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Review: ‘Marvel’s Daredevil’ Season 2 Doesn’t Disappoint, But Doesn’t Leave Us Craving More

Review: 'Marvel's Daredevil' Season 2 Doesn't Disappoint, But Doesn't Leave Us Craving More

While “Daredevil” Season 2 has less to prove than its first season, the show also has, somehow, more on its plate. Every successful TV show faces this with its second season — the pressure to be bigger, while also maintain the elements that made it so powerful in its initial run. But “Daredevil” also has exterior pressures, specifically that of the larger Marvel universe which it’s meant to coordinate with. 

READ MORE: Getting Personal With The Stars and Creator of ‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones’ (And What They Know About Season 2)

What could be a simple story — Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), a blind man with enhanced abilities, seeks justice in the courtroom during the day and a different sort of justice on the streets at night — grows exceedingly complex when you toss 50-plus years of comic book history into the mix, not to mention the massive film and television universe to which it belongs. Season 2 is to be applauded for bringing in a variety of intriguing new elements: Specifically, two new major characters, and a fresh emphasis on the moral complexities that come with a universe where multiple people put on outfits to aid the greater good (at least in their own eyes). 

Season 2 sets the stage for a morality play not just about the role of vigilante justice in our society, but the honest question of how justice can be possible in today’s age — a question that gets pushed to an even more broad and abstract place when Matt Murdock’s Catholic boy upbringing is invoked. 

If you’ve ever played Dungeons and Dragons (and you’re reading an article about a Marvel superhero TV show, so there’s like a 40 percent chance that you’ve at least heard of it) you know about the game’s approach to creating morality for characters. People can be good, neutral or evil — but within those levels, there’s nuance. You can be Lawful Evil and embrace rules and restrictions in the name of your gods. You can be Chaotic Good and serve a grand and glorious cause on your own terms. The point is that the battle isn’t between good and evil, but between chaos and order — how your personal code interacts with society’s. Matt Murdock, by the end of Season 1, found his own personal definition there. But Season 2 puts it to the test. 

This comes courtesy of Frank Castle, aka the Punisher (Jon Bernthal), who’s out for revenge after the murder of his family, and Elektra (Elodie Yung), a former girlfriend of Matt’s who turns out to be a much bigger part of his world. There’s also the narrative surrounding the struggling law firm of Nelson and Murdock, the ongoing conflicts of New York’s criminal underworld, and the ever-expanding world of Hell’s Kitchen within the Marvel universe, including connections to last fall’s “Jessica Jones.” And while we’re not going to spoil anything, never fear — if you find yourself missing some major elements of Season 1, halfway through Season 2 your patience will be rewarded by their return. 

“Daredevil” is a show that loves monologues, has always loved monologues, and Season 2 features some doozies. It occasionally violates the golden adage of “show don’t tell” but offers a nice break from the brutally beautiful fight sequences (including a doozy of a cut-free battle in Episode 3) and lets the non-regulars in the ensemble shine. Bernthal is a little one-note as Frank Castle at times (but, to be fair, the character itself lacks nuance at times) and Yung brings a necessary sly spark to the role of Elektra. 

Here’s what’s most interesting about Season 2 of “Daredevil” — it’s a season of television we weren’t ever expecting to see. The plan as originally set forth by Marvel was that we’d get one season introducing Daredevil, then subsequent shows featuring Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist — the four core members of a superhero team called the Defenders, who would then go on to star in a united series. 

Perhaps because development on these subsequent series has been going slower than anticipated (“Iron Fist” especially seems to be dragging), “Daredevil” got a second season to continue its own semi-standalone narrative. Because of the comics upon which it’s based, there’s plenty of material to use. But by the end of the season, there’s something about the show that feels used up. 

Theoretically, lawyer-by-day/superhero-by-night is a premise that could be sustainable for many seasons, if only based on the pre-existing legacy of superhero TV shows, from “Lois and Clark” to the CW’s current DC franchise. But “Daredevil” Season 2 blows through a lot of character-focused drama, as well as a lot of the major issues that confront the concept of Daredevil as a character. 

When it launched last year, “Daredevil’s” goal was to create a new standard for superhero-oriented storytelling — in an interview with Indiewire, Season 1 showrunner Steven S. DeKnight said that “They really pitched it to me as a gritty, grounded show that they wanted to lean more towards ‘The Wire’ than ‘Smallville.'” That’s a helluva bar to set for yourself, to be sure. But one of the most refreshing elements of our first exposure to the series was the fact that its tone, and its dedication to taking the subject matter seriously, brought with it a richness that went beyond, say, what Marvel initially tried to do with “Agents of SHIELD” on ABC.    

And you know what? It did its job well. It set the stage for “Jessica Jones,” which took this same grounded approach but incorporated a personal and vibrant edge. And this second season doesn’t at all feel like a waste of time. But here at the end, it doesn’t feel necessary for there to be a third season. “Daredevil” knows there’s a bigger world out there, and does engage with it — but it doesn’t leave us screaming to know more about what happens next within this specific little universe. 

How much more time can we spend on Foggy’s struggle to accept his friend’s choice to play superhero? How much more time can we spend watching Charlie Cox agonize over his romantic prospects? (Even if he occasionally does it shirtless.) How much more time can we spend debating the costs and benefits of vigilante justice? 

Marvel and Netflix, you might be tempted to think that the answer is at least another season. But despite a few intriguing final twists, Season 2 didn’t leave us craving a Season 3. Especially because we know that even if we don’t go further with “Daredevil” the show, it’s not the end of the story.

