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Recap / Daredevil S2 E8 "Guilty as Sin"

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The trial against Frank continues, and Matt helps Elektra recuperate.


Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Actually, I Am Him: When Reyes questions the Colonel about the officer who screwed up during Frank's operation, she asks if he ever met the man in question or was present at the time. The Colonel answers by revealing he was the officer.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Matt can't help making a wry smile when Foggy suggests using some of the trauma he's put his friends through (thanks to his secret vigilantism) to a good use.
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  • All for Nothing: All the efforts of Nelson and Murdock to defend Castle are rendered nil thanks to Fisk's manipulations. Not to mention last season's efforts to throw Fisk in jail are meaningless if he can still exercise his power.
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me:
    • The Colonel tells a story about a stupid officer who got Frank's squad in trouble. When the DA claims no one can really know what happened if they weren't there, the Colonel says he was the stupid officer, completely undercutting Reyes's argument.
      Blake: How did you miss that in his file?
      Reyes: All the names were redacted.
      Blake: Not good.
      Reyes: No shit.
    • When Stick tells the story of the war with the Hand, he mentions a little boy who stood against them and became known as the Chaste. Matt snarkily assumes Stick is this Chaste, but Stick doesn't confirm it.
      Matt: I mean, it fits perfectly, a good story, puts you in the center of it all.
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  • Anti-Climactic Unmasking: The ninja who nearly kills Matt turns out to be Just a Kid.
  • Audible Sharpness: You can hear the sound of the katana the Hand ninja pulls out after Matt is ambushed in his home—because Matt can hear it; in fact, the sound of swords whooshing through the air is one of the only ways Matt can track the otherwise silent ninjas.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Matt is initially highly doubtful about Stick's claims that the Hand have discovered a way to raise the dead.
    Stick: I thought you were a Catholic, Mattie. Doesn't your whole belief system hinge on one guy pullin' that off?
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After Stick reveals that Elektra works for him, Matt just has one question for her.
    Matt: When we met, was it fate? Was it luck? Or was I a mission?
    Elektra: ... Mission.
  • Arrow Catch: Matt catches an arrow as they escape the Hand.
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  • Artistic Licence – Linguistics: Stick says that "Yaminote" means "The Hand" but it literally means "Hand Of Darkness.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Foggy told Matt to stay at home after their argument in the previous episode, only to freak out when Matt really doesn't turn up (unknown to him, he's caring for Elektra). Some emotional support from Karen enables Foggy to step up to the plate again.
  • Becoming the Mask:
    • In his courtroom tirade, Frank announces he proudly embraces his title of "the Punisher."
    • Elektra reveals to Matt that she was sent by Stick as a mission to get him back, but she genuinely fell in love with him.
    • Matt, in turn, chooses his Daredevil identity (and Elektra) over Nelson & Murdock (and Karen).
  • Big Damn Heroes: Elektra's down for the count and Matt's about to be run through with a katana. Enter Stick—though from Matt's perspective, it's more of a Villainous Rescue.
  • Broken Pedestal: Matt not letting Karen into his secret life makes it impossible to explain his situation. She thinks he's cheating on her and assumes that alcoholism is the reason for his absences and mysterious bruises (the excuse Foggy told her at the start of the season).
  • The Bus Came Back: Stick and Fisk from season 1 return in this episode.
  • Car Fu: Stick's driver hits a ninja with his car as they drive.
  • Commonality Connection: Although that's not the excuse he gives Karen, Foggy insists that Matt handle Castle's cross-examination, thinking as a fellow vigilante he'll find it easier to draw out Castle's personal tragedy. Unfortunately Matt does little to follow this agenda and instead directs a plea to the jury in line with his own views of Castle. When Castle too goes Off the Rails, Foggy naturally assumes Matt somehow provoked him and has screwed up again.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: A single young Hand ninja against Matt and an injured Elektra does just about as well as a whole squad of his fellows do against Daredevil, Elektra, Stick, and Stick's driver. If the group of ninjas had each been as effective as the solo one, Matt never would have made it back to his apartment.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: Punisher is sentenced and sent to prison. Once there, he meets Wilson Fisk, who has been in prison since the end of season 1. Fisk, of course, has pulled strings to have Castle sent straight to him.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-universe. After Colonel Schoonover testifies about how Frank rescued the lives of a unit of soldiers whose commander had led them into an ambush, Reyes cross-examines him, asking how the colonel can be so sure that's what really happened. Schoonover informs her he's certain—as he was "the idiot officer" of that unit and is grateful to Frank, talking of him as a hero. Reyes curses in private, as all the names on the file were redacted, so she didn't know the man was there and just ended up helping Foggy's case.
  • Darkest Hour: Frank Castle deliberately ruins his own defense, condemning himself to multiple life sentences and likely ending the firm of Nelson and Murdock for good. Matt is estranged from both his girlfriend and his best friend, and has now been poisoned. Elektra's attempt to embrace the lighter side of vigilantism in partnership with Matt threatens to end before it has begun. The Hand and The Chaste intend to turn New York into a battleground. And last but not least, Wilson Fisk is shown to still be a threat, influencing events from inside the prison walls.
