After zero appearance in episode 7, the spotlight turns firmly on Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin, in this instalment, providing similar insights into the development of his character through his backstory. The version we see on screen isn’t one I’m familiar with – although elements do seem to reflect the Punisher Max continuity, albeit without the assistance of a set of rats – and it explains his initial fascination with the piece of art that Vanessa is selling. As you might expect from this series, the violence is graphic and brutal – and because we don’t get the usual brilliantly choreographed fights this time around, it stands out more.
Fisk is under threat from all sides, and we’re always conscious how close he is to the edge. The scenes between him and Wesley, and then between them and Vanessa are very well played and directed (particularly the use of the mirror), and the twist of his disclosures at the end of the episode raises the stakes considerably, particularly given how much Ben, Foggy and Karen have also been putting on the line.
The question about whether Matt is prepared to kill is raised yet again, and his denial is beginning to perhaps wear thin. He’s come very close to crossing the line…
Verdict: Intriguing twists help take the story to the next level. 8/10