Daredevil continues the success of its second season with the ninth episode, “Seven Minutes in Heaven.” A good bit of the episode shows how we got to the point the last one stopped at- the meeting of Wilson Fisk and Frank Castle. It does a fine job of showing how manipulative and ruthless Fisk is, and how incredibly dangerous Castle is.
They show Fisk being booked in to the jail, presumably just after his major fight with Daredevil at the end of season one. Obviously, he’s not used to jail, and has to find his footing. They do go a bit cliche here: the friendly inmate that knows the ropes, the hardcore prisoner that is the boss and sees the newcomer as a threat, some corrupt and/or brutal/sadistic guards. We do finally hear the “Kingpin” name, as Fisk is better known in the comics, and Fisk’s method of dealing with the thug in charge is creative, and a lot better than simply trying to fight him for control. I’m skipping over a lot here, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers.
As all this is happening, and Fisk is meeting with Castle, Matt Murdock’s life continues to get worse and worse, mostly through his own doing. He and Elektra argue about the last combat they were in, and he makes an important decision that he should have made a while ago. Matt at one points suggests calling the police, but Elektra points out the many flaws in that idea.
Back in the prison, Fisk and Castle have something that’s somewhere between a negotiation and an argument. Fisk makes a passing comment about not being a fan of Nelson and Murdock. If he only knew… Anyway, Fisk knows what buttons to press, and what are probably the two most dangerous men in the facility come to an agreement. This isn’t going to go well for anyone.
Foggy comes to visit Matt. Foggy is trying really hard to be a good friend, and Matt is being a dick. Now, I’m fairly sure Matt is going through one of the superhero tropes, this one being, “It’s too dangerous to be near me, so I’ll chase everyone away.” The big problem with that for Matt is that not only is he not cut out to be the lone brooding type like a certain Dark Knight, but how he expects to make a living on his own with the way he runs his life, I have no idea. It’s a painful scene to watch. Very well acted, but I end up feeling bad for Foggy and wanting to punch Matt, no matter what his motivations are.
Foggy gets stuck breaking the news that their office, at best, on hiatus for a while. Karen is not happy, but being the driven woman she is, plows on with her crusade to learn what happened to the Castle family. Since the law office can’t help any more, she goes to the New York Bulletin, where Urich used to work. Ellison, Urich’s former editor, is impressed with her skills and tenacity, and lets her use Urich’s old office. I guess the Bulletin is having budget problems, like most newspapers, since the office appears untouched since Urich’s death. His stuff is still in there, including a file that hints at interesting things about Karen’s past.
No matter how much Matt Murdock’s life is falling apart, he’s going to keep going as Daredevil. He’s on the hunt again, trying to find out what his enemies are up to. He finds someone else to lean on for information, and learns why this man is helping them. He’s also utterly terrified of the Hand, much more than he is of Daredevil. All this at least gives Daredevil a new lead to pursue.
One of the things this series often does well is intercutting the different plots in motion. They do that again here. Karen keeps digging, learning more about the Castle family’s death. Castle holds up his end of the deal with Fisk and it’s another well choreographed but incredibly brutal and violent fight scene. And Daredevil goes to investigate what he’s learned of the Hand, which involves some more fighting and surprises.
None of it goes really well for anyone involved. Karen gets more questions than answers. She’s really going down the rabbit hole following up on all this. Castle gets a lot of surprises, new wounds, and then two more twists back to back involving Fisk. The outcome of the last one is going to change a lot of things. And Daredevil finds out at least some of what the Hand is doing is even more disturbing than he thought, and is greeted by a blast from the past, and loses a fight badly.
What I liked: I rave about the fight choreography every episode. And it always deserves it. There are also noticeable differences between the fighting styles of Daredevil and the Punisher, and that’s how it should be. A blind man with special senses and sort of mystical martial arts training is going to approach combat very differently from a special forces operator. There are a few nice Easter Eggs, like the newspapers in Urich’s old office. One of them, I’m fairly sure, references the events of the Hulk movie they decided was part of Avengers continuity.
The character development continues to impress me. Karen is passionate about her new cause, and obviously shocked by whatever Urich dug up on her past. Foggy is trying so hard to mend fences with his old friend Matt. Frank Castle is an obsessed crusader who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Fisk is a devious schemer with his own ruthless streak. I’m really looking forward to Fisk and Castle’s next meeting.
What I didn’t: Matt is being incredibly harsh to his friends, and making his own life needlessly hard. He really is going the Catholic martyr route. I get they are building up some mystery, but a hint or even signs of progress about what the Hand is up to would be nice. At one point, a guard opens a cell door with a key, but you hear the buzz of the remote opening, which is just sloppy editing. But, in my opinion, the good far outweighs the bad.
I’m really enjoying this show a lot. I’m excited to see where it goes, how it links up with the others, and the Defenders series. Beranthal’s Castle is really impressing me.
I’ll give this episode a 4 out of 5.