Well, things just got a whole lot crazier in Hell’s Kitchen. Over the course of three episodes, an already fantastic season was kicked into high gear. In order to cover all the important points, I’m going to use a different format than previous reviews. In a season that introduced the Punisher, I feel like bullet points are wonderfully appropriate 🙂 I hope this leads to an effective overview of all that transpired in episodes 7-9.
Episode #7: Semper Fidelis
- I’m loving the emphasis this season on the practice of law. It’s a huge part of Matt’s life, and the courtroom drama this episode was a welcome change of pace from the more prominent vigilantism.
- Karen and Frank’s connection feels genuine, there’s something about her demeanor that really warms Karen to everyone she meets. You can see the level of respect Frank has for her, even when he’s yelling or disagreeing with her. This is also a fantastic showcase of the acting chops of Deborah Ann Woll and Jon Bernthal, such great chemistry!
- DD and Elektra teaming up is so fun to watch. The fight choreography is amazing, you can see their individual styles shine even amongst all the chaos. Plus, I’m a sucker for Yakuza, they’re are just so damn cool.
- Obligatory scars story time was a bit cliche, but I’ll let it slide.
- What would a Nelson and Murdock trial be without a no-show from Matt due to Daredevil’s nightly adventures? Poor Foggy, he really pulled it together though. This felt like a scene right out of the comics! Elden Henson is such a great Foggy, I’m happy they’ve toned down the comic relief a bit and let him show the serious and competent side of Franklin P.Nelson.
- Every scene with Elodie Yung makes me love Elektra more. Her magnetism and crazy-but-charming personality are a perfect combo.
- I really hate watching Foggy and Matt fight, not a slight against the show, it just makes me sad.
- When I was a kid, people used to joke about digging a hole to China. Could this be a hole to K’un-Lun?
Episode 8: Guilty As Sin
- THE HAND!!!
- What an adrenaline rush start to the episode, picking up right where last episode ended was brilliant, no break, just glorious ninja mayhem!
- Scott Glenn as Stick is the best thing ever. Screw a Punisher spin-off, I want a full season of Stick. Do you hear me Marvel?!
- No-look crossbow shots are boss.
- First Scott Glenn is back, now we get Clancy Brown! Some dudes are just awesome and Clancy Brown is some dudes. I feel like this won’t be the last we see of Col. Schoonover.
- The whole part about Schoonover revealing he was in the field with Frank only after being called out by the D.A. was a little weak scripting in my opinion. There wasn’t any reason for him to hold that fact back, so it felt like he was being purposefully misleading when he was giving his testimony.
- I understand that Karen would be upset by a strange woman lying in Matt’s bed, but shouldn’t the fact that old man Stick is hanging out tip her off that nothing fishy was going on? It made me wonder if Stick can make himself invisible to people or something; like a super ninja trick.
- Frank’s testimony was absolutely amazing. The Punisher making sure his beliefs and motives are completely understood. I have to assume he’s fine with going to prison, which leads me to believe he’s got something up his sleeve. Jon Bernthal has cemented himself as THE Frank Castle, absolutely perfect.
- The fight scenes and choreography this season blow me away, I thought season 1 was amazing, but it just doesn’t compare.
- WOW! Elektra cutting that ninja’s throat got an audible “Oh shit!” reaction from me, that was hardcore. I love the parallels of her and Frank, they both are examples of taking things too far in the name of justice. Perfect contrasts to the nobility of Matt’s style of vigilantism, but each in their own significant way. Frank was driven to it by tragedy and a trained killer instinct, I’m pretty sure Elektra is just nuckin’ futs.
- How in the world could I have forgotten about Kingpin?!!? Still not as stunningly perfect as last season’s art gallery debut, but what a way to end the episode. This has been the best one yet, so much excitement and buildup, I can’t wait for the next one.
EPISODE 9: Seven Minutes in Heaven
- Aside from that strange episode title–isn’t that a middle school make out party game?– I’m excited to see what exactly Wilson Fisk has been up to in the clink.
- William Forsythe doing what he does best as Dutton. Marvel’s casting never fails to impress me.
- Fisk wastes no time setting his sights on total control. So great to see Vincent D’onofrio as Kingpin again, even in a prison jumpsuit his presence is commanding.
- I understand Matt’s reasoning for not wanting Elektra around, but I think it is a mistake by him thinking he can defeat The Hand on his own.
- Fisk is a damn good negotiator, and he makes some very good points while trying to convince Frank to help him. However, I don’t buy Frank being convinced, he must have a plan in place.
- “You don’t get to create danger and then protect us from that danger, that’s not heroic, that’s insane” What a great line! Foggy tells Matt how it is, we know why he won’t listen, but it’s still a bummer to watch these friends split apart. It has happened many times in the comics, and we know reconciliation will eventually happen, but seeing it performed by Henson and Cox makes it feel so real.
- Karen just doesn’t give up, I’ve really enjoyed her investigative prowess being explored this season. The writers have done a wonderful job of not letting the supporting cast feel wasted or unnecessary this season. There were times last season when their stories seemed tacked on, I’m happy to see that isn’t the case this time around.
- I think we just witnessed the Hallway fight sequence of season 1 eclipsed in terms of visceral mayhem. Frank showcases with brutal efficiency exactly why The Punisher is an appropriate moniker.
- Karen getting Ben’s old office is nice, it reminds me of how bummed I still am that they killed him off. Mitch Ellison is doing a fine job replacing him as a mentor to Karen though.
- Frank is the only person besides Matt who is not intimidated by Fisk. The unwavering sense of what they’re doing is right is an interesting parallel between Matt and Frank. It is the strongest theme running through this season, does the ends justify the means. Whether it’s Matt or Frank, the D.A.’s office, Elektra, Stick or the police; methods are examined and the series makes a point to show the gray areas that justice operates under sometimes.
- And Frank is set free, I knew he couldn’t stay in prison for too long, he needs to continue punishing.
- I’m not exactly sure what is in that giant coffin being filled with blood, but I feel like it is a very bad thing, maybe some sort of portable lazarus pit?
That’s all I have, what an exciting three episodes! I tried my best, but it’s possible I failed to mention some things that others may have picked up on, so don’t hesitate to continue the discussion in the comments. So far, I think Season 2 has done a superb job balancing all of the elements and story lines. The minor narrative hiccups of last year have not been apparent this time, there has been no lull to speak of. I can’t wait to finish the last four episodes, as there is sure to be one hell of a climax.