SPOILERS: DAREDEVIL Season 2 - 5 Things It Got Right And 5 Things It Got Wrong
Daredevil season 2 was awesome, but as with every comic book adaptation, there were some things which worked and others which didn't. Hit the jump for an in-depth look at the show's second year...
Season two of Daredevil was great, but was it better than season one? I suspect that's something we'll all be discussing for quite some time, but if nothing else, I would say it was certainly right up there with it. However, in what is essentially a thirteen hour movie, there are bound to be at least a few mistakes made along the way, and sadly, the show definitely had a fair few of those this year.
Of course, it also featured a lot of great moments and creative decisions which arguably improved on the source material in some way. With plenty of surprises and the addition of some fan-favourite characters, Daredevil surpassed the fist season in many areas, but still managed to let itself down by falling flat in others. These are the five things it got right and five which didn't hit the mark.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW FOR DAREDEVIL SEASON TWO!
Didn't Work: The Punisher's Convoluted Origin Story
The Punisher's origin story in season two of Daredevil was pretty much perfect until it became clear that there was more to that gangland shooting than met the eye. While the District Attorney's involvement in a sting operation certainly added an intriguing element, throwing in a shady bad guy known only as The Blacksmith added an unnecessary new element, and things only got more confusing when members of Frank's military unit were revealed to be involved.
Throw in the mention of something shady happening in Kuwait and that "Micro" CD, and it's clear that this baffling conspiracy will be the basis of the character's solo series. As great as it is that Frank has a mission, the simple murder of his family spiralled out of control as the season went on and didn't wrap up in a satisfying way.
Did Work: The Kingpin
Amazingly, Marvel managed to keep the return of Vincent D'Onofrio as The Kingpin a secret, and spending some time behind bars with the villain ended up being a great deal of fun. Wilson Fisk manipulating and attempting to betray Frank was great, but that paled in comparison to the stare down they had in which The Punisher promised that the next time they're in a room together, only one will walk out alive.
You also have to give Daredevil credit for finding a way of putting Fisk and Matt in the same room, though that culminated in a very unexpected and violent way which definitely seemed to set the stage for Marvel to adapt "Born Again" in a future season. Now Matt is in the villain's crosshairs and we know he has a plan to get out of prison, it's clear The Kingpin's story is far from over.
Didn't Work: The Fall Of Nelson & Murdock
Season one of Daredevil dealt with the tension between Matt and Foggy in regards to his activities as a vigilante and neglect of their law firm, but for some reason, season two completely hit the reset button on the progress they had made by the finale by one again putting them at odds.
While much of that can be put down to the way Matt neglected The Punisher trial, Foggy's complete lack of understanding and interest in the greater threat Daredevil was dealing with was frustrating to say the least, and the fact that the show ended the year with them still at odds made this arc feel incomplete and deliberately unresolved for season three. While that wouldn't normally be a problem for most shows, the fact that we'll be heading into a third year without a proper Nelson & Murdock is odd.
Did Work: The Costumes
It's a shame that Marvel decided to reveal so many posters and promos featuring Elektra and The Punisher's final costumes, but after images of Daredevil's red suit leaked online last year, I guess they wanted to make sure they were one step ahead of that this time. All three of the leads look great regardless, with The Man Without Fear sporting a much improved costume compared to the season one finale.
Elektra's suit may not have been meant for her, but that too looks good even if it is quite a departure from what her comic book counterpart wears. The Punisher is arguably the highlight though. Sure, his "costume" is as simple as a skull being spray painted on some body armour, but seeing him on that rooftop finally sporting the logo makes it clear that this is THE Punisher.
Didn't Work: Too Much Karen Page
As great as it is that Daredevil has a strong female presence like Karen Page, this season gave her far too much of the spotlight. Just like last year's effort featured Karen figuring out The Kingpin's master plan, she somehow finds herself working for the New York Bulletin this time because apparently the legal secretary is now a top level journalist!
