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TV Review: Marvel's Daredevil - Season 2 Episode 8 "Guilty As Sin"

03.28.2016

Missed an episode? Check out all prior reviews of Marvel's Daredevil here.

EPISODE 8: "Guilty As Sin"

SYNOPSIS: As the firm's trial spins out of control, a figure from Murdock's past returns to deliver shocking revelations about the future of Hell's Kitchen.

REVIEW: If you were worried that this season of Daredevil would not bear direct connections to last year, this is the episode that will begin to make you feel a sense of relief. We have heard passing references to characters from the debut run of this series, but this hour features the return of two significant people from Matt Murdock's world. We also begin to get more of the mythology aspect of Daredevil that has been murky at best to date. The big Frank Castle trial also reaches an unexpected climax as this season begins to set itself up for the final batch of episodes. It also becomes very apparent that the creations of Frank Miller are the driving force behind this take on the Man Without Fear which is always a good place to start.

Picking up directy where the previous episode ended, the flashlight Matt dropped down the gaping pit finally hits bottom, indicating that the hole is somewhere in the range of forty stories deep. But, before Matt and Elektra can ponder this too much, they are beseiged by ninjas. Matt's senses are thrown off as the masked attackers are virtually silent and their heartbeats are undetectable. Instead focusing on the sounds of their weapons, the duo fight back but not before Elektra is deeply wounded by a poisoned blade. At that moment, none other than Stick (Scott Glenn) arrives to aid our heroes and gets them out to his waiting car where they hea for Matt's apartment. With the poison seeping into her wound, Stick gets to work in treating it and saving her life. Matt is visibly affected by seeing Elektra hurt but is shocked when Stick reveals that he knows and has mentored Elektra for years.

It turns out that Elektra was on a mission when she met Matt. While she insists that she fell in love with him for real, Stick explains what is going on in New York: Stick is the leader of a group called The Chaste who fight the evil forces of The Hand, an ancient group who have the power of immortality. The weapon The Hand have that can destroy the world is called Black Sky, the name we heard mentioned in season one that took the guise of a young boy. Matt finds Stick's story hard to believe, but Stick is adamant that he has trained warriors for years to try and stop The Hand. The biggest question I have watching this unfold is whether Matt Murdock is going to embrace this story or remain skeptical. He does profess his love for Elektra and asks her to choose his ways over those of Stick, something which Elektra eventually does. Stick leaves, abandoning hope for the two weak lovers, but that is not the end of the story.

Meanwhile, the trial of Frank Castle is progressing. Foggy cross examines Ray Schoonover, Frank's commanding officer who was saved by Castle's heroics in taking down an entire squad of enemy soldiers. Things begin to look up for the case when a doctor supports the idea that Frank was emotionally beyond control of his actions. Karen and Foggy decide to have Matt question Frank on the stand, which Castle agrees to against his better judgement. When Karen heads to Matt's apartment to tell him, she runs into Stick and sees Elektra in Matt's bed. Karen is shocked and upset and leaves before allowing Matt to explain himself. In court the next day, Matt overhears a guard whisper something to Frank on the stand. Matt launches into a brief speech about why the city needs vigilantes like Castle, but Frank abruptly admits to his crimes and says he would do it again, effectively ending the trial and sending him to prison. 

Both Foggy and Karen are fed up with Matt's antics. While Foggy is glad the case is done, he blames Matt for losing the trial. Karen washes her hands of her relationship with Matt, saying he is no hero. Matt returns home to find Stick gone and Elektra tells him she chose to stay and be a good person. Matt is then suddenly shot with arrows and fights a ninja. When he defeats the opponent, he unmasks him to find it is just a young man. Matt tells the boy to take a message back to his master, but Elektra slits his throat, killing him. Stick had warned Elektra she needed to tell Matt about who she really is, and Matt now has a good look at her dark side. Before Matt can process the murder, he begins to succumb to his wounds. The final scene of the episode shows Frank being processed at the prison. The same guard who whispered to him in court takes him down a hall where we see the security cameras shut off. Frank is led to the yard where he is alone with one other person: Wilson Fisk.

Very heavy on mythology building elements, this episode brings the trial to an unceremonious ending. I had been enjoying seeing our lawyer characters in their natural enviroment, but it never felt right for Matt to be there with everything else going on. I appreciate the return of Stick who finally gives us a clear explanation about The Hand and The Chaste which are important elements from the comics. I am still not sure exactly how much more of Stick we will see this season, but the disparate elements from the first season to this one are starting to come together. I was a bit surprised to see the return of Wilson Fisk and I am very glad that secret was kept until the show debuted. VIncent D'Onofrio was a highlight of the first season and linking him to the overarching plot of this year is a smart choice. I hope Frank Castle choosing to meet with The Kingpin is more than just a forced way to bring the villain back this year.

MARVEL UNIVERSE REFERENCES: No overt references this episode.

EPISODE GRADE:

 

NEXT ON DAREDEVIL: "Seven Minutes In Heaven" - Castle gets an offer he can't refuse. Foggy and Murdock question the future of their firm, but Karen won't give up so easily.

Source: JoBlo.com

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