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Recap / Daredevil S2 E5 "Kinbaku"

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The fifth episode in season 2 of Daredevil (2015).

Matt's ex-girlfriend Elektra Natchios is back in town, and wants Matt's help. Meanwhile, Karen and Foggy try to dig deeper into the Frank Castle/DA connection.


Tropes present in this episode:

  • Adaptational Villainy: This version of Elektra seems to be The Sociopath, but without her father's comic-book death as the catalyst.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: This is the first episode where Matt doesn't wear his Daredevil suit even once.
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  • Anger Born of Worry: Matt's initial anger at Karen for breaking into Frank Castle's house isn't because she committed an illegal act (which is what Foggy takes issue with), but because of the fear that she could've gotten herself hurt.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Elektra profiled Matt in their first meeting based on his wingtip shoes. Likewise, Matt profiled her based on the fact that she was profiling him by his shoes.
  • Breather Episode: After the four-episode arc we just went through with the Punisher's intro, this is the first episode to not have Matt in his Daredevil suit even once, the only episode in season 2 where Frank Castle doesn't even appear on screen, and the first episode in the season to not have any major action sequences (aside from Matt and Elektra's flashback sparring at Fogwell's). It provides a bit of breathing space before seguing into the second act of season 2.
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  • Betty and Veronica: With Karen as the Betty and Elektra as the Veronica.
  • Bridal Carry: Matt does this to Elektra, though they have to break the lock on the door first.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Marci Stahl and Mitchell Ellison make their first appearances since Season 1. Marci is now working at Hogarth, Chao & Benowitz.
    • The "Yakuza", whom Matt faced in Season 1, are also back.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Matt brings up his father's death at Roscoe's hands, Roscoe says he has killed the fathers of many people.
  • Call-Back:
    • Matt's harsh reaction to Karen admitting to breaking into Frank Castle's house calls back to "Shadows in the Glass" in season 1, when he scolded Karen for getting attacked outside Elena Cardenas's building, as it’s the same configuration with the same characters, in the same office space, and, once again, Karen is the bold one. The only difference is that Matt admits he's upset because he’s afraid something could've happened to Karen. He feels the same as before, but it’s even stronger here because now he's got deep feelings for her.
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    • The cinematography as Karen is telling Matt, "We can sit?" is staged similar to a few episodes ago when she hugged Matt upon coming over to his apartment after Frank shot up the hospital.
  • Calling Out for Not Calling: Foggy wants to have a friendly drink with Marci again, even though as she points out he hasn't called her for months. She quickly narrows in on the reasons—his best friend has just scored with the hot office girl Foggy is sweet on, and Foggy needs a favor from her.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: When helping Karen probe the archives for news stories around the time Frank Castle's family was killed, Ellison admits that he's great at remembering the dates of major news events but terrible at remembering his own kids' birthdays.
  • Cliffhanger: Yakuza hitmen are breaking into Elektra's house, and she's just revealed she knows Matt is Daredevil.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Marci Stahl has been hired by Jeri Hogarth's law firm in light of Landman & Zack's dissolution. She also mentions that HC&B is worried about the Punisher case since Reyes has every intention of going after Jessica Jones once Frank Castle is convicted.
    • Roxxon Corporation is again featured.
    • All the issues of the Bulletin are stored in hard copy after their server was wiped during the Incident. Also, there are plenty of newspapers that provide a Call-Back or two to previous MCU projects.
      • There is a shot of Stark Tower with a beam of light coming from it with a headline explaining the damage, which was seen in The Avengers (2012).
      • A headline shows that Cybertek eventually went to court.
  • Fanservice: We get a brief shot of Elektra dropping her robe to reveal Black Bra and Panties as she goes to slip into something more deadly.
  • Foreshadowing: When Foggy is looking at the newspaper on Frank Castle's arrest, there's an article to the side that reads "New Theories Shed Light on Lost City".
  • Get Out!: Matt is not impressed by Elektra Trespassing to Talk, turning down her offer of a job at a time when his firm is broke and telling her to get out.
  • Get a Room!: Foggy knows from the way Matt begins flirting the moment Karen walks in the door that they must have kissed.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Inverted. Matt didn't have the Perma-Stubble in college.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Elektra is highly aroused when Matt delivers a severe beating to Roscoe Sweeney.
  • Internal Reveal: Foggy learns about Frank Castle's family, and Karen shows him and Matt the photo she stole from Frank's house.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: In college, Elektra and Matt enjoyed sparring matches and minor crimes like burglary and car theft as foreplay, although Elektra took things too far trying to get Matt to kill Roscoe Sweeney.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: During Matt and Karen's date, they first attempt to go to a stuffy upscale restaurant:
