Daredevil dreams of a nun waking him up as a child and telling him to rest. He realizes that he’s crucified, and she wrings blood out of the water that she’s wiping his forehead with. Daredevil wakes up and realizes that he’s chained to a chimney on a rooftop. Punisher is sitting nearby drinking coffee.
Reyes examines the aftermath of the failed Punisher ambush. She tells Blake to keep the press away, and Foggy and Karen come over to complain. Karen points out that Grotto fled, and complains that Reyes used Grotto for base. The DA warns her that Murdoch & Nelson is small-time and way out of their league, and threatens to sell the story that their incompetence threatened Grotto’s life. She advises the firm to stay away from the case and drives away. Karen complains that Foggy didn’t back her, and Foggy warns that they have to play it Reyes’ way for now. He offers to call Matt, and Karen goes back to the office to try to find a legal way out of the mess that they’re in.
Daredevil tries to break free, and Punisher warns him that it don’t any good as he stitches up his bullet wound. When the hero wonders why Punisher didn’t remove his mask, Punisher says that he doesn’t care who he is, and says that he’ll do what is required.
Foggy goes to the ER and leaves a message for Matt to call him. The police are3 dealing with the aftermath of a gang fight, and Foggy finally tracks Claire Dawson down. He reminds her that they have a mutual friend, and Claire is less than thrilled to see him.
At the law office, Karen is going over Reyes background when Grotto calls. She insists that they didn’t know about Reyes’ set-up, and says that he has to come in. Grotto figures that Punisher was shooting at him and won’t stop, and he’s done making deals. He has his own plan to get out while he’s still breathing, tells them to go to hell, and hangs up.
Punisher prepares for another of his “missions,” and Daredevil asks how long he’s been doing his “job.” He tells Punisher could just walk away, and Punisher asks if he could do it. Daredevil can’t answer him, and asks if Punisher is a Catholic. Punisher finally tells him to stop digging, but Daredevil figures that Daredevil was a soldier. His captor tells him not to talk about war if he’s never been to it, and Daredevil says that he knows it can be hard. Punisher says that Daredevil can take off his mask and go home, but soldiers don’t have that privilege. Daredevil wonders why he’s there, and Punisher tells him that what he does doesn’t work. What he does, he does out of necessity. Punisher says that they all deal with loss in a different way, Daredevil insists that he doesn’t hurt anyone, and people don’t have to die. Irritated, Punisher tells Daredevil that he’s just one bad day from being him.
Daredevil hears someone coming, and Punisher tells him to keep quiet or he’ll kill the man. An old man, Jerry, comes out and Punisher confronts him.
As she tends to the wounded, Claire tells Foggy that it’s not a good time. She says that she hasn’t seen Matt and he hasn’t been there, and isn’t interested in helping him again. Claire says that victims love Daredevil but victimizers want him dead. Foggy keeps following her around, and Foggy tells her to help her by spraying water on a wound. As they work, Claire says that the city needs Daredevil but she got into trouble helping another hero type, and now she’s just trying to keep her head down and stay sane. She figures that Matt is good at staying alive, but Foggy admits that he isn’t so sure about that anymore. He explains that Matt is after Punisher, and begs Claire to help him. The police bring in another injured gang member, and one of his rivals goes berserk, rips off the railing he’s handcuffed to, and attacks the newcomer.
Jerry asks who Punisher is, and Punisher gives his real name: Frank. He’sclaims that he’s up on the roof to take a smoke and get a break from his crazy sister. Daredevil tries to break free and Jerry hears him. Punisher passes it off as a rat, secretly drawing his gun and drawing back the hammer. He talks about his post-war experience, and Jerry confirms that he was a Marine. He welcomes Punisher home and tells him to smoke as much as he likes, and Punisher calls out “Semper Fi” to the man.
Punisher goes back to Daredevil, who asks if Frank is his real name. Punisher says that he only pulled back the hammer to impress Daredevil, and insists that he’s not a bad guy. Daredevil points out all of the men he killed, and Punisher insists that everyone he killed deserves He points out that Daredevil just throws the bad guys in jail and they’re out a month later, and he puts them in the morgue. Daredevil insists that even the worst bad guy might have some flicker of goodness, and Punisher snuffs it out. Punisher says that the world needs men who can make the hard call, and he and Daredevil are the same. He takes pride in the fact his targets don’t go back out in the world.
