Daredevil season 2 – The relationships and their lingering complications

Aug 17, 2017

Daredevil season 2 – The relationships and their lingering complications

Aug 17, 2017

I ran out of time, and wanted to get this up before the premiere of Defenders. So, for the time being, no pictures. Will add them later. And, I didn’t proofread it either so I hope it’s legible. 🙂

As I mentioned in my review of episode six, I decided to tackle the tail end of season two of Daredevil in a single post rather than one episode at a time. This not only saves a bit of time and space, but it also actually makes it easier to talk about the bigger picture and the broader strokes. As you can see below, I’ve divided this post into various relationships, simply because I think that’s a good way of actually analyzing what’s going on. There are certainly big events happening that lie far beyond individual lives, but the story is just as much about the various players happening to each other.

Before going on, I should add that season two remains difficult for me to watch, though much less so these days compared to a year ago. It is an amazing twelve plus hours of television, but is also really took an emotional toll on me and is one of the big reasons I had to take a break from all things Daredevil for a long time. Over the course of the season, several of the characters end up disappointing both their friends and, to a great extent, themselves. In many ways, this makes for very compelling and lifelike drama, but there are few heroes standing. Ironically, Elektra is the one who most obviously manages to to redeem herself at the end, though Matt is taking steps to do the same by “coming out” to Karen.

At the same time, I have to commend the creators for daring to take the characters in these different directions, and showing their uglier sides too. Hopefully, by showing all of them what doesn’t work in season two, they can be brought back together again, with a more mature understanding of themselves, in season three.

Matt and Foggy

It’s clearly evident at the start of the season that Matt and Foggy still have unresolved issues to address and a questionable willingness to actually address them. For Matt, being Daredevil is something that he enjoys and feels compelled to do, whereas Foggy doesn’t yet understand Matt’s position. Foggy’s reluctance to accept Matt’s choices, meanwhile, is probably both selfish and selfless. Foggy misses the simpler times when there was “just” Matt, and no Daredevil. At the same time, he is genuinely (and legitimately) concerned for his friend’s safety. When we see him yelling at Matt in episode two, after finding him passed out on a roof top, I understand Foggy’s frustration when Matt completely fails to acknowledge the severity of the situation. Compare this to a parent who loses their child at the park. Their priority when reunited is to hug the child in relief and thank whatever higher power they believe in that everything is okay. The second is to firmly tell that same kid that they must never walk off again. I’m not saying that Matt is a child, or that the comparison is perfect, merely that intense worry often turns into anger once the danger is over. Would it have served their friendship better for Foggy to express himself differently? Certainly, but people tend to say a lot of stupid things when they’re hurt or worried.

And the hurt continues throughout the season. Foggy is actually a lot nicer to Matt than I would have been at the end of episode six, considering he just had the entire Frank Castle situation dumped in his lap while Matt went off with Elektra. But, things start to go downhill from here. Much of this is Matt’s fault. Had he been honest about Elektra being the new client, much of what happens next would have turned out very differently. Instead, Foggy is faced with, once again, learning too late that he’s been deceived, as Elektra sabotages their case. Which in turn is not actually Matt’s fault. At this point, Foggy doesn’t want to hear it, and says things that he shouldn’t have. Matt is desperate to explain what’s going on, but is faced with the fact that his past actions have eroded whatever trust in him that Foggy had left. Step by step, these two begin a spiral of hurt, miscommunication and a stubborn unwillingness to see the other person’s point of view.

One of the most poignant scenes of the season, in terms of Matt and Foggy’s relationship, is when they officially decide to break up (around episode nine, as I recall). Foggy comes to ask for a temporary break-up of Nelson & Murdock, and Matt decides to make it permanent, catching Foggy completely off guard. This is also where Matt makes it clear that Foggy’s friend and “the vigilante” are the same person, and that he’s tired of “apologizing for who he is.” I think this is a very important statement for Matt to make, and a necessary one if they’re ever going to form a relationship of true and mutual acceptance. However, Matt’s resolve here is not what it seems, as is evident from the hurt he’s obviously feeling when Foggy leaves and his eyes start tearing up.

One thing to remember about Matt, and this has major consequences for how things turn out, is that he’s got a lot of baggage when it comes to forming attachments to other people. After his father died, he had no one until Stick showed up.
Stick then turns around and leaves when Matt tries to express his emotions (with the ice cream wrapper bracelet). And before he leaves, he makes sure that Matt is told to not let other people get too close. So, when Matt feels rejected by Foggy and Karen (more on that below), it reinforces Stick’s “programming.” There is a pull and push between Matt’s exciting exploits with Elektra on the one hand, and his civilian life on the other, where he’s beginning to feel that his friends don’t want him and are better off without him. If it weren’t for the fact that this part of his life pretty much implodes, the pull of Elektra, while still obviously there, might not have been as strong.

