Jumping right back in after the first 3 episodes, the 4th opens with a funeral for the members of the Irish Mob (who we will later learn are called the “Kitchen Irish”) where we meet the new /old head of the gang, a bad-ass named Finn. He takes out the current head of the Mob and regains control, vowing revenge on the Punisher and demanding to get back the money Frank stole from the mob in the premiere. They hunt down leads on the Punisher, which eventually leads them to his apartment, where they find his equipment and his dog. Eventually they track Frank to a carousel where he sits watching kids and their parents nostalgically, clearly an important place for him. They manage to capture Frank after he takes down 4 or 5 of their own men, but they take him alive, as Finn wants to know where his money is. Unfortunately for the gangster, the whole thing seemed a bit too easy, so you know the Punisher has a plan.
Karen meanwhile continues to dig into the history of the Punisher, learning his name is Frank Castle when she manages to track down his former home, which is, oddly enough, still in the exact same state as when he last left the place, before the death of his wife and children. Karen explores the entirety of the home after breaking in, stealing a few pictures and piecing together the fact that some tragedy struck Frank, and could explain his actions.
Foggy meanwhile is feeling the burn of the DA freezing out their firm and stopping clients from coming their way, and sits down with his old flame Marci from the law firm he and Matt used to work at, which I believe is the same law firm that Jeri Hogarth works at in ‘Jessica Jones.’ Marci reveals that DA Reyes is interested in using the Punisher case to launch her campaign for mayor, and that the woman will follow up the Punisher case by going after every vigilante in the city, including Jessica Jones and Daredevil.
Matt visits Melvin, who has finally finished the new suit, claiming the headpiece in particular is all but impenetrable, and Matt seems suitably impressed. Melvin also comments on how things are going down in Hell’s Kitchen, and a lot of his old contacts have asked him for armor, but he has turned them down. With his new suit in hand, Matt tracks down the Irish gang that took the Punisher, finding his fellow vigilante bound and beaten, Finn even going so far as to shove a power drill into Frank’s foot. Unfortunately for Finn and his cronies, Frank planned to be captured all along, and the location he sends the Irish gangsters to for their stolen money is booby-trapped, and Finn’s men perish in the ensuing explosion. As for Frank, he apparently buried a razor blade in his wrist to use to free himself, and by the time Daredevil arrives, the Punisher is already at work, killing Finn and taking out his crew. Matt joins forces with the Punisher to escape (using his nifty new batons effectively for the first time in the series), and ensuring that Frank does not kill anyone else.
The pair make it out of the Irish lair, and have another heart to heart in a nearby cemetery. The Punisher admits he is slightly impressed by Daredevil’s skills, and opens up about the death of his daughter, and how he chants a line from her favorite children’s book every time he pulls the trigger. Unlike the last conversation, Frank is injured this time, and seems more open to chatting honestly, giving Daredevil a hint of his motivations, and claiming that with the deaths of the Irish gang members, he just might be done. Daredevil hands him over to the cops, and insists that Sergeant Mahony take credit for apprehending the Punisher, wanting the people of Hell’s Kitchen to respect and believe in the police force more than the Devil vigilante.
Foggy, Karen and Matt celebrate that night, with Foggy insisting everyone take shots before they head home, clearly uncomfortable with the simmering romance between Matt and Karen. At the end of the night, Foggy excuses himself, then Karen walks Matt home through the rain. Along the way, they share an intimate kiss (which I really did not see coming, I thought they would draw out the romantic potential for awhile), and decide to go out the following night. Happy that things are finally going his way, Matt enters his apartment and opens a beer, and then catches a knife thrown at him from the shadows. It is Elektra (finally!).
Elektra is there to hire Matt to help her get to the bottom of some judicial misconduct within her company, but Matt wants nothing to do with her. It is clear she is going to get him involved regardless. We then flashback 10 years to the party where Elektra and Matt first met, a fancy party he and Foggy crashed for the free food and potential networking. He runs across Elektra, and the two share jibes and insights about one another, revealing they both are not quite what they seem, and have a connection. They leave the party in a stolen sports car, with Elektra egging Matt on to make life interesting, and Matt seeming to really enjoy her attention. In another flashback we see them break into Fogwell’s Gym, with Matt explaining to Elektra that his dad used to work out here, and telling her the whole tragic story of his father and his death at the hands of Roscoe Sweeney, who went underground following the murder. They head into the boxing arena, and Elektra uncovers that Matt’s is not entirely blind, and he learns she is trained to be more than just a ballerina. They engage in a light duel, full of sexual tension, and make love right then and there.
In another flashback, we see the duo arrive at a fancy home in a yet another sports car (not sure if that one was stolen), and then proceed to have fun destroying expensive glasses within the kitchen, with Elektra assuring Matt that the home is owned by one of her father’s associates. She leaves when they hear someone enter, and then beckons Matt into the main foyer, where she has Roscoe Sweeney bound to a chair, ready for Matt to interrogate. Matt pummels the man who killed his father, as Roscoe eggs him on with insults. In a rage, Matt beats upon the man’s face, leaving it a swollen and bloody mess. Elektra then hands him a knife and tells him to kill the bastard, but Matt is shocked at the demand. Elektra is unhappy that Matt will not kill Roscoe, and leaves, just as Matt is calling the police to hand over the criminal.
In the present, Foggy is visited by the assistant DA Blake Tower, who demands the Grotto files so DA Reyes can make quick work of the case to convict Frank Castle. Foggy demands a subpoena, and Blake offers Foggy a cushy job in the future if he cooperates. Foggy turns him down, and Blake warns them about the DA making it her business to shut them down for their interference.
