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Recap / Daredevil (2015) S3E10 "Karen"

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Hunted by Fisk and haunted by mistakes from her past, Karen seeks refuge at the church. Matt finally gets his shot, and Dex goes in for the kill.

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  • Always Save the Girl: Matt has broken into Fisk's hotel room to wait for him to come back so he can kill him, but then finds out that Fisk wants Karen killed, and has located her. He has to choose between sticking to his plan and attempting to kill Fisk but likely losing Karen in the process, or leave to go rescue her and give up what will likely be his only chance to kill Fisk, since security will be increased after he leaves so he won't get another shot like this. He chooses to leave and go to rescue Karen.
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  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: The entire episode seemingly builds up to Dex killing Karen in the same way Bullseye did in "Guardian Devil". When it seems that this is about to happen, we get a closeup of Karen's eyes going wide like she's the one biting it, only for the camera to quickly pull back to reveal that Father Lantom got hit instead.
  • Battle Couple: Matt and Karen while fighting Dex in the church. Karen takes several moments to use herself as a distraction for Dex when Matt is on the losing end of the fight, and in the alcoves, she knocks Dex over the balcony when he's about to finish Matt off with a splinter of wood.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted for Karen. After the beating and the accident, what we can see of her skin is covered in huge bruises and scratches.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Or Little Brother Instinct; Kevin is very distrustful of Todd over the possibility that he's using Karen, to the point that he burns down Todd's trailer. Big Sister Instinct then comes into play when Karen shows herself willing to shoot her boyfriend to stop him beating Kevin with a tire iron.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: Just as Dex-as-Daredevil is about to kill Karen with a baton, Matt arrives at the church and attacks him from behind. In turn, we get Karen knocking Dex off the balcony just as he's about to finish off Matt.
  • Big "NO!": Karen and Matt both get one after Dex impales Father Lantom. Karen also gets several Little "No"s as she holds him in her arms.
  • Call-Forward: Remember what Karen said just before she killed Wesley? "Do you really think this is the first time I've ever shot someone?"
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Karen unloads on her dad and on Kevin for trying to keep the struggling diner afloat.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Midway through the flashback, we see Todd take Karen out to target practice. She is obliterating the figurines he uses as targets. Later, she uses the gun to threaten and shoot Todd when he's beating up Kevin with a tire iron.
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  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Dex calls out Karen's name while stalking her. She does come out, to protect innocent people from getting hurt.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: While it was alluded to a few times before, this episode shows the hardships Karen went through as a young woman.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The entire episode revolves around Karen, with the first thirty minutes being dedicated to her backstory, while the last 15 minutes are about Fisk sending Dex after Karen to avenge Wesley's death.
  • Driver Faces Passenger: Played for Drama; Karen is constantly taking her eyes off the road during her argument with Kevin as they are driving away from Todd's burning trailer. She ends up drifting out of the lane and hits the guardrail at a little bridge crossing the creek, flipping the car over several times and killing Kevin.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After blowing up at her father, Karen is shown with Todd snorting and drinking to the extent that even Todd worries about her. No doubt this was a contributing factor in the accident.
  • Fanservice: During a frat party Karen dances in her bra and plays a mouth passing game with an attractive female student to everyone's appreciation.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Karen is attracted to Todd because he's always sympathetic and appreciative of her, but he shows his true colors once her brother pisses him off, brutally beating Kevin and knocking Karen down when she tries to stop him.
  • Flaw Exploitation: As Mrs. Shelby points out, Fisk made sure there were no cameras in his bedroom so he could slip out to his secret control center, leaving a perfect place for Daredevil to ambush Fisk without his FBI bodyguards seeing it.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: It goes both ways. Kevin is trying to look out for Karen's personal life, while Karen considers herself more adept than either her father or Kevin when it comes to the diner's finances.
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: In addition to selling drugs, Karen takes them a lot.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Invoked by Karen in her Hard-Drinking Party Girl past, after treating a girl to a luge shot, she puts the lime wedge in her mouth and kisses the girl.
