30 pm
Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 Episodes 10-12
Created by Drew Goddard
Starring Charlie Cox, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jon Bernthal, Elodie Yung Netflix
Premiere date: Friday, March 18th, 2016
This season… just unreal. I can’t think of a show outside of Dexter seasons 1-4 where every episode is better than the last. After the first half of the season, Daredevil had the hallway/staircase fight, the introduction of the incredibly sexy Elektra (Elodie Yung), and the balls to the wall insanity of Frank “the Punisher” Castle (Jon Bernthal). The second half of the season has more than kept up. The Hand has taken over as the primary villainous force, and Vincent D’Onofrio is back as Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk. And since season 2 has been stealing the thunder, all the greatest hits from season 1 are returning – Stick (Scott Glenn); Daredevil’s blind trainer, and Nobu, the ninja that nearly killed Matt last season. My mouth has continuously hit the floor, and I’m so close to the end that I’m starting to get upset at the thought of waiting a year for season 3.
Episode 10 – “Man in the Box”
Teleplay by Whit Anderson & Sneha Koorse
Story by John C. Kelley
Directed by Peter Hoar
Matt (Charlie Cox) survived the surprise return of Nobu, and his reward is finding out that Frank Castle escaped after one night in jail. The DA Samantha Reyes (Michelle Hurd) calls Nelson & Murdock, and Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) gives them the info they wanted in exchange for any leads on Castle. She was the one who was in charge of the sting operation gone horribly wrong that led to the murders of the Castle family. Before she can finish though, she’s interrupted by a wave of bullets pounding through her office walls killing her and wounding Foggy. Is The Punisher wiping out all the loose ends?
Matt hears that Frank went into cell block D, and puts two and two together real fast about the involvement of Wilson Fisk. In a phenomenal scene, Murdock goes to interview Fisk in jail. You’re taken right back to season 1 and Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio play off each other perfectly, whether verbally sparring or actually sparring… and Matt maybe tips his hand landing a blow to Fisk’s jaw despite being a poor blind lawyer. Fisk is so good and so brutal just using the force of his voice. After bouncing Murdock’s head off a table and threatening him and Foggy, he sends him away with this great line:
“If you’re worried that Frank Castle will wreak havoc on Hell’s Kitchen, just wait… Let’s do this again sometime.”
Karen confides in Ellison and after Reyes’ death, they go to see the M.E. who messed with the evidence, but he’s DOA. Karen goes to her apartment to get files with NYPD escorts but they hit the floor and Frank is there. He claims innocence about the DA, and before she can say whether she believes him or not, the same gunfire riddles the room, with Frank pulling her to safety… so someone is setting him up.
Elektra is done with New York but her getaway is interrupted by a charming stranger who turns out to be an assassin. He pulls out a pair of sais on her (her signature comic book weapon), and she easily turns the tables and uses them, but not before finding out he was sent by Stick and not The Hand. The Hand is pissed about the capture of their kidnapped kids, who were being drained of blood and filled with drug chemicals. This leads to a crazy finale (I know, shocker) where the Daredevil is patrolling the roof of the hospital, and The Hand begins scaling the walls. When Claire (Rosario Dawson) goes to see what’s going on, it’s like a scene straight out of a horror movie.
They are building towards a rousing final 3, with The Hand on a mission, Frank out of jail and being set up by some unseen force, Wilson Fisk is making plans for his and Hell Kitchen’s future, and lurking in the background is the mysterious Blacksmith. Give me more please.
Episode 11 – “.380”
Written by Mark Verheiden
Directed by Stephen Surjik
We pick up right where left off and The Hand invades the hospital to recapture their “blood-bags” and Claire is amongst those who must pick up the pieces. The hospital is trying to play cover up, especially since one of the dead ninjas has a previous autopsy scar… wait… zombie ninjas? Claire, fed up with cover ups and lies, quits.
Karen easily avoids her police escorts and jumps right back into Frank’s world… they go for coffee (he wanted by the entire city and he’s having coffee like Seinfeld). She’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, as she’s lying to the cops but needs Frank to survive the Blacksmith’s repeated attempts to kill her. She does a great truth nugget on Frank:
“The problem with martyrs, the good ones end up dead.”
Of course, their coffee talk ends in bloodshed and another brutal fight scene as The Punisher eviscerates some goons, letting them live just long enough to get a lead on The Blacksmith.
