We’re back with our fourth review of this season’s Daredevil on the episode “Penny and Dime”. As we’ve mentioned in our previous reviews, this season we are reviewing each episode so we can get deeper into the nitty gritty of this spectacular series and so we can keep up with everybody’s various binge-ing habits.
In this episode, The Punisher ends his dance with the law, Matt and Karen take things to the next level and we get the dramatic introduction of a new character. Things are heating up in Hell’s Kitchen and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
Let’s get into “Penny and Dime”:
Who is Frank Castle?
“Penny and Dime” was all about trying to find Frank Castle aka The Punisher, as it felt as if all the characters were searching for him for various reasons.
Firstly there was the Irish mob. One of the members, Finn is in town for the funeral of his son who was killed in the big shootout of the first episode. Finn both wants vengeance for his son and family and also his money that was taken from the scene so he sends out his men to go and find Frank.
They first raid his home and steal the dog that he adopted when he killed the room of mobsters, but they don’t find the money so they go out looking for Frank. They later find him at a carousel that he’s apparently obsessed with (I must say the Irish are really good at finding people, if only the police were half as good). They take Frank hostage here but only after he is tranquilized and he manages to kill a fair amount of their men.
On a separate mission we have Matt, who first has a chat with Sgt Brett Mahoney, who raises his concerns that all this vigilante justice has people losing faith in the actual police (seriously I don’t blame them) but he tells Matt about a shoot out with the Irish by the carousel, which Matt follows. Matt finds a surviving Irish mob member from the altercation who reveals to him where the Irish is keeping Frank.
At this point, there is a beautiful sequence alternating between Frank getting tortured by Finn who is trying to find out where his money is and Matt taking out the Irish standing guard at the hideout. I would even be fine if instead of a Daredevil season three, we had a Punisher series with Daredevil playing a supporting role, they would make a fine team.
Frank does not even cower when Finn starts drilling a hole in his foot. It is only when he threatens to do the same thing to the dog that he does to Frank that he talks, telling them where the money is, only for it to be rigged with explosives, and the Irish men to be killed. Which gives Frank enough incentive to break free and reign down on Finn who does not answer his question about who killed Frank’s family.
Matt and Frank make the transition to full bromance when they fight the remaining Irish mob members together, Matt trying to keep Frank from killing them each time, and once they are clear, Matt helps Frank to a safe place to rest whereby the torture has clearly impacted him.
During the Frank/Matt scenes, Karen was doing an investigation of her own. She spoke to the hospital worker who dealt with Frank after he was shot in the head and was fired soon after that because he helped Frank escape the hospital. He tells Karen where he stayed and Karen goes to Frank’s home, which he clearly does not lock properly if all these people keep walking in and out. At his home, she finds details about his life, pictures of his family, accolades, and evidence of the man he was before, prompting us to believe that something drastic happened to make him this way.
And in my favorite scene of the episode we discover the truth about Frank, as Matt asks him about the penny and dime rhyme he always says just before he kills someone and he tells him about how that was his daughter’s favorite storybook. This monologue was excellently written as he tells Matt about his experiences of returning to his family after his time in the military and when they were murdered, it was so beautifully and craftily written and delivered by Jon Bernthal, that it is definitely one of the best performed scenes in the show (I’m including D’Onofrio’s work in this).
I really liked the fact that they made this character interesting and sympathetic without taking away the essence of what makes him who he is and what he stands for. If this our introduction and The Punisher’s introduction, they have done an excellent job these four episodes. I’m intrigued, I’m invested and I’m here for more and more Punisher.
Matt + Karen = ?
After The Punisher is arrested and the majority of the Irish mobsters are dead, the golden trio – Matt, Karen and Foggy – go out for drinks to celebrate. While Foggy stumbles home, Karen agrees to walk Matt home and the two share a kiss in the rain, and a promise of dinner. But once Matt enters his home he is interrupted by Elektra, his ex-girlfriend, waiting in his apartment.
The relationship between Matt and Karen is sweet, and it looks like something good for both of them. They look, perhaps, for a minute – happy. Most of us saw this coming, fans of the comic books especially, but other than the moment where Matt was tracing the raindrops up her arm, I never really felt this couple, and the distraction of Elektra had me more interested than where their relationship will lead.
Now that The Punisher is in jail, and Elektra has made her entrance it looks like we’re going to be learning a bit more about Matt Murdock’s ex.
Last minute notes
- While Finn’s son’s funeral had a good turnout, Grotto’s funeral just had Matt, Foggy and Karen attending, whereby the priest gave an excellent sermon about Grotto’s true nature and how he also tried to rectify his wrongs.
- Matt and the priest also have another discussion about guilt and how that means that your work is not over.
- I’m happy that they haven’t gone the whole jealous Foggy route, about Matt and Karen and kept things simpler, although I feel like Elektra is going to be putting a spanner in those works.