Hey gang! Yup, I vanished for a bit (again). I started a new job last Monday and ended the one before it in quite a bit of frenzy, so lots of things going on. With The Punisher coming out tomorrow, though, I thought I’d at least elaborate on one thought that occurred to me, and then leave the comments under this post open for whoever wants to discuss this or anything else to do with the latest show coming out of the Netflix corner of the MCU.
I’m definitely looking forward to watching The Punisher over the weekend, in large part because I have no real expectations for what it’s going to be, and am not heavily invested in it. I have seen some people who are not “Kastle” fans worry about what any kind of potential romantic relationship with Frank might mean for Karen, whom most consider a Daredevil property. I suppose that’s one point where my own wishes for who ultimately ends up with whom might be compromised, but I honestly doubt the two will have more than a fleeting moment of anything approaching a real relationship. Deborah Ann Woll herself also makes some really good points about avoiding cliches in this interview with Harper’s Bazaar, and I hope they’ve taken much of what she’s saying to heart.
Still, it’s worth exploring what exactly Frank and Karen are to each other, and this leads me to a comparison with Matt and Elektra. Mind you, the comparison is (obviously) not perfect, but there are some interesting parallels:
“You get me…”
We still don’t know what secret Karen is hiding from everyone, on screen and off. We might find out during the course of this show, but we may not. Either way, whatever relationship Karen has built with Frank up to this point, is based in part on her recognizing something in him that lets her make sense of her own actions. In finding good in him she’s finding forgiveness for herself. I would argue that Matt was attracted to Elektra for much the same reason. Even without knowing her backstory, he immediately recognized something in her that allowed him to accept and treasure a deeply hidden part of himself.
“…but I’m not going to tell you why”
Despite being pulled to the other because of perceived similarities, both Karen and Matt remain tight-lipped about their deepest secrets. Elektra obviously knows about Matt’s abilities, but it isn’t until she tells him that she suspects something that he shares his secret with her. Karen has yet to share hers with Frank of anyone else.
All alone – together
As mentioned in the interview I linked to above, The Punisher takes place after the end of The Defenders and Karen is once again as lonely as she was at the beginning of the first episode of Daredevil. Frank, meanwhile is even more devoted to his “alone against the world” mentality. The same was true for Matt and Elektra at the time of their first meeting. They’re both orphans, and remain each other’s only real support against the outside world. Matt obviously had Foggy, but the fact that he was still alone with his secret made that friendship less intimate than it could have been.
All the sparks…
What these two “couples” (I wouldn’t really classify Frank and Karen as a couple) also have in common is the chemistry. As you know, I’m not a big fan of Matt and Elektra as longterm partners, but there’s no denying that they feel a very strong attraction to each other. Frank and Karen don’t have anything approaching that, but there are still some definite sparks there.
…but oh so destructive
Matt is good for Elektra, and Karen is good for Frank. The former exert a calming and generally positive influence on the latter, but the reverse is not necessarily true. Elektra is able to show Matt what his desires are and teach him to be true to himself, which is definitely a good thing. In the longer run, though, I remain convinced that their relationship can never really be a healthy one for Matt. The same is probably true of Frank’s influence on Karen. If Frank can make it easier for Karen to forgive herself for whatever she’s done, that’s great. But, like Elektra, Frank is bound to bring chaos into the lives of even the people he cares for.
Agree? Disagree? Have your say in the comment section!