Daredevil Season 2: First Impressions

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So I was away this weekend and didn’t get to watch all of Daredevil I DID get halfway through though, so I’m splitting my coverage in half, and not doing the episode by episode reviews again. Instead I’m going with characters! Let’s get started.

Guess Who’s Back?

Matt

What I like about this season so far is that Matt’s moral code is hard won. Part of this comes from the Elektra flashbacks, which, with the disticnt exception of sex in the ring at Fogwell’s, really show a darker side of him, and it’s pretty cool.

Also, it’s really only up against the juggernaut of violence (and awesome) that is The Punisher does Daredevil look like the light and fluffy one. I guess, like most good protagonists is at his best when contrasted to those around him.

We’re also seeing a lot of his arrogance and I’m overjoyed by that. Matt Murdock can be a little bit of a self righteous blowhard and it’s cool to see that being highlighted.

I’m not into the Matt and Karen relationship. I get what they’re trying to do, and I know it’s canon, but I don’t see the romantic chemistry between them. It does make a nice contrast in the Elektra flashbacks, angry Matt with girlfriend and sweet Matt with girlfriend, but I don’t buy it. (Foggy/Karen for life!!!!!)

Foggy

My sweet boy. I love him so. But what I like best about this season so far is that they’re making Foggy, kind of a bad ass. Not in the kick but, jump off rooftops kind of way that Matt is. (Obviously.) But they’re showing what a great lawyer and god damn it human being Foggy Nelson is!

He’s going up against the DA, he’s reminding everyone that they need to get their books in order, he’s being supportive of Matt and Karen even though he still has very obvious feelings for Karen. He’s worrying about Matt, he’s having little meeting with Claire and saving gang members for killing each other on her watch. He’s got it going on.

It’s fun that his ex is working for Jeri too. Every Jessica Jones connection has been done pretty naturally. I’m into it.

Karen

Oh, Karen. Karen, Karen, Karen. She’s diving headlong into investigating the Punisher stuff, which is actually a very good use of her. (By getting her and Matt together, she very easily could have been relegated to “goes on dates with Matt” and I’m glad they’re not doing that.) She’s trying to figure out what’s going on with Frank Castle and why he’s doing what he’s doing.

She’s also totally disillusioned by Daredevil, and I think she knows or at least suspects that Matt’s the guy she’s looking for. Like in terms of being Daredevil, not in terms of being her boyfriend. Seriously I’m not in on this relationship at all, and not just because it makes Foggy sad.

Although that doesn’t help.

Claire

We’ve only seen her once, but it’s epic. We learn that since her little adventure helping Jessica and Luke, she’s been stuck on ER duty almost constantly, also the gang wars sparked by The Punisher is not helping. I miss her and I hope we see her in the back end a little bit more. She does tell Foggy that she wishes things could be different with her and Matt, but she doesn’t need his complicated ass right now.

Oh Claire…I miss you.

Side Characters

Back and helpful: Marcy, Foggy’s ex and booty call. She’s working for Hogarth and warns Foggy that things are about to get bad for vigilantes. Ben’s Editor, who’s helping Karen find out stuff on The Punisher (and is played by a client of my brother’s!). Matt and Foggy’s police friend who’s been dealing with Daredevil a lot.

The New Kids In Town

Frank Castle AKA The Punisher

He’s perfect. I found myself actively squeeing everytime something happened with him. They’re pushing antihero hard. It’s working very well. He was special forces in Afghanistan, his work was classified, when his family was killed he had a bullet in his brain.

The scenes between him and Matt are incredible. Putting Karen on his case was really smart and his monologue about reading to his daughter was absolutely heartbreaking.

Elektra

She is flawless. Elodie Yung is my new queen. I’ve only really just started her storyline, but good god am I impressed and the chemistry between her and Charlie Cox is electric.

If Claire didn’t exist, she’d be my end game desire for Matt. Not Karen. Never Karen.

District Attorney Reyes

She’s a good antagonist and I like that she’s not really Matt or Daredevil’s antagonist, she’s Foggy’s. It’s cool.

Things I’m missing

There is a Wilson Fiske shaped hole in the show. There’s no getting around it. The Punisher and Elektra are both extremely compelling. But Vincent D’Onofrio brought something really, really special to the show and I miss it. While, from a story telling perspective I really appreciate that we’re moving on, I just miss him in a big way.

I also miss Ben and Claire being more integral to the story. But obviously, Ben can’t come back and I’m assuming Claire will be around more later. (And I know she’s going to be a part of Luke Cage…so that’ll be good.) But I miss her.

Things That Are Still Great

The show is still brutally and effectively violent. Stunning in some cases. There’s a particularly rough scene where an Irish Mobster is torturing Frank, but there’s blood galore if that’s something you were into in season 1, (I was) that’s all still here.

The fight choreography. If you thought they’d never top the “hallway fight” from last year, wait until you see the “stairwell fight!” Also Matt and Elektra’s ninja foreplay is really great, even if the sex scene that follows it feels tonally dissonant and kind of dull. (Seriously Marvel/Netflix, you set a sex scene standard with Jessica Jones, now we expect more from you.)

I’m looking forward to finishing. If I don’t finish tonight, I’ll probably have to wait until next week to write it up. This is a busy week. Some guys are going to be fighting each other this weekend…

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