Episode 4 of Daredevil is the pivotal mid-season finale. Everything seems to get tied up in a neat little bow, beginning and ending with the final word on the Irish Mob. This episode almost answers all the questions such as giving viewers a taste of what could happen with Matt and Karen, and, more importantly, giving some serious background on The Punisher.
But first, the opening scene before the familiar and aesthetically-pleasing title sequence. The series thus far has the format of pushing a vital and shocking scene to set the tone of the episode. Episode 4 opens with a shot of several glasses of, presumably expensive, Scotch neat. It’s a funeral of the Irish brothers massacred in the first episode. Remember the ‘father’ repeatedly mentioned in the first Episode? He’s back in Hell’s Kitchen, and ready to stab through skulls with an ice pick. Literally.
The head of this Irish crime family, Finn, wants retribution for his fallen brothers, his stolen cash, and his son. Finn is terrifying, and everything you’d expect from the head of a top crime organization spread over two continents. The character is played incredibly well by Tony Curran. Curran is most recently known for his role in the sci-fi series Defiance. This episode also shows the Irish mob in action. With all the guns, the violence, and the religious undertones.
The writers of Daredevil picked a good crime family to focus on for the first half of the season. Matt Murdock, The Punisher, and the Irish Mob all connect with their relationship to Catholicism.
Viewers finally get tons of background information on The Punisher. In the previous episode, Matt slowly chipped away at Punisher trying to get intel. It’s been obvious from the beginning the man is ex-military, and viewers finally got confirmation in Episode 3. Now how Karen Page hunts down information on The Punisher is one of her several shining moments. The sequence of Karen in Punisher’s old house gives the anti-hero some humanity and speaks to some of the deeper themes of the series. Daredevil has a habit of adding complexity to some their characters by showing viewers important backstory. The Punisher is one of those characters that need a full backstory. Give the viewers a reason for Punisher’s motivations. Karen’s investigations, along with Jon Bernthal’s fantastic monologue give viewers a glimpse of that backstory.
Disappointingly, Karen hasn’t had as much character development this season. The writers still give Karen her moments, especially in her scene with Blake Tower. It’s also nice to see less victimizing of Karen, and more championing of Karen. At this point in the series, viewers can see how Karen has adapted from her horrifying experiences and pushed herself to become stronger. She’s incredibly important to the story, as she’s tough and resourceful enough to keep Nelson and Murdock afloat. Then it Daredevil has to ruin it by making Karen the love interest.
Of course, several questions still remain unanswered. The suits, what really happened to Punisher’s family, the other crime families who desire to take over Hell’s Kitchen, and, of course, Elektra. There’s still nine episodes left.