Howdy ladies and gents, after all the waiting and waiting and WAITING, we’re here in 2016 and Marvel’s Daredevil season 2 and I’m here to review it. I adored the first season and made mention of that in my review, and after an epic binge over the course of Saturday from midnight to nightfall, I binged the hell out of this show coz I’m crazy and I’m an addict. So how does the second season of Daredevil fared? Well read on and find out! (Oh and careful for spoilers from Daredevil season 1, though I can’t imagine why you’d be reading this if you weren’t aware of transpired last season)
So what’s the story for this season? Well Matt Murdock is still a blind lawyer by day and continues to fight crime at night as Daredevil and things seem to be going well after the incarnation of Wilson Fisk, however new challenges come in the form of the dangerous Frank Castle/ Punisher, and Matt’s ex-girlfriend Elektra Natchios, things get a lot more complicated as Hell’s Kitchen becomes home to all new levels of crime and chaos.
From the beginning things kick off pretty quickly as you’re filled in with what’s transpired since last season and then get introduced to the new plot elements and characters that will inhabit this world for the forseeable future. This season is all about morality, the value of life, relationships past and present, and when you take the law into your own hands, how far is too far? And with those themes comes new layers of darkness, psychological issues and sensuality through the storytelling and character moments that’s so incredibly dramatic, engaging and heart racing. This season also gets into some thought-provoking areas when covering the Punisher and Daredevil’s different ideologies and brings up questions like: Is the criminal justice system enough? Where does one draw line? Is it right to take a human life? And if one crime is worse than another does that person deserve death or a shot at redemption? We really get into the mind space of what it means to have rules and whether they should be abided by or not when they don’t work, and seeing both sides of the argument really adds some perspective not only to this part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also for superhero adaptations in general.
I would also say that this season is better with its pacing and storytelling resulting in more consistent and satisfying episodes than before which just made me want to jump on the next episode immediately. Another aspect of note would be legal material. More so than last season, the lawyering is at the forefront and there’s a lot more conversations dealing with the law and how it works, the research, evidence and how it can help and hinder certain cases, and court room drama too which is very good and full of suspense and tension. Nelson and Murdock are really put through their paces and have interesting new hurdles to overcome and it is really well written and captivating stuff. Oh and the references to the comics, last season and Jessica Jones were awesome, it was nice world building too. And that’s all the stuff I can tell you, believe me there’s so much I want to share about this show, but it’d be giving away too much good material, suffice to say that there are plenty of surprises and moments that’ll frigging blow your mind! 😄
Episode highlights include:
- New York’s Finest (personal favourite)
- Penny and Dime (personal favourite)
- Kinbaku (personal favourite)
- Semper Fidelis
- Guilty as Sin (personal favourite)
- Seven Minutes in Heaven (personal favourite)
- The Dark at the End of the Tunnel
- Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen
When it comes to the cast, the returning members all do such great job as they’ve settled into their roles but have also gained additional layers too, while the new players do really well to change things up and yet stay relevant to the main plot. Firstly there’s Charlie Cox who is once again wonderful as Matt Murdock/Daredevil. He’s still very smart, courageous and cool, but he’s still flawed and has issues with his duality as a superhero and lawyer that make his life a lot more complicated and the way it unfolds is such a whirlwind of emotions, and Cox handles his material so well. I also believe this season also dives a little deeper into the mind of Matt; what drives him to do what he does as Daredevil and how it affects the people around him. Elden Henson also steps up his game as Franklin “Foggy” Nelson, this season he’s in a more interesting place not only because of the legal material he has to deal with but also the lies and complexities that come with being friends with Matt and hiding his secret. Deborah Ann Woll does a fantastic job as Karen Page too, unlike last season she had her uses but was primarily a background character, here she’s a lot more pro-active, has her own agendas and her efforts are quintessential to this season’s story and characters.
The newcomers are just as important, so let’s start with the man who nearly steals the whole show, Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle/Punisher. This is how you do the Punisher justice. Prior to this series both Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson have portrayed this character in 2004 and 2008, and while both of them had elements of the character done right, neither of them had the full package, but Bernthal has it. Here we have a man on a warpath, who is calculated, strategic, driven and scary as hell, but behind all his exterior there’s a tragic story that almost justifies his actions and makes him human/relatable. Bernthal really has a good lock on what makes the Punisher so engaging to watch whether he’s fighting, shooting or giving speeches, this man is like a hurricane of different things, he moves like the T-800 and yet has a depth to him that’s beyond your average killer. And then there’s Élodie Yung who is so sexy and deadly as Elektra Natchios, Jesus Christ! This woman is perceptive, smart, vivacious, playful and all sorts of trouble, and the backstory she has with Matt is one of most intriguing, fun, destructive and sensual relationships I’ve seen in quite some time. Their relationship in one of passion and toxicity and just seeing how things unfolded in the past and present was incredibly satisfying thanks to some incredible chemistry from Cox and Yung. I also enjoyed the appearances from Michelle Hurd as Samantha Reyes and Stephen Rider as Blake Tower who added an intriguing new dynamic to legal side of things.
And finally there’s some of my favourite returning characters too. Rosario Dawson once again shines as Claire Temple offering her services both as a nurse and counsel for the good guys was great, Royce Johnson also returns as Brett Mahoney and it’s so awesome to see more of him in this season, and of course the cast wouldn’t be complete without Scott Glenn as Stick who is just as rude, sarcastic, funny and hardcore as ever. There are also some other returning faces but I’ll let you discover those on your own. 😀
As for the presentation, it is just as good as ever. Visually the show’s received a bit more of budget for new locations more intricate camera movements, better lighting, more digital and practical effects and more detailed make-up as I think the show’s a little more violent than before. Just like last year the action is badass with some beautiful fight choreography, gun fights, explosions and the introduction of ninjas just made everything better. Also John Paesano returns again to craft the soundtrack and it is fairly dramatic, emotionally gripping and awesome.
So are there any problems with this season, well yes there is. This will really depend on the individual, but for me there were certain storylines that didn’t pay off in the way that I’d hoped, and you could argue that Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk left such a major impression on fans last season, that this season definitely a little empty without him being the primary focus of Daredevil’s missions. Plus while most characters get moments to shine, certain people (me included) will be disappointed with the amount of screen time and specific character arcs that they’ve gotten.
In conclusion season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil is absolutely fabulous, I cannot praise it enough. While it may sound like I’m just a biased fanboy, if you really looked at this season as a whole, it takes the foundation of first season and improves on it in every way with such incredible attention to detail with the story, character development, action sequences and expanding this world’s mythology. I think your appreciation for this show will depend on what you want from this season and whether you loved the first one or not, but in my mind this is easily the best TV-based superhero material available. I’m already hyped for season 3 and I’ll probably be sure to watch this season again very soon. 😀
Rating: 9/10 (Even more fun than the first season)
So have you seen season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil and is so what do you think of it? Did it meet or exceed your expectations? And I’m also curious to know which did you prefer, season 1 or 2? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters. 🙂