Daredevil S2 Ep13 Review: ‘A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen’

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Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Here you have it, the finale for season two of Daredevil. The last episodes may have tailed off quite dramatically but surely they would pull it back for the big send off? You know the drill by now, no they did not manage to do that. ‘A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen’ was best described as predictable. It lacked any and all impact and really was nothing short of a failure as a season finale.

As the show plodded along it became horrendously obvious that many of the storylines that had been left dangling would not be getting a satisfying conclusion. Instead of answering the fans questions and making it abundantly clear what was at stake, they instead opted for a run of the mill episode with none of the pomp that it should have had. Naturally, you got yet more fight scenes with The Hand but they were done in the exact same way that they have been since the group first appeared half a season ago. It didn’t feel special and it did nothing to close out the story that had been built up. Perhaps most disappointing though was the way in which The Punisher was treated as an afterthought.

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For an entire season the narrative has hinged on The Punisher. He has been the best thing about Daredevil since he arrived on the scene and over that period he has been established as both a legendarily formidable force and an emotionally damaged, real life man. Despite his storyline concluding in the last episode it would only have been right to feature him in a meaningful way here too, after all Daredevil would need all hands on deck to tackle such a vast army of foes. Bafflingly, the character is seen for a few minutes in total and the majority of that has to do with the debut of his signature costume. Sure, it’s a great fanboy moment to see him in all his skull emblazoned glory but they did the same thing last season with Daredevil finally getting his red costume. There was no need to repeat such a trope again, Punisher deserved to be in the thick of the action and not firing a few shots form a nearby rooftop at the opportune moment. It did him a great disservice and took away from the journey he has been on for so long now.

For the entire episode, The Hand are shown to be hunting down Elektra and Daredevil. Of course this makes sense as Elektra was revealed to be the Black Sky in the last episode and Nobu resolved to Kill DD. Still, both of these elements were poorly handled.

First let’s look at Elektra as the Black Sky. This could have worked out very nicely and created some real tension if she had been pitted against Matt but that avenue was completely ignored in favour of continuing her allegiance to him, despite it flying in the face of her character’s persona. On top of this there is the issue that it is never actually explained just what this Black Sky is. What is it capable of? Is she the only one? No one knows and that makes it very difficult to buy into the stakes supposedly set forth. Why would it matter if The Hand got her? You can’t just tell your audience that it would be a bad thing but never tell them the exact consequences. It’s sloppy writing at its absolute worst and detracted greatly from a potentially explosive development.

Secondly let’s look at Nobu’s vendetta, or more specifically the entire rooftop fight. The Hand, in order to flush out Elektra and Daredevil, took Karen and several other people DD had rescued, as hostages. Of course, this led to a big fight scene where your heroes were pitted against insurmountable odds. Or at least they were supposed to be. Just before heading to the rooftop to face the forces of The Hand, Daredevil says that there are too many men to count, some already on the roof and some coming from below. When they get into the thick of the fight however there are only a handful of enemies who fall with worrying ease. Where did the other guys go? Again, no one knows.

When it comes down to Daredevil facing off with Nobu you would have expected something of an epic battle considering the war they waged in series one that nearly killed Daredevil and did briefly dispatch Nobu. What you got was something with far less luster as it appears that Nobu’s balls may have been left out of the resurrection process. The man who had once cut DD to shreds now looked like a child compared to his red clad adversary. He, frankly, got his ass kicked. Then Stick killed him, for good this time it would appear. So yes, it was about as lackluster as it gets.

It would be wrong not to point out some of the very good things that occurred in this episode though. They may not outnumber or negate the negatives but they do offer some light in the dark. Chief amongst these was the touching scene between Elektra and Matt before they headed out the rooftop. The chemistry these two have together has developed very nicely throughout the season and it was more than a little touching to hear Matt tell her what she meant to him and how he would uproot his entire life just to be with her. Yes, it did foreshadow her impending death a little too obviously but it was still a fantastic little scene.

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The aforementioned death of Elektra was also rather good. Foreshadowed too heavily, but good nonetheless. After the emotional connection between her and Matt was so strongly established you will genuinely have felt for him when he watched the woman he loved die in his arms. It broke up the fighting with something far more real and impactful, making it a scene many will look back on fondly. The only trouble with it was that it was painfully obvious that she would not stay dead, and lo and behold she was in the resurrection chamber before the end credits rolled. That took away from things more than a little bit, and it’s a damn shame that it did, but the impact on Matt’s character is in no way lessened and it should lead to some drastic changes in the man going forward.