When we get further along, we’re beginning to see more of a truce between Matt and Foggy. Matt is redeemed somewhat in Foggy’s eyes when they learn of Frank’s escape, and Matt’s suspicions that someone “got to” Frank and caused him to have a meltdown on the witness stand, are validated. Foggy also offers some helpful practical advice near the end when Matt is looking for the tunnels where the Hand might be hiding out. Is this the beginning of Foggy actually accepting Matt’s “other side”? If he can’t make him abandon his vigilante activities, he can at least do something to help. In the end though, they do go their separate ways professionally and that’s another string tying Matt to his civilian life severed.

Matt and Karen

The big irony of Matt and Karen is that they actually have a lot in common, mostly things the other person doesn’t know about because they’re not being honest with each other. Not only does Karen have secrets of her own, she also shares Matt’s tendency to chase danger. It is interesting to see that Matt treats Karen almost the same way Foggy treats Matt when it comes to danger and risk taking. This makes Matt a total hypocrite, in my mind. True, Matt is obviously better able to protect himself against most dangers, but it’s not as if he’s invincible, as evidenced by his many injuries. He feels that these risks are worth taking, but seems completely unable to take in the fact that Karen obviously feels the same way about what she does. One theory, though a rather sad one, is that Matt may actually have a tragically low sense of his own worth.

Matt is a hypocrite in more ways than one, however, in his interactions with Karen (especially when compared with how willing he is to forgive Elektra’s murderous side). In episode seven, the two meet to prepare for Frank’s trial and end up having a conversation about what Frank does. Matt reacts with something akin to disgust when the differences between Karen’s morals and his own on this topic become evident. Which, with his secretly being a vigilante, feels extremely harsh. And while he may like to pretend that his “no kill” methods are beyond reproach, we can be sure he’s given more than one guy permanent brain damage at this point. Maybe it’s simply the case that Matt reacts so strongly because Karen is unwittingly sniffing around those parts of him that he’s ashamed of. Few things get to us more than when people bring our attention to weaknesses or inconsistencies that we know to be true, and Matt’s reaction to Karen might be a result of his trying to distance himself from the shadier aspects of his night job.

Karen, like Foggy, will go on to distance herself from Matt over the tail end of the season, and in so doing further underscores Matt’s existing programming, which tells him that it’s a bad idea to have people in your life that you care about, and that you may not really be worthy of their love. Many have pointed out that Karen overreacts to finding Elektra in Matt’s apartment, and I would agree. Especially with Stick being there which would indicate that this is something other than an affair with some strange woman. And, when Karen tells Matt that he’s no hero, after the Castle case falls apart, your heart aches for poor Matt. On the other hand, in Karen’s defense, she still doesn’t know about Daredevil. She strongly suspects that something big is being hidden from her, and that Matt (and, by extension, Foggy) is not forthcoming on this matter, and that Matt is not emotionally available to her in the same way that she is to him. Combine this with seeing the effect that his no-shows in court has on Foggy, and it’s easier to understand how she might read the whole situation with Matt and Elektra the wrong way. And, she may not even suspect an affair, just that this further proves that something big is up with Matt that he obviously prioritizes over everything else going on in their lives. That would be enough to piss her off, though her unwillingness to really listen to what Matt has to say is not admirable.

Matt and Elektra

I think Elodie Yung nails Elektra and gives us the most interesting take on the character I’ve ever seen. However, she still comes across to me as a bit of a mix between original Elektra and the version of the character we saw in the Man Without Fear mini-series from the 90s where she comes across as much darker. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there was definitely a difference in the dynamics between Matt and Elektra in her original appearance (innocent college student lost to the dark side after her father’s death), and her MWOF appearance (where she’s this borderline psychopathic vixen right from the get go). In the latter case, Matt’s relationship with Elektra feels almost primal. Elektra plays with him, he chases her, there’s passion, and exuberance. This relationship is similar to the one on the show, intense and passionate, but that also means that it makes more sense as that big and exciting college fling, than as a healthy adult relationship. In fact, in MWOF, Elektra simply vanishes, and they don’t meet again.

