The firm (especially Karen) are trying to keep Grotto alive and get him a deal, while the DA is more interested in taking down Frank Castle by any means necessary.
Tropes in this episode include:
- Artistic License Gun Safety: Melvin speculates that Frank Castle's shot to Matt's mask last episode was in fact a warning shot, not intended to kill. Given that this "warning" shot knocked Matt out for hours, left him with severe disorientation and temporary deafness in between bouts of Sensory Overload, with a long delayed Deadly Nosebleed, this isn't even justified in-story, since Matt's clearly dealing with a major concussion. But as Melvin explained, the guy hit the right spot to not simply be a Boom, Headshot!, and from the distance it would have been easier so his guess is that Frank didn't want to kill but didn't want to go easy on Daredevil.
- Ascended Extra: Between this episode and the previous one, the Dogs of Hell biker gang now have more screentime and plot relevance than they ever had on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Asshole Victim:
- The pawnshop owner that Frank Castle beats to death has a swastika tattooed on his neck, sells child porn, and buys and sells goods of questionable origin.
- Reyes take this attitude with Grotto, using him as bait for the Punisher.
- Bait-and-Switch: A semi truck cab comes barreling into the yard where Reyes' sting operation is waiting. ESU officers open fire on the truck, raking it with bullets. They open the cab door, and find not Frank, but the Dogs of Hell gang member we saw cleaning said truck earlier. Frank is actually on top of a water tower waiting to snipe Grotto.
- Batter Up!: Frank Castle beats a pawnshop owner to death with a baseball bat.
- Berserk Button: Frank would have simply walked out of the pawn shop with his newly acquired stolen police equipment, but then the owner tries to sell him child pornography. So Frank doubles back and beats the guy to death with a baseball bat.
- Matt reminds Melvin of his promise to protect Betsy.
- Matt recovering from an injury on the couch while getting chewed out by Foggy may remind you of "Nelson v. Murdock".
- Continuity Nod:
- Brett Mahoney quotes Oscar Clemons while talking to Foggy and Karen. For various reasons, he doesn't mention that one time that Kilgrave made him hold Clemons up at gunpoint.
- Also from Jessica Jones is Samantha Reyes, the same D.A. that Hogarth defends Jessica against at the end of "AKA Smile."
- The dog that lost the dogfight in the previous episode shows up again, Frank having rescued and patched him up.
- Melvin once again grabs a sawblade as an offensive weapon, both as a nod to his comic counterpart of Gladiator and when he and Matt fought in "The Path of the Righteous."
- Dented Iron: Moreso than usual, Matt having took a bullet point blank to the face in the previous episode. It even cracks his helmet so badly that Melvin Potter is forced to build him a new one and spot-weld it back together as a temporary fix, leaving a thick scar. Melvin also warns that this is just a cosmetic fix, and that the mask is effectively useless at protecting Matt's face, like a cracked egg shell.
- Foreshadowing: Brett compares the Punisher to the protagonist of Death Wish. Anyone who's watched Death Wish will know that the protagonist of that work is a former soldier, and a loving husband and father who becomes a killing machine after his wife is killed and daughter is sexually assaulted, and we learn in later episodes that Frank Castle is a former soldier on a quest to avenge the deaths of his family.
- Flipping the Bird: Karen shows her middle finger to Grotto when he asks her for a good luck kiss. Grotto takes it in stride.
- Game-Breaking Injury: The "warning shot" Matt took at the end of "Bang". It gave him a pretty severe concussion that left him temporarily deaf. It resurfaces later during the showdown with Frank at the trap set by the DA. After the pair fall through the roof, Matt is temporarily... blind.
- Gone Horribly Right: Karen speculates to Matt that his second identity boldened others like Frank Castle to also take up vigilantism. Matt is unsettled by Karen's implications.Matt Murdock: You think uh, you think he's crazy?
Karen Page: The Punisher? No. I think he was inevitable.
Matt Murdock: Inevitable? How so?
Karen Page: Maybe...maybe we created him. All of us. The moment that we let Daredevil or the Devil of Hell's Kitchen or whatever it is—
Matt Murdock: There is no connection.
Karen Page: Actually I think it's a pretty straight line, Matt. Daredevil practiced vigilante justice in our backyard, and we applauded him for it. I know that I did! And we—we never stopped to think that maybe his actions could open the door for men like this. Men... men with guns. Men who think that the law belongs to them.
Matt Murdock: Then there's a difference.
Karen Page: Well I don't see it. Not anymore.
Matt Murdock: Yeah. Daredevil never killed anyone.
Karen Page: Not that we know of. [sits down] There's something about this city that makes good people want to SHOOT their way out of bad situations!
