After almost an entire year of waiting for our favorite masked vigilante to come back to our screens, â€œDaredevilâ€ finally returned with a literal â€œbang.â€ Â The audience is eased into the season with fairly domestic scenes of Nelson and Murdock, and their growing fame in Hellâ€™s Kitchen as a do-gooder law firm. Â However, writers Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez quickly bring on the action with the introduction of the much anticipated Punisher, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal).
The Punisherâ€™s actions and motives directly contrast with Matt Murdockâ€™s (Charlie Cox) own, which brings interesting discourse between the two. Â Petrie and Ramirez donâ€™t cut Castleâ€™s characterization short, either. Â The Punisherâ€™s history and ambitions are complex and carefully thought out, as opposed to other renditions of the Punisher that caricature him as a trigger-happy gun enthusiast with too much time. Â The audience will be satisfied with this villain, who could arguably be called a hero in his own right.
Bernthalâ€™s performance as Frank Castle is also something to be admired. Â Instead of seeing the Punisher as a psychopath with a kill list and access to guns, the audience is given the opportunity to see the veteran suffering from serious survivorâ€™s guilt. Â Bernthal humanizes Castleâ€™s seemingly stoic character by performing his speeches with softly nuanced intonations and fleshed out physicality. Â Itâ€™s obvious that this actor carefully analyzed and studied Frank Castle as a well-rounded character, instead of a flat, two-toned villain.
The emergence of another highly anticipated character, Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung), brought another level of moral complexities to the show. Â Matt Murdock and Elektraâ€™s past relationship heightens the emotions running throughout the plot and causes strain in another blooming relationship that Murdock tries to foster. Â However, Elektraâ€™s overall character arc shouldnâ€™t be restricted to her influence on Mattâ€™s love life.
Elektra comes to Hellâ€™s Kitchen with a set plan and purpose, and she will accomplish these with or without the help from Daredevil. Â Elektraâ€™s goals coincide with another familiar character from Daredevilâ€™s past, which causes high anxieties between all the players. Â Daredevil must decide whether he should help someone whose methods do not coincide with his own, and where to draw the line (if the line can even be drawn). Â Without detailing any explicit spoilers, I can tell you that the audience will not be disappointed with her story arc. Â Elektra introduces a villain to Daredevil that has been festering since the downfall of Fisk.
At the same time, the most obvious villains, which donâ€™t receive a proper introduction until episode 8, can be a little disappointing. Â Their overall presence is not nearly as threatening to New York as Wilson Fiskâ€™s, who had the opportunity to run the entire city through corruption and political gain. Â This villainâ€™s ambitions are never obviously harming the people of Hellâ€™s Kitchen, so their entire existence is almost invisible to the plain eye, which can create a very ominous atmosphere (if they ever made it clear what their evil intentions were in the first place). Â
This invisible enemy does create strain in an already tense relationship, however. Â Foggy Nelson is increasingly less sympathetic to Mattâ€™s plight for justice, and tells him so. Â As the season gets darker, the two friends face more challenges that do more harm than good. Â The anxiety between them is tangible, and the season plays off of the two to add another healthy dose of drama to the plot. Â
Overall, â€˜Daredevilâ€™ doesnâ€™t disappoint. Â The new characters enliven the plot with interesting dynamics and moral critiques that question Daredevilâ€™s â€œheroâ€ status. Â In the end, season two lives up to the hype. Â If you need to feed your superhero-show hunger, definitely consider continuing â€œDaredevil.â€