- Jossed. Rigoletto is mentioned to have retired prior to the start of season 1.
- Vanessa will shack up with Wilson and then give birth in the finale, possibly in a montage showing a long passage of time.
- Vanessa will reveal she's pregnant in the last episode, possibly just to confirm Richard's existence in the MCU.
- Both are jossed as of the first season, but either could still happen at some point.
- Turk Barrett and Grotto will be two street thugs who work for him, acting as Those Two Bad Guys.
- I dont think Grotto, not after he was killed in season 2.
- Miguel Eloganto (The Matador) will be a burglar who he hires to steal from the competition.
- Buck Cashman (Bullet) will be his go-to hitman. His relationship with his autistic son may or may not be brought up briefly.
- The Enforcers
- Mysterio, in an adaptation of Guardian Devil.
- Recent rumors have stated Mysterio will appear in Season 2. As to whether the show will adapt Guardian Devil remains to be seen.
- Another point to support this; the heroin she manufactures is called and has the mark of Steel Serpent, an Iron Fist villain and K'un-Lun native.
- Confirmed in Iron Fist (2017).
- Enigma: And Murdock?
Stick: Stubborn, immature, still a real pain in the ass.
Enigma: Will he be ready when the doors open?
Stick: I have no idea.
This, along with the incense burner and the scarred back of the massively muscled Enigma he's talking to, strongly suggests that he is from one of the other capital cities of heaven and has been recruiting soldiers for a confrontation during a long-predicted celestial alignment where the doors between the cities of heaven will open. Gao is from another faction.
- The figure, while listed as "Enigma", is most likely Stone, a member of The Chaste, a splinter offshoot of the Hand. The confrontation/war Stick is planning for will most likely be a Hand/Chaste war and Kun-Lun is completely off Stick's radar for the time being.
- Bets on Nobu, seeing how he's such a tough S-O-B that he could have been probably faking his death in the aftermath of his battle with Daredevil
- Given that his masters are most likely The Hand, who have a ton of resurrection methods available to them and one of Nobu's "many names" is probably Kirigi, who himself knows even more ways of recuperating, making death for him little more than a minor setback, it is highly unlikely this was ever planned to be a permanent state for Nobu.
- In "Nelson vs. Murdock", Madame Gao did say that Nobu's "clan" is preparing his body "for what comes next", without saying what it is. Could a funeral. Could be a Hand resurrection ritual.
- Part 2 of the Season 2 trailer seems to confirm Nobu's return; a Hand member (whose face is purposely obscured) is shown wielding a Shoge Hook and speaking of "The Rising"
- Confirmed — but not for long.
- Elektra's apparent death in the season two finale is implied to be reversible.
- Iron Fist (2017) delves further into the resurrection process with Harold Meachum.
- It would also give Iron Fist more martial artists to fight, and tie into Madame Gao's likely Kun Lun ties, and why she was in New York in the first place.
- Additionally, the city block they specifically demanded (they would accept no substitute) is the location where "the doors will open", as mentioned in Stick's last conversation in episode 7.
- No overt signs of The Hand in Jessica Jones. Or Luke Cage (2016).
- Pretty much confirmed for The Defenders (2017) since a lot of the Daredevil cast, including all of the main protagonist cast members, plus Stick and Elektra, are confirmed.
- As of the end of season 2, Karen Page seems to have taken up Ben's role as the newspaper confidant.
- Jossed — season two is pretty heavily centered on Matt's conflict with The Punisher, Elektra, and The Hand.
- He might even appear in Marvel's Spider-man film, to play up his parallels to Peter, being two reporters with an Uncle Ben.
- Took a step further, their dynamic would be: Matt will be The Leader and The Cynic (because he was introduced first), Jessica would be The Smart Girl and The Realist (she's a detective), Luke will be The Big Guy and The Apathetic (he only joined because his wife, ex-girlfriend and friend formed the team), Danny will be The Lancer, The Heart and The Optimist (given that he has the least cynical and violent attitude compare to the rest) and Claire would be The Medic, The Conflict and the Sacrificial Lamb.
- Claire did mention Matt (though not by name) to Jessica Jones in the finale of her season, so this could be plausible.
- Semi-confirmed, as she's the only character to appear across all four of the Netflix shows.
With a little fudging, it can work, since there's a 22 year age gap in real life between Vincent D'Onofrio (Fisk) and Toby Leonard Moore (Wesley).
- She's hiding out overseas in season 2.
- In The Man Without Fear (the Frank Miller comic that most directly inspired this show's first season), it's established that Wilson Fisk was Rigoletto's bodyguard until he murdered him and became the Kingpin. This may have been the case in the show timeline as well.
- It's known from flashbacks in the eighth episode that Fisk's father borrowed money from Rigoletto to fund his political campaign, and was in substantial debt when he lost the election.
- Wesley mentions in the pilot episode that Fisk acquired Rigoletto's books after the Don "retired".
- According to Ben Urich's mafia contact in the third episode, Silvio, Rigoletto's "retirement" consisted of being killed and chopped into pieces.
- Frank Castle will likely be introduced in an early scene where Daredevil responds to a crime in progress and/or a lead at which Frank has arrived for the same reason. He and Castle mistake each other for the criminal they had come to stop, and fight each other to a standstill, ending when both heroes realize they're on the same side and after the same thing. They'll proceed to spend the season grudgingly working together on occasions when neither can get what they want alone and Castle is in a good enough mood to break his I Work Alone policy. Since they inhabit opposite ends of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, they will likely never become true allies.
- He will likely be portrayed as older and much more experienced than Matt at the whole "vigilante" thing. This will be highlighted by the fact that while Matt has to put some effort into striking fear in the hearts of evildoers, while most criminals will already recognize and be afraid of The Punisher, implying that Castle has been around at least long enough to become well known amongst the criminal population of New York as their own personal grim reaper. To put it simply: Daredevil is scary because he tries to be. The Punisher is pants-shittingly terrifying because he doesn't.
- While he will never go into full-on antagonist mode, Frank Castle and Matt Murdock will at least become Dueling Messiahs.
- Expect Matt to project some of his 'daddy' issues with Stick onto Castle due to their similar personalities; particularly their shared casual disregard for the lives of their enemies and refusal to permit themselves close personal ties.
- Similarly, Castle's brand of vigilantism will cause Matt to once again wrestle with the morality of killing those he fights and begins to question whether it's right to Pay Evil unto Evil, or if that just makes them all Those Who Fight Monsters.
- Ultimately their clashing ideals will boil over into a showdown later in the series when Castle is dead set on killing an antagonist that Matt is equally set on keeping alive. Daredevil will likely be confident in his skills to see him through as usual, but Castle will have taken note of DD's prowess in their initial encounter and will not make the mistake of underestimating him. Using his trademark Combat Pragmatism and by exploiting Matt's weaknesses, Castle will gain the upper hand and leave Matt disabled just long enough to kill his intended target.
- The mobsters that killed Frank's family worked for Fisk. He and Daredevil will clash over whether or not to kill him.
- Frank didn't become the Punisher until after the events of Season 1. When Frank's family was murdered, he initially trusted the police to bring the killers to justice. When it was revealed how much of the NYPD was in Fisk's pocket, Frank realized he'd never get justice unless he went after it himself.
- A variation of the scene discussed in this article will be the climax of the conflict between the two.
Its hard to know what the post-Defenders landscape will look like in terms of primary characters popping into each others shows, but its certainly possible that Matt could get involved. Mary could very easily become a Jessica Jones villain in this universe, with Jessica Jones season 2 being her origin story arc, with Mary then becoming embroiled in Wilson Fisks plans as a pawn/ally in Daredevil Season 3.
- Jossed. IGH was exposed in the second season of Jessica Jones. Meanwhile, Typhoid Mary made her debut in Iron Fist.
- How would he know where to be in those cases? And why be in DC instead of NYC?
The Hand, IGH or whoever will be the Big Bad of the Defenders show will have use for Wilson Fisk's operation running skills and recruits him (even breaking him out of prison if he is still there) for help in their big plans. Fisk will think he is just facing off against Daredevil again but is taken aback when he finds out he now has superpowered allies and then disassociates himself from them at the nearest opportunity to return as Big Bad for the next Daredevil season.
- Pretty much jossed. Vincent D'Donofrio has said on his Twitter feed that Fisk won't be in The Defenders. That's not to say that the events of The Defenders won't impact the ease of Fisk's return to head of organized crime in the Five Boroughs. We know Luke Cage (2016) saw organized crime in Harlem get crippled as a result of Luke's takedown of Cottonmouth and Diamondback, and the damage to the Hand in Iron Fist (2017) and The Defenders might be of benefit for Fisk.
- Jossed. Fisk doesn't appear.
Off the theory that the sniper that shot Detective Blake is supposed to be Bullseye. Bullseye is known to be an expert sharpshooter. Off that, I could say that it was Fisk's plan all along for Blake to be shot non-fatally and then be poisoned by Hoffman in the hospital. Given Wesley's background research, they'd know how far back Blake and Hoffman go, so they knew from the get-go that Hoffman might not be at ease about Blake getting shot. Which is why they set up this scenario, to test Hoffman's loyalty to Fisk.
Also there's the fact that I think, while out as Daredevil, Matt likely overheard some rumors floating around about Wesley's death. He eventually processed that Wesley was shot the same night he smelled gunpowder on Karen's hands, owing to the fact that neither he nor Foggy could account for Karen's whereabouts for the time of the shooting (his heightened senses would cause him to notice it in spite of Karen's drinking and showering).
It would make sense that Matt might know and is keeping quiet. As Karen said in "Penny and Dime" when she talked about her brother, she never had brought it up in conversation before because Matt never asked her anything. And she asks him stuff because she wants to know him. But he keeps hiding. Karen seems like an open book too. She isn't afraid to talk about her feelings when someone asks her to, she doesn't hide anything when someone asks her. The thing is: Matt never did it. So it's possible he does know or at least suspect that she killed Wesley and hasn't said anything because he knows he'd make her upset.
Frank Castle certainly realized Matt was Daredevil in the season 2 finale, since he had to see Matt with his mask off while looking down the sights of his rifle after taking out the Hand ninjas.
But I think Frank had figured out Matt's identity much earlier. All evidence seems to suggest that he should. This is a bit like the situation with Karen where it seems as though she should have at least a sneaking suspicion that Matt is Daredevil, but its not actually clear if she does within the context of the show. But in Franks case, our guess is that yes: he either recognizes Matt, or gets really close to it.
The key bit of evidence is Colonel Schoonovers comment to Karen right before she realizes he's the Blacksmith. The colonel talks about Franks talent for doing impressions, and his awareness of subtle behavioral details, "A sixth sense about tics and subconscious behaviors." We see this character trait in action in Franks interactions with Karen. Karen keeps a pretty good poker face, but he is able to pick up on her mood shifts and nonverbal signals with an accuracy that she clearly finds unsettling. Frank is an expert at reading people and situations, which is likely a skill that kept him alive on the battlefield and has helped him in his current crusade against the criminal underworld. Its actually interesting, given this, to note the degree to which he misreads Matt in their first encounter but that long conversation on the roof is about both of them projecting and seeing the enemy they want to see, so thematically, this discrepancy makes sense.
On that note, Frank and Matt (as Daredevil) have a bunch of very long conversations, during which Frank has more than enough opportunities to get to know Daredevils voice and speech patterns, facial expressions (from the nose down, anyway) and any number of other identifying features. The fact that he doesnt care who Daredevil really is (and why would he?) doesnt mean he wouldnt still notice those details, and then have them jump back out at him when he finds himself sitting in front of Matt Murdock. Not only does Matt, in both identities, talk a lot, but he also brings up the same ideas.
The theme of vigilantism and what it means to be a hero comes up again and again in this show, and it pervades almost all of Matt and Franks interactions. Frank should notice that this lawyer who kinda resembles Daredevil also shares Daredevil's views on the Punisher and is weirdly enthusiastic about superheroes. If he were to figure out that Matt was Daredevil, then yes, the trial would be the most likely place for him to make that connection.
After that, its then possible to read Frank and Karens conversation about Matt in the diner as another hint that Frank is starting to piece things together. His questions about Matts subterfuge (You never lie to me. Does he?) could be Frank making a sneaky attempt to figure out how much Karen knows.
There have been discussions about whether Frank might have seen Matts face during the climactic battle with the Hand in the season 2 finale, and so far it's a blur. Its dark, theres a lot going on, and Frank is sniping from pretty far away, so he might not be able to see much. But its also possible that he could have looked at Matt through his scope, and gotten a good enough glimpse of his face to recognize him. At the same time, though, would he bother? Would he care? His See you around, Red is a little tease from the writers that he might know, without actually confirming anything. But, he probably knows, given everything discussed above and just like with Karen, well keep believing that until its proven to be wrong.