  • Greasy Spoon: The Pages own a diner named Penny's Place in Fagan Corners, named after Karen's mom. They are struggling financially and on the verge of bankruptcy.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: What Karen turned into after her mother died. Also, a drug dealer.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When Dex has temporarily knocked Matt down and is about to kill Karen with a baton, Father Lantom blocks her with his body and takes the hit instead.
  • Heroic Second Wind: After Dex kills Father Lantom, Matt gets the upper hand on him, giving him a pretty harsh No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Dex soon turns the tide again, however.
  • Hidden Depths: Father Lantom quotes John Lennon to Karen.
  • Hollywood New England: Fagan Corners is a fairly unremarkable rural Vermont town with almost nothing to speak of save for a small center and several businesses dotting a main road, the diner among them. Based off of the relative affluence of the fraternity that Karen and Todd deal drugs at (which has enough financial backing to have an ice luge with the frat's insignia carved in as a centerpiece at a party), it is most likely located near either Burlington or Bennington.
  • Howl of Sorrow: Paxton unleashes one when he shows up at the car accident and finds his son's body in the back of an ambulance.
  • I Have No Son!: Karen offers to help rebuild the diner after Kevin's death, but her father tells her she no longer has a home there. This is why her dad refused to help in "Aftermath".
  • Improbable Weapon User: Dex takes this up to eleven by weaponizing individual rosary beads.
  • Karma Houdini: Karen escapes punishment for the accident that killed her brother because the sheriff is a family friend and makes it look like he was the only one in the car. However this only makes her feel more guilty, and she has to leave town because her father refuses to have anything to do with her (and as revealed in an earlier episode, the town rumor mill blamed her anyway).
  • Like a Son to Me: Fisk claims to Dex that this is how he came to feel about Wesley by the time the latter died.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Fisk twists his relationship with Wesley from best friends to father and son so he can use it to manipulate Dex, claiming the latter is his Replacement Goldfish for Wesley.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Karen's angry rambling to Kevin as she's driving for interfering in her relationship with Todd ("I was going to fix it! I was going to fix it! You ruined it!") is very similar in tone and structure to her dialogue with Foggy after he intervened on her meeting with Fisk ("You ruined it! I had him!").
    • Paxton's persistent optimism despite Karen informing him they can't afford the new grill clearly gets passed down to his daughter, as Karen used a similar line to his in the season 2 premiere when informing Matt and Foggy that Nelson & Murdock was struggling financially.
  • Ms. Red Ink: Gender-Inverted Trope; the main reason Karen stays in Fagan Corners despite hating it there is because her dad is absolutely incapable of keeping money together, shown when he buys an expensive $5,000 grill despite the diner barely turning any profit.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • "Death's Head" is certainly an inspiration for Karen's backstory, though the only parts really used are that her father's name is Paxton, and that she lived in Fagan Corners.
    • We see that Karen was an addict when she lived in Fagan Corners. In "Born Again," Karen became an addict who sold Matt's identity out to Fisk.
    • The entire church fight between Matt and Dex is from "Guardian Devil", however, instead of being about a Messiah baby, it's about keeping Dex away from Karen. He is even prepared to kill Karen the same way he did in that story (by impaling her with one of Daredevil's batons), only to instead kill Father Lantom. Also the final scene of this episode is a recreation of the panel where Matt holds Karen's body after she died while they are under a statue of Christ, only with the roles reversed with Karen holding Matt instead.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: This is the role Karen's boyfriend, Todd, pretends to in the flashback, quoting surface level Buddhist shit and wearing the symbols, but he's little more than a scumbag small town drug dealer who makes some of those quotes while breaking a frat boy's arm and dishes out a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Kevin after the latter burns his trailer.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: After Kevin burns his trailer down, Todd beats the shit out of him, even beating him with a tire iron. This is what causes Karen to shoot him.
  • Not His Sled: The fight at the end bears strong parallels to the comics storyline "Guardian Devil", in which Karen Page was killed by Bullseye. Here, he raises his hand to throw the baton at her...and it strikes Father Lantom instead.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Matt somehow goes from the penthouse to the Church in a few minutes at best, just in time to save Karen. Nadeem is shown having to drive Dex there. Though given Nadeem and Dex are driving from somewhere else, it's possible their location was further from the church than Fisk's hotel.
