Marvel's Daredevil Review by Henry Tran

Marvel's Daredevil 2.05: Kinbaku

Marvel's Daredevil 2.05: Kinbaku

Written By:
Lauren Schmidt Hissrich
Directed By:
Floria Sigismondi

This episode was a continuation of the final events from "Penny and Dime." Matt is, of course, riding a high after kissing Karen in the rain, and that high is disrupted by the presence of Elektra Natchios in his apartment loft. His immediate defensiveness at Elektra's presence should be the first clue that this mysterious woman (previously only mentioned in passing during the flashback sequences in last season's "Nelson vs. Murdock") is going to be trouble for him.

 


 

I think the episode is designed to play off Matt's differing relationships with both Karen and Elektra. His defensiveness, some would even say fear, which is ironic for a man who is nicknamed "The Man Without Fear," fuels the tension inherent in their interactions both in the past and present. Essentially, Matt is always waiting for the other shoe to drop with Elektra. Ten years ago, Matt was younger and didn't have the personal demons haunting him today. So he could muster up the courage to talk and flirt with this woman who was clearly standing apart from what was ostensibly her "crowd" of rich folks who threw fancy soirees just to show everyone how much money they had. They both find each other interesting and a bit mysterious at the same time. It takes a little bit for both of them to reveal each layer about themselves.

 

What I find a fascinating dynamic is how Elektra directs each encounter with Matt. She is the one who waits for Matt to reveal each one of his secrets. She breaks him down in their first meeting, dismissing the "cute blind man" routine in order to find the intelligence he hides. She takes him to his old boxing gym, possibly with the intent of discovering the fact that he can fight. Or testing his limits since she reveals to him right then that she also has some hand-to-hand combat skills. It's all Elektra when she breaks into the house of Roscoe Sweeney, talks dreams and a future with Matt (perhaps an elaborate lie to soften Matt up for what she wants him to eventually do), then practically forces him to beat then murder Sweeney as vengeance for his father's murder. It's not until then that both the audience and Matt realize that Elektra is only looking out for her own interests, not really caring about the emotional damage that her actions will do to Matt.

 


 

Everything about Elektra is a facade, all designed to fool her enemies, or even the people that get closest to her. Matt seemed to have found an equal in life, someone that he knew inside and out, that he could share his future with, and all of that was ripped away. It makes total sense that he would back off on consummating the nascent relationship he has with Karen because it's shown that he's been scarred by experiences before. Karen is also an innocent in all of this (so far as we and Matt both know), and he doesn't want to see her hurt. They proceed awkwardly and cautiously, even in procuring a dinner date. There are multiple false starts at the fancy restaurant that feels wildly out of character for the both of them. They feel at home surrounded by the lights and "cheap stuff" at the beautiful Indian restaurant. There, they can be themselves, free from all of the tension that has been eating them up through the day. Matt is keeping the fact that he's seeing his ex-girlfriend away from Karen in a classic division of lives that many superheroes do.

 

Karen is continuing her investigation into the Punisher's past without the knowledge of both Matt and Foggy, this time framed with the intent to clear Frank Castle's name. I like the fact that DA Reyes continues to act like a politician in a big city. She has power of her own in shaping the narrative and bending public opinion to serve her own purposes. It connects very well when Foggy realizes that he's out of options and has to resort to calling Marci in order to see what she can do. Which isn't much. I like Marci's reappearance on the show and the uneasy dynamic between her and Foggy. Her role is all exposition for Foggy to know that Reyes is stampeding everyone on her way to the Mayor's office, but beyond throwing a brief mention of Jessica Jones, I hope she plays a larger role through the rest of the season.

 


 

While Matt and Karen nail another romantic scene outside her apartment, what can't be helped is the thought that both of them are distracted by the baggage that they keep away from each other. I don't think it's a coincidence that even after that great end to his date with Karen, he infiltrates Elektra's penthouse and finally confronts the real reason for her return to his life. Elektra's behavior in the present time gives off all indication that she had to be hiding some kind of ulterior motive. The Roxxon Corporation was holding her father's money, and it looks like she's using Matt to defend herself from the Japanese sending the Yakuza to get revenge on her hack in the business meeting. The big reveal in the end is that Elektra knows Matt is Daredevil, which begs the question of who gave up his secret identity. Or whether Elektra somehow figured it out on her own. That's also a very big possibility. This episode illuminated a lot of what makes Elektra tick. How Matt was and is affected by her very presence. It's great stuff. Things should get much more complicated in the future.


Our Grade:
A-
The Good:
  • Elektra is exactly as crazy and dangerous as her reputation suggests
  • Karen’s pursuit into the truth about the Punisher’s family is intriguing
The Bad:
  • Marci’s role at this point is little more than exposition for the fight against Reyes

Henry Tran is a regular contributor of review for Critical Myth; The Critical Myth Show is heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @HenYay

Marvel's Daredevil by - 4/18/2016 11:02 AM140 views

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