I know a whole lot of people, including myself, celebrated the moment that Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Fury) was cast as Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher in Daredevil. Since then, there has been a lot of speculation over whether or not he would be the primary antagonist to Matt Murdock this season. Personally, I expected him to be more of a wildcard anti-hero than anything else, but with our first official look at him released today by Entertainment Weekly, I may have to rethink his role within the season.
Now, while this certainly looks like Frank Castle is probably a villainous character, that isn't necessarily the position he will keep throughout the season. It may be that he is trying to get Matt to help him with someone else that needs taking down, and Matt was being less than cooperative. Or it could be that Frank is sent to take down the Daredevil, only to change his mind along the way.
That being said, I have to admit that it's a whole lot more likely the Punisher is set to be the main villain in this season. He may turn into the anti-hero after this season, especially as it has been theorized he may get his own Netflix show soon, but for now I think it's possible that he will be sent after Matt Murdock by someone else. This leaves the possibility open that The Hand, who could employ Frank Castle to take out Daredevil, could return in force this season. Elektra, often depicted as a member of the Hand, could be positioned in Hell's Kitchen to keep an eye on his progress, and then maybe be forced to intervene at some point.
Another good point suggests that the photo, as well as potentially a storyline explored in the show, is based on a comic book run The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank. Specifically, this is suggested because the photo looks a hell of a lot like the shot below!
It would be very interesting to further explore this plot point, which has been very prominent throughout the maiden seasons of both Daredevil and Jessica Jones. That plot point? Killing, and whether it is possible to justify it. While Matt refused to do it, and convinced himself there had to be another way to take down Wilson Fisk, Jessica found herself at her wits end with Kilgrave, and...
opted for the kill.
Now, it looks like Frank Castle may just push Matt as far as he can towards killing, and I worry Matt may be forced to cross the line at some point this season. In fact, while sitting down with EW, showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez mentioned that they will explore the difference between Matt and Frank.
“Viewers watching the show will be rooting for this guy with a gun but we’re also going to force people — the way we force Matt — to second-guess themselves."
“Taking lethal justice into your own hands in America in 2015 is tricky s–t. We have not shied away from the rich complicated reality of Now. If you’ve got a gun and you’re not the police you’re going to incite strong feelings. We’re stirring the pot and we’re aware of the headlines where we live and we’re trying to get people to think.”
While it does appear like the showrunners want a debate over the different ideologies the vigilantes have, they may not like what they find.
Alongside the Punisher, we are also set to see Elektra debut in this season, played by Elodie Yung (GI Joe: Retaliation). Entertainment Weekly have also released our first look at her out of her red hood.
She is certainly looking like the bad girl she is often described as. Elektra has a similar relationship with Daredevil to what Catwoman has with Batman, in that she is often a lover, but they come to odds in their own ideologies. Can you sense the theme of this season? It seems like Matt learned what kind of vigilante he wanted to be in Season 1, but is being questioned as to whether his style is the best one in Season 2. It's a tricky question to answer, and I'm sure he will struggle with it. It does seem like she will bring the romance to Matt's life that Season 1 somewhat lacked (sorry Claire Temple), although there are also rumors that Matt will get closer to Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) in Season 2, which is surprising considering the romantic nature of her and Foggy's relationship towards the end of Season 1.
The showrunners had this to say about Elektra and Matt's relationship in the second season of the show:
“Matt’s a deeply moral complicated guy and she’s just the best bad girlfriend you can possibly have.”
“She does everything wrong and attractive, she’s his id, the wild side. Matt is always taming his wild side. Elektra just lets it out. He’s both repulsed and deeply drawn to that.”
Certainly sounds as if Elektra will be quite different to the Jennifer Garner version, but then, aren't most of the Daredevil characters?
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