Originally Aired: March 18th 2016
Episode Title: New York’s Finest
This episode covered both ends of the spectrum; it started with long sequences of dialog and exposition and finished with the most action-filled scene of the series so far. We finally learn the Punisher’s first name, Frank, and that he believes he is doing what is right by preventing evil men from committing further atrocities. While I could always use more Foggy, this very good episode let us scratch the surface of what motivates our two heroes.
This episode has three story lines one following each member of the Nelson and Murdock team. Karen’s story may be the least exciting of the three but it will have larger ramifications going forward than Foggy’s and maybe even Matt’s. After the debacle that was the sting operation set up to catch the Punisher at the end of episode two, the D.A. is threatening to pin the whole thing on our heroes. An accusation that while completely false would carry enough weight that at best it would close the floundering law firm but would probably lead to their disbarment. With Matt missing in action with the Punisher and Foggy on the hunt again, Karen must find a way to protect the three of them from the D.A.’s threat. She is able to follow a string of mishaps that are related to the D.A.’s office but always with someone else to blame, and is able to use this information to garner some help from one of her assistants. He has a packed delivered to her full of crime scene photos and an x-ray of someone’s head that appears to have a bullet wound. What all of this information means, I have no clue, but Karen has been writing furiously on a legal pad. I imagine we will get an update on her findings the next time she meets with Foggy and Matt. I liked Karen more this episode she was back to her feisty self yelling at Foggy and demanding answers from the D.A., not that it did any good. I don’t know where her relationship with Matt will go but I hope this version of Karen doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of being Daredevil’s girlfriend.
Foggy after running out of ideas on where he could find on his own turns to Claire. She doesn’t have much to do in her first few scenes this season but Rosario Dawson’s Claire is always a welcome presence. She isn’t much help to Foggy because after her actions in Jessica Jones she has been stuck on the emergency room rotation from hell. She also doesn’t want much to do with Matt, she is interested in him romantically but also terrified of the complications and fear it would bring into her life so her best course of action is to keep her distance when she can. After she witnesses Foggy talking down two rival gang members ready to kill each other in the E.R. I believe that she may reconsider her no Daredevil policy and return to her duties as the night nurse. Foggy has much less to do this episode compared to the last but he is still allowed one shining moment when he is talking to the gang members. Overcoming his fear and nerves he is able to appeal to their self-centeredness and get them to call a temporary truce to prevent spending many years in prison. His trip to the E.R. turns out to be fruitless because Matt’s name doesnt turn up in any database that Claire is unable to search, and we are left wondering what Foggy’s next move will be.
The main story line of the episode starts with Matt waking up chained to a chimney on the rooftop of an apartment building. This is the first scene that Jon Bernthal’s Punisher is allowed to express anything other than total murderous calm. He is frustrated almost to the point of disgust with Red, as he has taken to calling Daredevil. He thinks that they are equals and that with one bad day he wouldn’t be the only one out to put criminals down for good. The two are diametrically opposed on the topic of whether or not bad people are capable of redemption. Matt believes that no matter the evil that a person has done that there is still a tiny bit of hope and desire within that person to become good and that they must be given that chance. Frank believes that once you commit a crime that passes a certain line like rape and murder that there is no coming back and that the bad guys must be punished. Matt calls him insane but I would disagree with that diagnosis. The Punisher doesn’t seem to think that he is a good guy, he makes a statement about himself going to hell, he just believes that since he is capable and willing it is his job to put down the guys worse than him. Frank tries several times to convince Matt to come over to his side but while he has a few moments of doubt Matt’s stubbornness and unwillingness to kill win out. Once Matt is able to break free from his bondage we are treated to the best action scene of the series that is only rivaled by the hallway scene in season one. The moral of the story seems to be that if you see Daredevil at the end of a long corridor you should run, hide, or turn yourself in. The only thing that is a bit of a letdown during the action is the reliance on a CGI chain that Daredevil is able to use as a whip. The show goes out of its way to show guys moving or groaning in pain in response to what looks like some very lethal attacks from Matt. I would like him accidentally kill someone and see how that affects him.
I am really excited for what happens going forward starting in episode 4: Penny and Dime. Will Foggy find Matt and how will he react when he does? Did Karen find something to help protect the firm? Will Matt let himself fully recover from his injuries and how will he be affected by his talk with the Punisher. Frank is a little worse for wear after his latest fight with Daredevil, will he take time off to recuperate or will he be back out on the prowl as soon as possible.