Have you ever seen Silverado? It is a western starring Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Kevin Costner and (relevant point) Scott Glenn. I didn’t see it until college. But ever since then whenever Scott Glenn appears in anything I am a little bit happier. That goes with his appearances in season one of Daredevil. And this episode? I’m a little bit happier.
Daredevil s02e08: Guilty as Sin
director: Michael Uppendahl
writer: Whit Anderson
I enjoyed this episode more than I did the last, but it still hasn’t reached back up to the high bar set by the earlier episodes. The weakest points still hang around Elektra and I don’t really understand why the show is having such a hard time giving her a compelling voice. Still, there is some decent action, more of an introduction to mysticism, and a little bit of law and order. I can say that I left this episode more eager to see what unfolds but the step down in over all quality is still a bit of a disappointment.
Spoilers Lurk Below
I’ve been doing some reading on what makes a good review. One point that keeps coming up is review what is there, not what isn’t there. I might be breaking that review with this next thought, but here it goes. Looking at episodes 7 and 8 together, I can’t help but think they were weighted poorly. 7 had a lot of filler. 8 is packed to the point where there is very little breathing room. Stick’s revelations about the Hand, his links to Elektra, how she sees herself, the meat of the Punisher case, all of that is in this episode. As for what I remember being in the last episode… ummm, roughly the same thing that was in episode 6?
All I’m saying is there was so much in episode 8 that it felt like more of an info dump than the unfolding of plot and story.
And then we have Elektra. I don’t know where to start. Until this episode she has mostly been portrayed as bored, little rich girl. Here we are told that she is actually Stick’s agent that was trying to, perhaps, get Matt to let go of his light in order to become more dark in order to fight evil. That doesn’t make too much since. Maybe it was to get him to cross lines he wasn’t willing to cross? I’m not really sure what the thinking was.
What I do know is that these revelations we aren’t really shown Elektra as a dynamic figure with her own goals, but rather she is a pawn he gets moved around by those who control her. I want to use the term agency here and suggest denying that she is given any. I could also bring up that those controlling her seem to all be men and that as the third female main character in this series (besides Karen and Reyes) she is one of two who seems to be defined by her desire for Matt. Her line about falling in love just had me rolling my eyes at both the dumbing down of her character as well as at the cliche of it.
Her final scene this episode, murdering a hand ninja and claiming this is who she is came off more as a teenager crying in the rain about how she can’t get a boyfriend when it could of come off as a declarative challenge that she is complex and this is who she is.
I like a little romance with my ninja action. Love is a great motivator in life. But on the screen and in a world as challenging as the one they are trying to paint in this series we, as an audience deserve something more complex than the hero/femme fatale who wants to be good romance we are being shown. Challenge us by offering something more complex and original. This feels more at home in a 60s Bond movie than in a 2016 series from a company that is trying to court more female viewers/readers. As a fan who enjoys strong women, I am so far pretty disappointed in this version of Elektra.