Monday, April 25, 2016

Daredevil Season 2, Episode 6, "Regrets Only" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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I have to admit, sitting down to write a review this week was a bit of a chore.  On Friday sent out an email promotion for their online comics, and I wound up rediscovering my account and getting lost in reading comics for much of the weekend… at least when I wasn’t busy with all the other stuff that I had to do this weekend!

But here’s my review for Daredevil season 2, episode 6: “Regrets Only.”  This is when the Punisher and Elektra storylines really start to intermix and start to pull Matt in many different directions, threatening to break apart everything that he has spent over a year building.

The episode picks up outside Elektra’s apartment building where a team of ninjas are riding to the building on motorcycles.  The ninjas pull up and enter the building, but when they get to Elektra’s apartment, no one is there.   Daredevil and Elektra both drop down and attack them, and succeed in knocking them out.  And Elektra’s first word after they beat the ninjas?  “Hungry?”  That’s kind of messed up!

The two of them go to a diner to eat, and Matt demands to know what’s going on with the Yakuza and how she figured out that he was Daredevil.  At this point she doesn’t give him a serious answer to the second question; she tells him that she “recognized his ass.”  As far as the yakuza are concerned, she is upset with them but a lot of her father’s money is tied up with Roxxon Corporation, which is in bed with the Yakuza.  He wants her to leave, but she threatens to “out” him as Daredevil if he does not help her, so he agrees to help, but only until they’ve taken down the Yakuza.

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Their first stop is that evening at a Roxxon Corporation gala which they infiltrate to steal some information.  Their target is Roxxon’s accountant Gibson, who is the only non-Yakuza member with enough access to get them into the upper floors of the building.  He is also the weakest link… something which the Yakuza know and have taken precautions for, as he is surrounded by bodyguards.  Matt spills a glass on Gibson to get him into the bathroom, and then takes down his two guards to steal Gibson’s keycard.  Matt and Elektra use the keycard to get into the correct floor, where they break into the office and Matt uses his ability to open the safe.  When the information isn’t in the safe, he also hears an electrical current buzzing behind the wall and follows it to a hidden room lined with file cabinets.  Matt senses the one with files and books in it, and one of these is a ledger tracking all of the Yakuza’s illegal activities.  By this time, however, security realizes that Elektra looped their camera feeds and comes looking for them.  Matt and Elektra fight off one of the security teams, but they then trick the other team by making out and playing the embarrassed lovers.  In the car on the way home Elektra translates part of the ledger and discovers that another part of it is encrypted.

Back at Roxxon, the Yakuza boss is particularly upset with Gibson and his two guards for everything that happened, and orders the two guards executed.  Gibson apologizes profusely, and the boss gives him a second chance, simultaneously dropping the bomb that they aren’t exactly Yakuza.

This whole plot with Matt and Elektra was pretty cool.  I enjoyed watching them infiltrate the Roxxon building, particularly the clever use of Matt’s enhanced senses to find the hidden room.  It’s also fun to see just how crazy Elektra really is!

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While all of this is happening, Matt, Foggy, and Karen are also following up on the Punisher case.  At first they are all set to stay out of it, but the public defender assigned to Castle’s case rubs them the wrong way—something about him being all excited about extraditing Frank to Delaware so he can be executed for murdering a group of the Dogs of Hell (can’t imagine why that would rub a couple upstanding lawyers the wrong way!).  Matt decides that if the public defender will not defend Castle properly, then they need to take on his case so they can ensure that justice is really done—after all, the whole point of taking down Castle and giving Brett the credit was to show that the system could actually dole out justice.  Foggy isn’t too thrilled with the idea of crossing Reyes again; he thinks Matt is less interested in saving a man than he is in saving a fellow vigilante.  However, Foggy eventually agrees to take the case.

The three of them go to the hospital where Castle is being treated, where Brett (who was recently promoted to Detective Sergeant for his takedown of the Punisher) tries to dissuade them from taking on the case and tangling with Reyes.  However, they insist and go in to meet with Frank.  Matt tells him that they are his own chance for surviving the trial, considering that someone in the D.A.’s office wants him dead, and convince him to at least think about accepting their offer to represent him.  No sooner have they managed this than Reyes barges into the hospital room and orders them out.  She threatens to disbar them for talking to him, but they rebut that she is the one who should not be talking to him as her conversation with the public defender was actually a violation of Castle’s rights.  She tries to claim that they have a conflict of interest because they represented Grotto, whom Castle murdered, but they respond that the conflict doesn’t exist because she’s been very careful to keep Grotto out of the public record lest it become known that she violated a witness protection agreement.  At this moment Brett shows up to let them know that Castle agreed to take them on as his counsel.

I really liked the hospital scene because of how well it shows off Matt and Foggy’s legal abilities.  They are not intimidated by a lawyer who has more political power than them; the only power they really need is the law—and their commanding knowledge of the law.  It’s really easy for a superhero series to forget about the mundane aspects of having a secret identity and working a 9-to-5 job (I’m still not sure what Oliver Queen actually does to earn money on Arrow!), so it is refreshing to see Daredevil place a decent focus on exactly what Matt does and how skilled he is at it.

After Matt leaves to assist Elektra at the Roxxon gala, Karen and Foggy stay behind at the hospital to continue interviewing Frank and working out the particulars of their plea arrangement.  Frank asks to speak with Karen alone, which she agrees to do.  This gives her an opportunity to fill him in on what she has learned about the conspiracy that is covering up what happened to his family—the D.A.’s file claims that the Castle family was murdered in their car, which Karen knows to be a lie.  She also tells him that she was in his house and helps him remember some of the details about it.  It is interesting when she asks him about the hospital incident and he tells her that she was never in danger; he only shoots people who “deserve” it.  Evidently he has a very high view of himself and his ability to minimize collateral damage, because there were any number of opportunities for an innocent bystander to catch a bullet during his war on crime!

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After meeting with Reyes to negotiate, Foggy reveals that he managed to negotiate her down substantially from what she was trying to get.  She will not extradite Frank to Delaware (they don’t have enough evidence to support extradition).  She dropped the charges from 3 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole down to a single life sentence with the possibility of parole in 25 years.  He will still be in the general population, but that is the best deal they can get.  Frank agrees to accept the plea arrangement… only to change his mind, plead “not guilty” and call Reyes a “witch.”  Obviously no one is particularly happy with him for doing this (Foggy least of all), but the Punisher is going on trial.  And it’s happening in a week.

All in all, this was a decent episode for showing the characters’ various abilities.  The present-day dynamic between Matt and Elektra is on full display here, and it is pretty cool:  Matt absolutely does not trust her, but he is willing to work with her to protect his city.  I don’t think this is the strongest episode of the season, but it hold up quite well for what it is doing:  continuing the Punisher’s plot and getting Elektra’s crusade against the Yakuza going.

What did you think of this episode?  Let me know in the comments!

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