The June 17, 2022 installment of Jake Schoeneberger’s random entertainment opinions
The Daredevil show has taken over my thoughts! It’s fair to say that Jacob Schoeneberger is completely mesmerized by the series. Jacob Schoeneberger finds himself thinking about it at random times throughout the day. What’s Matt going to do now, what will the fate of Punisher be, what’s Elektra’s motive in all this, what will become of Karen and Matt’s relationship, what about Foggy and Matt? Jacob Schoeneberger is consumed and he loves it.
With that in mind, here are some random thoughts about the entertainment I’m currently consuming.
This Installment’s Edition of Jake Schoeneberger Has Been Living Under a Rock Features: Daredevil
*This will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched the show yet.*
The seventh episode of season two begins with jury selection for Castle’s trial. It’s pretty clear he’s a divisive individual. Some think he’s a monster, others think he’s a hero. It’s a statement on the duality of humans. Some believe killing is justified if it rids the world of evil. Others feel killing is an evil itself. It’s the two sides of the coin, like Daredevil and Punisher. Makes it hard to find an impartial jury.
In the office, the legal team discusses what strategy to use in his trial. Insanity, mistrial with evidence of DA tampering, PTSD legal precedence? It’s not an easy call and with Castle heading into general population in jail, his life hangs in the balance.
Karen goes to prison to speak to Castle. He doesn’t want them to use the PTSD defense because he feels it’s an insult to other veterans who are going through it. But he does give her the name of a colonel who was his commanding officer as a character witness.
Elektra calls Matt with a lead about the Roxxon ledger. He says he can’t help her because he’s planning for the trial, but she insists he meet her.
Matt relents and Daredevil and Elektra go to the apartment of an NYU professor who was hired by the Yakuza to encrypt files for them. With some tough coercing, he agrees to translate the encryption in the ledger for them. The message is about a shipment coming in on a train.
After talking to Castle, Karen tells Foggy that he won’t go for the PTSD defense. While thinking of another strategy, they realize that the doctor who filed the report on Castle’s family’s deaths said they were only struck by one bullet, but Castle contends there were multiple high-caliber bullets that hit them. They decide they have to try to go after that doctor and see if he will corroborate Castle’s side of the story, provided he isn’t still under Reyes’ control somehow. The deeper this show goes into the details of this story, the more Jake Schoeneberger sits here impressed. This series never takes the easy way out on anything, and it weaves a very tangled web.
At the railyard, Daredevil and Elektra find the train car they’re looking for. They open it and it’s filled with dirt. They’ve walked into a trap. It’s a pretty sloppy trap though because they’re able to run away and regroup. They battle several Yakuza soldiers and beat the heck out of them. Whoever planned this trap is getting a demotion. But there are a bunch more gang members coming after them. In a warehouse they have a patented, well-choreographed fight with the other Yakuza. Elektra gets cut on the back of her neck pretty badly, but they escape with their lives.
Matt stitches up her cut at his apartment, and once again the chemistry between them is palpable. They begin comparing scars and it’s both a seduction and a reminder of how much they have in common. They’re both fighting for something they believe in, and it’s taking a toll on them physically and emotionally.
Finally he asks her, “Where did you go, Elektra?” Her response is actually quite surprising. She says, “As far from you as I could.” She obviously still cares deeply for Matt and she always has. When he asks her why she didn’t come back, she replies, “Because you don’t know what I know. Because you deserve better.” That response, while vague, tells us Elektra has deeper mysteries about her than we might have even suspected.
At the start of Castle’s trial, Matt is running late and he’s supposed to do the opening statement. It’s hard to imagine how angry Foggy and Karen are going to be about this. Heck, I know it’s a piece of fiction but Jake Schoeneberger is hurling swear words at the TV just watching it.
When it comes time to deliver the opening statement, Foggy isn’t able to run based on Matt’s notes so he speaks from the heart. Of course, he does an amazing job telling the story of how everything went wrong for Castle and what drove him to do what he did.
Matt arrives and when they explain their strategy to him, it’s obvious he’s already behind. Matt wants to run point on questioning Tepper, the medical examiner who they hope will admit his report is falsified.