Of course, Matts blindness is always a factor in these kinds of situations, but Frank would likely assume as most people do at first that he fakes it. However, theres actually a chance that Frank knows Daredevil is blind and/or has some kind of extrasensory perception, which leads into a related topic: Matts casual use of his powers around Frank. We already know that Frank is really good at picking up details and reading people. Hes also a highly trained combatant who would probably, as second nature, analyze the fighting styles of his enemies in an attempt to find weaknesses. Someone with Frank's level of experience could conceivably notice that the person hes fighting never needs to look at anything, as happened when Matt was rescuing Frank from the Irish. If he were to think hard enough about this, it wouldnt be that much of a stretch to hypothesize that, at the very least, vision is not Daredevils primary way of perceiving whats going on around him.
Beyond that, we can pretty much guarantee that Frank knows about Daredevils hypersenses, because Matt is not subtle about using them around him. This is a big deal. Traditionally, Matt tends to play down his powers in the presence of those who dont know about them (which, for a long time, was almost everybody). He lets people assume that hes just your average non-powered martial artist/acrobat, because letting people in on his hypersenses would essentially mean revealing his weaknesses. If the wrong person were to, say, learn that the Devil of Hell's Kitchen is really sensitive to loud noises, he could run into some problems.
But Matt starts whipping out his enhanced perception from the very beginning around Frank, and its possible that Frank starts picking up on them as early as the conversation on the rooftop. Matt detects the Vietnam veteran coming up to the roof, and the use of the audio/visual cues that the show has implemented to indicate when Matt is using his hypersenses in this moment suggests that Frank probably cant hear anything. Right after this the staging gets a little difficult to figure out, but it looks as though the open door into the stairwell could be around the corner from where Matt is tied up, and therefore outside of his visual range (if he had one, anyway). So, when Frank removes the guns safety for Daredevils benefit, is he testing the limits of Matts hearing? Its clearly a very quiet sound, because the old man in the stairwell doesnt notice it. And during their conversation in the graveyard, Matt admits to eavesdropping on Frank whispering "One batch two batch penny and dime" in another room. If Frank didnt know there was something up with Matts senses before, he definitely does now.
This even extends to how Frank can tell Matt and Karen are in love with each other despite only having seen them together on two occasions. He hadn't seen Matt and Karen together a lot, maybe twice tops, but he could tell just from hours of being in the courtroom that they were in a relationship or had some sort of romantic tension between them. Karen is literally just sitting there watching Matt do his thing and based on her reaction to Matt, he could tell she was in love with Matt. It makes the idea that he could tell Matt was Daredevil more plausible. And really the one thing that throws most people off of Matt's trail for being Daredevil is the fact that he's blind. So it's clear that Frank knows Matt isn't as helpless as he lets on. Those little micro-habits that Matt does to pretend like he doesn't know where anything is feels like something Frank would see right through.
Alternately, though, it's possible Frank didn't figure it out at all. Given the way the season 2 finale scene is filmed and cut, it's also possible that Frank didn't have any reasonable view or amount of time to really see Matt's face. He's much farther away than it initially appears since he's on a roof across the street, the area is dark, and Matt gives no more than a quick glance over his shoulder. The reactions that people refer to earlier in the season where they think Frank is recognizing Matt, those could just be Frank acting annoyed with the whole lawyer/court process thing. To Frank, Matt is a totally typical lawyer aside from being blind which means he doesn't think very highly of him, and the way Matt tries to keep up the act of unfamiliarity probably comes off as smug and irritating for Frank.
- He'll be hired by Wilson Fisk.
- Not that theres anything wrong with Bullseye, but hes basically Daredevil's version of the Joker. Everyone expects him to be in everything, he is massively over-used, and as a result, he gets boring. After two Bullseye-less seasons, it'd be great to keep the streak up. There are a ton of excellent Daredevil villains who have never been adapted to live action. Villains who would be fresh and new. Mr. Fear, for instance, would be an incredible fit for this show. The Jester could be super cool. Give us a good Typhoid Mary adaptation, or Ikari, or Lady Bullseye, or Death Stalker. Melvin Potter to go full-on Gladiator. And if they have to go with Bullseye, do the early variant who left business cards at his crime scenes, and shot Matt out of a giant crossbow, and hallucinated Daredevil everywhere.
That said, though, if Bullseye does enter the picture at any point, he probably won't kill Karen. Beyond being painfully predictable, and a terrible case of "women in refrigerators" when it happened in the comics, killing Karen would also deprive the show of one of its primary movers and shakers. In Daredevil, Karen is a co-protagonist rather than a secondary character, getting her own independent plotlines and adding complexity to parts of the narrative that Matt cant cover. She also holds a valuable position as a bridge between the superhero and civilian worlds. Yes, Claire does this too, but Karens role as a journalist (and Ben Urich-equivalent) gives her a unique and vital perspective on the events of the show. Losing that perspective would be a detriment to potential future seasons. Its hard to guess who Bullseye might kill, if they end up going that route, but it's more likely that Brett, Marci, or Ellison would be more suitable targets.
Besides, in the comics, Nelson & Murdock split up and got back together multiple times. When they split up at the end of season 2, it seemed like part of Foggy didn't want to leave Matt and probably would have gotten cold feet and changed his mind about leaving if Matt was in the mood to argue.
- Kinda Confirmed? He does ultimately leave the firm but he does remain with them for quite a while in-universe and really only leaves to rejoin with Matt rather than anything else.
- Confirmed, through giving Matt more clients for his solo practice...though he also ends up getting him to meet Jessica which leads to his whole "death" so...help is debatable.
Their friendship is in shreds after S2 largely due to "creative differences" over Matt's vigilantism and ensuing complications. So imagine the awkwardness that will occur when HC&B, hearing that Daredevil is currently in a police holding cell awaiting charges, immediately dispatches the associate they specifically hired to take clients with 'complexities' to defend him! Foggy will basically have to be the Devil's Advocate (heh) against *his * position in the breakup of Nelson and Murdock in front of the New York City media.
We know Matt had actually tried to learn more about Karen, for example when he asked her about her brother. That wasnt innocent, the writers are doing groundwork for next season. I think season 3 will focus more on Karen. Season 2 ended with Matt telling her his big secret after all, and we were shown that Ben (and now Ellison) was aware about her past These elements are all leading to a big reveal on Karens part.
Plus, I think Matt's known somethings wrong with Karen. He had a lot on his plate this season, but remember back in season 1, when he asked her what was going on, if everything was all right ? He knows. He didn't know that she'd killed Wesley, but he knew something was off. This season didnt dwell on this, but it was there.
- Confirmed, it ends up becoming a big plot point of the season.
In season 1, Karen seems to be fairly new to New York City. And she implies that the trauma of being framed for murder is her first major experience with the citys dark side. She could be faking, of course, but to me her all I see now are its dark corners speech to Foggy seems genuine.
It does seem as if her move to New York City was family related. Karens story about pretending her broom closet was a spaceship in which she could escape, suggests that her home life may have been unhappy probably even abusive.
Then there's this interesting comment that Karen makes to Mitchell Ellison about Frank Castle in "The Dark at the End of the Tunnel":
- Karen Page: His family was gunned down in front of his face. Now, what he did was wrong but no one, including YOUR paper, ever mentioned the fact that he was a father and a husband, grieving and looking for answers and you, more than anyone, should understand why that matters to me.
Were assuming shes referencing something that Ellison learned about her from Ben Urich's research. Its a comment that implies that Karens emotional connection to Frank Castle may involve more than their shared experiences with homicide. Theres something about the death of Franks family or his violent reaction to it that seems to trigger something in her. Did something happen to her family?
At the very least, we know from that newspaper article that her brother was killed in a car accident...but was there more to it? Karens extreme emotional reaction to realizing that Ben, and now Ellison, had possession of that information, makes me suspect she was somehow responsible or at least feels responsible for it.
I've seen a theory somewhere that Karen's dark past includes a failed suicide attempt, maybe by overdosing on drugs (which would explain why Karen is pretty knowledgeable about narcotics). And that theory is an interesting one, and its certainly a possibility particularly given, again, Karen regularly implies that she had a dysfunctional upbringing.
But think about her assertion in Season 1 that if people came to learn her secrets, they wouldnt trust her anymore. Thats a loaded claim for her to make. Would her brothers death even if she was unintentionally responsible make her an unreliable source of information going up against Wilson Fisk, like Ben suggested?
Also consider that when Karen was arrested for murder, she didnt get any support from her family. In "Semper Fidelis," when she's at Matt's apartment, she tells Matt that she knew, while sitting in the precinct interrogation room, that no one would come to help her (which was probably of great benefit for Fisk as it meant no one would miss her when he sent that guard to her cell to attempt to kill her). This suggests that if she does have family still living, at least one or both parties have gone to great lengths to shut the other out. Given all of the suspense and mystery that has been built up around Karens past, I at least am assuming (and thinking) that its going to be revealed in The Punisher or Daredevil season 3 in some big, explosive manner, and its likely that this is going to be similar to what the writers have done with Matt, Jessica, and Luke, and it will involve someone from her past reappearing in her life. For Matt, it was Elektra. For Jessica, it was Kilgrave. For Luke, it was Shades and Diamondback. For Karen, it's someone else, like, maybe her father. I honestly could easily see them adapting the Death's Head arc for the show; theres a lot that could be done with the concept of Paxton Page being a disgraced scientist who went off the deep end and tried to shut the world out.
Deborah Ann Woll has said in interviews that Karen's past will be explored in season 3. In fact, now that Karen's at the Bulletin and is a reporter, her past is more relevant than ever. Ben and Ellison couldn't care less what her past activities were, but Fisk will care. Karen's past may not have been relevant when she was just a secretary for Nelson & Murdock, but now she's in a job where people have to trust that every word she writes is truthful, meaning that Fisk could do some real damage to Karen's credibility if he does any digging of his own.
- Confirmed as of January 2018
- Confirmed for The Defenders (2017)
- He's former soldier with a missing arm who turns to crime, uses military equipment, and has a literal army made up of fellow veterans.
- It could be something as simple as connected to the Inhumans, something the Kree left behind, or something as wild as another Infinity Gem (which will give them an important role in Defenders or the Daredevil season leading into Infinity War.)
There's no way that Fisk could be lifting a 585 pound weight in prison. Unless that bar is made of vibranium, it should be bending. Fisk may be very strong, but for what it's worth, he probably is using fake weights to make people think he is stronger than he really is.
There's plenty of post-Miller Daredevil work that has various elements that can be adapted. Here's a few characters for example.
- Kirsten McDuffie: An assistant district attorney who served as Matt's love interest during Mark Waid's run, she could potentially appear as one of the few people to help Matt get his law career back on track.
- Sam Chung aka Blindspot: An illegal Chinese immigrant that Matt takes as his vigilante apprentice in the current run. With the show (as well as Iron Fist (2017), really the MCU in general) already under scrutiny for its portrayal of Asian characters, Sam could potentially be an Author's Saving Throw.
- Perhaps instead of an illegal immigrant, Sam is a Chinese-American from Chinatown and one of the "Devil-Worshipers" that Brett mentions early on in season 2 - people inspired by Daredevil to go out and fight crime like he does. After seeing his work, Matt takes him in and starts training him which not only alleviates some of the weight on his shoulders but also prove to himself that he's not Stick.
- Jossed on both, as Sam Chung is instead making his introduction in Iron Fist season 2. Though he is from Chinatown.
- Rosalind Sharpe: Foggy's biological mother in the comics. She could be introduced as a new replacement for Landman & Zack in ruthless amoral attorneys.
For all of season 2, Karen never once tells Matt or Foggy about what happened to Wesley, although she often hints at Wesley's death indirectly, picking at the edges like a band-aid she's afraid to rip off. Considering how Karen had promised Matt that she'd be there for him if he ever wanted to admit the truth about what's going on with him, I want to think that the reveal will make her feel more comfortable being open with Matt at the very least about what she did to Wesley.
This would be especially important going into The Defenders and into season 3, since Fisk is scheming his rise back to power and that must be of concern to Karen if he finds out about her.
- Confirmed in Season 3.