  • Only Sane Man: Karen is the only one in her family who seems aware of the fact that the diner has been on the verge of bankruptcy for years.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Karen cradling an unconscious Matt in the episode's closing moments.
  • Please Wake Up: Karen, as Matt passes out from exhaustion and the injuries of being pummeled by Dex.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Fisk tells Dex that he reminds him of Wesley quite a bit.
  • Sadistic Choice: Matt has to decide between staying at the penthouse and getting a shot at Fisk, which would leave Karen at Dex's mercy, or going to rescue her, which means Fisk will triple the security, making another shot at him extremely unlikely. Matt decides to save Karen.
  • Shout-Out: At the end of the episode, Karen knocks Dex off the balcony of the church, and then tends to Matt. When she next looks over the balcony, Dex has managed to recover and escape. This is very similar to Michael Myers in the ending of the original Halloween.
  • Small Town Boredom: Paxton suggests Karen is suffering from this and that explains her sloppiness at work and her hooking up with Todd. Kevin un-defers Karen's attempts to defer her entry to Georgetown University for much the same reason (as well as function as an intervention since she's doing drugs with Todd), with Karen's defense for deferring being that the diner will go under if she's not around.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: Of the Vermont variety. Karen got into Georgetown, which might as well be Ivy League.
  • Taking the Bullet: Or rather, taking the baton. Father Lantom does this for Karen.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Todd Neiman is an irresponsible drug dealer and drags Karen down with him. He gets into fights with her brother over this.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Paxton kept his dead wife's last lottery ticket framed on the wall of the diner. Karen smashes the frame and scratches it off during an argument with her father and brother.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Kevin and Paxton are both shocked, appalled, horrified, and everything else bad feeling when Karen takes her father's Tragic Keepsake off the wall and defiles it. Even then, they're still family and that's forgiveable. Her driving drunk and stoned and causing her brother's death after that argument is when her father finally tells her to leave.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Karen's family is already struggling to stay afloat after her mother died from cancer years ago. In the span of a few hours, she has a blowout argument with her father and Kevin that includes her destroying her father's Tragic Keepsake lottery ticket, gets drunk and high with Todd, has to shoot Todd with the gun in his truck to stop him from killing Kevin with a tire iron, then while driving home with Kevin, gets into an accident that kills him. To top it off, her father disowns her.
  • We Need a Distraction: Matt and Karen at different points during Dex's attack. Matt stalls Dex to give Karen a chance to get the trapped congregation to an unlocked exit. Later, Karen pulls one to get Dex to stop pummeling Matt.
    Karen Page: HEY! I'm the one who you want, right?!
  • Wham Episode: We finally learn about Karen's Dark and Troubled Past, Dex breaks into the church and attacks the churchgoers to kill Karen while Matt gives up his chance to kill Fisk to come save her, and Dex kills Father Lantom and almost kills Matt until Karen knocks him off the balcony. The episode ends with Karen sobbing over Matt's unconscious body, thinking she's gotten him killed.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The dinner at the diner turns into a terrible argument between Karen, Kevin, and Paxton, where the latter two call Karen out for her drug use, for dating a scumbag drug dealer, for screwing up her work at the diner, and for blowing off her chance to go to Georgetown.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The opening two-thirds are a flashback to Karen's past in Fagan Corners, specifically her late teens. While the time period isn't stated, the flip phones, Karen's wardrobe choices, and the use of Petey Pablo's "Freek-A-Leek" at a frat party (which was released in late 2003) suggest that it occurs at some point between 2004 and 2006.
  • Would Hit a Girl: In the flashback to Karen's drug-dealer days, a frat guy tries to rob her then, when she punches him, he's happy to hit her back, except her boyfriend, Todd, walks in and takes the guy out. Later in the episode, Todd also shows he's willing to hit Karen when she tries to stop him beating her brother with a tire iron.

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