SEVEN MINUTES IN HEAVEN – 9.5/10.
The very first concept introduced in season 2 of Daredevil was the idea that the incarceration of Wilson Fisk had created a vacuum in Hell’s Kitchen. Kingpin was a dominate figure in the criminal underworld, he cast his shadow over everything and his absence led to a battle between several new players to rise to the forefront. This is a perfect analogy for the way in which season 2 has played out; Fisk was a tour de force as an antagonist, played to absolute perfection by Vincent D’onofrio. His absence has given Frank and Elektra room to shine, while creating room for The Hand narrative, but it has also left the series without a clear antagonist to focus on. While this hasn’t done the show any harm, far from it in fact, it is still a total thrill to have Fisk back even if it is only for one episode.
Fisk arrives in prison after his final battle with Daredevil; he is paid a visit by a prisoner named Dutton who informs him that he is the only Kingpin in here. Fisk is also visited by his lawyer who assures him that he has enough money to keep his fiancée protected but not much else, he advises him to keep his head down. Naturally the power hungry Fisk chooses to ignore this, amassing his own forces so he can take on Dutton and seize control of the prison. This costs Fisk money and favours but nothing can stand in the way of his ambition, and an opportunity soon presents itself in the form of Frank Castle. Fisk uses a bribed guard to convince Frank to throw his case in exchange for information about the murder of his family, leading to an eventual meeting between the two men.
Fisk informs Frank that Dutton set up the drug deal that resulted in the death of his family and he offers to help him to gain entry to Dutton’s cell block. Frank isn’t happy about doing Kingpin’s dirty work but his desire for vengeance outweighs his disdain for Fisk. Sure enough one of Fisk’s guards lets Frank into the cell block, he corners Dutton and questions him about what went down at the park. Dutton admits to brokering the deal but says it only went south because it was actually a sting, set up by the feds to catch a drug dealer named The Blacksmith. Frank kills Dutton but Kingpin’s guards lock him in the cell block, releasing Dutton’s men to kill him. In what may be my favourite scene of the season, Frank fights his way through the men surviving the onslaught but receiving a beat down by the armoured guards for his trouble.
Meanwhile Matt emerges from his poisonous coma; it seems as if Elektra used Stick’s antidote to save his life. She also arranged for the body of the young ninja to be removed from Matt’s apartment. Despite his love for her, Matt now realises that Elektra is a killer and she can never change. He tells her that they need to stop corrupting each other and that he needs to fight this war alone. Elektra isn’t the only person that Matt must say goodbye to as he is forced to turn his back on both Foggy and Karen in order to protect them. Foggy takes this particularly hard, but having suffered a huge defeat in Frank’s case the writing appears to be on the wall for Nelson & Murdock. It’s just a shame to see their friendship fall apart as well.
Karen isn’t quite so willing to give up, she visits Ellison at the Bulletin and shows him the proof that the ME made one of the bodies from the shootout vanish. The pair then pay a visit to the ME’s apartment and he admits that he was forced to make the John Doe disappear. He reveals that the John Doe was definitely an undercover cop which ties in with Dutton’s story. Believing that Karen is on to something, Ellison convinces her to stay on at the Bulletin and even lets her set up base in Ben Ulrich’s old office. Karen finds a case file with her name on it on Ulrich’s desk, she reads it and begins to weep but Ellison assures her that whatever is in there didn’t matter to Ben and it doesn’t matter to him. Could this be linked to the dark past that Karen alluded to in season 1?
Fisk visits Frank in solitary confinement and admits to trying to have him killed. But he says that his plans have changed, he’d rather have the Punisher out on the streets than in prison. That way Frank can eliminate his competition whilst not standing in the way of his rise to power in jail. The two fight it out briefly before Fisk walks away, Frank assures him that he won’t be walking away when they next meet. He makes his escape and is met by Fisk’s car outside the prison. While his greatest nemesis rebuilds his empire from a prison cell, Matt focuses his efforts on his newest enemy, The Hand. He tracks down Gibson and presses him for information but the accountant reveals that he is only working with The Hand because they are holding his son hostage at a place called The Farm.
Daredevil fights his way into The Farm where he confronts Roxxon’s CEO, demanding to know The Hand’s plans. Matt senses something strange in the Farm’s basement and he gets the CEO to take him down there. To his surprise he sees people trapped in cages, the blood is being drained from their bodies and stored in a giant artefact of some sort. Gibson’s son is amongst the prisoners and the accountant helps Matt to cut him free, but they are suddenly attacked by a masked ninja with a very familiar fighting style. The ninja easily evades Matt, escaping in a lift with the artefact. The ninja removes his mask as he leaves revealing himself to be Nobu Yoshioka. Matt is shocked to see him, he says that he should be dead. Nobu simply laughs and says that there is no such thing as death.