Marvel's Daredevil Review by Henry Tran

Marvel's Daredevil 2.10: The Man in the Box

Marvel's Daredevil 2.10: The Man in the Box

Written By:
John Kelley, Whit Anderson, and Sneha Koorse
Directed By:
Peter Hoar

A lot happens in this episode that makes everything hard to keep track of. Instead of continuing the story where the last episode's cliffhanger left off, with Frank Castle out of prison and on the hunt for someone or something, "The Man in the Box" pivots to largely be about the Hand's still-mysterious plans. They would involve the human blood farm, which feel like some kind of ritualistic resurrection or something. We'll have to wait and see.

 


 

The thing is, the more I look at the larger view of the story as it relates to this episode, I find it difficult to see where the show can tie together its two threads. The episode has us following Matt as he tries to keep some semblance of order within the city. That's a difficult task given that Frank Castle is now running around, after just one day in jail, likely killing everyone responsible for his family's death. It's always been his mission. From what has been shown of both Frank Castle and DA Reyes, they are less likely to have anything they say carry weight with everyone on the opposing side. Mainly, that consists of Matt, Foggy, and Karen. Reyes can stand there (bad idea, lady) and practically beg for the life of her child, but she's been rotten for much of the series so far so it feels like it falls on deaf ears. Her assassination is certainly shocking initially, though once that shock wears off, it becomes clear that the show just couldn't get a clear handle on what the Reyes character was supposed to be. She had no opportunity to show or say what her true motives were. To add insult to further injury, Foggy takes a stray bullet that keeps him out of the central action of the episode. Though, if we examine the two shooting scenes with more scrutiny, it may turn out that whoever is doing the shooting is actually targeting Karen, as she is present in both of them. Perhaps someone is seeing that Karen is getting too close to finding out the truth about what happened at that carousel with the gang war, and wants her to stop the investigation... permanently.

 

Nevertheless, Frank Castle isn't in much of this episode, which makes his motives still questionable. Matt does figure out rather quickly that Frank's release was arranged by none other than Wilson Fisk, which allows him to pay a visit to the Kingpin in the middle of his incarceration. The prison scene between the two adversaries (somewhat heightened by the fact that Fisk still doesn't know that Matt and Daredevil are one and the same) is one of the few highlights of the episode. Matt has always been the master of the quiet threat, which helps in standing up to the control Fisk is cultivating by slowly taking over the prison. He invokes the threat of keeping Fisk completely away from his darling Vanessa with just the possibility of sending a letter in an envelope. It's enough to throw the tempermental Fisk into a wild rage, almost to the point of choking the life right out of Matt. It's quite distressing to see Matt struggle with his breath as the much larger Fisk is simultaneously choking him and shouting his own brand of threats. But the scene doesn't quite connect with the rest of the episode, which can also be said for many others.

 


 

Take Elektra's little subplot. She is waiting to escape the country when a mysterious man sidles up to her side, tries to smooth-talk her in French and orders some expensive alcohol, all in some attempt to get her guard down. She knows and we know immediately that something isn't right about this guy, but it takes about two to three scenes to actually figure out what his true purpose is. That is regarding a mission set up by Stick to eliminate Elektra once she couldn't go along with the Chaste's plans to battle the Hand. It's nifty to incorporate Elektra's trademark sai weapons into the fight, but once again, I have to question how this all fits into the overall narrative.

 

With so little time left in the season, the show is oddly parsing out the details of the Hand's scheme in a rather slow manner. A lot of it is done through some talky exposition by both Claire -- who makes a welcome return here after a seemingly interminable time away -- and Matt on the rooftop of Metro-General. The human test subjects aren't just being drained of their blood, but also some mysterious (probably mystical) toxins and chemicals have been inserted into their bodies. Based on how they act in the episode, it looks like some form of mind control or "zombification" of the hosts in order for the Hand to somehow bring about Black Sky, a weapon that will likely mean the end of the world. At this point, what the Hand's true plans and motives are remain a huge mystery, one that the show is really taking its sweet time to reveal.


Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • Matt’s confrontation with Fisk is brutal yet effective
  • The scene in the hospital with the children is very creepy
The Bad:
  • How are all these plot threads going to intersect properly?
  • Reyes never came together as a character with clear motivations

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 - 5/23/2016 9:04 AM130 views

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