2. My second point is the scene in "Dogs to a Gunfight" when Karen visits Matt at his apartment after the hospital shooting. First, she admits she is barely holding it together and doesn't like being used for target practice. In the same conversation, there's this exchange:
- Karen Page: Sometimes I worry about you a little too much.Matt Murdock: I appreciate it. There's no need to worry.Karen Page: Yeah, you know that doesn't help, right? You denying that there's anything wrong?Matt Murdock: Karen-Karen Page: No, how many times can I hear that you "fell down the stairs" or you "walked into a door"?Matt Murdock: Well, you know I'm blind-Karen Page: And you know that I'm not an idiot. [beat] Okay, um, let's say this: when or if you ever feel like you can tell me what's going on with you, I promise that I'm here. Is that a deal?Matt Murdock: That is a deal.
The way that line goes, it means Karen is willing to hear Matt out if he decides to admit what's going on with him. I think Matt took Karen's advice and that line in particular, when admitting his identity to her. And then there's the rest of that conversation: Karen then admits to Matt that she feels the Punisher was inevitable after the public began cheering on Daredevil and her voice seems to break a few times while she's talking. It seems like she didn't want to admit these things while in Foggy's presence. And it seems like Karen's words had a much bigger impact on Matt than had Foggy been the one to explain it.
3. Matt and Karen actually have a lot in common. Throughout season 1, they both have borderline obsessive dedication to stopping Wilson Fisk and ending corruption in Hell's Kitchen, Matt using Daredevil, and Karen using the Bulletin and Ben Urich. This also happens in season 2 when it comes to Matt trying to stop the Hand and Karen trying to find the whole truth about the Punisher. Matt and Karen are both determinators who stop at nothing to get justice for innocent people, no matter what other people like Foggy or Urich tell them, no matter how many times they get put in danger, and no matter the personal cost it has on those around them. Matt refuses to let go of his pursuits of Fisk, the Punisher, or the Hand even when this gets him regularly injured, strains his friendship with Foggy, gets Nelson & Murdock shuttered, and gets Elektra killed. Likewise, Karen's refusal to back down on pursuing Fisk ended up with her killing James Wesley (and the resulting trauma) and Urich getting killed. Her insistence on getting to the bottom of the Punisher story led to Castle's not guilty plea and the fiasco of a trial that put the nail in the coffin for Nelson & Murdock, and also put her in the line of fire on numerous occasions.
We see Matt does worry about Karen's safety, but he already has admiration for those hints of that part of Karen that he's seen (like when she breaks into Frank Castle's old house and gets that photo of his family; Foggy disapproves. But once Foggy's out of earshot, Matt tells Karen "I don't think you're wrong about Castle. But it's quite simple, Karen. I don't want you to get hurt."). The more he gets to know about Karen, the more I imagine both those aspects would grow - he was terrified over her getting kidnapped by the Hand (so now he knows how Foggy feels about him every night) but I could so see him falling utterly in love with her for her courage and conviction and heroism. And, too, her recklessness and stubbornness. And I feel like Matt would understand any mistakes she'd made along the way. It may not make things easier, given they already have this rift in morality we sorta saw already, plus the fact that Matt falling in love with Karen wouldn't in any way undo or change everything he burnt down between them by slacking off on Frank Castle's trial. I can definitely imagine the same thing going on from Karen's side, too.
In fact, the show set up pretty clearly that Matt thought Elektra was the only one who could understand him, but that's because he had a limited awareness of what Karen was doing. Karen has a lot of the same characteristics that had drawn Matt to Elektra.
4. Karen's conversation with Frank Castle at the diner in ".380". This bit in particular:
- Karen Page: I might have... feelings for Matt Murdock, but it's just a swirl, it's a lot of things. Like... ingredients. It's not love. He's the kind of man that hurts people. Not like you, but... he damages them. Breaks them.Frank Castle: Sorry, is that supposed to mean something?Karen Page: So those are the people that you get out of your life.Frank Castle: Is that right? Look, I might be generally considered out of my skull, so this might not mean much, but this could be the craziest, most batshit thing I've ever heard in my life. People that can hurt you, the ones that can really hurt you, are the ones that are close enough to do it. People that get inside you and... and... and tear you apart, and make you feel like you're never gonna recover. Shit, I'd... I... I would chop my arm off right here, in this restaurant, just to feel that one more time for my wife. My old lady, she didn't just break my heart. She... she'd rip it out, she'd tear it apart, she'd step on that shit, feed it to a dog. I mean she was ruthless. She brought the pain. But she'll never hurt me again. You see, I'll never feel that. You sit here and you're all confused about this thing, but you have it. You have everything. So, hold on to it. Use two hands and never let go. You got it?
So perhaps it will go down like Castle suggests: Karen will hate Matt more, but love him more at the same time. She'll be upset about all those times he lied to her and Foggy for sure, but probably conclude that he lied for the sake of protecting her from his enemies. It helps that Matt saved Karen's life a couple times (from Rance, from the Hand, when Reyes was assassinated, etc.). So I think she'll be more understanding of how distant/aloof/unreliable he was too. And Castle's advice makes more sense if we assume (as theorized elsewhere on this page) that he had figured out that Matt was Daredevil before or during the trial.
5. Deborah Ann Woll has suggested in interviews that Karen is going to accept that Matt is Daredevil in her own way, very different from Foggy's. Most people want to think she'll get all pissy and storm out on Matt, but I see Woll's comments to mean that Karen will accept and approve of Matt's Daredevil schtick, where Foggy disapproved.
6. With Fisk scheming for his impending takeover of organized crime, Karen has to be worried that he'll find out that she killed Wesley. To know that Matt defeated Fisk in a fight might mean she'll trust him to protect her from any threats Fisk tries to send.
7. While I respect those who ship Karen with Frank Castle, I have to remind people that aforementioned diner conversation preceded a nasty attack in which Frank brutally killed two guys, and he'd also used Karen as bait to draw them there. In that scene, Karen was shown first-hand that while Matt may not be a good friend or lover, he is definitely not a monster like Castle. Frank himself even told her to stop associating with him after executing those two guys. Not even Deborah Ann Woll believes in Karen having romantic feelings for Frank, as she commented on her boyfriend's podcast (skip to 35:50). As she views it, Karen sees Frank as the representation of her own sins, and thats why shes so keen on helping him. She feels a connection and wants to help him because, in away, she would like to have someone to help her too. Karen is someone who never gives up on the outcast, shes compassionate. Frank is an outcast, even though hes done bad things (and she acknowledges that), hes a victim of an injustice and she cant stand that. But even though they had some great scenes together, they are anything but romantic. In fact, Frank saw that Karen was in love with Matt too.
8. The entire arc with Karen and Frank Castle was designed to set up Karen as supportive and compassionate towards vigilantes. In fact, I believe the whole setup of that plotline for that was to make us realize how supportive and understanding Karen can be about Matts secret. I also think it might encourage her to confide in Matt about her past. Many viewers are so busy hammering Matt for all his screwups and dishonesty in season 2 that they easily forget that Karen hasnt been telling her side of the story completely either and has been keeping a lot of secrets too. About her past with her brother. About Wesley. So Matt telling her about his huge secret should give her the confidence and trust she needs to confide in him also. Until she does what Matt has done, their dynamic will not fall into its rightful place. Obviously, Karen's going to need some time to process all of this. Itll be like a new beginning for them because knowing what each of them do/have done now, theyll both have to reestablish their dynamic.
9. Perhaps Karen considers the phrase "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," an idiom that means "Do not criticize others if you have similar weaknesses yourself." Karen may be mad that Matt didn't trust her with the secret sooner, but she's not going to judge him for it because she's been keeping big secrets herself, like killing James Wesley, and whatever happened with her brother.
- In the first episode of season 1, when Matt offers to let Karen stay at his place, he says I will keep you safe, Karen. And he literally saved her from being killed by the knife-wielding assassin Fisk had sent to her apartment.
- When Wesley visits the firm to hire them for the Healy case, he makes a snide remark about Karen's legal problems ("I'm curious about your clientele. Do they all end up working for you after you get them off for murder or just the pretty ones?"). Karen is visibly angry at Wesley, but Matt's tone changes from polite to one of contained anger, like he wants to haul off on Wesley for insulting his girlfriend.
- He echoes this in the season 1 finale, when he tells her I told you I would keep you safe, Karen. When he [Fisk] came after you over Union Allied. That hasnt changed. Later in the episode, he tells Karen and Foggy, See, this, in this office, this is whats important. Knowing that the people I care about are safe and having some sense of closure for the ones weve lost. Its interesting to note that season 1 was framed by these same words. Karen proved she was more than able to take care of herself (killing Wesley), but Matt swore to protect her and thats what hes been doing, as Matt and as Daredevil. He never forgot what he told her when they first met. He never forgot that night.
- In "Penny and Dime", when Karen slips out of the office with the Frank Castle files while Matt and Foggy are talking, he gets worried and his first reaction as he heads for the doors is I have to find her," as he doesn't want Karen to put herself in danger, but Foggy reminds him they have work to do.
- In "Kinbaku," Matt becomes pretty intense when he learns that Karen put herself at risk when she broke into Frank Castle's house. Hes angry because hes scared, scared of losing her. She couldve been hurt after all. After this, Karen apologizes, telling him she went too far, and heres what Matt answers: Its really simple, Karen. I dont want you to get hurt. This scene is an interesting parallel to an earlier scene in "Shadows in the Glass" where he scolded Foggy and Karen for getting attacked outside Elena Cardenas's building, because its the same configuration with the same characters and, once again, Karen is the bold one. But this time, even though Matt is upset, he admits its because hes afraid something might happen to her. He felt the same as in that previous moment, but its even stronger here because now he knows he has deep feelings for her.
- When they visit Frank Castle at the hospital in "No Regrets," Matt cannot help but try to hold Karen back as shes crossing the red line to show the picture to Frank.
- In "Semper Fidelis," when Karen has to go talk to Frank, Matt tells her she doesnt have to do this alone and even though hes worried, he knows she can protect herself:Matt Murdock: You know you dont have to do this by yourself.Karen Page: Its okay, Castle doesnt scare me.Matt Murdock: Maybe he should.Karen Page: [smiles] I can take care of myself.Matt Murdock: [smiles back] I know. But Id be saying it to Foggy or a Navy SEAL. Just watch your back.Karen Page: I promise.
- Karen is so NOT a damsel in distress, and even Matt knows that. He knows how strong she is, but he cant help but tell her to be careful. Sure, he wouldve said that to anyone, but to me it makes that scene even more important: he does not try to diminish her nor to infantize/patronize her.
- In "The Man in the Box", at the moment when Reyes is assassinated, things are complicated. Ever since Karen saw Elektra in Matts bed, they do not really get along. But they still care about each other, and when Matt understands theyre going to be shot at, he tackles Karen to the ground, shields her body and holds her as tightly as possible.
- During the "I'm not yours to protect" conversation in ".380", when Matt runs into Karen outside the precinct. When Matt learns that Karens been working at the Bulletin, he wants her to stop so that she can be safe, but she insists No, Matt, Im Im not yours to protect. After Karen leaves, the camera lingers on Matt's facial expression. It's one of surprise and then pain. It dawns on him that hes not as powerful as he thought he was. He may be Daredevil but she doesnt know, so she doesnt care: she doesnt WANT his help, shed rather be alone, when all he wants to do is protect her because thats what he does, he protects the ones he loves. Her refusing his help is like her refusing his affection, it means theyre broken, and its her reminding him that hes not almighty. Plus, as Karen doesn't know Matt is Daredevil, she's probably thinking "What exactly do you think you'll be able to do, Matt?" because he's forgetting that lawyer Matt Murdock isn't supposed to be a fighter or someone capable of "protecting" someone.
- This all reaches its apex in the season 2 finale. Look at the horrified reaction on Matt's face when Brett tells him that the Hand guys that attacked him wanted information on everyone he'd ever saved as Daredevil. The first thing that pops into his mind is, "Shit! They're going after Karen!" So, Matt parkours as fast as he can to Karen's apartment, worried-sick, but he's too late. Notice how he covers his mouth in guilt, and he says: No, no, no, which adds to his worry. He's so worried about Karen that he can't even focus, and Elektra has to calm him down.Elektra Natchios: Youll find them. Youll find her, Matthew.
- In that line, Elektra knows, that while she may still love Matt, she knows shes not completely his, that he actually loves Karen, and that she is the reason he is so worried he cant focus. And when he finally saves the hostages, he cant help but touch Karen, and make sure shes okay. This is a huge moment for him, because in that moment, his two lives, his two worlds collided. He had never let himself cross the line before, when he was Daredevil he was only Daredevil. But on this very night, when Karen was in danger, Matt forgot about this, or maybe he didnt even care anymore. His cover didnt count any longer. All that mattered was Karen. He didnt even try to change his voice, it was low, soft, genuine.
