Daredevil: The Dark at the End of the Tunnel review S2, Ep.12

Two big reveals highlighted the penultimate chapter of Daredevil’s second season setting the stage for what should be an immensely satisfying finale.

Matt found himself in the unlikely role of Stick’s rescuer on two occasions. First, from Elektra, who was eager to get payback and from The Hand, who’d kidnapped him in the first conflict.

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Since the show doesn’t overdo the flashbacks, whenever we see one it’s given an extra degree of importance. This episode glimpsed back at young Elektra and her early days under Stick’s guidance. Eventually, we got the big reveal that Elektra is The Hand’s end game mega secret weapon — The Black Sky. I’m very curious to see how this connects to whatever is being fed the blood.

Director Euros Lyn worked in some very creative shots specifically Daredevil opening the manhole and scaling down into the sewer. It was a smart move to have the regular Hand ninjas figure out to battle Daredevil. Most of the season he’s been easily handling this fearsome ninja clan so it was good to see them finally adapting.

This allowed for a rare moment of seeing Daredevil vulnerable. We’ve seen DD get overpowered and been too exhausted to put up a credible fight, but this was the first time an opponent actually took advantage of his disability. And it was pretty jarring watching DD in an underdog position after having his way with The Hand.

Fortunately, Stick was able to whisper a message to Matt that gave him an edge in fighting the ninja clan. At this point in the season there’s a little fight fatigue going on as both sides were a little too evenly matched so this battle was well-timed to add a new wrinkle to the DD vs Hand conflicts. Despite the reveal of her presumed destiny, Elektra ultimately decided to aid Daredevil in saving Stick. This didn’t sit well with Nobu who vowed that Daredevil must die.

daredevil - the dark at the end of the tunnel review - daredevil and stick-minThe writers have done a masterful job of essentially telling two separate comic book stories that occasionally intersect throughout the season. And it felt fitting that this episode largely concluded the Frank Castle storyline with the reveal of The Blacksmith.

Throughout the season, Karen has displayed this unyielding desire to get to the bottom of the Castle case making her transition to a Daily Bulletin reporter a natural fit. Although terrified of Castle, Karen still wants to get the truth out that he was once a good man that had a horrendous tragedy drive him past the edge. But to do this character piece, she needed someone who could attest to Frank prior to his transformation to The Punisher. Enter Col.Ray Schoonover.

Turns out casting Clancy Brown wasn’t exactly going against typecast as the man who so stoically testified on Castle’s behalf was the man responsible for making him The Punisher. This was a very strong reveal as the writers didn’t try to force some connection between the Daredevil and Elektra storyline by having Nobu or Stick outed as The Blacksmith.

Seeking to take care of the meddling aspiring reporter, Schoonover was ready to ditch her body in the woods. Having the car play Castle’s favorite song was a nice bit of foreshadowing. Frank crashed into Karen’s car and dragged him into the woods. Karen tried to appeal to Frank’s fading final embers of compassion, but decency didn’t matter to him.

It was fitting there wasn’t some long, drawn out exchange between the two. Castle calmly killed Schoonover and that was it. Castle finding Schoonover’s secret arsenal stash complete with a vest that would look perfect with a little white spray paint geeked me out more than a little. Now let’s see how this all unfolds with the season finale.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

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