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Television

Daredevil: Season 2, Episode 2 - "Dogs to a Gunfight"

Elena Zhang

A plot-heavy second episode brings us closer to greater discussions of morality.


Daredevil

Cast: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Jon Bernthal, Elodie Yung, Stephen Rider, Rosario Dawson, Vincent D'Onofrio
Subtitle: Season 2, Episode 2 - "Dogs to a Gunfight"
Network: Netflix
Airdate: 2016-03-18
Amazon

With its second episode, Daredevil slowly continues to shed light on its new adversary. While "Dogs to a Gunfight" was mostly plot heavy, hints of a greater discussion of the morality of vigilante justice were dropped, and will mostly likely be picked up in the next episode or two.

The believability of the plot was a little tenuous in this episode. At best, using Grotto (McCaleb Burnett) as bait was a longshot. It's a shame that the writers felt like they had to dumb the NYPD down in order to make Daredevil's (Charlie Cox) existence a necessity, instead of presenting us with a case where even with competent cops, the criminals are too rampant and wily for the general population to handle. Did the hubris of the police and the District Attorney really lead them to believe that they were smarter than this militant vigilante? Shouldn't they have at least scoped the area out beforehand out of precaution?

And then there's the moment when all of the cops are shooting at The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) while he's battling it out with Daredevil. Are we really to believe that of the dozen or so sharpshooters, none could take out a distracted target while he's being pummeled by someone else? It wasn't just the incompetence of the police force that took me out of the moment. If The Punisher was already situated on top of the water tower, did he really need to use the truck as a diversion? Grotto was in plain sight in alleyway, and The Punisher had a clean shot to take him out before the mess began.

I understand that comic book shows require a certain degree of suspension of belief, but throw too many plot holes in quick succession at the viewer, and the seams of the fantasy start to come apart.

Foggy (Elden Henson) continues to be Daredevil's most valuable player, and I get the feeling this won't be the last time I say that. His friendship with Matt is sincere and affecting, as made clear by Foggy's dogged search attempts to find an injured Matt after a fight. Perhaps what most clearly speaks to Foggy's devotion to his friend, however, is his frustration and anger to the necessity of a Daredevil at all. He's angry that Matt continuously puts himself at risk, but even angrier at the futility of persuading him otherwise.

Karen's (Deborah Ann Woll) character, on the other hand, is suffering from all-too-common television tropes. Throughout the hour, we see Karen become increasingly suspicious at the flimsy excuses both Foggy and Matt give to explain Matt's absence, and by now she probably thinks that Matt is secretly an alcoholic.

Keeping Karen in the dark about Matt's alter-ego continues to be troubling, especially if they're going to move forward with the Matt and Karen romance. It's a condescending choice on Matt's part, especially given the fact that she's a woman. Matt’s either displaying a genuine mistrust of Karen's ability to keep a secret, or a patronizing attitude that she wouldn't understand or she wouldn't be able to handle it. It’s a shame, because the benefits of having Karen on board with the superhero team definitely outweigh any reservations they may have.

If the excuse is that not knowing keeps Karen safe, Matt really needs to get his head out of his ass and realize that with the sheer amount of criminals and vigilantes roaming around the three or four blocks that make up Hell's Kitchen, no one is actually safe from anybody. I for one am really hoping that Karen figures it out on her own, instead of having Matt or Foggy decide when she is or isn't ready for the truth. She's completely capable of piecing the puzzle together with a little investigation.

Now, with The Punisher having kidnapped Daredevil, I'm looking forward to an exploration of their different brands of justice. Karen believes that Daredevil created The Punisher, and if that's true, Daredevil will have to take some sort of responsibility for the chaos he created. I'm not sure if even Matt knows the difference yet, as his only defense of his actions was that he never killed anyone. Karen doesn't defend The Punisher; she only says that he could be anyone, which speaks to mankind's universal desire to deliver justice, if only it had the means to do so.

Other Thoughts:

I'm enjoying all the references to the greater Marvel universe, with the appearance of District Attorney Reyes (Michelle Hurd) and an offhand comment about Clemmons, both from Jessica Jones. Sergeant Brett's (Royce Johnson) comments about people thinking twice about heroes could also be an allusion to the upcoming Captain America movie.

I'm glad that Karen's trauma for shooting Wesley (Toby Leonard Moore) last season isn't being completely forgotten, and adds a lot to her character.

The scene when Matt first lost his hearing was done very well, and the play on the intensity and subsequent absence of sound was very cool.

I know that names in comic books are generally kind of hokey, but did no one really give pause at the name Grotto Grote?

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