“Daredevil” Recap: “Kinbaku” – Like ‘Lost,’ but with Ninjas

     March 28, 2016

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Daredevil Season 2 recaps post Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays — you can keep up with all of them here.

Ready, set, Elektra! Following the previous goliath episode with the Punisher’s capture, the show now shifts gears completely to focus more on Matt Murdock’s ex-girlfriend and her ninja shenanigans. In a sense, it works, but in another sense, focusing on two separate plotlines that barely connect makes things a tad disjointed during this episode, and for the remainder of this season. Elektra has always been one of the biggest parts of the Daredevil mythos, as the deadly assassin whose death will always be one of most memorable things about her. However, the series is able to give us an Elektra who is wild, charming, and terrifying all at the same time.

“Kinbaku” takes a page from the CW’s Arrow, shifting between the days of Murdock’s youth as an attorney-in-training to the present, wherein Matt and Elektra become acquainted once again. To start, we’ll focus on the past, where the star-crossed lovers meet at a university function. Charlie Cox and Elodie Yung have fantastic chemistry and their playful banter jumps off the screen, yet you get a sense as to why this relationship went south. I think everyone had a relationship with someone like Elektra — granted, said person probably wasn’t a sai-wielding ninja — but the energy and destructiveness of the character cannot be denied here. Both Matt and his future ex “dance” with one another as they both attempt to get a better understanding of the other. Again, this really demonstrates the strength of the actors here as you want to see the depths of their relationship, even when it goes awry (and of course it does).


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Image via Netflix

The two bounce from location to location, ultimately ending up in an empty mansion owned by one of Elektra’s father’s friends. As is the case with much of the objects in Elektra’s path, the two manage to be quite destructive in their journey, with Matt even joining in from time to time. However, things take a turn for the worse when Natchios surprises Matt with the man who had killed his father, tied to a chair. Elektra spurns Matt on, begging for Murdock to kill the man, with his father’s murderer even goading him on throughout the beating Matt is inflicting on him. It’s a powerful scene to be sure, and Matt ultimately is able to make the right choice, informing Elektra that he can never take a life, not even that of his father’s killer. Disappointed, or perhaps legitimately having her heart broken by Murdock’s decision, Elektra vanishes into the night, and the two never see each other again until the present.

In the present, Elektra visits Matt under the pretext that she needs the help of an attorney, where in fact she merely needs Matt and his particular set of skills. Elektra is meeting with a company named Roxxon, and believes they’ve been having some shady dealings she’s looking to get to the bottom of. While in the boardroom, with Matt hanging around outside, Natchios manages to sweet talk the board during the hacking of their system. To be honest, while I thought this episode was good and presented some interesting ideas in the relationship between Daredevil and Elektra, it was a tad lacking in presenting a compelling hook, plot wise. A few scenes tended to drag on a bit too long during the present storybeats with Matt and Elektra either arguing or infiltrating Roxxon. The relationship between these two makes for some great television but there wasn’t necessarily the best balance to elevate this during the moments when the plot was moving forward.


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Image via Netflix

Meanwhile, Foggy and Karen are our link to the Punisher side of the season in this episode. The idea behind the District Attorney pushing hard on prosecuting Frank Castle for political reasons to help her become Mayor makes sense. In this new world of gods and dark vigilantes, you can understand the need for the public to demand some sense of order being restored. Of course this is a crux of Captain America: Civil War but it works here just fine, too. Both storylines of Foggy combating the DA directly and Karen attempting to search more into Frank Castle’s past are serviceable here, and certainly help pass the time. Karen’s storyline especially offers an interesting twist on the character, putting her more into the shoes of the late Ben Urich, asking for help from the Daily Bulletin.

Speaking of Karen, the relationship between her and Matt continues, and while it doesn’t have the electricity that Elektra’s sparks up, it manages to hold its own. The cinematography on their date night in the lighted restaurant certainly pops, and you almost hate to see them go, but duty calls as Matt is brought to Elektra’s side once again. Daredevil attempts to leave, but realizes it’s too late and the Yakuza, having been employed by Roxxon, are bearing down upon the couple as they tracked down the source of the hacking source from earlier. A neat little cliffhanger that promises more action to come.

While Elektra’s debut certainly had its moments, I think that it wasn’t able to hold the weight that the Punisher’s first arc did. Good to be sure, but not elevating the series as previous episodes had.

Rating: ★★★ Good

The Collider Offices of Nelson and Murdock

– Roxxon Company is a big evil corporation in the Marvel comics that is constantly messing with superheroes on any given day. Already appearing in the Iron Man films as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, it’s nice to see the company’s tendrils continuing to span the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

– Karen certainly has had a lot of jobs huh? Accountant, legal clerk, and now scrappy reporter.

– Foggy’s on again, off again beau has landed in the same law firm that a certain Hogarth runs, previously seen in the Jessica Jones series.


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Image via Netflix

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Image via Netflix


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