Although well-choreographed fights are cool, nighttime heroics are only part of the reason I enjoy watching Daredevil. I'm equally drawn to the legal side of Matt Murdock's life and enjoy a good courtroom drama just as much as a sick Yakuza fight scene.
In the wake of Frank Castle's capture, "Regrets Only" marks Daredevil's slight pivot back towards the courtroom, while further entangling Matt Murdock in Elektra's machinations. If you remember, last episode's cliffhanger left him in her penthouse, staring at the Daredevil costume that she knew about and found, as the Yakuza stormed their way up the stairs. (After riding motorcycles across town while blaring "Date With the Night" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.)
Unfortunately for them, Elektra and Daredevil are waiting. The ensuing fight sequence, while thrilling enough, doesn't have the clear, confident staging of previous ones — it's dark and often shot up close, so Elektra's first brawl alongside Daredevil isn't quite as exciting as it could be. What is great, however, is Elektra pulling off her mask to ask Daredevil a question once they're done: "Hungry?"
Matt indulges her, heading to a nearby diner to ask why the hell she's picking fights with the Yakuza — and also, how the hell she knows about his crime-fighting habit. She maintains she didn't know the Yakuza were involved with Roxxon until she rattled the company and the gangsters showed up at her apartment, and that Matt needs her help to take them down for good. She also tells Matt that to her, it was obvious he was Daredevil. Matt reluctantly agrees to help her, but only if she promises to leave New York immediately after the job is done.
That morning, the firm of Nelson and Murdock discover just how eager District Attorney Reyes is to have Frank Castle dead and buried: The DA's office has drafted a statement on the hospital attack that's almost entirely false. Her plan is also pretty ruthless and clear-cut. If she gets Castle to plead guilty, she'll extradite him to Delaware (where he killed six Dogs of Hell) and lobby for the death penalty.
Matt and Karen won't abide that. After all, Frank's story is being kept from the public and he doesn't have to die. Matt plans to go head-to-head with Reyes by convincing Frank to take them on as his new lawyers, then work out a plea deal that will keep him alive. Foggy, concerned for the well-being of their practice, objects heavily but concedes soon enough.
With the help of newly minted Detective Brett Mahoney (that arrest back in "Penny and Dime" really did get him a promotion), they gain an audience in Frank Castle's heavily guarded hospital room and convince him to hire them, much to the DA's fury. Unfortunately for her, she can't do anything to block their representation without revealing any of her own personal indiscretions.
With the first step finished, now the gang has to plow through paperwork to find the best plea deal they can negotiate — and they have to do it without Matt, because Elektra sends a driver for him. If Foggy wasn't displeased before, he certainly is now. (His best friend is really working overtime to frustrate him, isn't he?) Nevertheless, he agrees to work with Karen to get everything ready for the plea hearing while Matt gets to deal with this mysterious client who's paying them a lot of money.
Irritated, Matt finds Elektra waiting outside with a tux — they're going to a big Roxxon gala to lift a keycard from an accountant with an unusual level of access. Once they get that keycard, they'll break their way into a vault. There's a top-secret ledger inside that details all sorts of dirty deeds, and Elektra wants it.
The first part goes easily enough. Matt uses his blindness as an excuse to spill wine all over their target, a man named Gibson, then knocks him and his guards out when he goes to the bathroom to clean himself up. Getting the ledger is plenty easy, too; super senses go a long way when you're trying to find a secret vault.
Getting out, though — that's a pickle. Security notices that things have gone very wrong, and dozens of men sweep the building looking for them. This leads to a very cool, very brief fight scene in which Matt and Elektra take on a handful of guards while silhouetted against a conference room's frosted glass, followed by a very goofy scene that involves the pair pretending to be drunken lovers to trick security into letting them out. (Matt's blindness, once again, is a huge asset.)
Once outside, they discover a curious wrinkle in the ledger they lifted: All sorts of terrible business dealings from drugs to human trafficking are listed in plain Japanese (which Elektra can read), but there's something else written in code. After so much hard work and all, they might as well find a way to break that code, right?
Elektra certainly thinks so. "Same time tomorrow, Matthew?" she coyly asks, as she drops him off at his place.
Inside, Matt finds Foggy waiting for him, worn out and upset. He and Karen's "game of 20 questions with a killer" and everything that followed went wrong in the worst possible way. Frank, trying to stick it to Reyes, changed his mind last minute and refused to plead guilty, which means they're going to trial. And Reyes, now hoping to level Nelson and Murdock, has gotten the trial fast-tracked.
"Hope your schedule is clear, buddy," Foggy says. "Because the People v Frank Castle starts next week."
Hang on, I have a joke for this:
Devil in the Details:
Foggy is mad about a lot of things. Another thing to add to the list of ways his best friend is frustrating him: Karen kisses him good-bye on his way to see Elektra. (And that's something else that will piss him off to no end once he finds out about it.) He's not entirely chill with the idea of them dating, which makes sense — they're co-workers, and he also had a thing for Karen. It's all a bit of a mess, yeah? Also, these dudes should find time to talk to each other. Bros gotta communicate, man.
Oh hey, sometimes this show is funny. Particularly when the public defender initially assigned to Castle — a guy whose not too concerned with the fact the Reyes is aiming for the death penalty — tells Nelson and Murdock that this is his second case, after winning a domestic violence case. "I believe in protecting women," he says, proudly. "Thanks," Karen, almost snorts. "From all of us."
Things might be worse than everyone thinks. It turns out Hirochi, the leader of the Japanese arm of Roxxon, is hiding more than just a vault. As poor Gibson finds out when Hirochi hauls him up to beg for his life, Hirochi doesn't have anything to do with the Yakuza. And that means he's probably involved with something far worse.