By Dr. Zaius
Monday, March 21st, 2016 at 2:00 pm
Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 Episodes 1-3
Created by Drew Goddard
Starring Charlie Cox, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jon Bernthal Netflix
Premiere date: Friday, March 18th, 2016
Finally, Marvel returns to Netflix with Season 2 of Daredevil. Debuting last year, the 13-episode series, uploaded all at once on the streaming site, put to death terrible memories of the unimpressive Ben Affleck film version. The new Daredevil (Charlie Cox), is blind lawyer Matt Murdock, who along with his best buddy Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and victim turned associate Karen (Deborah Ann Woll), run a law firm to help the underprivileged in Hell’s Kitchen. Murdock was blinded as a boy and the chemicals that blinded him also enhanced his other senses to the extreme. After a season long battle with Mob “Kingpin” Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), Murdock finally went from blindfolded ninja costume to the red suited Man With No Fear himself in the season finale. The series received rave reviews from critics and fans and with the series being on Netflix it was allowed to take its time over the 13-episodes whereas a film is forced to squeeze everything into 90-120 minutes. The show’s success launched a future Marvel Netflix empire, as Jessica Jones starring Krysten Ritter was already a huge hit last year, and there are other series slated such as Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The storyline going into season 2 of Daredevil is, who will take over Wilson Fisk’s spot as top crime boss?
Spoilers for the first three episodes below.
Episode 1 – “Bang” – Written by Marco Ramirez & Douglas Petrie – Directed by Phil Abraham
We open with an Irish gang looking to takeover Hell’s Kitchen… that is until they are shredded by an unseen army of military grade machinery leaving one wounded survivor. Turns out, this isn’t the first time an entire gang was hit, with a biker gang also falling prey to this mysterious new threat. While Murdock suits up to tackle gunrunners and find out who’s on the prowl, Foggy investigates the biker club at his own peril, while Karen watches over the survivor, Grotto, (McCaleb Burnett) in the hospital. Turns out the “army” is an army of one, a silent stranger (who likes to “punish” bad guys). He marches into the hospital to kill Grotto. Somehow they manage to barely escape as the hospital is ripped apart by bullets. When Murdock finds him on a rooftop their fight scene is fairly epic for a first encounter and ends… well, with a bang.
Episode 2 – “Dogs to a Gunfight” – Written by Marco Ramirez & Douglas Petrie – Directed by Phil Abraham
We open with Foggy desperately searching for and finding Matt unconscious in his suit atop a roof bleeding from a head shot. They are really doing a good job of building the tension between Foggy and Matt over the obvious superhero risk-taking. Daredevil is cool like that and the show loves to show Charlie Cox get his ass handed to him. In season one it was a nurse (Rosario Dawson) who became his go-to medical assistant. This time, taking a bullet directly to the facemask has some obvious negative effects, like Matt’s equilibrium being off.
As with any superhero/vigilante scenario there is always debate, and since the mysterious shooter is taking out bad guys, some cops don’t mind him, but innocent victims are always a risk. The DA and Nelson & Murdock try to figure out who this guy is, and we hear he has a code name, The Punisher. Played by The Walking Dead‘s Shane (Jon Bernthal), Punisher heads into a seamy pawn shop to gear up until the owner tries to sell him child porn… mistake. Grotto is used as bait and that leads to another kickass final showdown between Daredevil and Punisher, with Foggy again having to deal with not knowing if Matt is alive or not.
Episode 3 – “New York’s Finest” – Written by Mark Verheiden & Directed by Marc Jobst
“Morning Sunshine.” The first words uttered by The Punisher after two bruising brawls with Daredevil. Daredevil awakes chained to a chimney, having passed out mid-fight. The episode is essentially a long verbal feeling out contest between the two. The less said the better, but Daredevil is the traditional hero who doesn’t kill, and Punisher is the anti-hero who follows an “any means necessary” approach. While the dialogue hinges on cliches, the two leads are more than capable of carrying their scenes. Inevitably, Punisher forces Daredevil to face his convictions and test his limits.
Foggy meanwhile is desperate to find Matt and goes to the hospital to see Claire (Dawson). With the Punisher killing off gang members like crazy, the city is in chaos as the ERs are filling up with wounded gangbangers who all want to kill each other. Somehow, Foggy steps in to break up a fight and he and Claire seem to bond, partly over their shared knowledge of Matt’s secret, but maybe something more. I was rooting for a Foggy/Karen hook up last season, but she’s clearly on Team Matt at this point (although she doesn’t know his secret). I’m basically just rooting for Foggy, he’s a lovable character.
The last 10-minutes of this episode are some of the best I’ve ever watched. Starting from the rooftop confrontation, and building to an Oldboy-style fight scene as Daredevil battles a biker gang down the hallway, and then down a flight of stairs in one straight take… WOW!
So far in three episodes, Daredevil and Punisher have had three fights and are clearly adversaries. With Fisk in jail, I’m assuming there will be some other big bad to fill the void and give them a mutual enemy to go after. Because while Daredevil is cool, I can’t root against Punisher. So far so good, as season 2 is just as binge-worthy as season 1 was. My favorite part of these Marvel shows on Netflix is that they don’t feel like companion pieces to the Marvel universe. I feel the market is oversaturated and the last bunch of MCU films have all felt too similar. It’s the oddball ones like Deadpool, and Guardians of the Galaxy that stood out more than even Avengers 2. And these series’ are gritty, crime drama stuff that aren’t the norm in the CGI-filled universe of the films. Three episodes into Daredevil season 2, and thus far no complaints.
Marvel’s Daredevil – Season 2 – Official Trailer – Part 1 – Netflix [HD]
Just when Matt thinks he is bringing order back to the city, new forces are rising in Hell’s Kitchen. Now the Man Without Fear must take on a new adversary in Frank Castle and face an old flame – Elektra Natchios.
Bigger problems emerge when Frank Castle, a man looking for vengeance, is reborn as The Punisher, a man who takes justice into his own hands in Matt’s neighborhood. Meanwhile, Matt must balance his duty to his community as a lawyer and his dangerous life as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, facing a life-altering choice that forces him to truly understand what it means to be a hero.