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Episode 1 - Into the Ring
- The opening scene, showing the highway accident that cost Matt his sight. Especially the old man's words to Jack: "Your boy ... he pushed me out of the way ... he saved my life ..."
- Matt admitting that, despite all he's been taught about appreciating the things he still has (which, in his case is quite a lot more than most blind people) rather than dwelling on what he lost, he'd give anything to see the sky just one more time.
Episode 2 - Cut Man
- Jack Murdock's death in a flashback. It was a Foregone Conclusion, but it still stings because he did it for Matt and Matt knows it.
- Worse is that last shot of him while he's still alive - standing there, listening to the crowds cheer his name, even though he knows what this victory will cost him.
Episode 4 - In the Blood
- Ben attempts to dissuade Karen by revealing the heartbreaking fates of whistleblowers he used to write stories that pissed off very powerful and influential people.
Ben Urich: You say you read a bunch of my articles. [Karen nods] Remember the one about the runoff? What that company was dumping into the river?
Karen Page: Yeah. Sure.
Ben Urich: Fished the guy that tipped me off out of that same river a month later. And that fella trying to clean up the Teacher's union? Moved out of state, after flyers went up saying he was a pedophile. They underestimated what people in power will do to stay there. I didn't think you'd make the same mistake after what happened to you.
Karen Page: [voice breaking] What about the woman from your first series of articles, about the VA? What happened to her?
Ben Urich: She met the worst fate: married beneath her to a workaholic who never appreciated her.
Episode 5 - World of Fire
- Vladimir Ranskahov discovering his brother is dead. Similarly, pretty much everything he says to Anatoly('s body) is just as tearjerking.
Episode 7 - Stick
- Matt being abandoned by Stick, who he saw as a Parental Substitute.
- How they come to blows afterwards.
Stick: You're blind as you ever were.
Matt: Maybe you should've stuck around and finished training me yourself.
Stick: I needed a soldier, you wanted a father.
Matt: Well, I guess we're both disappointed, then.
- Stick kept Matt's bracelet.
- A young Matt breaking into sobs, blaming himself for his father's death.
Episode 8 - Shadows in the Glass
- While it surely doesn't excuse everything he did, it's now way more clear why Wilson Fisk became the man he is. If you think he is bad, you haven't met his father...
- ...and in the present day, even he, Wilson, wonders — and even Bill, despite ending up a violent, awful man, is shown to have been trying to raise his son the way he thinks he should, and trying to be a corrupt politician to line his pockets for his family.
Vanessa: It wasn't your fault. You were protecting your mother.
Fisk: I didn't do it for her. I did it for me. That's why I still wear these. To remind myself that I'm not cruel for the sake of cruelty! That I'm not my father! That I'm not a monster! [pauses, genuinely uncertain] Am I?
- Blake's partner Hoffman, faced with a terrible decision. If he refuses to assassinate his partner, he will almost certainly be killed, and his partner will likely end up dead too, one way or another. And if he does it, he will be enriched, possibly beyond his wildest dreams. But Blake has been Hoffman's best friend for thirty years. As the terms become clear to him, his face crumples as he struggles, and starts to fail, not to break down.
Episode 9 - Speak of the Devil
- The story Father Lantom tells Matt when he asks him if he believes in the devil.
- The death of poor old Mrs. Cardenas. All she ever wanted was to keep her home...
- The killer was just a junkie who did it for Heroin. And he gets thrown off a roof before he can turn himself in.
Episode 10 - Nelson v. Murdock
- About 90% of the episode, with Foggy yelling at Matt for hiding secrets, and then having to lie to Karen.
- Foggy asks Matt if he was responsible for the explosions. Matt asked him if he really had to answer that and Foggy said yes. The tear that runs down Matt's face as he answers shows that the damage that he's done to his friendship with Foggy is starting to hit home.
- When Foggy tells Matt how he should've stuck by the law instead of pursuing vigilante justice, Matt responds by saying "Tell that to Elena". Foggy couldn't have looked more horrified or hurt if Matt had physically struck him.
- By the end of their argument, Matt is outright sobbing as he realizes he might be about to lose his best friend.
- The ending of the episode. Foggy packing his things and tossing the firm's sign into the trash, too heartbroken to continue working with Matt.
