March 19, 2016

Netflix Daredevil Season 2, Episode 3 Recap: New York's Finest




As we closed Episode 2, Daredevil and The Punisher disappeared. In Episode 3, we really get our first taste of Jon Bernthal's The Punisher. I will talk more as I recap the episode, but Bernthal is truly fantastic in this role and a powerhouse in the series. Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez, who both worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sons of Anarchy, may have written this gritty, dark version of The Punisher, but it is Bernthal that brings it to life.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Episode 3: New York's Finest

You're one bad day away from being me. ~ The Punisher


We open the episode in a dream. Murdock is a child and a nun is wringing out a towel. First, water pours out and then, blood.

Murdock awakens on a roof to find himself at the mercy of The Punisher.


Meanwhile, District Attorney Reyes is furious her plan failed. And Karen?


Well, she is enraged that Grotto was used as bait and now is on the run. Reyes quickly tells Karen that if she is pushed she will blame the entire mess on Nelson & Murdock.

Back on the roof, Daredevil realizes he is trapped.


The Punisher is stitching up his wounds, referring to Daredevil as "Red." Daredevil wants to know why The Punisher did not remove his mask. The Punisher does not care about the identity of Daredevil. He shows Daredevil military grade weapons and Daredevil inquires what he will do with them. The Punisher responds, "I will do what is required."

At the same time, Karen is on the phone with an upset and shaken Grotto and Foggy is at the ER at Metro-General looking for Claire.


He needs Claire's help to find Daredevil. She tells Foggy she has not seen him, besides she can no longer help. She has a crazy shift. There has been an uprise in gang violence and the emergency room is packed.

Meanwhile, The Punisher and Daredevil are having a "heart to heart" of sorts on the roof. Well, more like Daredevil is doing all the talking and The Punisher is ignoring the banter. Daredevil tries to find out more information on the identity of The Punisher. He even suggests The Punisher walk away and end his vigilante routine. Honestly, I about half listened to Daredevil's rambling and incessant questioning.

Why? I was focused on watching:


In what might of been Marvel's best attempt at a Shakespearean soliloquy, Bernthal's The Punisher snaps at Daredevil. He first tells Daredevil to stop "digging." He mocks Daredevil, even snarking at his superhero name, remarking that he runs around the city "in a pair of boy's pajamas and a mask." The Punisher tells Daredevil soldiers do not wear masks and have the privilege of removing it at night, pretending to be someone else. He knows what Daredevil is doing is not working. Daredevil is handing the bad guys over to the police and they end up right back out on the street. The Punisher has no choice but to kill them so they can do no more harm. He does not find Daredevil to be a hero or even any better than him.

He calls Daredevil "a half measure," "a coward" and a "man who can't finish the job."


And there you have it, my friends. From this moment on, Bernthal is going to steal every single scene he is in during this series. He breathes life into The Punisher on the same level that Chris Evans makes Captain America "real" to the Marvel fan. I am honestly a little sad that he was not saved for a film because believe me, this is Emmy level work on Bernthal's part. He has deeply embedded himself in the character so much that you almost would rather follow his journey than Daredevil's. Bernthal is just THAT damn good as The Punisher. Do not hate on me Daredevil fans, but it made me wince a bit at Charlie Cox's acting. Cox is simply not on par with what Bernthal brought to this role.

But truly, I digress.

The Punisher is interrupted by a man who comes out on the roof. The Punisher tells the man he is out there for a smoke and his sister lives in the building. We learn that The Punisher's real name is Frank Castle. He tells the man he is a Marine who has just returned from Iraq. The man is also a Marine, thus he welcomes Frank home from service and leaves the roof.


The Punisher then sets his sights back on Daredevil. He  holds a gun to Daredevil's head. The Punisher tells Daredevil that he is not a "bad guy" and there is simply no good in anyone he kills. He further says the world needs men that are willing to make the hard calls (Editor's Note: Yikes, this kind of sounds like something Steve Rogers would say. Really, he is not THAT different than the superheroes, is he?). Daredevil asks The Punisher what about hope, and The Punisher quickly tells hims there is none. Daredevil plans to pursue The Punisher until he is stopped. Then, The Punisher knocks Daredevil out with the gun.

