So many ninjas! In all seriousness now, Daredevil Season 1 was one of last year’s biggest surprises, proving to be a healthy EMP for the superhero’s tragic on-screen portrayal and an incredibly fun, dark look into the underbelly of the Marvel universe. Flash forward to about a year after the success of Daredevil Season 1, wow, the Marvel Motion Pictures Machine sure knows its fan-base as it treats its every desire in this epic 13 episode endeavor. The Punisher, Elektra, more Stick (that sounds wrong), more bad-ass hallway scenes (maybe even too much), and most importantly The Hand. Letting itself drown in the deep mythology laid out by none other than the master Frank Miller, Daredevil Season 2 proves to be another heart-pounding, exhilarating adventure through Hell’s Kitchen that packs a punch in every turn and even though it is not as good as its marvelous predecessor, its still really frickin’ good and really frickin’ fun.
To properly review this property I must divide it into the three main story-lines it contains, the first I shall name The Birth of The Punisher (which is around four episodes long). It is in this part of the season we’re introduced back to Daredevil’s side of Hell’s Kitchen and murderous enigma that we will get to know as Frank Castle. The show first episode is called Bang, which is pretty ironic considering this season doesn’t really start off with a bang but rather by presenting the building blocks the season will be built upon, it showcases the beginning of every piece of this story-arc, as it should. And then, Boom! Jon Bernthal as The Punisher, shotgun in hand, blasting through doors, [Explosive Noise] Bernthal bursts onto the scene as the rightful Punisher, perfectly embodying the character, exposing the grit and pain that resides within him, the accumulated hate that he can only dispose of as he disposes of bodies with bullets. Ok, Punisher’s awesome, yes, but our true hero is Daredevil, he’s been working some months, he’s gotten some upgrades to his suit and a nice little relationship with his modern blacksmith, Melvin. As towering as The Punisher’s awesomeness seems, Daredevil matches that because he’s back and dare I say he’s better than ever. As for his alter-ego Matt Murdock, he’s hitting on his assistant, establishing the first piece of the over-bloated love-pentagonal pyramid that shall form during this season’s run. Except though Daredevil is a cool as can be, Matt Murdock is at a new level of douche for whatever reason, a level that shines like perfect bald head in the second chapter of this season, The People v. Frank Castle…and Elektra. But, we’ll get to that later, though the first episode might not live up to its name, every single other episode that forms part of this initial story-line is pretty damn good. Whether this be an episode in which Daredevil finds himself mostly motionless as he and The Punisher have an incredible dialogue about what it means to be a soldier and why the other vigilante’s methodology is incorrect or this amazing extensive episode focusing on that carefully puts together The Punisher’s backstory, a thrilling rescue-mission, and a little John Wick nod, this first story-line serves a very well-done introduction to the terror that The Punisher brings to Hell’s Kitchen and the kick-assery of Daredevil.
The People v. Frank Castle…and Elektra as the title entails revolves around a very complex, interesting court-trail and Elektra. Not to diminish Elektra’s role in the series because she’s great, you may finally erase Jennifer Garner from your mind and replace her with the amazing Elodie Young who just like Bernthal, perfectly embodies her character and exemplifies the deadly nature of the Greek femme fatale. Yet, for whatever reason Elektra’s part in each episode feels like the party-scene or the fun part in a t.v. show that also has a really interesting, complex legal case going on at the same time., which is why I like Elektra’s portion, yet I don’t love it. As important as this is to the downfall of the greater narrative, the second reason I have issues with Elektra’s story-line is because it really makes Matt Murdock into an incredibly unlikable character, sure he redeems himself during the nighttime when he’s doing what’s best for the city as Daredevil, but as he barely cooperates with his best friend Nelson and his now girlfriend? Karen Page on their hardest case probably ever, Murdock does get shoved into the spotlight of douchery because of his midnight rendezvous with Elektra. As I mentioned before, the best segment of this storyline lies in The People v. Frank Castle which really helps the viewer to sympathize with most of the characters involved with the case (except Murdock). In this part, Foggy shines as a lawyer, Page as a humanizing investigator that will never give up, and we even get to sympathize more with The Punisher, especially after Clancy Brown is brought onto the Witness Stand and told to tell the war-stories from his time with Frank Castle, but then a sneaky twist occurs, one I shall now ruin, one I shall say was working quite well until it got completely forgotten.
It is then that we progress into the final chapter of Daredevil Season 2, the one I shall simply title The Hand and though I will restrain myself from spoilers, I must warn you in advance that I might go into some spoiler, so just skip onto the last sentence if you don’t want anything potentially ruined. If you know what The Hand is then you know there is going to be an absurd number of ninjas in this part of the series, and if the 100 hallway scenes weren’t enough before we got to Ninja-land, prepare yourself.Let me rephrase, though I just criticized the absurd number of hallway fight scenes that took place in Season 2 of Daredevil, I cannot deny I enjoyed every single on of them, especially the one in the third episode that is made to look like one continuous shot even though we all now it really isn’t. You see, the reason I loved this action sequence is because it started off as yet another simple hallway scene of intense action, but then it kept on going, all of a sudden the hallway was flooded with angry bikers and we as the audience we’re treated with how the perfect American adaptation of Oldboy, except it didn’t stop there, suddenly another door was opened and Daredevil was pummeling through bikers, one at a time in the best possible way until he finally reaches the bottom and yes, he smacks his enemies with chains, incredible. Enough on that, back to the ninjas. Honestly, at first I was like, ninjas, pfffst, naaah. Then I though about the Marvel Motion Picture Machine and its constantly evolving apparatus, where only two t.v. shows away is slated Iron Fist. Then it all made sense, The Hand, apart from serving as a kick for every reader of Miller’s run on Daredevil, also served as a way to establish the mythical in Hell’s Kitchen, so when we’re watching Iron Fist exploding walls with his glowing fists instead of being all like ninjas, pfffst, we’re like WHAT! NO WAY! That was AWEsome! So, once I accepted ninja’s they decided to chuck zombies at me, and right there a line of realism was crossed, and though I thoroughly enjoyed this season of Daredevil, that was too much. But, that’s probably like the only thing, because The Hand brought an almost excellent closure to this season, it brought back the amazing Scott Glenn as Stick, it gave is the best episode in this season, .308, it gave us ninja’s scaling up walls, etc, etc. Season 2 of Daredevil is quite a marvel, its fun, it accomplishes exactly what it should do, it made me binge watch a t.v. show from Friday to Sunday, and thus I rate it at an 85 out of 100.