It seems like just yesterday that I was reviewing the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil. At the time, I was blown away by the sheer awesomeness of the show – from the fight scenes to the incredible performances, virtually everything about the show was amazing. Now that the second season is upon us, it’s time to revisit Hell’s Kitchen and our favorite blind superhero. The question stands: was Daredevil Season 2 any good? (major spoilers ahead!)
First, let’s look at the overall plot. The first season of Daredevil revolved around the Man Without Fear taking down various crime syndicates across New York’s seedy Hell’s Kitchen. Eventually, he trades blows with Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin before sending him off to jail. This season, Daredevil’s first enemy is the Punisher, a ruthless vigilante who is killing off criminals with reckless abandon. The first chunk of the season features a lot of awesome fight scenes between the Punisher and Daredevil until the former is arrested.
I honestly thought the Punisher would be out of the picture after episode four and that he wouldn’t return until the finale, but he actually plays a major role throughout the rest of the season. I’m not going to complain since Jon Bernthal gives a phenomenal performance as the notorious antihero. The Punisher has one of the best intros I’ve ever seen on a television show. When he first shows up in the hospital in the season premiere, it was like something out of a horror movie. I actually felt scared. That’s what I’ve wanted to see out of the Punisher, because frankly, he’s f*cking terrifying. I’m glad Bernthal finally gave us the Punisher we deserve.
On the flip side, it’s worth noting that the Punisher isn’t just an unstoppable, gun-toting vigilante. Frank Castle has an essence of goodness deep deep DEEP down inside. As the season progresses, we learn more about the motivation behind his bloody crusade. It’s great how his morals conflict with Daredevil’s, and how the two clash over their opposing ideals. In essence, the Punisher thinks Daredevil is too soft, and Daredevil believes Punisher is too brutal, but you find out that it’s so much more than that later on.
The one thing I hated about the entire season was the Punisher’s ending. Frank Castle receives his signature skull shirt in the finale (like how Daredevil finally got the red suit in last season’s final episode), but he barely does anything. We have such a huge build-up for a grand finale with Frank donning his signature costume and equipping himself with an arsenal of weapons, and we’re left extremely disappointed. He shoots a few guys in the head and that’s it. I wanted to see him pull up a minigun and blow away a horde of ninjas or mobsters. Nope. Doesn’t happen. The only good thing about Castle’s conclusion was when he found a disc with “Micro” written on it. So it appears that the Punisher’s comic sidekick Microchip could appear in the next season of Daredevil or in a Punisher solo series.
Fun quick fact: Micro was mentioned in an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s second season, so maybe he’ll bridge the gap between the Marvel Netflix series and the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now let’s check out the rest of the season. While Frank Castle still plays a major part in the show, Elektra takes center stage in Season 2. It appears that she has a long history with Matt, since their law school days. But as the season progresses, we learn more about the character and how her role contributes to the main over-arcing story. Elektra isn’t just an assassin with the hots for Matt Murdock; she’s a deadly force with a warped moral compass and zero hesitancy when it comes to killing. You thought the Punisher was brutal? Yeah, Elektra is just as bad, possibly worse. She’s actually more frightening than the Punisher in some regards. We see her kill two kids with almost no remorse, once when she was a teenager and once in the present. It’s terrifying.
Elektra’s ending was more satisfying than the Punisher’s. She dies in the final climactic battle, but as we discover in the final moments of the season, she’s coming back. But is she going to come back as part of Daredevil‘s third season, or will she get her own much-deserved spin-off along with the Punisher? Given the positive reception for the character this season, I think it’s likely that she’ll be coming back to Netflix in some capacity soon.
I’ve spent so much time talking about the Punisher and Elektra that I seem to have neglected the rest of the show. After all, it’s called Daredevil, isn’t it? Well, Daredevil/Matt Murdock himself was great once again, so what else is there to say? Charlie Cox has become synonymous with the role of Daredevil, much like how Robert Downey Jr. has embraced Tony Stark. There were a few moments where I found Murdock to be unlikable in the middle of the season, but overall, I never once saw Cox slip out of character or muddle through his lines. Even if the Punisher and Elektra weren’t that great, I’m sure fans would still have been happy with Cox killing it on the screen.
We can’t forget the supporting cast either. Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll deliver solid performances, and it’s great seeing both of their characters stepping up to the plate multiple times this season. Other people who deserve credit include Scott Glenn and Rosario Dawson for their roles as Stick and Claire Temple respectively. And let’s not forget Vincent D’Onofrio as the infamous Kingpin, which was an unexpected but more than welcome surprise. If there’s a third season, needless to say that I hope every single one of these characters makes a comeback.
I think the biggest complaint people will have about this season is the familiarity with the plot. It seems like the crew wanted to stick to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” routine. Season 2 follows very closely to the road taken by Season 1, and while it’s not exactly a bad thing, I was disappointed that the ultimate Big Bad of the season was Nobu, revealed to have come back to life after his fiery demise last season. Nobu’s return was underwhelming, but it opened up the world of Daredevil to more spiritual and magical forces, which could pave the way for the upcoming Iron Fist solo series. I only wish they made a reference to Iron Fist in this show. We heard a passing reference to Jessica Jones and Luke Cage; all we needed was a quick throwaway line about Danny Rand and I would’ve been happy. Oh, well.
Overall, this season of Daredevil was fantastic, even with that less-than-amazing finale. The terrific performances, outstanding fight scenes, and intriguing plot came together to create an entertaining collection of thirteen episodes that you could watch over and over again. Now let’s hope we get a Season 3!
Final Grade: A –
+ The Punisher and Elektra were fantastic!
+ This season had some of the most amazing fight scenes I’ve ever seen.
+ I loved the fact that the show left itself open for a third season; or at the very least, a spin-off for the Punisher and Elektra.
– Frank’s ending was so disappointing.
– The show paralleled Season 1 a little too closely; it’s like they had a specific template they wanted to follow.
– I’m upset that Nobu was the final Big Bad; I was hoping for someone more significant to be the final boss.
– I guess Foggy will be showing up in a cameo in Jessica Jones Season 2?
Did you like Daredevil‘s second season? Are you hoping for another season, or at least a few spin-offs featuring Punisher and Elektra? Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter!