This serves as our pseudo review for Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2.
After binge-watching the whole season, and then re-watching it again cause it’s just so damn good, here’s what we loved and what we slightly did not love about the entire season.
Spoilers, of course, so turn back if you haven’t seen or finished it.
Stop me if you’ve heard this “That hallway fight scene in Episode 2 of Daredevil Season 1 was epic!”. Honestly, after seeing that hallway scene in season 1 I never would have guessed that season 2 or any future seasons would be able to match that or even deliver a better sequence, but Daredevil keeps on surpassing the standards that it set in the first season.
Episode 1 delivered a riveting battle between The Punisher and Daredevil atop the buildings in Hell’s Kitchen, cranking up the danger factor by including guns in the fight, and culminating with The Punisher winning the first round with a “Bang!”. As the season progressed so have the fight sequences. But the creme dela creme of the season has got to be episode 3’s hallway fight. Yes another hallway fight, but the action was several times better when it started from the hallway and continued to the stairwell. It was just ruthless action all the way.
You’ll thank me for this:
That right there is as good as it gets!
Season 1 did a great job in fleshing out the characters from Matt, Foggy, and Karen, to Wilson Fisk and Vanessa. The same can be said in this season. Our lead characters weren’t glued to the same characterizations that were depicted in the previous season but instead were given tons of room to grow. Nelson & Murdock has gained the gravitas of a reputable law firm that defends the needy and gives chances to those who have been left to rot in the system. The growth doesn’t stop there, as the season progresses we get to see how much Foggy has improved as a lawyer, from kicking the DA’s behind, to talking down gangsters about to stab each other in a busy hospital emergency room, and to even taking the lead in the court room (more on that later). Karen also continued to blossom as a character just when you thought the legal secretary was the end of her, the show makes her a decent replacement for Ben Urich as a reporter.
As for the new players, Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle aka The Punisher was given a sort of origin story or first season as his character was well portrayed, without the expense of bogging down the show. Elodie Yung’s Elektra was no pushover as well, her portrayal of the mysterious yet dangerous assassin kept the proceedings gripping and intense, the season also developed her character well and made her integral to the show’s success.
The down side of this character development is that Nelson & Murdock is a law firm no more. It really evoked a disheartening emotion as we saw the deterioration of the Matt’s, Karen’s and Foggy’s relationship with one another, a stark contrast from the first episode, truly a perfect illustration of the character progression.
Early on, The Punisher was being set-up as the big bad, but as we all know, that wasn’t really the case here. Frank was one of the more complex characters that we’ve seen appear on this show, and he even served as a great foil to Daredevil’s ideals.
The Punisher’s introduction couldn’t have gotten any better when he smoked the Irish Mob. The way the hit was described added another layer of mystery and toughness to his character. His ideals were also in full view in episode 3 when he and Daredevil got into it (more on that later).
The casting of John Bernthal was really on point, he brought the the character to life down to smallest detail. His itchy trigger finger was also a subtle, yet effective touch to the character.
Aside from the 3rd episode, another stand-out moment for him was the prison jail fight. I got flashes of The Raid Redemption just watching that gory, action-filled sequence.
My only gripe on his character was the fact that we did not get to see his interrogation techniques that have made The Punisher famous, here’s to hoping to seeing more of that in the future.
One thing that sets Matt Murdock apart from other comic book characters is his day-job. This season we got to see plenty of that as we saw the trial of The People of New York vs. Frank Castle.
As a matter of fact, the legal battle between Foggy and DA Reyes was really enjoyable to watch, and things got even better once the courtroom drama began. We saw Foggy step up and give a really good opening statement followed by an equally good statement from DA Reyes.
What really elevated the courtroom scenes were the testimonial examinations of the witnesses, and when Foggy and Matt got the big break they were hoping for in the case, I really got excited and even shouted a “Yes!”. That’s how good the whole courtroom drama was.
DAREDEVIL VS. THE PUNISHER
To comic book fans, this is exactly what we have been hoping for. The first two episodes showcased the action side of the battle, which was nothing short of spectacular, but the best battle came in episode 3 as it was the battle of the ideals.
On one side, Daredevil believes that there is good in people and that they you should be given the chance to rectify their mistake after serving time, and on the other stands The Punisher who believes that the justice system is flawed and the only way to get rid of evil is by killing them off. It all came down to one of the most special moments not only in the history of this show, but probably in the history of comic book shows.
The geek out moment came when Frank knocked Matt out and taped/strapped a gun to Matt’s hand. When Matt regained consciousness Frank gave him an impossible decision, kill Punisher and save Grotto (Matt’s client), or kill Grotto and rid the world of a career criminal, reminiscent of the impossible choice in the comics.
The battle of ideals continued until the very end of the season and culminated in the battle between Daredevil and Elektra against Nobu and the Hand, where we saw which ideal won.
Daredevil was the first Marvel property in its MCU that really got to explore and introduce one of the most well-rounded villains in Wilson Fisk. Season 1 really took its time to give us one of the most complex and somewhat likeable villain. Season 2, on the other hand, failed to match this as aspect as we never got to the point where Punisher’s villain was really fleshed out. Same goes to Nobu and the Hand as we got stuck in Daredevil and Elektra’s story arc with Stick, which resulted to an abridged introduction of the Hand and Nobu, although Nobu was already introduced in season 1.
The good part about this though is that we still caught a glimpse of Madame Gao, which Daredevil reluctantly asked for assistance, and even Wilson Fisk. In fact, Wilson Fisk continues to cast a big shadow on our heroes even though he is stuck in prison. It was also interesting to see the show continue to develop Fisk even though he remains in the background this year.
Another thing worth mentioning is that even though the Hand was more of a brute villain, we still got some of the most note worthy action sequences because of them. They also served as a dangerous foe to Daredevil especially when Matt can’t hear their heartbeats which resulted to some great mentoring from both Elektra and Stick.
Overall, this season was by far the best season of superhero shows ever. Daredevil successfully delivered an action-filled, character driven drama worthy of being called an instant classic. True, that there may be some short-comings in some areas, but the good parts more than make up for the not so good parts.
We give this a 4.75/5.
Gino is the Gladiators’ resident TV and comic book reviewer. He is a lawyer in the making by day and full on geek by night. He believes that the lightsaber is the best weapon during a zombie apocalypse. #AgeOfTheGeek