- At the start of their argument, Foggy asking Matt "Are you even really blind?" While yes, technically, Matt is blind, he sees so much more of the world than he ever lets on, and he knows Foggy is in no mood (and has too much legal sense) to be deflected with technicalities.
- And the other 10% shows Urich with his wife, who appears to be stricken with Alzheimer's. They love each other so deeply, and she's obviously a clever, compassionate person, but she's going away and neither of them can do anything about it.
- For being a survivor of Domestic Abuse, it's sad to see Wilson Fisk's mother is now a senile old woman.
Episode 11 - The Path of the Righteous
- Melvin's breakdown when he's beaten by Matt. You realize he's a literal Manchild and he's being blackmailed by Fisk to work for him.
- Karen's reaction to killing Wesley.
- Also, Wesley's death itself.
- There's just something so sad and pathetic about Matt sitting in his apartment holding that balloon.
Episode 12 - The Ones We Leave Behind
Episode 13 - Daredevil
- Ben Urich's funeral. Made especially awful by Karen's (and Matt's) guilt and Ben's wife's reaction.
- Also, with her Alzheimer's, someone is going to have to keep telling her about Ben's death, over and over.
- Fisk getting arrested while he's trying to propose to Vanessa.
- The FBI arresting all of the people on Fisk's payroll rush into the news office. Ellison watches as they head toward him... and then past him to arrest his secretary, proving Ben died thinking the wrong person was responsible, but that he was right about someone being on the payroll.
- The  look on Ellison's face as his secretary is arrested, with Ellison realizing that Ben was right all along, and can only lower his head in absolute shame, knowing his inaction played a part in Ben's murder.
Episode 4 - Penny and Dime
- The whole story Frank tells Matt about his dead little girl. It makes Matt himself cry.
- The music doesn't help. It helps convey just how much Frank regrets those words.
- Earlier in the story, before he gets to his family's deaths, he describes how "tired" he was when he got home, and Matt agrees he's also been "tired". From how Frank goes on to describe it, it's made pretty clear they're talking about post-traumatic stress disorder.
- The way he describes what happened to his daughter - "Meat was spilling out of her, Red... the place where her face used to be" - is flat-out gut-wrenching to anyone that has children. After hearing all the awful details, you really can understand how Frank's mind could snap into a perpetual state of raging grief.
- It's also at this point where we see a tear run down Matt's face.
- Related to the above, when he says that "For me, there was no tomorrow", it's clear he's not just talking about not getting to tell his daughter a story. There was no future for him after that day; there is no future for him. Not just because of the shock, or the brain damage, or his own personal war, but because everything he loved and fought and survived a war for is gone. He doesn't say so until the very end of the season, but right there, Matt and the audience know that Frank Castle is already dead. He just isn't in the ground alongside his family. Not yet, anyway.
Episode 6 - Regrets Only
- Frank asks Karen to stay because he's worried the memories will go away. The look on his face is one of a man who's truly grieving over the loss of his family is upsetting. The conversation that follows is one that involves Frank asking Karen what the house was like, as he never went home after the incident. If the dishes were on the table or put away, if she saw the piano. Hearing him talk about his kids was rough to listen to without getting a bit heartbroken.
Episode 7 - Semper Fidelis
- Karen giving Foggy ( and in a way the audience) a very heart-wrenching picture and description of what Frank is actually going through emotionally and mentally.
Karen:Okay. Just for a minute try... try to be Frank Castle. To be solely fueled by a single cluster of seconds. One moment in your entire life and every time you close your eyes you relieve that moment. And everytime you open them you find the only the briefest peace before you realize that that nightmare is real. That nothing has changed. Your family isn't coming back. And so you watch them die all over again right in front of you. We're not talking about something that happened to Frank Castle, we're talking about something that is happening to him.
- Foggy is so moved that he decides to continue finding evidence to help Franks case.
- When Matt finally tells Foggy what he's been doing alongside Elektra, Foggy concludes that Matt lied to him again...and then promptly explodes on Matt, becoming even more furious than he was in Nelson v. Murdock, as the two go into their biggest argument in the series; before it culminates in Foggy saying with Tranquil Fury:
Foggy: Going forward, I will count on you for nothing at all.
