First thoughts on Daredevil season 2

Mar 20, 2016

First thoughts on Daredevil season 2

Mar 20, 2016

Even though this is only a preliminary review, with individual episode reviews forthcoming, please note that the post below contains full spoilers for season 2.

I guess I should say that the title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. These are not my first thoughts, or even my second. In fact, since finishing up the second season Friday evening, I’ve done very little except think about and try to process the events of this season. I even rewatched the whole thing – and talked to some fellow fans – to get a new perspective on the different events that we all saw unfold. I’ve also done quite a bit of writing, most of which has now gone into a first draft that I’m not going to use here, because my feelings changed enough between the first and second viewing to render much of it obsolete.

I guess somewhere down the line I’m going to have to write a post about how loving this character as much as I do has often turned out to be something of an emotional ordeal. The same turned out to be true here because watching season two of Daredevil nearly broke my heart in the end. It was also one of the most spectacular twelve hours of television I’ve ever sat through. So did I love it? Yes, I did. Do I wholeheartedly agree with every creative decision made? No, I didn’t, and I think that is where I need to start.

Towards the very end of the season, before Matt and Elektra go out to face the waiting ninjas, Matt starts painting a scenario where he and Elektra run away together, stressing how he only feels free when he’s with her, that she is the only one who truly understands him, and that he’s not truly alive if he can’t do what they do. Meanwhile, I was sitting in front of the screen feeling my heart drop.

Matt's final conversation with Elektra, as seen in episode 13 of Daredevil season 2

There are two main reasons for why I reacted like I did, and as strongly as I did. The first thing that comes to mind is that it is a big step for our main character to actively choose Elektra the way he does. I can understand that he’s come to love her (again), and with his pretty obvious messiah complex, I can also see a strong need for him to save her from herself. More importantly, I get that her not only accepting his need to be Daredevil, but actively fueling it, must stand out like an irresistible beacon. However, even though she’s made huge strides over the course of the season, and as much as they have in common, there is still much that sets them apart. They are very different people who are united by a common passion – for each other and “extreme sports” – but Elektra has yet to show with any conviction and consistency that her path is one that Matt can walk with her without violating other parts of him. Elektra appeals to his “id,” and wanting to be with her is at least in part about simple escapism.

It is also very hypocritical of Matt to react so negatively when Karen brings up her sympathy for the Punisher earlier in the season, and then want to run away with a woman who has most likely left an even longer trail of bodies in her wake during her “career,” and whose decision to give up killing – and that’s if she has even reached that decision – is about an hour old.

My second reason for disagreeing with how this unfolded has to do with Matt’s view of his “non-Daredevil” self. It has always been very important to me that both halves of Matt’s life are treated as equally important, intertwined in a yin and yang relationship. In fact, this is another thing that should set him apart from Elektra who shows little more than disdain for Matt’s legal career. I think it’s very easy to look at Matt’s public life as only a façade, one that places physical restrictions on him that he would find limiting. And it is very reasonable that he would feel that way. Ironically, having to exaggerate his blindness is in and of itself an unavoidable manifestation of his disability so long as he chooses not to publicly reveal his heightened senses. Trying to pass himself off as fully sighted works spectacularly well in costume, but would be impossible in many common everyday situations, should he attempt to navigate them on his own.

Matt examining a braille subway map, as seen in episode 12 of Daredevil season 2

Even aside from this, Matt Murdock the lawyer is much more than just a persona. If anything, the two sides of Matt’s life are merely extreme metaphors for the different sides we show of ourselves to different people and in different situations. Matt hides important parts of his personality to people who don’t know about Daredevil, but there are other sides of himself that can and should be freely expressed. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that disability, by definition, must dominate and overshadow all other facets of a person’s unique personality.

After watching the season a second time, my feelings about this scene have been tempered considerably. Do I still wish it would have played out differently? Yes, absolutely. Matt could have expressed himself differently, and could have still conveyed strong feelings for Elektra that would have made the impact of her genuinely moving death scene just as great. What a second viewing provided, however, was a reminder of the context behind this scene. I was also reminded, mostly through the words of other characters, that having Matt voice these opinions does not necessarily make them gospel in the minds of this season’s creators. There was a scene with Claire in episode 10, set on the roof of the hospital before the ninjas attack, where she challenges his view of himself in ways that very closely echo my own. She reminds him that the way he separates himself from ordinary people distances him from the very same community he’s trying to protect. I couldn’t have put it better myself, and it’s another very strong argument for the importance of Matt Murdock being an active part of his community, outside of the Daredevil costume.

