SPOILER WARNING: This article discusses plot elements from “Daredevil” Season 2, now streaming on Netflix.
In the lead-up to the release of “Daredevil’s” second season on Netflix, much of the attention was focused on the dynamic between the Man Without Fear and the Punisher. The pair’s opposing ideologies played into a number of trailers and clips ahead of the season’s debut, and their conflicting relationship fills up much of the first half of Season 2. But, surprisingly, another, even more significant relationship emerges between the Punisher and an unexpected cast member — Deborah Ann Woll‘s Karen Page.
The unexpected kinship begins when Karen breaks into Frank Castle’s long dormant home and discovers the Punisher’s true origin. She ends up carrying a framed photo of the Castle family, which she presents to the Punisher in a tense scene in the injured vigilante’s hospital room. From there, Frank agrees to only talk to Karen Page — a character that, as we saw in Season 1 when she killed Wilson Fisk’s right-hand man John Wesley, knows a thing or two about darkness.
“I knew [about Karen and the Punisher’s scenes] before we started,” Woll tells CBR News. “I had had a conversation with the writers, and I knew that they were going in that direction. I went and read ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ things like that, these kind of cat and mouse relationships. In a way, he’s a mentor to her, in a really bizarre, screwed-up kind of way, but he also represents — I think about Karen killing Wesley and what it must be like to deal with that, and then to see this man that is essentially doing the same thing but intentionally. If he’s a monster, then she’s a monster, but if he’s a hero, then maybe she’s a hero. Her identity is very wrapped up in what the world sees of him.”
This arc plays into Karen’s most notable character trait: her tenacity. Season 1 saw Page on a quest to expose Wilson Fisk as the Kingpin, and Season 2 sees her going to equally extreme measures to defend — and possibly exonerate — the Punisher.
“She just doesn’t let anything keep her down,” said Woll of her character. “I’m envious of Karen’s chutzpah and her follow through. I like to think a lot about how, if the boys can punch things and Elektra can kick and use a knife and all of that, and Punisher can use a gun, Karen has to use her brains and she has to be three steps ahead of you. So, in a way, that makes her so cool in my eyes.”
Season 2 also includes developments on Karen’s love life, as she strikes up a romance with series lead Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox).
“Have you seen Charlie? It’s very easy,” said Woll of filming the romance scenes with her co-star. “It’s the easiest part of my job… I think Karen admires heroes. Obviously, she admires Daredevil, and I think Matt is a hero. I think even in his lawyer persona, he is striving to change the things that Karen wants to change, as is Foggy in a lot of ways. I also think that Matt, in the mess of what was happening with Union Allied in the first season, meant something to her in a very significant way. I think that never left her.”
All thirteen episodes of “Daredevil” Season 2 are now streaming on Netflix.