After Frank Castle’s trial and the intervention of Stick and Elektra, Wilson Fisk re-enters the story.
9: Seven Minutes in Heaven
10: The Man in the Box
After being introduced to the prison environment, Wilson Fisk realized that he needed to adapt to the hierarchy on the inside. Long story short, he sent a message to Castle with the promise that the man running the prison had information about what happened to his family. Castle agrees and throws his case. When he gets to prison, Castle is pointed in the direction of an inmate by Fisk. Fisk makes no secret that Castle taking the man out would help him secure control of the prison, but Castle agrees. He finds out that the gunfight that murdered his family was the result of an undercover police sting gone wrong. Castle also gets a name, someone known as the “Blacksmith”.
After Castle does his dirty work, Fisk tries to have him killed. Fisk quickly finds out that he’s underestimated Castle’s talent for violence, which he gets a first hand demonstration of as Castle takes out an entire cell block. Fisk realizes that releasing Castle back on the streets will not only allow him to live in the prison in peace, but will keep the outside world in chaos and ruin, allowing him to reclaim his empire when he leaves. Even though the two aren’t on good terms, Castle is released from the prison without anyone else dying.
On the outside, Karen Page is also investigating the sting associated with the death of Castle’s family. She’s been getting some help from Mitchell Ellison (Geoffrey Cantor), whom she met while working with Ben. Matt has been pushing Foggy and Karen away, telling Foggy that they should close down the law firm so that he could start over fresh. Not wanting to get hurt by Matt again, Karen is determined to do this without him.
Matt has decided to take on the Hand all on his own. Stick left after Matt proposed that Elektra stay with him. When Elektra killed the young ninja, Matt realized that she enjoyed killing. As a result, he tells her that they should stop corrupting each other and go their separate ways. Elektra walks out of Matt’s apartment and tries to leave the city. Before she does, she’s attacked by a man calling himself Jacques. Before she kills him, he admits that he was sent by Stick, who wanted to make sure Elektra was still up for some good ol’ killin’.
Unencumbered, Matt heads out as Daredevil to follow up his own leads and finds a Hand hideout. For some reason they are draining blood from kidnapped people. When he tries to free them, he’s confronted by the ninja, Nobu. Daredevil thought that Nobu had been burned alive after their last encounter but, according to Nobu, there is no such thing as death. After a brief altercation, that leaves Daredevil pretty beaten up, Nobu escapes with a giant coffin-like object. When the police arrive, Daredevil has Mahoney secretly take the victims to Claire Temple, who treats them in a closed down wing of the hospital. Matt admits to Claire that he is still worried about the Hand coming after them.
The Hunt for the Hand is interrupted when Castle’s escape is announced. D.A. Reyes pulls the Nelson & Murdock lawyers into her office in the hopes of getting information about Castle (this is also the first time the 3 have seen each other in a while). Reyes admits that she’s the one who was pulling the strings that led to the death of Frank Castle’s family. The deaths were the result of a mistake that she made in trying to corner the Blacksmith. After that, she was the one responsible for trying to cover it up, including ordering a DNR (do not resuscitate) on Castle. As soon as she tells the lawyers this, gunfire rains down on her office, killing her and wounding Foggy. The medical examiner who falsified the records is also found gunned down in a pool of blood. Karen doesn’t believe that the kills fit Castle’s style, but Mitchell (and everyone else in the city) believe that this Frank just going down his list. Of course, Karen’s right. She gets confirmation of that fact when Castle shows up at her house and saves her from the same mysterious gunfire that took out the D.A.
Believing that Castle was responsible for the shooting, Murdock goes to confront Fisk about his role in Castle’s escape and to see if he’s behind the Punisher’s actions. Fisk admits that releasing Castle is part of his plan. When Matt pushes him by threatening Vanessa, Fisk also admits that it’s a plan that involves leaving, getting Vanessa back, taking over Hell’s Kitchen again, and destroying both Murdock and Foggy Nelson. Even though he gets Fisk to admit his plan, Matt also gets busted up by Fisk for his troubles.
After a visit with Madame Gao, Daredevil gets some information on the Blacksmith in order to find Castle. Castle takes his own path to finding information about the Blacksmith. He uses Karen as bait to lure in some assassins and tortures one of them into giving up his location. Gao points Daredevil in the same direction that Castle is headed in and he arrives at a harbor before Castle executes the wrong man. At this point Matt is floundering. Between Castle, Kingpin and the mysterious activities of the Hand, he’s facing overwhelming odds and opponents that can’t be defeated by conventional means. He gets to the point where he’s almost willing to do things the Punisher’s way. Surprisingly, it’s Castle who stops him, saying that there’s no going back once he goes down that path. The two are interrupted when the Blacksmith’s agents arrive and attack the docks. There’s an explosion, after which Castle is presumed dead.
- The episode .380 is named for the caliber gun that Karen is carrying when she goes to the diner with Frank. Frank comments that it’s the kind of gun someone gets when they’ve put some thought into it.
- The assassin, Jacques, is wielding two sai. Those are the weapons most commonly associated with Elektra. She ends up killing him with those weapons.
Leave it to Wilson Fisk to be the character that comes in and shakes things up. The show was starting to turn into “Law and Order: Hell’s Kitchen” with all the emphasis on Frank’s trial. Before they got too entrenched in that, they took a hard left to sending him to prison in order to create another memorable fight scene (once, again in a small corridor). This entire set of episodes really is the characters falling into chaos. Matt doesn’t know what to do, Foggy and Karen are pretty much on their own, Fisk is beating up lawyers in prison, people are getting gunned down in their offices, Elektra and Stick are taking turns trying to murder each other; things are just getting out of control. And I love it.
The one thing I wasn’t crazy about was Karen’s little outing with the Punisher. I liked where it ended up, but I’m bothered by Karen’s insistence on being the one person who feels the need to go along with every dangerous vigilante in the city. It’s worked out for her to this point, but it’s a little unbelievable that she has some internal “good guy” compass that no one else in the show seems to have. I would think that this behavior is going to get her in trouble.
There’s so much going on right now that I’m not too worried about Karen. Obviously, there’s no way that the explosion killed the Punisher, but I think that was necessary just to take him off the board so that the show can focus on wrapping up some other loose ends in the final two episodes. The biggest thing is going to be what’s going on with the Hand. Fortunately, Matt doesn’t have to worry about lying to Foggy and Karen in order to go deal with this, because that would just make things really messy.
Matt’s isolation was presented as a negative. Claire warned him about burning the candle at both ends, and he even starts to unravel because of it. However, in some ways, it is actually helping him. He’s no longer distracted by having to live two lives. He’s able to move without worrying about protecting or convincing others (even though he still doesn taht sometimes). It just seems like he’s finally able to just focus on being Daredevil at a time when he really needs to. With a final confrontation with the Hand, Stick and Elektra looming, it seems like he’s in the right place to deal with a major fight.