Matt Murdock: You think this... Punisher could be a good person?
Karen Page: No! N-No, I'm just saying [shrugs] he could be any one of us.
- Gory Discretion Shot: We only see Frank swinging the baseball bat in the pawn dealer's direction after he idiotically mentions having child porn, and cut to Foggy and Karen at the office with the sound of the bat striking the victim's skull.
- Headphones Equal Isolation: The guy cleaning the truck is oblivious to Punisher's arrival because he's listening to music, specifically a song titled "The Price of Punishment."
- Heroes Love Dogs: Antiheroes do, too. Frank rescues the dog from the previous episode (lost a dogfight run by the Irish), and Matt befriends it when he finds Castle's squat.
- Ironic Echo: The whole scene when Karen visits Matt at his apartment is much like the scene at the office in "The Ones We Leave Behind" after Matt saw Madame Gao's drug lab, but with the roles reversed.
- Just a Flesh Wound:
- Taking an ESU sniper round to the arm does absolutely nothing to slow Castle down.
- Subverted with his "warning shot" on Matt, as it nearly killed Matt outright.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The Punisher beats a sleazy pawnshop owner to death with a baseball bat when he tries to sell him child porn.
- Killed Offscreen: This is the well-deserved fate of the pawn shop owner who attempts to sell The Punisher a DVD of child pornography, and gets a baseball bat to the head (Punisher also likely takes the money he paid for his new trinkets back as well).
- Motivational Kiss: Grotto asks Karen for one before the police sting. She gives him a middle finger.Grotto: I'll take it....
- Mythology Gag:
- The Punisher adopted a dog recovered from an underground fighting ring in the comics for a while back in the 90s.
- When Karen wants to run out and help Grotto during the DA's trap, but Foggy cools her down, telling her it's about to be a "war zone out there."
- Not So Stoic: Karen seemingly is holding up quite well after having been shot at in the hospital. Only when she stops by Matt's place does she admit that she's on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The fact that she's been up for two days with no rest can't be helping.
- Not What It Looks Like: Matt's response to Karen finding the remains of the water glass he dropped when his hearing temporarily failed.
- Oh, Crap!: Foggy and Karen when they realize that Reyes is having the NYPD use Grotto to lure the Punisher into an ambush.
- Pretty Little Headshots: Daredevil is shot in the head but it doesn't leave a scratch due to his helmet. However, effects of this happening are felt throughout the episode, including Matt losing his hearing twice.
- Shout-Out: When discussing what the Punisher's codename might be, Foggy suggests "Killdozer!."
- Subtext: Karen's rant about the Punisher shooting up the hospital pretty much establishes that she still feels guilt over killing James Wesley.
- Suspiciously Apropos Music: Frank Castle attacks a garage where several members of the Dogs of Hell are located. One guy is power-washing a recently stolen semi truck rig while listening to music on his headphones, which renders him oblivious to Castle's arrival as he's killing the other bikers. The song he's listening to is "The Price of Punishment".
- Take That!:
- Grotto mentions how much he hates Florida when being told he will be relocated there for witness protection.Grotto: Did I mentioned how much I hate Florida?
Foggy Nelson: Only about a thousand times.
- Not to mention that The Punisher film takes place in Florida.
- Grotto mentions how much he hates Florida when being told he will be relocated there for witness protection.
- Tattooed Crook: The crooked pawn shop owner. Just so you know he's a bad guy (it was ambiguous that he was happy about buying a stolen purse from a junkie), he has a swastika tattooed on his neck.
- Too Dumb to Live: If the pawn shop owner didn't get too greedy by attempting to sell more questionable products like child porn, he would lived and earned a decent profit from the Punisher instead of getting a baseball bat to the head. Given how untolerated pedophilia is, even among the criminal society, you would think he would know enough not to go tell anyone about it so openly. And this is immediately after selling the Punisher his gun and disconnecting the camera.
- Tranquil Fury: When the pawn shop owner brings up the child pornography, Frank Castle doesn't say anything, but his face is tense rage as he moves for the baseball bat.
- Undercover Cop Reveal: A variant. Grotto, wired up, sees a guy standing next a shipping container, whom he thinks is Brass, the drug dealer he's supposed to catch on tape. Just as Grotto gets close enough to the man, the guy suddenly turns around and reveals himself to be a fully armed ESU officer.
- Villain Ball: Had the pawn shop owner refrained from openly advertising child pornography to the Punisher, he would've been left alive.
- Worf Had the Flu: Matt has Frank dead to rights, but he loses his hearing again (an after effect of the headshot from their last faceoff), which allows Frank to capture him.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Frank gives Matt a choke slam.