Daredevil Season 2 Slightly Spoiler-filled Review

“Every time I think I’ve seen it all, Hell’s Kitchen manages to sneak up and kick me right in the balls…”

I know the cop wasn’t talking about anything more than the city he is trying to protect, but with the twists and turns in the three act play called Daredevil season two on Netflix, he could well have been talking about the show itself, and this season in particular.

Yes, Daredevil is back; Matthew Murdock is once again joined in the city he loves by Foggy, Karen, Stick, and new this season the Punisher and Elektra.

Into the Characters (Slight Spoilers)

Matt Murdock / Daredevil, ups his game and his relationships with every character in the season. He interaction with all the other characters takes us all on a wild ride, and despite how much of the spotlight other characters steal, the focus always returns to him. Foggy Nelson gets some balls this season and really manages to stands out as a character, despite not being a superhero, and then there’s Karen.

Matt, Karen, and Foggy in Marvel's Daredevil

Matt, Karen, and Foggy in Marvel’s Daredevil

Karen Page’s part in the courtroom and later as a journalist is the definition of a character being written into growth and, despite the appearance of Elektra this season, I believe Karen remains the standout female of this season. Now, about her investigative journalism skills… I don’t mean to lessen the impact of the Oscar-winning Spotlight on investigative journalism, when I say this, I mean to raise the stakes on what Karen does.

It’s not that one story is real and the other is fake, but I like the idea of Marvel making her do the leg work and putting in long hours and dead ends. It doesn’t all just “come together” for her as it does in some fiction. Is it as hard as the real work done in the real world? No, because to move the story along she needs to find quality leads and end up here or there, but the writers didn’t make it easy for her ,or more specifically on her, and that’s a level of realism I do appreciate.

The Punisher / Frank Castle, where to begin? The introduction to the Punisher is spot on and real gritty. And we don’t learn about his backstory/origin all at once. It takes almost the whole season for it all to be revealed, which is great because this is a show called Daredevil, not Punisher. And the writing and story of the duality of Frank versus Punisher isn’t as evenly balanced as what we see internally for Matt versus Daredevil, but it doesn’t have to be. I think the balance written into the show or lack thereof, was exactly what was needed.

The Punisher and Elektra with Daredevil

The Punisher and Elektra with Daredevil

Elektra’s introduction and subsequent backstory with Matt isn’t quite as “flashy” as Punisher’s introduction or drawn out, but it is balanced within the season with the flashbacks intermingled with her exploits fighting alongside Daredevil. She brings the funny too, saying at one point to Matt, “Not bad Magoo…” And she could have brought more. In the parts without Elektra there aren’t a ton of laughs, but there are just enough.

Speaking of a lack of laughter, Wilson Fisk returns in all his glory, holding himself in the same seriously high esteem he had in season one, despite being locked up, while Stick returns continuing to be the fan favorite that he was while managing to fill in some of the funny gaps that aren’t taken up by Elektra.

There are two other bit characters that return, who I feel the need to mention, Melvin and Ellison. Melvin, the guy who makes Daredevil’s equipment isn’t necessarily the person who represents the views of all in Hell’s Kitchen, but he represents those who feel safer knowing that Daredevil exists. I don’t know why I like Melvin, but I do, despite his short time on screen, he still stands out.

And another small character short on screen time is Ellison, who mentors Karen at the newspaper. Ellison is not just a mentor at the paper, he’s almost like Karen’s voice of reason, which may be why I enjoy his, at times, fortune cookie wisdom.

From here on out this post includes many spoilers… You have been warned…
From here on out this post includes many spoilers… You have been warned…
From here on out this post includes many spoilers… You have been warned…

Act I

Despite this being season two of Daredevil, the first Act in these 13 episodes is really The Punisher Show. He’s mowing down gangs and clans, escalating a clan war, and mixing it up with Daredevil.

Daredevil and the Punisher on the Roof

Daredevil and the Punisher on the Roof

But not to be outdone, Daredevil in his dealings with the Punisher gets to up the ante from season one’s hallway scene with a scene that takes place in a hallway and continues in a stairwell. Although, it’s not a one-shot, it is flawless in execution and the choreography, which I will continually praise, is beautifully done.

One other thing of note in Act I, is the rooftop scene that comes before the hallway/stairwell fight. The exchange between Daredevil and Punisher up there is perhaps, one of the greatest one-act plays that has ever been written by the writers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

And then we come to episode four. It includes a great quote from Karen, “humans are a pretty complicated species to begin with…” but that isn’t the best quote of the series. That might belong to Finn, the Irish leader who says, “the Irish may not have invented revenge, but we sure as hell took some time perfecting it.”

In the rain

In the rain…

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the scene in the rain with Matt and Karen.

Hello, Spiderman, yeah, we can do something in the rain even more erotically charged without our hero hanging upside down, or even being in a spandex!

And to end Act I, similar to the conversation on the roof, the graveyard scene, with Daredevil and Punisher, is superbly well written for two characters that have been established as “action-oriented” in their current incarnations in this series.

Act II

Enter Elektra. Remember the choreography I praised? Yeah, for the rest of the season and I mean this, the dance between Elektra and Daredevil in battle is some of the best I can remember.