This is also the scene where we realize just how distraught and confused he is about everything going on in his life. He has given up on the law, come to the tragic but understandable decision that having friends isn’t worth it. Later, when he finds himself in that final scene with Elektra, every other part of his life has pretty much collapsed. He has brought much of it on himself, but both Foggy and Karen have also made active decisions to distance themselves from him. He is essentially out of a job, and none of the people he loves – besides Elektra – seem to need him around. It is understandable that Matt would come to the conclusion that his old life doesn’t matter anymore.

Matt and Claire having a conversation, as seen in episode 10 of Daredevil season 2

And this actually gets to the heart of what makes this show so brilliant overall. There is not a saint in sight. All of these characters are incredibly human, with their own flaws. The break-up of Nelson and Murdock is just as much Foggy’s decision as it is Matt’s. I would even say that Matt is the one of the two who ends up feeling the most rejected. At the same time, Foggy is not being unreasonable. Anyone who is rooting for Matt would love to see Foggy be more accepting of Matt’s vigilante lifestyle. At the same time, Foggys’ decision to walk away is, objectively speaking, a perfectly legitimate one. He loves Matt like a brother, but decides that the Daredevil train is simply too crazy a ride to be on. While being Daredevil is certainly more benign than having a substance abuse problem – and the total positive “externalities” of this activity hopefully outweigh the negative – it is still understandable that someone who is negatively affected by all this would assume a “tough love” position. Matt, on his end, makes the situation worse by not being as forthcoming with Foggy as he could have been, and generally being an all around idiot when it comes to actually putting words to his emotions. He is far too stoic and proud to let Foggy know how much he really cares about him. They drive each other away, and it is difficult to watch.

Karen and Matt have a different kind of dynamic that also revolves around two people willfully misunderstanding each other. Karen says some pretty brutal things to Matt. He, on the other hand, is emotionally distant and driven by misguided attempts to protect her in ways she doesn’t want to be protected. One of Matt’s big blind spots – no pun intended – is that he thinks the people who worry about him should either get wise to all the good he is trying to accomplish, or at least mind their own business, while completely failing to see that Karen, in this case, has a drive that is actually quite similar to his own. Her compulsion to find the truth at all cost is not really that different from his compulsion to physically rid the city of crime. They are both putting themselves at great risk, but it is not as if Karen is any more unaware of these risks than Matt is. It is not unreasonable to value the lives of your loved ones more than you value your own. Part of Matt’s personal tragedy is that he can’t get it in his head that he would be on the receiving end of such protective instincts.

Matt, Foggy and Karen at the D.A.'s office, as seen in episode 10 of Daredevil season 2

I will have plenty of reason to come back to the themes raised throughout his season many times in upcoming posts – it is truly a gold mine in that sense – but for this first post, I would be remiss not to mention the two big new players this season before hopping off to bed. I’ve mentioned Elektra already, but should add that while there are aspects of her relationship with Matt that becomes difficult for me to accept given the nature of her character, Elodie Yung puts in an absolutely stellar performance in the first truly interesting version of Elektra I’ve ever come across. Her stage presence is fantastic, and she’s impossible to take your eyes off. I also really liked the updates to her backstory, and she even manages to humanize Stick (even as he’s trying to kill her!).

However, I find Frank’s story to be even more interesting. I can’t speak for Punisher fans, since I’m not really all that familiar with the character outside of when he’s appeared in Daredevil, but I absolutely love this show’s take on him. He is much more human than I had expected him to be, and much more in touch with his emotions, which kind of makes me wonder whether this is the character his more loyal fans know and recognize. On the other hand, actor Jon Bernthal has stated that this is essentially the Punisher’s origin story which makes it plausible that he’s not completely gone off the deep end just yet. You see him committing himself to the Punisher in a new way at the end, where he has obviously decided to keep going even after avenging the death of his wife and children, and I actually thought it was very fitting that Frank is the one that shows up at the end to take out the remaining ninjas.

Frank Castle, as seen in episode 4 of Daredevil season 2

Initially, Frank’s story is closely intertwined with Daredevil’s story, and the first five episodes are by far my favorite because of it. Frank’s story continues throughout the season though, but quite soon after it becomes a court story in the middle of the season, Matt gradually checks out mentally, if not physically, leaving Frank in the hands of Karen and Foggy. Karen’s complicated relationship with Frank is fascinating, particularly as it’s so obviously a thinly veiled attempt to find redemption for her own crimes. I do think it’s fitting though that she is finally able to see him for the monster he has become in the end, as this show comes shockingly close to actually condoning the Punisher’s brand of vigilante justice, by not asking even tougher questions.