While all this action is taking place on the roof, Karen is in Assistant District Attorney Blake Tower's office.


Blake Tower has appeared in Daredevil comic books for over 40 years.


It is interesting to note that Stephen Rider is a huge Marvel fan. Calling himself a "Marvel nerd," he was elated to be cast in the MCU. This kind of stuff makes me smile. You have to imagine the "little kid" in some of these actors cannot believe they are portraying the comic book heroes they grew up on. Besides, all that Comic-Con adoration is incredibly exciting. Once you go Marvel, your fans are for life.

Anyhoo, Karen tries to blackmail Tower in order to obtain Grotto a spot in the witness protection program. She also wants the files on The Punisher. Tower tells her that will not implicate District Attorney Reyes. He orders Karen out of his office, but not without slipping her the files which may lead to clues about why The Punisher began his work.

Back at Metro-General, a fight breaks out in the emergency room. Foggy is able to break it up and this impresses Claire.


She checks the records and tells him that Murdock has not checked into any hospital in the city.

On the roof, The Punisher has Grotto and has taped a gun to Daredevil's hand. This scene is adapted from the comic book The Punisher #3.



The Punisher tells Daredevil that he caught Grotto stealing a car to leave town. He warns that Grotto is not the man Daredevil believes him to be, and forces Grotto to confess to killing two people. One of these people was an innocent old lady who was killed only because she saw Grotto's face. The Punisher tells Daredevil to either shoot him or Grotto. Daredevil refuses to do either and tells The Punisher he will hand over Grotto to the police.

Le Sigh.

Daredevil, you realize that The Punisher JUST gave you a long speech on how he does not believe these kinds of lowlifes should be handed to the police just to be set free again. What are you thinking?

Well, it appears he believes he can be a hero because Daredevil shoots his chains free and charges at The Punisher. And because of course he does, The Punisher shoots Grotto.


Grotto lies dying on the roof and asks Daredevil why he did not shoot The Punisher. I mean, it really is Daredevil's fault that Grotto is dead. But who should he shoot? The criminal that killed two innocent people or the vigilante who has killed tons of lowlifes, thugs and hardened criminals. Ah, the moral dilemma! You know these Marvel superheroes are all about goodness and values, even the R-rated Netflix kind.


Meanwhile, The Punisher is off shooting at the Dogs of Hell. I love how The Punisher just moves right back to his effective "business" of killing no matter what has happened beforehand. Bernthal's Punisher is ruthless on his mission. Incidentally, the song used in this scene is Ace of Spades by Motorhead.

Daredevil finds The Punisher and the two fight. He eventually knocks The Punisher out and carries him unconscious onto a freight elevator. However, the Dogs of Hell are close behind. This forces Daredevil to have to take on every single member of the Dogs of Hell in one of the lengthiest, coolest fight scenes since Captain America: Winter Soldier's elevator battle.

If you like ass kicking and lots of action, this episode is for you.

By the way, the entire time he is fighting, Daredevil still has the gun taped to his hand.

As we close Episode 3, we find Karen looking through the files on The Punisher. She pulls out this:


It is The Punisher's symbol!


What a fantastic episode. Let me know in the comments how you feel about Bernthal's Punisher!

Click here for Episode 4: Penny and Dime.

As always, I remain,





6 comments:

  1. We LOOKED and LOOKED and we STILL don't See Captain Underpants... Just sayin.

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  2. My son thinks The Punisher is getting his own series. Jon Bernthal is amazing!!

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    1. Perhaps! I think Netflix has signed on to five series total.

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  3. The best part of this episode to me, was banter between Daredevil and Punisher bringing to light the differences between a vigilante and a Superhero...more set up for Civil War ;-).


    Although, Foggy did have a major badass scene #foggycrush ;-)!

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    1. YES!!
      And Stephen Rider is just so darn cute. You can tell he is having a ball playing ADA Tower. Tower has always been an ally of Daredevil's so I expect him to be around awhile.
      On another note, I can't wait for Civil War! I've been sporting my Team Cap stuff every day. When you want to wage a war, you need a suit!!!

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