The Watchers: Issue #4 - "Daredevil Season 2" Review
Hello Ladies and Gents!
Welcome to The Watchers, your source for all things comics in film, television, and animation. Today, we are reviewing the second season of Netflix's Daredevil series, which dropped a few weeks ago. Fair warning, this review will contain spoilers, so if you haven't seen the series, and are planning to, read with your own caution.
We will look at the pros, the cons, and end with my personal opinion on the series overall, as well as predictions for Season 3.. So, without further ado, lets dive right in!
First, we need to acknowledge the incredible casting of the series. Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, and Elden Hansen return for their roles of the members of Nelson and Murdoch, and meet, if not exceed the standards set by themselves in the first season. The character of Karen Page is fleshed out, Foggy Nelson grew from the role of comic relief to a fully realized character, and Matt Murdoch battles with the issues that come with having a secret identity. Rosario Dawson, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Scott Glen return to their roles of Clare Temple, Wilson Fisk, and Stick respectively, and do justice to their characters as we know them.
Jon Bernthal enters the fold to become the Punisher, Frank Castle. I had never heard of him prior to this role, and I can firmly say that I will be following him from now on. Bernthal IS the Punisher, bringing the perfect blend of cold killer, heartbroken family man, committed soldier, and man of honour. He gets you committed to the character, rooting for him, and wanting to see him achieve the vengeance he strives for. He is not a cut and dry anti-hero, but is a complex character, reminiscent of the very best days of his comics.
Daredevil's costume was met with mixed feelings at the end of the first season, but received the spotlight that it deserved this season. Personally, I love the costume. Netflix, and Marvel as a whole, is committed to explaining the ridiculous costumes from the comics in their realistic cinematic universe, and Daredevil's costume does this wonderfully. The helmet is sleek, clean, and loyal to the comics, and the body armour excellently shows protection without being bulky. I may or may not have been looking on eBay for a replica helmet for myself following the first couple episodes.
As a film junkie, the cinematography is amazing, just as the first season. The crew and director clearly went in with a clear theme and vision, and achieved it in spades. Shots are utilized to spectacular effect, and genuinely aid the emotions of the scenes portrayed. The fight scenes continue to amaze, with choreography rivaling the best of high budget blockbuster films, shadowing the over abundance of flips at times.
This is not to say that the series is flawless. Élodie Yung portrays assassin love interest, Elektra, and I found it difficult to decide how the show wanted the viewer to feel about her. She flipped from tragic love story, to cold blooded killer, to villain, to partner, and her specific motivations are unclear. Yung's acting may have been victim to writing, but she fell flat for me, only compounding the problems with the character.
The plot for the first half of the season was amazing. Basically everything including the Punisher. Once Elektra comes on scene, and we are introduced to The Hand and the Black Sky plot, however, things got muddled. The plot became confusing and unrealistic, in harsh contrast to the rest of the series. I felt disoriented as jarring plot points were introduced and juxtaposed plot points within the very same episode. It made the season end on a lull, rather than a high note.
Also, ninjas. Like, actual ninjas.
Yes, I know that The Hand are ninjas in the comics, but the series has made a point of making things realistic, and then do nothing to apply this method to the group. Even something as simple as a costume change could have remedied this for me, but instead it added to the confusion and disarray of the second half of the season.
Did this season surpass the first? No. I can't pretend it did. However, the season as a whole was fantastic, and greatly enjoyable. The problems I have with the plot, I believe, come from the effort to combine two distinct plot lines into one season. This could have been fixed by separating them into two seasons, with the Punisher storyline being one, and the Elektra/Hand being the other. However, I did love the season as a whole, and still rank it over Jessica Jones on my list of Netflix series. The casting, with the exception of Yung, is spot on, the cinematography is spectacular, and the character writing is superb.
I think that this season has beautifully set up Season 3 to realize Frank Miller's Born Again storyline. Karen and Foggy both know Matt is Daredevil. Kingpin as sworn to get vengeance against Daredevil and Murdoch independently. Nelson and Murdoch is disbanded. The stage is fully set for the complete break down of the character of Daredevil, his exposure as Matt Murdoch, and the triumphant return at the end of the storyline. The story fits the themes and tone of the series thus far, and would be the logical next step in the character.
What do you think? Did you enjoy the second season of Daredevil? Where do you think they are going with Season 3? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!