Foggy is recuperating and gets a visit from Marci (Amy Rutberg). After some pillow talk, she offers him an invite to her or any other high end law firm. It appears Nelson & Murdock may in fact be dead.
Daredevil is busy. He’s hunting the Blacksmith and his drug trades, but also The Hand. He goes to Blacksmith’s biggest competitor, Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho) in Chinatown. She gives him a lead that will inevitably bring him closer to The Blacksmith and The Punisher. Everyone is on a collision course.
The course culminates on a ship at Pier 41… the whole scene feels reminiscent of the climactic boat sequence in The Usual Suspects. One last drug dealer claims to be The Blacksmith and tells Frank to kill him, and we get yet another variant of the same Daredevil/Punisher battle over whether or not to kill a particular bad guy. If there’s one complaint I have, it’s that this ideological conflict keeps replaying itself. But then the fights are awesome so I kinda forget that the motivations are played out. As an army of bad guys approach the pier, a massive explosions torches the scene. Daredevil, we know, survives.
Elektra is on her own collision course with Stick after a botched assassination attempt. She bursts in on him at the end: “We need to talk.”
With only two episodes to go everyone is veering towards each other. Matt’s course is intertwined with Stick’s and Elektra’s, but he is also on the trail of the Blacksmith bringing him into sight of Frank and Karen. And Nobu and The Hand are out there headed by an evil corporation… there are drugs, drug mule kids, guns, bad guys aplenty, and maybe… just maybe, ninja zombies.
Episode 12 – “The Dark at the End of the Tunnel”
Written by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich & Douglas Petrie
Directed by Euros Lyn
We see a flashback to a young Elektra (maybe 12-years old) fighting grown men as Stick observes and discussions of higher orders are had. We then flash back to the present where her and Stick are engaged in a battle to death… that is until guess who shows up… that’s right… “you can’t kill…blah blah blah”. Jeez, I love this show but I am rapidly sick to death of hearing him repeat his mantra and try to force others to follows his code. This is one caveat that the binger faces. Watching 3+ episodes in one sitting without commercials can make everything seem repetitive. Had I waited 7 long days to see the conclusion of the fight, maybe it wouldn’t irk me as much… minor observation. Anyway, The Hand intercedes, because of course they do.
Meanwhile, the police are cleaning the harbor mess and pulling corpses out of the river. It is assumed that Frank Castle is dead… and Karen feels lost. Ellison helps her through a breakdown by assuring her that reporter is her calling, and a real reporter adapts when the story changes. So Frank’s redemption piece will now become a posthumous biography including his heroism in war, and his devotion to his family. Who better to see for that story than Colonel Ray Schoonover (Clancy Brown) who was Frank’s only character witness at his trial.
It was here I actually got frustrated with Daredevil for the first time. Why? Because I felt for the first time this whole season I knew exactly what was going to happen… And sure enough, that happens. The scene itself, the acting involved, especially Jon Bernthal’s facial expressions are fantastic. Bernthal conveys so much emotion and even dialogue, without speaking. The conclusion of that scene opens up all new possibilities as we approach the finale.
Matt and Foggy bump into each other at the office and the breakup is official. It’s so realistic watching this… sure they’re no couple, but they’ve been best friends and business partners for so long that it feels like a true emotional relationship ending. Foggy gives Matt one odd piece of advice to aid his search for The Hand, and that leads Daredevil into the tunnels underground NYC. Numerous ninja battles ensue until finally we have Daredevil, Elektra and Stick together against The Hand… that is until Nobu delivers his major reveal… that Elektra is Black Sky; the one true leader of The Hand, born and bred to rule them. Somehow Matt convinces her to fight back the temptation. Nobu says the episode’s last words to send us to the finale… “Daredevil must die!”
We hit the finale. The Blacksmith is dead, but a cache of drugs and weapons left behind signals there may be a bigger threat. The Hand looks to make one final attempt to kill Daredevil and recruit Elektra as their leader. Will Foggy finally break Nelson away from Murdock for good? Will Karen remain loyal to Frank after yet another brutal murder? Will I be able to cope without Daredevil once I watch the finale? Are there really ninja zombies? Hopefully we find out answers to all these questions in Episode 13.
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