On top of this you had some smaller but still very welcome moments that helped drag this episode out of the mire it had created. One of these was a further nod the comic books as Elektra gained her costume at long last and Daredevil got his famous billy club. Foggy got a new job in the legal profession and it was with none other than Jeri Hogarth who you should know from Jessica Jones. That is an exceedingly interesting pairing and one that could see Foggy become a far more prevalent character in the Netflix MCU, something that is music to the ears of many. Karen also had a respectable showing as she showed more of her bravery in the face of The Hand, not allowing herself to become just another damsel in distress and instead showing some real backbone. She also threw herself into her new career as a Journalist. To see her take Ben Urich’s job makes perfect sense and she has the same dogged determination in the pursuit of the truth as he did.

The biggest shock though? Well, that was when Matt finally revealed himself as Daredevil to Karen. It was a move that just felt right and one that could mean she is far from out of his life. The relationship between the pair may have soured considerably in recent episodes but there is so much room for exploration left that the idea to bring them back together is one that should be celebrated. They will undoubtedly have a hell of a season three.

It is fair to say that ‘A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen’ was not the finale that this season deserved. It wasn’t awful by any means but it wasn’t particularly good either. Sure, they set things up for season three but that was done at the cost of the here and now and that is a crying shame. Now though it is time to look forwards to Luke Cage, as that will offer something very different and very entertaining.

Score: 5.5/10

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Daredevil S2 Ep13 Review: ‘A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen’

Daredevil S2 Ep12 Review: ‘The Dark at the End of the Tunnel’

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‘The Dark at the End of the Tunnel’ had the potential to be a sadly prophetic title for episode twelve of Daredevil. With so many loose ends in need of tying up and more being added as late as episode eleven, there was a real concern that season two would end in a chaotic mess of half-baked ideas and poorly developed plot points. It is a relief then that that did not happen. Some of the more troublesome stories were rounded off ahead of the finale and others were built to a grander scale before their conclusion. The trouble is that none of these were handled amazingly well.

Let’s first be fair to Daredevil, this was still a fair episode. The stories, whilst not as expertly handled as they have been in the past, were still fairly well done and you didn’t feel the urge to switch off at any point. With that being said, there is still a tangible sense of disappointment as some elements of the show just didn’t make sense and others were not in line with the groundbreaking writing that came before.

It makes sense to deal with the plotline that drew to a close first and that was the one involving The Punisher and The Blacksmith. As the most recent, and most worrying addition, to the show it would not have been unreasonable to expect this episode to merely move that narrative forward, leading to an explosive showdown in the season finale. What was instead given to audiences felt oddly rushed and poorly set up. You remember the General who testified at Frank’s trial? The one who tried to get him an innocent verdict? Well, he’s The Blacksmith. That almost doesn’t even feel like a spoiler because it’s just a case of who the hell cares? He never mattered to the show save for the one story he told which showed Frank to be even more of a killing machine than first expected. The reveal was handled in a ham-fisted manner that showed none of the finesse one has come to expect from the show. If you want a perfect example of anti-climax, then look no further than this.

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So, the reveal was botched but maybe they took the story somewhere interesting after that? Nope. Blacksmith literally just kidnapped Karen, who stumbled onto his secret in a way that completely betrayed her season long build as a competent investigator, and was then killed by The Punisher. Not only did this undo the excellent work that had been put into Karen it also meant that this entire narrative had been something of a dead end. The only thing that it achieved was Punisher finding a ridiculously well stocked weapons cache which will surely lead to his final evolution into the absurdly well-armed vigilante from the comics. All he needs now is the skull shirt and he is good to go.

With one portion of the show being a bit of a bust, surely the other half would be at the level of excellence expected, right? Not really, but it was much closer.

The show began with a flashback which explained Elektra’s training at the hands of Stick. It was an eye opening sequence and finally explained Elektra’s motives and personality traits perfectly. It is something that would have benefitted the character a lot more had it aired earlier in the season but it was still quite effective at this point too. It led nicely into the present day plot which saw The Hand kidnap Stick whilst Elektra was trying to kill him. Of course, Daredevil also stepped in to stop her from landing the fatal blow. This scene felt like the right way to go with their relationship as there was a frosty disconnect between Daredevil and Elektra, one that made sense considering her murdering a teenaged assassin in Matt’s living room.

