Episode Title: Bang
Originally Aired: 3/18/2016
As temperatures climb tempers flare and as the title implies the new season of Daredevil starts with a bang. Season 2 picks up a short but indeterminate amount of time after the events of season 1, new cartels, mobs and criminals of every sort are out to fill the void left behind by the Kingpin and his associates. The city of Hell’s Kitchen is in the grips of a heat wave, things are about to boil over and Daredevil may not be the man for the job this time around.
After months of waiting to see the latest imagining of the Punisher it didn’t take long as roughly 15 minutes in, the Punisher makes his presence felt in a major way by gunning down about a dozen members of the Irish mob. A few short minutes after that we learn they weren’t the first gang to suffer such an attack. His assault on a biker gang is completely off screen and told to us by a member of the gang, but we see the aftermath of a third attack on members of an unknown Mexican cartel.
This is definitely a darker episode in the series in more than one way. There is plenty of adult language, 15+ dead bodies and all but two scenes take place at night. The episode takes place over two days in Hell’s Kitchen, starting with Daredevil taking on a group of thieves and finishing with a rooftop fight with between him and the Punisher. With the previously seen on Daredevil opening and the story of this episode someone who never saw a second of last season could feel comfortable jumping right in.
Everyone at Nelson and Murdock has something great to do in this episode. In an early scene we see the type of clients that they normally work with and learn that they are broke but still willing to help even if it means payments in fruit and fruit pies. Matt is the main character and has his talks with his coworkers and his dealings as Daredevil. He takes down a small arms dealer and uses that information to find the cartel the Punisher attacked and then fights the new hero/villain when he is chasing Karen and their newest client an Irish mobster.
After being worried about how the law firm will keep its lights on and a bit of flirting Karen was left on her own to take care of the injured mobster. She was able to make up a convincing lie to get him admitted to the hospital under a fake name. A great idea that unfortunately only manages to work for a few hours as the Punisher somehow managed to track them to the hospital. After a scene that would make the 1984 Terminator proud Karen and the mobster only survive because Daredevil shows up. Deborah Ann Woll is doing great as Karen Page displaying a softness when talking about the issues facing their clients and while flirting with Matt. During the big action scene at the end she is very much in control of the loud mobster and her own emotions while being shot at multiple times.
After Matt decides to go off on his own Foggy goes to meet one of his contacts to see what information he can get about what’s going on. Unfortunately his contact is a member of the biker gang that was previously killed by the Punisher and by bringing up his name Foggy is threatened with death or at least a severe beating. He is able to gain some information but the risk he went through to get it greatly outweighed the usefulness of that information.
I imagine the shows backstory for the Punisher Frank Castle will be similar to his comic book origins and he will either be former Special Forces or maybe a former FBI agent. The Special Forces training would make the ease at which he takes out Matt easier to believe. One thing that he did that I dint like was his total disregard for collateral damage during the chase in the hospital. Shooting a shotgun down a crowded hallway could kill a lot of innocent people which is something the Punisher usually likes to avoid.
The low part of the episode for me was the big showdown between the devil of Hell’s Kitchen and the Punisher. It had too many quick cuts and was too dark to really give me the thrill i was looking for. The fight had some brutality to it, the Punisher was obviously trying to end the fight so he could finish his mission no matter what that meant for Daredevil. Matt on the other hand is just trying to subdue him, first so Karen can escape and then to question him and turn him into the police for the murder of multiple gang members.
The high points of the episode were numerous, the action overall was very good, the acting and writing were great throughout the episode. My favorite character is probably Foggy he his almost as noble as Matt and the comedic relief after a scene with Daredevil he is a very welcome reprieve from the brutality. It appears he may still have a thing for Karen and it will be interesting to see how it plays out has its clear that she is more into Matt than him. We know from previews of the season that Foggy is going to have a difficult time with keeping his friends secret and that fact that he is always out risking his life. That stress plus the romantic entanglement could lead to some very tense moments for our trio of do-gooders. We can only hope that Nelson and Murdock will always be there to protect the little guy in Hell/s Kitchen. Find out if it all hits the fan in my review of episode 2: Dogs to a Gunfight.