Grumpy Bird Reviews: Daredevil s02e05: Kinbaku

Hmm. Well. After four unstoppable episodes Daredevil introduces a new player into the game. And, well, the most generous thing I can think to say is Frank is a tough act to follow.

12764578_1716859628550273_6556048094916967473_oDaredevil s02e05: Kinbaku

Director: Floria Sigismondi

writer: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich

Netflix

Quick Review:

The perfect balance this show has presented so far shifts slightly in this episode. Foggy shifts more into the background allowing Karen to take more screen time investigating the mystery that is the Punisher and what seems to be a high level cover-up. I’m okay with that. Also, the Daredevil elements take a backseat to flashbacks of the history of Matt and Elektra. In theory, I am okay with this as well, but in practice I am not exactly excited with this version of Elektra. In short, she seems to be an amoral, psychotic version of any of the vapid members of the Sex and the City squad. Hopefully we will learn more complexities as the season progresses, but I’m not sold on bored little rich girl Elektra.

Spoilers Lurk Below.

Analysis:

As a comics fan I feel I’ve read several different interpretations and reinventions of the origins of Elektra. I can’t quite keep them all in my head. The two most prominent I remember is daughter of an international crime figure and daughter of a diplomat. Since that aspect of her life isn’t addressed in this episode, either could work. However, if I remember correctly, violence catches up to her father which sets her down the path that turns her into Elektra: Assassin.

That is one of the things that makes her into such a good foil for Matt. She is what would have happened to him if he did not have his heart set on the ultimate rightness of the law. (Yes, he is a vigilante which kind of works against this, but there you go.) Elektra does not possess that faith and goes for her vengeance in a more direct manner. In the process, well, that depends on what you read. Maybe she is an anti-hero. Maybe she is a straight up villain. What I never quite read her as is just another psychotic. And that seems to be how she is being introduced to us in this episode.

She is classified as being rich and bored. Longing for the unexpected. Craving something wild. She is shown to have no real boundaries or respect for rules. (Yes, basing this on breaking and entering and stealing cars.) She sets up a vengeance murder situation for Matt, thinking he is like her. Which begs the question, how many people has this college aged Elektra already murdered and for what?

Writing up this review I couldn’t help but think about the similarities in the origins of Frank Castle and Elektra in a way I haven’t before. They are incredibly similar. I can’t help but wonder if this similarity has prompted this version of Elektra. Is the deep, troubled and sympathetic portrayal of the Punisher a reason for the threateningly simplistic portrayal of Elektra?

Still, for all more pondering, this is one episode. There are eight more to go. There is plenty of room for character growth and to turn Elektra into the complex figure she is in the comics. But this episode’s version of her bored me. I have very little interest in psychotic society girl Elektra. Don’t make me look back on the Daredevil movie as a better interpretation.

Wrap Up:

So, a little bit of a stumble here. Not quite as intriguing as the rest of the world the show has built up. Still, there is a lot of room to correct course. I can only hope.

Other Daredevil Season 2 Reviews:

Daredevil S02e01: Bang

Daredevil S02e02: Dogs to a Gunfight

Daredevil S02e03: New York’s Finest

Daredevil S02e04: Penny and Dime

Daredevil S02e05: Kinbaku

Daredevil S02e06: Regrets Only

Daredevil S02e07: Semper Fidelis

Daredevil S02e08: Guilty as Sin

Daredevil S02e09: Seven Minutes in Heaven

Daredevil S02e10: The Man in the Box

Daredevil S02e12: The Dark at the End of the Tunnel

Daredevil S02e13: A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen


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