The audience was first introduced to the psychopath Ben "Dex" Poindexter in the second episode of the season and we gradually learned about his troubling backstory and homicidal trigger over the course of the season's 13 episodes. We actually grew to love him, especially as a foil for Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), which is what makes the end of the season so exciting.
After learning that Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) killed his emotional compass, aka his "North Star," Dex went on a murderous rampage in the name of revenge, only to be stopped by Matt before he could seek his own justice. Even though Matt stopped Dex from killing Fisk, he didn't stop Fisk from breaking Dex's back and paralyzing him.
Hope is not lost for Dex and his villainous future though. The final scene of the season revealed Dex is undergoing an experimental surgery at the hands of Dr. Oyama, who is fusing his spine with a mysterious metal that should help him regain his full abilities... and then some. In the season's closing seconds, Dex wakes up with a white Bullseye lit up over his pupil, foreshadowing his full transformation into the Bullseye persona -- and his return for revenge.
TV Guide chatted with Bethel about Dex's journey, who has the most to fear when he's up and walking again and what'd he'd most like to see in a potential Season 4.
How long did it take for Marvel to tell you exactly who you would be playing in this season?
Wilson Bethel: I knew going into it who I was playing. I think they did their best to kind of keep it under wraps, but I'm a fairly good sniffer-outer of that, so I managed to discern the truth pretty early on.
What was your reaction when you read that final scene and realized that it's going to be full-on Bullseye?
Bethel: That final scene wasn't a reveal for me. I knew where the season was going. Obviously, to have that be the final moment of the season, and I think just in terms of the dramatic visual effect of it, that was very exciting to read on the page. But there's no way to spend -- I had spent at that point seven months working on the show. I knew where the character was going.
What surprised you about this version of Bullseye versus what you probably researched in the comic book?
Bethel: The thing that was surprising and exciting for me about approaching the character was the same thing that is both, hopefully, surprising and exciting for fans who may or may not have been long-term readers of the comics -- which is just to see this character, who maybe they associate as being kind of like just an insane villain, supervillain kind of guy, to see him as a man with real psychological problems, struggling with mental illness, seeing him as a nuanced, real human being. That's what ultimately invests you in the endgame version of Bullseye: [it's] understanding where he comes from.
I think huge credit [goes] to Erik Oleson. He basically created this backstory, this psychological profile, this character from nothing sort of. Bullseye has always had a fairly vague backstory in the kind of larger comic world, so Erik got to really create that. I think he did an amazing job really fleshing it out and making him feel like a real character.
At least at the beginning of the season, Dex is not actually a bad guy. He does have the capacity to do good. Do you think if he found another proper North Star there's a possible redemption for him, or is he too far gone at this point?
Bethel: Forget about Dex for a second. I think my view of the world is one that views every human being as being capable of redemption. I believe that Dex is no different in that regard, in the way that I feel anybody in this world -- I don't think there's any such thing as pure evil, you know? I think a lot of it's circumstantial, and obviously people have psychological issues, but those can be dealt with. I think that if the right circumstances were to present themselves, some combination again to having that North Star, getting back on his medication, having the routines in place, there's a version of Dex that could be rehabilitated in some way. As far as what the dramatic possibilities of that are for the future, that's kind of anybody's guess.
He's already a pretty lethal dude, but we can infer that this surgery will make him more lethal. If there is a Season 4, which of his powers are you hoping would be enhanced?:
Bethel: It's hard to say. Theoretically, depending on what the material is that they used, he'd just be stronger. Then you'd just be dealing with a guy with all the throwing and marksmanship skills that Bullseye has, but is that much harder to beat up.
I think the question on everyone's mind is that when he is up and walking again, who does Dex want revenge against the most: Fisk or Matt?
Bethel: I want to say Fisk. Not only because Fisk broke his back, but also because Fisk is the one who really f---ed with him. Matt got in his way and made his life difficult, but Fisk is the one who really destroyed his life. Now that said, Fisk is in jail now, and so -- I don't know that that's really an option, for him to go after Fisk, so maybe that leaves Matt as the only one to let out that rage against.
What were you most looking forward to in a potential Season 4 if you guys get it?
Bethel: I have so much faith in the writers. Obviously, I hope the fans were as excited about this season as I have been. Just in terms of the larger arc over the whole course of the show, one thing that this season shows is that there's a lot of incredible story yet to be told here with these characters. Whatever happens in Season 4 or beyond, I think it's clear that the right people have the keys in their hands to drive this thing towards some pretty cool territory.
As a fan, I am most excited to potentially see you in a suit of your own, rather than in Matt's costume.
Bethel: That would be pretty amazing.
Marvel's Daredevil Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.