Grade: B

READ MORE: The Guys Running ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 Are Only Maybe A Little Scared About Working With Marvel

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Meh, im not going to be overly harsh on this season. I actually enjoyed most of it. But as pointed out by some others the Elektra storyline baffles me and didnt really sit well at the end for me. No, my biggest gripe is actually with how Punisher was handled. Again, most of the season was fine but the fact he didnt have a larger impact at the end with the final scene is outrageous to me. Secondly, while the actor who portrayed Punisher was ok i would of much preferred another actor in the role whether it would of been Ray Stevenson (Punisher: War Zone) or maybe Dave Bautista in that kind of role. I just found Jon Bernthal to be rather bland and not overly intimidating as how i see the Punisher character. But, it is what it is i guess.


I think it does not matter if bulls eye or the hand kills Elektra since Bulls eye killed other people that Matt loves just like Ms. Page. I do like the twist that they made with Elektra and made her like Ra’s’ al ghul which also makes her character a good Strong Assassin and you think the show didnt leave us wanting more?. I think this season 2 did, it shows what kind of chaos, actions, mysteries will happen next specially knowing that Punisher, Elektra and possibly Jessica Jones and Luke Cage will and could be playing along for the best action hero tv show for a while and maybe a remake of Daredevil movie. This season was far better than the first in my opinion and makes me wonder how much more badass the 3rd season will be once they decided to make it.


This is a comic book based show. I feel season 2 took us right where we should be heading in DD lore. Characters have been set,depth has been added and the battle for Hells Kitchen and New York is coming big time. MM is kinda a jerk in the comics anyway,Punisher was dead on and Elektra was ok..A little to hokie at times,she is possibly the best assassin in the MCU yet was very weak. I was thoroughly loving it and it was over after binging on it. A season 3 is needed to set the stage for the big time with the Defenders just around the corner. We need Danny Brand to make his appearance and we are there ready for the Hand,Fisk and Bullseye to take It to greater heights. Don’t forget DD goes very bad as the leader of the hand and its gonna take the Defenders and a few more hero introductions to finish up with this epic entity of comic story telling. He will go baddie.Game on peeps, this show is awesome and it’s time to go bigger with the baddies and heroes. No Avengers or Cap here,but I see Spidey all over this once Shield comes into play. Who knows,maybe Fury himself might pop in after the events of Civil War unfold.


aaaaaaarghhhhhhh !!!!!! Of course there will be a season 3 and of course there is still plenty of story to tell – including the release/ escape of Wilson Fisk and various other new characters to be introduced.

how can anyone who calls themselves a comic book fan – much less a DD fan not want to see another season?

comparison from season 1 to season 2 is the fact that Fisk was not as much a main character and obviously for season 3 he would likely return to main character status. Also season 3 will likely end up killing Karen Page and following other story points from the comic books that haven’t been touched on yet.

as for Foggy of course his story will be different from S1 & 2 now that he’s working apart from Matt Murdoch and they’re going separate ways. And what will make S3 even more interesting will be to see Murdoch VS Nelson – when they’re going against each in court. And really that’s a whole other aspect that DD S3 could put more effort towards showing more and in-depth/ realistic courtroom scenes.

and most important they still need to introduce a MAJOR character who should start in Daredevil and then get either a new show OR better yet be upgraded to the movies …. Jennifer Walters !!!!


I felt they didn’t really know ‘how’ to incorporate the big hole in new york and the sarcophagus into which Elektra was placed into the story, not even as teases of future events. A bit like ‘Lost’. Great cryptic teases introduced, but then no suitable closure nor even referring back to and developing the tease. Also, I agree with a previous poster re. Elektra and Bullseye.


what Jeffery said I am impressed that some one able to make $8960 in one month on the computer. you could try this out…>> W­­W­­W.A­l­p­h­a-C­a­r­e­e­r­s.C­­O­­M


what Jeffery said I am impressed that some one able to make $8960 in one month on the computer. you could try this out…>> W­­W­­W.A­l­p­h­a-C­a­r­e­e­r­s.C­­O­­M


Elektra should not have died this season, and certainly not killed by the hand. It’s Bullseye who kills her and it would have been wise to respect the original story. This would have also unburdened the plot that had too many elements, too confused. And Matt Murdock this season came across as a big jerk all the time did anyone else notice? Matt Murdock the confused jerk.


@lisa – I agree with nearly everything you wrote. This season could have used some serious cutting and editing- eliminating the whole " Blue sky"/ the Hand storyline and pitching it to another season.


Agreed, it does not leave you craving for more. And also, it does disappoint, a little. I seriously LOVED the first season, it felt just like when you’re reading an excellent novel and you’re sucked up into that world. Can’t say the same for the second season, which I have just finished watching. I did not mind the first episodes most people complain about, I actually quite liked it until mid season, but the second half, and in particular the last two or three episodes. Oh my gosh. The Elektra stuff…badly explained at best. They call her "the black sky" like there’s only one in the whole universe, like she’s a goodess. Not true, black skyes are rare, not unique, she’s A black sky, not THE black sky, so it would have been better to cut the "Chosen One" and "I-just wanna-be-loved" bullcrap and be more specific. Just too much on the plate in the last episodes anyway. The Blacksmith being the general? Obvious and predictable since the moment Karen walks into that house, dynamics seen 1000s of times before. Please. Lots of cliche dialogues, whereas the dialogues used to be so strong, so real. Used to be the best part of the show. That last newspaper article written by Karen, trying to go along the lines of Ben’s one last year…weak! Not nearly as good as last year, not nearly as well-written, just naive and so full of cliches I was gonna vomit. And lastly, heard someone saying in one of the panel this is like a movie that lasts 13 hours. Well, in movies you don’t just let audience hang for a year like that. I would have liked some closure, at the end, not necessarily a happy ending, just closure, like in a good book.

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