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Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 : Elektra and the Trial of Frank Castle (episodes 5-8)

Episodes 5-8:

5: Kinbaku
6: Regrets Only
7: Semper Fidelis
8: Guilty as Sin

With Elektra in town and Nelson & Murdock facing their biggest trial ever, Matt struggles to balance his double life.

Recap

The DA’s office is preparing for Frank Castle’s trial, and Reyes wants to make sure to bury the Punisher so she can advance her career. Between Karen’s investigating and Matt’s interaction with Frank as Daredevil, they are convinced that there’s something bigger going on. After a brief meeting with Frank’s public defender, Matt and Karen convince Foggy that they should take on Frank’s case. Frank is hesitant to accept their help, until Karen shows him a picture of the inside of his house and tells him that they want to find out what happened to his family. While they’re doing that, they plan to represent Frank so that he doesn’t get the death penalty for his crimes. He agrees to plead guilty but, when they meet with a judge, Frank decides to plead not guilty to his crimes in order to force a trial and drag Reyes through the mud.

While all of this is going on, Nelson & Murdock are hired by a new, mysterious client. The client happens to be a woman from Matt’s past, Elektra. She’s the daughter of a diplomat who’s always looking for a bit of adventure. However, she’s also a very skilled and dangerous fighter who used to get Matt into all kinds of trouble. They first met at a party that Matt and Foggy crashed, and started up a hot and heavy relationship. Things came to a head, when Elektra hunted down the man responsible for killing Matt’s father, wanting Matt to kill him. Matt objected and they went their separate ways. Now, she’s in the city, wanting Matt’s help with some after hours activities. She’s performing some kind of corporate espionage, and dragging Daredevil into her mischief.

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Matt becomes distracted from the Castle case while dealing with Elektra. He’s late to trial, misses meetings, and leaves Foggy to do the opening statement. On top of that, he and Karen have started dating, adding extra tension to the situation. After Elektra coerces a witness, getting his testimony thrown out, Matt has to come clean to Foggy about what’s happened. Foggy is furious that Matt’s alter ego has compromised the high profile case that Foggy didn’t even want to take. The two have a big blow up and Foggy tells Matt that he’ll handle the case himself. Neither Matt or Foggy tell Karen what’s going on. This leaves her to wonder, again, what’s going on with them.

Matt is thrown another curve ball when he goes out with Elektra for “one last night”. They are attacked by a group of ninjas. Elektra is poisoned by one of them and Daredevil isn’t doing too well against them. Just as he’s about to be captured, Stick appears and takes out the ninjas. After a high speed escape and a painful cure for the poison, Stick explains to Matt that Elektra is involved with his war. Stick finally starts to explain the story of this war that he’s often talked about. The fight is against an organization called “The Hand”. According to the story, they were able to find the secret of immortality and, since then, they’ve spent their time amassing power and weapons and just being bad guys. Their ultimate weapon is something called the “Black Sky” but until now, they haven’t been able to activate one. Stick was introduced to The Hand when they killed his mother in front of him and he took out a bunch of their finest warriors. They started to call him the “Chaste”. He spent the rest of his life, amassing an army of fighters to combat The Hand.

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Matt is hesitant to believe him but, at the very least, he knows that Elektra works for Stick. He also realizes that everything they’ve been through was because of Stick. Elektra confirms that Stick sent her to bring Matt back to him when they first met. Despite that, she tells Matt that she did truly fall in love with him. Matt proposes that she can be free of Stick and come be with him. Around that time, Karen shows up at the apartment to tell Matt that Foggy needs him for the case. Unfortunately, she walks in to find Elektra in Matt’s bed.

Foggy has been doing admirably handling the trial on his own. They’ve built a case that Frank is suffering from Extreme Emotional Distress (EED) caused by the combination of a bullet to the head and the death of his family. After an emotional outburst from the son of one of Frank’s victims, Foggy realizes that they need Frank to take the stand. He also insists that Matt needs to be the one to question him, which is why Karen was at his apartment. Matt responds to the summons and comes to court to question Frank on the stand. However, when he gets there, something’s off. Frank is wearing a new suit and the guard who brings him in whispers to him to “think about what he wants” as he’s seated on the stand. Matt starts to question Frank and ends up delivering a statement to the jury about how Frank needs help. Frank immediately undermines his defense by saying that he’s knew what he was doing and he’d do it again. His outburst ends with him admitting his guilt and getting sent to prison immediately.

In the wake of the trial, both Foggy and Karen storm out on Matt. Karen’s done with his hiding the truth. Foggy’s upset about…well, everything. Elektra, however, has decided to stay with Matt. She tells Stick to leave, despite his assertion that he needs her to protect him. He also taunts her by saying that Matt won’t react well when he finds out “what she really is”. Stick does leave, and seems like he’s set on the idea of getting help from more bloodthirsty sources. When Matt gets back to the apartment, he finds Elektra there. He’s also attacked by a member of the Hand, who had followed them to his apartment. Matt is able to subdue the ninja, but he’s surprised when he realizes how young the assailant is. Before anything else happens, Elektra slits the kid’s throat. She’s wondering if Matt will still accept her, but Matt’s too busy going into shock from his injuries.

Favorite/Other/Notable Moments

  • The title of episode 5, “Kinbaku”, refers to the type of Japanese bondage. Elektra uses it to restrain the man who killed Matt’s father.
  • Elektra sets a trap for the Yakuza and Matt at the same time. She knows that they’re both coming to the same spot to get her, so she breaks into Matt’s place and steals his costume. She has it waiting for him when the Yakuza arrive.
  • At the end of episode 8, Frank is booked into prison. As he’s walked in, it’s shown that there are several precautions taken with him as well as certain officers controlling where he goes. He’s taken to a secluded area of the prison, where he’s greeted by Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin.

Commentary

I know it’s not the major point of this section of the story, but I can’t help but think that Matt’s relationship status is really all over the place in this arc. We’re told that he’s dating Karen, but aside from one first date, we never really see any consistent evidence of that. Matt spends more time with Elektra than he does with Karen (and Karen feels like she’s spent more time focused on Castle than anyone else). The way the relationships are balanced, you’d think that he’s cheating on Elektra with Karen. Actually, it doesn’t seem like he’s got enough of a relationship with either of them for it to be considered cheating. I guess that’s why it makes sense that he ends up alone. As fun as Elektra and Matt’s relationship is, I don’t know how Matt believes that it’s worth making the decisions that he does.

Poor Foggy has really been doing a great job in a situation that Matt put him in with Castle. He and Karen manage to actually muster a case for Castle before he throws it all away. Granted, I don’t know if anyone ever actually makes a statement to the jury that doesn’t have a double meaning, but the trial is entertaining. Castle’s “A Few Good Men” moment is obviously the highlight of the trial. I really appreciated it because, as over the top as it was, it didn’t feel ridiculous.

With the Punisher in lock-up, the Daredevil and Elektra scenes had to make up for the action element of this story arc. They did the job admirably, even while trying to balance their relationship issues. Having them actually fight against ninjas who can hide their presence from Matt was a nice touch, even if it only really amounted to a momentary inconvenience. This is the 2nd time that Stick and the Hand have invaded Matt’s life. I wonder if, this time, they’ll actually come to a full confrontation with the ninjas.

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