Matt meanwhile tracks Elektra to her business meeting, wanting to find out what she is up to. When he realizes he will not be able to sneak into the building, he climbs to a nearby rooftop and uses his super-hearing to eavesdrop on the meeting, learning that the Roxxon corporation is involved. Elektra pulls out a pen during the meeting, and only Matt can hear the high-tech sounds it makes as it hacks the building’s system. Suddenly every executive in the room is flooded with phone calls about the security breach, and they ask Elektra to come back on a different day as they deal with what has occurred.
Karen meanwhile goes to visit the New York Bulletin, meeting with Ben Urich’s (I miss Ben) old editor Frank Ellison to share information. She tells him about what she found at the Castle home, including the fact that Frank was a decorated marine veteran with a family, all information that the DA covered up in the press release about the Punisher. As no one has been able to find evidence of his military record, they guess his service was classified. Karen makes a deal with Ellison to go through the paper archives looking for information on how Castle’s family died, and in return the Bulletin gets exclusive rights to the story. After digging through the archives (none of it is digital as the archives got wiped during the “incident”) Karen discovers that the Castle family must have died during a gang shoot-out between the Cartel, the Dogs of Hell, and the Kitchen Irish, the event having transpired at the carousel that we saw Frank visit in the previous episode.
That night Karen and Matt meet up for dinner at a fancy restaurant, both a little awkward at first, Matt even more so when Karen goes to the restroom and Elektra calls, firing him as her lawyer, but letting him keep the hefty retainer she gave to the law firm. Matt decides to take Karen somewhere less fancy, and she takes him to an indian restaurant that is more their style. The night ends with the pair getting pretty hot and heavy on the stoop outside her apartment, with Matt preventing them from going upstairs by claiming that the night had been perfect so far, and he did not want to mess it up. (Being a gentleman I suppose).
Matt heads to Elektra’s New York penthouse, where they banter about the strange meeting, Elektra revealing she saw him on the rooftop, and then Matt asking why she brought Roscoe Sweeney to that mansion all those years ago. As they discuss their past and what is really going on with Elektra and Roxxon, Matt hears people approaching. Elektra explains that it is the Yakuza, coming after the hacker from earlier that day. Matt realizes that Elektra manipulated him yet again, and wanted to use him to help her fight. She reveals that she brought the Daredevil costume for Matt, and basically says that they have to fight their way out of the apartment. Matt wants nothing to do with Elektra, but its clear that he has no choice but to help her fight.
The pair suit up and take down the Yakusa bikers handily, with Elektra wanting to go for breakfast afterwards. During their meal at the diner, Matt demands to know what she is up to, and how she learned about his Daredevil identity. She does not give a straight answer to the Daredevil question, claiming to have guessed, but entices Matt to help her by revealing that the Yakusa are working for Roxxon in some shady dealings, and bringing down criminal organizations is a specialty of Matt’s. He agrees to help her, but remains cautious.
Back at the office, Karen is speaking to the hapless Public Defender assigned to Frank Castle, and it is clear the man is towing the line thrown down by DA Reyes, including setting Castle up for the death penalty. The entire Murdock and Nelson team assemble and go to visit Castle in the hospital, with Matt working particularly hard to convince the Punisher to use their services for his trial. Reyes, incensed that the team has shown up, tries to throw them out of the hospital, but Castle declares he wants them defending him, and after sharing warnings with the team, Reyes leaves them to their client. As the team hastily begins to prepare their case in the hospital, Foggy learns that Matt and Karen are now more or less officially an item, and realizes he does not have time to deal with the implications at the moment. Matt is then called away by their other, well paying client (Elektra), and he leaves with her to go to a Roxxon event where they are attempting to steal the ledger of the corporation’s accountant, which is sure to be full of evidence of their crimes.
Castle demands to speak to Karen alone, realizing that she sympathizes with him after he learns what she knows about his home and family. He reveals that he was a marine sniper adjusting to life back home when his family was killed, and it appears that his vendetta is to kill anyone involved in the death of his family (and it is hinted that he and DA Reyes have history as well, though whether she was involved in the death of his family is unclear. She did order a “Do Not Resuscitate” on him when he was shot in the head, and also ordered the “shoot on sight” directive when the police were going after the Punisher.) Foggy works hard to eliminate the option of the death penalty, and works out a deal for Frank to be sent to prison for multiple life sentences as long as he pleads guilty. When a judge arrives for the arraignment, Castle pulls an audible and pleas Not Guilty, in some kind of attempt to stick it to DA Reyes and learn more about her involvement and motivations in his business.
Matt and Elektra crash the Roxxon party, Matt using his blindness to spill a drink on the accountant whose ledger they want to steal. The accountant heads to the bathroom to clean up, where he is ambushed by Matt. The accountant’s keycard in hand, Matt and Elektra make their way to the 13th floor office, and after some digging, discover a secret room where the ledger is held. Unfortunately by this time the guards realize someone has broken into the office, and attack Matt and Elektra. The pair easily subdue the guards and head down a few floors, pursued by new guards. The pair pretend to be drunk and horny lovers having sex in a conference room, and when the guards find them they write them off as harmless and allow the pair to leave the building. Back in Elektra’s car, they review the ledger, and find evidence of drug smuggling, slavery and other criminal activities, as well as some coded information they cannot decipher. They wonder why there would be hidden facts in a ledger already full of criminal information.
Back at the Nelson and Murdock officers, Matt returns to find Foggy waiting for him with bad news. Since Castle pled not guilty, their firm is now stuck defending the man in a huge and very public trial, with all of their futures at stake. He also informs Matt about the DA’s vendetta against all the vigilantes in the city, and Matt realizes his life as Murdock and as Daredevil are now both on the line.
That’s episode 4-6, check back here soon for the recap of the next 3 episodes!