Friday, April 22, 2016

TV Review: Daredevil Season Two (2016)

Daredevil Season Two (2016) created by Drew Goddard based on characters by Stan Lee and Bill Everett

See the review of Season One here.

In the wake of Wilson Fisk's arrest and imprisonment, organized crime in New York, and especially in Hell's Kitchen, is not so organized. A fair number of major players were taken out and other, smaller gangs are trying to seize control. Someone had tried to put several gangs together with a drug deal in Central Park but that turned into a bloodbath. Among the innocent bystanders killed was the family of Frank Castle. Castle has gone on a one-man killing spree, but he's only targeting bad guys. With lethal force. Daredevil targets bad guys too but is no killer. That principle is put to the test when his old girlfriend Elektra shows up. She was a friend from college who has a dark and mysterious past that comes back to haunt everyone in the show.

This season has several intriguing plot lines. Castle is dubbed "The Punisher" by the media and he is definitely shown as Matt Murdock/Daredevil going too far in the vigilante business. The Punisher is, at worst, a very sympathetic villain--the show does a good job of keeping his status ambiguous, or at least letting viewers make up their own minds. Elektra is another murderous character whom Matt wants to reign in even though dealing with her makes his life more complicated. His old mentor Stick (played by Scott Glenn) shows up and he also pressures Matt into being a killer. Stick is back because another group of organized criminals, the Hand, has come to New York with their own nefarious agenda. The various threads interweave around Daredevil but never become confusing or convoluted, though occasional bits feel rushed.

The actors overall are very good, lending the right amount of gravity and humor to keep viewers engaged. The show suffers a bit from not having a clear villain. Matt has the typical trust issues with everyone so no one is ever fully in his camp, but they aren't fully opposed either. The ambiguity creates a certain level of tension, but not nearly as strong or as satisfying as the tension in season one with the clearly evil (though highly understandable) Wilson Fisk.

So this season is not as great as Season One but is well worth watching. Currently it is only available through Netflix streaming.

No comments:

Post a Comment