Previously on Daredevil, “The Dark at the End of the Tunnel“
“You would risk everything for me?”
The finale of Daredevil season two was underwhelming. Such a shame really especially since it was a solid introduction to Frank Castle and Elektra Natchios. This should have been an hour spent resolving numerous dangling plot threads and setting the stage for a possible third season and/or the future The Defenders crossover. Instead what we were given is a rushed and arguably lackluster resolution for Elektra’s and The Hand’s respective stories.
Elektra’s character throughout the finale is a pale reflection of the confident and self-assured femme fatale. The Black Sky revelation has left her visibly shaken, which is understandable if it were any other person, but this is the Elektra Natchios. If the writers had stayed true to the spirit of the character they’ve written up until this point, she would have defiantly rejected her destiny as The Black Sky. What we’re left with instead is a shadow of the fierce woman we once knew and now Elektra is just another damsel in distress for Matt to rescue.
While we’re on the subject of damsels and rescuing, guess who’s gotten herself kidnapped yet again?
If your answer is “Karen,” pat yourself on the back!
While Matt and Elektra are busy formulating their plan of attack against The Hand, Nobu and his evil redheaded assistant have kidnapped everyone Daredevil has ever saved in order to draw our heroes out of hiding. And in an exchange that feels predictable and quite possibly lifted out of previous superhero movies we’ve seen, Matt rushes in to save these innocent people despite Elektra’s protestations that it’s most certainly a trap.
The fight scenes in the finale just don’t hold up to all the other awesome action sequences that we’ve been exposed to during the earlier half of the season. The final battle between Daredevil and Elektra against Nobu and The Hand was set on an empty rooftop with everyone attacking simultaneously – it was hard to make sense of what was happening, much less appreciate the battle itself.
Even when Frank suddenly appears to assist them via sniper fire, the battle just didn’t feel like Matt and Elektra were actually going to be in any grave danger. That being said, Nobu coming out of nowhere to stab Elektra was a complete upset, especially since he had previously instructed all his minions to leave her unharmed. I mean, what was the point of her death other than to give Matt one final moment to profess his love for her in a way that feels so forced and overdone? Whatever goodwill the writers have established building up the very realistic and often times emotional visceral relationship between Matt and Elektra feels like it was tossed out the window the second they decided to reveal that she’s The Black Sky. And yes, they set her up for a grand resurrection at the end of the episode, but her death felt so cheap; almost like a shortcut way to get hit a prominent benchmark in the character’s history.
“You didn’t choose this town, it chose you.”
While Karen and Foggy take a major backseat to the events surrounding Matt, Elektra, and The Hand, they weren’t left without new developments for a possible third season. Foggy accepts an offer to work for Jeri Hogarth of Jessica Jones infamy, while Karen takes a stab at amateur journalism. I wouldn’t quite declare that Karen was as successful as Foggy, but for some inexplicable reason Ben Ulrich’s boss decides to run her “What does it mean to be a hero?” op-ed anyway.
If one were to ask what aspect of season two was handled masterfully, it would most likely be The Punisher. Jon Bernthal and the showrunners adapted a brutal – and often divisive – character of the Marvel Universe onto the small screen and made him very real and sympathetic while staying true to the morally gray aspects of the character. And say what you will about Karen often being the most infuriating character on the show, her surprising relationship with Frank Castle was filled with so much pathos that one could argue fans should be shipping these two instead of Matt/Karen. This may not have been a stellar second season of Daredevil, but this most certainly was a brilliant pilot season of The Punisher.
There’s catharsis in the scene where Frank gathers his belongings from his old home and sets it ablaze while walking away dramatically. Just like the old news clipping said, Frank Castle is dead. Long live The Punisher.
Side Notes and Memorable Quotes
Quote of the Week – “I want to dethrone him, defrock him, and let him rot in a cell.”- Matt
Why couldn’t the actor who plays Nobu teach that redheaded assistant to speak Japanese with a more believable accent? My Japanese-speaking friends were cringing at every line she said. Perhaps she should’ve just spoken in English instead.
“The Black Sky is bullshit”- Matt
“Hopefully you find our starting salary very competitive.”- Jeri Hogarth
Did Elden Henson look visibly starstruck to be in a scene opposite Carrie-Anne Moss? I bet he was a huge fan of the Matrix as a child. Keep calm, dude. You’re moving on to the big leagues.
“But it’ll be my mistake, because this is my life.”- Elektra
Daredevil’s rooftop conversation with Brett Mahoney looks like it was lifted straight out of The Dark Knight. Actually, there were many Batman moments in this episode.
“I came to New York thinking that I wouldn’t be lonely in a city of millions.”- Karen
“A hero is not a god or an idea. A hero lives here, on the street, among us, with us. Always here but rarely recognized.”- Karen seems to have lifted this out of a 4th grader’s writing assignment
I was groaning throughout Karen’s “What is a hero?” article voiceover. Leave journalism to the professionals, honey!
Daredevil S2E13 = 7.7/10