TV SHOW REVIEW - Daredevil: Season 2
By The Masked Medic
The film reviews are being churned out slowly, and although there has been a bit of delay, some comic book reviews are also coming your way. But I’ve been incredibly slow at watching television. That being said, I thought enough years had passed, and it was time that I returned to one of the very first TV shows I ever watched; Daredevil. Now you guys know how much I raved about the first season, so I was very excited to watch the second!
‘Daredevil’ Season 2 is essentially a two part story. The first half of the season sees a void appear left by Wilson Fisk’s defeat at the hands of Matt Murdock, aka, Daredevil. Several of the gangs in the city are looking to capitalise on this, including the Irish. However, one night during one of their meetings, the leaders of the Irish gang are all gunned down by a new vigilante in the city. The lone survivor of this shooting needs protection, and lawyers and approaches none other than Nelson and Murdock. However, this new vigilante comes after the gang member, only to find himself in a fight with Daredevil. The press give this vigilante the moniker, “The Punisher” which seems to stick. The Punisher repeatedly beats Daredevil, and during one fight, he knocks Daredevil out. When Daredevil wakes up, he finds himself chained to a chimney, and the Punisher gives him an ultimatum; either kill that gang member or kill the Punisher. The second half of the season, sees the return of a previous love interest of Matt’s; Elektra Nachios. There are some flashbacks to how Matt and Elektra met. Matt finds out that Elektra is in the city to find out who has been using her father’s company to commit crimes, and given her perchant for violence, Matt has no choice but to stick around to help, but also to prevent any collateral damage. What the two find though has shocking consequences on the both of them. Can Daredevil and Elektra put aside their differences in outlook to save the city? And just where does the Punisher fit into Matt’s story?
I cannot believe that it’s taken me this long to rewatch Season 2 of this show. Many years ago when I first watched Daredevil, I remember going around and telling people that it was one of the best show I’d ever seen, and a part of me wondered if that would change on rewatching. The answer is yes. Netflix’s constraints on what they were allowed to do with these Marvel characters meant that we got extremely gritty and largely grounded takes on the characters they created shows for. This ended up being for the best, because now that it’s been accepted that these shows were part of the MCU, they can be incorporated in a way that lets the fantastical elements shine a little more. The introduction of both Elektra and The Punisher were also done quite well. If I had to criticise I’d say that the two storyline arcs seemed relatively unattached and that meant that for me, as a season, it was a little disjointed. That isn’t a criticism of the arcs themselves because I enjoyed both immensely, however it seemed like the agenda wasn’t completely clear. But with all things considered, I can conclude that “Daredevil” is still one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, and the only thing that has changed, is that I have a far greater respect for how it stands the test of time, and also how it stands against MCU movie counterparts and does better than them!
Returning as our titular character, Matt Murdock, was the fantastic Charlie Cox. It’s evident that Cox has done his work watching and researching how blind people walk and talk and move. Even as Daredevil, the nuances of his performance are phenomenal. It’s almost impossible to me to consider that this man can see. Returning alongside him were Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson as Karen Page and Foggy Nelson respectively. The show wouldn’t be the same without the two of them, and there’s a clear step up in the quality of their acting for this season. I know there was a lot of outrage when the new Daredevil show decided not to bring them back initially, however after rewatching this season, I realize that you can’t have this Matt Murdock without having this Foggy Nelson and Karen Page. There was also a quick cameo from Vincent D’onofrio as Kingpin. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, D’onofrio carried the first season of this show, and having him appear, even for just a little bit was great. Finally, the two newcomers. Jon Bernthal stars as Frank Castle, aka The Punisher and Elodie Yung plays Elektra Nachios. In my opinion both were the standout performances of this season. The nuances of each performance were excellent and I was thoroughly impressed!
In all honesty, on rewatching, I always worry that I’ll look at the filmography of a show and think to myself, oh this hasn’t stood the test of time. But that’s definitely not the case with Daredevil. This season upped the ante and so some of those fight scenes had incredible choreography. Occasionally the shots were a little awkward, but for the most part, again, impressive work. All of the Netflix shows had a theme tune and an intro and I really like Daredevil’s one. It’s very catchy!
In summary, despite a tortuous storyline, the new characters carry this season and elevate the quality already seen in the first season. ‘Daredevil’ remains one of my favourite shows ever and it certainly leaves Marvel with a challenge. Can they recreate the dark and gritty tone set by Netflix? They’re going to need to if Daredevil is to become a staple in the MCU!
Integral vs Filler Episodes: ★★½