From that point the crux of their story revolved around rescuing Stick. After a pointer from Foggy, who was disappointingly absent for the rest of the run time, Matt made his way down to the abandoned subway tunnels. The fight scenes were, of course, fantastic. The choreography is always exquisite on this show and The Hand have given Daredevil the best opportunity yet to showcase his acrobatic talents as he blocks and parries before nearly knocking a guy’s head off right a Roundhouse Kick. It’s no surprise that he saves Stick but what unfolds after is a little more puzzling.

That secret weapon The Hand have been on about? Well it turns out it’s Elektra. That makes some internal sense when you consider her character and it would only be natural for her to embrace this as she has been seeking a place to belong for the entirety of the season. The show even mentions that when the reveal is made yet she still sides with Daredevil and saves Stick. Earlier in the season that would have made perfect sense but now it comes across as being ill thought through. The better move would have been for her to align with The Hand. Her use as a destructive weapon would then have been imminent. The genius of that move would be that all season long Daredevil has been set against killing, always seeking out the alternative. Now there would be no choice, he would have to let Stick, or even Punisher, kill her in order to save thousands of lives. It could have had a huge emotional impact on him that carried over into the next season and it would have changed the landscape of the show forever. The best thing is that now that resurrection has been established as a thing in this universe, Elektra could have been brought back at a later date with little to no mess.

As you will have gleamed by now, this was the weakest episode of Daredevil yet. It failed in ways that this show just shouldn’t be capable of doing. True, a bad day for Daredevil is tantamount to a good day for most other shows and this review may seem a touch harsh. Regardless, of all of this the hype for the season finale is still as high as ever and there should be no doubt that it will deliver.

Score: 5.0/10.

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Daredevil S2 Ep12 Review: ‘The Dark at the End of the Tunnel’

Daredevil S2 Ep11 Review: ‘.380’

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Thus far in Daredevil the primary focus has been split between Punisher and Daredevil, each fighting their own wars that just so happen to intersect from time to time. There have been subplots that have given meaning to smaller characters, most notably Karen, but ultimately it has come down to The Hand and the three gangs responsible for killing Frank’s family. With just two more episodes left of the season it would be foolish to introduce another major villain, right? Yes, yes it would but that hasn’t stopped them.

Okay, so technically The Blacksmith was mentioned in ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven’ and from that point on it became clear that he would be the new focus of Punisher’s rage as he was revealed to be the driving force behind the park shooting. With that in mind it still seems a little foolhardy to bring him to the fore with such little time left to flesh him out and build to a satisfying conclusion. That feeling is bolstered by the fact that there are already numerous threads left hanging, each in need of a conclusion by the time this season wraps. If any creative team is capable of bring all of this together then it is most definitely this one but it still seems like they have heaped too much onto their plate.

Taken as an individual episode, without considering its wider reaching ramifications for a moment, ‘.380’ was another very strong entry into the series. It again had all the revelations, violence, and mystery that is so closely associated with the show at this point. Whilst it was a little slow in places it still very much delivered on fan expectations.

From the off you were plunged back into the shadowy world of The Hand as their assault on the hospital took place. It was a relatively short sequence by Daredevil standards and not a patch on other such scenes but nevertheless it got the job done and furthered several plots at once. The first, and most important of these, was the continuing of The Hand’s mission. What the mission is has not yet been revealed in its entirety although it seems to have to do with resurrection and some form of unparalleled weapon.

By virtue of their status as a ninja cult, The Hand can get away with featuring somewhat sparsely in these episodes and it actually adds to their story rather than detracting. They are being built as the unknown, a threat that you as an audience are not sure Daredevil can handle single handedly. That makes Matt’s current attempts at Martyrdom all the more aggravating as he continues to push what little help he had away. When The Hand do finally play their, uh… hand, it will make for an explosive showdown and one that should have every fan on the edge of their seat, waiting with bated breath for the surely epic conclusion.

A second character development that spawns from the attack centres around Nurse Claire. Not only does she make a startling discovery when she finds one of the ninja’s, one she killed in self-defense, to have already had an autopsy performed on them but she also finds the hospital trying cover up the entire attack and taking an anonymous donation whilst doing so. None of this sits well with her and she quits her job, potentially having a little moment with Foggy as she exits the building. This side story, far from being a needless distraction, creates a vibrant world for this show to inhabit. One where every action has consequences for ordinary people as well as the ones doing battle in the streets. This is something that Daredevil has been excellent at showing at it makes a very welcome change from other shows that try not to dwell too much on such things.

