Daredevil‘s “Guilty as Sin” was yet another great episode within an outstanding season. I wouldn’t say each episode is getting bette than the last, and I don’t believe any of these later episodes are as good as the first four, but damn, “Guilty as Sin” was fantastic, and not just because we saw the return of a few familiar faces. (spoilers ahead!)
We last left off with Matt and Elektra staring into the depths of a mysterious pit, which apparently goes 40 stories into the ground. The duo is suddenly ambushed by a horde of ninjas, and Elektra is semi-fatally stabbed thanks to Matt’s distraction. Fortunately, they’re saved at the last minute by none other than Stick!
Yep, Scott Glenn reprises his role as Daredevil’s trainer/mentor this season. You can’t tell me you don’t like the character of Stick, even if he was a bit of a prick last season. Glenn is possibly one of the best actors on the entire show (which isn’t saying much since virtually everyone nails their performance so well). What I love about Stick is the fact that he gives off the appearance of a feeble and helpless old man, but he’s ultimately a bad-ass you don’t want to mess with. He’s like Carol from The Walking Dead or Walt from Gran Torino. You see him walk onto the scene and you know he’s going to start bashing skulls.
Stick and Matt escape and bring an injured Elektra back to Matt’s apartment to heal. During this time, Stick reveals his history with Elektra, and explains why they’re both back in Hell’s Kitchen. In a bit of necessary exposition, we learn about the Hand, a collection of magical warlords and ninjas armed with a weapon called the Black Sky. Stick and Elektra are part of the Chaste, a group dedicated to fighting the Hand and keeping the forces of evil at bay. A bit cliche, but it’s great to finally see how Daredevil‘s world expands beyond Hell’s Kitchen. Now we’re playing with fire. It’s not just about crime lords in the city anymore; it’s about the fate of the world. This is Avenger-level stuff.
On the other side of the episode, we’re back in the courtroom. Frank’s case is looking slightly better, especially when his old commanding officer takes the stand as a character witness. I was so surprised to see Clancy Brown playing the role of Colonel Schoonover. He’s known for lending his voice to many animated Marvel properties, but I’m mostly familiar with him as General Eiling in The Flash. He’s a great actor with the right presence and demeanor for a soldier, but I thought it was a little weird having him play virtually the same character in two different settings. Colonel Schoonover and General Eiling are two sides of the same coin. It’s not really a bad thing; just odd. It’s similar to how Jon Bernthal‘s Punisher is very similar to his portrayal of Shane from The Walking Dead. Hey, if it works, it works.
Schoonover states how Frank Castle is a true hero after recounting a story of when Castle killed an entire squad of enemy soldiers who tried to ambush their troop. Yep, that sounds like Frank Castle to me. I wouldn’t mind seeing a flashback of that exact scene in a future episode of Daredevil or maybe even a Punisher spin-off. Seriously, they could make an entire miniseries solely about the Punisher and his experience in the war. I’d be all for it.
Things start to look up for Frank’s case when a doctor indicates that his violence might be spurred by the bullet wound to his head. Frank is brought to the witness stand to give his testimony, but at the last minute, he declares that he was fully aware of the people he murdered and that he’d gladly do it all over again. A screaming Castle is dragged out of the courtroom and hauled off to prison. And there goes the case.
The loss of the case causes Foggy to abandon poor Matt, who is already dealing with a lot of stuff on his plate already. Karen also breaks up with Matt after she witnessed Elektra recovering in his bed a few nights ago. Jesus, Matt can’t catch a break. And things only get more complicated for him back at his apartment when Elektra tells him she wants to be with him because he sees the good in her.
While the two decide how to work out their partnership, a Hand ninja attacks. Matt subdues him only to find out he’s a teenager. Before he can interrogate him about his bosses, Elektra appears and slits the kid’s throat.
It’s like no matter where Matt turns, he’s always dealing with death. Both the Punisher and Elektra are fighting for the greater good, but they believe in executions – something Matt is firmly against. You wonder how exactly their future partnerships will work out. I’m curious about whether Matt will begin executing people in the next couple episodes, or if he’s going to attempt to find a way to stop Elektra and the Punisher from being so brutal. Seeing as the Punisher and Elektra are known for being killers and that Daredevil is known for being merciful, it’s unlikely that either party will change their ideals, meaning that we’re in for some very interesting developments over the next couple of episodes.
Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that fantastic ending. Frank enters the prison, where he’s welcomed by the hordes of criminals he’s put away over the years. The last scene shows Castle walking out onto the prison grounds where a man is lifting weights. The man stands up and reveals himself to be Wilson Fisk! The Kingpin is back!
I legit had no idea Fisk was going to be back. I hadn’t heard news of Vincent D’Onofrio appearing on set, so kudos to the cast and crew for keeping his involvement a secret! I’ll admit that I was expecting the man in the prison yard to actually be the Russian at first, but hell, I’m totally fine with the Kingpin! I wonder what’s going to happen between Fisk and Castle by next episode. Are they supposed to be working together, or is Frank going to kick his ass all over the prison yard? Maybe both?
Final Grade: A
+ Fisk and Stick are back!
+ Bernthal’s performance – need I say more?
+ I’m looking forward to watching the Punisher survive in jail.
– The show seems to be getting overcrowded with subplots. We’re now dealing with the Punisher in jail, Fisk’s return, the Chaste and the Hand’s ongoing feud, Stick and Elektra’s relationship, and the crumbling of Nelson & Murdock.
– What’s going to happen with Fisk and Castle in prison?
How are you feeling about Season 2 of Daredevil so far? Are you excited to see Fisk back in the picture? Tell us what you think in the comments or on Twitter!