It’s almost been a year since Netflix brought us the first season of Marvel’s Daredevil. For comic fans it was finally an adaptation worthy of the source material. For TV viewers it was a phenomenon to watch with its gritty and dark setting, intricate conspiracy narrative and complex flawed characters. It was a ratings juggernaut as the streaming numbers skyrocketed, within 24 hours a second season was announced. And here we are, Season 2 has finally arrived, and we’re going to give you some of our initial thoughts after watching the first couple of episodes, PSA some spoilers ahead …
At the end of Season 1 the big bad Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) had finally been put away, his plans for demolishing and rebuilding Hell’s Kitchen had been torn asunder. His associates either killed or scattered and fleeing from the federal police. Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and his vigilante alter-ego Daredevil after beating up many people, and being beaten up by many people, managed to finally get his man. Also with the help of his trusty best friend/business partner/third wheel Franklin ‘Foggy’ Nelson (Elden Henson) and his secretary/damsel in occasional distress/potential love interest Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) too.
Ironically the first episode of Season 2 is titled “Bang” but it really should’ve been called “Ka Boom” because this is far more explosive and violent than the title suggests. Fisk is gone but the power vacuum he’s left behind now has all the gangs out to try and clamour to the top. But before any of them seem to make a move they’re being gunned down. Initially mistaken for a paramilitary unit, it’s quickly revealed it’s the work of a lone gunman bent on vigilante style vengeance dubbed ‘The Punisher’ (Jon Bernthal). It seems wrong to say this but the graphically violent slaughter of the Irish mobsters in the first episode is visually breathtaking.
The Punisher himself makes a dramatic entrance when he comes in guns blazing to a hospital to try and take down one remaining Irish gangster which the Nelson and Murdock team are harbouring. Karen and our unfortunate target make a narrow escape and are of course saved when Daredevil manages to intervene. The ensuing fisticuffs results in Daredevil copping a severe beating and a bullet to the head which had it not been for his new Melvin Potter (Matt Gerald) made body armour (which debuted in the season 1 finale), he’d be a very dead devil.
We know nothing of The Punisher’s background yet, but we know he is as fast and strong as Daredevil. To add to that he has a metric shit-tonne of weapons in his arsenal, and police scanner tracking equipment and he knows how to use them all. And when you see The Punisher flip an “Open” sign to “Closed” in a run down dodgy pawn shop, you know the shit is going to go down. It’s the fact that the writers choose to make his entrance both explosive and mysterious that instantaneously makes him intriguing.
The advantage with television is the time with which you have to build your characters. Our first season laid some pretty hefty groundwork particularly for our lead trio. This has carried over seamlessly to the second season. Matt and Foggy have patched their friendship up, but it’s still on shaky ground since Foggy doesn’t condone Matt’s Daredevil-ing or having to repeatedly lie to Karen about Matt’s injuries. Karen is still suffering PTSD after having killed Wesley (Fisk’s right hand man), which is causing her to become increasingly paranoid. And Matt even though he feels more confident about his work as Daredevil still has trust issues. His lack of trust (and refusal to rely on others) becomes exacerbated by his run-in with The Punisher that results in some disastrous side-effects affecting his abilities that could pose a problem in coming episodes.
After it’s successful first season, as well as it’s sister-show Jessica Jones (also a Netflix + Marvel effort) both of which raised the expectation bar high, it would only be fair if this didn’t live up to the hype. We are only two episodes in and it’s safe to say that the show has already come out all guns blazing, literally and figuratively. New show runners Douglas Petrie (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and Marco Ramirez (Da Vinci’s Demons) have taken on the mantle and are delivering early, and fast. Already we can see that they’re going to delve into the grey moral area of vigilantism as a key theme, which we only seemed to briefly skim over in Season 1. We have been returned to that dark and gritty neighbourhood, the fights and action sequences are just as brutal, the violence even moreso, and believe it or not the stakes are being raised. Especially since we know there is more to come in the shape of Elektra (Elodie Yung) and the battle with the devil-worshipping ninja clan The Hand.
Our full Season 2 review to come soon, we need to get back to watching, see you guys again in several more hours …
Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 is available to binge-watch to your heart’s content on Netflix Australia right now, no seriously, go now, and watch it!