Daredevil recap: Season 3, Episode 10, “Karen”, Aired on Oct, 19, 2018
Warning: Full spoilers will follow…
Karen’s backstory was something of a question mark since the show began. Episode 10, aptly named “Karen”, pulls back the curtain on her troubled past.
The episode starts at a dorm-room party, and Deborah Ann Woll really begins to let her hair down. This is the most carefree I’ve seen her all season. It turns out she’s selling drugs to college students with her then-boyfriend, Todd. The show once again honors the character depicted in the Born Again story, but having her drug use take place years before.
The majority of the episode focuses on Karen’s life with her brother, Kevin, and her dad maintaining the family diner after her mom passed away from cancer. We learn she decided to put off going to college… until one day when Kevin re-enrolled her in college behind her back.
An argument ensues, and Karen winds up going back to Todd’s trailer where Kevin burns it down. The show leans into her seedy past, and Woll hits a grand slam showcasing Karen’s complexities.
I’ve been treated to Matt-centric flashbacks, and it’s a breath of fresh air having Karen carry the majority of the episode on her back. The flashback culminates in Karen getting into a car accident where Kevin dies, and it was the catalyst to her leaving her hometown in Vermont to start fresh.
The last 15 minutes bring us back to the present where Matt’s torn about sacrificing his one chance of stopping Fisk or saving Karen. He winds up choosing the latter by heading to the church. Dex arrives intent on killing Karen.
Anyone who has read Guardian Devil will know that this church scene had some dire consequences for Karen… until the unthinkable happened! I was on pins and needles with Karen getting the spotlight, worrying that it would result in her death.
Daredevil’s creative team just knows how to subvert my expectations, and it took the “women in fridges” trope (a staple in comics since the beginning of time) and flipped it on its head.
Father Lantom takes a billy club for her, and Matt arrives in the nick of time to stop Dex.
In another case of “anything you can do, I can do better,” Matt and Dex’s fight in the church easily eclipses the 2003 film by a HUGE margin. Rosary beads, collection dishes, bibles, and anything Dex could get his hands on are hurled around in another stunning fight scene (also directed by Alex Garcia Lopez, who did the epic prison riot scene).
The last shot of the episode had me giving it a round of applause as it flips the script on a pivotal moment in Kevin Smith’s run. If there is justice in the awards system, give Deborah Ann Woll all the Emmys!
It’s another high point in a season full of them! A fantastic outing, and we’ve still got three more episodes to go!