Warning: Spoilers Ahead.
Daredevil dropped fairly noticeably in quality with the last episode, as many shows will do around the mid-season slump. To retain its goodwill with audiences it needed to kick things into a high gear in ‘Regrets Only’. Thankfully it did just that.
Alright, so it isn’t the most stunning return to form possible but there are plenty of moments in this episode that will delight fans around the world. First though it may be best to talk about what still didn’t quite work.
Elektra was introduced in ‘Kinbaku’ and it is safe to say that she was not the hit that Punisher had proven to be. This wasn’t down to any form of sexism or unwillingness to accept a second sociopathic antagonist/ally but rather it was due to her being a wholly unappealing character on just about every level. Now, a certain degree of that is intentional, you are not meant to be overly enamored with her but, just like with Frank, you aren’t supposed to hate her either. Well it turns out that it very easy to hate spoiled rich people with no regard for the lives of others. In her second appearance nothing has changed and the present day Elektra is just as insufferable as the one from the flashbacks. Even the actress is beginning to grate with her occasionally laminated looking face, sitting there devoid of anything even bordering on emotion.
She does have one saving grace and that is the intriguing plot that has accompanied her. Thanks to her, Daredevil is now set to go up against the Yakuza once more and at the head of that rather blood thirsty tree is a villain that comic fans will likely be familiar with, Ten Fingers. Now, he is hardly the most impressive of rogues in the comic world but he is one that holds a lot of potential when translated onto the small screen. For those who don’t know he is, Ten Fingers is a mysterious Chinese crime boss who was formerly a member of The Hand. What makes him such a tantilising addition to the show is that last point, The Hand could well be coming along with him and that means business is about to pick up. See, The Hand are an extremely deadly Ninja clan who are more than a match for Daredevil and Elektra. If they do rock up in future episodes, then you can bet that it means a lot more intense, stylised fight scenes.
A final word on the whole Elektra saga would be that it does make for a good dynamic between her and Matt as she finds that he is not the lapdog she knew a decade ago and he grows as a person after being confronted with what might have been. She is making him a more complete character and allowing for some real growth this season so she isn’t entirely bad. Just mostly.
A far more entertaining saga continues to unfold elsewhere in the episode as Frank ‘The Punisher’ Castle recovers in hospital and begins to bond with Karen. This comes about when Matt, Foggy, and Karen become Castle’s new legal representation after learning that he is about to be railroaded and could even be getting the death penalty. After the events of Penny and Dime, Matt knows him well enough to put a stop to that happening. Whilst this does further the plot with DA Reyes as she will be even more determined to crush the fledgling law firm under boot, it also does something much more welcome and allows for more development of Punisher’s character.
It seems an age ago that he was nothing more than a gun totting psychopath as he is now fast becoming a wonderfully well rounded individual with complex emotions that make it easy to sympathise with him. His long talk with Karen shows off yet more of the emotionality to him. He appears vulnerable when talking about his family and his fear of losing the memory of them is all too real and human. There is meaning to everything he says and this scene, just like the graveyard one, will stay with you long after the episode is done. Whilst delving into this side of him, the plotline surrounding a potential conspiracy committed by the DA and others builds yet further and it is one that will keep you tuning in, even if just to see Punisher get his hands on Reyes.
So, this isn’t the best episode of all time. It is very good though, as that seems to be as low as Daredevil is capable of going. Elektra is not a particularly great character but she does well in the fight scenes and that makes her presence an acceptable one. Still, The Punisher and Karen are proving to be this season’s runaway stars and will likely continue to be for the remainder of season two.
To keep up to date with ‘Up For Review’ you can like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/upforreview/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
You can also follow the author on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shaunpond1994