A COLD DAY IN HELL’S KITCHEN – 7/10.
Having escaped from The Hand, Matt returns to his apartment with Elektra and Stick to regroup. Matt tends to Stick’s injuries, although he keeps him tied to a chair as he has made it pretty clear that he plans to Kill Elektra. Both Stick and Elektra warn Matt that he can’t fight the war against The Hand his way, but Matt says that doesn’t have to kill Nobu; he just has to dethrone him. He asks Elektra to fight by his side as he still loves and trusts her despite everything. He tells her that he can’t do this alone and assures her that she has the power to choose her own destiny. It is a good speech and Elektra agrees to fight alongside him to the bitter end. They pay a visit to Melvin where Elektra gets suited up and Daredevil is presented with his iconic billy club, complete with grappling action.
Meanwhile Foggy meets with Jeri Hogarth who offers him a job at her firm based on his past experience with vigilantes. While Foggy certainly deserves this break it does mean that Nelson & Murdock is unequivocally over. One thing that isn’t over is Frank’s war, despite avenging his family Frank can never truly know peace. He visits his house for the first time since their deaths, but he is merely a ghost moving amongst shadows. This life is finished and he knows it. Franks sits at the table and reads the Bulletin, it declares him dead and features a photograph of the x-ray of his skull. This seems to inspire him and he paints something on to his bullet proof vest. He emerges from the house with the iconic Punisher skull emblazoned on his chest, ready for war.
Desperate to reclaim The Black Sky, Nobu lays a trap to draw Matt and Elektra out. He seizes the police files on Daredevil and then proceeds to kidnap everyone he has saved or apprehended, including Turk and Karen. The hostages are led on to a bus by Nobu’s redheaded assistant, who seems to have materialised out of nowhere for the finale. She threatens Karen and then kills an old man as a show of force. Matt scours the city desperately trying to track them down but he is unable to focus. Having only just been released on parole Turk has been fitted with an ankle monitor, a squad car eventually tracks him to The Hand’s base where the cops are taken out by Hand archers. One of the cops manages to call the attack in before he is killed, allowing Matt to pinpoint Karen’s location.
Daredevil and Elektra race across the rooftops of Hell’s Kitchen but upon their arrival she refuses to willingly walk into a trap. However Matt has no choice but to do exactly that. He fights his way into the building, taking out several ninjas and giving Karen an opening to lead the hostages to safety. More ninjas arrive and Matt is soon overwhelmed until Elektra arrives to join in the fight. Heavily outnumbered they fight their way to the rooftop to wage a last stand. Before they charge into certain death, Matt tells Elektra that the only time he has ever felt free was when he is with her and if they survive then he will spend the rest of his life running with her. She accepts his offer, but first they must defeat the small army that waits for them on the rooftop as well as Nobu himself.
After an amazingly choreographed fight Nobu knocks Matt’s mask off and goes to stab him with one of Elektra’s sais. Elektra throws herself between the men and Nobu forces the blade into her chest. Nobu retreats, leaving his men to fight a heavily wounded Matt but reinforcement comes in the form of The Punisher who takes Nobu’s men out with his sniper rifle. Enraged, Matt uses his new billy club to fling Nobu over the edge of the building. Matt cradles Elektra, but it is too late and she dies in his arms. Nobu somehow manages to survive his fall but Stick appears and chops his head off with a sword, which is a much harder injury to shake off. Days pass and Matt and Stick visit Elektra’s grave, Stick offers little comfort but calls Matt the toughest son of a bitch he ever did meet.
Frank returns to his house and smashes a picture of his old military unit. There is a CD hidden behind the photograph with the word ‘micro’ written on it. He covers the house in gasoline and burns it to the ground before vanishing into the night with a minigun. With Elektra gone and Nelson & Murdock officially out of business, Matt finds himself completely isolated. With no one else to turn to he decides to reach out to Karen, asking her to meet him at the office where he reveals the full truth about himself to her; he is Daredevil. While Stick may have killed Nobu, that isn’t enough to wipe out a huge organisation like The Hand and the season closes with Elektra’s exhumed body being locked into the blood filled artefact. The battle may be done but the war is far from over.
While still highly enjoyable, Daredevil’s third act failed to live up to the rest of the season. This is partly due to binge fatigue but it is also be due to the fact that season 2 never really established a clear antagonist. Daredevil’s battle against Kingpin formed the central narrative of season 1, whereas here the narrative was split amongst The Punisher, Elektra and to a lesser degree Nobu and The Hand. However the comic geek in me did come away from this episode with a huge smile. We got to see the billy club, Elektra’s full outfit and the skull logo that we’d all been waiting for. Despite the predictability of the final few episodes Season 2 of Daredevil was still an incredible success, and it feels as though season 3 is shaping up to be an adaptation of the incredible ‘Born Again’ series. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for it.