Daredevil Season 2 Review
Created By: Drew Goddard
Staring: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, John Bernthal, Elodie Yung, Rosario Dawson
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Synopsis: Matt Murdock, with his other senses superhumanly enhanced, fights crime as a blind Lawyer by day, and vigilante by night.
Marvel’s Not Playing Fair Guys
Marvel went there, they really went there. When Marvel announced they were bringing The Punisher and Elektra on to the Daredevil Netflix series I was excited, but tempered because I knew how dark and brutal The Punisher and Elektra stories were in the comics and thought there was know way to bring that level of brutality to the smalls screen….but I was wrong!! Season 2 was more brutal, more violent, and more intriguing than season 1 and we all loved season 1. Marvel strategically released Daredevil Season 2 a week before Batman V Superman which was suppose to be a dark depiction of Batman and Superman and this absolutely set the tone and far exceeded that film. This story was emotional, down to Earth, noir series that paints a new picture in the gallery of Super Hero media.
John Bernthal Went Full Punisher
I think everyone who knows anything about The Punisher was excited when they announced John Bernthal (Shane from The Walking Dead) as The Punisher. He can play the shit out of a nothing to loose, loose cannon who can always find a way to justify killing and most importantly, often, he’s not wrong. This story is essentially and origin story of Frank Castle and we pick up right in the middle of his killing spree. Frank was a war hero and who was well versed in killing who came back from war only to have his family murdered right in front of him over a drug deal gone bad. Castle loosely influenced by Daredevil decided to put the criminals away. Only difference is when The Punisher wants to put you away, he wants to put you in the grave. Bernthal was able to convey this justness to Castle’s ways and an interesting dichotomy between himself and Daredevil. During the first major conversation between Matt and Frank you find out how their is always two ways to solve every problem. Matt tries to justify his brutality with the fact that he does not kill these people where Frank justifies his killing by assuming criminals with always be criminals. This show was able to explain these two viewpoints with nuance and substance that made it legitimate to side with either Frank or Matt. The first few episodes were essentially Daredevil vs. The Punisher and a lot of it was taking directly from the comics and the scene where Frank had Daredevil tied up on the roof was almost word for word, panel for panel from the comics.
The second part of The Punisher’s story arc essentially was the Frank and Karen show. Karen Page is somewhat of a mystery to us in regards to her motives and personality. We know she is good however, she alludes to a past and don’t forget she killed Wesley and told him this was not the first time she had killed. Her and The Punisher immediately had a connection and she established a level of trust with Frank that nobody really could make at that time. She saw some good in him and we determined to bring it out. Frank who is crazy but calculated also felt the same connection and protected Karen even when he was being hunted. This story arc was great because it made Karen a more integral part of the show and a main storyline and allowed her character to develop on her own without Matt and Foggy. Despite the love and trust shown from Karen to Frank she quickly realized that even though there is some good in Frank, The Punisher is still a brutal bastard. The scene in the coffee shop was a microcosm of their relationship. You went from friendly enlightened conversation to Frank bashing someone skull in *literally* right in front of her eyes. Bernthal was able to take a character that had trouble excelling outside of the comic medium and masterfully make him an intriguing, lovable, yet scary and down right sadistic assassin.
Elecktra and The Hand
Elektra and Daredevil has always had an unique relationship at best in the comics. And after seeing that Elektra movie years ago I can understand the trepidation of putting her on this show, but lets be honest, its impossible to do a Daredevil show without Elektra. Elodie Yung did not disappoint. Marvel wants their characters to display certain characteristics at all times and Elodie was able to show Sexiness, Danger, and Self Doubt at all times. You could tell that she was a strong woman who you wanted to sleep with but a bit scared because she could kick your ass. You could also see the doubt in her methods and the internal struggle she has with herself especially when Matt is around. We find out that Elektra was an old girlfriend of Matt’s back in college but it ended bad when Elektra setup Matt’s fathers killer and wanted Matt to kill him. Elektra comes back looking to get information on a lead and a war that Stick and the chaise have been fighting for centuries against The Hand. Matt finds himself falling right back into the same pitfalls of putting off his work and friends for Elektra. Matt missed important court dates and meetings with Foggy and Karen because he was with Elektra.
We find out that Elektra was trained by Stick before Matt was and that she is the secret weapon that The Hand is looking for. This is when the show essentially became a ninja movie and it was awesome. This show setup so much for the upcoming Iron First series and possibly the Defenders series. Elektra, Matt and Stick basically kick 3,000 ninja ass and a reincarnated Nobu which brings the supernatural into this street level world Marvel Netflix has created. At the end of the day we come to a conclusion that Matt and Daredevil are the same and Elektra brought that out of him, however Elektra is not good for Matt Murdock and that is important part of his persona. Something tells me this is not the last time we see Elektra and she is sure to come back and shock Matt again.
Nelson and Murdock
Foggy and Matt friendship went on a roller coaster ride this season that will be hard to come back from. Foggy was already getting sick and tired of Matt being a vigilante last season and this season it really started to affect their work. At first, it was just a concern that Foggy had of Matt’s healthy but when the firm had their biggest case ever defending The Punisher Matt was a no show. This was a gift and a curse because it tore apart their friendship but it allowed Foggy to come from behind the shadow of Matt and shine in the courtroom. Foggy was nailing the defense before a unfortunate situation happened but that was the last straw. The relationship that Foggy and Matt had was brotherly and seemed unbreakable and if you throw Karen in it was a trio of jokes, fun, and family. All three seemed to be somewhat estranged from family and needed the other to complete them. Foggy however always seemed to get the brunt of this and he had it. Season 2 essentially shows the growth and progression of the Foggy Nelson character especially in reference to his confidence and his legal skills. In the comics Foggy eventually becomes the ADA and it will be interesting to see if the show takes this route.
Karen and Matt finally kissed and started a relationship. But, just like in the comics, any women who gets involved with Matt goes through it. Karen eventually walked in on Matt with Elektra in his bed and she was done. This season seemed to further all the supporting characters more than Matt and thats not a bad thing. We got a pretty good idea of Matt Murdock a.k.a Daredevil in season 1 and this season expanded on that. But characters like Karen and Foggy got so much attention and depth that furthered their progression and gave the audience more substance to attach too. At the end of the season their is a big reveal that should make the first couple episodes of season 3 to be a must watch.