The second season of Daredevil left audiences with a proper cliffhanger. In the shanty law offices of Nelson and Murdock, Matt met Karen Page, told her he wants her to know the truth, then removed the horned mask of his alter ego from a paper bag, saying, “I’m Daredevil.” It was the last moment audiences saw between Matt and Karen, and while it likely won’t receive full attention until season three of Daredevil, you can expect the fledgling lovers to address the elephant in the room in The Defenders.
Marvel and Netflix are betting big with their latest series as they test the limits of small-screen crossovers. So far, early reviews are praising The Defenders. Though Daredevil is still enjoying his six-month retirement, he will be flanked by the likes of Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones as they battle the shadowy leader of The Hand, Alexandra, (Sigourney Weaver). Fans were surprised to hear of Murdock’s self-enforced leave of absence from crime-fighting. With all that he had seen and done in Hell’s Kitchen, Daredevil was more important and effective than ever. In lieu of his vigilantism, it’s hard to imagine that Murdock has been taking on more cases with Foggy Nelson, especially considering how strained his friendship with his old partner became.
The good news is, Matt’s relationship with Karen Page will get some screen time. Though six months have passed since the end of Daredevil season 2, actress Deborah Ann Woll told Screen Rant that The Defenders won’t shy away from exploring the ramifications Murdock’s identity reveal:
“I think you’ll definitely see us pick up and discuss what that is, but it’s also a little bit about figuring out whether I can trust him, or whether he can trust me. We’re in a little bit of that limbo.”
The Defenders may not have have a full-blown flashback sequence to retread Karen’s reaction to the reveal, but she and Matt will have time to make amends (though any true resolution will have to wait until Daredevil season three). While Karen’s reaction to Matt’s true identity was one of utter shock, the show ended before she had a chance to speak. Though we can only guess how that conversation concluded, Deborah Ann Woll insinuates that the newfound mistrust is mutual. Considering her substantial role alongside Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) in the upcoming The Punisher, Karen Page now knows the two most important men in her life are violent vigilantes.
Given the existential threat facing The Defenders in the battle for New York, however, you can bet Matt has his priorities straight. The crossover event is a concise, eight-episode run that leaves less time for emotional exploration and more time for fighting. With The Hand flexing its muscle and bringing Elektra back to her bloodthirsty ways, there won’t be much time for Murdock to do anything other than team up with the other superheroes of the Big Apple.
The Defenders premieres on August 18 on Netflix, with The Punisher premiering later in 2017. Additional seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage are expected to air in 2018, with the new season of Iron Fist coming sometime in the future.