Beware the Spoilers
A gunman roaming the halls of a hospital and shooting at people has gotten the attention of the media and has Foggy pretty panicked about Matt especially after he finds him unconscious on the rooftop across from the hospital. The bullet Frank shot at Daredevil’s head caused some damage. Matt is showing signs of a concussion. He forgets parts of a conversation he had with Foggy about Karen, he becomes dizzy and briefly loses coordination. Worse, there is a ringing in his ears that leads to losing his hearing for a time. The mask Melvin made worked enough to keep Matt alive, but only because Matt thinks the shot was not meant to kill him. He thinks Frank was giving him a warning to not get in the way again.
While Matt takes a scary afternoon off (under orders from Foggy) to recover from a bullet to the head and the subsequent hearing loss, Foggy and Karen work towards getting Grotto into witness protection. In a wonderfully satisfying moment for Foggy, he stands up to the smarmy DA Reyes to protect Grotto’s rights. He knows the only way Reyes is going to get what she wants is to play nicely with him. The clout earned from helping to take down Wilson Fisk still carries some weight. Unfortunately for Grotto, the DA has a secret plan to use him as bait for someone else.
It is easy to dismiss Foggy as a shlub who is there mostly for comedic effect and to worry over Matt, but there has been a few times in season one and the first two episodes now where Foggy has shown he is a character worthy of respect. He walked into a dangerous bar looking for information. His fast talk and earnest demeanor got him what he needed and kept him from being gutted by a bunch of angry bikers. He grabs Matt’s Daredevil suit in an attempt to make Matt give up his superhero persona and doesn’t back down to Matt’s demands to let go. Foggy fires back with a “you first.” He is a true and loyal friend to Matt doing his best to stand by his friend while he runs head long into danger every night to indulge a superhero complex. Of course Foggy plays it all down when he makes a bad joke or two to levy a crappy situation.
Karen is becoming more suspicious as to what is going on with Matt. Her interest in him has peaked and I wonder if it is because Foggy told her Matt has an alcohol problem. She sees Matt as damaged and wounded much like she sees herself. Coming to his apartment to check on him, Karen sees a pale and disoriented Matt which helps to cover Foggy’s lie about drinking for the moment, but Foggy’s actions later in the episode will be a big tip off to Karen something bigger is going on. The series has shown her to be a smart and resourceful woman, it won’t be hard for her to start putting the puzzle pieces together.
The big story of this episode is going to be Frank Castle. We get to see him more in the daylight and learn that he can’t let any criminal misdeeds slide. After a pawn shop owner tries to sell him child pornography, Frank can’t help but beat the man (presumably to death) with a baseball bat. He also can’t let Grotto just disappear into the night. Frank is still a mystery as we don’t quite know the backstory this version of the character will have, but a new layer is pulled back when Matt is able to track Frank’s lair by following the scent of a dog he rescued from the Irish mobsters. Lots of guns and homemade smoke bombs as well as a shiny new police scanner. Also Frank loves dogs. Never trust a hero or anti-hero who doesn’t love dogs.
Karen makes an interesting argument to Matt that the arrival of The Punisher was inevitable. Allowing Daredevil to carry out vigilante justice opened to door to escalation. (She must have watched Batman Begins before paying Matt a visit.) It is also curious Karen alludes to something bad she has done and feels she deserves punishment for. Ben Ulric in season one made reference to Karen’s unpleasant past.
The DA uses the killings of the other mobsters as a scare tactic to get Grotto’s cooperation in obtaining a drug confession from another low life. They show Karen and Grotto files of the other victims and the precision as to who the killer picks and how he kills them. Not much is known about the killer, but they are working on a profile. The DA even name drops “The Punisher” for us. Unbeknownst to Grotto, Foggy, or Karen, the DA is actually using Grotto as bait to bring The Punisher out into the open for the cops to take down.
Frank’s police scanner not only allows him to stay ahead of the cop’s plan, but also alerts Matt to where Frank will be next. Karen realizes the police are hanging Grotto out as bait and nearly runs out to save him. Foggy holds her back and tells her it is too dangerous. Frank is on a nearby roof top waiting to take the shot on Grotto and Daredevil arrives just in time to stop him. The ensuing fight between Daredevil and Punisher is stunning. The two men are evenly matched in fighting skills despite being of two different schools of fighting. The only reason why Punisher was able to get the upper hand is Matt’s concussion symptoms were aggravated after the two men fell thru a skylight. Foggy goes against his own advice to Karen and runs out into the fray as he realizes his friend is in danger. When he gets to where Daredevil and Punisher had fallen, he sees the two men are gone.
The only gripe I have about the climax is the absolute disbelief I have that the DA would be able to order the police around during a tactical operation and the police would openly shoot at two unarmed men who are not engaging with the police. I know this is a show about superheroes and masked vigilantes, but my suspension of reality can only go so far. With that said, Daredevil and Punisher fighting with the water from the tower raining down on them and the hail of bullets was pretty freaking awesome.
What did you think of “Dogs in a Gunfight”? Are you enjoying the slow reveal of The Punisher? What do you think Karen has done in her past? Let me know what you think in the comments section below and please do not give any spoilers away for future episodes. Not everyone gets to binge the series immediately. I will be doing a recap/breakdown of every Daredevil episode each day so come back tomorrow for “New York’s Finest” and check out “Bang” here.