Elsewhere, Karen can be found lying to the police as she keeps The Punisher’s name out of her official statement regarding the shooting attempt on her life. Though she does slip past her protective custody to accompany him to a diner. It is clear that she thinks of this as some form of reconnaissance mission but that all goes a little south when two armed men are sent by The Blacksmith and Punisher kills them both in brutal fashion. The relationship between these two, Punisher and Karen not the dead men, is something that has been blossoming for a while now. Karen is disgusted by his actions but at the same time there is clearly some affection there, something keeping them both together. This war will continue to rage on and Karen may well have to choose a side between Matt and Punisher. It may be odd but Punisher seems like the better choice for her.

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With regards to The Blacksmith, his face is still not shown in this episode and instead Punisher is led into a trap. There is a moment where he thinks he’s got his man and is seconds from killing him when Daredevil again steps in to stop it. This is a rare situation where you could find yourself shouting for Daredevil to just stay out of things for once. As an audience you want Punisher to get his justice and DD’s constant interference is actually becoming a source of great irritation, even when he ultimately is doing the right thing.

In the end ‘.380’ was not a standout episode such as we have seen in the past but it was still solid and performed its function very well. This should not be a surprise as there will likely never be a bad episode of Daredevil. The adding of loose ends so late in the season is a little worrying but there is every chance that it will still end in the perfect way so that won’t lower this score too much.

Score: 8.5/10

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Daredevil S2 Ep11 Review: ‘.380’

Daredevil S2 Ep10 Review: ‘The Man in the Box’

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Thanks to the joint efforts of Punisher and Kingpin, ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven’ was a riveting bloodbath that beat all episodes that came before it in quality and enjoyability. With that in mind it was clear that ‘The Man in the Box’ was never going to surpass, or even live up to, the lofty standards that had been set. That didn’t mean that it couldn’t be every bit as enjoyable on its own merits.

The episode began in a subdued but undeniably eerie fashion. Police were called to the scene from the end of the last episode that featured the blood drained, near death bodies of The Hand’s victims. Their rescue did little for the immediate plot but it did provide a welcome change of pace from other episodes which have all begun with an intense action sequence. It is well advised to mix things up from time to time lest your audience grow weary and that is exactly what the writers have done here. In fact, a large portion of the episode followed this same ethos as it was likely used to create a buffer between the bloodshed from the last episode and what is to come in the final three.

The main body of the story didn’t kick in until Matt, Foggy, and Karen were called into DA Reyes office in the wake of The Punisher’s escape. Viewers may have expected more political posturing and threats against the fledgling law firm from the corrupt DA, that is not what happened however. What you got instead was a broken looking woman who was genuinely scared of the man she had wronged. She revealed that her daughter had been threatened by way of Punisher’s skull x-ray being left in her bag. Shortly after the full extent of the cover up was finally revealed fans got the explosive finale to Reyes’ story that they had been expecting. A hail of bullets tore through the office, killing Reyes and wounding Foggy. It should sound odd to you that Punisher would be anything other than precise in a hit, or that he’d threaten a child. That’s because this clearly wasn’t him. Whilst you never find out who it was, at least not in this episode, it is supposed to be clear from the off that this is an imitator. Adding yet another mystery to this season just makes for even more compelling viewing and means that Karen’s investigative storyline is not over despite the conspiracy being uncovered.

One element that really made episode nine stand out was the return of Wilson Fisk to the show. His unique brand of savagery has been missed greatly in his absence and you’d be hard pressed to find a Daredevil fan who wasn’t clamouring for his return. Well, he appears to be sticking around for the time being as he once again popped up in this episode. Matt rather quickly linked him to Punisher’s escape and paid him a visit in prison, as a lawyer rather than as Daredevil. The main thing to gleam from this meeting was that Kingpin would move Heaven and Earth to exact his revenge on Matt and Foggy, blaming them for his incarceration. In a speech that would strike fear into any man’s heart he told Matt in no uncertain terms that he was going to kill both of them, and to punctuate his point he slammed Matt’s head into the table repeatedly. This did confirm to Matt that Kingpin had the prison under his control but it also assured him that he was doing the right thing in distancing himself from his friends, proving he was more of a danger to them than an asset.

