*Netflix kindly allowed us access to the first seven episodes of the second season for their show, Daredevil. As discussed and agreed to, these reviews will NOT feature spoilers of any kind and will give away little detail to the actual plot, both out of respect for Netflix (and their documentation) as well as the readers*
Netflix hit a home run with Daredevil. The first season was a massive success, and in my opinion, topped all their other shows in a big way (including Marvel Agents of Shield and Jessica Jones.) The plot was entertaining, action was high octane (and massively creative) and Matt Murdock’s battle with The Kingpin was done well. That’s not to say the first season was perfect. Near the end of the first season, the show started to run out of gas, and dragged a bit. That, and even in the earlier, better episodes, some of the narrative’s pacing felt sluggish.
Now, a year later, season two is back, and with new characters!
Season two takes place a little bit after the events of season one. Hell’s Kitchen is transforming after Kingpin’s reign. Different gangs are desperate to take up the mantle as the city’s primary criminal organization. Of course, Daredevil is at the forefront of stopping these criminals from expanding, but unfortunately for him, another team also is. Unlike Daredevil’s brutal, but non-lethal ways, this ‘team’ brutally executes these gang members. No mercy. No life. It is not long before we find out that this is in fact, The Punisher, and not a team, but a well armed, well trained, well motivated man.
It comes with ease to say that Daredevil season two is back with a bang (the episode is also titled ‘Bang’). As with most first episodes in a season, the roots are being set out to really establish the rest of the season. The Punisher (although not yet titled that way) is a ruthless killing machine. Criminals talk about him as if he is some boogeyman, capable of incredible feats that only a SEAL team could do (the show makes an awkward joke in regards to SEAL Team Six). Jon Bernthal excels at The Punisher, a complicated man with convictions deeper, and darker than that of even Matt’s. While his chaos is destructive and lethal, the man never seems out of control. His chaos is always orchestrated, making him that much more dangerous.
Daredevil of course is driven by the central performance from Charlie Cox, aka Matt Murdock (IE Daredevil). Cox always comes off compassionate, understanding and always a bit troubled. His take on Daredevil is always exhilarating and fun to watch. We do get to see more interaction between him and Foggy (Elden Henson) further building that famed relationship they have. Henson was pretty overlooked in the first season, and while his presence in the first episode isn’t spectacular, it definitely builds more to their relationship.
Near the end of the first episode we do get to see a brief (very brief) confrontation between The Punisher and Daredevil. As expected, it is everything we want and more. Bloody. Hard hitting and well choreographed. Daredevil’s first season had some incredible, well done fight sequences that used some creative elements to make them all interesting and engaging. This brief sequence is another excellent example (more like a food sample you find at the grocery store).
As of yet, there is no real negative to speak of this show. At one episode, it comes to be expected that everything is being set up for the season’s 13 episode haul. While the episode does end with a bit of a cliffhanger, there is plenty of reasons to continue on to the next episode thanks to great story set up and well timed pacing.