DAREDEVIL Review Season 2
MARVEL’S DAREDEVIL began its second season on Netflix yesterday, with all thirteen episodes of the sophomore run made available at once. Picking up a bit after the initial offering left off, season two finds Hell’s Kitchen in shambles as every gang in the area seeks to fill the power vacuum left by Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio). Did our hero just make more work for himself, and is there hope the city could ever be truly cleaned up?
Knowing of Marvel’s plan to introduce four separate superhero shows before teaming them up, it’s clear that there are a lot of villains out there that need to be taken down. Fisk may have been the most powerful for a brief time, but he hadn’t always been that way, and he’s far from the only one with the resources and ambition to rule the drug trade, among other illicit activities, in New York. So there is little worry DAREDEVIL will run out of plot any time soon.
Still, I don’t think I expected quite so much mess at the onset of this year’s story. We don’t get a full lay of the land, with the plot sensibly focused on what Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil (Charlie Cox), knows, but we see an Irish mob, a biker gang, a gun seller, and hear of others. These are all much smaller players than Fisk, but they still pose a threat to the city.
However, SPOILER ALERT, the biggest threat seems to come from Frank Castle, The Punisher (Jon Bernthal, The Walking Dead, The Wolf of Wall Street). Frank is only glimpsed in the premiere, but the consequences of his actions are bloody and scary. He mows down the Irish easily and without pity, tracking down the lone survivor, too.
Could Frank be a good guy? Well, yes, sort of. Fans of the comic book know his mission is to punish those who deserve it, and his victims have largely been criminals. But when Daredevil gets in his way, saving the Irish guy, Frank not only beats the crap out of Daredevil, he shoots him point blank when the struggle goes against him. This shows that Frank thinks he is above the law and not too concerned about collateral damage, at least for those who make themselves an obstacle.
I will say there’s evidence Frank holds back, which makes him a little more sympathetic than he might otherwise be. He simply disarms a hospital security guard instead of murdering him, and he tries to walk away from a beat-down Daredevil, only pulling the gun when Daredevil follows him and reengages, gaining the upper hand.
So, in short, MARVEL’S DAREDEVIL is not lacking for action and violence in the first hour of its return, and this year promises to be just as bloody as the last.
But MARVEL’S DAREDEVIL isn’t all gritty fight scenes; it’s also love and humor, and that remains, too. From Matt and Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) flirting while playing pool, to Nelson & Murdock prioritizing those that need them most over a paycheck (which also may be desperately needed), to Foggy’s (Elden Henson) ill-advised sojourn into the biker bar, the slightly lighter elements are present, and that keeps the spirit of the show intact, even as the fighting element gets even darker.
The premiere sets up a full season, and reassures viewers that nothing more has changed than the style of Matt’s vigilante outfit, which needed some updates anyway. I look forward to seeing what they have in store.
I’d also like to thank Netflix for the extended season recap playing at the start of a new run. There’s a skip option for those who just finished binging the previous season, but for those that have not, it is most helpful to spend a few minutes being reminded of the highlights of what happened before. It would be hard to do such a thing on a traditional network, but I hope more streaming services and cable companies not reined in by advertising times follow suit and give us the kind of overarching, broad recaps that Netflix is doing.
MARVEL’S DAREDEVIL complete second season is available now exclusively on Netflix.