Daredevil Ep. 17 “Penny and Dime”

daredevil-penny-and-dime

In my time of being both a fan and reviewer of Daredevil, one thing I’ve noticed is their uncanny ability to lure us into a false sense of security only to drop some serious bombshells on the audience. The plot of this episode is someone difficult to describe outside of gangsters kidnap Punisher; Punisher and Daredevil fend off gangsters. But there is so much more.

First of all, it should be noted this episode is gruesome. Okay, Daredevil isn’t exactly known for pulling its punches in the violence department. However from the first scene where someone is stabbed in the eyes, it is pretty clear this is gonna be a bloody episode. To be fair, this is not violence for nothing. Early on, we see a scene of the Punisher treating a wound, which is fairly bloody, but that is a warm-up act. There are scenes where the Punisher is captured. To gain info and torture him, the mafia members drive a drill through the Punisher’s foot in a pretty brutal scene. Punisher somehow recovers from this and we see him shoot mobsters with some pretty graphic entrance/exit wounds. These scenes do exemplify just how viscous the mob members are, how the Punisher can be equally brutal.

There are slower moments as well. There is a great moment where Castle watches the carousel. Just waiting for something to go wrong turns what could be a simple scene into something ominous (especially when things do go south). The show has demonstrated the multiple faces of Frank Castle’s personality. However, this is the episode that reveals a little about his backstory – he was a war vet who read to his daughter and watched his family murdered in gang warfare. The scene is merely a lengthy dialogue scene, but man is it effective. Actor Jon Bernthal does a great job communicating the emotion of a man who regrets not spending more time with his daughter before she was murdered. This is a touching scene where just a few facial expressions let us know Daredevil is transitioning from thinking of the Punisher as a foe to an actual human.

This great scene is followed by another great scene where the police catch the Punisher and Daredevil convinces the cop to take the claim for catching Frank Castle, with the logic that the people need to believe in the police. The episode ends with Matt Murdock hooking up with Karen Page only to be confronted by Elektra. This is the only weak link in this episode. Karen and Matt have had hints of a romantic fling, but here it just feels out of nowhere. Just having them together might have been fine, but the idea is clearly that Elektra is throwing a monkey wrench into this “beautiful moment.”

Still, that is the ONLY wrinkle in an otherwise stellar episode. With stellar action and emotional highs, I still give this episode a glowing recommendation… if you don’t mind a little blood.

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