Matt has some constructive criticism about Frank's crime fighting style
Credit: Netflix

What a time to be alive! With the age of the Netflix superhero series, two crime fighters can just sit on a rooftop and hash out their philosophical differences. Sure, one of them was chained to a brick column, but the discourse was there.

The third episode of Daredevil‘s second season went heavy on the superhero ethics discussion, to some mixed results. After Frank Castle got the upper hand in the previous hour, Matt wakes up with a mean headache and a torso full of chains. There’s no moving for him, unfortunately. He’s just going to have to sit there and listen while The Punisher proves how cool and rugged he is by drinking coffee and referring to Daredevil by a casual nickname, “Red.”

Understanding that he’s stuck there for now, Matt begins digging. Is Castle a Catholic? A New Yorker? How long has he been doing all of this? Does he feel that Thomas Jane’s take on his character had some redeeming qualities? The interview doesn’t do much to inform either Matt or the audience, but we do get a peek into The Punisher’s mind. His technique and equipment suggests a military background, so Matt runs with that, spouting some lines he’s heard in a bunch of movies. “War changes people,” he assures Castle. “Coming home to homes that aren’t there anymore.” Seriously, where is Matt getting this stuff? Was American Sniper also surprisingly popular in the MCU?

Eventually, the questions slow down long enough for Castle to make some convincing points, mainly that Matt is one bad day away from becoming just like The Punisher, which is an interesting idea to throw at the hero at this moment in time. That line continues to bang around in our heads as Matt kicks the crap out of some pissed off Dogs of Hell members, who are just angry about their personal property being destroyed. It’s the philosophy of Daredevil that a man thrown down a flight of swears and onto his spine is better than a dead man. Castle begs to differ. Thus, they have reached an impasse.

Castle’s solution for clearing the air is rather creative, if only a little psychotic. He’s found Grotto, the escaped Irish mobster who had agreed to help the authorities and also seems to have killed an innocent old lady. Matt has two options. He can either shoot The Punisher with the gun that’s been duct taped to his hand or allow Castle to execute the murderer.

That’s quite the pickle, but Matt comes up with a solution with a level of effectiveness somewhere in the range of pretty good to not at all. He manages to break free of his chains using the one bullet that Castle gave him, but Daredevil can’t keep The Punisher from executing Grotto.

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The escape does, however, allow Matt to have another extended fight scene with some thugs in a hallway and to get creative with his weaponry. The sequence equips Daredevil with the length of chain and the gun, both of which are stuck to his hands. Obviously, there will be comparisons between this fight and the one-take brawl from season 1, and personally, I still favor the original. While the battle with the Dogs of Hell ups the ante with the chain and the staircase, what’s missing is the narrative of the season 1 fight. In that one, fatigue became another opponent for Matt. We assumed that he could handle the nameless thugs, but how much would it hurt? That element is almost entirely missing from the battle here, which though impressive, left me kind of cold when I should have been pumped up.

Other thoughts:

  • What was up with that flashback sequence? I’m not questioning how cool some of that imagery was. But considering that it didn’t tie directly into anything in the episode, I expect that there’s more to come.
  • Hey! It’s Claire Temple. Rosario Dawson has become a consistently strong element in the Netflix-Marvel Universe, so she’s always a welcome sight. The one-line connection to her actions in Jessica Jones was a nice touch as well.
  • But what kind of medical professional would let Foggy and his flop sweat within a mile of an open wound?

Episode Recaps

Daredevil (TV series)

Matt Murdock, the blind superhero, gets his own television show via Netflix.

  • TV Show
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