We’re almost there, but first, you should probably take a read our Spoiler-laden review of Marvel + Netflix Daredevil Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7 and Episode 8, Episode 9 and Episode 10.
Ninjas scaling a wall may be something you’d expect in feudal Japan, but in Daredevil’s Hell’s Kitchen and the Hand running amuck in the city, anything is possible. Stealthy little mofo. And it seems these little kids Daredevil has saved are properly brainwashed, standing around all apathetic like Children Of The Corn and actually wanting to be re-abducted. The ninjas storm the hospital where Claire Temple is taking care of the kids and shows some mad squabble, but hey NY attitude can only go so far when you’re up against a secret order that is centuries old and is deft in the art of assassination. Luckily, Daredevil is not too far behind, and desperately fights off the assailants before being forced into suicidal dive off the top storey to save Temple. Great catch Murdock.
The drift widens between Murdock and Karen, as Karen pins her survival not on the efficiency of the Police or on Matt’s advice, but in the hands of Frank Castle and his brand of law.
The duo stop off in cosy little diner where they compare notes on the Blacksmith and talk guns. Frank eludes that Karen’s choice in firearms, the .38 special, is one born out of practicality and thought. And as much as Karen has been around the killing block, she’s all but a greenhorn who’s about to get a first class lesson in vile, sanguineous brutality with Professor Punisher.
And while Karen tries to distance herself emotively from Murdock to avoid the hurt, Castle shoots down her logic instantaneously:
“the people that can hurt you, the ones that can really hurt you, are the ones close enough to do it… I’d chop my arm off right hear in this restaurant just to feel that one more time from my wife.”
But this little life lesson is followed swiftly by another called ‘a means to an end’. The Punisher had more than a little pep talk in mind bringing Karen along, using her car for the trip to the diner. Karen was bate to draw out whoever was trying to kill her. Karen, being in the dark until the final moments, wasn’t too pleased with the revelation.
Karen takes the waitress in the Kitchen for safe haven and Punisher waits with that heightened yet calm Shane-bobblehead thing Jon Bernthal does. The violence is short but explosive. And it seems as much as guns are for medium to long-range combat, when it comes to close quarters, the use of blades is never out of the equation. And there is a moment nearing the end where the Punisher repeated sinks a huge kitchen knife into an assailants tummy, a sound that had us throw-up a bit in our minds, and was loud enough for Karen to hear even in the next room.
Frank kills one with a shot to the head (like being knifed in the gut several times as if by a guilted lover wasn’t enough). The other guy, he little cracks his face open by gun-butting him. Frank asks for a location of the Blacksmith, which he gets. Then shoots him in the head.
Initially, it seems Karen’s views on the Punisher were, in majority, romanticised. Now, given the brutal, ugly truth of what the Punisher’s brand of law and justice looks like, and the trail of blood and chaos it wreaks, Karen’s first-hand account will certainly bring about a reassessment of her views on Frank’s tactics.
As for Daredevil, he’s on a bit of a little rampage himself looking for the Blacksmith, except his methods lead us to an unexpected face from season 1, Madam Gao. Apparently she never left Hell’s Kitchen, finding solace in the basement of a huge laundromat / clothes factory. Daredevil wanting to take out the heroine dealer bodes well for him and Gao, who is also in the drug trade and sees the Blacksmith as an unwanted competitor. She tells Daredevil the Blacksmith is rumoured to bring his drugs via the Pier, the same location the Punisher’s going. So it would seem the Marvel Knight’s are about to cross paths once again.
Castle, if to be explained, is walking bulldozer hitched to a proverbial train wreck. He finds the pier. And the ship filled with heroine. And he begins cleaning house the only way the Punisher can. Frank pours gasoline on the drugs and finds the one man on board who by all appearances seems to be the Blacksmith.
The Daredevil manages to interrupt the Punisher’s payback party, pointing out the man at the end of the Punisher’s gun isn’t Blacksmith. And disarming him with a thrown hammer to the gun hand just about pissed Frank off to go toe-to-toe with ‘Red’. After the two throw their rage fits, the frustration really shows in both the Punisher and Daredevil. The Punisher, tired of the continued injustice done to him and his family as the Blacksmith escapes from his grasp, and a Daredevil, whose method of catch-up vigilantism and the revolving door of the judicial system has become all an act of nihilism. So Daredevil makes a deal with Frank (signing a cross), that this one time, they find the real ones responsible for killing his family, and kill him. But the Punisher reminds Daredevil that the act of killing isn’t a one-time act that can be washed clean or prayed away. It is an act once committed, there is no turning back from or denying.
And while the Marvel Knight’s duked it out, it turns out the boat and guy was a decoy. Heavily armed reinforcements arrive, and Daredevil, sensing the danger leads the way for both him and Frank to get off the boat before being spotted. But, of course, stubborn Frank is not done with his rampage and blindsides Daredevil, throwing him off the side of the boat. And ensues the gunplay and imminent explosion
But what one of the assailants shouts out before hell breaks loose is what sends a twitch of perplex-pondering momentarily across Castle’s face: “It’s been a long time, Frank”. Which would seem to suggest one thing. His assailants, and possibly the murderer’s of his family is someone known to Frank.
And as far as Elektra goes, well, this episode just seems to have everyone on a warpath that all seem to be converging on some extinction level event. By now word of the french assassin’s failure has reached back to Stick, and Elektra wastes no time tracking the old man down. Another problem Matt has to deal with. Well, there’s bound to be a grease fire or 3 in Hell’s Kitchen.
A nice little episode, and a few revelations that are sure to push character’s resolves. Haven’t really seen the Devil break yet, but it would be interesting to see if he goes through breaking his no-kill policy. After all, we think Elektra would approve on the new stance.