ISince the overwhelming success of the first season of Daredevil, that blew up on Netflix back in April 2015, not only has there been a huge buzz surrounding this series and a great anticipation for the follow up season, but the entire MCU game has suddenly changed with this idea of straight to Netflix series that can be binged watched in a single day, giving in depth story lines and greater story telling to the minor street level heroes dealing with the day to day crimes closer to your doorstep than intergalactic war lords and corrupt government agencies that we see in the bigger Marvel cinema blockbusters.
Although the first season gave us the origin of Matt Murdock's crime fighting alter ego, a look back at the birth of the Nelson Murdock lawyer partnership and the rise of Wilson 'Kingpin' Fisk and his growth to power, along with a pivoting story arc that left us conclusively satisfied, we still had a lot to learn about these characters, and for anyone who knows the comic book lore surrounding Daredevil, we had a feeling that season 2 would have a lot to offer in terms of new character arcs and a taste of how this Netflix confined chapter of the MCU could begin to grow.
The main story arcs that flow throughout this season are that of Matt Murdock dealing with his life as a lawyer working alongside his parter Foggy Nelson, and the blossoming romance with their legal assistant Karen Paige, clashing with his masked persona known at this point as 'the devil of hells kitchen', fighting drug dealers, petty criminals and the all round scum of the city. Along with his 'Nolan Batman' military style garb he has truly become the hero we know him to be, and a symbol of hope in an otherwise bleak run down city. But by comparison, his somewhat 'sympathetic' approach to apprehending criminals is challenged by the arrival of Frank Castle aka - The Punisher. A man dealing with the loss of his wife and children after they are caught in a fire fight between 3 rival gangs, who seeks to avenge their deaths by murdering every element of the gangs who were responsible. Castle and Murdock's clash of methodology becomes a huge part of this season, resulting in physical as well as conscious battles over each others style of vigilantism. A glimmer of hope in the otherwise dark ominous and foreboding tone of this show shines through at one point from Murdock's perspective, but it gets quickly shadowed by the arrival of his former college girlfriend Elektra, who seeks his help in a battle of her own against a mystical faction of ninjas known as 'The Hand'. Murdock's affiliation for his ex lover and his yearning to want to do right by his city, forces him to assist her, despite the damage it is doing to not only his partnership with Foggy but his friendship as well.
This season has been without a doubt a triumph. Jon Bernthal's punisher was the closest I think we have seen to an interpretation of a comic book character that mirrors the comic book pages to perfection. This program is without a doubt a hard R, and that rating lends it's self to this character so well, allowing for the brutal nature of his vendetta to shine through. Not only that, but the beat downs on Daredevils part are gruesome in their own right, with the sound of arms being broken and noses being burst open, that we are never likely to see in any MCU movie. The realistic nature of Murdock's life as a vigilante comes across in the way we see his day to day relationships becoming harder to manage, whereas we might watch an episode of Arrow on the CW, that sees him disappear to save the day as the Green Arrow and then miraculously reappear fully dressed and without a scratch, instead Murdock will vanish for days at a time and return with a busted up face, truly mimicking what it could potentially be like to take up the life of a crime fighter. We feel his struggle and we feel for his life, not only as a hero, but as a human being. Elektra's character for me felt a little to shoe horned in at times. I could appreciate the point of her character and Elodie Yung played the sassy seductive character really well, but amidst everything else going on, some aspects of her arc seemed a bit convoluted at times. With the resurgence of characters gone by and the constant drops in the story giving us the prelude to the idea of there being a bigger world in these Netflix properties this season did a great job in giving us a continuation of the previous one, as well introducing new ideas and the potential for a story that could carry on for quite some time.
Despite the introduction of Punisher and Elektra, one thing that I love, is the fact that the story as a whole never leaves Matt Murdock's Daredevil. The writing is done in such a way that means we never feel like he's been pushed aside. The plot points and pivots in story constantly reel back to him, and that is what keeps us hooked. As a whole, I feel this is on par with the first season, as far as writing, acting and character development, and regardless of my quarrels with the Elektra character, the Punisher aspect brings this whole season alive, and his relationship with Daredevil is a joy to watch, that we will no doubt get to see reprised in the upcoming Netflix programs.
Rating - 4/5
Written by - Gaz Eastwood