Sunday, 27 March 2016

Daredevil Season 2 - Review

Read Richee's review of season one here. Be warned though, this review below contains SPOILERS.

Marvels second season of Daredevil came out on Netflix earlier this month, looking to carry on from the well received first season. This season introduced two new characters to Hells Kitchen in the Punisher (John Berenthal) and Elektra Nachos (Elodie Yung).

Episode 1-4 focus mostly around the Punisher taking down the gangs of Hells Kitchen, as Daredevil tries to stop him. Foggy and Karen meanwhile are trying to protect Grotto, an Irish thug who just survived the Punisher's attack on the Irish mob, and is now being hunted down by him. Foggy makes a deal with the District Attorney Samantha Reyes to protect Grotto, but she has a secret agenda and tries to use Grotto as bait to kill the Punisher. After battling Daredevil, Punisher is left worse for wear and is caught by the disgruntled Irish mobster Finn who lost his son when the Punisher gunned down the Irish. This leads to Daredevil coming to safe him but also hands him over to the police to stand trial for his crimes.

The first four episodes have so much going on with them, and the third episode really takes it up a notch, with Daredevil caught and chained to a roof by the Punisher. They have a back and fourth conversation about which way is the right way, which leads to an amazing fight scene between Daredevil and the biker gang (Dogs of Hell) who have also been hit by the Punisher. The fight takes place from the top floor of a block of flats to the bottom floor.
Episode 5-8 introduce Elektra to the mix, seeking help from former lover Matt Murdock, who she has figured out is Daredevil. While this is going on, the Punisher's is put on trial for his crimes and Matt volunteers himself and Foggy to take the case. As the case goes on, Matt finds it difficult to balance both lives which leaves the court case playing second fiddle, with him getting there late on a multiple occasions, leading to a divide between Matt and Foggy. Stick makes his return in episode 8 to help Daredevil and a critically injured Elektra. The court case takes a turn for the worse as the Punisher goes berserk on the stand which seals the guilty verdict and sees him being sent to a maximum security prison.

The show took a dip here in my opinion. Elektra is an interesting character but episode 5 is easily the weakest of season 2. Episode 8 hits the high point with Sticks return, talking about the coming of the Black Sky, the Hands ultimate weapon, and the Chaste who fight them. Plus, the return of Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk who had a hand in the Punisher's breakdown in the court room.
Episode 9 was freaking awesome. You find out Fisk got to the Punisher, telling him he has information on his families killers, who also happens to be the prison Kingpin. Daredevil is confronted with a ghost from his past in Nobu, who has some how been resurrected. The Punisher confronts Dutton, the prison Kingpin, after getting some answers and a name the Blacksmith. The Punisher stabs Dutton, and having completed his mission Fisk double crosses him leaving the Punisher to fight off Dutton's gang in a bloody awesome fight scene. Having survived, Fisk takes over as the prison Kingpin and releases the Punisher from the prison to whittle down his competition when he gets released. Meanwhile, Daredevil finds a disturbing sight in the form of five caged people who have been drained of most there blood.
Episode 10-13, the last three episodes, slowly wraps up all the stories, with Punisher tracking down the Blacksmith with the help of Karen, and Foggy going to work with a rival law firm. Elektra finds out that she is the Black Sky, the ultimate weapon the Hand need to defeat the Chaste. The Finale has Daredevil, Elektra, Punisher and Stick join forces to defeat Nobu and the Hand, but the win comes at the ultimate price as Elektra sacrifices herself to save Daredevil during the fight.

The action picks up in the final three episodes, but the whole experience is quite predictable. The Blacksmiths identity was predictable with the route they go. Elektra sacrificing herself wasn't shocking as the Hand have the capability to bring her back to life to lead them as the Black Sky. You even see an empty grave at the end of the episode. One thing that did surprise me was the end of Nobu; I did not see Stick putting him down. Plus, having the Punisher reduced to such a small role in the final confrontation was disappointing for me.
Final verdict: 7/10. I enjoyed the additions of John Berenthal as the Punisher, but I felt he could have been used more, or given a bit more dialogue. Plus seeing Vincent D'onofrio return as Wilson Fisk just left me wanting more of him, as it highlighted the fact there wasn't really a strong villain in this series. I didn't talk about Matt Murdock going to see Fisk in jail during episode 10, but damn, it's such a tense scene as Murdock tries to threaten Fisk only to realise the odds aren't in his favour. The original cast are awesome with some hints about Karen Page's tragic past coming out. All in all, a good series with some great episodes but doesn't deliver consistently after such a promising start. Richee

We also get a release date for Luke Cage/Power Man, who's series comes out on September 30th.

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