Daredevil: Kinbaku review S2, Ep5

Elektra’s amazing introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe set the stage for another exciting chapter of Daredevil’s second season while quickly making the case for another spin-off.

Typically, comic book based shows attempting to navigate a love triangle clumsily set up the dynamic. There’s clearly one good option and the other is merely a distraction. In this episode it was easy to see how Matt was drawn to both Elektra and Karen. This was the MCU equivalent to the Archie/Betty/Veronica triangle, which would have been even sharper if Matt’s hair was a bit redder.

Matt was not at all happy to see Elektra (Elodie Yung). This wasn’t the usual lost love comes returning out of the blue to confuse our hero subplot. Matt wanted nothing to do with her and in a series of flashbacks we learn their complicated past.

Daredevil rarely uses flashbacks so when they’re utilized it adds worthwhile layers to the story instead of weakly connecting one element from the past to the present. In Elektra, Matt found a kindred spirit — one he could truly be himself around. Her wilder, carefree side appealed to him while his cavalier attitude and being blind, but not broken made Elektra fall just as hard. Elektra was clearly that bad relationship everyone has where they act like an idiot and get so intoxicated with the romance they start to lose themselves in it before it comes crashing down. For Matt, the wake-up call came when Elektra brought him to the house of the man who killed his father. It was somewhat of a romantic gesture, but even in facing his father’s killer, Matt refused to become a murderer and it drove a major wedge in his relationship with Elektra.

Marvel's Daredevil

Whether in present day or the flashbacks Yung was strikingly captivating. Elektra was this wildfire of charisma and unpredictability. Sure he’s going to get burned, but you’re also kind of curious to see what will come of Matt’s reunion with her.

Yung’s take on Elektra wasn’t the pampered princess that returns in Matt’s life as a hardcore assassin. She’s already got a bit of a reckless, dangerous side and had that playful femme fatale appeal of a Bond Babe.

And on the other side, there’s Karen. Perhaps less virtuous than Betty Cooper, Karen is the sweet, safe choice. Her date with Matt at Rose of India was charming. They fit well together and as Captain America once said, Matt deserves the win. Karen’s role on the show is so much more than the love interest secretary and it’s made her a vital aspect of the show.

With the papers only running half the story about The Punisher completely ignoring his family and war hero status, Karen found a new crusade. She met with Daily Bulletin editor Mitchell Ellison (Geoffrey Cantor), hoping to appeal to Ben Urich’s old boss that The Punisher story was far more complex than what’s been reported. It was a nice callback to last season’s crusading investigative reporter and even Mitchell appreciated the irony. Together, they found that Punisher’s family was caught in a gang shootout involving the Dogs of War, The Cartel and The Irish gang — the trio of gangs Punisher has exclusively targeted.

Foggy filled in another piece of The Punisher puzzle in a meeting with his on and off again flame Marci (Amy Rutberg continuing the fun return of Season 1 supporting characters). Marci revealed Reyes is running for Mayor and is building a hard, no vigilante policy starting with The Punisher then moving on to Jessica Jones — to further link the growing Marvel Netflix series — and then Daredevil.

Having Foggy and Karen remain invested in The Punisher case and its deeper ramifications gives them their own meaty subplot while Matt has moved on. It’s a smart way not to completely put The Punisher storyline on hold and keep us invested when the action isn’t on Daredevil.

As disinterested as he wanted to be, Matt’s curiosity got the better of him and he eavesdropped on Elektra’s meeting with Roxxon representatives. Elektra took the meeting so she could hack their system and just as Matt arrived, the Yakuza showed up itching for payback. Elektra showed she still knew how to push all of Matt’s buttons to lure him there and had his Daredevil costume so he would be forced to assist. Sometimes, Matt it’s best to just leave the bad girl alone.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

A shift in tone from The Punisher story line helped flesh out Matt’s past and provide a terrific introduction to Daredevil’s femme fatale.

 

 

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