Synopsis: In the aftermath of Wilson Fisk’s arrest, the firm of Nelson & Murdock enjoys newfound fame within Hell’s Kitchen, but only attracts few new clients who can afford to pay their legal fees. While Karen Page manages their financial troubles, Foggy and Matt struggle with Daredevil’s surge in popularity and the increased danger to their partnership, firm, and loved ones. Meanwhile, a new assailant arrives in Hell’s Kitchen, systematically eliminating rival gangs in their home territory. After the only survivor, Grotto, hires Nelson & Murdock to represent him, Daredevil finds himself in a deadly confrontation with the vigilante and is shot off a building at point blank range.
Review: Although the series premiered a little over a week and a bit ago. I’ve only just managed to get through all 13 episodes and figured I’d try to review the whole series as apposed to individual episodes.
Daredevil is pretty much now established in Hell’s Kitchen, but with this fame comes increased issues between Matt Murdock and Foggy and these problems only become more and more amplified as the second season progresses.
Throughout this series Elden Henson is bringing his A-Game in terms of acting and for my money is pretty much the one and only Foggy Nelson when it comes to the television. It’s amazing how much work Henson has done on evolving this character. Like with last season there is a solid mix of comedic and tense scenes between Foggy and Matt and their friendship continues to be tested more and more as Matt struggles to maintain his double life.
The introduction of Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle AKA The Punisher is epic and the initial meeting between Daredevil and Punisher are really well done, but it is the second episode, which really establishes the boundaries of what the relationship between Punisher and Daredevil will be as the series moves forward. I loved the conversation that Daredevil and Punisher had on the roof top, which illustrated their different approaches to crime fighting. In fact Daredevils ethics really get tested throughout the season.
If Marvel and Netflix fail to produce a new series of ‘The Punisher’ with Jon Bernthal it will be an epic mistake. For my money Bernthal knocked it out the park and then some. To date there have been three theatrical movies made with ‘The Punisher’, but known have them have had the sort of character development and gravitas that Bernthal brought to the role. The scenes between Bernthal, Charlie Cox and Deborah Ann Woll are among the strongest in the series.
The first 3 episodes pretty much focus on the capture of ‘The Punisher’ and they play out really well with a good mix of brutal action and drama. I really enjoyed how they managed to tie little bits and pieces of ‘The Punisher’s’ origin story into the mix here, but by the time he is captured the series slows down a little as we get introduced to Electra who initially seems to be more of a distraction than she does having any real purposes. That said though Elodie Yung does a much better job of embodying the character than Jennifer Garner did in the 2003 movie adaptation, but that maybe down to the difference in the origin story for this version of Electra.
At first it seems that Electra is taking Daredevil out on side missions is more a diversion for them to be together than anything else. In fact these missions do a lot of damage to Matt Murdock’s relationship’s with both Foggy and Karen and pretty much leaves them having to defend Frank Castle/The Punisher by themselves. It even threatens the future of Nelson & Murdock due to the being up against a powerful DA who wants The Punisher to be put to death and is doing all she can both legal and shifty to get that result.
Electra’s role in the series does not really become clear until Stick (Scott Glenn) comes into the picture. Stick reveals that they have been fighting a centuries old battle against an ancient cult of Ninja’s who are after a mythical deadly weapon, which just happens to be Electra. It is revealed that Stick trained Electra and tried to tame her appetite for killing by refocusing her energies on taking on Nobu and his Ninja’s who have been trained to slow down their heart beats, which makes them hard work for Daredevil to take on.
I’ve seen some reviewers criticize this Electra plot for being kind of cheesy, but I just think it is pure comic book and is what ‘Daredevil’ is going after. I mean sure it can be edgy and violent and all of that, but lets not forget that you do have to suspend your disbelief a little in order to enjoy anything that is based on a comic. I think having Stick return really helped the Electra story-line develop in this instance because it was a little slow going until he came into the picture.
Elodie Yung was fantastic in the role and played it with the right combination of sex-appeal, intensity and violence. I learned a lot more about this version of Electra than I ever did with Jennifer Garner’s version and Garner had two whole movies as well.
The one thing this series really lacked though was a consistent villain. Sure we had Nobu for most of the second half of the series and the head Yakuza guys, but none of them really held my interest as much as Wilson Fisk did last year. Although we do get a couple of episodes with Fisk this year and he seems to be doing pretty well for himself in prison, and gets to do a little better thanks to some intervention from the Punisher.
But the lack of a consistent villain that we learn more about was something missing from this years series.
I feel though that the tangled relationships between Stick, Daredevil and Electra pretty much being so dysfunctional kind of took the focus away from Nobu and the Yakuza and made them a little 2 dimensional as villains when compared to the fully formed 3D version of Kingpin that we seen last year.
The fight scenes throughout the series were awesome as was the soundtrack and although the series is not quite on a par with last years first season. I still want to see more ‘Daredevil’ in the years to come.
- Stunt Work10
- Incidental Music9.5