Episode 8 - Guilty as Sin
- After Elektra gets badly hurt during a fight we see sides of Matt never shown before; he is so lost, scared, and desperate.
- This is most emphasized when, towards the end of Stick's treatment of her, he grabs her hand and starts praying vehemently. Made even better because we hadn't actually seen Matt pray before.
- Matt's relationship with Foggy and Karen deteriorates even further in this episode, to the point that they both give him brutal Reason You Suck Speeches and Karen tells him he's right when he says the city needs heroes, but that he isn't one of them. Ouch.
- The look on Matt and Electra's faces after she slashes the young Hand ninja's throat. All she can say is "this is what I am". It's especially sad coming after the conversation she had with Matt a few seconds earlier about wanting to redeem herself for him.
- Then there's also the scene where during Frank's trial, a young teenage boy suddenly stands up and lashes out on Frank for killing his father. While it's likely that the boy's father may have done some messed up crimes to be targeted and then killed by the Punisher, there's something upsetting about the scene where the boy is tightly clutching (almost hugging) what is presumably a framed portrait of his now deceased father. And the boy doesn't make any attempts to hold back his tears. You can hear how emotionally distraught he is over the loss of his father, and can almost pity him enough to see Frank Castle as the boy saw him - a murderer whose actions are unjustifiable and deserves no chance at redemption.
Episode 9 - Seven Minutes in Heaven
- Karen gets Ben's old office.
- Matt bluntly telling Foggy that he and Karen were better of without him.
- When Foggy tells Matt they need to put their partnership on hold, Matt instantly agrees. The surprised look on Foggy's face shows he was secretly hoping Matt would not agree and talk him out of it.
Episode 10 - The Man in the Box
- Despite how much of a Jerkass Reyes was throughout the season, hearing her talk about how she can never see her daughter again because of the failed sting operation which led to the death of Frank's family is pretty heartbreaking.
Episode 12 - The Dark At The End Of The Tunnel
- Foggy packing up and leaving for good. If you think Nelson v. Murdock was hard, this one really puts the final nail in the coffin.
- And his final conversation with Matt isn't a heated fight like the one from Semper Fidelis. It's just one, tranquil farewell. While it's good to see that they share no hostility towards each other, it doesn't stop it from being solemn.
- Karen begging to Frank to not kill the Blacksmith, because if he does, he will be dead to her, Frank states that he's already dead. Karen silently leaves and breaks down crying when she hears the gunshot.
- The flashback where Stick leaves Elektra to be adopted by the Natchios' family, Elektra doesn't want to be adopted and fears that Stick will forget her, Stick assures he wont.
Episode 13 - A Cold Day in Hells Kitchen
- Elektra's death. After Matt finally thought he could be with somebody who understands him, she is killed right in front of his eyes.
- Matt's life in general at the end of Season 2. After all he went through, fighting the Hand and saving the city by stopping their plans for the time being, he is left without a firm, his reputation as a lawyer in ruin, his relationship with his two best friends are strained. And all of his work as Daredevil is for nothing as Wilson Fisk is regaining power in prison and the Hand is still at large. By the end, he looks so tired and broken.
- Though it also overlaps a bit with being awesome, the Punisher, Frank Castle no more, burning down the Castle family home after one final visit, embracing his new found identity.
- This season elaborates on a key aspect of Matts personality that many fans have picked up on: Matts inability to let people get close to him—despite the fact that, deep down inside, he wants friends and people that love and care about him—due to his experiences with being abandoned throughout his life (either through death or people leaving him behind). His mother left him shortly after he was born (something he doesnt find out until well into adulthood), his father is killed when he is a child, and Stick, whom he sees as a father figure, then outright leaves him when he finds himself growing fond of Matt as well. Years later, he meets Elektra, and seems to have found someone whom he loves and loves him in return, only for her to leave too when Matt is unable to betray his morals. (And then Stick and Elektra both later die in The Defenders.) In the end its not that Matt doesnt want to let Karen and Foggy in but that he doesnt really know how which is sad in its own right.
Episode 1 - Resurrection
- The episode as a whole is a Downer Beginning for the protagonists. Matt is recuperating in a convent and having to confront the hard realities of his situation with losing Elektra again and possibly losing the gifts that allow him to be Daredevil. Karen is unable to get over losing Matt, paying his rent and remembering that night he told her his secret. And Foggy is struggling to make an identity for himself without his wingman.
