Like my review for “Bang” yesterday, I’m going to be reviewing each episode right after I watch it so there won’t be any spoilers for the rest of the season. If you’ve watched ahead, please mark any of your comments with a spoiler notice before you mention anything past the second episode. With that out of the way: damn.
Having seen so much of what’s heading our way in the various Daredevil trailers so far, it’s amazing how quickly things have already escalated in just two episodes. While there’s still a lot of craziness to come, “Dogs To A Gunfight” gave us our second showdown between Matt and the Punisher (officially dubbed by the DA in this episode) in as many outings. The first episode left us with Frank having shot Matt point blank in the head before cutting to the credits and this one ends with The Punisher having seemingly absconded with a disoriented Daredevil. Needless to say, a lot went down between those two cliffhangers.
Thanks to some quick thinking by Foggy, Matt is found the morning after his tussle with Punisher having taken a bullet directly to his head. While he tries shaking it off, he soon loses all control of his senses and it’s terrifying watching the fear come over Matt in his apartment as he realizes he’s completely cut off from the world. He’s able to recover long enough to brush off Karen (who, let’s be honest, can only be episodes away from discovering his barely well-kept secret) and then pay a visit to Melvin Potter (Matt Gerald) to get some new headgear. I’m really glad Melvin’s back as he provides an interesting contrast to many of the other ancillary characters and his turns from childlike tinkerer to buzz-saw wielding tough guy is fun to watch. It makes sense that Matt would need to return to him for some occasional costume tweaks and it looks like the new helmet Daredevil is sporting in some of the promo images will be the result of Melvin having to completely remake the piece after Punisher’s “warning shot.”
Matt then lurks around one of the Punisher’s crime scenes, coming upon some of his blood outside and following the trail like a bloodhound until he hears a police radio and follows it into Frank’s hideout which is chock full of guns and homemade bombs. This is where he overhears the DA’s plans to use Grotto as bait for Punisher and once again intercepts Frank right before he can snipe the guy. Another rooftop battle ensues, this time accessorized by the SWAT team firing at both DD and Punisher until Frank throws Matt through a skylight.
Despite taking several beatings last season, Matt’s super senses are supposed to be his major advantage in a fight. Sure he’s got the fighting skills and his work using his batons this season has been a serious upgrade from last (ricocheting them off walls to intercept Punisher was a highlight), but ultimately he should be able to upset a battle by sensing things his opponents can’t. I’ve been a bit disappointed that in his fights with Punisher, Matt hasn’t used some neat radar trick to get the upper hand as instead they’ve both just duked it out and been evenly matched. I love when a superhero has to cope with a blow to their abilities and Matt’s senses fading in and out as a result of his injury would have been a great way for Punisher to nullify Daredevil’s advantage. Though it plays out a bit like that, it would have had more impact if we’d seen DD coming out on top in the previous fights thanks to his special abilities, only to be laid low when they give out on him. Either way, it’s terrible timing as Frank appears to have absconded with the stunned Matt by episode’s end. Things aren’t looking good for our hero.
4 It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown References Out of 5. A definite improvement from the premiere as the themes of the season begin to emerge in the conversation surrounding Daredevil and Punisher, plus some great fight sequences across the board.
I’m really interested in the idea of the “Devil Worshippers.” I don’t know if we’ll get more than the passing reference to those inspired by Daredevil’s actions, but it’s a clever name and further accents the themes of this season.
Foggy dressing down DA Reyes was a joy to watch and hopefully proof that we’ll get a lot more lawyering from the Avocado Bros this season.
It was pretty great seeing Punisher go after the sleazy pawnshop owner for peddling kiddy porn, but surprised his swastika neck tattoo didn’t earn him any recrimination.
Really hope Daredevil stopping Frank from sniping Grotto becomes a running gag in every episode.
I’ll be posting my review for Episode 3 titled “New Yorks Finest” tomorrow. Sound off in the comments about your thoughts on the second episode and be sure to mark any spoilers you post for the rest of the season.