Daredevil insists that there’s hope and there’s redemption, and the people Punisher kills deserve another chance. He tells Punisher that if he can’t see that then he’s a nutjob... and he’ll never stop coming after him because he’s insane. Punisher punches him unconscious.
Blake is working in his office when Karen visits him. He advises her to forget about Grotto, and Karen tells him that Reyes let an ADA take the fall after she mishandled an informant. There have been others, and Karen points out that Reyes has left a trail of ADAs who have lost their jobs. She asks Blake to protect the firm, and wants what he has on Punisher. Blake admits that Reyes is a piece of work, but warns Karen not to come back again and threatens to call security if she doesn’t leave... after handing her the Punisher file.
In the ER, the two gangers argue and one of them grabs a scalpel. The other one grabs a pair of scissors, and Claire yells at them that there are innocent people there. They ignore her, and Foggy asks if they know what happens if they get charged with assault. He explains that he’s the pre bono lawyer that they’ll turn to when they end up in jail. Foggy tells them that if they carve each other up in front of witnesses, they’ll both end up in prison. He tells them not to fight and let the nurses do their jobs. After a moment, both gangers drops their weapons and Claire stares at Foggy in surprise.
Daredevil wakes up and realizes that Punisher has taped a gun to his hand. Punisher explains that there’s one round in the chamber, and the only way Daredevil can stop him is with a head shot. Daredevil says that he won’t shoot, and Punisher drags out Grotto and says that he caught him trying to leave town. Grotto says that he just poured drinks and drove cars, and Punisher beats Grotto until he admits that he shot a man on mob orders, and had to shoot an old lady who saw him. Daredevil refuses to shoot Grotto, and Punisher says that he will if Daredevil doesn’t kill him first.
Claire checks the hospital records for the city and confirms that Matt hasn’t shown up in an ER or a morgue. She assures Foggy that Matt will be fine, and wishes things could be different between her and Matt. Right now Claire doesn’t need complications in her life... but figures that the city needs Daredevil, and Matt needs Foggy.
Punisher insists that Grotto will kill again, and Daredevil needs to understand that thugs like Grotto ruin people’s lives. He counts down from five, telling Daredevil to take the shot. Daredevil shoots through his chains and lunges at Punisher, who shoots Grotto in the chest before he goes down. Once he takes Punisher down, Daredevil punches him unconscious and then picks up Grotto. Grotto tells him to put him down, while Punisher grabs his sniper rifle and aims at a line of motorcycles in front of a bar.
Grotto asks why Daredevil didn’t stop Punisher, and then dies. Daredevil swings the chain still fastened to his wrist and pulls the rifle away just as Punisher takes the shot. The shot hits a bike’s gas tank and sets it off. The Dogs of Hell grab weapons and run out. Meanwhile, Daredevil and Punisher beat each other, and Punisher finally knocks his opponent to the rooftop.
At the office, Karen examines the photos of Punisher’s victims.
As the Dogs of Hell come out, Punisher prepares to open fire. The bikers spot him and run for the building, while Daredevil recovers and disarms Punisher. They hear the bikers coming up the stairs, and Punisher says that they’re coming for them. Daredevil knocks him unconscious.
Karen goes over the photos of Punisher’s victims and takes notes.
Daredevil carries the unconscious Punisher to the freight elevator just as the bikers arrive. Jerry comes out and Daredevil grabs one of the bikers and holds the gun to his head. He tells Jerry to get inside and says that he’s good, and then knocks the biker out. Daredevil pulls the trigger on the other bikers... and discovers that it’s unloaded. He takes on the bikers and knocks them out, knocking out the lights as he goes with the chain. Daredevil the fights his way down the stairwell, leaving a trail of unconscious bikers in his path.
The hero finally gets to the ground floor and finds two more bikers waiting for him. Furious, Daredevil takes them on but a third one arrives and they overwhelm him. As they beat him, Daredevil knocks two of them out but the third one grabs him. The freight elevator arrives and Punisher watches as Daredevil takes them down. By the time Daredevil turns to the elevator, Punisher is gone.
Karen checks a hospital file containing an x-ray of a man’s skull with a bullet wound.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 20, 2016