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REVIEW: Daredevil 2×05 “Kinbaku”

Written by Robert Porter

Welcome to another review of the spanking new Daredevil program! Today we will be taking a look at “Kinbaku,” the fifth episode of this glorious second season. How about that Punisher, eh? I’ll never miss an opportunity to tell anyone and everyone how Mr. Castle is by far my favorite thing about this season, and how I think John Bernthal is the perfect choice for this role. Sadly, there wasn’t too much Punisher style mayhem and carnage in “Kinbaku,” but it did manage to keep the sweet, ass-kicking pace of season two going strong. Let’s get down to it! Spoilers ahead!

Floria Sigismondi directs “Kinbaku” in her debut for the series, and she does not disappoint. What this episode lacks in the action department it more than makes up for with some excellent character development and visuals, but more on that later.

“Kinbaku” uses flashbacks intertwined with current events to help flesh out Matt Murdock and Elektra’s relationship while Karen continues to investigate the Punisher in an attempt to uncover what really happened to him and his family. Meanwhile the assistant District Attorney tries to help get Nelson and Murdock off of District Attorney Reyes’ radar. To me it seems as though Reyes is becoming a bit of a thorn in the side for our favorite legal twosome, and that perhaps she will serve as somewhat of an antagonist for this season.

This episode features more of Elodie Yung as Murdock’s ex-lover (heh) Elektra. Thank Galactus we are finally getting a good portrayal of that character, and how fitting that it would be in one of the best shows in television at the moment. Yung does a fantastic job in her role, and I would just like to say that Elektra seems like an incredibly exciting date; supercars, breaking and entering, and, of course, fisticuffs. Murdock, you lucky son of a shoe.

Anyway, Elektra resurfaces in Murdock’s life looking for legal help and dumps a large amount of money right into the collective lap of Nelson and Murdock, just when their financial situation seemed to be at its worst. Of course Murdock being the person he is refuses, and Elektra doesn’t seem too happy about that.

Meanwhile Murdock and Karen enter into a new relationship with one another and go on their very first date. How sweet! Things are going as cringe-worthy as possible until the two decide to ditch the fancy restaurant and go get “cheap stuff.” The funny things is, the second restaurant they go to seems way more awesome than the first, and is one of the most visually appealing scenes in this season thus far. They couldn’t have picked a better location for this scene, and I am dying to know if that place is really in New York City. You know, because maybe I’ll take a hot date there…or a friend…or…my cats.

The flashback scenes depict Elektra placing herself and Murdock in all manner of precarious positions, including breaking into the home of Rosco Sweeney, who was responsible for the death of Murdock’s father (you remember that, right?). This leads to Elektra presenting Murdock with the opportunity to exact revenge on Sweeney, and what follows are some of the most odd looking punches I have seen in this show to date. Usually the fight scenes are so well choreographed and I just felt like Murdock’s swings to Sweeney’s face seemed off, or otherwise inaccurate somehow.

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Nevertheless, the scene manages to be satisfying as Sweeney is beaten to a bloody pulp by Murdock before Elektra offers for him to deliver the coup de grace to Sweeney’s sorry behind. Once again, Murdock refuses and simply calls the authorities. Dude, you’re not going to win any brownie points with Elektra like that.

“Kinbaku” is probably the slowest episode thus far, but that doesn’t mean it was bad. I think Sigimondi did an exceedingly fantastic job on a few key scenes, especially the aforementioned “date scenario” at that incredible looking restaurant. The lack of Punisher in this episode was disappointing but I suppose the show doesn’t want to get too oversaturated. In his place, we get some nice scenes with Elektra who is going to be an interesting character this season.

Final Grade: B-

+ Some excellent visuals in this episode.

+ The flashbacks worked particularly well.

+ Yung’s portrayal of Elektra was fantastic.

– The revenge scene was a little cringey.

– Do we really need a Karen/Murdock love side-plot?

– No Frankie Castle 🙁

Extra Thoughts: “Kinbaku” was a perfect set up for Elektra’s character this season, and served as a nice change of pace after the past couple episodes. Also since this is an adult-ish show, I would like to give bonus points for Elektra in a silk robe. Just sayin’.

What did you think of this installment of Daredevil? Was it a high point for the season or a disappointment? Let us know in the comments section or on our Twitter page!

About the author

Robert Porter