Episode 2 - Please
- Hearing rumors of a man in a black mask at work in Hell's Kitchen, Karen suspects that it must be Matt, and goes to visit Foggy at his family's butcher shop. Unfortunately, she's unable to convince Foggy, who at first tells her Matt is "gone" until he says outright that Matt is "dead" when Karen pushes him. Karen storms out, and Foggy's family is left shaking their heads. She's frustrated that Foggy has given up any hope of Matt being alive, unlike her.
Episode 5 - The Perfect Game
- Dex's backstory, where we see him as a child, teenager, and adult whose borderline personality disorder only seems to get worse and worse. The scene where he pleads with his therapist not to leave him is especially heart-wrenching.
Episode 7 - Aftermath
- The aftermath of Dex's attack on the Bulletin. Numerous people dead or critically injured, with the worst scene being the bagged phones of the dead and injured staffs loved ones ringing and texting them if they are okay. Karens guilt ridden face says it all. Some viewers have likened this to the aftermath of large-scale terrorist attacks.
- The conversation between Karen and Ellison when she sees him in the hospital. Ellison is understandably furious at this attack on his reporters, and realizing that Karen knows Daredevil's real identity, demands that she give it up or she's fired. Karen tears up, knowing full well she'll be out of a job, but reluctant to sell Matt's big secret to anyone in the name of job security.
- Matt leaving Melvin behind to be arrested by the FBI.
Episode 8 - Upstairs/Downstairs
- The murder of Julie Barnes. A kind, sweet young woman, who was perhaps the only soft spot Dex had, executed by Fisk purely to ensure he would have control over his personal attack dog. She didn't know anything about their crimes, and was willing to reach out to Dex solely because he was in pain and she wanted to help.
- Even worse, if she had walked away, which Dex himself said he wouldn't blame her for, Fisk would've had no need to do anything. To reiterate, Fisk literally had the poor woman murdered for being a kind person.
Episode 9 - Revelations
- Matt discovering that Sister Maggie is his biological mother, and has kept this hidden from him in the whole time he's been recuperating in the church. Then going to confront Father Lantom, only to find out that he knew as well.
- Matt is understandably furious and upset at Maggie and Father Lantom, because they kept this secret even after his father's death and let him believe that he was 'alone in this world'.
- Maggie rushing to the crypt after Father Lantom tells her 'Matt knows', only to discover that he's already gone and has left the crucifix Maggie gave him in an earlier episode. Maggie kneels next to the bed, claws at the sheets Matt slept in and wails with abject loss and guilt.
- Maggie's backstory and the reason why she abandoned Matt. She was an initiate who left the church when she fell in love with Jack Murdock. But she suffered from postpartum depression (which hadn't been properly named yet), found herself unable to care for her infant son and utterly convinced that she had abandoned God. Finally, she calls Father Lantom to rededicate herself to the church, leaving Jack to raise Matt by himself.note
- Nadeem's optimism is shattered as he ends up finding out the hard way that the financial hole he went into to pay for his sister-in-law's cancer treatments is because Fisk manipulated him for years.
- Right after having called out Tower on his inaction to pursue Fisk, Foggy gets a devastating blow: he learns that Fisk had manipulated the butcher shop's finances and had his people trick Foggy's family into committing fraud so that Fisk could have something to use to blackmail him. You can feel Foggy's pain at being forced into such an awful corner.
Episode 10 - Karen
- Karen's backstory. She was an addict who deferred going to college because she didn't want her dad and brother to go bankrupt running their family diner, as well as being somewhat manipulated by her boyfriend Todd.
- The night of Kevin's death starts with Paxton summoning Karen back to the diner for dinner. Over dinner, they get into an argument over Paxton's recent purchase of a new grill that they can't afford, which escalates as Karen rips into her dad for being poor with managing money and optimistically clinging onto the diner rather than selling.
Karen Page: You think that I don't want to go to college? I can't go to college! If I leave here, this place will go under in a week!
Paxton Page: We'll be fine.
Kevin Page: Okay, guys, stop.
Karen Page: No! You have no clue how to run this place. I run the front, I do the books!
Kevin Page: Karen, stop.
Paxton Page: This is ridiculous.
