The only way past the fire is straight through.
Episode three might be my favorite of DAREDEVIL’s much-anticipated second season. A large portion is a weekly, rooftop group session for the “Superhero/Anti-hero Support Group of Hell’s Kitchen”, but don’t let that trip you up, the entire setting is a drip-IV of nectar–you could change the channel, but you certainly don’t want to. Director Marc Jobst takes his sweet time touring us through some intriguingly dark dialogues, memories, and psychologies of men whose world has forsaken them, yet they refuse to die. The Punisher/Daredevil relationship we explore in this episode proves organic, both in action and stillness; its a genuine pleasure to see an in-depth exchange between two fully formed characters, and that is exactly what the Bernthal-Cox duo pulled off.
Half of the reason this is my favorite episode so far is, of course, the fight scene. Stunt Coordinator Philip Severa fires off another continuous long-shot fight scene between a seemingly never ending line-up of burly bikers and our blind superhero, armed only with an empty revolver duct taped to one hand, and a 10-ft heavy chain dangling from the other. And I know what you’re thinking, “Wait–revolver? Chain? How did…when did?” You’re just going to have to watch it.
That being said, although I enjoyed the fight scene, it was actually less impressive than I initially believed it to be, for the simple fact there were clear indications of cutting, the one thing not meant to happen in a continuous long take shot, and one of the traits from season one that became iconic for the DAREDEVIL series. Individual scenes were obviously cut together to simulate one continuous shot, and yes, it was well hidden. I understand the circumstances of the scene probably required it, and finally, yes, I know I am splitting hairs, its my job. Don’t let my observations stop you, though, from enjoying this well-executed action scene.
Next, the second half of why this episode is my favorite of this season. I think some people will agree Foggy deserves his own spin-off. Daredevil has guts, but Foggy has BALLS. Once again we’re treated with the unstoppable juggernaut that is Franklin Nelson’s spirit. The goofy sidekick character is called to the plate more times than he deserves, but he never lets reluctancy influence his impressive knowledge of the law, nor sway his steady hand when his loved ones are in danger. A hospital stand-off scene between two rival gang-bangers–complete with plenty of potential innocent victims–is quickly and deftly defused by the Fog-man, armed with nothing more than his law degree and cajones. By the end of it, I was fist-pumping Foggy’s name. Grounded and realistic, the ‘Nelson’ in the office of Nelson & Murdock is one of the most well-written complex characters I’ve seen on Netflix in a while.