Much of the narrative of Matt and Elektra’s relationship hinges on this notion that they have so much in common, and I don’t think this makes perfect sense given this particular version of Elektra and their in-story history. There’s a false equivalency between what Matt does, and what Elektra does (even more so when you take into account why they do what they do), that seems even more jarring when you take into account how harshly Matt judges Karen’s take on the Punisher. The fact that they both like “extreme sports” certainly unites them, but there’s more to their respective escapades than that. Another part of the appeal for Matt, which I can certainly emphasize with, is that Elektra knows the whole truth about him, and accepts him. Foggy knows the truth, but doesn’t fully accept everything that comes with it. Karen doesn’t know, but probably would be more accepting (it may be too little, too late considering the way she finds out at the end of the season, but we don’t know that yet). In this sense, Elektra fulfills Matt’s need to be understood and validated, and even cheers him on. In the context of Matt’s civilian life imploding, it’s not hard to understand his “good riddance” attitude. Why not sail off into the sunset with Elektra? He’s already lost everything. And she makes him feel good.

But, the problem remains: Matt probably does get a kick out of the amount of hurt he brings to his “victims,” which means that Daredevil, to him, isn’t just about physical freedom and thrill seeking, or justice. But, he also does value his morality. He definitely has a dark streak, the “devil inside,” and Elektra likes that part of him and encourages it. But unlike Elektra, Matt doesn’t want to give that side of him free reins. At the end of the day, he does draw the line at killing. And he tries to keep himself on an even shorter leash than that. We should not view this as him denying some important inner truth whenever he exercises restraint. Seriously, the difference between a grown person in civilized society and a two-year-old is that the former doesn’t impulsively do whatever their lower instincts tell them to do. Matt’s sense of right and wrong is important to him, and absolutely central to who he is as a character. In this sense, he and Elektra are complete opposites, at least initially. Elektra actually enjoys killing, she’s manipulative, and aloof.

Thankfully, Elektra does go through some interesting changes. She finds her “inner light,” and recognizes that it was that side of him that she loved in Matt. I’m not sure this makes perfect sense, or is enough of a reason for Matt to love her the way he apparently (supposedly?) does. Remember, the story itself has to lead us to this destination, it shouldn’t be enough to say that, “Oh, but this is what happens in the comics.” On a personal level, one thing that does make sense from the perspective of how people usually work, is that he believes he can save her, and falls in love (again) with this idea of her. And I’m not saying Elektra is all bad at the end – she’s not – but it’s Matt’s idea of who she can be that compels her to change.

This in itself is an interesting contrast when you compare Karen and Elektra. In many ways, Elektra can carry her own in ways that Karen can’t, but Elektra needs Matt more (whether she realizes this or not) in ways that appeal to Matt. Karen doesn’t want Matt to save her (and not knowing about Daredevil doesn’t matter much, Matt is still an authority figure in Karen’s live for much of the show). His role when it comes to Elektra is much more clear. Aside from letting him indulge his Daredevil side, Elektra also brings out the side in Matt that wants to do good. This still doesn’t play out for me perfectly, and there’s still something about the Matt-Elektra dynamic that doesn’t sit right with me, but it makes more sense now than it did the first three times I watched this show. I just hope that the Matt and Elektra storyline will be over after Defenders. In the comics, she has always been this enigmatic presence that pops in and out of his life at irregular intervals, not a steady love interest (beyond their college years and her first death).

Matt and Claire

Matt and Claire don’t see a lot of each other in season two, compared to season one. I’m including their relationship here though, because her scene with Matt up on the roof of the hospital, before the ninjas show up, is one of my favorites. Mostly due to the fact that she echoes my own sentiment when it comes to how Matt chooses to distance himself from the people he claims to want to protect. I guess we need to remember that this takes place after he’s gone to see Fisk in prison (a scene that really needs its own discussion, but I’m seriously running out of time before the Defenders airs), where Matt is both still really hurt over being misunderstood, and, at the same time, very much aware of what a target he’s put on the people in his life that he still very much cares about.

What Claire does, though, is point out his arrogance in putting himself above everyone else. She invites him to not let the hero get in the way of also just being a human being, a friend. But Matt refuses to go to see and Foggy. He’s not at that point yet. One thing I hope to see in season three is what Born Again did so well in the comics, which is to make Matt appreciate his civilian life. Disbarred, and away from his friends, Matt starts to completely spiral out of control due to the Kingpin’s machinations. This is another reason I’m a bit ill at ease with Cox’s comments (see my previous post). Cutting the “blind lawyer” out of his life and going full Daredevil, if you will, has historically not been a great choice for Matt. He needs his balance. I hope he realizes that on screen as well.

