Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
‘Semper Fidelis’ saw some fairly large developments with Elektra effectively destroying the relationship between Matt and Foggy, and putting a huge amount of strain on his new found romance with Karen. Alongside this there was the small matter of Frank Castle’s trial which featured key evidence being discarded, mysteries deepening, and Castle refusing to take the easy way out. How could they top that for ‘Guilty as Sin’? Oh just you wait and see.
This episode began, as so many do, with yet another fight scene. Despite the frequency of these at this point in the show they never disappoint. The choreography is never anything other than excellent and that was on display once more here as The Hand made their highly anticipated appearance and attacked Elektra and Daredevil. Typically, at this point of the review it would already be time to bash Elektra a little bit more but, and this may shock you, she was really quite good for the entirety of this episode. In fact, it was Daredevil who managed to be the most irritating on screen presence this time around.
From the very beginning it is clear that Matt is just a little out of sorts and who could blame him? His life is sort of crumbling right now with friendships breaking up and a rather angry Yakuza gunning for him. Still, it is very much his fault that Elektra is stabbed in this sequence, nearly fatally as well. His no kill rule put her in peril and it does call into question the logic of this one rule that so many heroes have. For some it makes sense, Batman and Superman being two of the most immediately identifiable examples, but for others it gets in the way and feels as though it has only been attributed to them in order to give them a little extra internal conflict and to make sure that their enemies stick around a lot longer than, say, The Punisher’s tend to.
So, with Elektra out of commission the responsibility to win the fight falls to Daredevil, only he has a problem in that The Hand do not emit a noticeable heart beat such is their bodily control. What that means is that he cannot hear them coming, unless they use their weapons, rendering him genuinely blind in the fight for once. He almost falls to the highly trained assassins too and likely would have if a certain familiar face hadn’t made a very welcome return. That face being Stick, the man who trained Matt.
Stick’s arrival is the catalyst for the huge revelations in this episode as he forces Elektra into revealing that she was trained by him too and that chance meeting with Matt a decade ago wasn’t so spontaneous after all. It was a measured move by Stick to get his protégé back, one that went awry and led to Elektra genuinely falling for Matt. All of this sends Matt’s world spinning once more and his absent nature leads to yet more of a rift forming between him and Foggy and Karen as they deem him responsible for them losing the trial. The revelations and near death all cause Elektra to become something of a likable character who is now far more engaging for the audience. Her actions in the climax of the episode are sure to win her a few more followers and it certainly creates an uncertain situation for Matt to deal with.
The trial itself also takes up a large portion of the episode as it draws to its conclusion. For much of the episode it is just Foggy and Karen providing Frank’s defense as Matt is off dealing with Ninja’s and the like. They make some real headway too as they combine to make a highly effective team, one that might not even need Matt to succeed. The chemistry between them leads one to think that they may actually make a much better couple than Matt and Karen, it’s a direction the showrunners should absolutely consider going in as there is a certain likability to that pairing that should be exploited to its fullest extent.
During the trial both an expert medical witness (who offers a truly intriguing insight) and a General who served with Frank offer testimonies in his favour. It looks for the first time as though they have a chance of actually winning the trial and getting a far lesser sentence for Frank. Where’s the fun in that though? This is a show that likes to leave you wondering what just happened and it does it once again as Frank sabotages his own defense and makes his being found guilty an absolute certainty. The reason for his sudden outburst is obviously coercion but when it is revealed who masterminded the whole thing at the end of this episode, Let’s just say you may want to be sitting down because it is a fantastic reveal.
With a series of twists and turns, not all of which are given away in this review, ‘Guilty as Sin’ made for an important and effective episode. It had pretty much everything you could want from Daredevil with epic fight scenes, compelling legal drama, and more comic references. It may not have reached the perfection of ‘Penny and Dime’ but it wasn’t all that far off.
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