Daredevil S:01 E:12

You ever play with coloring books when you were a kid? Simple things, really; you have expected lines, and you color inside them with expected colors. If you wanted to get REAL crazy you could ignore the expectations. Or you could write Daredevil.Episode Title: The Ones We Leave Behind
Original Airdate: 4/10/2015

I’m not going to talk much about the actual episode, because there’s not much episode to talk about. It can be summed up neatly as endless iterations on these two patterns:

ONE: “I can’t tell you my dark truth and/or I have to push you away to protect you.”

TWO: “Please don’t quit, please help me with my righteous yet hopeless cause.”

And that’s it. We get Karen pushing people to stay on target, other people pushing each other away, over and over again. It’s yet more fallout from the key conflict two episodes ago, yet more depressed people drinking, yet more communication breakdowns.

There are a few bright spots. A little rooftop parkour, some investigation into Madame Gao, a nice tense (but also completely expected) showdown at the end. But by and large this episode feels like it’s… obligatory. Just like the last one. In fact, if they wanted to save everybody some tedium, they could’ve mashed those two episodes together into one and not lost anything in the process. Only reason they didn’t was because both episodes end with a bang that feel better at the end of a story than the middle.

Strangely though, I don’t hate this show. I find it tedious at times, yes, but it does what it does well enough. I just want it to be more than “well enough.” I want it to soar, and I know it can soar, because we’ve seen it soar.

The key, I feel, is to cut out the expected material. How many scenes of righteous pleading or hopeless isolation do we need? Answer: One. Done. No need to dwell; get the point in and move on. If it has to be done, it has to be done, but don’t pad it. Move on to the more interesting material. Do something unexpected, shake things up, get characters out of the complacent little pity parties they’re in. Make it happen, make it awesome.

They’ve got one more episode. Now is not the time to be treading water. Can they soar in the finale?

Let’s find out.

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