Monday, March 21, 2016

Daredevil Season 2, Episodes 8-13 NON-SPOILER REVIEW

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Daredevil season 2 really serves as an origin story for both the Punisher and Elektra.  And in story terms it does an excellent job of answering the question of where they come from and what truly motivates them.  Both become far more sympathetic as their past comes into greater focus.  And in both cases Daredevil does play a crucial role in this chapter of their respective stories.  However, there really isn’t much connection between Punisher’s story and Elektra’s story beyond teaming up with Daredevil.

The second half of the season does an excellent job of tearing everything apart for our protagonists, and by the end of the season it comes back together in a new and different way.  Of course we couldn’t really expect our protagonists to finish the series in the same place where they started.  Daredevil’s approach to finding justice is radically different by the end of the season than it was at the beginning.  Karen and Foggy also find themselves in very different positions at the end of the season.  I don’t really want to go into more detail in a non-spoiler review, but it is an interesting furthering of their characters.

The season ends with a definite idea of where the series can go from here, but to discuss it further here would obviously dive into spoiler territory.  Suffice it to say that season 2 definitely cannot be a conclusion to Daredevil’s arc—but then we already knew that since he is going to be appearing in The Defenders (which will probably arrive sometime next year).  The season also ends with a definite idea of what’s coming next for the other characters who appear though it is not quite clear in what form they will return.

I really liked the portrayals of the three “heroes” (Daredevil, Punisher, and Elektra), and particularly their fighting styles.  Their interests don’t always align, but when they do, they are not above teaming up for the greater good.  Something I realized after the fact is that the second half of the season (particularly the last couple episodes) actually hinted at a way for Jon Bernthal’s Punisher to appear in both a hard-R format and a PG-13 format and keep the character faithful in both settings.  There are quite a few Punisher scenes which look like the effects department turned on the fake blood and forgot to turn it off, but there’s also at least one Punisher scene where the gore level is no worse than any of the tamer MCU offerings.  In other words, I think they could incorporate Punisher into the movies in some fashion without neutering the character.  But that might just be my opinion!

Speaking of which, if you are concerned about graphic content, you really don’t have much to worry about.  There is no sexual content at all in the second half of the season.  There’s plenty of graphic violence (this is a very accurate Punisher, after all!), but if you can stand the level of blood in the first half of the season, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem with the second half of the season.

All in all, Daredevil season 2 is an excellent character-driven series.  The action is amazing and the character dynamics are spot-on.  After a first viewing I do think there’s a lack of connection between the Punisher and Elektra halves of the story, but it is still a very worthwhile watch.

What did you think of Daredevil season 2?  How do you think it compares to season 1?  Let me know in the comments (just remember not to put in any spoilers)!

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