TL;DR – A solid season of TV, a little stodgy in the middle but it does pick up into the great end because of the amazing character and fantastic action sequences.
Score – 4 out of 5 Stars
So we are at the end of the second season and besides getting used to the fact that a whole season of a show just dropped at once, and given what we have seen, it is time to reflect on the full season of Daredevil, did it hold up over the full run? Well yes, mostly. Now of course since we will be discussing the whole season the only practical way to do that is with full Spoilers engaged, so warning Spoilers ahead, it is advised that you don’t read this until you have watched the full season.
So given we do get a full season all at once, it is a bit easier to judge the flow of the season, more so than if you were watching it week to week. This is important because since I am sure at least someone out there watched every episode back to back, it means you can almost look at it as a single 13-hour event, just as much as 13 single hour episodes. So how was the flow of the season, well it had a great start and a fantastic end, but it did get bogged down a little bit in the middle. There is a period in the middle between the introduction of Elektra (Élodie Yung) and the reintroduction of Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) where the show loses a lot of its energy. Now part of that is simply we move from hunting down The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) to preparing for his trial, which means we get some great character developments for him and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), but not a whole lot more. Also during this period we get the introduction of Elektra, which has good aspects to it, we get to see more of Daredevil’s (Charlie Cox) past, we get the set up to the big bad and the big push for the end of the season and we get more of Stick (Scott Glenn). However, this section drags a lot because of the whole thrust that Daredevil and Elektra are an addiction for each other, is really clear from early on, and it takes a long time for the characters to work out something the audience had known for quite a bit. As well as this we get a lot of rehash of the Daredevil does not kill but I do moral debate, which would be fine if we did not already have that with the Punisher earlier in the season. This is not a deal breaker in any sense of the matter, in fact, it probably speaks highly of the start and end of the season that we noticed this relative lull in the middle.
One area that this season shined was in the character development department. All the major cast had wonderful character arcs over the season, with the exception of Daredevil, though pretty much all of season 1 was on that. Karen starts the season a stronger woman after the troubles of season 1, but she is still is without purpose after her life was ruined. However, this season she discovers her strength and a passion and drives to make the world better. Foggy (Elden Henson) starts the season still it Matt’s shadow but discovers that he is actually an amazing litigator and thus he is not dependent on Nelson & Murdock for his future. Claire (Rosario Dawson) is still trying to work in the system to help people, but she still keeps getting stepped on by the hospital. However, when the hospital starts to brush things under the table she refuses to let the injustice stand and quits, once again setting her character forward on a trajectory that will bring her into contact with many other members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The big surprise is just how well they were able to incorporate the character of the Punisher. He could have been a one-note filler, and he could have got old quite quickly, but the writers created a wonderfully round character full of flaws and with a clear drive and motivation. However, ‘oh my family died and now I am a vigilante’ is a very common trope among comics, but here we get more and this is completely down to Jon Bernthal’s performance which shows rage, vulnerability, determination, pain, grief and honour, and a soldier that returned from the battlefield only to lose everything he loved at home.
Part of what made season 1 so great was the unrelenting respect to presenting action, it was brutal and unrelenting, it was the kind of action we don’t normally see in the Marvel universe, as Daredevil does not have to conform to the PG13 American rating. So does season 2 stack up to season 1 with regard to the action, yes, yes it does. Part of what makes this season so good is the Punisher, at least twice during the season we get introduced to someone who at any other time would be the big bad for the season only for them to fall in a hail of bullets. There are some truly momentous sequences in the season, firstly there is the stairwell fight in Episode 3, then there was the brutal battle against Cooley in Episode 4, the fight where Elektra gains her trademark sai blades in Episode 10, and the truly momentous corridor scene in Episode 9 where the Punisher takes out an entire mob of goons after being betrayed by Fisk, hey even the ninjas got interesting throughout the season.
With regards to the story, it did feel that this was a season where the showrunners were using everything to set the rest of this Netflix/ Marvel universe moving forward. We got to see the potential major organisation that will be assaulting our heroes, we had big players moving into position, like Foggy with the law firm, Claire becoming a free agent, and Fisk manoeuvring himself into a prime position even whilst in jail. This means we get a lot of tension, we get the feeling this is part of a bigger story, but it does loose a little of its immediate impact. This is because it does feel at times that we are treading water for something more amazing in the future. As well as this, some of the “big” reveals you kind of see coming from a while away so they do lose some of their impact, I don’t think anyone will be surprised by the closing shots of the season in the least.
So here we are, and while it does have some flaws, this was still a solid season of TV, with a good story uncompromising action, and some of the best character work on TV today, also more Gao, yay. If anything this season has been really looking forward to what is coming in the future as so far Daredevil and Jessica Jones have been solid entries into the franchise.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you watched Daredevil?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Written by – Douglas Petrie (Ep1,2,12&13), Marco Ramirez (Ep1,2,9&13), Mark Verheiden (Ep3&11), John C. Kelley (Ep4&10), Lauren Schmidt Hissrich (Ep5,9&12), Sneha Koorse (Ep6&10), Luke Kalteux (Ep7), Whit Anderson (Ep8&10)
Based on – The Marvel Comics of Stan Lee & Bill Everett
Directed by – Phil Abraham (Ep1&2), Marc Jobst (Ep3), Peter Hoar (Ep4,10&13), Floria Sigismondi (Ep5), Andy Goddard (Ep6), Ken Girotti (Ep7), Michael Uppendahl (Ep8), Stephen Surjik (Ep9&11), Euros Lyn (Ep12)
Staring – Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Stephen Rider, Jon Bernthal, Élodie Yung, Rosario Dawson
Guest Starting – Vincent D’Onofrio, Scott Glenn, Wai Ching Ho, Michelle Hurd, Royce Johnson, Peter Shinkoda, Amy Rutberg & Carrie-Anne Moss