Paxton Page: Well, if she does, you're not gonna be here, so it won't be your problem-
Karen Page: Yeah, well, Mom hated this place! She hated this whole town, and you never saw it!
Paxton Page: She loved this place. This was her home!
[a dead silence falls over the room]
Paxton Page: ...You take that back.
[Karen angrily gets up and marches over to the framed scratch lottery ticket we'd seen hanging on the wall earlier in the episode]
Karen Page: You ever wonder why Mom kept buying lottery tickets?
Paxton Page: She bought them for something to hope on when she went into remission.
Karen Page: Yeah and you know what she was hoping? She was hoping that if she ever got a second chance, she would get us the hell out of here! Well, Mom never got to find out, so let's see, huh?!
Paxton Page: Put that down! [Karen slams the frame down on a table, shattering the glass; she waves the ticket in their faces]
Karen Page: [on the verge of tears] What do you think? Huh?! One scratch, and we pay off all the bills?! One scratch, and we go our own way?! One last gift from Mom?!
Paxton Page: ...Don't.
Kevin Page: Karen, please don't.
[Karen scratches off the ticket]
Karen Page: Mom lost again. We all lose. Now we know.
- After Karen intervenes to stop Todd from hurting Kevin, she gets in the car and drives Kevin home. As they're driving, she's regularly taking her eyes off the road to argue with Kevin.
Karen Page: JESUS CHRIST WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?! I was gonna fix it, I was gonna fix it! You ruined it! Why? Why would you do that?!
Kevin Page: Because...[wheezing]...I'd already lost Mom!
[Karen freezes up, staring at Kevin; she doesn't notice she's drifting out of her lane until...]
- A split second later, they hit a guardrail and flip over three times, coming to rest on its roof. When Karen regains consciousness, she's upside down only being held in by her seatbelt. The first thing she sees is Kevin, dead, killed instantly by the rooftop, and all she's reduced to is screaming his name. Later, after rescue crews manage to extricate her from the car, we see Karen wearing a shock blanket and sporting a Thousand-Yard Stare, barely acknowledging Bernie's efforts to talk to her. The audio is severely muted and we only hear somber music, indicative of the state of shock she's in. Her father arrives and demands to see Kevin's body. He lets out a gutwrenching wail upon climbing in the ambulance, while Karen turns away and cover her ears to drown out the noise, still crying very audibly.
- The next morning, Paxton tells Karen, still shellshocked, that he and Bernie have agreed to cover up her presence in the car. Bernie has falsified the report to say that Kevin was alone and was the one driving the car, reasoning that the family has suffered enough. But shes no longer welcome in Fagan Corners, he continues. Her presence is too painful. He needs her to go away, for good.
- We get a recreation of the panel from "Guardian Devil" where Karen died in Matts arms after sacrificing herself to save him from Bullseye, just with Matt and Karen switching places. After knocking Dex off the balcony to stop him from finishing off Matt, Karen rushes to his side and tries to tend to his injuries. Matt manages to hang on long enough to ask Karen if Dex is gone before passing out. Karen breaks down sobbing, thinking that she's gotten him killed, and that's the last we see as the camera cuts to the credits.
- Father Lantom's last words to Matt before finally passing away in Karens arms. It's one last ditch effort to ask for Matt's forgiveness for having kept him in the dark about his mother.
Father Lantom: Matthew
- Though nothing about Karens backstory is referenced outright during the church fight there arent even implicit echoes between the two events, at least no more than any other life-or-death fight scene in which Karen takes part our experience of that horrible night in her life and its dreadful morning after unconsciously informs our experience of the attack on the church and Matts fight to stop it. Her fathers howl of despair, her brothers doomed desperation for her to have a better life, her boyfriends unexpected turn to the murderous, her fathers banishment of her from their home, her own emotional cruelty about the death of her mother, and just the general sense that all it takes for life to spin irrevocably out of control is an hour or two of bad decisions with ramifications that will last for decades its all background radiation, eating away at us as Karen, Matt, Dex, Father Lantom, and the unlucky parishioners fight to survive.
