“Dogs to a Gunfight” is in no way a thrilling hour of television. Much of it is quite tedious. A good deal of it is spent talking and pondering and bickering. These are all things that Daredevil tends to revert to when it’s not dealing with Matt Murdoch (Charlie Cox) in the Daredevil costume. This could probably be helped if the show was more of a courtroom drama, but that’s a conversation for another day. Again, dialogue-heavy scenes are perfectly acceptable if that’s what you want to do. There’s nothing at all wrong with that. It just so happens, however, that when Daredevil does it, the result is more or less of a snoozefest. It has to accepted that Daredevil is enjoyable when it’s this action heavy hour of television, but that when it goes back to the normalcy of human drama, it becomes more boring. It’s fine in most episodes when there’s a more even balance between dialogue and fight scenes.
The episode is ultimately a long series of character interactions, with a decent fight at the end, that tries to draw some thematic and philosophical conversations between characters that feel more or less like a retread. Matt and Foggy have the same discussion, for the most part, that we’ve seen them have before. Matt wants to be Daredevil-ing it up and Foggy doesn’t want him to. We’ve already been here before. Yes, Matt could have died in the last and, yeah, he should take it easy for a moment, but if Foggy could not sound so godforsakenly shrill about it, well that would just be swell.
Karen and Matt have a necessary, but frustrating debate about Daredevil’s role in The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) rising to prominence with his vigilante approach and the people’s general acceptance of it. This is something comic book superheroes have struggled with for decades. Like in The Dark Knight, if you put on a mask and beat criminals in the dark- which is essentially what Daredevil does- wouldn’t someone less virtuous than yourself take a page out of your book? This was a conversation that needed to happen, but any interaction between Matt and Karen is frustrating what with their flirtatious dynamic and lack of any real social skills together.
The big point about “Dogs to a Gunfight” is that this is a real nothing episode. It’s a stall for time until it gets to the next place that it really wants to go. What that is precisely is anyone’s guess, but this episode feels like a waste of everyone’s time. This is probably a flaw in the thirteen episode paradigm that Netflix does with most of its shows. Not all shows are created equal and not all shows need thirteen episodes. EIght, nine, ten episodes would be fine. In a ten-episode run, it’s more than likely that this episode would have been severely condensed.
And we’d have been all the better for it.