- Now, there is a big question here: did Karen recognize him? Or at least, did she suspect it was Matt? She must have recognized his lips, his jawline, here shes clearly staring at it. A mouth she kissed, a jawline she caressed, a face she studied countless times, how could she not at least think: Ive seen that face before? While The Defenders will have to answer that, the most important thing here is that Matt and Daredevil were truly one thanks to Karen. And lets not forget the way he lets go of her, his hand slipping down her shoulder as if he wanted to stay this way a bit longer
- Here's something interesting: Karen has been protecting Matt a whole lot too, or at least shes tried, but he never let her in so she couldnt. Like her meltdown at the office, where it's clear she doesn't want anyone else to get hurt because of her leaking info. Or Karen expressing concern when Matt turns up to the office with bruises from his fights with the Russians (the first time) and Stick (the second time), asking if Matt is all right when Foggy calls after the Nobu altercation, or remarking "He is a blind guy in a war zone" when Matt is too busy getting information out of Vladimir to check in with Karen and Foggy. During the rescue from the Hand, its once again Karen whos worrying about him, who cares about him, even though she doesnt know hes Matt. She tells him to be careful before he goes off to fight the Hand ninjas.
- Finally, let's consider the last scene in season 2, when Matt privately visits Karen at the office to reveal his secret. He takes out his mask from the bag. Look at the way Karen's facial expression changes. It goes from stupefaction to something else, as if she had guessed before he told her, but couldnt actually believe it. I think when Matt said "I'm Daredevil," he just put words on what she'd suspected for a long time. Karen is far from stupid, shes seen Daredevils face really closely and stared at it, she knew Matt was hiding something big from her, she knew he got hurt all the time
So when he showed her that mask, she must have thought about all these elements and put two and two together, so here, to me, its just her realizing she was right.
- Why is this last moment so important? It's because so much emphasis has been put on Matts will to protect Karen all throughout season 2 for a reason. It led to this moment. He finally realized that hiding his secret from her didnt keep her safe. She had been kidnapped because she had been saved by Daredevil, not because she knew anything about him. He knows shes strong, he knows she can protect herself: she has been protecting herself from him, after all. She rejected him because she was sick of the lies, because she didnt want to be taken for an idiot, because she didnt want to suffer because of all the unspoken words between them. Can you imagine how it must have hurt Matt? When the one youre trying so hard to protect starts to push you away to protect themselves from you? I think that we can also read Karens reaction to seeing Elektra in Matt's bed the same way. Thus, Matt revealing his secret identity to Karen is Matt accepting that he has been fooling himself. Of course he wants to protect her, and even though he knows she can take care of herself, hell never stop protecting her because he loves her. And the other reason why he hid it from her was because, after Foggy didn't take well to learning Matt's secret, he was scared of letting Karen in. Scared of what she would think, scared of losing her Scared to be completely honest (things that Karen would understand since she going through many of the same processes, but it's over killing Wesley). Im sure its part of the main themes of season 2, at least when it comes to their relationship. Maybe Matt is ready to let someone protect him, for once And I totally think Karen is going to take care of him now. One way or another.
The fact that he listened to Elektra and finally decided to willingly let Karen in says a lot. He didnt go back to Karen because she is his second choice of girlfriend as some viewers think. He doesnt even know if she will take him back, nor do I think he went to the office expecting that. He just wanted to let someone in. He wanted Karen to know because he owed her that much. To keep Karen in his life, he needed her trust and acceptance. Throughout the course of the season, Matts relationship with Elektra and her insight into him, and simultaneously Frank Castles understanding of Karen and vice-versa was meant to set the foundation to bring Matt and Karen to that mental place of taking a step forward in their relationship.
Matt needed a lesson to let people into his life, a lesson about how essential that was to keep him grounded and his darkness at bay. He needed to learn that you cant save people from themselves, they need to save themselves from it, like Elektra did. Like he needs to do if he wants to keep both parts of his life. And for that he needs to open up to people he trusts. He needs workable anchors, because Elektra, despite being able to understand him, was never going to work. Because of how different they are, how toxic they are for one another. With Elektra, Matt would never have been happy. He would have to leave the city he loves and leave his normal life. With Elektra, he would just be Daredevil and nothing else. With Karen, however, there is a possibility that he can be both Matt Murdock the lawyer AND Daredevil the vigilante.
Through Karen opening up to Matt about her opinion of Frank Castle and her support for him, Matt knows she is someone he can count on to not judge him. We constantly see how baffled and curious her answers make him whenever Frank comes up. Matt cares so much about Karens opinion of him its astounding. Through her take on Frank, Matt is constantly assessing how Karen might fare if he were to reveal his identity and I feel him starting a relationship with her was because he could see that in the future, this might even work for him. That He could be any of us talk with Karen in "Dogs to a Gunfight" had been the turning point for him. So was the talk about Karens compassion in "Penny and Dime". Nothing in those moments is without purpose. We see Karen accepted Frank Castles motives and supported him (even though she admitted that his methods were wrong), so Daredevil by extension falls into the same category. Through Matt and Karens initial dating we see Karen has accepted Matt, wants Matt, but the only thing that came in the way of that relationship was that Matt was holding back from her. Their entire breakup happened because Matt was too busy being Daredevil and couldnt explain to Karen what was going on. Add Elektra to that and of course something had to give. Matt and Karen are still very much a mystery to one another, but I feel once they take the next step forward in terms of trust and acceptance, they are exactly what they both need.
With Claire, Matt could just be Matt, because Claire wanted nothing to do with Daredevil. She was not okay falling in love with someone who was that unpredictable and dangerous. She cut that relationship in its bud, and found something healthier in the form of Luke Cage.
With Elektra, I don't deny that she loves Matt, but it's important to note that Matt was a mission for her and she used him. She also loves his darkness, something Matt doesnt want to unleash, ever. Most importantly, with her, Matt can ONLY be Daredevil, not Matt Murdock, the lawyer who has a normal life and friends and who does things a certain way, the legal way. Elektra doesnt give a shit about that part of Matts life.
Which brings me to Karen. She is the only one who has fallen in love with Matt and who simultaneously has a thing for Daredevil as well. With her past and her understanding of her own self and Frank Castle, she is the only one capable of handling Matts truth. And I feel the whole reason her arc with Frank was so important was so it could set the foundation for us to understand how OKAY she can be with Matt as Daredevil and how supportive she can be of him. It really sets her apart as a unique love interest and honestly, Matts only hope of balancing both aspects of his life.
Its a very short scene which goes quick, but from the look on his face, I think Matt felt so many emotions. Notice how, even when the focus is on Matt in the foreground, its also on Karen because she remains within the frame, in the background. Shes literally with him.
I think Matt feels sad for Karen at the moment, because he knows shes compassionate and he knows she cares about Frank Castle. He probably could feel her sorrow and it hurt him. Also, I think he felt guilty and blamed himself for her pain because he didnt manage to save Frank. Thats why he lowers his head in that shot. You usually do that out of guilt, shame or forced acceptation. Here, its a mix of pretty much all of that, but especially guilt.
Another detail that is, in my opinion, pretty telling and important in that scene: Karens heartbeat. I don't think Matt chose to hear it or to focus on it. Most of the time, when he does this, its for a clear purpose: he's trying to determine whether the person is lying or not. Here, theres no goal. And its not the first time were shown a scene in which Matt hears her heartbeat. He never did it on purpose, its just natural. Its like he cant shut it out, he cant not hear it.
Also, dont forget that hours earlier, in that same episode, Karen and Matt fought in front of the precinct and she told him she was not his to protect. It was like she broke up with him a second time. I think Matt blamed himself for Frank and what happened between him and Karen. This scene proved he still cared about her, deeply. It shows in the way the scene was filmed and Matts position. The one thing he wants to do is break his cover to comfort Karen, but he's unable to.
Finally, when you consider this scene, and ultimately him rescuing her and the other Hand hostages, consider this: even when Matt and Karen aren't supposed to be together, they are. Even when hes Daredevil, Karen is here. So his listening to her heartbeat after the boat blows up, and then rescuing her when the Hand took her captive, was also pretty foreshadowing: it was like Matt was thinking, "If I cant keep Karen out of my other life, why even try?" In that moment, he decided there was no excuse to keep Karen out of his life, and he needed to let her in on the secret. Elektra telling him about how he shuts people out pushed him further.
But why wouldn't Matt want to kill to prevent innocent people from getting hurt? Because he feels that it's not his place to kill, and since it's not his, it's not Frank Castle's either. But why would Matt think that? Because the one time Matt went out actively seeking to kill someone - when he went after Wilson Fisk in response to the hit on Elena Cardenas - it turned out to be a trap and he ended up getting stabbed repeatedly by Nobu and beaten up by Fisk. So I think when Matt told Karen that he didn't think killing was right, he was being honest. He even had his glasses off for the whole conversation, and Matt is always honest whenever he's got his glasses off. Besides, what Matt had been focused on was the killing, not vigilantism as a whole, and I think he was upset that Karen thought it was okay to kill. I also think that he was afraid that he'd listen to her and end up taking someone's life as Daredevil that he shouldn't. (Thought I doubt he'd blame her for killing Wesley, since that was a pretty clear-cut case of self-defense. Though, maybe Karen was thinking that she was protecting more than just herself when she shot Wesley, given that he was threatening Matt's, Foggy's, and Ben's lives at the moment. And she probably believed that, like Frank, she was preventing innocent people from needing to be saved in the first place.)
I don't think Fisk has gone on trial when he shows up in season 2. Season 2 starts just about six months after season 1 ends, so I doubt Fisk could be brought to trial so quickly given that he didn't have Reyes pulling strings (it's not uncommon these days for a trial to not happen until one to two years after the crime).
Also, consider his conversations with Donovan in "Seven Minutes in Heaven". The first interaction has Donovan saying "I assure you my firm did everything we could, but the case against you is quite simply bulletproof," which implies that Donovan had failed to find anything to get the charges thrown out before Fisk could be brought to trial. Then there's Fisk's interaction with Matt in "Man in the Box": Fisk recalls the last time they met face to face (when Matt was Matt and not "The Devil of Hell's Kitchen") was when Matt dropped by Vanessa's art gallery in "Speak of the Devil". If he'd gone on trial, he'd have mentioned something different, since the prosecution would likely use all three members of Nelson & Murdock as witnesses, as anything uncovered during the entire Mrs. Cardenas matter would be as usable in a civil suit as it would be in a criminal trial.
I got this idea from a fanfic called Sins of the Father, an alternate continuity on Matt and Elektra's background, and this story did its own take on Fisk getting out of jail. In this version, Fisk engages in Jury and Witness Tampering, first by threatening Hoffman into recanting his testimony against Fisk, then has him assassinated by a sniper outside the courthouse. This leads to Hoffman's original statements being voided. Subsequently, when Fisk goes on trial, his legal defense strategy is to blame James Wesley for any criminal allegations against Fisk that can't be outright denied, and paint Fisk as a generous, overly trusting boss, whose only crime was wanting to see the best in his employees. The jury buys it. Wesley takes the fall for Fisk in death, and Fisk gets acquitted on everything. The author of the work stated in his notes that while he was worried that it might look unrealistic, his version of Fisk's trial is like the OJ Simpson murder trial, or when a jury ruled that Robert Durst dismembered a guy in self-defense. He also felt a jailbreak seemed even less realistic (and frankly, less horrifying) than Fisk playing the justice system like a fiddle.
Alternately, if rigging a trial is too much, I imagine that Fisk may have been Crazy-Prepared. For instance, Donovan's legal team probably have a defense strategy lined up to discredit Hoffman, which gets Fisk off the hook for the murders of Detective Blake and the other cops. And even with a criminal record, he has the resources on hand to set himself up to be a legitimate businessman.
It's pretty clear that this plotline is being set up in season 2. The hints are very subtle, but also pretty convincing. The primary warning sign, is the indication that Fisk is starting to take an interest in Matt, when he asks for his files on Matt Murdock to be brought to his cell. He's either figured out Matt's secret identity or is planning to destroy Matt's life.
This actually goes hand-in-hand with Brett revealing to Matt that the police have more information on Daredevil than Matt realizes. While its the Hand that asks for the data relating to Daredevil, so they could seek out targets to kidnap, the situation is suspicious enough that Matt could imagine Fisk having some kind of involvement in the kidnappings. Perhaps Fisk and the Hand did maintain their alliance in spite of his falling out with Nobu. Even if they havent, the fact that detailed information about Daredevil exists, and is something Fisk could conceivably gain access to (along with whatever he already has on Matt) is a big deal.
