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The Devil of Hell's Kitchen is back!
Last year, Marvel and Netflix released the first season of an unexpectedly awesome new superhero series. It set up a new standard for a completely new type of super hero shows. 'Daredevil' was dark, gritty, violent, realistic and clever. It immersed us into a very grounded story about a smaller-time super-hero, while still keeping it inside a world where there are gods, aliens and web-slingers. With 'Daredevil', Marvel mixed the grandeur and action that characterizes super hero flicks, with a dramatic and human story that explores dark and mature themes. Marvel delivered a fantastic debut season for the Devil of Hell's Kitchen.
However, I've talked enough about the first season. That's not what we're here for. The real question is: does the second season lives up to its predecessor?
In many ways, it does.
After a fifteen hour non-stop marathon, I finished with the second season of Daredevil. And right off the get-go, let me say that it does not disappoint.
Before we continue, let me warn you that this review might contain spoilers.
Matt Murdock is back, though, more vigilante and less lawyer this time. This season, he faces a new threat: Frank Castle (a.k.a. The Punisher). And let me say that the clash of ideologies between Frank and Matt is just fantastic. But, this doesn't lasts for too long and here is where my main complains about the season appear, but we'll get into that in a while.
From my point of view, this was a character-driven season. I feel that its main strength rested in the personal conflicts and the development that is seen in all the characters. Matt questioning his method as he faces The Punisher, and then his emotion dilemma once he reunites with Elektra. Foggy discovering himself outside of Nelson and Murdock. Frank's path of revenge and pain. And so on.
And while talking about Frank, let me take this opportunity to point out that one of this season's main standout is Jon Bernthal, who delivers the best incarnation of The Punisher in any screen whatsoever. He is a broken man that will go as far as he needs to avenge his family and apply justice. He stole the spotlight in every scene he was.
Aside from Bernthal, the acting and casting was fenomenal. And the action was just perfect. 'Daredevil' has some of the best shot and choreographed fight scenes I've ever seen. That stairway sequence was brilliantly made and is as good as last season's hallway scene.
Now, Daredevil Season 2, opens up to the mysterious appearance of The Punisher, who has been killing a great part of Hell's Kitchen criminals, and now it is up to Daredevil to stop him.
One of my favorite elements of this season was the clash between Daredevil and Punisher. They both seek to take justice with their own hands, but Punisher feels that the only way to carry real justice is killing, while Daredevil insists that they don't have the right to decide who lives and who doesn't. This is seen many times throughout the season, especially during their first few meetings. The encounters between Daredevil and Punisher were very cleverly scripted and executed, and although many of these encounters stand out, for me, the prize goes to the the conversation between Frank and Matt in the cemetery, which was just brilliant.
After Frank is caught, and his trial approaches, we are introduced to a new character: Elektra. It is revealed that Elektra has history with Matt, and now she works as second love interest for our hero.
With that, we have this season's two main new players, but each of them belongs to their own story line, and I can't say that they work together very smoothly.
On Punisher's side, we have a plot that follows Karen trying to solve the mystery of the shooting that killed Frank's family, and also the clash against DA Reyes in Frank's trial.
On the other hand, when Elektra steps into the game, we are now introduced to another plot that revolves around a mysterious and legendary war between the secret ninja organization of The Hand and The Chaste.
The show runners try to give both story lines the same degree of importance, while trying to connect them at the end, but this doesn't works out so well, and here is where this season suffers, compared to the first. The writers pull it off the best way they can, but I can't say that I was thoroughly satisfied with the result.
In Season 1, we had a complete season building up around Wilson Fisk. Sure, we had other sub-plots throughout the season, but in the end, everything worked together to give us a uniform story throughout the 13 episodes. In Season 2, Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez (the show runners) tried to deliver two completely unrelated stories, both with the same amount of importance, but failed to do so smoothly. I believe that if they had just stuck to one of the stories, focusing and fleshing it out properly, the result would have been better. I have to recognize that the pacing through all this was managed very well, which is something you wouldn't expect when there is so much going on.
In the end, I didn't like it Daredevil Season 2 as much as Season 1. But with all this, I am not saying that Season 2 isn't good. It is great. But it isn't as good as I would have liked it to be. The new characters like The Punisher and Elektra (Because we all know she is coming back) are a very great new addition to the series. The action was fantastic. Those fights were so well choreographed and executed, that I can't help wanting to learn and take reference from them for some of my future projects. And although the story had it flaws, it was very entertaining, and that is what matters. I enjoyed it enough to bypass the flaws.
So there you have it: my first review! Did you enjoy it?
What did you think about Daredevil's second Season? Do you share my thoughts, or do you disagree? Let me know about what you thought about the season!
Until next time!