BY CHRISTOPHER KRAUSS
One batch. Two Batch. Penny and a dime. Bang.
“Daredevil” season two dropped on Netflix on March 18, stepping the game up and tying up most of the loose ends from season one.
Let this be clear though, although the show is titled “Daredevil” it does not necessarily revolve around him the entire time. On the contrary, like the brutal first season, the show dives into the other main characters’ and villains’ lives, proving they are just as important as showrunner, Matt Murdock.
This season holds back no punches when it comes to those characters either. Other than the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, expect to see the Punisher and Elektra along with some old faces running through the streets of Hell.
It is these characters that strive to deliver the obvious message of season two: What separates a hero from a villain?
A message like this sounds as cliche as they come, but “Daredevil” does not answer this question for the viewer and arguably denies that there is any clear cut line between the two sides of the spectrum.
Is the Punisher evil for only killing people who obviously deserve to be punished? Or is Elektra evil because she euphorically enjoys murdering criminals? Daredevil is supposed to act as the immovable stone of morality, but this season pushes him into both of these characters’ shoes as situations pair them together.
The show conveys this wavering morality well, and only falters from its sometimes convoluted plot. Despite being difficult to follow at points, each episode does a great job of answering the questions it left the viewer hanging on for a year and ultimately only leaves the viewer with a couple questions to carry over to season three.
The acting is on point, inviting new characters to the mix, namely Jon Bernthal from “The Walking Dead” to play the Punisher and Elodie Yung from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” to play Elektra. Each character gets a chance to hog the screen, some stealing large portions of an episode and getting their own flashbacks explaining their childhood.
Obviously the intensity had to be ramped up to outshine the first season, especially the infamous hallway scene, and the second season bites hard and doubles down. Gruesome, bloody and brutal is the only way to describe some of the fight scenes, leaving both unconscious and dead bodies littering the streets depending on who is fighting at the moment.
This is done the same way that the first season accomplished it, just with more finesse and practice this time around, typically utilizing only one to two shots during an entire action scene whereas other shows would use close to a hundred. Having one fluid shot limits what is shown sometimes, but overall never takes the viewer away from the action.
Unlike the first season, the show does not just focus on the eccentric nightlife of these characters, but also on their nine-to-five jobs.
Deborah Ann Woll, who plays Karen Page, and Elden Henson, who plays Foggy Nelson, also get episodes to themselves as they try and run their law office, Nelson and Murdock. This is only made harder by the fact that Charlie Cox, who plays Matt Murdock, is attempting to balance his life as vigilante and lawyer. Almost full episodes are spent on Frank Castle’s case, making it an interesting departure from the typical superhero series.
These breaks are welcome most of the time, except during the halfway point of the season where the shows seems to take a grinding halt and reversing its relatively forward momentum. Its these episodes, where they primarily introduce Elektra, that take a little bit of ‘umph’ to push them over the hill.
Save this middle portion, the 13-episode second season ups the ante in all aspects and never backs down. “Daredevil” benefits from being produced by Netflix, which is not constrained from the network tv rating system and guidelines, allowing for it to introduce new characters and unflinching violence without the hassle of abiding to rules.
Not only that, but it allows for the show to tackle a much darker storyline without the fear of being censored.
“Daredevil” is unnerving, never intending to deliver a happy ending to the audience, but that is what makes it so unique and watchable. It is dark and gritty, forcing the audience themselves to answer the same question Matt Murdock is facing: what separates a hero from a villain?
“You’re just one bad day away from becoming me,” said the Punisher to Daredevil.
The Flyer gives “Daredevil” season two a 9/10