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That breaking down of relationships continued throughout this episode as Matt made it clear that he was no longer interested in being a meaningful part of either Foggy or Karen’s life. He showed he still had feelings for them and that the decision tortured him but he also recognised that they wouldn’t have been in a position to get shot and threatened if it weren’t for him. This disaster in his personal life feeds nicely into the war with a much larger foe than he has ever faced before, The Hand. His isolation from his former life mirroring this new isolation from his former reality perfectly as he finds resurrection and blood ritual becoming the new normal. It is sure to be a life altering final three episodes for Matt, and Daredevil alone might not be enough to stop what it coming.

Over the course of this episode the tension is cranked up to eleven with shocking twists and teases aplenty. Things are only going to get more violent and the stakes are only going to get higher as the season draws to a close. It is an exciting time to be a comic book fan and Daredevil has to be considered the pinnacle of that genre right now.

Score: 9.0/10

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Daredevil S2 Ep10 Review: ‘The Man in the Box’

Daredevil S2 Ep9 Review: ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven’

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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.

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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.

Score: 10/10

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Daredevil S2 Ep9 Review: ‘Seven Minutes in Heaven’

Daredevil S2 Ep8 Review: ‘Guilty as Sin’

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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.

Score: 9.0/10

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Daredevil S2 Ep8 Review: ‘Guilty as Sin’

Daredevil S2 Ep7 Review: ‘Semper Fidelis’

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Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Something that has been put a little on the back burner so far in season two has been the legal side of Daredevil’s life. You’ve seen plenty of him going toe to toe with a bevy of villains and the odd anti-hero but that can only go so far. Last season the legal goings on at Nelson and Murdoch were one of the main things that set this apart from a show like Arrow, so it was with open arms that viewers welcomed that side back in ‘Semper Fidelis’.

Once more the most entertaining portion of this episode had to do with the continuing legal proceedings against Frank Castle. They have now reached the trial stage and his put upon legal team have been left scratching their heads as they try to help their client avoid being shipped off the general population, where he would certainly be killed by one of the gangs he waged war against. What this all means is that the majority of the show consisted of legal drama both in and out of the court room. There has been some of this to sink your teeth into in the previous episodes but not to such a large extent as here.

Despite his far reduced screen time, Punisher still steals the show as Jon Bernthal continues to portray the psychotic, yet honourable vigilante to absolute perfection. It is hard to imagine another man playing him at this point simply because Jon has been such a standout throughout every second of TV time he has been given. One very telling moment sees Castle shoot down a potential PTSD plea that could have been his saving grace on the grounds that it would be disrespectful to the veterans actually suffering from the disorder. In that one act you get a much clearer image of what kind of man he is. He is a proud, oddly noble individual and he is not looking for an easy way out. He is no coward.

There are major developments in this episode that must be appreciated as they haven’t been entirely forthcoming previously. One of the most notable of these came when DA Reyes was blindsided by the Medical Examiner admitting to falsifying the reports on Castle’s family. It sheds more light on the highly engrossing conspiracy angle and takes viewers one step closer to seeing the whole thing be blown wide open. The new found evidence may well have been thrown out of court (more on that in a second) but it marked a potentially turning point for the previously lagging defense team and was a shot in the arm for an equally lagging plotline.

Now, back to the evidence being rejected by the judge, can you guess who was responsible for that little annoyance? Yep, it was Elektra. The perennial pain in your collective arses this season reared her head once more for the sole purpose of distracting Daredevil. Okay so she actually popped up in order to take on the Yakuza, but let’s not quibble over semantics. Those clashes with the heavily armed Japanese gangsters showed her to be impetuous and in desperate need of a little help in her mission. Twice was she stabbed in a grand battle scene and if it hadn’t been for Matt she would likely have died. So how does she repay Matt? She scares the ME into admitting to his lies. The problem with this being that evidence obtained under duress is not admissible in court so it was thrown straight out and stricken from the record.

That all led to another development that has seemingly been a long time coming. As Matt’s night life intersected with his day life it caused problems for the trial and led to Foggy calling him out on it. Much more than that in fact, their friendship could be teetering in the balance as Foggy is quite rightly outraged that Matt let Elektra interfere in their case in such a huge way. The rift between them should continue to grow and it will undoubtedly make for some excellent viewing.

Once more Daredevil has delivered a fresh and thoroughly enjoyable episode full of twists and turns. Elektra isn’t getting any less irritating but she is largely offset but the superb cast surrounding her. As this series continues on there is a lot to be excited about, not least the thought of The Hand arriving on the scene.

Score: 8.5/10.

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Daredevil S2 Ep7 Review: ‘Semper Fidelis’