Things are really starting to get interesting on Daredevil…
From this episode’s ending, as a comic book reader, I have an idea of where this is going. If you could see my face right now, you’d see a big, stupid grin. Starting where the last episode left off, we see the police setting up a crime-scene at the hospital where Frank attempted to execute Grotto. Meanwhile, Foggy finds Matt unconscious with a bullet in his mask. As expected, he continues to express his disapproval of Matt’s late night antics of bringing fists to a gunfight. Later, Foggy and Karen meet with Grotto in order to discuss witness protection.
The two are unfortunately greeted by Samantha Reyes (Michelle Hur), a hard-ass, no-nonsense, District Attorney. Reyes attempts to coerce Foggy into having Grotto meet her without legal representation, but Mr. Nelson is having none of that shit. Just as in season one, Foggy calls out the B.S. on people and retaliates in a satisfying fashion. Meanwhile, Matt is suffering the symptoms of something called “being shot in the forehead at point-blank range.” It would seem a foreign object breaking the sound barrier and impacting your skull would have a detrimental effect on you. This is made evident by Matt’s remaining four senses going out of whack. A concerned Karen checks in on Matt, expressing not-so-subtle romantic feelings for him, while simultaneously discussing the moral repercussions of Daredevil’s and Punisher’s vigilantism.
The episode concludes with Grotto going undercover for the police. By getting one of his drug dealing associates to incriminate himself, Grotto would be put under the protection of the feds. However, the DA evidently had other plans. Grotto is pulled aside as a SWAT team sets up an ambush for The Punisher. A truck plows through the area, and the police light it up like a Christmas tree. It is soon discovered that the truck was a diversion for Castle to set up a sniping position, aimed at Grotto. But just as before, Daredevil attacks Castle at the last second, ensuing another brawl on the rooftops. This time however, with the full attention of the NYPD. Eventually, Matt’s weakened state allows for Frank to gain the upper hand, ending the episode with the disappearance of both men.
More character building
This episode overall is pretty slow paced, which is by no means a bad thing. We get to see more character relationships form and the development of their personalities. Some notable stand-outs are Foggy and Castle. As mentioned before, Foggy confronting the pompous DA with a threat to contact the US Attorney’s Office was pure gold. It was made even better by the fact we could see Karen quietly cheering behind him. Foggy may not be as traditionally courageous as Matt, but you can be damn sure he’ll stand up for people.
Frank once again receives little screen time, but when he is present, it’s guaranteed to be intense. We get a hint of what makes Castle tick in the brief pawn shop scene. After Frank purchases a special police radio and other items, the store owner attempts to entice him with child pornography videos. Frank quietly switches the store’s ‘open’ sign to ‘closed’. He then calmly picks up an aluminium baseball bat, and smashes the store owner’s head in off-screen. To anyone who isn’t familiar with The Punisher character, this scene alone expresses volumes of his personality. In the eyes of Castle, justice is swift and brutal. No compromise, no mercy.
Karen and Matt’s conversation is also worth noting. Aside from the obvious romantic tension between the two, I enjoyed how Matt, at some level, was attempting to consult with Karen in order to reaffirm his vigilante activities. Karen is conflicted with both Daredevil’s and Punisher’s brand of justice, as she believes that the former may have given rise to the latter. She describes The Punisher as someone who “could be any of us”. Matt however wants to believe that Daredevil’s actions make the city a safer place. When he defends his alter-ego by claiming “Daredevil never killed anyone”, Karen simply replies “that we know of”. Perhaps the broader message here is that no one is really a saint, or at least they never remain one for long.
On a side note, I greatly appreciate the fact that the writers don’t treat the audience like idiots by expecting us to accept Karen would be naive enough to believe all the excuses Foggy and Matt come up with. Of course she wouldn’t start assuming her blind friend is secretly a superhero, however she’s clearly suspicious of him.
Some minor plot holes and general inconsistencies do exist in this episode. For one, I found myself asking, how did the NYPD know Castle would be arriving in that exact spot at that exact time? Even more puzzling, why is the SWAT team openly firing without attempting an arrest? I may be incorrect, but I’m fairly certain police officers (even SWAT) cannot legally use lethal force on a suspect. The only exception being if their lives or the lives of others, are in immediate danger. Usually, they must demand the suspect surrender peacefully. In this particular scenario, I expected the cops to use a deployable road spike to disable the incoming truck’s tires. Then for the SWAT team to surround the vehicle, demanding Castle comply. However, what I saw was a militarized hit squad attempt to murder a suspect instead of taking him in to be tried for his crimes. Yeah, I realize cops today are overly aggressive and trigger happy as hell, but this was just unprofessional. Especially when considering it was under the direct orders of a DA.
My next complaint has more to do with nit-picking on the technical aspects of that scene. When Matt and Castle are fighting for the second time on that roof, the police once again open fire. In the process, I was able to spot a SWAT sniper with a bolt action rifle, shooting in semi-auto. For those who don’t know, a bolt action firearm requires the operator to cycle each round after pulling the trigger by manually pulling back the bolt. Semi-auto firing rates basically means the gun shoots a bullet each time you pull the trigger, with no hindrance. Like I said, this is super nit-picking, but for a high production show such as this, I expected these details to be spot on.
“Dogs to a Gunfight” brings us more exciting character moments and further advances the plot. With all the buzz surrounding the next episode, I’d say the first two have done their jobs admirably, building towards the future. Despite minor faults, episode two of Daredevil remains enjoyable.