“Seven Minutes in Heaven”
Written by Marco Ramirez and Lauren Schmidt Hissrich
Directed byStephen Surjik
First, we see scenes of Fisk’s experience in prison. He strategically used his remaining funds to get the right pieces of leverage and secure the right allies, but there’s still the rival prison kingpin for him to topple. Enter Frank. Conveniently, the rival kingpin is a person of interest in the gang massacre that got Frank’s family killed, so even though Frank loathes the idea of working for Fisk, he can’t resist the possibility of getting more information. Fisk gets him a shiv and seven minutes in his rival’s cell block. Frank goes in, kills the guy’s buddy, and discusses the massacre. This guy was the one brokering the drug deal between the three factions, but they all realized it was actually a sting operation set up by the police, which was why it turned into a shootout. Working with Ellison from the Bulletin, Karen finds out much the same thing. They go to talk to the (now former) M.E. about the John Doe whose death he helped cover up. Who was a cop. In the prison, Fisk was setting Frank up. After he gets his info, the guards won’t open the door, but they do open the doors of all the other prisoners in the cellblock. Frank has to slaughter his way through them. Fisk owns up to trying to get him killed, but he’s decided it suits his interests better to get Frank out so he can keep killing his enemies. That way, when he gets out, it won’t be difficult to reclaim his place at the top of the criminal underground. Foggy and Matt sort of officially go on a break as friends and law partners, but Matt also decides that he and Elektra can’t be together because they’re bad for each other. He does now believe in the war she and Stick were fighting, though, so he tracks down that accountant whose card he and Elektra stole for their heist. Turns out, he’s not working for the Hand of his own free will; they kidnapped his son. Matt has him take him to where they’re holding the kid. There’s some freaky crap going on there with a giant urn and people in cages with their blood draining into a tank. Then Nobu shows up for a rematch with Matt. He’s apparently not dead.
It’s really interesting to see Fisk and Frank Castle interacting, especially because none of it is about Matt. Stories and characters tend to revolve around the protagonist, and you don’t often get to see such major antagonists interacting like this. Fisk might be as much Frank’s nemesis now as he is Matt’s, which is kind of awesome. On the other hand, there’s...well, the Hand. I’m still trying to figure out exactly why that storyline bores me as much as it does, and I’m sticking to my idea from S1. Matt even lampshades it. Stick was so adamant about the importance of the war, but he never told Matt jack about it, so why should Matt—or the audience—care? We can’t be invested in something we know so little about, unless we can see that it has major consequences that make solving the mystery imperative. Which is not the case. We could see the consequences of Fisk’s actions long before we saw his face, which made him a mystery worth solving. And it’s kind of the same with Frank. But the Hand plot is trying to do all the mystery while merely telling us the stakes (sort of) instead of showing us. The giant urn and all the people being bled out is super creepy and definitely not something that should be allowed to continue, but it doesn’t feel urgent, so I’m still not invested in this plot, and I resent it for stealing Matt away from the plot I am invested in.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Fisk seems to have regained his composure quite well in prison. He lost control of his long game after Matt started destabilizing his operation in S1, but he’s found a new territory to conquer, and he’s really making the most of it. I wonder how many seasons it will take before he gets out of prison and becomes a major threat again. I kind of want Vanessa to have a crack at being the principle antagonist before he gets out.
It’s interesting how Frank’s all-consuming drive for revenge makes him such an easy pawn in Fisk’s plans. He knows Fisk is using him, but he can’t stop himself from pursuing vengeance, even if it gives Fisk what he wants. It’s a cool commentary on how revenge enslaves the person seeking it.
DANGIT KAREN, WHAT IS YOUR BACKSTORY. Update, as of a rewatch: Okay, I paused that shot of the article on Ben's desk. Her brother, Kevin Paxton Page, died in a horrible car accident when he was sixteen. Based on the way she has talked about revenge being understandable in the past, my theory now is that she shot whoever caused him to crash. I think she did it as a minor, and either the person survived or she killed them and was not actually convicted for it in court. I think her parents either disowned her or she can't bear to visit them because of her guilt. And that's why she told Wesley "You think this is the first time I've ever shot someone," and why she was so ready to believe that Frank had a good reason for what he was doing.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.