Dare Devil | S2 E12

Compared to the feeding frenzy of plot lines from episode 11, this was positively refreshing. What’s more, it gave us some invaluable insight into what made Elektra … well, Elektra, as well as who exactly was behind the Castle family murders. But with the end in sight how will the final plkay out? Join Film and TV Nerd to find out!

In all honesty, while the revelation that Castle experiences is appropriate, this felt really late to be digging into Elektra’s backstory. She’s such an important character to this season and has been so fun to watch that it feels like we’ve been robbed a bit by not knowing more about her unique childhood sooner.

Given the big reveal from The Hand this episode though, perhaps it’s understandable why the writers might have been reluctant to let too much slip.

The episode begins with a flashback. Elektra is young, learning under the tutelage of Stick at some unspecified academy. She’s considerably advanced for her age, so advanced that she nearly kills another student roughly twice her size. Only Stick’s intervention keeps her from crossing that line.

Back in the present, Murdock gets to Stick just in time to stop Elektra from killing him, but all three are soon descended upon by yet more ninjas. For the moment, their mutual animosity is forgotten and they fight together. In the end, though, Murdock and Elektra can do nothing when The Hand abscond with Stick.

While Murdock vows to find and rescue him, Elektra sticks by her guns. She wants him dead, and the two part ways about as amicably as they did the last time.

To that end, she decides to track down his old commanding officer in Afghanistan, Colonel Ray Schoonover. He backs up her theory that he was a good man, but things quickly turn sour. In perusing his old war photos, she recognizes a face. One of the men who had assaulted Castle when he was on board the Blacksmith’s ship the night before had served with him in the war, along with Schoonover. But that could only mean .. .Schoonover is the Blacksmith!

That is truly a left-field twist, but it adds up in a certain way. The man in the photo had approached Schoonover after returning from the war and proposed starting a drug ring, a plan that Schoonover readily agreed to.

How Castle was or wasn’t involved in that scheme isn’t clear, but when he suddenly turns up — seemingly back from the dead — to stop Schoonover from killing Karen, it seems as if there was some lingering resentment there. Schoonover even slips in an implication that Castle’s family was intentionally targeted during the botched sting operation.

Rather than get closer to the truth, Castle decides he’d rather go full Punisher. He drags Schoonover into the shack that the latter presumably meant to take Karen to, and kills him before getting any more answers. Karen leaves dismayed, but Castle stumbles about a weapon cache hidden in the cabin. He’s found everything he needs to do whatever it is that comes next.

Meanwhile, both Daredevil and Elektra manage to track down The Hand to a series of abandoned subway tunnels. They find Stick tied up and freshly tortured with Nobu also present. A fight ensues, during which it is revealed what The Hand’s true motives were the entire time. They want the Black Sky that Stick mentioned earlier in the season, and it turns out that the Black Sky is Elektra.

How exactly that is and why isn’t explained, but it apparently explains a good deal about her troubled childhood. In a series of flashbacks, we see what happened after Stick stopped her from finishing off her sparring partner. The boy, embarrassed at losing the fight, confronts her with a knife. She predictably gets the better of him again, but this time ends it before Stick can intervene.

Stick and the other instructor on hand seem to know about her Black Sky-ness and debate whether or not to kill her outright following the murder. At first it seems as if Stick relents to the execution of his star pupil, but at the last minute, he kills his fellow instructor instead and escapes with Elektra in tow. We later see him arranging her adoption by the diplomats she would go on to live with into adulthood.

Now, though, Nobu is prepared to welcome Elektra into The Hand as some manner of prophet. She initially seems intrigued, even going so far as to put a sword to Daredevil’s throat, but eventually relents and saves Stick instead.

The episode ends with Daredevil escaping The Hand once more, and Nobu looking more determined than ever to get the best of our hero.


What did you think of this episode?

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