Karen and Frank

On the one hand, I really do like Karen and Frank’s budding relationship and look forward to seeing it on screen in The Punisher, later this fall. On the other hand, I think there is a tendency to milk the “similarities” between the characters for much more than they’re worth, in ways that are in some ways analogous to what’s happening with Matt and Elektra. Yes, Karen has killed (at least) one person, but with Wesley, we know it was self-defense. And yes, Karen finds ways to personally relate to Frank’s “war” and feels sympathy for what happened to his family. But, unless Karen has actually taken a machine gun to a house full of mobsters, it becomes a bit of a stretch to overstate how much they actually have in common.

I also have to question Frank’s speech regarding how the only people who can really hurt you are the ones you love. This may be true, but that doesn’t mean that it’s healthy or desirable for a loved one to make you feel like shit on any sort of regular basis. If Matt has hurt Karen, it’s not simply because she loves him. It could be because things happened between them where none of them were at their best. Not a big deal, but I’m not sure I’d recommend that Frank pursue a second career writing advice columns for the Bulletin (hey, it’s supposedly easy to get a job there.) 😉

I do like that Karen goes off and does her own thing though, and this kind of goes for Foggy too. Matt is such an overwhelming presence, that maybe everyone is better off just finding themselves before they’re ready to patch things up again.

In closing

After Monday, I just ran out of time this week, or else this post would have been at least twenty-five percent longer. And, it would have had pictures (I’ll add them later). As is, we’re just over nine hours away from Defenders, and I’m at a work conference, and in dire need of sleep. 😉

Tomorrow, I won’t be able to start watching Defenders until about 12PM ET, which is still a lot sooner than a lot of people, but I expect to finish some time after midnight my time and get it all in before bed. Needless to say, I’ll stay off Twitter and Facebook. If you want to comment here and talk Daredevil, though (no Defenders spoilers!), I’m all ears.


  1. Donald Reif

    About the whole Matt and Foggy thing… you’re right that Foggy worries for Matt’s wellbeing. Anyone else would be the same. But mix that in with the fact that I think he never fully accepted or supported Daredevil’s cause. You know he must have been conflicted about the fact that although Daredevil saves lives, Foggy doesn’t actually think vigilantism is right. I think he deludes himself by saying he’s just worrying about Matt’s safety, because that’s much easier than just admitting how he truly feels about vigilantes. The fight they had in “Nelson v. Murdock” was very upsetting for both, enough that I think they didn’t settle their differences at all, that instead they just put them aside and starting regarding them as the elephant in the room.

    So once Matt’s vigilante activities start actively interfering with Frank Castle’s trial – his absences and Elektra sabotaging the witness – Foggy finally feels justified in his discomfort about Matt being a vigilante. So when Matt does finally tell Foggy about Elektra, he’s basically handing Foggy ironclad proof that being Daredevil is harmful, so Foggy unloads on him.

    But then there’s Foggy’s “you don’t get to create danger and then protect us from that danger. That’s not heroic, that’s insane.” That crosses a line for me. But in the bathroom argument, Foggy also said, “stop pretending that these things just happen to you”, which is more reasonable.

    Foggy: “I came to talk to my friend, not the vigilante.”

    Matt: “They’re the same person, Foggy.”

    Foggy: “They weren’t, always.”

    Basically, the root of Matt and Foggy’s conflict in season 2 stems from the fact that Matt and the audience see Daredevil as a part of WHO he is. Foggy sees Daredevil as something Matt is CHOOSING to do, and refuses to accept that the violence behind has always been a part of Matt from the start. And the reality is that both parties are right: Matt is right that the violent tendencies that define Daredevil are always going to be a part of him, and Foggy needs to either accept that or walk away, otherwise they will continue to have conflict. But Foggy is also right that Matt makes choices about what he does as Daredevil, so Matt needs to accept the consequences of his actions.

    See, Karen was right in 1×13 when she said something about how when a relationship goes south, all parties have some level of responsibility for why things turned bad.

  2. Donald Reif

    “I do like that Karen goes off and does her own thing though, and this kind of goes for Foggy too. Matt is such an overwhelming presence, that maybe everyone is better off just finding themselves before they’re ready to patch things up again.”

    This raises the question, Christine, do you think Nelson & Murdock has a chance of reopening in season 3? If so, do you see Karen returning to her old job as Matt and Foggy’s secretary? Or do you see Matt and Foggy hiring someone else to be their secretary?

  3. Genesaur

    Should… should I list the typos? It might make it easier for you to edit it, but I don’t wanna come off as a know-it-all grammar nazi.

  4. Christine Hanefalk

    @Genesaur: I’ve done a quick read through now so have hopefully caught most of them.

    Normally when I write a post I end up going through it two-three times before posting, and then I always catch something else to correct or update after I’ve been away from it for a few hours, and go back to look again. It’s how the human brain works, I guess. 😉

  5. geb

    HI again everybody.

