Frank Castle “The Punsiher” in Daredevil

After a strong opener which clearly established the enigmatic warpath of The Punisher (who even received the name drop here,) Daredevil picks things right back where we started. Still reeling from his near-fatal encounter with The Punisher, it’s up to Foggy Nelson to protect Grotto.

I’m glad that the ending to the Daredevil VS Punisher fight at the end of the last episode had lasting consequences. Matt was actually shot in the head, likely to serve as an effective motivation for him to continue wearing the new armor. The idea that trauma to the head would seriously impair his hearing, and in turn 99% of how Matt navigates caused him to be truly blind. Lucky enough for him, Foggy managed to be the only person to find the unconscious body of the famous Daredevil sitting on the roof of a building all morning and into the afternoon. What odds. This also served to renew Foggy’ disapproval of Matt’s nightly activities, an odd follow-up to what seemed to be a silent agreement after their conversation last week.

It’s not to say that it’s uncharacteristic of Foggy, as he truly had more time to shine here then he had in the entire first season. Squaring off with the District Attorney in negotiating Grotto’s witness protection deal was one of the best lawyer-speak moments in a show starring two lawyers. The DA made for an imposing figure, awfully similar to that of the lady from the law firm last year and considering I can’t name that character, unless she makes some more memorable appearances here she’ll likely end up just as forgettable. Also I’m pretty sure that the goddamn DA won’t be the one sitting on the mic at a stakeout saying things like “Target acquired.” Don’t even try me with that. Just don’t.

Frank Castle's Punisher in Daredevil
Watching the ‘Closed’ sign slowly flip around was chilling. This guy got Franked, and he deserved it.

And we got some good Frank here. Whereas the premiere painted The Punisher as a Terminator, a machine of death and vengeance, here we began to see the shades beneath that. We knew he hunted down criminal families, but here we see the lengths he goes to in covering his tracks and preventing other crime. Buying the tape from that shop. Buying the shells from his gun so he can’t shoot anyone else with them. And the Frank-est of them all: murdering the kind of degenerates who would dare to peddle child pornography. It brought to mind an excellent “Widowmaker” from Punisher: MAX. At the end of the day, The Punisher isn’t some machine, some force of nature. He’s a husband. He’s a father. He’s Frank Castle. Hopefully the black shirt he wears will begin developing the same complex shades of grey as he has in his soul (and preferably in the shape of a skull.)

One thing that leaves me slightly worried: though these episodes are especially high octane action and intensity, so far they have all resolved in cliffhangers. And lazy ones too; Matt was back home within minutes at the start of this installment. Though these are great moments, placing them at the ends so consistently cheapens the sense of tension. And that’s it. That’s my only gripe with Daredevil right now. And that’s pretty impressive.

For my review of the previous episode of Daredevil, “Bang,” click here.

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