In the Born Again comics, Fisks first step in dismantling Matts life was to destroy him professionally and financially. Throughout season 2, there are lots of small suggestions of Fisks presence in Matts life. At the start of the season, Nelson & Murdock are hovering on the edge of bankruptcy, in spite of an increase in clients, which is a little suspicious to begin with. Then, around the fifth episode of season 2, their clients disappear altogether. This is implied by the show and the characters' dialogue to be D.A. Reyess fault, but this is also the sort of move that has Fisk written all over it.
And there's what is shown - that Fisk used proxies to manipulate Frank Castle into throwing his own trial, and Nelson & Murdock were the ones defending Frank. It's possible that Fisk was killing multiple birds with one stone in doing so, and he's pulled similar gambits in the past that covered multiple goals: the murder of Detective Blake, for instance, was about eliminating a guy who'd become a liability, but also about painting Matt as a Cop Killer. We see a similar gambit here: it's confirmed that Fisk wanted Frank in prison so that Frank would kill Dutton and give Fisk control of the prison's underground economy without arousing suspicion. But I imagine Fisk must have also found out through his crooked attorney Donovan that Nelson & Murdock were the ones representing Frank and decided "The Punisher is being defended by the imbeciles who put me in this jail." (we know from Brett in "Regrets Only" that all the other firms had passed on Frank because they didn't want to deal with Reyes; one of those firms had to be Donovan's, and word that Nelson & Murdock had chosen to defend Frank is the sort of thing that had to get around the lawyer world quickly. It's also quite possible that Reyes was in Fisk's pocket, which would possibly explain how Healy's trial in season 1 was able to be fast-tracked).
When Matt visits Fisk in jail in "The Man in the Box", we see just how angry Fisk is at having been arrested, and how much he wants revenge. A significant detail here is that he is angry at both Matt and Foggy, and so he may target Foggy as well which is a particularly painful prospect, and an intriguing deviation from the comics.
Another detail worth noting: in "Penny and Dime," when Matt visits Melvin Potter to get his new suit pieces, Melvin makes a little comment that his old contacts have started to return to him. While it's possible he's talking about contacts coming to seek armor to protect themselves from the Punisher, this may be a hint that he is being targeted by Fisk once more. Especially since Melvin was wearing his Gladiator armor under his shirt at the time. And of course, there is Will Simpson, introduced over in Jessica Jones (2015), who had a major presence in Born Again though whether he would end up playing the same kind of role if "Born Again" were adapted for the Netflix show is debatable. Also worth noting is that Matts current state of unemployment at the end of season 2, and his limited support system, is reminiscent of his situation at the beginning of Born Again, and leaves him extra vulnerable to attacks by Fisk.
It's unlikely, though, that Karen will be the one to out Matts identity like it went in the comics. Given Fisks intelligence, his interactions with both Matt and Daredevil, and the fact that hes been looking into Matt and keeping tabs on him, he will probably figure it out on his own, if he hasnt already. It seems a bit less likely for Fisk to figure out that Karen killed Wesley, particularly after all this time. Even if he did, and if he also figured out that Karen knows Daredevils identity, Karen is not a blackmail-able character. Fisk might try but most of Karens character arc throughout both seasons of Daredevil have been spent establishing how fearless, stubborn and unyielding she is towards people like Fisk and Reyes who try to bury their secrets. In the comics, Karen sold Matts secret identity when she was at her absolute lowest point and had no other choice. She was desperate and sick and starving and dealing with a crippling addiction, and Matts secret was the only thing of value she had left. She was not being coerced, no one knew she had this information, she gave it away for the sake of saving her own life. In the MCU, Karen is in a significantly more stable situation. While that could certainly change, it would take a huge shift in her fortunes to make her desperate and frightened enough to allow herself to be blackmailed by Fisk who was responsible for all of her pain in Season 1, and who she (to put it mildly) hates. Fisk might try to use the threat of going to jail for murder, but that's unlikely as Karen knows two excellent lawyers and two excellent vigilantes. A more likely scenario is that Fisk might try to blackmail Karen with her dark backstory, given that we know how much her past upsets her and that she is desperate to keep it hidden even from her friends. Regardless, it would take something huge to prompt Karen to do anything for Fisk.
Given Karen now works at the Bulletin, an adaptation of "Born Again" will more likely have her take on Ben Urichs role and help to uncover Fisks involvement in the destruction of Matts life.
It's possible that Brett Mahoney will take over the role Nick Manolis played in the original "Born Again" storyline. This would be appropriate since Brett took some level of pride in being one of the honest cops in the 15th Precinct after the mass-arrest of the dirty cops in Fisk's pocket. But then in season 2, Brett starts to dirty his hands a bit, beginning to work with Daredevil. He even lets Daredevil go and takes credit for Frank Castle's arrest. Taking credit for a success that wasn't his, benefiting from his lie. He had let a criminal go, and got a promotion. He had accepted a bribe. I can imagine Brett going on a slippery descent, making him no better than the cops that Fisk owned. Brett's not the squeaky clean cop that Foggy grew up with anymore.
First off, The Defenders ends with the reveal that Matt survived the destruction of The Hand stronghold at Midland Circle, even though his friends and fellow Defenders teammates all think he's dead. Matt Murdock is seen lying in a bed all bandaged up, with a nun holding vigil over him. As Matt begins to stir, the nun says "Get Maggie, he's waking up." This "Maggie" in question is probably Sister Maggie, who actually Matt Murdock's mother. She's well-known in the comic book mythos, and is an iconic part of the "Born Again" storyline and artwork. Maggie is an integral part of "Born Again": after being nearly killed by Fisk, Matt is nursed back to health by Maggie - who reveals herself to be his estranged mother.
Then there's the subject of Karen Page. Karen has gotten a much different depiction in the MCU than she did in the comics. In comics, she started out as something of a wholesome (if not generic) love interest - before creators like Frank Miller put her through the ringer. However, Karen Page in the MCU has hinted at already having a dark past when we meet her - and that certainly seems to be the case when she executed James Wesley in season 1. The events of "Born Again" unfold because of Karen Page being on a serious downward spiral of addiction, selling Matt's secret out, and funny enough, her MCU counterpart is poised for a similar arc after the events of The Defenders. On the one hand, Karen is poised to take on the role that Ben Urich played in "Born Again," where Ben becomes a target of Fisk's as he tries to dig into the story. Since in the MCU, Fisk has already killed Ben for these very reasons back in season 1, Ben can't obviously play his part. But Karen could, since she has now taken his place as an investigative reporter, and could serve that role in the story. On the other hand, Karen is currently torn apart from thinking Matt Murdock is dead after The Defenders, and that mourning could lead her to a dark place where drinking and/or drugs make her make a terrible mistake of spilling Daredevil's secret. With the secret of Wesley's death (and other skeletons) still hanging over her as well, Karen is poised to have as tragic an arc in the MCU "Born Again" as she did in the Marvel Comics version.
Then there's Matt's visit to Fisk in season 2, during "The Man in the Box". Fisk snaps and violently throttles Matt while telling him in no uncertain terms that, when he gets out, he is going to break both Matt and Foggy for helping put him away.
With the time that has passed since Daredevil season 2 (during which we've seen the takedown of Cottonmouth and Diamondback, the construction of Midland Circle, and the entire events of The Defenders) it would make sense if Fisk gets out of prison at the start of season 3, and immediately gets to work dismantling Matt Murdock's life - only to learn that Matt and Daredevil are one and the same. That would be a great way to adapt Fisk's role in the "Born Again" story for the MCU.
Nuke's attack on Hell's Kitchen in "Born Again" could happen. The comics sees Matt finally don his costume again after a spiritual and existential crisis, just in time to battle the supervillain known as Nuke, who was set loose by Fisk, come out to terrorize Hell's Kitchen. Will Simpson becoming an enforcer for Fisk, which is possible if Fisk can be tied to the IGH subplot of Jessica Jones.
The events of The Defenders also give room for Fisk to set up an imposter. A stage of Fisk's plot in the original "Born Again" storyline is to draw Daredevil out by releasing a violent mental patient and dressing him up as Daredevil, to wreak havoc. Matt shows up to battle the impostor and defeats him before the madman can hurt either Foggy or Karen, as Fisk had intended. With the MCU Daredevil believed to be dead after the events of The Defenders, it would be plausible to believe that Fisk, skeptical that Daredevil is really gone, would hire an impostor to discredit Daredevil's legacy, and possibly draw the hero out.
Throughout Luke Cage (2016), Shades shows utter pragmatism, making him the Only Sane Man compared to the unstable crime bosses he tries to keep in line. Fisk has an inside line into the criminal activity in Harlem, as we see Donovan actively represent Cottonmouth after he's arrested for killing Scarfe, and later shows up while Misty is trying to grill Candice Miller. With Fisk being more ambitious and a bit more sane than Cottonmouth or Diamondback, he'd want a loyal, clear-headed advisor to help him, for which Shades fits the bill.
- Jossed unless Shades finds a way to get out of prison and Fisk is willing to work with a known snitch.
Frank Castle rigged a truck to barrel into the yard where the ESU team was waiting, with a dead Dogs of Hell biker in the driver's seat. Part of me thinks that Castle probably had an accomplice set the truck up while he prepared to snipe Grotto from the water tank. Micro could've been working for him, but a such a wet work operation like Operation: Punisher might be too much for him to be involved.
It's possible we'll learn in The Punisher (2017) that Billy Russo had, out of friendship, supplied Frank with the intelligence and weapons he'd need to go after the gangs. Why is this possible? Because there's a big gap between when Frank left the hospital and when he started his war with the gangs responsible for his family's murder. In that time, he probably went to Russo, and Russo offered to provide him with everything he needed. Russo owns a military contractor, Anvil, so he'd be the right person to supply this stuff. It probably took a few months, but once he had everything, Frank returned to New York City and waited patiently for the time to strike.
It would also explain some of her behaviors in season 2. Foggy is repeatedly shown recoiling from what Frank Castle has done. He makes it clear in words and body language that he doesnt want to look at pictures of dead bodies any more than he absolutely has to. But Karen? She pours over them, studies them. She spends days and days going through the case files for Franks murders. Gruesome, bullet-riddled bodies dont seem to faze her much anymore.
Considering how the Hand's resurrection process was revealed to work in Iron Fist, this is even more and more plausible.
- Jossed. Typhoid Mary is set to appear in Iron Fist.
In Iron Fist (2017), it was revealed that The Hand have a presence in companies like Roxxon, Rand, and Midland Circle. And in the 11th episode, Bakuto mentions that the Hand has infiltrated every level of New York City's infrastructure, getting younger members scholarships that get them into corporations, hospitals, even City Hall.
It stands to reason that there must be cops who work for the Hand. This is an interesting theory but I think it explains a lot about the Hand's using Karen and others as hostages.
If the NYPD was compromised by The Hand, it would allow the Hand to manipulate investigations that might cause problems for them, like their attack on the hospital. But to get the police files on those Matt had saved as Daredevil, the Hand has to have some of their agents rough up Brett and threaten his mother's life. Why would they target Brett and not another cop? Because the Hand's spies know about Brett's secret alliance with the Devil of Hell's Kitchen. So they know that attacking him will cause him to make contact with the Devil and pass the message onwards.
It stands to reason that Brett's partner is the most likely candidate for a mole. In a few episodes of season 2, Brett occasionally was shown riding with a partner, a blonde female cop named Thompson. She's with Brett when he arrests Frank Castle at the cemetery and is later shown with him when Matt leads him to one of the Hand's incubation chambers where the Hand have been draining blood, and is later standing with him supervising the carnage after the Blacksmith's boat is blown up. She would know everything needed to sell Brett out to The Hand, and thus, those saved by the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.
Thematically, this would be appropriate considering that, with Luke Cage (2016) having followed season 2 of Daredevil, it would make Brett a nice parallel to Misty Knight: both of them are honest cops, allied with a Defender (Matt; Luke), who had a partner (Thompson; Scarfe) that turned out to be dirty (loyal to the Hand; on Cottonmouth's payroll).
- If there's a reason why Ben could be resurrected, they would, but it'd be very unlikely seeing how they'd have to find a way to work him into Karen's plotlines.
- Ellison is pretty much taking over Ben's role in mentoring Karen in reporting, wouldn't be hard to have him step back and have Ben take over from there.
