Even in another subdued outing, Daredevil continues to pack an entertaining punch. The trial of Frank Castle may not have been the most edge of your seat episode, but it literally deepened the mystery of The Hand’s scheme while teasing a sequel to Nelson v Murdoch.
Typically, the secret identity is the escape from the burden/obligation of protecting and saving the city. For Matt, there’s been enough recent evidence to suggest the opposite. Donning Daredevil’s outfit and busting heads is more of a willing choice while being an attorney is the burden. He’s taking Foggy for granted assuming he’ll cover for his absences both in the office or the courtroom. Fittingly, Foggy blowing up at him with after Matt fessed up to working with Elektra was one of those rare moments where the hero was dead wrong and deserved the chewing out. You had to feel for Foggy that Matt probably would indeed let him down working the case he wanted to defend.
Not that Foggy actually needed Matt’s help in the courtroom. After working through his nerves, Foggy delivered a compelling opening statement that countered Reyes’ hard-edge approach to label Castle a serial killer. Elden Henson has been the unsung hero of the season. He gives so much more depth to Foggy than being mere slacker sidekick/comic relief. In his hands, Foggy is a dedicated friend, more than competent attorney and is just a big a crusader for justice as his partner.
There was a subtle undercurrent of tension with Karen and Matt once she revealed she didn’t necessarily think The Punisher was a criminal and wasn’t going about things the right way. This cut deep on two fronts for Matt: one as a lawyer who believes in the justice system and secondly as Karen’s lover making him question if she’s any different from Elektra after all.
Elektra again proves to be a wildcard for Matt. In her own twisted way, Elektra was trying to help by threatening the corrupt medical examiner. Elektra wasn’t the first person to threaten him though and it’s an actual mystery if Reyes was involved in any manner with this smear job on Castle’s family’s murders.
The episode was pretty Punisher light with Jon Bernthal only getting one dedicated segment, but it was killer as he refused to be labeled a PTSD victim. He found it insulting to soldiers who really did struggle with it. Punisher’s code of honor and purpose has made him a fascinating character and like half the jury selection candidates, I’m finding myself firmly on Team Punisher.
On the action front, Daredevil and Elektra track down a Yakuza associate — the professor who encoded the ledger — and want his help revealing its secrets. After a mild threat, the professor obliges and DD and Elektra investigate the train yard mentioned in the ledger. While the dirt discovered in a train car bears little fruit, the ensuing fray with Yakuza members leaves Elektra with some cuts and scrapes.
Stitching up cuts has never been so steamy as the sexual tension between Matt and Elektra was palatable. Elektra confesses she left Matt and didn’t come back because he deserved better than her. Matt becoming increasingly torn between his old flame and his current love interest has been so well executed there’s an actual question if he won’t be with Elektra by the end of the season.
This cliffhanger was intriguing. Daredevil and Elektra discover the building Wilson Fisk was hellbent on procuring last season for his Yakuza allies. Investigating the garage they find a massive hole in the ground that appears to have no ending. This was an exciting development as it suggested the possibility of a more magical, unnatural force at work.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Elektra is once again screwing up Matt’s life jeopardizing everything from The Punisher trial to his relationships with Foggy and Karen.