Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Daredevil - New York's Finest / Penny and Dime

"New York's Finest" and "Penny and Dime" wrap-up the initial arc of Daredevil's Second Season. Opening with Daredevil (Charlie Cox) held captive by the Punisher (Jon Bernthal) on the roof of a tenement building, "New York's Finest" is mostly a debate between the two heroes. Given the fallout with Grotto (McCaleb Burnett), and the District Attorney's threat to throw Nelson & Murdock under the bus for the failed sting, Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) will be motivated to do some digging into the past of both District Attorney Reyes (Michelle Hurd) and Frank Castle which will eventually lead the legal assistant into a new career when Nelson & Mudrock implodes (again). Concern for his missing partner will lead Foggy (Elden Henson) to reach out to Claire (Rosario Dawson, who has a much smaller role this season).

If "New York's Finest" is a little light on action, "Penny and Dime" makes up for it. The episode recreates the hallway scene from the show's First Season inside the hallways and stairwells of the tenement where Daredevil is forced to fight his way out of the building through an entire biker game after subduing the Punisher. While impressive, the sequences isn't as good as the original and feels a bit too much like the show aping than it should. The episode also brings in the new Irish Mob head (Tony Curran) who brutally convinces his men to find the Punisher. Once acquired, the mob begin torturing the vigilante for their missing cash leading to Daredevil coming in and saving the day.

In Karen's investigation, which will take her to the Castle home, and in the various interactions between Daredevil and the Punisher, "New York's Finest" and "Penny and Dime" help flesh out Frank Castle as something more than just a killer. In the graveyard scene that closes out this arc Bernthal earns his money by giving the Punisher a soul. The show also sets up the next arc with the introduction of Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung) whose return to Matt Murdock's life will wreak havoc on everything he's built for himself over the past year. And, in timing that only occurs in television shows, Elektra's reappearance occurs just minutes after Matt and Karen admit their feelings towards one another (a subplot which will prove to be more of a red herring this season than anything else).

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