This would certainly explain Foggy's weird reaction to Karen mentioning seeing Elektra in Matt's bed, or his "Awwww hell no" reaction to finding out Elektra was back and that Matt kept it from him.
- Foggy's in a committed relationship with Marci and lost interest in Karen by the end of season 1.
- Confirmed outright.
- Jessica Jones: If Nuke shows up in season 3, then Jessica might show up too, in order to take him down. After all, Nuke first showed up in her series and she has a personal beef with him.
- Jossed at least in terms of Nuke's involvement. He is dead as of the second season of Jessica Jones.
- The Punisher: Frank and Matt already have a history and Frank could easily fill the role of Cap, being a military man himself.
- Danny Rand: At the end of The Defenders, Danny seemed driven to take up the mantle of New York vigilante in honor of Matt. If there's an impostor Daredevil running around as there was in the original Born Again storyline, he might show up to take down the villain. Or he might think Matt himself is an impostor.
- Steve Rogers: In a super surprising move, Chris Evans himself turns up anyway. After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Steve is no longer Captain America, but he might show up in plain clothes to lend a hand.
- Elektra: If Matt survived, there's a chance she did as well. With the rumor that Bullseye will show up in season three, we might get to see that famous Elektra/Bullseye rivalry on the small screen.
- Luke Cage: Foggy is currently Luke's lawyer and a bit of a friend. If he is in trouble, Luke might come to his rescue. Unless his inheriting of Harlem's Paradise has rendered him more likely to be on the side of the criminals.
- Jossed. No other hero shows up and only Elektra (in its first scenes) and Jessica Jones (in a throwaway joke in the last scene) are mentioned the entire season.
- Jossed, the Hand take no part whatsoever.
This would be the perfect opportunity to bring in new supporting cast like Becky Blake, who could likely become a third partner at Nelson & Murdock. It's possible that Becky's secretarial career will be skipped over in favor of making her a full-fledged lawyer. Becky would also be beneficial to Daredevil by giving the show more representation of disabled people beyond Matt's blindness. She wouldn't be a love interest, and was one of the few women who didn't become a love interest for Matt.
- Jossed, never shows up.
Matt and Foggy both contributed to Fisk's incarceration, and if Fisk assumes that Matt is dead due to Midland Circle, then Foggy would be his main target. If the aspect of Born Again of Fisk learning Daredevil's identity were to be used, it'd very likely increase Fisk's desire to destroy Foggy in order to get to Matt on a much more intimate and personal level compared to if he attacked Matt directly. Matt has pretty much thrown his own life away, and Foggy's life is way too perfect right now to last any longer than a season.
- This one is a more complicated answer. He sowed the seed to go after Foggy for a long time prior to even getting out of prison (through putting his family's butchery under a very long game loan trap) but he didn't pull the trigger until after going for Matt (who he went for at the first available opportunity by throwing him under the bus as an accomplice). Confirmed or Jossed depending on your own interpretation.
- Alternately, something akin to the Death's Head arc with Karen's father happened.
But of course the real question is, what about Matt's attitude toward killing? In season 1, Matt tells Father Lantom that his soul will be damned if he kills Fisk. In season 2, he tells Karen that Frank is completely wrong for killing, and that only God (or sometimes a jury) has the right to decide who lives and who dies. What will he think of Karen, once he knows?
All that matters is that Matt doesn't condemn Karen for it. If he's unwilling to condemn an unrepentant assassin like Elektra, hed better be able to accept the fact that Karen killed once to protect herself and everyone she loves, and has carried a load of guilt for it ever since.note
Then theres Matts own actions. Sure, Matt hasnt deliberately killed anyone. But he wanted to kill Fisk, and was willing to consider killing the Blacksmith, which a good Catholic boy ought to see as already sinning in his heart. Nobu ended up dead after their season 1 fight and their season 2 fight (Matt throwing him off the roof, specifically; not Stick finishing him off), even if that wasnt Matts intent. Hes also inflicted injuries on lots of people that, realistically, should kill them, even if the show doesnt show them dying. It would take a large dose of hypocrisy for him to condemn Karen, because his own hands are not as clean as he likes to claim.
If the writers allow Matt to have any kind of self-awareness at all, he should accept the truth, and accept that Karen has a darker side, just like he does.
- Confirmed, she does spill the beans on killing Wesley to Foggy, Matt and Fisk.
In season 1, Karen uncovered and took down Fisk with the help of Nelson & Murdock. In season 3, Karen will take down Fisk to help Nelson & Murdock.
Furthermore, in an Entertainment Weekly interview, Marco Ramirez said that the ending to The Defenders turned out the way it did for Matt because he had to come to terms with Elektra being beyond help. Now Matt can rebuild his friendships with Foggy and Karen now that Elektra is out of the way. She may return but as a villain rather than the "potential ally" role she's been playing.
- Confirmed, she's nowhere to be found.
- Instead of Karen selling Matt's secret to get money for heroin, Fisk will discover it on his own by putting the pieces together himself.
- Because it's believed that Matt is dead, Fisk won't have to frame him for a crime. Instead, he'll pay off a cop to give a false testimony implicating Foggy in a crime.
- This draws out Matt, who returns to help Foggy avoid getting sent to jail. Fisk allows this to work, but then has Matt's apartment firebombed while Matt and Foggy are there. Matt's Daredevil suit is destroyed while he saves Foggy, who is terribly injured.
- Matt refuses to contact either Foggy or Karen again out of fear of their safety and willingly becomes a homeless street wanderer to make sure Fisk can't hurt anyone else, driving away anyone who tries to help him (like his mother and the other nuns).
- Fisk sends an assassin after the homeless Matt, but his mother finds and brings him back to the nunnery. Instead of trying to drown him in a car, the assassin simply chases Matt and stabs and/or shoots him somewhere near the church.
- Karen takes Ben Urich's role from the original Born Again storyline. Her story is the most changed, with her doing sexual favors for a guy named Paulo Scorsese being abandoned and replaced with watching after Foggy in the hospital, who is still being targeted by Fisk for death. This is where she meets a nurse named Lois, based off the character from the storyline.
- Will Simpson is made the one sent after Foggy. Simpson kills Lois, since she's more of a Mythology Gag then an actual character.
- Jossed, since Simpson died in Jessica Jones season 2.
- No Captain America.
In terms of Matt and Karen figuring things out, they'll most likely have to start over. They have feelings for each other, but they clearly werent enough the first time around, so they'll most likely have to start from scratch. It helps maybe that Matt is almost literally resurrecting from the dead, which could help with that. Plus, Karen has yet to reveal what happened with her and Wesley and even her past involving her brother, so Matt and Karen obviously have a lot of issues to work out. With Fisk getting out of prison and very likely going after both its safe to assume Matt and Karen will have to stick together and collaborate a lot. The relationship will finally be one built on honesty: every interaction Matt and Karen have shared so far was based on masks and disguises, lies and omissions, but this time should be different. Theyll arguably be at their most vulnerable and raw and that should pay off.
The most important thing that needs to happen is that communication between them needs to open up a lot. Matt seems to feel that he's got a certain degree of freedom in the way he talks with Elektra and Claire that he doesnt have with Karen. Hell tell them about his beliefs/ideas, hell be blunt with them, hell argue with them. He doesnt seem to feel like he can do that with Karen. A large part of that is that Karen didnt know that he was Daredevil, and you can't really discuss your vigilante politics when youre pretending that youre not a vigilante. So now that the cats out of the bag, I think Matt and Karen will naturally begin to mend some fences and grow closer because he has a little more freedom to talk with her about whatever. But thats not the whole of the problem with their communication. I also think that Matt kind of sees Karen as kind of pure, but not exactly. Theres some version of Karen in Matt's head right now that he A. cant argue with openly (so instead of having an outright discussion of whats wrong, they dance around each other and end up blowing up) and B. he cant show her the sides of him that arent as clean and good. So that aspect of things would be helped by knowing a little bit more about Karens views on things.
But the other big thing in their communication is actually that Karens actually quite the hypocrite when it comes to honesty (no hate, I love Karen. Shes just a complex character like the others). As much as Karen gets after Matt for not talking to her, she has kept secrets from Matt the entire time shes known him. Shes never talked about her brother's death or whatever happened in her past prior to coming to New York; she went to Foggy with her anxiousness about the city and not wanting to go home (the night they drank the eel) but never said anything about that to Matt; most of her investigating of Fisk with Ben was done behind Matts back; she never told anyone about shooting Wesley; of course her association with Frank Castle was kept mostly a secret. Matt wasn't telling Karen anything, but Karen somehow managed to tell Matt less. So first, Karen needs to see that shes holding a lot back from Matt as well. Its less about her needing to tell him the specifics of these things and more that she has to be willing to talk to Matt about something in her life. A big factor here, though, is that Matt was keeping secret about something that he is, while Karen's secrets pertained to things that she had done.
The really interesting thing is that that side of Karen, is really what could potentially make her and Matt a great couple one day, even while now its contributing to keeping them apart. Because its the side of Karen that is a LOT like Matt. The side of them that goes to seek justice no matter what, often outside the law, often in ways that others dont agree with. Its the side that keeps secrets, sometimes because of good intentions, sometimes because they think others will try to stop them, sometimes because thats just what they do. AND there are a lot of parallels between how Matt relates to Elektra and how Karen relates to Frank. For Matt and Karen respectively, Elektra and Frank are the person they understand a little too well. Who they see the best in while others dont. For Frank and Elektra respectively they are the one person in the world who brings out the softer side. And those relationships sprang up at roughly the same time. Matt and Karen are even really playing the same role to each other in this the more moral, safer option, whose darker side the other doesnt realize (in season 2) while theyre also each being drawn toward someone else whos super violent but with a heart of maybe not gold, but like bronze or something.
So in essence, everything that Matt was doing that drove him and Karen apart, Karen was doing to some degree as well. If Karen and Matt are really able to open up with each other (and again, the pressure is on BOTH of them), theyll be able to unlock this whole other side to their relationship that would really deepen what they have. How that openness will come about, Im not sure. Will it naturally come with time now that Karen knows hes Daredevil? Will there be a sense of mortality that pushes them together with Fisk getting out of jail? Will some secret of Karens have to come out (perhaps painfully) before the dam bursts?
Another big factor will be Matts feelings for Elektra. But also Karens feelings for Frank. In season 2 they both effectively chose the other person, even without actually ending up with that person. So a lot depends on where they stand in regards to those people. Because if Karen still has an unspoken thing for Frank that shes harboring, thats gonna get in the way of her and Matt. If Matt is still gung-ho to live or die with Elektra, thats really gonna get in the way; this also really depends on whether or not Elektra is dead, which is a big question hanging in the air. Those things have to be addressed before Matt and Karen can move forward with anything romantic.
- Confirmed if nothing else on a platonic level as all secrets were laid bare.
Maybe Melvin will also make the suit a bit more red. Spider-Man: Homecoming and the Deadpool movie have demonstrated that a bright red superhero suit CAN look good in live action. While Matt will probably not go for candy-apple red, it will probably more like a slightly less maroon version of the season 2 suit. Perhaps we will also see Matt finally get the interlocking D's, which might encourage people to actually call him Daredevil instead of The Devil of Hell's Kitchen.
- Jossed, the only attempt to give Matt a new suit was just a ploy by Fisk that Matt saw through. He stays with his Season 1 outfit the entire way through.
Even though Matt had been retired for months between the events of season 2 and The Defenders, he still has perspective on Fisks intelligence, if not his actual power at the moment. He might assume that Karen is also in danger, despite her not being mentioned. But at the same time, Karen is probably the person best-equipped to handle that news and keep that secret for him, so he might tell her anyway. (If this were the comics, hed probably tell Ben Urich, but he's dead in the show and Karen is in Ben's role now.)
There's also the possibility that Karen will be investigating at the beginning of the season and figure out Matt is alive on her own. Maybe she'll find out something on Matt's mother while trying to find if Matt has any immediate relatives in the city. She is very inquisitive, and when she was last seen in The Defenders, she was still trying to keep hope alive that Matt would return. And the image of Matt swooping in out of nowhere to protect Foggy is too tempting.
- Jossed, he actually tells Foggy first and Foggy spills the beans to Karen almost immediately.
Of course, Fisk will be that reason. Fisk is going to be tearing up the place, and Matt has a better chance of defeating him if Fisk thinks hes dead. He may choose to lie low, once he knows Fisk is taking action, and keep the fact that hes alive secret from Karen and Foggy in service of the larger goal. If they believe Matts dead, then Fisk is more likely to believe it. On the other hand, though, the more danger theyre in, the more Matt will want to protect them. Which will make it harder to hide from them. And Karen and Foggy will be in danger. Fisk might not remember Karen from the Union Allied matter since Wesley is dead, but shes surely going to oppose him and work against him in season 3, and that will draw his attention eventually.
