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Recap / Daredevil S2 E12 "The Dark at the End of the Tunnel"

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Matt tries to rescue Stick from the Hand, while Karen tries to write an article humanizing Frank after his apparent death at the pier.


Tropes present in this episode:

  • Arrow Catch: Matt catches a sai that Elektra hurls at Stick.
  • Asshole Victim: The man Elektra mentioned killing as a child just to see what it felt like is shown to have been trying to murder her at the time.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: A member of the Chaste tells Stick that Elektra must be killed after she kills one of their own trainees. Stick says he'll do it himself, draws his sword and then kills the Chaste guy instead of Elektra.
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  • Breaking the Fellowship: Nelson and Murdock is finished as of this episode. The two run into each other at the office, and while their parting is without hostility, and Foggy even provides a vital clue for Matt in tracking down Stick's kidnappers, they both acknowledge there's no point in them getting back together again.
  • Car Fu: Schoonover forces Karen to drive off at gunpoint, then their car is suddenly rammed by a pickup driven by Castle.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Frank finds a literal one in Schoonover's shed, hidden behind a fake wall.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In the previous episode, Frank thinks it's funny that Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star" is playing in Karen's car. She throws the tape into the glove compartment, embarrassed. Later, as she is held hostage at gunpoint by Schoonover, the song starts up again as she keys the ignition. She recognizes that Frank is nearby because of this, and sure enough, Frank saves her a minute later.
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    • Karen notes Gosnell's corpse with distinctive facial injuries as the police are Zipping Up The Body Bag. She later recognises him in a photograph in Schoonover's house, in hospital with the injuries inflicted during his service in Afghanistan. This makes her realise that Schoonover is the Blacksmith.
  • Curse Cut Short: Schoonover's last words.
    You stupid son of a—*BANG!*
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: "The Blacksmith" mentions having a wife and teenage kids. By all accounts, he seems like a loving family man despite his criminal organization.
  • Eye Scream: Elektra uses her new sai in one of the ways it's best suited, putting out someone's eye.
  • Father to His Men: The Blacksmith is quite upset about Frank killing Gosnell, one of his most loyal soldiers.
  • Fingore: Stick gets tortured by the Hand through having tiny bamboo sticks inserted under his fingernails slowly.
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  • Fighting Your Friend: Elektra goes after Stick for sending an assassin after her.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Frank realizes he is too far beyond the point of no return to stop his crusade and let Schoonover live.
  • Idiot Ball: After being so careful of hiding his identity, the Blacksmith makes the dire mistake of sending Gosnell to finish Frank off. To top it off, he taunts Frank about how it's been a long time. This tips both Frank and Karen off of who the Blacksmith is. To be fair, Frank obviously wasn't supposed to survive.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Elektra takes extreme offense in Nobu calling her "it". It's worth noting however that the Hand nonetheless treat her with reverence, indicating that to them, calling the Black Sky "it" is simply the proper form of addressing such a powerful entity.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Schoonover was just about to call Frank a stupid son of a bitch before getting a hole in his head.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Nobu kneels before Elektra and offers her his sword, followed by the other Hand ninjas.
  • Logical Weakness: The ninjas stop using their swords so Matt can't track their Audible Sharpness, pounding on him with their hands instead. Matt is getting the worst of it until Stick tells him to listen for the exhalation of their breath, as they can't hold it for long while fighting or running.
  • Mood Whiplash: When the Blacksmith forces Karen at gunpoint to start the car, some silly music starts, causing a bit of situational comedy. It also tips that Frank is near there, as Frank says that song is a favorite of his.
  • Morality Chain: It's clear that if Matt hadn't been there, Stick would be dead. Stick himself acknowledges that Matt didn't turn up to save him, but to stop Elektra from killing him which would cause her to Jump Off The Slippery Slope. Stick also notes that he still wants to kill Elektra, but if he did Matt would be pissed, implying Matt serves the same function for him.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Mysterious Past: Turns out Elektra's diplomat parents were a family that Stick placed her with to hide her from both the Hand and the Chaste. Stick refuses to say where he found her originally.
  • Nobody Could Have Survived That: Schoonover's reaction to Frank surviving the explosion at the docks.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Karen tries to stop Frank from going through killing the Blacksmith, who taunts him. She shouts at the Blacksmith to shut up.
  • Parental Substitute: Stick for Elektra, as shown by the flashback scenes, and there's a suggestion that Schoonover was this for Frank Castle. Both take their betrayal very personally. Nobu even refers to Matt and Elektra as Stick's 'children'.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "One Shot. One Kill. You taught me that."
  • Public Secret Message
    • Castle sets the tape player in Karen's car to turn on when she starts the engine, tipping her off that he's around. She makes a point of buckling up so she's spared most of the impact when Castle rams the passenger side door.
    • Stick appears to be babbling while he's being tortured, when he's actually relaying instructions to Matt, knowing he will pick them up with his super-hearing.
  • The Reveal: According to Nobu, Elektra is the Black Sky that the Hand has been looking for.
  • That Man Is Dead: Karen Page tells Frank that if he kills the Blacksmith, he's dead to her. Frank states he's already dead.
  • Shout-Out: The opening shots of emergency workers attending to the boat that was blown up by Castle seem very reminiscent in cinematography to the aftermath of the boat explosion that opened The Usual Suspects.
  • So Proud of You: After Matt finally tunes his senses around the Hand's stealth and defeats them to rescue Stick, his old master gives him a much-belated "you did good[...] I'm proud of you." Even in the tense moment, Matt can't help but pull a brief smile.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The last two times Matt fought Nobu, he was clearly on the losing end, this time he manages to knock him out.
  • Torture Cellar: Subverted. When Frank drags Schoonover into the tool shed, and Shoonover outright marvels at all the potential Noodle Implements Frank could use to wreak havoc with, the viewer is led to believe they're in for another Punisher gore-fest, and he looks like he's thinking hard. But Frank just shoots Schoonover in the head.
  • Undying Loyalty: Gosnell had this for the Blacksmith, tracking him down after the war and asking how he could serve him again.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are!: Matt towards Elektra, again. And this time it works, as she decides to decline the Hand's offer and save Stick. Subverted with Karen who makes a failed attempt to keep Castle from killing the Blacksmith—nope he just puts a bullet in the guy's noggin.
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