Martin Carr reviews the sixth episode of Daredevil season 2…
When you hit the mid-way point of any series there is the expectation that things will level out, as in hit that dry patch, slow down or ease up a second. Daredevil seems have different ideas, as if running at Mach ten and putting fire under the arse of every audience member were the norm. But clearly the people behind this missed a meeting, as the arrival of Elodie Yung’s Elektra signified in episode five.
An old flame from Murdock’s past who kicks as much arse but with a side order of sociopathic thrown in for free. This Elektra is mixed up in corporate dealings, Yakuza dominated hand to hand fighting and out and out thrill seeking. A force of nature who expected Matt to drop everything at her command and take up where they apparently left off. Throughout ‘Kinbaku’ we learnt in flashback how these two were bound together, making her re-emergence not only personally but professionally problematic for all concerned. As we open on episode six then Daredevil and Elektra stand alone in a penthouse apartment, with the Yakuza only minutes away.
With Castle now in custody and district attorney Reyes eyeing the major’s office and pushing for a death penalty things have changed. Yung’s Elektra all coy kick ass attitude, sharp businesswoman and naïve debutante has Murdock’s world on its arse. Agreements are made to keep her at a distance, as Karen and Foggy galvanise more than at any other time. But as much as corporate espionage and missing ledgers are a nice starter, our main course is still in that hospital room with Bernthal and Deborah Ann Woll.
It is here minus any extraneous arse kicking that ‘Regrets Only’ pulls you back in. Following on from that strapped to the chair hand drill through metatarsal moment, we get quiet reflection and a bonding session. These dialogue scenes add yet another layer to a performance which carries on the balancing act Bernthal started back in ‘New York’s Finest’. Here is a man broken by circumstance but resigned to being held responsible for his actions, irrespective of where the blame lays. For all the cloak and dagger relationship betrayal going on in the background, everything gets the volume turned down here. Enough for it to stay with you.
Beyond that ‘Regrets Only’ turns into an old-fashioned spy caper which begins and ends with some hard-core beat downs, courtesy of our newest dynamic duo. Interestingly as good as Bernthal may be, Yung comes in a close second with her depiction of Elektra. All hard-edged, privately educated and privileged little rich girl, there is an urge to dislike this one on sight. However what we are getting pieces at a time here is an equally complicated character. With any number of agendas running simultaneously beneath the sleek veneer of a cold-blooded assassin. As we close you sense there are more disruptions to come from this young lady. But strangely you find yourself looking forward to it; if not everything which follows.