Marvel's Daredevil Review by Henry Tran

Marvel's Daredevil 2.09: Seven Minutes in Heaven

Marvel's Daredevil 2.09: Seven Minutes in Heaven

Written By:
Marco Ramirez and Lauren Schmidt Hissrich
Directed By:
Stephen Surjik

This episode is a tale of two main stories, focusing on the good guys (mainly Matt and his hunt for the growing threat of the Hand coming for New York) and the bad guys who have served as opposing foil for Daredevil over the past two seasons. It's simultaneously an interesting and somewhat perplexing direction to take the series in as the second season nears its end. Elektra has spent the last few episodes leading Matt right into the path of facing off with the Hand -- perhaps on the orders and plans made by Stick -- and once she has done so, she bows out of the proceedings. The same process is shown regarding the trial of Frank Castle, as his self-imposed conviction allows him to meet with Wilson Fisk in prison.

 


 

There is a swiftness at play with everything in the episode. In the storyline involving Matt, this is done to emphasize his growing isolation. Matt seems to recognize the damage he has inflicted upon his personal life and so he forcibly pushes everything he holds (or at least claims to hold) dear out of the way so that he can become the stereotypical lone vigilante hero. It starts with Elektra, who has demonstrated countless times in her brief stint on the show that she is a remorseless murderer of anyone who gets in her and Matt's way. It doesn't matter if it was some kid with orders to kill Matt in whatever means possible. It isn't love between two people, but rather a twisted way of having both of them influence and enable their activities in life. Elektra's presence won't be missed.

 

Then, Foggy shows up to talk to Matt, or rather continue berating him for the disaster that led to Frank Castle's incarceration. All of Foggy's points and criticisms of Matt are still justified and as such, Matt then suggests that Foggy shutter the offices of Nelson & Murdock for the time being. Which could mean anywhere from a few weeks to indefinitely, depending on how long Matt has to fight the Hand as Daredevil. There is a nice mix of sadness and malice in what Matt suggests to Foggy, almost as if his emotions were in a constant state of conflict, and there isn't total conviction behind what he is saying. Nevertheless, Foggy takes Matt's suggestion to heart, shuts down the offices, leaving both himself and Karen out of work for the time being.

 


 

With Karen's storyline, there's the sense that the show now wants to keep her separate from Matt as much as possible in light of her discovery of Elektra and Stick in Matt's loft. This separation gives her enough time to pursue the leads on Frank's past for the New York Bulletin with more vigor than before. There's a lot to dig up there, and the episode nicely dovetails her investigation into the events of the carousel with what Frank discovers in prison. As a small bonus, it looks like she has finally found out through Ben's research that Matt is Daredevil. Will it lead anywhere? I'm not quite sure the show will answer that in a satisfactory manner before the end of the season. Matt delves deeper into what the purpose of the Hand's presence truly is, and it's one of the episode's more questionable parts. The Hand is still doing a sort of human trafficking ring, but they're using the human prisoners as blood donors to feed this giant stone egg that most likely houses a "Black Sky." So I'm guessing the "Black Sky" is the weapon meant to decimate New York City? The direction of the plot seems obvious enough, though the return of Nobu from the presumably dead does little to engender much interest in this plotline.

 

Where the Hand represents a more general threat that has been looming over the latter half of the season, Frank Castle remains a much more specific presence. The episode brings about a nice bit of tension in catching us up on what happened to Wilson Fisk after his arrest at the end of last season and when Frank enters the prison to meet him. Fisk is no longer the villain of nuance he was for most of last season. Instead, he embraces his "Kingpin" supervillain status by going all out on his power play to rule the prison. There's a fluidity to how he makes the best of a bad situation by slowly building up a support system and army, all aimed at taking down Dutton, the current kingpin of the criminals imprisoned there.

 


 

The swiftness by which Fisk takes Dutton down does make Dutton look rather weak in comparison, so the episode is more interested in what Fisk sees in Frank as his new weapon. Originally, the plan was for Frank to take out Dutton, then Fisk would arrange for some way to kill Frank, but after seeing the brutality of Frank's methods in killing every one of Dutton's goons, he changed his mind. This plot, like the others in the episode, is full of two people largely talking and doling out exposition to advance the story, punctuated by the action centerpiece of Frank killing every member of Cell Block A by violent and rather gory means. The sequence skirts right up to the edge of glorifying the violence, demonstrating just how far Frank has fallen. It also furthers the notion that Frank is, for the most part, invincible, and I think that's the one thing that Fisk is counting on when he deploys Frank on the outside as a weapon to destroy what's left of his enemies. Now that everyone has a clearer picture of what happened at the carousel, the emotional underpinning of that backstory doesn't matter. What matters is how the playing field will look once Frank and Matt meet again, after they've taken out the enemies they've sworn to eliminate for different reasons.


Our Grade:
B-
The Good:
  • Solid exploration of Matt’s descent into isolation
  • Frank’s fight for survival in the cell block
The Bad:
  • Elektra’s role in the season never quite hit the write notes
  • Fisk seems less nuanced than he was in the first season

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

Marvel's Daredevil by - 5/16/2016 7:50 AM138 views

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