Well now here’s something that’s worth getting excited about. Who knew this show would be such a success after that abysmal movie with Ben Affleck (though you can’t deny that Colin Farrell was incredibly fun)? But to be fair, a lot of bad superhero movies were coming out around that time. In any case, times have changed and more effort is being put into this genre of sci-fi/fantasy and it was only a matter of time before someone would get the bright idea to take THE DARK KNIGHT and make it even darker and grittier. I’m not sure if Daredevil was the character anyone would think that trend would start with, but hey, who’s complaining now?
Not a huge shock here, but yeah, I was a fan of the first season. Brutal, challenging, it’s an eye-opener of sorts and, what with JESSICA JONES in the future at the time, it looked like the makers of this universe took full advantage. With that season’s success, a green-lit season two was neither a surprise, nor a disappointment. Now we have Jon Bernthal as the new Punisher, Elodie Yung as the new Elektra, this was shaping up to be an intriguing new season. Did it disappoint? Well sit back and relax folks. This is my honest opinion of DAREDEVIL Season 2.
Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), continues his crusade of justice as a lawyer by day, and the famed masked vigilante Daredevil by night. Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) is in prison, plotting his revenge, but the bright and shining new law firm Nelson and Murdock are starting to bring in new business. However, things become complicated when a new player shows up gunning down several factions of mafia in Hell’s Kitchen in cold blood. The shooter, known by the feds as The Punisher (Jon Bernthal), Matt knows he has to hunt down the Punisher and stop him. Further adding complications to the list of growing problems Matt is getting is the arrival of a former flame; his violent college ex-girlfriend Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung), who is in town looking for bad guys who did her wrong, which may end up leading to something bigger than Matt has ever faced, both as the lawyer and the vigilante.
Awe yeah, son.
So obviously the biggest selling point of this season is the reintroduction of Frank Castle, also known as The Punisher. Boy howdy, let me tell you, if you’ve heard that Jon Bernthal is the best Punisher to exist outside of the comics, you’d better believe it. While I sure am a fan of THE PUNISHER (2004) with Thomas Jane, whom I firmly believe has been the best film adaptation, I can’t bring myself to say that Bernthal is the superior Punisher, no contest. As far as a film goes, Jane’s movie was more or less just a revenge flick. It almost didn’t even feel like a superhero movie. There’s not a whole lot of nuance. This time around, Punisher is not only at his most brutal and violent, but he’s a challenging character that has a whole philosophical reason for doing what he does with one of the best episodes involving himself and Daredevil talking on a rooftop. Punisher is not a good guy, but it’s also hard not to like the man. I won’t give anything away, but if you see a scene with Punisher and Daredevil together, you know you’re in for the best episodes of the season. You might even cry too. Bernthal, sir, you have my two thumbs up and my eagerness to see you crossover into other Marvel Netflix shows.
As for the rest of the cast: you guys suck, piss off. No, I’m kidding.
No no, Cox as Matt/Daredevil is always a treat and to now see him done the red costume full time is always a bonus. But it’s hard to talk about him without mentioning another big selling point of this season, the reintroduction of Elektra. Anyone get the feeling this season is basically saying that they’re trying to make up for the sins of the past? I mean, the Punisher hasn’t had the most successful run on the big screen, but more than a couple attempts were made. Elektra? Please. That movie was forgotten faster than it was released. But hey, now we can easily move on with the new iteration. She’s eccentric, she’s wild, she’s bat-shit crazy, she’s…. French? Wait, is that who she was? … *Google: Marvel’s Elektra* Oh leave me alone! I don’t read comics! So I guess she’s Greek, according to the Marvel Wiki. Eh, if the worst part about the character is her ethnic background not being faithful to her comic origin, I’d say you’re in a good place. But yeah, she’s a lot of fun, and an interesting alternative to Punisher. While you can easily predict what side of an issue Punisher is on, Elektra is harder. Because she’s such a wildcard, you can never tell if she really cares about Matt or is just using him to further her own agenda, or if it’s a complicated mix of the two ideas.While I may call out the writers on the dialog that Matt and Elektra share when it’s supposed to be a tender moment… yeah, no, this show’s had better lines. Also Elektra does seem to be a little insensitive toward Matt and his life. Yeah, I know that she has her own agenda and needs Matt, but it’s a wonder why past feelings ever get brought up or played with. I mean, she knows how Matt feels about her now. How did she think she could bring up the past and get away with it? Why does she try so hard to make him think like her when he’s obviously made his decisions regarding his life and what he’s all about. If anything, this is most annoying aspect of her. While I love her moral ambiguity and she leans more on the side of good than bad, but it’s annoying that she thinks the world works the way she wants it to and when she comes in contact with something she doesn’t agree with, then she tries to forcibly change it, even if it’s something that can’t be changed. And there’s no reason why she can’t just… mind her own business. Matt’s helping you with your shit, stop involving yourself in his life.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Matt, I love Foggy, and I love Karen. I love them together and the way the actors have such great chemistry. I did however feel like the relationship with Matt and Karen was a tad unnecessary, ultimately forced. The reason I feel this way is because its sole purpose is to make Matt have someone to love other than Elektra, to counteract that romance. So in this regard, the relationship with Matt and Karen is more of a tool, not an organic lead in. Maybe I’m going nuts, but I don’t remember Matt and Karen sharing feelings for each other in season one. While the relationship itself may be fine, Matt and Karen are adorable together, but the relationship between Matt and Elektra is significantly more interesting and still would be without the relationship with Karen. This made even more strange considering the strange connection Karen has with Punisher. While certainly not romantic, but what with Punisher being so involved with Daredevil, Matt with Elektra, so little time is given to really invest in the Matt/Karen relationship by comparison to the others, which are also more interesting. So in the end, this relationship felt the most tacked on in the show… in fact, all of them felt like that. The show is at its best when we’re learning about the characters and or developing them.
It’s actually really nice to see that Fisk didn’t get pushed to the wayside. He’s a bastard, but he’s one of the most incredible bastard villains that Marvel’s come up with. Seriously, even the best of its cinematic villains don’t hold a torch to him, or the Purple Man from JESSICA JONES, Netflix Marvel’s got that shit down, and Fisk makes a fun return as he slowly gains control of the prison he’s locked in. And it doesn’t disappoint in how brutal his methods are.
Honestly, this season had some serious high notes, but the romantic relationships also kind of brought it down. That’s in no way saying that it’s a bad, okay, even just a good season. It’s great. But there are some weaknesses this time around that rubbed me the wrong way. In any case, I’m really looking forward to the next season and anything Netflix that Marvel will be dishing out. More Punisher, more Elektra, crossover some of these characters, but a little less campy romance that adds nothing.
My honest rating: a strong 4/5