Marvel's Daredevil Season 2 Review (Spoiler Free)
Daredevil season two keeps the quality bar up high, although the story is a little bit weaker than that of the first season.
Created By: Drew Goddard
Cast: Charlie Cox, Jon Bernthal, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Elodie Yung, Rosario Dawson, Geoffrey Cantor, Stephen Rider,
Peter Shinkoda, Scott Glenn & Vincent D’Onofrio.
Average Runtime: 60 min.
No. of Episodes: 13
Release Period: 18 March 2016
If you want to read my review for season one from last year, scroll down to the related section.
After the success that was Marvel’s Daredevil last year I was anticipating, yet still surprised, by the announcement of a second season. The reason is that Marvel’s Daredevil as well as last year's Jessica Jones were originally supposed to be one-season shows that would lead up to The Defenders miniseries. I am still happy they opted for another route and was amazed at what they brought to the small screen because Daredevil is not only a high-quality series it also proved that a superhero TV show can be just as good as a cinematic feature release.
Following the events of the first season, a power vacuum has been left in the criminal underworld after Fisk’s (D’Onofrio) arrest. Different gangs are trying to fill that void, but there is one man (Bernthal) who is out for blood and is trying to take down these criminals permanently. The police gave him the name The Punisher, as he walks through Hell’s Kitchen showing no mercy for criminals and painting the streets with their blood. This approach sets him on a collision course with Matt Murdock (Cox), the blind lawyer who works as the vigilante Daredevil at night. But it is not only The Punisher who is turning the streets of Hell’s Kitchen unsafe, as an old friend (Yung) of Murdock's past is roaming the rooftops on the hunt for an old and dangerous organisation.
The way the story progresses in season two feels very organic and that was one of the biggest pro’s the series had to offer. After what happened in the first season, revealing to the public that there is, in fact, a vigilante in Hell’s Kitchen dressing as the devil, there needed to be some consequences to those actions and one of them appears as The Punisher. The Frank Castle story was brilliantly elaborated and I was invested every minute Jon Bernthal was on screen. I also liked how the two vigilantes clashed, because Frank clearly opposes everything that Mattie believes in, but Daredevil also reaches a breaking point in this season.
Apart from The Punisher’s story, Matt gets an unexpected visit from his ex-girlfriend Elektra and she isn’t visiting New York just to see her old flame. Elektra is searching for a long forgotten and very dangerous organisation that wants to unleash chaos in New York City and she is in dire need for Matt’s help. After the hinting towards Elektra last year, I was happy to finally see her on screen and although not as interesting as Punisher’s story arc, it felt like a natural extension of season one.
I also need to give the writing team lot of respect, as it managed to balance both story arcs well. That being said, I did think that season two was filled a little bit too much with different arcs and I also had a problem with the Nelson and Murdock side story, but I’ll get into that later on. Otherwise, I thought season 2 was a pretty and solid continuation of the Daredevil TV show, maybe not as good as the first season, but close nevertheless.
Charlie Cox reprises his role as Matt Murdock/Daredevil and the guy keeps surprising me with his acting skills. Cox not only sells Matt Murdock’s blindness but the viewer can feel the weight of the world resting on his shoulders and how distraught he feels when he needs to let friends down due to his nighttime activities. This brings me to the point I addressed earlier: his friendship and professional partnership with Foggy Nelson, played by Eldon Henson. I like Henson and the way he portrays Matt’s best friend but his judgemental thinking over Murdock’s “extracurricular” activities does get a little old and annoying, to the point that the character just feels like a pretentious prick.
It is no spoiler if I reveal that this season Matt’s love life is set upside down due to the return of his ex, Elektra, portrayed by Elodie Yung. She does not only bring turmoil into Mattie’s professional career but is the reason why Foggy and Matt end up fighting once again. She also manages to upset Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), who is obviously in love with her employee since she first laid eyes on the blind lawyer in season one. I loved Yung as Elektra, who understood the character and portrayed her correctly.
Jon Bernthal was fantastic as Frank Castle/The Punisher! This man really does know how to play psychologically broken people that need violence to move through life. He did a great job as Shane in The Walking Dead and owned the role of the vulnerable Frank Castle in this series, making him a perfect anti-hero and a thorn in Daredevil's eye. I found his portrayal of The Punisher not only realistic, but he was also interesting enough to grant the character its own series.
The Daredevil crew keep stepping up their cinematographic game. If you remember the beautifully captured fight scene between Daredevil and a bunch of Russian mobsters in a narrow hallway from season one, you’d be happy to know that the scene has been extended for a complete stairwell in a NY apartment building. The action sequences throughout the series look handsome and brutal, and although there is a lot of blood portrayed throughout the Punisher’s storyline, it was depicted most sensibly. The sheer talent behind the camera that was depicted in every episode floored me.
Verdict: Marvel’s Daredevil season two might not have been as tremendous as season one, with the crammed Elektra and The Punisher plotlines and the very annoying, partially snooty behaviour from Foggy towards Matt. It was nonetheless a fantastic season and I enjoyed every minute of it! It has incredible acting by Charlie Cox, Elodie Yung and Jon Bernthal, who all delve deep into the psyche of their characters. The story is still very engaging and the visuals and fighting choreography are out of this world! Netflix and Marvel know how to depict these characters on screen and it is for that reason that I will give Marvel’s Daredevil season two a 9 out of 10!
I do recommend you watch this series on Netflix because it is fantastic! I can’t wait to see the third season of Daredevil and until then I have Luke Cage to look forward to this year. Leave a comment underneath, to let me know what you thought of season 2 and as always, thank you so much for reading!