Her investigation into The Punisher really wasn't that compelling, and the fact that she was almost constantly being kidnapped or putting herself into the line of fire felt more than a little tedious by the end (Brett's shock at seeing her escaping from The Hand just hours after being "taken" by The Punisher is almost laughable). Another problem here is that many of the scenes featuring Karen would have arguably been better off utilising Matt or Foggy instead.
Did Work: Matt And Elektra's Relationship
Daredevil handles Elektra in a very different way to the comics books, and while some fans will no doubt be upset by the creative decisions made here, the majority work much better than what Frank Miller did. Elektra's past with Stick and her better developed relationship with Matt are definite highlights because the dynamic between them is a lot more interesting than it would have been had they been at odds (as they were in the source material when Elektra was serving as The Kingpin's assassin).
Elodie Yung delivers an excellent performance too, and her chemistry with Charlie Cox adds another interesting layer to this relationship. Despite treating his old flame quite cooly, it's clear Matt still has feelings for her, something which is evident in the finale when he suggests running away with her.
Didn't Work: Season 3 Set-Up
The first ten episodes of season two are damn near perfect, but things go a little off the rails in the final three episodes. They're by no means bad, but it feels like the show started unnecessarily stretching things out here to further address certain things in season three and that rumoured spinoff revolving around The Punisher.
As I previously mentioned, many of his plot threads were left unresolved, while Daredevil's story is also left on a cliffhanger because Marvel are clearly aware that it's going to be a big enough hit to guarantee a third season. More frustrating than that though are all the unanswered questions. Who was in that casket before Elektra? Why didn't we see Stone again this year? Who or what is Micro? These were great teases, but also pretty unsatisfying.
Did Work: Jon Bernthal's Emmy Worthy Performance
There's no two ways about it; Jon Bernthal's take on The Punisher was magnificent. Everything from that tense rooftop confrontation to his heartbreaking confession in the graveyard should make the actor a hot favourite to get some serious awards attention down the line. That aside though, and The Walking Dead alum also perfectly personified the character.
While I can't say I'm overly keen on the insinuation that Frank is acting the way he is because of being shot in the head, that and a greater exploration of his grief made this Frank Castle a more well rounded person, as did his relationship with Karen Page (which outstayed its welcome a little, but was still good). That spinoff needs to happen, and I wouldn't be remotely surprised to see an official announcement this month.
Didn't Work: Elektra As The Maguffin
The reveal that Elektra is the Black Sky came out of nowhere and felt like a totally random decision which didn't have that much of an impact. While we learned that Stick stole Elektra as a child in a bid to tame her and stop her from becoming the weapon The Hand believed would lead them to greatness - another poorly explained plot thread - his sudden decision to have her killed and her very nearly saying yes to the ninja clan's offer to join them just didn't quite click.
Considering the fact this season didn't feature Bullseye, Elektra's death came as a surprise, and her being placed inside that casket was a great tease. However, does that mean she'll return as a villain and why do The Hand want to kill in her name anyway? Also, what does all of this have to do with that hole? We'll have to wait and see.
Did Work: The Incredible Fight Scenes
Daredevil found himself squaring off against many threats this year, and his fights with The Hand, Frank Castle, and pretty much everyone else he crossed paths with were spectacular. Elektra too was great to see in action (especially when she was fighting alongside Matt), while that brutal and bloody prison fight featuring The Punisher will be remembered for a long time to come.
Season two also managed to outdo that incredible corridor fight scene from last year by having The Man Without Fear battle his way down an entire stairwell with a chain tied to one wrist and a gun strapped in the other. Needless to say, Daredevil excelled in terms of stunts - especially when the Billy Club was finally introduced - and remains the best comic book series on TV when it comes to fight scenes (sorry, Arrow).
What do you guys think did and didn't work in season two of Daredevil? As always, let us know your thoughts in the usual place.
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