Great Moments in TV Badassery

I’m rewatching Daredevil in bits and pieces. Came across a great scene, wanted to mention it and talk just a little about it, but this conversation will get spoilery. Continue at your peril, if that’s a thing that concerns you.

Karen Page shooting Kingpin’s lieutenant Wesley. Most badass moment in season one. And thinking of badassery reminded me of something I’ve mentioned on here before – Deathstroke’s killing of Moira Queen in season two of Arrow. Both moments absolutely required the weight of a TV season behind them.

I think about my favorite action movie ever – Hard Boiled – and while some moments in that were earned reasonably well with the melodrama preceding them, I don’t think Tequlia Yuen’s grudge against Johnny Wong really was. Felt arbitrary by comparison. I mean, his partner Benny wasn’t developed in the least, as much as they tried in his few minutes of screen life.

Moira Queen was built up as a character, a shady matriarch that cared for her babies and tried to make big power moves after she was freed from Malcolm Merlyn. Deathstroke was this super-calculating but rage-demented wall of implacable. Her babies Ollie and Thea being incapacitated and emotionally fragile, the moment really being about Moira and DS, even though her death was a technical fridging.

That Wesley dude in Daredevil was built up as the real strength of Kingpin, to the point D’Onofrio was working to overcome that later on. He was the creepy criminal genius, more Keyser Söze than Kingpin was able to be, despite the obvious attempts to Keyser the latter with all the “we don’t say his name” shtick.

More than Foggy or Matt, Karen was the audience’s character. She had no special powers like Matt, no bizarre commitments to law like Foggy by that point in the show. She was a seemingly weak person that was doing whatever she could to take some vengeance on the powerful that had harmed her, to take control of her own life.

Wesley was this bulletproof intellect, the guy who can never be beat. And she got him, in a way that felt possible. Like, you could have that moment, be her, get over on the demons in your face. Badass.


  1. lakitha tolbert says

    I don’t know if that was a great moment in badassery, but it certainly did stick in my memory as one of the highlights of the first season.(I also liked her rapport with Punisher in the second season.) It also had the added benefit of making Karen more than simply a damsel in distress, deepening her character, because afterwards, she’s not as lily pure as she appears to be. She’s taken a life, and that changes our view of her.

  2. says

    Yep, it seemed Wesley’s arrogance was his ultimate demise. It seemed as though he thought of himself a bulletproof intellect and may have likewise seen Karen as someone who was weak and the combination of this led to an overconfidence that further led to his slipping up. That’s my opinion on it, anyway.

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