- This episode also puts a Harsher in Hindsight twist to an earlier scene back in episode 2, when Karen was talking with Neda Kazemi in the hospital. Karen brought up Kevin's death using weaponized tears as a way to get Neda to open up to her, and from Karen's remarks then, she made it seem as though she had been wrongfully blamed for his death. In truth, she was 100% responsible for it, and in the episode after this one, even fully admits she was. Indicating that the events of the season between then and now have pushed her to fully accept that kind of responsibility. Something that one could see happening, considering the episode ends with Father Lantom dead and an unconscious Matt, all thanks to Karen's simple desire to do the right thing.
Episode 11 - Reunion
- Matt's reaction to Father Lantom's death is short and simple but no less heartbreaking, specially for how he clearly can't believe his own words. Or rather, he just doesn't want to believe that he's lost yet another loved one.
... Jesus, Father... He killed him, Karen. He killed him
- Worst, the last time they spoke, Matt calls out Father Lantom for keeping him in the dark about his mother being alive. Matt's last words to him is he'll never forgive him. He's probably thinking at that moment that he wished he could take it all back.
- Fisk visits Esther Farb to make a personal inquiry into the "Rabbit in a Snowstorm" painting, because all efforts to bribe her aren't working out. She explains to him why she refuses any offers he's making to buy the painting from her: because it was a family heirloom of hers, stolen from her by the Nazis when they were being taken to the concentration camps. It's a sad enough story that Fisk ultimately decides to let her keep the painting.
Episode 12 - One Last Shot
- Dex killing Esther Farb in order to take back the "Rabbit in a Snowstorm" painting, especially since it wasn't under Fisk's orders and completely undoes his Pet the Dog moment of letting Farb keep the painting.
- The death of Agent Nadeem. Throughout the entirety of Season 3, this was a character the audience grew genuinely attached to.
- Everything concerning Nadeem in this episode qualifies, with his death just being what it was all building toward. The man is just utterly broken, called out harshly by his own wife and his own lawyer, terrified of what his son may think of him, willing to go to prison for life if it will redeem him and keep his family safe, and then finally accepting that he has to die.
Episode 13 - A New Napkin
- Nadeem's entire video. Particularly the part where he instructs his wife to discredit him.
- Although he is way past redemption by this point, Dex's breakdown when he finds Julie's corpse is still poignant. He just screams like an animal for several moments, wracked by horror and grief that the "one person" he cares about in his life is dead.
- Also, while Dex may have gone completely insane in this episode, to the point that he takes Julie's frozen corpse with him so he can talk to it, we see that he does not use lethal force against the honest agents (or even dishonest ones like Hattley,) showing that he is trying to get his moral compass working again. Yes, it then directs him to take Revenge by Proxy by killing Vanessa, but the fact that he is at least trying to work out what the moral thing to do is shows that he has partially returned from his Then Let Me Be Evil moment earlier in the season when he burns his therapy tapes, and stands in stark contrast to Fisk and Vanessa's embrace of their own amorality. This makes the final scene where we see him being rebuilt into (presumably) the utterly psychotic Bullseye from the comics tragic as well as terrifying.
- Similarly, no matter how deserved, it is still tragic to see Fisk and Vanessa have to be forcibly parted given how true the depths of their love for one another is.
Fisk: I failed you. I failed you.
Fisk: Everything that I tried to build for us...Vanessa, today was the happiest day of my life.
Vanessa: (sobbing) All I wanted was you.
- The end of the climatic fight scene. Matt has the upper hand, repeatedly punching Fisk's face to a bloody pulp and ready to deliver the finishing blow. But then Vanessa screams at him to stop, and all Matt can do is scream towards the roof. He has been through so much trauma throughout this season, all caused by Fisk, and the choice between sparing him for the authorities with the risk of Fisk harming Karen and Foggy, or betraying his own principles and turning Vanessa into a widow is agonizing.
- Charlie Cox really sells this scene. Even with the mask covering his eyes, you can still feel and see through Matts mouth the utter inner turmoil within him. He wants to kill Fisk with all his heart, this monster who has practically ruined his life and killed or at least been responsible for the deaths of numerous good people and close friends. But he realizes that doing so will result in a win for Fisk, and as much as he doesnt want to, he realizes that Foggy is right and that he must let the law succeed.
- The Burn Trailer can be considered this as it essentially shows Matt burning away all the old aspects of his old life. Essentially burning away the Matt Murdock identity.