Major spoilers below for the entirety of Daredevil Season 3, so be sure to watch all 13 episodes before reading on.
As soon as Netflix’s Marvel deal cemented Daredevil‘s future on the small screen, fans have been amped up to see the iconic comic villain Bullseye making his introduction. Curiously, Daredevil waited until the final moments of Season 3 to get “official” about Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter’s evolution from disgruntled FBI agent to the psychologically warped supervillain. It happened, though, and when (or if) Netflix confirms Season 4’s renewal, we can anticipate Bullseye’s frightening presence within Hell’s Kitchen. So how did it happen?
From his earliest moments on screen, Wilson Bethel’s Dex showed viewers two things: his insane accuracy with projectiles, and his disregard for following most orders. As the season progressed, viewers witnessed his mental digressions, which tended to revolve around the unwilling apple of his eye, Julie. As well, Dex unwittingly had his puppet strings controlled by Wilson Fisk, who cared not how much he caused his troubled henchman.
In fact, Daredevil changed up Bullseye’s comic origins by having Fisk be almost entirely responsible for sending Dex over the edge. It’s Fisk who twists Dex’s beliefs about Matt and Daredevil. It’s Fisk who murders Julie and then pins it on the blind hero. It’s Fisk who puts Dex through a wall, breaking his back and paralyzing him.
The show held off on revealing Dex’s fate until after Matt’s happy reunion with Foggy and Karen. That very last scene took place inside an operating room, in the middle of a surgery meant to reverse Dex’s paralysis.
The person operating on Dex was none other than Dr. Oyama, who is better known in the comics as Lord Dark Wind. It was Oyama’s research and experiments with adamantium that eventually led to the Weapon X project that gave Wolverine his signature skeleton. As well, adamantium was used to heal Bullseye’s broken back, which Daredevil was actually responsible for in the comics. (He somewhat shockingly dropped the baddie from some telephone wires.)
For the TV show, Dr. Oyama says he is using cognium steel to fix up Dex’s spine. Cognium doesn’t have the deep Marvel history that adamantium does, but it’s necessary to use here since the latter alloy is exclusive to X-Men projects. Regardless of what it’s called, though, it’s going to make Dex a lot harder for Daredevil & Co. to take down. Seems like a good time to bring The Punisher in, since Bullseye and Frank Castle have a history together.
Daredevil doesn’t make it through the entire surgery, so we don’t get to see just how successful it all went. However, that final shot of a literal bullseye superimposed over Dex’s eyeball is all the on-the-nose proof we need to know the deadly comic villain has officially arrived. Now he just needs some official branding with his moniker on it.
With Wilson Fisk behind bars now, presumably for longer than just a single season, Bullseye won’t be able to actually get revenge on the man who ruined his life. So it’s presumed that he’ll have to turn his focus on Daredevil for being the person who got in the way of Dex’s ultimate revenge quest. It’s terrible news for Matt, who was already having a hell of a time stopping Dex’s vicious attacks.
If Matt had just let Dex kill Fisk (or if he’d done it himself like he repeatedly said he would), then no paralysis and no enhanced bone structures for the ruthless villain. Which still wouldn’t have guaranteed Hell’s Kitchen safety from proto-Bullseye’s wrath, but it might have kept him just sane enough to keep the lethal side of his personality under wraps.
Of course, it’s not like spending so much time inside the Daredevil suit influenced Dex’s decaying mental state in a positive way. It likely just further affected his identity issues, while also giving him his first taste of causing havoc while wearing a protective suit. Something tells me Bullseye is going to have his own comic-familiar costume to wear in the future, even if Matt never goes back to his own.
Daredevil Seasons 1-3 are currently available to stream on Netflix, and we’re hoping to hear something concrete about Season 4 sooner rather than later. While waiting to see what happens, head to our 2018 Netflix rundown and our fall TV premiere schedule for a look at everything else coming to the small screen soon.