Saturday, March 19, 2016

Daredevil Season 2, Episodes 1-7 NON-SPOILER REVIEW

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Daredevil season 2 is another 13-episode exploration of the Marvel Universe’s dark underbelly, along the same lines as Daredevil season 1 and Jessica Jones season 1.  Matt Murdock is still working to balance his vigilante career with his law practice, though he sometimes struggles finding that balance, leaving Foggy to pick up the slack.  However, Daredevil has begun to receive quite a bit of fame in Hell’s Kitchen, with the people cheering for his actions.  Unfortunately, Daredevil has also begun to inspire a number of copycat vigilantes, one of whom is Frank Castle, dubbed “The Punisher.”  Where Daredevil brings the criminals down so they can be arrested and prosecuted, the Punisher is just on a one-man killing spree.

The first four episodes of the season serve as an excellent origin story for Frank Castle’s Punisher, exploring the tragedy that put him on the path to dispatching vigilante punishment as well as the ideology that drives his methods.  The comic accuracy level is quite high with this arc, particularly when it comes to the “Daredevil vs. Punisher” elements.  They have a serious ideological disagreement on what their mission is.  Punisher puts the criminals down for good; Daredevil stops them and leaves them alive so they have a chance at redemption.  However, when you see the same criminals coming back over and over, you do have to wonder if the Punisher has the right idea.

Elektra doesn’t show up until about halfway into the first half (end of episode 4), but she is also just about everything we were promised.  She pushes Matt in all the wrong directions, and does an excellent job of ruining his life.  However, in her own way Elektra is trying to save the city from something even worse, and at a certain point this is Matt’s biggest motivator in suiting up.  It is only with the help of Elektra that Matt even uncovers the greater threat which will likely serve as the primary conflict for the second half of the season.

In my expectations post for this season, I noted that I really expect some Captain America: Civil War setup, though probably not a lot.  Well, I was correct, though you do have to read into it a little bit.  Several characters discuss the benefits of Daredevil as a hero dispatching vigilante justice on the streets.  If you know what you’re looking for, it’s pretty clear that there are some political machinations in the works against masked vigilantes like Daredevil and the Punisher.  Thus far they haven’t specifically tied it in with the Sokovia Accords, but I do think there’s a connection—if not with the Sokovia Accords then with Civil War itself.

If you are concerned about graphic content, you don’t really have that much to worry about.  The violence and blood factors are pretty high—the same level as Daredevil season 1.  However, the sexual content is very low:  there’s a single sex scene but the most nudity is a quick shot of what appears to be a nipple; everything else is heavily implied.  So if you were okay with Daredevil season 1, you should be okay with the first half of Daredevil season 2.

I hope to finish the season some time tomorrow, so I will try to publish the second half of this review tomorrow evening (but no promises; it is Holy Week, after all!).  So far this is pretty much everything I was hoping for, but there are two very strong plots which seem a little too disconnected at the moment.  Hopefully the second half of the series will find a way to link them together better.

If you’ve seen the season, what did you think of it?  What do you want to see in a potential season 3?  Remember, no spoilers in this comment section!

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