Marvel’s Daredevil Review: Penny and Dime (Season 2 Episode 4)

Karen pursues the Punisher’s story. Matt puts the power back into the cops’ hands. The Punisher craves answers. Frank tells his story.

On Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 Episode 4, “Penny and Dime,” Frank’s story is finally told, fleshing him out as a character and providing the real image of him, rather than what the media of Hell’s Kitchen has constructed. The morality of Frank is fully explained, as well as his cunning and cleverness, and the keen understanding of what he is after. Simultaneously, Matt has to figure out how exactly to readjust the power of Hell’s Kitchen back to those that are truly protecting it, putting the power in the hands of the police rather than in the hands of vigilantes.

A New Leader

The Irish mob has a new leader, who emerges by inserting an ice stick into the eye of their old leader and igniting the flames of vengeance against the Punisher. The Irish mob begins to spread again, and the new leader Finn seems to know more about Frank than the audience currently does, zeroing in on carousel tickets as an acknowledgment of the past. They are able to find the place of the Punisher and subsequently the dog he adopted. The dog is taken, and so is a piece of the Frank’s anonymity.

Karen & Matt’s Romance

Meanwhile, Karen and Matt are tiptoeing around their romance, despite Karen’s small jab about him never asking her about her life. The overshadowing of their romance is Grotto’s funeral, whose attendance is solely the three-person Nelson & Murdock team. The idea of redemption emerges during Grotto’s funeral and, despite that it is about Grotto and the things they didn’t know about him that the priest is privy to, Matt is able to make a correlation and make it about how he is infecting the lives of others around him. Heavy lies the crown that he’s adorned himself. The priest’s exacerbation matches my own; despite it propelling him forward, the Catholic guilt is a fairly annoying trait.

Karen Pursues the Punisher

Frank has a different set of problems, but mainly the biggest issue is the one that Karen discovers: he has a bullet lodged in his brain. Karen’s belief in the Punisher has already begun, the deep-seeded need to do something good for someone who’s been mislabeled and to do it the right way. Matt drops some heavy flirting, despite it being a little cringe-worthy, and Karen decides to make the first moves, not helped by Matt or Foggy. Matt has to go to get his suit changed. The saving-the-dame plot line seems a little tired, but Matt’s always up for the challenge of reprising an old identity.

Meanwhile, Karen is actually doing something in the wake of the Punisher, the only person who seems to be doing anything at all. After interviewing the people who found the Punisher, she discovers that the Punisher is basically the undead – the people who wanted him dead issue a “do not resuscitate” on him and then, somehow, he still survives. The idea of a man who has unfinished business is the personification of the Punisher, not just because of who he is but because of how his determination has shaped his life, even after death. The saying is that there is nothing more dangerous than someone with nothing left to lose. For the Punisher, that seems to be almost too true. Then again, not many people jump-start their heart again and then have the Irish mob on their tails. Frank’s problems are mounting.

Daredevil the Dramatic

Matt is in his Daredevil suit in that reddish hue, his dramatic entrances (and subsequent exits) getting more exhausting by the second. For the first time, Matt is told that he’s on his own side, something he hasn’t been able to accept himself. The cops have become obsolete because of him and other vigilantes, but more importantly, he thinks he’s a beacon of hope, when he’s really opening a door for other issues. The crown he’s fashioned for himself seems weighty with a different kind of heaviness now.

Frank vs. the Mob

In pursuit of Frank, Matt finds himself at the carousel, not realizing its significance or importance to Frank himself. The valuable information that Karen is seeking, arriving at the home Frank begged to be taken to, is the real lead Matt should be following, but instead he’s following the mob’s tracks. It might save Frank but it won’t make him understand any better. For Frank, he seems to understand his situation perfectly adequately. Faced with the Irish mob, Frank reveals his morality, declaring disgustedly that, despite his son being dead, the leader of the pack still wants his money. It seems to be a comparison of who can be more merciless or crazy. Either way, it’s going to be brutal.

Karen Pursues the Punisher: Vol. 2

In visiting Frank’s house, Karen has begun to realize his humanity, proving her theory correct that he isn’t the killing machine they’ve all declared him to be. Unwilling to be deterred, she has figured out his truth, based on her own hunch of him. Seeing the pictures of him as a war hero, being honored, has the sharp overlay of Frank screaming in the background. It allows a deeper understanding of Frank, the hollowed-out suffering of a man who has lost, but who won’t be stopped.

Frank’s Joker Plan

That is, until a dog is brought into the mix, and Frank’s morality is shown yet again. The dog is innocent, and Frank doesn’t like that they’re going to hurt him. Frank isn’t the killing machine; he’s just got quite a particular sense of justice, and a taste for a particular kind. But just like he wouldn’t kill Matt, he won’t let Finn hurt the dog. They’re not the enemy. Frank seems to keep the real enemy in his personal scope always. And he always seems to have a plan. Like the Joker, he wanted to be caught. Finn misread him; he wants answers, not just retribution. Working side-by-side, Matt and the Punisher seem to work well together, one with brute force and the other with finesse, despite that Matt decides on a “no killing” rule.

Frank’s History

Matt gets some information of his own. Set against a headstone, an ironic state for him, Frank explains the rhyme he tells before he shoots. “One batch, two batch, penny and dime” allows for a peeling back of a layer. Frank’s view of his daughter, as well as of himself, is indicative of who he is as a person; Matt learns the same thing about him, that he isn’t the killing machine as so many have painted him. Frank’s realization that he has to be held up, that realizes he’s tired, and that he realizes how worn out he has become, how the war has changed him. In its own way, the speech predates The Punisher series, highlighting on the effects of war, on the exhaustion of a soldier. Despite this monologue being about his family, the struggles of the war silhouette the issue; he has become something different from the war and that change has created ripples that alter him permanently, both mentally and physically. He’s now someone else altogether, and this story, with him propped up on a headstone, the place the man who has come back from the dead declares he’s done, elucidates that.

Karen & Matt’s Romance: Vol. 2

Matt seems to be done too, declaring that the cops have to take the capture of the Punisher, to prove that the system works. His turn back to normalcy seems destined to involve Karen, something that Foggy seemingly condones and leaves them to it, leaving Matt to make the first move and for his normal life to begin. If only it weren’t for a different woman in his life, Electra. That “Hello, Matthew” seems to promise less normalcy ahead.

 

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What did you think of Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 Episode 4? Will Matt ever be “normal”? Does he even want to be? Is the Punisher really done? Is Karen’s pursuit of the Punisher’s truth about something more? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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