But presumably Fisks activities will take some time to really get going. Unless Matt spends the first few episodes unconscious, he should be capable of at least getting in touch with Karen and Foggy, before Fisk gives him a reason not to. Unless Fisk is already making his move by the time Matt is recovered, he really should tell them hes alive early in the season.
But if that doesnt happen, hopefully Karen finds out some other way, the sooner the better. It makes sense that she would be more likely than Foggy to find it out accidentally, given her profession, and how inquisitive, tenacious, and reckless she is. And it would be a refreshing change of pace for Karen to be the one who's in on Matts secrets, instead of Foggy, for a change. Shes been left out of the loop way too often, so its her turn to be the one who knows. She might go along with Matt's request that she not tell Foggy, if Matt could convince her that it would help them against Fisk. But she knows all too well from these first two standalone seasons and The Defenders what its like to be the one kept in the dark, so she probably wouldn't be happy about it.
Once she knows, we will see Matt and Karen working together to bring Fisk down. Karen will definitely be working against Fisk, with or without Matt. (Foggy will want to stop him, too, but he might not be able to do much, depending on what Fisk does to him.) The first time they went up against Fisk, it was Matt and Karen working separately on the same case, with neither one knowing what the other is doing; this time around, it will be Matt and Karen actively collaborating, sharing information, joining forces to defeat Fisk. Honestly, if Matt has any sense, he should tell her that hes alive for that very purpose, because he should recognize that they have a better chance if they work together.
And then working together would mean spending time together, and hopefully getting to know each other in a whole new way. Matt usually hasnt been around for Karens most badass moments (Wesley's death, the whole bomb hostage situation in the hotel), and he needs to know that side of her. And Karen has seen Daredevil in action, but she and Matt haven't spoken to each other enough to talk about it since she found out the secret. Karen needs to also have a chance to get used to seeing that side of Matt now that she knows. This would be a really good, convincing way for them to rebuild their relationship.
As for Foggy, hes probably going to be too busy dealing with his imploding life to help much. Fisk is likely going to get him fired from Hogarth Chao & Benowitz at the minimum, and probably worse. Because when Wilson Fisk threatens to destroy someone, he means it, and he'll be taking you down with everything he has. In the long-term, that could open the door to Nelson & Murdock reopening, but in the short term, poor Foggy will be in for a rough season.
- Indestructible Man
- Crusher (Not Crusher Hogan, but the villain)
- Fancy Dan
- Zhou Cheng, who will be carried over from Iron Fist and have a bigger role to capitalize on him being an Ensemble Dark Horse.
See, in the comics, Vanessa spent much of her early existence serving as a foil for Fisk a kind, naive, good person for him to love and protect. For a long time she remained unaware of her husbands criminal dealings, and supported him in everything he did. However, in later years most notably, in Daredevil volume 2 writers started to take her out of this quiet, passive role and to give her more power. This came with a corruption of her established goodness, through which she pulled off some twisted schemes of her own, in her husbands absence. Netflix Vanessa has been set up to follow a similar trajectory maybe not to the extremes eventually reached by her comics counterpart, but certainly in a way that would give her more agency.
The most interesting arc Vanessa could undergo at this point would be to further solidify her role in Fisks criminal dealings. In Season 1 she eventually became aware of his moral iffiness, but nevertheless remained supportive of what he was doing. Thus, with Fisk now having lost much of his power and a lot of his former allies, Vanessa is one of the few who is there to step into a more active position. Its even possible she has already been helping Fisk from afar, forging necessary connections and setting up his and her return. Approaching Vanessas story as one of a good person choosing a criminal life (a counterpoint to Mariah Dillard, who slid into criminal activities largely against her will) could be really interesting, particularly if juxtaposed with Matt and Karen and the typical superhero story (as the same thing will be going on in Matt's world, with Karen similarly cementing herself into Matt's Daredevil activities).
- Confirmed in the last episode.
Of course, running a law practice on your own is tough, as Foggy had seen at Nelson & Murdock when he was covering for Matt's absences. But with Matt being 'dead' and all, he'd have Marci this time. And it'd be pretty easy for Foggy to persuade her that this would be the right choice. After all, Marci may act 'bitchy', but that's to hide her soft side and the fact she actually has moral standards. She turned on her colleagues when Foggy presented her with evidence that Landman & Zack's senior management were working for Wilson Fisk. So it stands to reason that Marci would also want nothing to do with Hogarth, Chao or Benowitz if she and Foggy found out anything about any of those three name partners' illegal activities (what Jeri did in the whole saga with Kilgrave as well as the IGH matter, or Chao and Benowitz's involvement in laundering drug money for cartels kinda like the ones that did business with Fisk).
So in other words, Foggy and Marci will repeat what Matt and Foggy had done in leaving Landman & Zack, and start their own firm of Nelson & Stahl, Attorneys at Law. This would allow them to be brought into season 3 of Daredevil without having to worry about people asking where Jeri, Cheng or Malcolm are. Plus, it'd give seeds for Nelson & Murdock's inevitable revival once Matt comes back from the dead, and once Matt, Karen, Foggy and Marci have re-defeated Fisk, as Matt could become the third wheel in the new firm. It's certainly been suggested that Marci will have a much larger role in season 3, so this is likely a good outcome for her.
- Partial Confirm/Partial Joss. They do, at least plan to, reopen Nelson and Murdock with a third wheel but it's Karen and not Marci (as Marci has her own job that she doesn't intend to leave).
- Confirmed, though it's only really done to shine a bigger light onto Fisk and to light a fire under Tower's ass.
- Confirmed, though it's FBI Agent by Day, Stalker by Night.
However, given the Gladiator teases the show has given us with the sawblades the first time Matt met Melvin, and the armor Melvin was wearing in season 2 when Matt picked up his new helmet, it does seem that Fisk's release might cause his mental problems to resurface again, just like in the comics, especially if Fisk needs a fake Daredevil costume created, especially after a leaked photo surfaced that appeared to depict Matt hiding from a fake Daredevil in the Bulletin newsroom.
We know shes a top notch lawyer. We know she likes to be noticed and complimented. We know shes very committed to her career. We know she has expensive taste, and that teasing Foggy is her favorite pastime ("Where is your sidekick? Didn't break it off with him already, did you? [to Karen] Fog has commitment issues"). We know she is morally grounded. She wasnt fond of the idea of putting her career on the line to bring down Fisk, but neither was she okay with Fisk committing dirty dealings, and that side won. And by turning on her partners, she risks her own safety in the future. Which says that Marci cant be bought at least not in the way Fisk does business.
Now the fact that Marci agreed to risk her career and help Matt and Foggy expose Fisk demonstrates the level of affection and loyalty she has for Foggy. Another example is that in season 2, she brought Foggy a dressed-up teddy bear when she visited him in the hospital after he got shot.
And if anyone knows Foggy as good as Matt does, it's Marci. Even if Foggy tries his best to hide his grief from her, there's no way she doesn't notice enough signs to put two and two together and deduce something happened to Matt, and ask him about it. We don't know if Foggy and Karen invented any cover stories for Matt's disappearance after Midland Circle. So it's entirely possible that Foggy might tell Marci about Matts secret in a moment of vulnerability. Then again, I can't see a reason that he would presume to think Matt's still out there and coming back, so there is no secret to really keep at this point unless he's really holding out some unbelievable hope against hope.
Now Marci used to be one of the sharks when she was at Landman & Zack. If Foggy tells her the truth about Matt, that he's Daredevil, that he got crushed under a building, etc. most likely shed either be slightly unsure or completely understanding, insisting that she knew the entire time.
And there's certainly enough details that Marci might easily figure out Matt is Daredevil on her own: Daredevil has disappeared for a second time, under a crumbling building, at the same time as Matt Murdock, who the NYPD believe was taken with Luke and Jessica after they busted out of the precinct. Luke and Jessica, who were also involved with the crumbling of that same building. And Foggy was also involved and he and Karen were put up in the 29th Precinct for the duration of whatever the hell was happening.
It's hard to envision what Foggy and Marci's relationship has been like since Matts temporary departure. When Foggy appeared in Luke Cage season 2, he was acting mostly business-like and making no mentions of his personal life when talking to Luke. But I imagine there are so many reasons why Marci would always be there for Foggy when he needed her. And if that means helping to protect Matt's secret, I dont see why she wouldnt do it for him.
- It's never openly Confirmed or Jossed whether Foggy let Marci in on the secret (Matt and Marci never share any screentime in Season 3).
- Matt finding his suit in the ruins of his home, with tears in his eyes.
- Matt in a fetal position in his bed, representing Jesus.
- Jossed, neither of those things happen.
The same sort of rigging can happen with Fisk's own legal issues, depending on how strong the case against him is. Sure, immediately after Hoffman gave his statement to the police about accepting bribes from Fisk, it was over. However, it was a combination of things that brought down Fisk and a good number of his associates. Hoffman was the one who implicated Fisk in the bombings and the cop killings, as well as named all the corrupt cops on Fisk's payroll, but that's all. Everyone else who got caught was thanks to Marci Stahl turning on her colleagues at Landman & Zack who were working for Fisk (in fact, it was probably Marci's work that is what got Senator Cherryh arrested). It's possible even that Fisk had a contingency plan ready for how to get himself out if he ended up in jail. Then again, he did say in season 2 that he'd spent time reflecting back on his mistakes while being locked up.
After he arranged Dutton's death in season 2, Fisk was pretty much running the jail. Most if not all the guards there were in his pocket. And it was there thatFisk warned Matt that as soon as the timing was right he would be free again and once that happened, that Matt, Karen, Foggy, and everyone they cared about would suffer. My mind keeps racing through the meaning behind his words earlier in that scene about a coming war. And then there was the way he helped accommodate Vanessa while she went into hiding. He dedicated a large portion of his cash reserves towards a protection fund for Vanessa, something Fisk could never allow anyone to figure out, something that he wouldn't even trust to those who work for him.
Even with Fisk locked up, there are still crooked people in the justice system. District Attorney Reyes was corrupt, and Karen's research into her in season 2 suggests she was crooked even before the whole mess with Frank Castle. And we know that there are still judges who have been bought off by other organizations, like the Stokeses and the Italians.
It's entirely possible that the trial will be rigged to ensure Fisk's freedom. It probably involves his legal team doing something to instill reasonable doubt with the jury about Detective Hoffman's testimony (since only three people were present for that meeting: Hoffman, Fisk, and Wesley, the lattermost of whom is dead). I wouldnt want to be in Hoffman's shoes right now, nor Matt, Karen, Foggy or Marci's shoes. Fisk wants vengeance, not just for being double crossed or antagonized, but also for Wesleys murder and Vanessas attempted murder. And when he gets out, rest assured there will be blood like he promised.
- Confirmed...though he breaks his nose a fair bit anyway throughout the years.
- Confirmed, Bullseye kills him as Lantom performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Karen.
- Jossed, though Fisk tried his damndest to make it a reality.
- Jossed, they don't meet face to face again until the finale when Fisk is long out of prison.
- Confirmed, she lives and Lantom dies in her place, literally.
- It has just been revealed that Melvin Potter has been cast for the first season. Given that in the comics he is a clothing designer, even infamously being forced to make a DD suit for Kingpin's psycho Mook during Born Again, that makes him an obvious candidate.
- Confirmed, though Melvin has been given some Adaptational Heroism in this incarnation.
- Alternately, who do we know in the MCU who is a superhero fanboy, would potentially be inspired by the Daredevil nickname to make a devil-themed practical suit and has the means to do so, recognizing that someone has to fight for the little man while his organization and the Avengers fight planetary threats? Obviously, Director Coulson, if he ever wants SHIELD to be recognized as a legit organization again, can't officially condone acts commited by the vigilante known as Daredevil. But, sending the suit anonymously, or capturing DD, and then having him "escape", conveniently with a nifty new suit is not out of this realm.
- Claire Temple. It will be a bit more protective than his previous costume, which is great for her because it means she doesn't have to patch him up nearly as often.
- Also jossed.
- More or less confirmed by Marvel themselves, saying Rosario Dawson signed a deal that would allow Claire to show up in Jessica Jones (2015), Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders as well as the second season of Daredevil. The only show she hasn't appeared in was The Punisher (2017).
- An Inhuman
- A boy capable of serving as a host for The Beast. Why else would grown men need to keep a boy who hasn't hit puberty corralled in so many chains?
