The second season of “Daredevil” has come and gone since being released on March 18th. The show is released through Netflix and Netflix has a model where they release all the episodes at once. So while the season is a few weeks old, it has taken me some time to properly figure out how I feel about the season. That being said, it still continues to be a solid show and one of the best superhero shows currently on the air but this feeling suffers a bit from too much going on and a lackluster threat.
The majority of the characters (the ones still living) return from the previous season into this one. However, since Wilson Fisk is currently locked up and there is a void to be filled. At the beginning of the season that void is filled by Jon Berenthal as Frank Castle/The Punisher. The Punisher is a vigilante who holds nothing back. Whereas Matt Murdock/Daredevil just beats up criminals and leaves them to the police, Castle does not. This draws the two into a conflict with one another. There are parallels between the two but also clear lines where these two will never agree on. There are moments within episodes three and four where it is just a conversation between the two characters that is engaging where one wants to see these two just trade verbal spars instead of taking on criminals. The first four episodes could be described as “Daredevil vs. The Punisher” but whereas that section ends, another quickly develops in the form of Elodie Yung as Elektra Natchios, the former girlfriend of Matt Murdock.
Elektra joins the show and this is where the seeds for the “big bad” of the seasons are planted and a through line is developed. The big bad is quickly revealed to be The Hand and thus brings back favorite characters from the previous season such as Stick, a feeling of disjointedness bubbles up as Frank Castle is brought back into the show. While Murdock and Castle’s interactions continue, they become much more sparse. It sometimes feel that we are watching two shows in one as the Daredevil and Elektra storyline drives the rest of the season, The Punisher storyline also continues and there is very little connectivity between the two other than Daredevil himself. Also the villain of the season, The Hand, is no Wilson Fisk. The characters that represent the ninja organization are fine but they are lacking that spark to make them rise above.
The supporting characters are much more better than they were in the previous season. I was someone who wasn’t as hard on the character of Foggy Nelson but I also did not love the character either. However, his actor and character rise above in this season as the character is given much more to do and has to literally step up as a lawyer when Matt Murdock’s double life starts to take its toll. Karen Page was personally a problematic character for me. She starts being a love interest to Matt Murdock but their personal differences drive them apart and she has to pursue her own path. However that path does take some leaps of logic and leaves her at a place that doesn’t feel too earned.
The season seems that it could have benefited if there was much more of a clean break between the two storylines. The Punisher storyline ultimately feels that it could have been about six episodes. The Elektra/Hand storyline never quite has the gravitas that it probably should have or being treated as. But there are dynamic performances all around from the returning cast and especially from the newcomers to the cast. There is no bow tied around the season and some developments hint at future things to come. So while the season as a whole was problematic, it did not detract from the enjoyment of the season. It is highly recommended and highly rewatchable as well.