Continuing the trend of beginning one episode right where the last one ended, “.380″ starts with Daredevil on the roof of Metro General, with far too many ninjas scaling the walls. Daredevil is good, but this is long odds even for him.
The attackers get inside, and there’s a desperate fight between them and hospital security. The security guys are useless. Claire actually fights back effectively, but gets thrown out a window for her trouble after one of her co-workers is killed. Daredevil pulls off an impressive last minute rescue, saving her life but taking them both out of the fight. Why the security guards weren’t killed isn’t revealed and doesn’t make much sense to me.
The ninjas get away with the patients Daredevil brought in. The patients aren’t exactly resisting. Later, Matt returns to the hospital and tells Claire some of what’s going on. Claire is worried about Matt, who shrugs off her concern, the same way he’s been treating everyone recently. He then rushes off after getting a call.
Also following up from last episode, Karen is with Detective Mahoney (The Only Cop In Daredevil’s New York TM) going over her statement about the attack at her place. She’s not telling them everything, covering up Castle’s rescue of her. Karen seems to have both bonded closely with Castle and developed a healthy mistrust of the police.
As they are attempting to take her to a safe location, Matt arrives. Mahoney called him, apparently. Things are tense between Matt and Karen, and they argue. Karen shares her theory with Matt that Frank isn’t behind the attack on her place or DA Reyes. If she’s right, there’s a new enemy running around with serious firepower, and that doesn’t match the Hand’s style at all.
Their working theory is this the work of the mysterious Blacksmith, who no one knows anything about. I really wonder what the cops’ reaction was if they heard the blind lawyer offering to protect Karen from the attacker with automatic weapons.
Karen goes to the hotel as the police wanted. They weirdly wait outside, which is not a good way to protect your subject. This is immediately demonstrated by Karen sneaking out and going to meet up with Frank Castle. They take off for parts unknown. Amusingly, Frank stole Karen’s car for this mission.
At the hospital, Foggy is recovering from his wound, and hopefully from Matt being such a dick to him. He gets a surprise visitor: his ex from season one, Marci. Marci was impressed with Foggy’s performance during Castle’s trial before Castle himself wrecked the case. Apparently, other people are impressed as well, and she hints that he may have offers coming his way.
Elsewhere in the building, the ninja Claire managed to kill via defenstration is being autopsied. There are a lot of surprises as this goes along. Then the hospital administrators show up and shut down the investigation, kicking Claire out of the room. This doesn’t bode well for later.
Out on the streets, there’s a meeting between Daredevil and Assistant DA Tower. Well, sort of a meeting. Tower isn’t exactly the strong, silent type. Daredevil gets another lead on the mysterious Blacksmith and goes off to run that down.
In what has to be one of the most surreal scenes I’ve seen in a long time, Karen and Frank go to a diner while on the run, and she gets relationship advice. From the Punisher. Of all people. Of course, that ends up being mostly a way to fill time, since Frank had a reason for bringing her, and chaos ensues of a most bloody nature.
While Karen is dealing with her version of Love and Bullets, Daredevil has his own issues. After another one of his “sneak up and eliminate the guards one by one” sequences, he gets to who he needed to talk to. I won’t say who it is, but it’s one of my favorite supporting characters from the first season. They eventually reach a tentative agreement about going after the Blacksmith.
Continuing the trend of it’s generally bad to be anywhere near Daredevil/Matt Murdock, Claire doesn’t react well to some decisions the hospital administrators make. She gives a decent speech and makes a potentially important decision. In some interesting timing, she and Foggy end up leaving at the same time. I know that both Karen and Matt are very busy, but it’s kind of sad he signs himself out and no one’s there for him.
Their twisting paths finally come together, and Daredevil ends up at the same place as the Punisher. They alternate between fighting bad guys, arguing, and fighting each other. There’s also a bit of philosophy mixed in there, and they do a decent job of showing that Punisher isn’t just some thug with a gun. Or a lot of guns. The fight resolves in a dramatic way, leaving a few things up in the air that don’t get resolved this episode.
Elsewhere, the patients/victims the Hand took back are used for their intended purpose, which we still don’t get to find out. But they’re definitely devoted to their mysterious cause. While that’s going on, there’s a long and ugly lead-in to a meeting between two other supporting characters. The episode ends with them getting ready to fight, talk, or both. That has the potential to be a really nasty opening for the next episode.
What I liked: They do a great job of emphasizing the differences between Punisher and Daredevil. Not just their stance on killing, but their fighting styles, ways of getting information, dealing with people, show them as markedly different people. I like Claire’s stand, even with what it cost her. Karen is nearly as obsessive as either Punisher or Daredevil, she just does it slightly differently. I was happy to see the return of that character from season one.
What I didn’t: Matt’s isolation isn’t good for him, and it’s getting a little tiresome. Foggy really got the short end of the stick this episode, and he’s really been growing on me as a character. The big confrontation the episode ends on left me thinking, “Do I care about this?”
I really enjoy this series, but I don’t think this was one of their stronger episodes. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5, high overall but low for the series.