.380 – 7/10.
When we last left Matt he was preparing to defend the hospital from a full scale invasion by The Hand. It still isn’t clear exactly what Nobu was doing with the people he drained, or what it is he put back into their blood, but he most certainly hadn’t finished with them and now he wants them back. Despite the horrific nature of their ordeal it appears as though Claire’s patients are quite willing to return to their captors. So while Matt fights the ninjas on the roof, she does her best to fend off the invaders on her ward. She even goes so far as to fling a Hand soldier out of a window after watching one of his brethren murder her colleague. Matt makes his way down to the ward in time to rescue Claire but he is unable to stop the ninjas from escaping with the patients.
After the dust has settled, Matt pays a visit to Claire in his civilian clothes. He apologises for putting her in that position. He tells her about The Hand and the scale of what he is going up against, she warns him that he is in over his head. But so is she, Claire took a life when she threw that Hand soldier out of the window and it doesn’t sit well with her. Having witnessed the examination of his corpse she was surprised to see that he had already received an autopsy… before falling out of a window. She also struggles to understand why her superiors want to cover up the attack on the hospital and the death of her friend. It seems a very recent donation is enough to silence her bosses, but not Claire. Sick of the lies and the corruption, Claire resigns on the spot; Night Nurse, out.
Matt also pays a visit to Karen who is being taken into protective custody following the attempt on her life. Matt offers to help but she makes it very clear that she is no longer his to protect. She also tells him that it was Blacksmith rather than Frank who tried to kill her. The police put Karen up in a hotel but she immediately sneaks out to meet Frank, her investigation into Blacksmith has made her a target and now she wants to help Punisher to take him down. They drive around town before taking a break at a small diner where Frank shows his semi-lighter side by talking to Karen about her feelings for Matt. He claims that all love hurts and he’d give anything for his wife to still be able to break his heart, but the conversation is cut short when two of Blacksmith’s men enter the diner.
Frank dispatches the men in typically brutal fashion, leaving them alive just enough to torture information out of them. One of the goons tells him that Blacksmith’s drugs arrive at the docks and gets a bullet to his face as thanks. Karen is outraged when she realises that Frank used her as bait, he tells her to call the police and stay as far away from him as she can. Daredevil is also trying to track down Blacksmith, but by slightly less visceral means. His investigation leads him to Chinatown where he is surprised to discover that Blacksmith’s greatest competitor is none other than Madam Gao. Despite their disdain for each other they agree that it would be mutually beneficial for Gao to help Daredevil to find Blacksmith, so she points him towards the docks as well.
Punisher reaches the docks before Daredevil, killing Blacksmith’s men and covering his boat in gasoline. He gets into a gun fight with a man who claims to be Blacksmith however he is just a lackey. Matt arrives and stops Frank from killing the man, he refuses to fight and says that he needs Frank’s help to bring down Blacksmith. Matt finally admits that his way isn’t working and maybe this one time they could do things Frank’s way. But there is no ‘one time’ in Frank’s world, he tells Daredevil that once you cross that line there is no coming back. More of Blacksmith’s men arrive and Frank flings Matt off of the boat. One of the men seems to know Frank but he opens fire anyway, igniting the gasoline and creating a huge explosion that takes out Blacksmith’s men. When Matt finally emerges from the water Frank is nowhere to be seen.
With Matt distracted Nobu is free to finish draining his willing victims, who allow the Roxxon CEO to slit their wrists. Nobu stands proudly by his artefact as it collects their blood. Whatever the artefact is, it is now ready to be used. Is this the Dark Sky weapon that Stick has fought so hard to stop? Stick has another fight on his hands as a vengeful Elektra now hunts him down. He gives his men a weapon of some kind and sends them away, telling them to “follow the plan,” but they are cut down by a sai wielding Elektra. Stick’s man manages to drive to Matt’s apartment before he dies, using his last breath to tell Matt what is about to happen. Although there is very little Matt can do as Elektra has arrived and Stick has got some ‘splainin’ to do.
While this was still a very good episode the search for Blacksmith has begun to convolute the plot slightly. It feels like a hanging thread right now, although I am still convinced that Blacksmith will turn out to be Colonel Schoonover. The episode featured plenty of cool geek out moments, particularly Elektra now wielding the sai full time. Élodie Yung really has done a spectacular job of bringing the character to life and the painful memory of Jennifer Garner has been all but erased. The end of this episode left us with a lot of questions; where is Blacksmith? How did the shooter from the docks know Frank? How did Frank survive the explosion? What the hell is Nobu up to and most importantly, is Matt really considering going to the dark side of the force? With just two episodes left it seems that these questions will soon be answered.