Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle “The Punisher” in Daredevil “The Dark at the End of the Tunnel”

The mysteries intertwining the fate of The Punisher and Elektra, the Blacksmith and The Hand, have finally been met with answers. Rather odd answers, but they do not disappoint in providing Daredevil with exactly the revelation necessary.

With the enigmatic identity of “the Blacksmith” having been kept for so long, it become clear that there was reason to this. That it was someone we have already known and a shocker for that reason. At one point I figured it must be someone in City Hall, and the DA was working with them but y’know, she got filled with bullets. Then the possibility that it was Wilson Fisk’s empire reaching out from prison and having been toying with Frank all this time. Or even being directly involved with The Hand and their conspiracy. But nope. Instead it was Colonel Shoonover, in another twist of “army-man comes home from war with his bud and makes money running a drug operation.” To be fair, this twist worked wonders. With Ellison inspiring Karen to not give up. Her going to his house to get word from him as a character witness. The sheer coincidences that brought her to his door, that he covered his tracks so well that only this was able to expose him.

The instant the music turned on in Karen’s car, you knew. Frank followed her to protect her, and he figured it out just too late. The car crash to strike at the Colonel, despite Karen being in the car already, showed once more how if Karen chooses to put herself in harm’s way Frank won’t let back, just as he did when baiting the goons to the diner. Karen begging that he won’t learn “the truth” if he kills him is disregarded with a closed door and shortly followed by a gunshot. He doesn’t care about the “why’s” or “how’s” so much as he does care about justice. There are some gripes to be had with the Colonel being the Blacksmith; were all of his goons former Marines or just criminals? Did they know who he was? How did he have the shootings of the DA, the doctor, and Karen planned? Frank managing to stumble upon his secret armory partially answers the question of where his firepower came from, as well as providing the foundation for any of Frank’s ongoing solo ventures.

Charlie Cox, Scott Glenn and Elodie Yung as Matt Murdock "Daredevil," Stick, and Elektra Natchios in Daredevil "The Dark at the End of the Tunnel."
Give yourself to the Dark Side, Elektra.

The other big twist, is that Elektra is actually the “Black Sky.” Or one of them. Because there was that one kid last season who Stick killed who was also “Black Sky.” But that plot of land Nobu marked on the map when purchasing land for Wilson Fisk last season was also labelled “Black Sky.” So I’m not 100% sure exactly what’s going on, other than that Elektra is in some way not human, and that The Hand believes it is her destiny to rule them. But just as Luke set out to prove that the Dark Side of the Force can be avoided, Matt was there to convince Elektra once again that she does not need to give in to the darkness here.

This put a powerful twist on the flashbacks peppering the episode; Stick knowing just what Elektra is and trying to hone her as a weapon against The Hand. It’s the moments like that, like Stick holding on to that bracelet from Matt as a child, that betray the cold exterior Stick would have everyone believe is all he’s got. He might not be a teddy bear on the inside, but he’s human. Whispering to Matt as he made his way from across entirely different rooms, advising him on how to fight the ninjas demonstrated that he wasn’t just trying to save his own hide; he didn’t want the Daredevil to fall to these punks. In the same way, seeing Elektra’s choices here prove that even if she does truly have this darker destiny within her, at the end of the day she’s human too.

For my review of the previous episode of Daredevil, “.380” click here.

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