|Image Courtesy www.comicbook.com|
The third episode of this season, “New York’s Finest,” is certainly one of, if not the, best episodes of the season—if not the series to-date. The character development for both Daredevil and the Punisher is incredible as both lay out their specific views of what they are doing. Foggy gets his moment to shine. And the action sequence at the end of the episode is absolutely amazing. Oh, and this episode has the biggest direct nod to the comics in the season.
The episode opens with Matt waking up rather groggily after being knocked out and captured by the Punisher at the end of the previous episode. He comes to chained to a chimney with the Punisher watching him while calmly sipping coffee from a thermos. These two have great chemistry throughout their scenes together. I love that Punisher doesn’t take off Matt’s helmet and doesn’t care who he is underneath; instead, he just calls him “Red” all the time. While on the roof, the two share their perspectives of crime-fighting: Matt believes that there is still some good in the criminals he apprehends; he believes that they might be able to change. Frank, on the other hand, believes that there is no good left in the criminals he kills. Matt responds that even if that is true, it is not their job to serve as judge, jury, and executioner; only God (or the duly appointed justice system) can determine that.
|Image from Punisher Vol. 4 #3|
Matt next wakes up with a .357 revolver duct taped to his hand and Frank standing over Grotto and holding a gun to his head. Frank forces Grotto to confess to a hit he carried out for the Kitchen Irish, one which was witnessed by an elderly woman whom Grotto also killed. Then Frank gives him the ultimatum: either he kills Frank to save Grotto (thus making him a murderer) or he does nothing, thereby allowing Frank to kill Grotto (thus making him a murderer). This scene almost exactly replicates a scene from Punisher Vol. 4, in which the Punisher gives Daredevil the exact same choice under the exact same circumstances. What I love about the resolution is that Daredevil takes the third option: he doesn’t shoot Frank or Grotto; he shoots the lock on the chain, breaking it and giving himself the opening to attack Punisher. Punisher still manages to shoot Grotto, however, and Grotto dies from blood loss in Daredevil’s arms. Meanwhile, Punisher shoots the Dogs of Hell’s motorcycles, drawing their attention. Rather than team up against the Dogs of Hell, however, Daredevil knocks the Punisher out and takes him to the freight elevator.
What follows might be the coolest fight sequence in the series—maybe even the best fight sequence to come out of Marvel TV thus far. Daredevil starts off by fighting the Dogs of Hell in a hallway, using the chain that is still duct-taped to his hand. He knocks several of them down and then follows the group down the stairs, fighting as he goes. He fights his way down another hallway, finally taking out the last four Dogs. This scene is basically “violence porn” (I actually wrote that in my notes!), and it is amazing!
|Image Courtesy www.technobuffalo.com|
Foggy and Karen also get a lot to do in this episode. Foggy’s first move on seeing that Matt is missing is to find Claire at Metro-General, since she’s the only other person Matt trusts with his secret, and she’s the one he would ask to patch him up. Claire is in the middle of the “shift from hell” as punishment for having ditched out for a couple days to help patch up and tend Luke Cage during Jessica Jones season 1. As such she doesn’t much care to help Matt out again, even though she still appreciates what he is doing. The emergency room looks like a war zone, with rough-looking gangbangers all over the place. While the two of them are talking, Claire puts Foggy to work helping her tend one of the victims. However, while they are working, 2 gangbangers from rival gangs attack each other.
I have to say, Foggy talking down two hyped-up gangbangers who are threatening to kill each other in the middle of the hospital might be his best scene up to this point. He’s actually able to hard-ball the two of them by making them realize that if they fight in the middle of an emergency room surrounded by witnesses, with cops outside, they are just handing the case to the D.A. and they are going away for a long time. And thanks to Foggy, the two agree not to fight and the situation is defused. I think this really shows Foggy’s development as a character, moving out of Matt’s shadow in Nelson and Murdock.
Claire finally has an opportunity to search the hospital database for information on Matt, but she can’t find him in any of the hospitals or morgues in the City. Before sending Foggy away, she tells him that she wishes things could have been different with her and Matt—but he’s just too complicated. However, the City needs Matt, and Matt needs Foggy. I think this is the key for Matt and Foggy’s relationship this season: Matt realizing how much he needs Foggy’s support.
|Image Courtesy www.wegotthiscovered.com|
For her part, Karen is trying to track down information on the Punisher and figure out how to protect Nelson and Murdock from the blowback from the botched sting last episode. She is at the office when Grotto calls, but he does not want any more help from them; he is going to get out of town his own way. Too bad for him that his way of leaving the city put him in the Punisher’s sights…
While researching D.A. Reyes, Karen pieces together that Reyes has been involved in a lot of shady dealings, but that she has never actually been touched by those scandals; instead, she has forced her underlings to take the fall, leaving her own career and reputation intact. This is information that she can use, and she takes it to A.D.A. Towers (who actually has quite the comic book history). Karen tells Towers exactly what she discovered: Towers’ predecessors have all been forced to resign amid scandal in order to protect Reyes’ political career, and the only way he can save himself is by working with her so she can get to the bottom of this conspiracy, which she suspects that Reyes is orchestrating to cover up some scandal involving the Punisher. Towers agrees to give her the information, but tells her not to contact him again.
Over the remainder of the episode, Karen goes through the photographs in the Punisher file to make notes on them. Finally, the last shot of the episode is of Karen holding up a skull X-Ray, showing a small bullet hole: the Punisher’s skull.
|Image Courtesy www.mcuexchange.com|
I really like this episode for how much intensity it builds into the Daredevil/Punisher confrontation. Unlike their previous confrontations, this time they finally acknowledge the ideological differences that drive them to fight crime in such different ways. The rapport the two seem to have is on full display. I also like that everyone gets something to do in the episode.
What did you think of this episode? What comic book scenes do you want to see brought to life in the MCU? Let me know in the comments!
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