- It's Elektra.
- Frank has beaten Daredevil a few times in the comics, and promotional images show he beats Matt at least once. Who knows what Elektra is up to; she could just be popping in like Stick in Season 1.
- Confirmed, in a way — Frank is imprisoned early into the season, and while he escapes and remains a central character throughout the season, he no longer serves as an antagonist to our heroes after his initial arc..
- Confirmed — "Micro" is labeled on a disk Frank kept hidden in his house.
The latter half of Season 2 will feature a sub-plot of Wilson Fisk trying to clear his name and regain his legitimate image. He also seeks vengeance against Nelson and Murdock, as well as Daredevil. Wilson manages to figure out finally that Karen was the second person who visited his mother and deduces correctly that she murdered Wesley. He tracks her down and rather than killing her, threatens to kill her family and/or others close to her (such as Foggy). In order to buy the safety of the threatened parties, Karen gives up Matt's identity as Daredevil. (Or maybe Wilson just gets her drugged and tortured, or maybe arranges for her to have a relapse of the drug-addiction its been hinted she has). By the end of Season 2, Fisk knows Matt is Daredevil and this sets the stage for Season 3...
- I'd be one to argue that Fisk will probably run the business from behind bars. After all, there've been many real drug kingpins who were still able to run their businesses even when they themselves were incarcerated. Given how the initial ambush and deaths of the cops in the convoy happened live on TV, it might be hard for Fisk to end up with a judge who'd be willing to grant him bail when his arraignment hearing comes up .
- Confirmed for the most part:
- Season Two was partially inspired by Matt's frequent clashes with Punisher while also introducing Elektra and killing her off as a very loose adaptation of Elektra Saga. Also, Fisk reappears during Frank's stint in prison.
- Season Three is confirmed to be an adaptation of Born Again by the showrunners and further confirmed in the closing scene of The Defenders.
- Confirmed for the most part:
- Jossed. They'd never even MET before the first episode.
- Now that Spider-Man is confirmed to be joining the MCU, it makes sense that Marvel might want to establish his universe in their world.
- Alternatively, they can have Season 2 open up with him being fired for his reports on honest businessman Wilson Fisk, leading to him getting a job for a JK Simmons-played J Jonah Jameson. Leading to...
- Jossed. Ben Urich works at the New York Bulletin in the show.
- He'll be looking into the Kingpin's rise to power, which will lead to Matt needing to rescue him.
- Jossed. Urich never discovers Daredevil's identity because Fisk kills him before that can happen.
- Hachiro is a fusion of both Bullseye and Lady Bullseye. He's Japanese like Lady Bullseye and shares her backstory, now involving Kingpin and a young boy, albeit condensed in a way that would explain why he would work for him like the original Bullseye.
- Hachiro is a stand-in for Silver Samurai, given a different name to avoid a lawsuit from FOX.
- Hachiro is a lawyer who is working against Matt Murdock in a case involving a crook based on one of DD's lesser foes like Wilbur Day (Stiltman) or Melvin Potter (Gladiator). Note that this one can be combined with the first theory, due to Lady Bullseye's cover job in the comics.
- Hachiro is a "preacher" who recruits people into The Hand, reimagined as a Japanese cult that has recently opened a facility in New York City. He can trick his "converts" into committing heinous acts for the Kingpin, like the Hand also does for Yakuza bosses in Japan.
- Hachiro is Kingpin's wingman who helps him court Vanessa. He'll be a way to show the audience Fisk's less composed, human side. Will probably end up being killed in the crossfire of Fisk's conflicts with Matt, leading to a more personal reason for the Kingpin to kill the Daredevil.
- Hachiro is meant to be a replacement for Matsuo Tsuryaba who's over with the X-Men rights at Fox.
- Hachiro is a criminal, native to New York, who Fisk hires to protect Vanessa from rivals who have learned of his affections for her.
- Hachiro is a Japanese tourist who suffers personal tragedy in New York because of Daredevil. His quest for revenge will cause him to become Ikari, who will turn up to be his main opponent in the Defenders series.
- All jossed, he's a member of The Hand working for Fisk.
- More like he's a renamed Kirigi.
A Inhuman will be found in Hell's Kitchen and he or she will be tangled up in some nastiness. What follows will be a three way between Gordon, Matt and one of Kingpin's minions. By the end of it, Matt will find common ground with Gordon, such as their blindness and extra-ordinary senses, and become his first friend that is not an Inhuman.
- Jossed. Gordon dies in the season 2 finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and never has a chance to meet Matt.
- Jossed — Elodie Yung is playing Elektra in season two.
- Jossed, at least for Jessica Jones season 1. It's possible she may move locations after having her office trashed multiple times and finding an expanded clientele.
- Jossed — Matt tells her himself in the closing moments of season two.
- Perhaps Matt will have the heads of Ultron drones in his apartment as trophies.
- Presumably Jossed since the Ultron army is never in New York and Ultron prime (or whatever we're calling him) get out of there pretty quick.
- That's because every time Ultron tried to set up shop in NYC Charlie Cox ran him over with a truck.◊ yes, that's a panel of what I just described happening.
- Jossed. The Blacksmith is Colonel Ray Schoonover.
The Reyes assassination could be another case of Karen getting suspicious. Matt heard the sound of the gun being racked and pushed Karen and Foggy to the ground a split second before the gunmen opened fire. I'm sure once Karen got over the initial shock, she may have unconsciously thought "Matt's blind. How did he know the gunman was there and know exactly when the shooter was about to fire on us?"
Then there's her reaction when Matt rescues her and the other hostages from the Hand. He says "You okay?" and she says "Better, now." In that one scene, Matt puts his concern for Karens safety ahead of his secret identity, and he gets close enough to Karen that she either recognizes him (she certainly has to recognize his chin, if not his voice), or she is just massively weirded out by Daredevil caressing her face. See, Karen is smart, observant, and excellent at making logical connections that others dont notice. The biggest asset Matt has at that point is his blindness, but if Karen recognized him when he rescued her, she may either assume that he isnt actually blind, or perhaps she finds some other way to rationalize it. She lives in a world that is rapidly filling with superpowered people, after all. Its not that much of a stretch for Karen to conclude that Matt might be one of Them particularly after witnessing him react to a cocked gun that no one else can hear.
I get this idea from one fanfic out there, So You Want to Be an Artist, where Karen's first reaction to Matt saying "I'm Daredevil" is a quiet "I know". When Matt presses her to explain, she reveals that she put two and two together after Reyes was killed.
- Matt Murdock: How did you know?Karen Page: Well, I didnt. Not for sure I mean, I knew but I still wasnt sure what to believe. [Matt furrows his brow] Outside the courthouse, after the DA got shot. Do you remember me suggesting you were in a fight club?Matt Murdock: [nods] That was a joke though, right?Karen Page: Not a joke, but it wasnt a serious proposition either. But it got me thinking. You turn up with bruises and cuts that cant be explained by Matt Murdocks rather benign lifestyle. You seem to have an uncanny sense of direction and ability to find your way around. And when you think Im not looking, you tend to act quite differently. You move more smoothly, more confidently than usual. [beat] Plus youre a terrible liar. So I looked back at the dates you turned up most injured or didnt come in at all and compared them to the Daredevil sightings in the news as well as the times I saw him er, you-Matt Murdock: Hang on, how do you remember the dates I came in injured?Karen Page: I always noted it in the diary. You dont exactly do your best work when you turn up with a bruised head, so I noted it in the diary so that I could do a more thorough check for document errors. [Matt blushes, embarrassed to have not realized Karen was so aware of his work patterns, nor that she was cleaning up after his sloppy work] Anyway, they mostly corresponded. I still didnt think it was possible so I started looking into other explanations. But then I was kidnapped and you turned up.Matt Murdock: So you did know it was me that moment in the warehouse.Karen Page: Of course. Your jawline. Your lips. Your confidence and your rage. I could see it there that night. And I knew.Matt Murdock: But you said you didnt know for sure.Karen Page: The thing is, I dont know how you do it. I mean you are blind, I know that. But how do you see everything? Knives, stairs, assassins, punches you see it all. How?
With all this in mind, it makes some sense if Karen did figure out that Matt is Daredevil on her own that Karen would decide to wait until he was ready to share that with her, rather than confronting him about it. She didn't seem to know, initially, why Matt asked to meet with her at their old office space ("What am I doing here, Matt?"), but seemed to catch on pretty quickly. And consider the way Karen's facial expression changes when Matt pulls the mask out of the bag. It goes from stupefaction to a look of surprise and shock before Matt says "I'm Daredevil", as if she had already guessed before he told her, but couldnt actually believe it. If she didn't know or suspect it, she wouldn't have had that shocked look on her face until after Matt said "I'm Daredevil". The way I read Karen's facial reactions, when Matt said "I'm Daredevil", he was just putting words to what Karen was already suspecting. She is after all, not stupid; shes seen Daredevils face up close and stared at it, she knew Matt was hiding something big from her, she knew he got hurt all the time And as said before, she seemed to be staring at his chin when he rescued her from the Hand, like she was thinking "I know that face", but she got distracted by the reappearance of Frank Castle gunning down the ninjas, so she didn't have time to think more about it until Matt reached out to her and asked her to meet with him so he could make the reveal himself.
- Jossed in The Defenders. She didn't know before Matt told her.
Now jump over to Iron Fist (2017) (and the end of season 2 of Daredevil, with the Hand appearing in full force, and being introduced as a primary Daredevil antagonist). The Hand's resurrection process is explained more fully. Unlike what we saw with Elektra, the process can be administered before death, and causes the subject to become more aggressive, less predictable and more violent. This is the case with Harold Meachum; he was given the 'gift' of being able to return from the dead, courtesy of Madame Gao and The Hand. Madame Gao mentions that it is a gift that has only been given to a precious few. After the resurrection from Ward stabbing him, Harold is a lot more unstable and a lot more violent, killing Kyle when the guy just asks for vanilla ice cream instead of a gourmet flavor, and throwing a glass to the floor when Joy refuses to drink with him, etc.
It gives the impression that Frank Castle had been resurrected by the Hand. Watching him a second time, he comes off as very much like Harold. As an aside, all of his target gangs (cartel, Dogs of Hell, Kitchen Irish) were either enemies of Wilson Fisk or other upstarts looking to take Fisk's place, at a time when the Hand was still trying to do whatever they were trying to do with Madame Gao's super-heroin, and probably didn't want any other competition. From a planning perspective, Frank would have had the dual effect of not forcing the Hand to reveal themselves in force to destroy their enemies, and potentially discrediting Daredevil/masked vigilantism and turning the legal system against him more fully as a general response as well; and all without any hint of their own involvement. Frank would just appear to be carrying out his vendetta. And it explains why he goes after the Blacksmith following his escape: the Blacksmith's crew are rivals of the Hand as well, competing with them in the drug trade. And it explains why the Hand don't start operating out in the open (the hospital attack, kidnapping Karen) until after Frank is initially arrested.
Also worth noting: at Frank's trial, during "Semper Fidelis," Dr. Gregory Tepper says in his Elektra-coerced testimony that he altered the original medical reports about Frank and his family at the threat of unknown persons who threatened Tepper and his own family. That sounds a lot like the Hand's M.O., as there wouldn't possibly be anyone else with an interest like that in Frank and that kind of inclination to violence with the money to have run of a whole hospital wing. (It's also appropriate if this turns out to be the case, since on a thematic level, "Semper Fidelis" also sets up Matt and Elektra's first real confrontation with the Hand.)
A third thing worth noting is that Frank seems to have a superhuman level of endurance for pain and heals faster than the average person. In "Penny and Dime," Finn Cooley drilled through his foot. That's a pretty serious injury, and even though he did spend some time in the hospital after his arrest, Frank didn't even have a cast on that foot during his trial, and not once after that is he shown limping or having any trouble walking.
It reads of the possibility that when the Blacksmith, in his final moments, mentioned that they won't let go of whatever happened in Kandahar, he's talking about Frank having a run-in with the Hand while he fought in the special forces. Meaning Frank, like Harold, has the 'gift' of resurrection. It also explains his "I'm already dead" line to Karen's "You do this, you're dead to me!" right before he kills the Blacksmith: he is already dead because he's died and come back to life many times before. This also would be a nice nod to how in the comics, he made a deal with the devil in Vietnam.
- Jossed with the release of The Punisher - Schoonover was talking about Operation Cerberus and all the nasty shit they did, including the murder of Ahmad Zubair and smuggling heroin back to America in dead soldiers' corpses. No sign of the Hand anywhere.