We Continue Our Look Back at Daredevil SN02 EP12 – ‘The Dark at the End of the Tunnel’
This episode begins with a young Elektra’s training under Stick. We actually see some more faces to Stick’s personality here. He gave Elektra pretty merciless training, but also recognized that she had a lot of pent up anger. We see that despite getting roughed up earlier on, but soon becomes strong enough to almost kill someone. This includes showing how she became part of a wealthy family (Stick deposited her when he realized she’d be the target of the Hand). In the present, Elektra has kidnapped Stick on behalf of The Hand.
Daredevil is out to rescue Stick. Under the Hand’s captive, Stick is subject to some pretty brutal – and kind of graphic – torture, including having bamboo stuffed under his finer nails. When Daredevil finally discovers Elektra, this leads to a tense moment where Daredevil challenges Elektra to kill him with her sword. Although Daredevil is heavily involved in action in this episode, there is one sad, poignant scene where Murdock and Nelson discuss the dissolution of their law firm.
Elsewhere, Karen Page is investigating the Castle case after the police believe he was killed in a fire, but Karen suspects he is still alive. This plotline starts out a little slow. However, it picks up when Karen meets Castle’s former commanding officer, Ray Schoonover. This starts out as a nice scene where the CO reveals what kind of soldier was but quickly turns frightening when Karen figures out that Schoonover was involved in Castle’s death out of revenge for the death of a colleague.
Karen is kidapped in a tense subplot where she and Schoonover are involved in a car accident. Castle vows to kill Schoonover, feeling the violence between the two is deeper than what happened to Castle’s family. Despite Karen pleading him not to, the Punisher icily declines her and murders Schoonover in cold blood before finding a cache of weapons.
The episode ends on another cliffhanger: Elektra spared Daredevil because of her feelings but now swears he must die. In conclusion, what could have been merely a transitional story was exciting on many levels. While there was action, this episode relies heavily on suspense. On that effort, this episode succeeds with flying colors and pumps up the viewer for the season finale.