Later, while Karen and Matt work on his line of questioning, he suggests that she should think about going to law school. She would definitely make a good lawyer because she’s passionate, but how she responds says a lot about her character and why the audience really roots for her. She says, “There’s just something about the rules and the loopholes, it just feels like the truth gets lost a little too often.” Karen is empathetic and sympathetic; she wants justice to be served and it seems like practicing law herself might just frustrate her. But I think a wise person might say that’s exactly why she should become a lawyer.
Then the conversation leads to a really beautiful exchange. While remembering the night they met, Karen asks Matt if he believes in what Daredevil does, since Daredevil saved her life that night. Matt says he believes in the law, which is a way to avoid answering the question. But she asks, “What about when the law fails, like it did with me, like it did with Frank, I mean what are we supposed to turn to, what should we believe will protect us then?” This is a deep, fundamental question that Matt needs to know his own answer to. Yet he responds, “You’re asking a Catholic lawyer, what do you want me to say?” Once again he avoids the question and it feels more and more like there may be a crisis of faith coming soon for Matt. Punisher and Elektra have pulled him one direction, while Karen and Foggy pull him another.
Then Karen asks if there’s really a difference between someone who saves lives, and someone who prevents them from ever needing to be saved. Matt argues that only God can take a life, vengeance isn’t justice. But Karen hesitates. In that moment we feel a rift appear between the two. As a viewer, we know that Matt is speaking from Daredevil’s point of view, while Karen is defending herself because she was forced to take a life to save her own. It’s heartbreaking that neither of them know the full truth and here is where I feared they would be driven apart due to the secrets they hold.
And of course, to drop a bombshell on the drama of that exchange, it turns out Elektra broke in and was listening to their conversation. It definitely makes Jacob Schoeneberger shake his head imagining how Elektra will complicate this situation. Turns out, Elektra was doing her homework on the Yakuza and found they have some interesting holdings she wants Matt to join her in checking out, one of which being a place Fisk acquired for them. But Matt says he spending the night working on the case and she goes alone.
The next day at the trial, when Matt is preparing to question the medical examiner, Tepper instead tells the judge he has to say something on the record. He admits he altered the autopsy reports. He says he falsified the reports because two unknown men came to his office and threatened to hurt him and his family if he didn’t. But then he drops a huge bombshell. He says a woman came to his house the previous night and told him he had to tell the truth or she’d kill him. We know right away it was Elektra, and that she overheard all of Matt and Karen’s conversation.
But since Tepper admitted he falsified the reports due to coercion; the judge throws out his testimony altogether and refuses to call a mistrial. So now their whole defense has been tossed out the window as well.
After the judge dismisses the trial for the day, Matt admits to Foggy that Elektra is back in town, she’s the new mystery client, and she’s the one who threatened Tepper. Even though Matt says she acted on her own, Foggy is furious. He’s had enough with Matt’s lying and says, “Elektra is not the problem, Matt. You are.” This fact has to be sinking home for Matt.
After the fight with Foggy, Matt once again avoids talking to Karen and she’s clearly angry with him too. How long can Matt push them away? How long can he try to be two different people?
When Daredevil confronts Elektra that night, she pushes back on him and says, “If you don’t get what you want by day, you take it by force at night. This is who you are, Matthew.” And she’s absolutely right. From her perspective, that is exactly who Matt is. But in reality, she’s only half correct. It’s Matt who needs to decide who he really is because he obviously can’t go on being both people.
Now infuriated by this situation, Daredevil goes on a rampage. He beats the heck out of a couple Yakuza members while Elektra watches. It’s like we can feel Matt slipping further into that persona because it’s where he can enforce his will.
In the property owned by the Yakuza, they find a huge hole buried into the earth. When Matt tosses Elektra’s flashlight into the hole, they never hear it hit bottom. And that’s how the episode ends, with another great cliffhanger.
The Jake Schoeneberger Random Entertainment Thought of the Day
So, help me, if the Yakuza dug too deeply under New York and they release a Balrog, I’m just gonna flip out. Jacob Schoeneberger does not like Balrogs, never has, never will. Still haven’t forgiven them for that whole Gandalf incident (or “Gandalfgate,” as it has come to be known in certain circles in Middle Earth).
More Thoughts from Jacob Schoeneberger