    I very much like your example, and yes, even though Matt is not a child, your’s is a very compelling metaphor for the underlying way that the course of events leading to the distancing between the friends initially transpires. Indeed, when our temperature rises is when we are most likely to say things in overkill mode

    I feel a connection between the above and to the ingrained caution instilled by Stick, that was mentioned. So as to clarify that I am not biased to either side of this approach, I’ll recall what has been said about keeping a miidle ground when reviewing most things in life as being the best course. I have found though, through experience, and perhaps others here have had some similar displeasure, there have been cases where some people known on a casual friendly basis (and of couse meaning far fewer than most, I like to believe) when permitted the acquaintance to extend to a higher personal level, has resulted in these other parties beginning to take unfair advantage of this type of situation.

    The worst scenarios are when (if) there begins a taking of liberties in judgment of our more or highly personal topics that have been shared, where the others will begin at some point (when the road get’s rockier) to say things well out of bounds, sometimes non challantly and, more times than not, not having experienced quite such situations as we have so in truth are quite uniformed of the why’s that created our dillema of inability to correspond to their expectations or, worse, demands.. in other words, sometimes some can really tangle our emotions. Again, not that either Matt or Foggy are playing at this low level of perception for both are being stubborn in their own different ways due to the varying optical angles. I will however concede that in some rare cases, I must admit that Stick’s advice may be a bit wiiser than it appears for, sometimes and out of genuine concern, when we try to help somebody we end up getting blasted ourselves.

    That Matt is being a hypocrit by treating Karen similarly to as how Foggy is dealing with Matt is a real nice insight also. I guess that maybe bailing her out as her lawyer may have gotten to his head, although I would say that the man to man conflict may be different enough from the man to woman situatation, especially considering the feelings he holds deeper within for Karen. Still, this doesn’t justify his man whimping of fear actions here in this case. It did feel that Karen was not so sensibly permitting herself to cross so deep into symathization with Frank’s “crusade?” or mission, and I’d mention that his statement, in line with the extent to which the terms of their relationship overly stretch, is indeed an overstatement within their space, but in reallity it would hold true in factually based circumstances that occur on a larger scale. Such as civil war, where you’de expect anything from an enemy.. but from your own brethren? Which is when and why the worst atrocities are commited (just that some nations are big enough to sweep them deep enough under the carpet). So yes, this segment has been over written a bit too much.

    Yes, I agree that what direction that season 3 should take is a difficult diagnosis to write a prescription for. It’s evident in the different dynamics and purposes of the many relationships and the subtle contradictions (most of which you’ve covered very completely) that arise from within each in relation to the others. Elektra? I’m not even going to go there since, like you mentioned, she’s been written so many ways it sometimes feels like watching an amatuer magician contest, plus I have my own qualms with her various versions. Elodi is fantastic though, so that makes it easier.

    The evidence meant is clear in everything you stated coming from Claire’s lips when blasting Matt’s actions, with this showing the screenwriters are aware of all of the contradicting concerns of just how the presentation should unfold so as to contain something for everyone. The creators are doing the best job anyone has as of yet and the executives appear to be giving them the support required for creativity so, true, there will always be a better route to follow that can add to and improve on what came before while still maintaning the essence. I do believe that part of the dillema of where and how to take the show is in part a question of where the series’ appeal has had the most impact. If the the majority of the audience appeal rests with the younger crowed who want to see heroes mostly in hand2hand and/or even older sectors who comprise the blood-thirsty TV/movie mob (basically, contrary to what someone very perceptively stated as reason for enjoying Iron Fist being the lack of unecassary violence), well then I fear that under pre$$ure the creators may unwillingly have some of the wind of hope taken out their and our sails.

    Still, these would merely be worst case scenarios and we should keep our hopes up and fingers crossed. I hope you and everybody else discovers a pleasant surprise coming up soon. Be well, and happy viewing,

  6. Genesaur

    @Christine Nah, I get it. I review and re-edit my own stuffs numerous times after it’s been posted. Cool.

  7. Areis

    Great Analysis!

    When I watched Season 2 for the first time I got very frustrated with Foggy and Karen. Yes, Matt screwed up a bunch in the trial (mostly by not being there), but they also blamed him for much more than was actually in his control. Especially when Frank blew up on the witness stand and Foggy blamed Matt for provoking Frank into it. I’m guessing Foggy was mad enough at Matt for everything else that maybe he wasn’t thinking clearly through the haze. That it was easier to blame Matt for one more thing.
    Maybe he just needed time to realize that. BUT, Foggy knew that Frank was unpredictable. Remember, they were never supposed to go to trial in the first place. Frank changing his plea to not guilty was never supposed to happen. Yet, except for a small accusation thrown at Karen about what she had said to change his mind, blame was put in the right place. On Frank. I’m sure Foggy was just mad at how the court case ended up, but still….