    Karen Page: Do you drink wine? [catches herself] Shit, I know that.
    Matt Murdock: I don't drink anything they don't serve at Josie's.
    Karen Page: Yeah, well, I don't see swill on the menu.
  • Kick the Dog: When Roscoe Sweeney finally does recognize Matt, he gloats about how he murdered Jack. Unsurprisingly, Matt beats the living shit out of him.
  • Lady in Red: Elektra is wearing a red nightgown when Matt comes to visit. As well as showing her role as a temptress, it also foreshadows her iconic red outfit.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Matt flat-out accuses Elektra of manipulating him and he's not wrong. When Matt turns down her asking for legal help, she pays the money anyway, knowing that Matt will be driven to find out what she's up to. In the past she arranges for them to break into the house of the man who murdered Matt's father, then 'accidentally' lets slip Matt's name in the hope of forcing Matt to kill him to protect himself. When Matt visits her to ask her about this, it turns out she's known all along that he's Daredevil and has created a scenario where they'll have to fight side-by-side to survive.
  • Meaningful Echo: Elektra claims Matt's German beers taste like piss, which was something Stick said in the first season.
  • Mood Whiplash: Bathing in the afterglow of another kiss and a perfect date with Karen, Matt finds himself walking down the street into howling sirens and rowdy gangbangers.
  • Mythology Gag: During Matt and Karen's date, Karen mentions that she used to live in a small town in Vermont with a population of 400 people. In the comics, Karen was from the fictitious small town of Fagan Corners, Vermont.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Roscoe is on the receiving end by Matt. After it's finished, his face looks really fucked up.
  • Not So Different: Elektra is drawn to Matt because of the darkness she senses in him, and suggests he feels the same for her.
  • Only Sane Man: Foggy's reaction when Karen admits to breaking into Frank Castle's house to get the photo of his family, and her insistence on continuing to dig into Castle, is an exasperated, "No-no, we successfully dodged a metaphorical bullet and quite a few literal ones. We need to be done with the crazy, you guys! We need normal," both referring to Matt's Daredevil activities and also to Karen for just admitting to breaking the law.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • When Karen is presenting the new information she uncovered from her break-in to Frank Castle's house, Matt pretends that he doesn't already know about Frank's family.
    • Elektra plays a bit of the role to distract the Roxxon suits enough to use a little rigged pen to crash the Asano servers.
  • Pun: The headline for the upcoming Castle trial is Punisher Punished.
  • Revealing Skill: While they're in the boxing ring, Elektra takes a swing at Matt which he easily dodges, confirming her suspicion that he's not as blind as he's pretending.
  • Rule of Symbolism
    • Elektra is presented as an Enthralling Siren as per her Greek ancestry. Matt's first indication of her presence is aural (the jangling of her bracelets), and she's shown to have a disturbing influence on Matt, inciting him to increasingly reckless and criminal acts in the past, while in the present day her mere pretense makes him agitated as if he's constantly fighting the effect she has on him.
    • The scene where Matt and Elektra are discussing marriage involves her hand feeding him from the tip of a large kitchen knife. That shows such a marriage would be more Unholy Matrimony than Happily Ever After.
  • Running Gag:
    Elektra: On your left.
  • Secret Keeper: Elektra knows full well that Matt is Daredevil.
  • Series Continuity Error: The intro text for the opening flashback (of Matt and Foggy crashing a college party, and Matt first meeting Elektra) says it takes place "ten years ago," which implies 2005. The flashbacks in "Nelson v. Murdock" established that Matt and Foggy first met in law school in 2010.
  • Shipper on Deck: After their kiss the night before, Matt and Karen can't help but flirt when she arrives at the office with coffees. Foggy has a noticeable smirk on his face.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Source Music: Matt and Elektra are listening to "Die on a Rope" by The Distillers on the car stereo when they arrive at Roscoe Sweeney's house.
  • A Tankard of Moose Urine: Elektra claims that Matt's German beer "tastes like piss."
  • Tempting Fate: Despite a clear invitation from Karen to come upstairs to her room, Matt decides to cut things short because the night has gone so perfectly he wouldn't want to ruin it. And if he'd gone upstairs with her instead of to Elektra's place, it might have stayed that way.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Matt's thrill-seeking with Elektra brings out the worse in him. Together they work up through car theft, breaking and entering, vandalism, and revenge. Matt only stops at committing murder.
  • Wham Shot: Rather like how the last episode ended with Elektra in Matt's place, this one shows that she left with the Daredevil suit.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Roscoe's ultimate fate is never revealed. Matt had called the police on him rather than kill him like Elektra had wanted him to, but it's never made clear if he got convicted for his past crimes.
  • You Killed My Father: Matt says this to Roscoe verbatim in the flashbacks.

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