Ellison and Karen

Ellison and Karen

Moving on to Karen and the newspaper with Ellison, there are callbacks to season one, yet they don’t necessitate you have seen season one. I enjoy that, because it means Marvel isn’t requiring you to watch season one in order to enjoy season two. Though, I and many others, would suggest you do just that.

And then there is the court case. “Is this about saving a man, or saving a vigilante?” was Foggy’s question to Matt. It could be about both. But honestly, Matt Murdock being pulled into two directions is great writing by the contrasting stories of a courtroom drama by day and part of a crime fighting duo at night.

The interesting thing about Act II, is that I’m not sure who or what it’s more about? The court case? Elektra? Matt’s internal struggle? Karen’s investigation? And then Wilson Fisk joins the party in time to get Punisher out for Act III. The interesting thing here, is that they took the time to fill in the holes of what Fisk has been through since the end of season one. I don’t think it was necessary, but it did lay the groundwork for any future appearances of Kingpin in the MCU. But with all those moving pieces, what is it all about?

Maybe one of the more poignant conversations of Act II between Elektra and Daredevil will help shine some light on the answer.



“I was only following your rules.”
“What rules?”
“You don’t get what you want by day. You take it by force at night. This is who you are, Matthew. And don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s anything else.”

This leads to an “angry” Daredevil, which based upon the fighting is an amazing proposition. Like the Hulk, I think Daredevil should always be angry. Or not really, but it is an interesting prospect. Also, I do think that Act II is about “rules,” but that’s just my take.


Daredevil, Stick, and Elektra

Daredevil, Stick, and Elektra

The third and final act, is mostly about the Hand with the return of Stick, while the rest of the pieces end up falling where they may.

The Punisher’s conclusion, the hospital, the Hand, it all works together.

Of note, aside from the action, and there is plenty of that, are the one-sided conversations; Claire has one with Matt, the Punisher, or more precisely Frank, gives his take on love to Karen, and then the ending monologue from Karen writing her piece.

Claire’s description of Matt, “you are a lot of bad things… boring isn’t one of them…” is not only spot on, but could be a very apt tagline for the season as a whole. While there are a lot of bad things that happen in this season; the death, the destruction, boring definitely isn’t one of them.

Frank with Karen in the diner

Frank with Karen in the diner

The Punisher’s take on love, which appears to be the most Frank thing he says in the episode, as he really is just being himself sitting in the diner telling Karen, “Look, I might generally be considered out of my skull, so this might not mean much but this could be the craziest, most batshit thing I’ve ever heard in my life. People that can hurt you, the ones that can really hurt you, are the ones that are close enough to do it. People that get inside you and… and… and tear you apart, and make you feel like you’re never gonna recover. Shit. I’d… I… I would chop my arm of right here, in this restaurant, just to feel that one more time for my wife.” And as sobering as that moment is, Karen really takes the cake to have anything as powerful as that end the series more poignantly.

Karen’s voice over to sum up the season is again some of the best writing in the MCU, that we’ve heard. In fact, this season was one of the most well written things Marvel has ever done, at least in my opinion.

Karen Page in Daredevil Season 2

Karen Page in Daredevil Season 2

“What is it to be a hero? Look in the mirror and you’ll know. Look into your own eyes and tell me you are not heroic, that you have not endured, or suffered… or lost the things you care about most. And yet here you are a survivor of Hell’s Kitchen… the hottest place anyone’s ever known. A place where cowards don’t last long. So… you must be a hero. We all are. Some more than others, but none of us alone. Some bloody their fists trying to keep the Kitchen safe. Others bloody the streets in the hope they can stop the tide, the crime, the cruelty… the disregard for human life all around them. But this is Hell’s Kitchen. Angel or devil, rich or poor, young or old, you live here. You didn’t choose this town. It chose you. Because a hero isn’t someone who lives above us, keeping us safe. A hero is not a god or an idea. A hero lives here… on the street, among us, with us. Always here but rarely recognized. Look in the mirror and see yourself for what you truly are. You’re a New Yorker. You’re a hero. This is you Hell’s Kitchen. Welcome home.”

In Conclusion

Before I finish, I must mention that the music for this series is orchestrated on a cinematic level. It’s the theme, it’s the way the music always comes in with the right tone or pitch, yet is absent when required. With this series under his belt, I can see John Paesano getting a shot at some big time MCU scores.

Daredevil Season 2

Daredevil Season 2

Now, to the ending. If you have read this far, you will understand that I enjoyed myself while watching through season two. But the end, or should I say the endings, were too much. Not that there wasn’t an end, there was, but the end of the series played out like the polar opposite of the endings in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Instead of many endings, there were in fact, many beginnings. I’m not sure what they’re setting up, Daredevil season three? The Defenders? I just don’t know, but what I do know is that they stuffed a lot of loose ends into the last five minutes of this season and I think it degrades what was done and/or accomplished by the characters within the season.

So, we’ll have to wait and see. Will some of it be covered in Luke Cage or Iron Fist or another season of Jessica Jones? Will it be there waiting for us until season three rolls around? Or will it be taken on once they all meet up as The Defenders? Again, only time will tell.

In the meantime, you can always watch season two again, or season one, or even just start speculating… Although, I would caution that it may be too early for that, right now. But then again, who am I kidding… It’s never too early for speculation!