  • Elite Mook: Despite his young age, the Hand Ninja puts up a very good fight against Matt and Elektra.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The son of one of Frank's victims has an emotional outburst during the court session.
  • Evil Counterpart: The ninjas are shown Roof Hopping in pursuit of Stick's car and observing their targets from rooftops, just like Daredevil.
  • Get Out!: Said word for word by Elektra not once, but twice towards Stick.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Hand, according to Stick.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Frank Castle wears a suit when he takes the stand at his trial. Lampshaded by Foggy.
    Foggy: Frank's wearing a suit. He looks better than I ever did and he's not even wearing a tie.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Attempted by Elektra, as she sends Stick away and decides to stay with Matt. However, shortly afterwards she kills again.
  • I Am a Monster:
    • Elektra realizes this after she kills the teen Hand ninja.
    • This is also how Frank describes himself to the jury in order to tank his defense; given his comments about guilt in previous episodes, he may even mean it.
  • Idiot Ball: Matt manages to completely to miss Karen entering his apartment, and presumably interacting with Stick. On the same token, Karen doesn't bother trying to ask Matt, "What the hell is going on here?"
  • Immediate Sequel: The episode starts with the torch they threw into the pit finally hitting the ground. Matt estimates the drop at forty stories.
  • Ironic Echo: During his summary to the jury, Matt says that the city needs heroes. During "The Reason You Suck" Speech Karen gives him, she agrees that the city needs heroes, but that Matt is not one of them.
  • Just a Kid: Turns out the Hand ninja that ambushes Matt is a kid once he's unmasked. Matt is shocked when Elektra cuts his throat regardless.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: True to form, Wilson Fisk is bench-pressing weights when Frank is brought to him. Overlaps with Prisons Are Gymnasiums.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Turns out Stick sent Elektra to lure Matt away from his friends and a career in law, and it's hard to believe he didn't deliberately let Karen in to see Elektra in Matt's bed.
  • Logical Weakness: Matt's radar sense is largely dependent on his hyper-sensitive hearing. The Hand ninja are almost supernaturally silent when they want to be, rendering them effectively invisible to him. He can still hear their weapons, though.
  • Love Confession: Elektra to Matt (also counts as In Love with the Mark).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the opening fight, Matt shouts at Elektra not to deliver a Coup de Grâce, which distracts her enough to get seriously wounded by the man she was about to kill.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Karen comes into Matt's apartment, she sees Elektra in his bed and quickly leaves.
  • One-Man Army: Employed quite literally in the story of how Frank Castle earned the Navy Cross.
  • Open the Iris: We get a close-up of Matt's pupils dilating after he's shot with an arrow, foreshadowing for him being poisoned.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Elektra is on the receiving end of a poisoned arrow fired by one of the Hand Ninjas.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Repeatedly used in the episode.
    • Matt fails to inform Foggy of what he overheard from a corrupt corrections officer telling Frank in court, which makes it easier for Foggy to believe that Matt screwed up and provoked Castle into tanking the case.
    • More understandably, neither he nor Stick make even a token effort to explain to Karen why it is Not What It Looks Like.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Unlike in the comics, the Hand ninjas don't vanish into smoke when they're killed.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: Matt prays for Elektra as she's dying from poison.
  • Spanner in the Works: Wilson Fisk is this for Nelson & Murdock's near-successful defense of Castle.
  • Spare a Messenger: After subduing the ninja, Matt attempts to use him to deliver a threat to the Hand, only to start keeling over from the poison, whereupon Elektra cuts the ninja's throat.
  • Spoiler Title: Which will be the verdict of the State v. Frank Castle case? Innocent or guilty? The episode title says it all.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Shurikens, naturally, along with bows & arrows and katanas.
  • Tainted Veins: On Elektra's neck while she's dying of poison.
  • Wham Line:
    • Stick whispers this to Matt:
      Stick: Elektra works for me.
    • Wilson Fisk also delivers one to Frank in the prison gym.
      Fisk: I see you have got my message.
  • Wham Shot: Wilson Fisk is seen in the prison gym at the end of the episode.
    • Trivia: To preserve the twist, the producers wanted to hide that surprise for the viewers. The only problem? The opening credits sequence would have easily spoiled the cliffhanger by listing Vincent D'Onofrio's name near the start for more media-savvy viewers. So instead, the producers moved that person's name to the ending credits immediately after the episode ends. Of course, one could argue that the twist was inevitable, even when the viewers did not exactly know when or how it would happen, but still...
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • This time, Karen is the one to give it straight to Matt.
    • As usual, Matt and Stick throw these at each other.
  • White Shirt of Death: Elektra gets her white shirt splattered when she gives the ninja a Slashed Throat.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Elektra during much of the episode is weakened after being injured by the Hand ninjas with poisoned weaponry.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Elektra slashes the Hand ninja's throat, despite his being a teenager.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Karen attempts to convince Frank to make a stand and tell the court about his trauma from watching his family die in order to appeal to the jury.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Stick demands various ingredients for his Magic Antidote, including tea. Turns out the tea is just for himself, but it kept Matt out of the way.

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