“Daredevil” Season 2 Review: “The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen Returns”

AUSTIN VAN PAY | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Marvel’s TV show iterations of its famous comic-book characters have been a big successful way to expand different worlds, even further than their film counterparts. “Daredevil” has only had one previous iteration on film back in 2003 starring Ben Affleck. The movie was a lackluster and didn’t satisfy fans of the character. Luckily, Drew Goddard and his amazing production team have partnered with Netflix and are ready to present the second season of “Daredevil” after a successful first season.

Season two returns us to the crime-ridden neighborhood of New York City called Hell’s Kitchen, under the protection of Matt Murdock, aka, Daredevil. This season involves introductions of new characters and also brings back some familiar faces from season one. We return into the Murdock and Nelson law firm and return to our three main characters: Matt Murdock, best friend, Foggy Nelson and Matt’s love interest and secretary, Karen Page. Each of these characters is fleshed out nicely, and it always seemed like they had something meaningful and engaging to do.  Foggy continues to try to come to terms with Matt’s decision to be Daredevil while also dealing with the biggest case of his life. Karen is still unaware that Matt is the hero protecting Hell’s Kitchen and puts her investigative skills to work to discover who The Punisher truly is and what is motivating his violence.

A mystery involved in the plot isn’t the most interesting part of this season.  Dardevil discovers and begins to explore an ancient group called “The Hand.” He continues to investigate and battle this group while also trying to figure out what their goal is. Even though it wasn’t the most engaging aspect of this season, I think it can be built up and made clearer in season three.

What truly makes this season fantastic stems from the introduction of a key character, The Punisher. Jon Bernthal really steals the show with his fantastic portrayal of Frank Castle. He was truly able to bring the tormented and violent character to life, while also giving him emotion that really allows you to understand what motivates his violence. When Daredevil and The Punisher finally meet, the interplay between them led to some of the best moments in this season. It’s very interesting to see their ideologies clash and feel the tension between them. The Punisher really pushes Matt to think about himself and even makes him question his Daredevil persona at times. This conflict between these two very different men pushes the season to great directions and develops, with Matt’s internal struggle to maintain his persona while avoiding becoming a murderer himself.

The action continues to be top-notch, and a particular stairwell scene in episode three is a testament to that. The weight of the punches are felt, and the violence of the combat adds to the gritty nature of the show. This stunt team has nailed the combat for Daredevil; other films or TV shows should take note of their success.

The only other minor complaint that I have involves one new character in particular: Elektra. Her character and storyline just weren’t as engaging compared to The Punisher or our trio of original characters. She seemed to be very off and on with her motives, and her overall storyline became less cohesive and more inconsistent than the others this season.

Daredevil season two is a fantastic improvement on an already fantastic show. The introduction of The Punisher, the continuation of Matt’s story and the progression of Karen and Foggy were excellently done. I’m very much looking forward to returning to Hell’s Kitchen next season and seeing what direction it will take.

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