    Also, that “you’re not a hero” line from Karen was way harsh for the situation. Especially when she keeps her own secrets and would lie to Matt the couple times he could tell something was off. I’m not saying that she should tell Matt her past yet, but you would think she would be a bit more understanding of someone else having secrets. The only reason that Matt’s secrets were a problem was that they were obvious.

    Also, don’t get me wrong, I actually love both characters a lot. I especially liked that they both took their own journeys in the second season. Karen’s evolution to Ben’s old desk was a great addition.

    I think I mostly felt bad for Matt since it seemed easier for the other characters to blame him rather than to actually listen. Yet, like you said, maybe that’s what happens when you “lie” for too long. Even though most of Matt’s lies were lies of omission rather than flat out fibs. Other than saying he ran into doors all the time, which were pretty flimsy cover ups at the most.

    I think that’s the only things I wanted to add!

    • Donald

      @Areis: Truthfully, things would’ve been a lot better for everyone if they just communicated better.

  8. Donald Reif

    I do think, looking back, one has to always wonder ‘was it the right thing to dissolve Nelson & Murdock’? Part of me actually feels that in that last scene when Foggy was packing his things, that had Matt argued, Foggy probably would’ve gotten cold feet about leaving and changed his mind. and they would’ve then convinced Karen to stay on with them. But another part feels that even if Matt, Karen and Foggy did decide to soldier on, things would only get worse between them.

    And then there’s a part of me that feels that breaking up the firm was a bit of a plot device to move characters into positions so that Matt will feel the need to team up with Jessica, Luke and Danny in The Defenders, and also to craft a way for Matt to learn of Jessica (through a tipoff from Foggy). (One does wonder, how would Matt’s storyline in The Defenders have been differed had Nelson & Murdock remained open?)

  9. Donald Reif

    The biggest question now is, does Nelson & Murdock reform? Can Nelson & Murdock reform? I want to hope that they decide they want another shot once they’ve begun communicating more openly and Matt realizes he doesn’t want to do it without Foggy? Part of me would love for the three of them to all come back together, and while it’s hard and tense and painful, they turn out to be ultimately better and happier for it.

  10. Daniel

    I think you nailed the Matt/Elektra relationship. I do think a big draw for Matt is not just the freedom that Elektra can provide, but also the fact that he feels he can “save” her. Matt has always been over protective with those he cares about, sometime to the point of being controlling and oppressive. This is evident in his interactions with Karen. But it is very interesting that this leads to hypocrisy when he cant see that he is doing the same thing that Foggy is doing to him. Mainly it was just really frustrating that much of the problems between the main characters stemmed from the fact that none of them would stop and listen to the others, or try to see things from their prospective. It just comes across as a bit immature. But I think that is only human and realistic. They felt hurt and misunderstood, and at a certain point they just stopped trying to reason and were more hurtful then they should have been. I think the season is very indicative of the Matt/Elektra relationship in that its more based on feelings then on logic. The weaker aspects of the characters and their more base desires come front and center and drive much of their actions. Not very commendable, but very human and compelling.

    At this point Nelson and Murdock may reform, but I cant see Karen coming back and rejoining the firm. It would be to much of a step backwards for the character now that she has established herself at the newspaper. It is nice that the supporting characters got their own paths to follow, but I hope by Season three they are more mature in listening and being understanding to each other.

  11. Donald Reif

    @Daniel – What you say about Karen is key. The Bulletin job is a nice fit for someone of Karen’s personality. And now that I think about it, I probably wouldn’t want Karen to just walk away from the paper and go back to her old job, not unless something happened that made her absolutely convinced that it would be the right choice to make. That’s all dependent on how her career pans out. (I’m super curious how Karen keeps her job after using company resources to help a known murderer, and lying about it. Who knows if Fisk finds out about Karen’s association with Frank) But at the same time, I can’t imagine the office feeling ‘right’ if it reopened without Karen installed in it in some capacity. Now who knows, maybe Nelson & Murdock will hire on Becky Blake, or just reopen with no secretary at all.

    Frankly, what I hope in early season 3 is that Karen freaks out when she realizes Matt’s alive, and drags him into bed before he has a chance to say much of anything. Those regrets she was left with after his “death” in The Defenders have visibly messed her UP as seen in her min-arc on The Punisher.

