Season 2 of ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’ couldn’t be any better

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courtesy of collider.com

The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) has Daredevil (Charlie Cox) right where he wants him.

Alec Badalian, Magazine Editor

Season 1 of Netflix’s original series, Marvel’s Daredevil, masterfully took the Marvel Cinematic Universe and spun it around, showing audiences the darker side of this world through this grimey crime drama. Boasting incredible fight sequences and an incredibly engaging story, it was inevitable for Netflix to greenlight a second season, and thank goodness they have, for this continuation of Matt Murdock’s adventures in Hell’s Kitchen is about as satisfying, if not more, than the first season.

Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) is in prison thanks to the bravery of Daredevil, but Hell’s Kitchen is far from clean. With one crime lord down, a whole slew of others rise and Matt Murdock (blind lawyer by day, masked vigilante by night) is faced with more problems than he can handle. On one hand, he clashes with local serial killer Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), who goes by the name of The Punisher. On the other, he reunites with his ex-girlfriend Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung), which thrusts him back into a world he thought he had escaped. With both his internal and external conflicts consuming him slowly, Murdock must figure out a way to bring justice where justice is due all the while he tries to keep his struggling law firm afloat with his longtime friend Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and his love interest Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll).

Marvel is honestly at its best when it has the freedom of being this dark and mature, as opposed to more lighthearted and whimsical as it is in their feature films. Not to say those films are bad by any means, but most of them do have to cater to younger audiences (they are distributed by Disney, after all). But thankfully with Netflix, they have no obligation to do so and can be as grim and as brutal as they want, which significantly improves the quality of this brilliant series.

There’s some truly breathtaking fight choreography in every single episode this season, particularly the stairwell sequence in episode three “New York’s Finest.” Shot in entirely one take and following all the action beautifully from punch to punch, this four-minute scene is without a doubt one of the most impressive moments this show has offered.

Not only are the fight sequences exciting, but the characters are as well. Cox marvelously embodies Daredevil once again, as do Henson and Woll with their respective roles. But the standout here is none other than the Punisher himself. Bernthal beautifully brings this character to life and effortlessly manages to humanize a relatively psychotic character. Perhaps his greatest moment is in the tragically titled episode “Penny and Dime” where he goes through his past and reveals the events that led him to make the cruel decisions he currently does. This is yet another role that Bernthal knocks far out of the park.

The few flaws that arise this season mainly link to Elektra. Her introduction to the series is fine,  and the relationship between her and Murdock is handled well, but her storyline sidetracks from the Punisher’s, forcing him out of a few episodes. Both his story and him as a character are far more fascinating and the decision to forget about him for a little bit after having set him up so perfectly does lead to some inconsistencies with the plot. Also, Yung is hamming it up quite a bit at times, which is necessary for the character, but it was just a bit too much.

A TV series can’t really get much better than this. Marvel’s Daredevil is executed tremendously in every aspect, from its thrilling action, deep characters and engaging story. This stands far above any other film or show from the company and one can only hope that another season is on its way.