By now you should pretty much be expecting Daredevil to receive a great review. The season has been top notch so far but it seemed safe to say that nothing would top the magnificent ‘Penny and Dime’. Well, it is no longer safe to say that. ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven’ provided fans with the very best Daredevil episode to date as it delivered on all the intrigue, violence, and emotion that viewers have come to expect from the series.
It began by explaining the cliffhanger from ‘Guilty as Sin’ which saw Kingpin make a very welcome return, confronting The Punisher with an offer. The story rewound back to when Fisk first found himself incarcerated and quickly told the story of him initially attempting to keep his head down before becoming obsessed with the idea of being the top guy in prison just as he was on the outside. As his enemy for the episode, Dutton, so succinctly puts it, Fisk has never seen as throne that he didn’t want to sit on.
Fisk is shown building his little gang from scratch and it is quite refreshing to revisit this character as he brings something completely different to the table. He is scheming and Machiavellian but with just a hint if childlike innocence, all of which is perfectly portrayed by D’Onofrio. This tale of Fisk in prison could easily have been made into a full uninterrupted episode or even a series but it in no way loses anything through being cut down to a portion of an episode, that speaks to the quality of writing just as much as anything else.
So, the encounter between Fisk and Punisher leads to the latter beings set upon Dutton as he was involved in the massacre that claimed the lives of Castle’s family. This ‘hit’ is set to take place during a seven-minute guard changeover, hence the episode’s delightful title. This could have been a fairly standard scene featuring some blood and intimidation on Castle’s part but little else. What actually happened though made for the best fight scene, or scene in general, that has even been seen on Daredevil. Fisk double crosses Castle and leaves him locked in the cell block after the hit meaning Dutton’s men all attacked him at once. It was here that viewers saw just how truly dangerous Punisher is.
This isn’t the first close quarters fight to have happened in this season and it won’t be the last. The difference is that all the earlier ones featured Daredevil and so were highly stylised with slick movements and flashy techniques. This wasn’t anything like that. It was gritty and brutal, people were punched, kicked, stabbed, and even had their eyes gouged. Through it all one thing stood out over all else, Jon Bernthal was the best possible pick to play this character. He sold the intensity of the scene perfectly and had you believing in this as a true fight to the death. The fact that Castle took down around a dozen armed thugs without a gun on his person shows that this is not just some sniper taking shots at a distance, this is a man to be feared above all others.
The biggest development for Punisher was not the brutality he displayed but rather what happened after. Logic would dictate that after a failed attempt at killing him off, Kingpin would just try again with more force. He didn’t do that and instead saw the potential for Castle to eliminate his competition for when he finally walked free from prison. To that end he ordered Castle to be let out of prison. That scene was a little ridiculous as even with all the power he had amassed it is just not possible that Fisk would have been able to get this to happen but everyone should be willing to overlook that fact as it allows The Punisher to re-enter the season with little delay and that is a very good thing. Also the pair hardly depart on good terms which sets up a potential storyline for a later season or possibly even a solo Punisher series (which absolutely has to happen).
Elsewhere, Elektra left Matt’s life for the time being after straight up murdering a member of The Hand in front of him last episode. Really, Elektra did the only thing she could to save both of their lives as he would, as she said, have brought more men with him had he been let go. The problem is that Daredevil is just a little set against the whole killing people thing so their relationship could never last beyond that point. Despite her poor entrance into the show, Elektra has become quite an enjoyable character in the last two episodes and she should return as soon as possible to continue her fight against The Hand.
That wasn’t the only relationship of Matt’s to go south in a hurry as he and Foggy appear to have reached the end of their friendship. Foggy came to his flat in order to suggest they take some time away from the law firm for a few weeks, until the dust had settled on the Punisher case. Matt instead suggested that they close it down permanently, recognising that he is not good for either Foggy or Karen. Really, this development has been a long time coming and it’s one that may be better served by being a long term separation. The two have done a lot together and it may be more interesting to see what they can achieve separately, especially seen as Foggy has been becoming more of a standout character in his own right as of late.
Karen is the one who benefits from that split more than anyone else though. It frees her from her obligations to both men and whilst she won’t see that as a good thing at the moment it absolutely is one. It has already allowed her to make great headway in just one episode as she has continued her investigation into the Punisher conspiracy with the help of Ellison. The cover up is still a very interesting plotline and one that fans of the show cannot wait to see the conclusion to, simply because it is sure to be an explosive one.
A closing Daredevil scene in this episode saw him infiltrate The Hand’s secret base of operations and discover a mysterious pod. Much more mysterious than that though was the fact the enemy who nearly killed him last season, an enemy who died during that battle, returned from death to kick his ass once again. Nobu is someone who will be welcomed back due to his exciting fighting style as well as the implications that such a resurrection brings with it.
This is something that all of these reviews seem to end with but once again Daredevil was amazing. This was by far the best episode of the show so far and it will be a very tough one to top in the future. You should be looking forward to seeing them try though.
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