Beware the Spoilers
Lots of things happened throughout this episode, but first I have to geek out on that last 10 minutes. The hallway fight scene from season one “Cut Man” was the moment I knew Daredevil was going to be something pretty great. I was impressed with the show’s premiere episode, but the second outing upped the intensity with Matt trying to hide and recover from a massive beating and then come back from it all and save the day. For the most part the rest of the series lived up to the excitement built up in that one fight. The stairwell brawl in “New York’s Finest” topped it and really made up for an episode heavy on everyone yelling ideologies of justice and what is right and wrong at each other.
Daredevil had a bullet-less gun duct taped to one hand and a chain cuffed to the other while he beat the ever living snot out of a biker gang hell bent on finding and killing the man who had been gunning them down. Just as the fight was really starting to go down, there was a look on Daredevil’s face of sheer glee. He was happy to just lay out these thugs after Frank made him feel useless throughout the episode. The invisible edits added intensity to the fight making it seem as if Daredevil barreling his way from the rooftop and down the stairwell, swinging a chain to take out lights and baddies while throwing punches was one long take. What made the end brawl exceptional was it didn’t end the way you would expect. On the ground floor Daredevil looked as if he had been pushed to his physical limit and was about to have his neck broken by one of the gang members. The elevator doors open up and show an unconscious Frank and I was thinking he was going to wake up and save Daredevil. But no, Daredevil used the chain to gain leverage over the man and finished the fight alone as Frank escaped.
Before the epic tussle went down Daredevil spent 90% of the episode chained to a brick pillar debating the merit of his and Punisher’s methods of justice. Charlie Cox and Jon Bernthal were able to really elevate the dialogue we as superhero lovers have heard time and time again. The conversation could have come off as stale or even make Daredevil look weak and pandering in comparison to Punisher, but both actors had me captivated by their arguments. Grotto’s confession to killing an innocent woman not long before he went to Nelson and Murdock for help put a stalemate in the argument of whether someone can be or should be given a second chance. Grotto’s dying words to Matt will haunt him for quite some time. “Why didn’t you stop him?” Matt had the gun tapped to his hand and he could have prevented Punisher from killing Grotto, but he chose to use the bullet to free himself instead, allowing enough time for Frank to shoot Grotto.
Frank may have made several interesting and possibly valid arguments, but he doesn’t come off as the good guy in the scenario. He threatens to kill an innocent man (a fellow Marine veteran in fact) to keep Daredevil in line. Frank lines up the shot and cocks back the hammer. If the old man wouldn’t have left on his own, would Frank have gone thru with the kill? He tells “Red” he did it to prove to he was serious in his threats, but is that the truth? This is a man who walked thru a hospital and repeatedly fired a shotgun around innocent people to kill just one person. The series so far doesn’t try to give us a definitive answer one way or another as to who is right. The presence of both men has caused chaos in the city while simultaneously helped to thwart bad things from happening.
Elsewhere in the city, Foggy seeks out Claire at the hospital emergency room where she works in hopes of finding Matt. She was able to eventually confirm for him Matt had not checked into another hospital and not logged into a morgue, but that was the best she could do. Claire was elbow deep in patients as Punisher’s actions have caused several gangs to go at one another and innocent people end up caught in the middle. She was not too happy in the beginning to help Foggy because her actions to save another hero (Jessica Jones shout out) lead to her being on the shit list of her bosses. Claire was only moved to help Foggy after he stepped up his badass game once again and diffused a powder keg of a situation between two rival gang members who felt they couldn’t back down from a fight in the middle of the ER.
Karen also worked her magic with ADA Tower in getting the Punisher files and hopefully saving the firm from DA Reyes. When it looked as if Reyes’ plan to take down Punisher was going to backfired big time, she was looking to place blame on Nelson and Murdock for compromising the situation saying their “incompetence endangered the life of [their] client, neighborhood civilians, and the brave officers of the NYPD.” Not wanting to go with Foggy’s plan to play it their way, Karen did her research and found Reyes is very good at throwing people under the bus for her mistakes. She goes to Tower with the info and tells him Reyes will eventually do the same to him. Tower sneakily gets the Punisher files to Karen and in them contains an x-ray of Frank Castle’s skull with what looks like a bullet fragment embedded in it.
Does this mean the DA’s office knows the identity of The Punisher?
What did you think of “New York’s Finest”? Were you impressed with the show’s handling of the two battling ideologies? Let me know what you think in the comments section below and please do not give away any spoilers for future episodes. Not everyone gets to binge on the show right away. I will be doing a recap/reaction on one Daredevil episode everyday so come back tomorrow for “Penny and Dime” and read catch up on all my other Daredevil action here.