We Review Daredevil Season 2
Now that I’ve reviewed every single episode of Season 2 of Daredevil, it is time to look at the season overall. Season 2 was quite good, but there were definite highs and lows from this season. Just a heads up, this will include spoilers.
Let’s start with the good stuff.
First of all, there was the easy highlight of the second season: The Punisher. Jon Bernthal was not only a highlight but easily the best Punisher we’ve had so far. He may be hard to top. Good writing presented the challenge of portraying the Punisher as violent but sympathetic in many ways, but Jon Bernthal hit all the right notes when they needed to. Brief moments such as meeting a fellow veteran showed how sympathetic he could be, but moments such as his court room outbreak showed how scary he could be.
However, one problem was that after his injury and trial midway through the season, he was out of action for much of it, even being missing entirely for full episodes. If there is one advantage to this, Frank Castle never felt overexposed. To be fair, he still had his share of awesome moments, even later in the season. On the flip side, Elektra had the opposite affect: When she was introduced, it felt almost crowbarred. However, as the season progressed, she began to feel more fleshed out. Elodie Young could be very sultry but also very dangerous in her own right. We saw different shades of her personality and she even brought out some different, darker shades of Daredevil’s personality. By the end of the season, when Elektra was killed in battle, we felt the sadness.
Speaking of Elektra, her presence did allow the return of Stick. We saw more of him in this season, where his no-nonsense personality was fleshed out, and we saw him in some impressive fight scenes (one of the recurring themes of both seasons). Another positive was that Karen was involved in more action, compared to the first season where she consistently felt like an afterthought. We also got some action from Kingpin – he never lost a beat in his intensity. We got a taste of his awesomeness, but he was never there too long to steal anyone’s thunder.
On that note, I need to talk about some of the weak points of this season.
If it sounds like I was describing a lot, it often felt that way. To be fair, I can understand the need to up the ante, but sometimes it backfires. Comic films such as X-Men: The Last Stand, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Batman Returns often suffer from trying to do too many things in a single film. Having 13 hour long episodes instead of two ours keeps this from entering that territory, but it still felt like a little much. If one were to watch seasons 1 and 2 back, one would probably notice how much more cohesive Season 1 felt.
However, there was one loose thread that’s pointless. Early in the season, Matt and Karen seemed to have a blossoming romance which was interrupted by Elektra. I disliked this element mainly because it seemed to add unnecessary conflict to an already complex situation. Daredevil is having a hard time balancing his two lives when an old flame enters the scene – that’s all they needed. The worst thing I can say about this is, coincidentally, also the best thing about it: We barely saw it. On one hand, it rarely interfered in episodes. On the other hand, it felt underdeveloped. It did pay off in the admittedly good final scene of Matt revealing he was Daredevil to Karen. However, that could have happened and had impact even without forcing a romance between those two. I understand that the two have a relationship in the comics, but it could have been saved for another time (or just done better).
For the second season, episode quality was overall good but a little more mixed compared to season 1. First of all, like season 1, the pacing was expertly done. The more action-heavy episodes were balanced with quieter episodes in a way that keeps us on our toes without overwhelming us with action. Season 2 had a different and weirder balance – The first four episodes of this season were some of the best – including the absolutely stellar “New York’s Finest” and “Penny and Dime”. However, that was followed by “Kinbaku” which was…
Look, as I said in my review, I can not call this episode bad, but I found it the weak link of the series. Honestly, that was one of the big differences between seasons 1 and 2. If someone asked me what the weakest episode of season 1 was, I would have to think about it. If someone asked me what the weakest episode of season 2 was, I’d pick “Kinbaku” without a second thought.
Another big difference is tone.
Season 2 felt a little more somber than season 1. Okay, season 1 wasn’t exactly sunshine and roses, but it did end on a triumphant, albeit bittersweet, note. However, this criticism may change over time. After all, to tell a good narrative, ups and downs are necessary for characters. After all, the characters in Star Wars had to endure The Empire Strikes Back. But then again, this was no Empire.
Season 2 was overall good.
The good parts were debatably better than the good parts of season 1, but while Season 1 was overall solid, Season 2 had more peaks and valleys. Having said that, there were definitely plenty of peaks such as the Punisher, Elektra, while the show continued its action and generally good storytelling.
- The Punisher Character development Elektra Exciting action scenes Season was overall well-paced. The first four episodes were gold, and there were other good ones.
- Too many things were going on Season felt like a downer Matt and Karen's relationship