Daredevil Season Two: The Man In The Box


Let’s just have a nice chat… oh, who are we kidding?

“The Man In The Box,” which wasn’t at all about what I thought it would be, opens with the police going through the strange underground area that Daredevil found last episode. Of course, somehow or other, the responding detective is Mahoney. He is starting to feel like the only cop who really works in Daredevil’s New York, all the rest being extras who just fill space in the background.  Daredevil shares some information with him, suggests they keep the victims off the grid for now, and then limps off, looking horrible.

Daredevil had hinted to Mahoney that he knew someone at the hospital who could care for the victims. Naturally, this heralds the return of Claire Temple, played by Rosario Dawson. Claire is the only character to be on both seasons of Daredevil and season one of Jessica Jones. I guess she’s the Netflix universe version of Phil Coulson. Daredevil makes it to the hospital and tells Claire a bit about her patients. For many reasons, she’s really not thrilled with the information, and also worried about Matt, who is in bad shape. While he’s talking to Claire, Daredevil hears via the cops’ radios that Frank Castle has escaped.

The next morning, there’s a very tense reunion as Matt, Karen, and Foggy are all called down to the DA’s office in the wake of Castle’s escape. They are quite understandably expecting to get chewed out and threatened by Reyes. What happens is a series of revelations and surprises about several lingering questions. The interview ends with a bigger surprise that is going to complicate a lot of things, and puts one of the characters in the hospital. I admit, I didn’t see this coming.

In the aftermath, there’s a lot of terse exchanges. Foggy is worried about Matt, and once again urges him to stop his night job. Karen is worried about both of them. None of them seem worried about their likely looming unemployment. They all go their separate ways. Things aren’t looking too good for Nelson and Murdock, Attorneys at Law. Then again, it’s been that way for most of the season.

Matt isn’t stupid, and makes a connection from something Foggy said before things got interesting at the DA’s office. Matt goes to prison on a visit and has a very tense meeting with Fisk. Donovan, Fisk’s attorney, plays the role of stereotyped sleazy expensive lawyer to the hilt. Matt provokes a major temper tantrum from Fisk, which people who remember season one know isn’t a good idea. Matt finally leaves, and I’m not sure he gained much from this meeting except possibly getting Fisk even madder at him.

Karen, also not one to let things rest, keeps digging into the mess around Frank Castle. She drops by the Bulletin and gets Ellison’s help. I know it’s a rights thing, but I really miss the main New York paper in the Marvel Universe being the Daily Bugle. Too bad Sony got that along with Spider-Man.

As all this goes on, Elektra turns up again. She’s at the airport about to leave town and meets Jacques Duchamps. Now, there’s no direct Marvel character with that name I know of, but there are two that come close and are both dark haired Frenchmen like this character. One is Jean-Paul Duchamps, better known as Frenchie, pilot and assistant to Moon Knight. The other is Jacques Duquesne, a character that’s variously been a mercenary, a hero, and a villain, and goes by Swordsman. I don’t know if this was supposed to be either of them, but I thought the name thing was interesting. They flirt a bit before trying to kill each other. Elektra is stunned during the fight to learn who sent him after her. It’s a well done fight, but then, they all are on this show.

A few short scenes follow as Stan Gibson worries about his kid, Claire worries about all the patients Daredevil kind of stuck her with, and Karen and Ellison get to their next stop a bit too late. Karen goes home and nothing goes as planned there, either. Karen didn’t have a great first season, but I’d say the second is being much rougher on her. I feel sorry for the lady.

Back at Metro General, Claire has a rooftop conversation with Daredevil. In one of the recent trends in hero movies that I loathe, he’s up on the roof with his mask and gloves off. He’s worried about keeping his secret, but is in a public place with no mask. I don’t know if this is actors wanting more screen time for their faces or writers/directors trying to show them “relaxed” or something, but it’s silly at best. Claire urges him to stop isolating himself, and gets the expected brooding hero response. I really like Claire as the voice of reason on this show.

The rest of the episode is the Elektra/Jacques fight, which is nicely done for the most part (more on that below), Fisk starting to realize there might be more to Murdock than there appears to be, and then a new cliffhanger. Alarms go off all over the hospital. Daredevil hurriedly grabs his mask and gloves (see? DUMB to take them off) as we see ninjas climbing the walls. It looks like a bad place for Daredevil, Claire, and another cast member who happens to be there. And there’s a disturbing reveal about the patients Daredevil rescued. It looks like next episode will start off with a really big fight.

What I liked: It almost seems redundant to praise the fight choreography, but they keep doing well with it. There are several big surprises regarding Reyes and Castle particularly, and I thought those were nicely executed. I’m really curious to see how things with Castle turn out. I liked Elektra’s fight (although I wouldn’t mind her going away). I’m really curious if either character I suggested is right for her opponent. I like Karen’s passion and commitment to doing what’s right. Claire and Ellison are both good supporting characters.

What I didn’t: Matt seems to be teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown or something. His visit to Fisk was ill-advised at best. All he did was needlessly piss off a powerful man. There’s not backing down, and there’s holding a metal stick during a lightning storm. He’s leaning towards the second. Also, when Elektra and Jacques started flirting, there were a lot of people in the hangar: bartender, crew, passengers. They all vanished when the fight started, but not running away, just suddenly weren’t there. That seemed a little weird.

Overall, another good episode. I’ll go 3.5 out of 5 for this one.