Daredevil: “New York’s Finest”


The Punisher takes Daredevil hostage and ties him up in chains.


131181-174237This is yet another dialogue-heavy episode capped off with an action sequence and, if you remember my review of the last episode which followed much the same formula, I gave it some pretty harsh marks for being dull, plodding, and unnecessary.  As I said with that last review, however, I understand and totally get that Daredevil doesn’t have the budget or the inclination to be nothing but superhero action all the time so, why was this episode so much better than the last?

Well, for one, the dialogue was waaaaay more interesting and it seemed to me that much more was at stake.  Hey, if we want to tell a story about some mob guy on the run, that’s fine but don’t expect me to emotionally invest in someone I only just met.  Here, Matt is the guy in the crosshairs and I was much, much more interested in his fate.  Sure, I never once thought that The Punisher was going to shoot him, but that’s where the second half of a good dialogue-heavy episode comes in.

The conversation was interesting.   The characters are alive and you get this real indication, both through words and actions, that Daredevil and The Punisher don’t represent good and evil, but rather two incompatible views that are bother neither 100 percent wrong, nor a 100 percent right.

I love this.  I love when the world is not represented in black and white, but in a million shades of gray.  Certainly, as a comic book fan, I know where Frank is coming from and what happened to him even though the series hasn’t presented it yet, but even now… even if I didn’t know, Jon Bernthal is bringing enough raw intensity and emotion to the role that it’s pretty easy to guess where he’s coming from.

I didn’t even mind Foggy in this episode mostly because he took a break from his incessant bitching to actually do something.

The true star of the episode was the hallway fight, a masterfully crafted brawl that took Daredevil from the roof to the ground floor of a building shot in one take (all right, it wasn’t, but they sure made it look like it was).  This was, most likely, the most expertly devised fight scene ever executed on television since the goddamn thing was invented.  Everyone on this series deserves kudos and a torrential downpour of Emmys for the fight sequence.

Often, Daredevil use the fight sequences as a carrot to lure viewers through a mostly talk-heavy plot and it gets kind of annoying, but not here.  Here, the fight was completely worth it and would have made even the most boring episode memorable.  The fact that “New York’s Finest” was already a good episode before punches were thrown and chains were slung, only made the episode that much better.

The downside is that I cannot fathom how they can ultimately top this.

About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.