  12. Donald Reif

    You know something strange about season 2? I never really thought about it until someone on Reddit pointed it out, but the three biggest characters of season 2 (Matt, Elektra and Frank) never share one scene all together. I feel like it kind of writes itself to have a moment with Matt, Frank, and Elektra in the same room, aware of each other. It would say a hell of a lot to Frank about Matt if he was aware that Matt had any kind of relationship with Elektra, who is as much, if not more of a killer than Frank is. It
    would force Matt to take a look at himself and make Elektra have to wonder if she’s good for Matt, when considering how Matt sees Frank. There’s just so much that could have enriched all three of those characters if they, you know… actually interacted in some kind of (not love) triangle. There’s all sorts of conflict between and within characters that could happen just from them knowing about each other.

  13. Donald Reif

    There’s a few changes I would’ve made to season 2, and that’s that Matt overruled Karen’s objections and went with her into police protection in 2×11, and that Karen brought Matt along for her interview with Colonel Schoonover.

    Related question: what would have had to have gone differently for season 2 to end with Nelson & Murdock still open?

  14. Donald Reif

    This season felt like a huge game changer. Especially regarding the relationships between Matt, Karen and Foggy. Even when things get repaired between the three, their dynamic will never be the same again, and I’m interested to see where it continues once Matt comes back from the dead. So a good portion of the third season will focus on how the Avocados repair and become a family again. Matt coming back from the dead, and Fisk getting out to seek revenge, should be the push that gets them reconciled. Perhaps Matt’s time in the convent in The Defenders will give him time to reflect and acknowledge all the mistakes he made with Karen and Foggy here in season 2. They’re now two of the few people who know his true identity, and it’s obviously time for him to atone for his mistakes. Karen is Matt’s longest running romantic interest in the comics, so I’m pretty sure that’ll continue in season 3 combined with Karen taking on Ben’s comics role. And Nelson & Murdock reopening is just inevitable given that Matt and Foggy have always found ways to make up after every falling out.

  15. Nora

    I hope so too! And regarding to the excellent question you asked in the previous post: I think the most important change in comparison to season two would be, that they start talking with each other if they want to become a team again. In season I always had the impression, that they only talked (or screamed) at another.
    If I understood Jessica Jones season 2 correctly, Foggy should be unemployed now, I would love to see a teamup between Matt, Foggy and Marcy 🙂

  16. Donald Reif

    @Nora And as long as they don’t kill off Karen, even better. A Matt, Karen, Foggy, Marci teamup would certainly also tick off one thing on my bucket list: Marci interacting with Matt. She’s never gotten to interact with Matt once on-camera. She’s only interacted with Foggy in all her scenes and only once gotten to interact with Karen.

    Going off Amy Rutberg’s social media presence as well as her remarks in interviews, I do get the impression that Marci will be receiving a much larger role in the events of season 3.

  17. Donald Reif

    I really wish they’d shown the rest of Karen’s reaction to Matt revealing his secret. I mean, in season 1, Foggy got an entire episode to deal with the ramifications of learning Matt’s secret. Karen just had a fadeout and the next time we meet them in The Defenders, it’s several months later and they only talk about it in passing.

    It stands to note that Charlie Cox and Deborah Ann Woll have said they wish that we’d gotten to see the rest of Karen’s reaction (https://www.cinemablend.com/television/1686959/the-big-daredevil-season-2-moment-that-charlie-cox-wishes-had-been-filmed). To quote Charlie Cox from the article:

    “In the 6 months since DD ended and this show [The Defenders) begins, there is so much stuff that I would like to have explored. Like I’d love see the conversation between him and Karen. At the end of Season 2 he hands her the mask, and says I’m Daredevil. I’d love to have seen that conversation. And maybe we will. Maybe we’ll see that in a flashback or something, I don’t know.”

    It was disappointing, really. Karen is the deuteragonist of Daredevil and she deserved to have the full reveal conversation. Then again, I suppose there just wasn’t a way to reasonably incorporate that scene into The Defenders. But they really should show us the entire reveal conversation in episode 13 from start to finish, of Matt explaining his abilities to Karen, who trained him, what he was doing while she was helping Frank, who the strange people in his apartment were, etc. I know most of it would just be Matt rehashing to Karen things that the audience already knows, but as much as characters may talk about the reveal in passing in The Defenders, it’s not the same as actually seeing it for ourselves. I really hope that maybe season 3 will backtrack a little bit, and show us the rest of the reveal conversation in flashbacks.

  18. Christine Hanefalk

    @Donald Reif: I think the main reason we don’t get another reveal scenario (as much as Matt and Karen both deserve that scene) is because they felt they’d already done one with Foggy and were worried it might get repetitive. But, not only do Karen and Matt never get that scene (except off-screen), we can only assume that they’ve actually had relatively little contact since then which means that Karen has not even had the benefit of getting used to Matt’s powers that Foggy got in between seasons one and two.

