Daredevil Season Two: Regrets Only

regrets

Matt and Elektra go on a working date

The second season of Daredevil continues with “Regrets Only,” a phrase traditionally associated with invitations to parties. This makes sense as the episode continues, and the plotlines involving Elektra and the Punisher continue. One thing is for sure- life isn’t getting any easier for the firm of Nelson and Murdock.

The episode opens with several motorcycles racing through the city streets. All of them are red but one, which is likely the leader’s. The riders pull up in front of what turns out to be Elektra’s apartment. Inside, she has provided Matt with his Daredevil costume (either now he has two or she broke into his place again), and the two of them get ready for their guests.

What follows is another great fight scene as Elektra and Daredevil battle the assassins throughout her place. The fight choreography is fantastic as it has been throughout the series. Daredevil and Elektra do a decent job of making it believable that two superb fighters with only hand weapons stand up to a squad of killers with automatic weapons. It’s really impressive and well done. With her usual devil-may-care (no pun intended) attitude, Elektra turns to Daredevil after they win and asks if he’s hungry.

They adjourn to a diner where Elektra turns her characteristic love for life loose on the food. Her zest for the meal makes an amusing counterpoint to what should be a serious discussion about the Yakuza in New York. Matt is sure he beat them (back in season one). Elektra corrects this impression, saying they just slipped into the shadows and watched while Daredevil took out their competition. They argue about what to do next, and he reluctantly agrees to help her if she promises to not kill anyone while they work together. The agreement is that he will help if she will leave town after they finish dealing with the Yakuza.

At the law offices, Karen gets a visit from Christopher Roth, an amazingly inexperienced public defender who, through some manipulations of DA Reyes, has been assigned to Frank Castle’s case. Roth seems supremely unconcerned with the details of the case, or Castle’s well-being. His combination of indifference and inexperience get Karen riled up enough that she refuses to sign the mistake-riddled statement that was prepared for her, and later insists the office take up Castle’s case. Foggy is far from happy about this, but he gets more or less outvoted by Matt and Karen.

Matt has come to understand a little bit about what fuels Castle to become the Punisher. Matt and Foggy debate about the merits of the case. Foggy, justifiably, wonders if Matt is trying to save Frank Castle the man, or the Punisher, a fellow vigilante. It’s a good scene, and they again show that Foggy is far from just a background character/sidekick.

At the hospital where Castle is being held, it’s a mob scene of press. The team eventually gets inside, and runs into Sergeant Mahoney, now a plainclothes detective. Mahoney warns them if they take this case and lose, it’s career suicide. Matt counters that, if they walk away, they’re letting Castle die, since Reyes is pushing for the death penalty.

They finally get in to Castle’s room, after a lot of security. Matt makes their pitch to Castle, and it’s not wholly clear if Castle recognizes Matt’s voice as Daredevil. Castle is ready to toss them out (metaphorically, since he’s strapped down) when Karen tells him what she learned about his family. I think what also changes his mind is Reyes storming in and damn near dragging the lawyers out. She’s in mid-rant with them in the hall about how they aren’t allowed to even talk to Castle when Mahoney comes back out and says Castle accepted their offer. There’s some great legal sparring between Reyes and Matt.

The team goes to map out their strategy when they get another surprise. A liveried driver shows up, saying he was sent for Matt. Matt makes some lame excuses about their mysterious new client and leaves. This is also when Foggy learns that Matt and Karen are seeing each other. All in all, Foggy’s having a bad night.

After some amusing flirting between Karen and Matt, Matt goes downstairs with the driver. To no great surprise at all, he was sent by Elektra, who has managed to learn about a top secret gala Roxxon is throwing for some of their people. Elektra, of course, has gotten an invitation for them. Matt changes into a suit she got for him in the limo. Another nice small detail- Matt’s covered with scars. I do wonder how he’s going to explain that to Karen if their relationship gets to that point.

As Matt goes to the party, Foggy and Karen are going over the mound of paperwork for Castle’s case. It’s a daunting battle they’re getting ready for. They are fighting 37 separate murder charges, and at least 98 lesser included offenses. It’s a mess. They have a very awkward meeting with Castle, who wants to talk to Karen alone. Again, Foggy loses this battle, and he leaves them. Karen and Castle have an emotional scene about his family.

The rest of the episode alternates between Matt and Elektra at the party, and Foggy and Karen dealing with Castle’s case. That seems like an unfair division of labor to me. No wonder Foggy keeps being cranky lately. Then again, Matt doesn’t have an easy time of it.

At the party, security is very tight. Matt and Elektra go though all sorts of schemes to get a pass card from Stan the accountant (who really blends at this gathering) and get where they need to be. Matt, using his senses, finds more and more to be concerned about. Elektra, being borderline insane, just says this will be more fun than she thought.

Reyes is definitely working more than one agenda. Being the DA that prosecutes the Punisher would bring her a lot of fame and help for her political campaign, but she’s also clearly after more than that. For example, one of the things she’s adamant about is not putting Castle in Protective Custody. Castle seems amused by that provision. They finally get the hearing at Castle’s hospital bed, and nothing goes as planned. Foggy might well have been right to not want any part of this case.

After all their plotting and planning, Elektra and Matt finally manage to find what she came for- records tying Roxxon to the Yakuza. There’s a lot more fighting and a very high stakes game of hide and seek before they eventually make it out. Going over the ledger, they find some very disturbing entries which make them wonder what, exactly, they are getting into.

In the wake of the theft, Stan the accountant has a meeting with Hirochi, the man who was in charge at the party. There are a lot of surprises, and Stan learns something I’m pretty sure Matt and Elektra don’t know, but need to. It certainly puts a new spin on things.

Matt gets home to more bad news. Foggy is there, telling him about what happened at the hearing. They have a lot to do now, and very little time to do it in. I think our hero/vigilante/attorney’s life is about to get very, very complicated. Not like it’s been simple until now.

What I liked: As I usually end up saying for this series, just about everything. A “normal” adventure show would probably be done with the Punisher now that he’s in custody. They are writing some great scenes for his plot. The fighting is stunning. Every character is getting a chance to shine, a sometimes tricky balance to maintain. I’m really curious about the background in Punisher’s case that they keep hinting at.

What I didn’t: I know she’s supposed to be destructive and impulsive, but I keep finding myself telling Matt to get the hell away from Elektra. She’s going to get them into something worse that she thinks, and it’s going to go badly. I also think they are dumping a lot on Foggy, and I like the guy, so I wish they’d cut him a break.

I’m still loving this series. I can’t wait to see what comes next. I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5.

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