As one of the core characters of Daredevil and an integral part of the series' narrative, Deborah Ann Woll's Karen Page has been through a lot. While she was just finding her footing in the Marvel series' first season, Season 2 saw her take flight as she found her purpose and started putting it to work. The thing is, Karen has outgrown Daredevil, and it is time for her to spread her wings after Season 3.
At the end of Daredevil's second season, it was clear that Karen had transcended past Matt Murdock, his impulsive judgments, and the show as a whole. By taking a prominent role in Frank Castle's legal defense and embarking on a career as a respected journalist, Karen had "found herself" by the finale, and she had shown signs of being capable of progressing even further. That is, if Karen could only escape Matt Murdock's sphere. Simply put, for Karen to be fully utilized in Netflix's corner of the MCU, she needs to move on.
Karen's romance with Matt, which is seemingly the biggest reason she's tethered to Daredevil, has included a lot of push and pull, with a slow simmer that never really sizzled. Matt treats Karen as a back-up and not an equal, and based on his behavior in Season 2, he also seems to see her as someone he can take or leave, and not as a valuable person with whom he sees himself sharing a future. For Karen to continue exploring a potential relationship with Matt would be a huge step back for the character, especially after she found such a strong sense of self-confidence in Season 2. Where romance is concerned, Karen deserves to be someone's partner, not their afterthought.
Which brings us to The Punisher. Let's face it: some of the most emotionally grounded moments in the first season of the Daredevil spinoff belonged to Frank and Karen, similar to how they stole the show in Season 2 of the flagship drama. The chemistry between the tragedy-afflicted characters is always evident, and the pull between them has never felt forced or contrived. Neither ample amounts of dialogue nor plot are needed to flesh out their scenes' unspoken context. It is an innate connection, which can't fully be said regarding Matt and Karen's dynamic.
In Karen and Frank, the second season of Daredevil found a storyline that felt organic. They were the highlight, so why not seize on this magic to its fullest potential by just shifting her to that series altogether? The Punisher seemed keenly aware of how powerful Karen and Frank's mystique was, hence her being brought on in the first place. Of course, giving viewers a little makes them want more. Or at least, it did for this viewer.
It is not only in the romance department that Karen and Frank thrive either. While that is a strong undercurrent, there is another powerful force at work. There is a personal growth they offer one another. Regardless of which show they're sharing time in, neither are the same after encountering each other, and it is this evolutionary aspect that draws the characters together on the page. Karen's curiosity and ambition are personality traits that make her a natural match for something outside of Daredevil, where Matt's inner conflicts take much of the story focus.
Karen's secret past and her understanding of revenge have yet to be entirely revealed, and Season 3 could unlock this ongoing mystery to both Matt and the audience. It is high time Daredevil provides answers on this front after two seasons of buildup, and Season 3 will hopefully provide the answers fans have been patiently waiting to get. If any of the new reveals are as intense as they have been teased, it stands to reason that the news could create the push that Karen needs to step away from Matt's corner of Hell's Kitchen.
Should Matt find out anything too disturbing about Karen's past, his reaction could create a permanent shift in their relationship. Not to mention a desire within Karen to withdraw from his presence, once and for all, perhaps even causing her to decide to hang out with The Punisher full-time. Or maybe Matt's own destructive behavior could be the great divider.
To reiterate, The Punisher is where Karen's character belongs, outside of her own series. Her investigative journalism and crazy-amazing dynamic with Frank would help spark the violent spinoff in a way that was missing in its initial outing when Karen was not present. It would make sense for her to be a driving force in the stories that Frank encounters in Season 2, since she could help him in ways that Matt would never appreciate her doing, and in ways he couldn't help himself. Because when all is said and done, Karen herself may very well be more of a punisher than a daredevil.
Find out how things unfold for Karen when Daredevil Season 3 premieres sometime in 2018. For other new television content set to premiere on Netflix this year, check out our 2018 Netflix premiere rundown. Summer is not over yet! Check out the new shows still coming with CinemaBlend's summer premiere guide. For new television that will arrive this fall, check out CinemaBlend's guide to TV's fall premieres.