Warning: This recap contains spoilers for the Daredevil episode “The Dark at the End of the Tunnel.” Leave the ring and find a fight away from this page if you haven’t seen the episode yet.
If you’ve been waiting for some answers about the Blacksmith and Black Sky, “The Dark at the End of the Tunnel” has them. The penultimate episode of Daredevil’s second season didn’t screw around when it came to delivering on plot points set up earlier. I was initially worried we were running out of time to get to everything and the reveals would be rushed, but I shouldn’t have been concerned–especially when it came to the revelation about Elektra being Black Sky.
The discovery about Elektra came as a result of the Hand kidnapping Stick. At this point, the Hand seems like an invincible enemy. They’re talented fighters, they’re able to mask their presence from Matt’s super senses, and they’re seemingly endless in number. Anything resembling a defeat didn’t look possible, and that added a certain danger to the fight scenes with them. The fights with the ninjas didn’t get boring exactly–the sheer numbers involved stopped that from happening–yet I was grateful for the twist of Stick whispering to Matt and guiding him through the fight. It was another inventive way to show off Matt’s skills and a way to break up any ninja fight monotony.
As Matt tracked the Hand in order to save Stick from their grasp, we dove into Elektra’s backstory. We saw her training with Stick and witnessed her thirst for blood firsthand. She was dangerous, even as a child. Besides seeing her formidable skills, we saw she was looking for approval and searching for who she was. She hasn’t found herself, not really. She was what Stick wanted her to be. She tried to be what Matt wanted her to be. And when Nobu dropped the Black Sky bomb at her feet, she was quick to believe it was the answer about who she was. This broken woman who has been looking for her identity, her place in the world, learned she was part of the war she’s been fighting her entire life. There’s no reason why she wouldn’t believe what Nobu said. It was tragic and earned and poignant. Ultimately, she still rejected Nobu, but it was touch-and-go for a minute.
Related: Elodie Yung is ridiculously talented. She’s made Elektra electric (yep, went there) and brought so much depth to the tortured character.
Progress was made on the Blacksmith front, too. The identity of the mastermind didn’t tie the worlds of the Hand and Punisher together in the way I would have preferred, but it was still an interesting twist. The man who defended Frank during his trial, Colonel Ray Schoonover (Clancy Brown), ended up being the one responsible for all of it. What. Karen learned this when she went to visit him to get quotes to use in her article about Frank.
Brown nailed the portrayal of this villain and the way Schoonover went slowly from kind and grandfatherly to terrible and murdery. Once his affiliation was revealed, I felt silly for not seeing it sooner. But like Karen, I was happy to see someone testify to Frank’s better side. I wanted to believe Frank wasn’t a monster. It’s easy to ignore signs of the bad when you’re only searching for the positive.
Karen tried to pull Frank back from the edge, but at the end of the day, he’s not that kind of guy. Having done so much and killed so many to get to Schoonover, I would have been surprised to see Frank show mercy. If anything, he leaned into the Punisher persona once and for all.
- I have enjoyed Karen’s arc this season. Her relationship with Ellison has been one of the best subplots. However, wouldn’t he at least want to seeing writing samples before bringing her onto the team? Like, do we know Karen can string a sentence together? I respect Ellison’s leap of faith and how he took a shine to her because of her past with Ben but come on. Maybe include a joke about whether she’s capable of writing or something.
- Matt smiling when Stick said he was proud of him. Guys.
- “I’m done fighting his war.” – Elektra
What did you think about the twists with Elektra and Punisher? Share all your reactions with me in the comments.
IMAGES: Netflix, Malisses Icons
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