TV Review: Daredevil is Wicked Good
If you’ve watched the first season of Daredevil, then you’re aware of the main premise of the show: Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is taking the law into his own hands as Daredevil. Murdock has all the essential components of a superhero: he’s ripped, he wears a tight costume, and he can take on the bad guys with his bare hands…but he’s blind. And he has a bad haircut.
The first season hooks you with the paradoxical struggles of Murdock. He’s a lawyer by day, vigilante by night. He’s a devoted Catholic, but he also struggles with his desire to kill the bad guys. He can see, but he can’t see. These are very complex, interesting struggles, but they grow repetitive in the second season. Murdock gives very similar speeches to the Punisher, Sticks, and Elektra about his ultimatum to not kill, and ends up beleaguering the point.
The second season (released March 18) picks up with Fisk in jail, and Daredevil is sporting a much-needed suit upgrade. The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) swoops right in, challenging Daredevil in more ways than one. The Punisher embodies a Daredevil without a conscience, and with a crate full of ammo. They fight each other, but ultimately they both want the same thing—a safer Hell’s Kitchen. But who’s doing a better job?
Bernthal does some real quality work on the show. He has some raw, emotional moments which show what a talented actor he is. He’s a great addition to the cast, and it looks like he’ll stick around for the third season.
But Foggy and Karen don’t fare so well: all is not well back at the office. Murdock is a big jerk to his coworkers this season, and he ends up driving everyone away. Foggy (Elden Henson) becomes almost forgettable, in order to make room for more exciting characters—the Punisher! Elektra! Zombie ninjas!
Karen (Deborah Ann Woll), however, seems to be EVERYWHERE this season, and she’s obnoxiously helpful. Karen also remains a conundrum—she wavers between trembling in the arms of Foggy and Murdock, and braving though some of the most dangerous situations of the show in a pencil skirt and heels. And, because she’s such a plucky legal assistant, she’s offered a job at The Bulletin? Hmmm….
Karen was a mild love interest for both Foggy and Murdock in the first season, but she sets her sights on Murdock in the second season. Just when things start to heat up between the two, Elektra (Elodie Yung) drops by, snagging his full attention.
Elektra brings some steamy love scenes with her, which help to round out Murdock’s character. We also learn more about his past, and we see how much Murdock and Elektra have in common. This is just one of the reasons Season 2 is more addictive—it turns up the volume with more depth, new characters and more bad guys.
The fight scenes remain a highlight of the series. One of the best scenes is in episode three of the second season—Daredevil takes on an entire biker gang as he makes his way down a stairwell, armed with nothing but a chain. It’s SWEET.
The show also does a great job of highlighting the gritty “reality” of being a superhero. Daredevil is exhausted after he fights off a gang of bad guys, and we can see that his injuries are getting to him—affecting his life as a lawyer as well.
Through their missions, Daredevil and Elektra discover that the Hand is creating an army of zombie fighters. On top of being super gross, this makes it hard for Daredevil to track them, what with their lack of a heartbeat and everything.
Meanwhile, the Punisher ends up doing time in prison. He runs into our old pal Fisk, and the Punisher gets trapped into doing a deal with him. As a result, the Punisher kills an entire cell block full of prisoners armed with nothing but a shiv. It’s such a gory scene you might have to watch it through your hands. Now Fisk controls the prison, and the Punisher is set free to do more of his dirty work.
In the final showdown, the whole gang gets together to take on the Hand: Daredevil, Elektra, the Punisher, and Stick. Just before the fight, Daredevil shares a sweet moment with Elektra. They confess their love for each other, and Daredevil admits that he wants to fight with her full time and leave his life as a lawyer behind.
With the myriad hints that were dropped, we should expect a third season. Like a cd labeled “Micro” that the Punisher retrieves from his house before he sets it on fire. Then Murdock ends up confessing that he is Daredevil to Karen, so we’re left wondering: WILL they get back together?
I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.