Episode Title: .380
Original Aired: March 18th 2016
Things are really starting to ramp up towards the conclusion of season two. With just two more episodes to go, I am curious if each story line will get its own episode or if Matt will be working to stop the Blacksmith and the Hand at the same time. My Preference is to dedicate an episode to each storyline so we can really focus on what it means for our characters, even though one episode does not seem like enough to resolve things with the Hand because we just do not know very much. As Matt moves closer and closer to a resolution to the issues with Frank and the Hand his personal life is crumbling around him even faster.
Matt and Foggy have been best friends since the first met in college, deciding after college to open their own firm where they would try to protect everyone they could by embracing justice in its truest form. Now Matt is considering giving up on judicial justice for his on personal brand, and Foggy might be the next big thing all the major law firms want.
Their partnership and friendship is being torn apart by lies, mistrust and fear. Even though Foggy knows who he is, Matt is still reluctant to be honest with him it is unclear if this is just a force of habit or if he preferred it when Foggy was completely in the dark. The lack of information and just the nature of Matt’s job as Daredevil has Foggy fearful of every siren, major incident and criminal in the city. He does not seem to be fear for himself unless he is caught up in the action instead his fear is directed at the things he cares most about, Matt and the firm. Matt is still around but Foggy thinks the firm is kaput and their friendship may not be far behind. Foggy does not have a whole lot to do in this episode interacting only with old flame Marci and Claire. Marci is a source of good news about a possible future job and a promise of romantic entanglement. If Marci is the good cop that would make Claire the bad cop after she informs Foggy that she is leaving her job and if he wants to know why to ask his friend.
Claire after being talked into taking in five patients off the record has had a horrible day. She was attacked, witnessed the death of a close friend, killed a man and then on top of that had to quit her job.
Matt was right that the Hand would come for the five patients that he rescued from the warehouse but he underestimated the force they would send to reclaim them and that the kids would want to go with them. I do not know how she will support herself after losing her job, it may not become a focal point but I imagine that after her outburst towards the hospital board she will temporarily blackballed at best. This will free her up to become a more fully realized night nurse that will spend her time helping Matt, Jessica, Luke and maybe even more enhanced individuals in their efforts to protect New York. Rosario Dawson is a very good actress but after this episode I believe that screaming and grunting may not be her strongest ability, during her moments in the fight with the hand both sounds seemed a little unnatural. It is the smallest of nits to pick but that is what you have to do when you enjoy the character and the person portraying them. Claire is very intelligent, tough, hardworking, trustworthy and beautiful; Matt may have been a fool to pass on a relationship with her in the first season.
Another strong woman in Matt’s life is Karen who is continuing to grow on me. She is still at the bottom of the list of my favorite of the major characters but the gap is closing. As episodes go by, she is becoming less of the naive girl that just wanted to see the big city and becoming more of a well-rounded character. She is simultaneously in love with and terrified of Matt, when she finally discovers what he has been hiding from her it could push her away forever. However, I believe that it will help her understand why he has been acting the way he has and to accept him for who he is, lawyer by day and vigilante by night. I only think this after watching her interact with the Punisher. She believes he is doing a good thing by taking out the bad people but does not always agree with his methods, so Matt’s approach is something I can see her fully agreeing with. The episode title was inspired by her and her choice of firearm; Frank mentions how a .380 is not the type of gun chosen by someone who is an amateur. He knows she is hiding something from her past that led her to choose this weapon as self-protection; she is unwilling to relive the experience at the point and quickly tries to brush it off. Finally admitting that something happened and recognizing it has changed her for better and for worse may be a first step on her road to self-forgiveness and recovery.
Frank uses Karen and her trust in him to lure some of the Blacksmith’s men out in to the open where he can use them to get some information. It was the act that after everything else finally gets Karen to turn on him and share the information she overheard with the police, I guess seeing and hearing his brutality from the other room was enough to scare her straight. He may not have killed them but with everyone else dead the only one left on the list of people responsible for the death of his family is the Blacksmith and Frank is going to do everything he can to punish him. I seems apparent after tonight’s episode that this is a suicide mission for Frank, he is tired of the pain and the guilt he feels over their deaths and I think he was troubled by Karen’s reaction to what happened in the diner. Frank has done two nice things this season and they happened in the last two episodes.
Last week he saved Karen from the sniper attack and this week he told Matt that he can’t cross the line to his side, not even once, and ever come back from it. If Matt chooses to do things Frank’s way even once he will not be able to stop in the end. Maybe on his next mission he wouldn’t use lethal force but the next time a guy he has put away two or three times does something awful with he be able to prevent himself from doing something more permanent, Frank sure doesn’t think so. I am excited to see where Frank will go if he survives the next two episodes. What kind of man will he be when he has punished everyone responsible for the death of his wife and kids?
Elektra is a woman by age only, her mindset and actions reveal her as nothing more than a petulant child. Angry that she does not get everything she wants it when she wants it. She wanted a more exciting life so she left Matt to join Stick, when she found out that Matt could offer her that type of life she wanted to leave Stick to be with him. However, her idea of excitement and Matt’s do not mix very well especially when it comes to her joy of killing, causing Matt to reject her. After she has left one way of life and been rejected by another she is on the warpath against Stick, blaming him for turning her into the type of person that Matt would reject.
Stick may have played a part in her current situation but from their first interactions back in college to the night she ran away, it was clear that they were too dissimilar in the value that they place on human life to work out.
Overall, this episode was well-acted, well shot and the brief fights were well choreographed. The most memorable scene of the night is the diner scene where the Punisher beats a man repeatedly in the face with the butt of a pistol. All of the fight scenes were over quickly, which was a bit disappointing because I was expecting a long drawn out fight with all of the Hand ninjas that were storming the hospital. Instead, the fight and chase were over before the opening credits. I found the interaction between Matt and Madame Gao to be very entertaining, topping every scene she had last season with the Kingpin.