SEMPER FIDELIS – 7/10.
If there is one common theme between all superheroes it would be the struggle of balancing two lives. For some it becomes impossible to tell which identity is their true self; Clark Kent wears a cape under his suit while Batman wears a suit over his cape. For Matt Murdock the line between his two identities is clear, he is always Matt even when dressed as Daredevil but it has become increasingly more difficult for him to stop his daytime and nocturnal activities from bleeding in to each other. The arrival of Elektra has only served to further complicate this issue, particularly with her refusal to stay out of Matt’s affairs. With Matt distracted by Elektra and the Yakuza it has fallen on Foggy and Karen to build Frank’s case and that is starting to take its toll on Nelson & Murdock.
As Frank’s trial begins it becomes increasingly clear how much of a daunting task his legal team faces. Their best option is to try to use PTSD as a defence, but Frank refuses citing it as an insult to the veterans who are actually suffering from it. Instead Matt and Foggy come up with a new strategy, to expose Reyes’ corruption in court forcing a mistrial. Foggy and Karen toil over the case files, eventually discovering an anomaly in the autopsy reports of Frank’s family. It appears that the chief medical examiner is in Reyes’ pocket, if they can get him to break on the stand then the judge will have to throw the trial out. Of course they don’t get to share this discovery with Matt as he has once again vanished with his new mystery client, Elektra.
Daredevil and Elektra show up at the high rise apartment of the sleazebag who created the codex for the Yakuza, they aggressively persuade him to translate the ledger for them. He reveals that the Yakuza have been receiving mysterious weekly shipments at a train depot. They head to the depot to investigate, discovering a cart full of dirt; very heavily guarded dirt. They fight off the guards before returning to Matt’s apartment to tend to their wounds and share war stories; Matt brings up Nobu Yoshioka and is surprised that Elektra knows who he was. While there is undeniable sexual tension between the two of them there is also an intense sadness. Matt asks Elektra why she left him ten years ago, she answers that she believed that he deserved better than her and she still does.
Matt oversleeps after a busy evening of vigilantism and sexual sub-text, leaving Foggy to make the opening statement at Frank’s trial. After a rough start Foggy gets in to his flow, he doesn’t try to justify Frank’s actions instead he talks about the system that failed him. As Foggy eloquently puts it, Frank never came home; he simply traded one warzone for another. Realising that he let Foggy down Matt agrees to tackle the medical examiner tomorrow, Karen goes back to his apartment to help him prepare but they end up getting into a heated debate about morality. Karen is starting to come around to Frank’s way of thinking and that’s not something Matt can abide. Elektra emerges from the shadows as Karen leaves and Matt angrily warns her to stay out of his personal life.
Elektra clearly doesn’t listen to Matt’s warning as he discovers the next day at the trail. The medical examiner breaks down before Matt even has a chance to examine him. He admits to falsifying the autopsy reports under duress but then goes on to state that he is only confessing now because he was visited by a masked woman last night. The judge dismisses him as a witness but refuses to consider a mistrial, completely eliminating any hope for Frank. Realising that this was Elektra’s doing, Matt finally comes clean to Foggy about her, the Yakuza and everything. This is the final straw for Foggy who has had enough of the lies and the insanity that comes of life with Daredevil. Karen is just as frustrated as Foggy, especially as she can’t see all the pieces of the puzzle. With Frank’s life hanging in the balance it seems as if Matt isn’t the only one at risk of losing everything.
Daredevil angrily confronts Elektra, again telling her to stay out of Matt Murdock’s life but she is completely unrepentant. She tells him that she was simply following his lead and using force to get what she wants. What she wants is Matt’s help raiding a Roxxon property where they could be storing their mystery shipments. The building is especially suspicious as it was given to Nobu by Wilson Fisk and Matt had seen blue prints of it prior to his battle with Nobu. They fight their way through yet more Yakuza guards and make their way into the building which appears to be empty. But they soon make a very strange discovery, a room containing a giant hole that appears to go down for miles. Whatever it is that Roxxon is up to, the answers are down there.
The problem with binge TV is after a few hours it can start to feel as if the pace is lagging a little, this was certainly the case with episode 7. While it was still very enjoyable there was the inescapable feeling that things are starting to get dragged out a bit. The trial hasn’t proven to be that engaging, especially as it has left Frank somewhat sidelined and now it appears that it will continue for at least another episode. The dynamic between Matt and Elektra added a lot of spark to this episode and it was interesting to see Elektra’s guard come down. While Matt is obviously conflicted he still clearly wants to be with Karen, however he seemed genuinely hurt to hear her take Frank’s side, because if The Punisher’s way is the right way then that challenges the very foundation of Matt’s world.