I am of two minds regarding Marvel's Daredevil Season 2 on Netflix. When it was good (as it often was), the action and tension represented some of the best genre work on television; when it was bad (as in the season finale), the storytelling and pacing dragged the show down into a sluggish and nonsensical morass.
Of all the Marvel series on Netflix (including Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and the upcoming Punisher), Daredevil has the deepest roster of allies and adversaries, plus a wealth of fan-favorite storylines to explore -- if the show's producers are bold enough to double-down and properly torture the Man Without Fear, as his canon demands.
"I do that later in the year. We'll go back and do that."
Sure, that's not a lot to go on, and Marvel (as always) has kept both plot and character details closely guarded. However, this would be a good time to discuss what's right, what's wrong, and where we want this series to go next.
The heart and soul of Daredevil resides in the tough love shown to its lead characters... and my how they suffered. The interpretations of Murdock, Wilson Fisk (Kingpin), Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Frank Castle (Punisher), and Elektra Natchios were rich, dynamic, and always riveting. Last season we saw dramatic progress in the Murdock vs. Kingpin conflict, while the relationship between Murdock and Foggy deteriorated and resulted in a dissolution of their law firm, and perhaps the most unexpected (and enjoyable) partnership in the series was the Page and Castle team-up/quest to unlock the Punisher's secrets. The key to Daredevil's continued success is its exploration of these character relationships and successfully moving them all forward.
Another major series strength is the realization of Daredevil's world and its associated noir elements. Hell's Kitchen felt like a real and vital place, populated with families, businesses, and plenty of vile, dark corners. Hand-to-hand combat remained consistently brutal and visceral -- the hallway fight from Season 1 and the rooftop battle with Punisher in Season 2 are some of the show's key highlights. Finally, Daredevil's updated costume, and the full implementation of his multipurpose billy clubs, were outstanding and truly respected the character's comic book legacy.
However, for all its strengths, Daredevil Season 2 ended with a thud. The climactic battle between Daredevil, Elektra, and The Hand's ninjas lacked drama and the kind of inventiveness so evident throughout Season 1 and the first half of Season 2. Unfortunately, The Hand were basically a bunch of faceless videogame enemies, and worse they lacked a compelling leader -- this was evident each time we visited Fisk in his prison kingdom. Daredevil Season 3 must clarify its conflicts and strengthen its villains, if they're going to both sustain and build an audience.
Season 2 also left a lot of dangling and unresolved plot threads, which (hopefully) provides clues for Season 3. Even though Fisk remains behind bars, his cell block serves as a fortified base of operations. Fisk is rebuilding his power, and he appears to suspect Daredevil's true identity. Consequently, it's reasonable to expect fan favorite storyline "Born Again" to be a focus, wherein Fisk tears Murdock's life apart one brick at a time. There's also rampant online speculation that Daredevil's long-time nemesis, Bullseye, will enter the picture, a character of pure chaos and destruction.
I think fans would also appreciate more emphasis on Murdock's radar and perception abilities. While the show has done a tremendous job of grounding Murdock's abilities, it's important to reinforce his limitations too by exploring this inner world and seeing things from his unique point-of-view. Now that the full Defenders roster is established, it's vital for Daredevil to further define itself apart from his new teammates. Here's hoping the Daredevil Season 3 can build upon its strengths while also taking fans in unexpected new story directions.
What characters and storylines do you want Daredevil Season 3 to explore? Let us know in the comments down below!
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SOURCE: MCU Exchange