    The Defenders confirms this explicitly, but there’s also a minor, throw-away, moment in the first episode where Matt and Karen go to lunch, and Karen looks really uncomfortable when the waitress explains the layout of Matt’s plate setting. This suggests to me that Karen 1) feels really iffy about the level of pretense Matt has to go through (understandable), and 2) whatever conversation they may have had about what he can and cannot do may not even have been particularly in-depth (which would contribute to my first point). Foggy, on the contrary, seems to have perfectly adjusted to the knowledge of Matt’s heightened senses by the start of season two.

    I guess what all this boils down to is that there is still plenty of narrative room for a scene in season three where Karen gets to pick up where they left off. The reveal is not over and done with, but actually ongoing and unfinished.

  19. Donald Reif

    Yeah, I always figured that, between much of it being Matt rehashing details that the audience already knows and them not having time in The Defenders to properly explore the fallout, they weren’t going to touch too heavily on the reveal conversation. I suppose they would have probably done the detailed version of the reveal conversation if it had happened earlier in season 2.

    Their best chance probably was the study date scene, when Matt and Karen were in his apartment preparing for the medical examiner’s testimony in Frank’s trial was a perfect opportunity where they could’ve both come clean about their secrets. But I suppose it makes sense why they’re saving Karen coming clean about Wesley until season 3: because Fisk is a more imminent threat in season 3 and he can’t have forgotten about Wesley’s death even if he never mentions Wesley’s name once in season 2. (And I guess they held off the identity reveal on Matt’s side until the very end because of various reasons)

    On the flipside, though, in The Defenders, Karen’s negative reactions to Matt telling her he’s going back to being Daredevil again (“This is how you tell me that you’re doing it again? ‘Cause that’s what you’re saying, you’re going out as him”) would’ve had a lot more depth to them if we knew exactly what was said during the reveal conversation. (That, and what was said in the conversation may have played into Matt’s decision to retire temporarily from Daredevil stuff in between season 2 and The Defenders).

    “I guess what all this boils down to is that there is still plenty of narrative room for a scene in season three where Karen gets to pick up where they left off. The reveal is not over and done with, but actually ongoing and unfinished.”

    Given that I believe they’ll likely have a heavy Matt/Karen emphasis as far as relationships in season 3 go, I can certainly see them taking that sort of approach with Karen. (I think it really depends heavily on how much time will have passed in-universe between The Defenders and Daredevil season 3.)

    Now even if Matt and Karen don’t get flashbacks to the rest of Karen’s version of the reveal conversation, I think it’s safe to say that they will get some flashbacks if season 3 (more likely than not) has a scene where Karen reveals to Matt what she did to Wesley (using archival footage in quick cutaways. The reason I think they’ll do it this way is because, by the time season 3 comes out, it’ll have been three-and-a-half years in real time since season 1, and Wesley’s name hasn’t been spoken so much as once on-screen in the time since then, so casual viewers might have forgotten about him. Luke Cage season 2 did the same thing a few times, like when Shades was recounting Pop’s and Candace’s deaths)

  20. Donald Reif

    On the subject of season 2 in general (yeah, double posting here), I think the season had a lot of good moments, like Frank’s graveyard scene or Matt and Karen’s first kiss, but I think things became very disjointed in the back part of the season. The Punisher and the Hand/Elektra storylines have minimal impact on one another. And the less said about the Black Sky stuff the better.

    I think that Season 2 of Daredevil would’ve been much better if it had an actual main villain. Because a show is only as good as its villain. In Season 1, Fisk held the plotline together. Season 2 is divided between the Punisher, who is only the antagonist in the first act, and the Hand, who are just very boring in contrast with Fisk, Mariah, Cottonmouth, Bushmaster, Shades, Billy Russo, and so on. (Mystical stuff just doesn’t translate to live action)

  21. Donald Reif

    “we can only assume that they’ve actually had relatively little contact since then which means that Karen has not even had the benefit of getting used to Matt’s powers that Foggy got in between seasons one and two.

    I’m thinking that has a lot to do with the fact that Foggy found out at a time when the three of them still worked together, whereas Karen found out after the firm was disbanded, and at a time where she’s not only dealing with the sting of the firm’s breakup, but she’s also busy trying to prove herself in her new job and probably doesn’t have much free time to spend with Matt or Foggy, which, had the three of them still been working as Nelson & Murdock, is time she’d have had to get adjusted to Matt’s abilities.


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