Our final Season 2 episode begins with Nobu and his assistant meeting and talking about a mysterious plan, and targets that need to be acquired for said plan, because lord knows we haven’t had enough mystery from these ninjas already! Meanwhile, on another side of Hell’s Kitchen, Stick, Elektra, and Matt lick their wounds from the previous fight with the Hand. After doing a tiny bit of soul searching and discussing the matter, Murdock and Elektra decide that they need to truly go on the offensive in order to put a stop to the Hand once and for all. Stick isn’t exactly in a position to help them though, what with having to recover from having bamboo reeds shoved underneath his fingernails and all. Daredevil even takes the opportunity to swing by his “Q,” Melvin, who has made for him the classic billy club that lets Matt not only pound some heads, but also swing from the rooftops as if he were Spider-Man. This is of course demonstrated nicely later on in the episode as Murdock bounces from building to building in pursuit of the Hand.
On the supporting character side of things, Foggy Nelson finds himself meeting for a prospective job prospect in the form of Carrie Anne-Moss’ Jeri Hogarth from the Jessica Jones Netflix series! This was a really nice and subtle nod to the connectivity of the universe, making perfect sense for where Foggy is heading in his life/career. Thanks to the notoriety brought onto his plate from the fall of Wilson Fisk and the defense of Frank Castle, many firms have taken notice, but Hogarth manages to sweeten the pot by essentially promising Foggy the world with a nice big office, substantial pay increase, and eventual partnership in the firm. It’s a deal that’s too good to pass up, and Foggy agrees. Meanwhile, Karen continues to excel at following the path Ben Urich had when he was still alive as a reporter at the Daily Bulletin, until of course she’s kidnapped by the Hand. Yes, the Hand story arc consumes everything and everyone here, as the ninja group decides to kidnap everyone Daredevil has saved in the past, including Page.
It’s certainly an efficient way to get Daredevil to come to you, as Matt and Elektra burn a trail toward the warehouse where the Hand is holding everyone captive. In order to find them, Murdock uses his powers in an interesting new way, essentially listening to the city at large and pinpointing where they are located. Fighting their way past the members of the Hand, Matt and Elektra share a really nice moment where they talk about what they’ll do if they make it out of this situation alive. It’s a welcome quiet moment for the pair, which is something that I don’t feel we got quite enough of to flesh out their relationship more in these final episodes. The main draw of Daredevil and Elektra is not only the tragedy that eventually befalls them, which we’ll touch upon later, but simply the tragedy of their bond. Here we have two characters who connect so deeply with one another, but will always be at arm’s length. Charlie Cox and Elodie Yung are really able to sell this in their performances, and it makes you want to see more from the pair in the future — just maybe minus all the mysterious magical ninja elements.
After saying what could be their final goodbyes, Matt and Elektra head to the roof to fight the seemingly endless horde of ninjas. Nobu joins the fray, fighting both Daredevil and Elektra, and eventually gaining the upper hand against Matt while preparing the killing blow. Before he can end Murdock’s life, Elektra jumps in the way and dies at Nobu’s hands. Welp, guess that puts a kink into the Hand’s Black Sky plan…or maybe not. Nobu disappointedly begins walking away, giving the order for the remainder of the Hand to finish off Daredevil, only for their heads to start popping thanks to a sniper-rifle-wielding Punisher from a nearby rooftop. With a nod to Daredevil, Punisher walks away and Matt beats the hell out of Nobu before the Hand leader flies off the roof, seemingly dying. Of course, with the Hand, death isn’t a foregone conclusion and a battered Nobu runs straight into Stick, who takes the opportunity to decapitate him before he can be resurrected once again.
What follows is a nice vignette of events wrapping up the season, with Matt and Stick saying their goodbyes to Elektra over her grave. It’s a nice humanizing scene for their relationship, with Matt breaking down while Stick gives his usual “man up” advice. Meanwhile, Karen and Foggy have one final drink at Josie’s before Foggy settles up the fabled Nelson and Murdock tab, essentially the final nail in the coffin of their law firm and perhaps their friendship. Frank Castle walks through his old family home one last time before setting fire to it, also putting the final nail in his humanity, and allowing for the Punisher to take over. Aside from letting go of his past life, Castle also snags a CD labeled “Micro,” and that’s sure to be a hint for things to come for the character, which I’ll mention in the notes below. Karen begins writing a new article for the Daily Bulletin about heroism before being confronted by Matt, who finally spills the beans that he is Daredevil in a very Iron Man-esque moment. The last thing we see is Elektra being placed into the large jar we’ve seen throughout the season by the Hand, clearly hinting at her future resurrection and induction into the Hand.
Yes, a lot happens during this season finale and with all that, it’s a tad difficult to sum it all up. I think ultimately, this finale was a good one, but didn’t reach the heights of the earlier episodes of the season. As I’ve mentioned plenty of times in my previous recaps, the Hand subplot was at best solid and at worst confusing and repetitive. The first four episodes of Daredevil’s second season were nearly the best Marvel Cinematic Universe offering to date, with only Episode 9 reaching those heights again. While Elektra’s character, and the performance from Elodie Yung, impressed at times, all the ninja mysticism and unanswered questions just made for a frustrating watch. To be honest, what went wrong with Season 2 is what’s gone wrong with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe before, and with so many other Cinematic Universes around today, in creating too many hints and clues at things to come, without focusing on the present. It essentially suffered from Iron Man 2 and the Amazing Spider-Man 2 syndrome, trying to cram too much in without giving enough answers to placate us in the meantime.
In the end, Daredevil Season 2 nearly stands shoulder to shoulder with its first season (and sometimes surpasses!), but does stumble along the way. The finale however does wrap more of the plotlines up adequately enough, though there needed to be a lot more tempering of the material to finish on a higher note.
Episode Rating: ★★★ Good
Season Rating: ★★★★ Very good
The Collider Offices of Nelson and Murdock
-Am I crazy or did it seem like there were WAY more ninjas on the roof? They made it seem like there were a hundred or so, but then it simply was Nobu surrounded by half a dozen? Seemed weird.
-In the promotional images for Daredevil’s second season, there was one for the Punisher where he was firing a gatling gun into the endless swarms of Hand ninjas. We never got this scene and I died a little bit on the inside. They showed off that gatling gun so much and it was never used!
-”Micro” is of course a reference to the Punisher’s version of “Robin”: Microchip is a technology wizard who helps Frank kill criminals with his hacking skills.
-Karen has officially become Ben Urich. The circle is complete.
-We have a lot coming down the pike from Marvel’s Netflix shows, including a second season of Jessica Jones, first seasons for Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and an eventual team-up of them all in The Defenders series. A third season of Daredevil is probably a long way off as it hasn’t been confirmed and the showrunners of the series have just been announced to be handling the Defenders.
-Real talk, if we have a third season of Daredevil, it’s time to bring in Bullseye. If we’re bringing in Bullseye, he needs to be played by Justified’s and Hateful Eight’s Walton Goggins.
-Punisher: “Be Seeing You, Red.”