Episode 2.01 – “Bang”
Record temperatures are rising and the noise of the city just adds another blanket. Welcome back to Hell’s Kitchen, where’s it’s hot enough for the Devil.
We’re reacquainted with Matt Murdock’s idea of nightlife instantaneously, as police are chasing down a group of briefcase-toting masked men. Scattering, Daredevil begins picking them off; one in a dark alley, another in a prep kitchen. While trying to escape, the last of the group takes a bystander hostage in a nearby church, but is soon dispatched with a bit of finesse.
The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen smirks atop the house of the Lord. Perhaps he does enjoy this after all?
It’s a fast-paced reintroduction to Daredevil. A relatively straight-forward “Hero doing their job” scene” that happens to showcase the familiar tones of the show and the brutality Matt must embrace in order to keep his city safe.
Needless to say this is where I’ll give you a big SPOILER ALERT.
You’d think that the first episode of a second season may take it’s time to reestablish the world it resides in, but “Bang” makes haste setting up the threats we’ll face ahead. After getting to see Foggy and Matt be Avocado Bros, to which Foggy acts as the tremendously protective older brother, and a brief greeting of Karen single-handedly running the office, we’re taken to a darkened pub where the heads of the Irish mob are gathered to discuss taking back control of the city after Wilson Fisk’s grip had fallen.
With Wilson Fisk Behind Bars, Every Gang Is Tightening Their Grasp
Reinforcing their strength in what I can only refer to as a resonating half-time speech, it seems like everyone is ready and raring to go. That is, until a surprise barrage of bullets starts blasting their way through the dusty window panes of the old bar, riddling every member of the Irish mob on hand leaving a lone survivor. It’s our first glance at just how intense the violence will be this season, but it’s not even the hardest bit to watch in the opening episode. In a follow-up sequence, with extremely detailed close-ups of wounds, could make those who aren’t squeamish feel a little irked. It’s extremely effective, as I’m not one to shy away from gore but was still left mouth agape at some of what I was seeing. Almost Fincher-esque in some of the shot angles chosen.
But back to that lone survivor, who only goes by Grotto, he seeks help from the firm of Nelson & Murdock. He informs them it couldn’t have been a rival family behind the attack, that it was an army and now that part of New York looks like a “war zone.” Before Grotto can go to hole up some place safe, he passes out due to the injuries he’s sustained. Karen takes him to the hospital and gives a false name in order to protect him while Matt and Foggy head down to the massacre where Officer Brett Mahoney fills them in on more details.
The police know it’s not the first time this force has struck, and Matt overhears a detective on scene saying it’s the same thing that happened to the Dogs of Hell the week prior. (In itself a nice connection to Agents of SHIELD.) Matt tracks down a familiar face in Turk Barrett in one of my favorite bits of back-and-forth dialogue in the episode. Their rapport is absolutely fantastic and had me chuckling even after such an intense sequence of scenes described above. The way they bounce off one another, even through DD’s forceful interrogation, plays almost as buddy-buddy. Turk gives up the Mexican cartel, occupying the meat packing district.
As he gets there, Matt finds members hung up with the various cuts of meat, left to die. Save for, once again, a single survivor…this time, a lot closer to death than Grotto was. He tells Daredevil that the force inflicting all this damage isn’t an army, but an individual.
An Ominous Figure Finds Grotto
Back at the hospital, a man in black makes his way down the corridors towards Grotto’s room, holding a shotgun in the sleeve of his coat. Bumping into a security, he removes the side-arm from the guard’s hands, swiftly unloads the magazine and dumps it into a garbage can. Karen and Grotto make a run for it, down the access stairs and out to a car. The shooter has made his way up to the roof where he intends to snipe his Target out, but Daredevil interrupts the attempt and the first of many bouts commences. It’s more of a bar brawl than the graceful mixed martial arts we’ve seen from DD previously. Hurling their bodies at one another, it’s about brawn than speed and tact. After a few minutes of ferocious intensity, it seems like our hero finally has the upper hand, knocking the man in black to the ground. Or so it would seem, until his adversary pulls a pistol from an ankle holster.
With the weapon pointed dead-to-rights, he says one word, “Bang,” before shooting the Devil between the eyes, causing him to drop over the ledge of the rooftop.
Holy molly, this episode was a fantastic way to delve back into Matt Murdock’s story. Action, plot and questions arisen all balanced out to keep the pacing streamlined. The main cast of Charlie Cox, Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll pick up right where they left their charcaters off without missing a beat. Cox and Henson have a tremendous brotherly chemistry together and Woll, as Karen Page, does an amazing job as guidance for the audience. Her reactions are our reactions as we learn every new bit of information.
Click on PAGE 2 for the review of 2.02 – “Dogs to a Gunfight”