The Daredevil Elektra relationship has always been complex, and fans are looking forward to seeing how it plays out in Daredevil season 2 on Netflix. Based on comments from executive producer Jeph Loeb, they may be in for a treat once the new season airs.
Daredevil and Elektra have had a tragic history in the comics, with the Daredevil Elektra relationship being one of the most iconic things about Daredevil comics. When Marvel first announced the Daredevil show on Netflix, fans wondered when Elektra would appear. Though she was teased in the first season, she won’t make her debut until the upcoming season 2. Will fans get the Daredevil Elektra relationship they’re hoping for, though?
If we can believe comments by executive producer Jeph Loeb (who has some experience with Daredevil, having written the critically-acclaimed Daredevil: Yellow for Marvel), then fans will get all they’re hoping for and more. Not only will Daredevil and Elektra have the sort of tragic romance that many would expect from the Daredevil Elektra relationship, but it will play out in a way that has never quite been captured before.
When speaking about Daredevil season 2 during a panel at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, Loeb commented on Daredevil’s ability to tell when others are lying. It’s a central part of Daredevil’s character, and we saw this ability in action in the first season when we met Karen and Matt was able to tell that she wasn’t being honest with him and Foggy. Apparently, this ability isn’t going to work when Daredevil faces off against Elektra because of his emotional attachment to her.
“I think one of the things that’s dynamic about Elodie’s performance is that you never quite know if Elektra’s telling you the truth. Matt, who has this sort of ability to be a human lie detector, because he’s emotionally attached to her, it skews his ability to be able to know whether or not she’s telling the truth or he’s being manipulated, or is she actually not manipulating him? That kind of interaction, and I think the natural emotion that was going on between Charlie and Elodie that we captured on film, added a great deal of spark to it.”
This suggests that the Daredevil Elektra relationship in season 2 is going to fall pretty close to the classic pairing from the comics. Daredevil will always give Elektra the benefit of the doubt because he wants to believe her, and she’ll take full advantage of this fact (either consciously or subconsciously.) From the sound of Loeb’s comment, even the audience may not always be able to tell whether Elektra’s being genuine or if she’s manipulating Daredevil for her own purposes.
Doomed from the start
Daredevil and Elektra are like a violent take on Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lovers who seem doomed to always be apart. The emotion that they feel in the comics is real, but their commitments and their stances on opposite sides of the law always seem to keep them apart. Most likely we’ll see at least some of this play out in season 2 of Daredevil, seeing them separated by the line between vengeance and justice.
It’s likely that the reference to Elektra in season 1 set up her character’s quest for vengeance, since she’s typically seen as leaving after they’ve met in hopes of avenging the death of her father. In the comics she’s trained by Stick, the man who we saw training a young Matt Murdock in season 1; it’s quite possible that we’ll see the same thing in the Netflix show, which also hints that Elektra will be every bit Daredevil’s equal since they both received the same intensive training. It’s actually pretty likely that Elektra’s abilities will technically be better than Daredevil’s; she won’t be afraid to cross the line that Daredevil refuses to cross. His main advantage will be his enhanced senses, which Stick wouldn’t have been able to teach Elektra to use to the same degree that Daredevil can.
The challenge of Elektra
A lot has been said about moral issues in season 2, especially in regard to the Daredevil vs. the Punisher conflict. Elektra will help to drive the theme of morals as well, however, and will provide a unique challenge for Daredevil as the season progresses. Her goals are at odds with Daredevil’s, which is a classic component of the Daredevil Elektra relationship in the comics. Loeb commented on this as well, indicating that incorporating this into the new season was important for the production team:
“She challenges Matt’s quest for justice. Who are you doing this for? Why are you doing this? What’s the end goal that you’re trying to achieve? Because she has a very clear agenda in terms of what she’s trying to achieve and it’s very self-motivated. That’s something that should continually push in the audience. The audience should continually be going, ‘No, she’s right. No, he’s right. No, she’s right. No, he’s right.’ If we can do that, then we’ve really achieved something.”
Having questions of morality arise from both Elektra and the Punisher will stretch Daredevil to the limit, especially considering that neither the Punisher or Elektra are likely to be the main adversary of the season. Given his attachment, however, Elektra’s questionable morals will be the most likely to really tie Daredevil’s conscience in knots.
What about Karen?
One thing that adds a little more complexity to the Daredevil Elektra relationship is the fact that we already know that Matt Murdock and Karen Page are going to get a lot closer in the new season. This will obviously set up a love triangle of the worst kind, placing Daredevil between a new love with lots of promise and the great lost love of his life. The Daredevil Elektra relationship will create a different type of conflict in Matt Murdock. Loeb commented on this as well:
“…given that Karen Page is an equally strong and independent woman who has her own story that’s going on throughout the series. As you will watch it unfold, you get very caught up in the push and pull of Matt Murdock’s life.”
In the comics, Karen Page was also one of the great loves of Matt Murdock’s life. Things didn’t turn out so well for her there, but it remains to be seen whether Daredevil will travel down that same road. If the worst does come to pass and Karen is killed, fans likely shouldn’t expect Elektra to help Matt pick up the pieces; their relationship never seems to work out that way.