It was also a very positive surprise to see Wilson Fisk back this season, and his subplot is told perfectly. We even get a scene with him and Matt that is one of the best of the season and sows all the seeds needed for an upcoming story that borrows elements from Born Again. I would be absolutely shocked if we don’t get a third season out of this. Whether that will happen before or after the Defenders mini-series remains to be seen, but while the first season could have worked well on its own, this season is practically begging for a next chapter. Hopefully, it will spell redemption for Matt Murdock and give him the chance to learn that life outside of the costume has value too.

As much of an emotional roller coaster as this weekend has been for me, I can’t help but think of Stick’s words to Matt when they are standing by Elektra’s grave. “Was it worth it? Loving her?” I could ask myself the same thing about Matt Murdock. And yes, even when his adventures leave my head spinning and my heart in painful little pieces, he is so totally worth it.


  1. Mike Murdock

    I tend to agree with your thoughts. I love Matt Murdock the lawyer and human being and it was disheartening for that character to essentially disappear as Daredevil took over. On the other hand, that was kind of the point thematically. Matt wasn’t right to do it, but he was driven. This has very much been true to his character over time (just think about the silver age both when he created his Mike persona and when he faked his own death, but also many times later when he did basically the same thing). Matt Murdock is essential, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t torn between his two sides.

    To me, Elektra here takes the role that Natasha Romanoff took often in the comics. She’s someone who loves his Daredevil side, not his Matt side. He can be a free-spirited adventurer with her. If he’s with her, he has to abandon Matt Murdock. His decision to come clean to Karen at the end, to me, is a recognition that he can’t keep his halves separate and he can’t keep pushing her away. I don’t think it was just Elektra’s death that triggered it. It was a change in mindset.

    As for setting up Born Again, I think they’re primed to do it. After all, that story began with Nelson and Murdock falling apart and everyone their separate ways. On the other hand, I don’t want them to do it just yet. I’d like to have a season of Nelson and Murdock be successful lawyers together. Born Again would obviously make that very difficult.

  2. Tate

    I totally bought him being willing to run away with Elektra. Everyone in his life basically told him they didn’t want him around anymore, all the while he’s fighting tooth and nail against a cult of ninjas trying take over the city. I totally get that he’d wanna say screw it all and run away with Elektra. Thats the whole point of her character. She makes Matt want to let go and embrace the fire inside. At that moment Matt didn’t really have a life to preserve.

    As far as Elektra being a killer, I think Matt first of all believes in redemption and wanted to believe he could change her, or that she would change for him. Secondly he knows now how much she’s been manipulated her whole life as he himself was briefly, if they could only escape and start over then they could complete each other.

    Of course this wasn’t to be, and as soon as he said the words to her I knew Elektra was a goner. Now Matt has to put his “real” life back together.

    Did anyone else notice a distinct change in Claire? I get the stuff with Luke over on Jessica Jones was frustrating, but how did she go from leaving on actually very good terms with Matt (“I’ll always be there when you really need me to patch you up.”) to almost hatefully rejecting (“I’m never doing that again!”) any involvement in Matt’s world?

    Overall I’d give this season 9.5/10. It topped season 1 in almost every way. Season one did have several individual episodes that were stronger than any single episode of Season 2, the second season as a whole was so much more consistent throughout.

    This show is so much better in every single way than every other comic/superhero based show its not even funny. Arrow, Gotham, Supergirl, Shield, Flash don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Daredevil. The only ones that come close are Walking Dead, but its writing is so mediocre and dumb its carried by the cast and gore. Jessica Jones comes damn close but was way to drawn out and repetitive.

  3. NadineS

    I share similar sentiments as you , Christine. I was left heartbroken over the Nelson – Murdock – Page split and particularly distraught over Matt’s gradual isolation and communication breakdown with Foggy and Karen. I was also just plain baffled over Matt’s soliloquy/confession to Electra about feeling free and following her. I am hoping the writers formulated this as second movement – with all its increased angst, deep introspection and more somber feeling, much like in a musical symphony or traditional trilogy such as Empire Strikes Back. While I feel left without a clear resolution in this season, I have to agree that this was some of the best television I have watched. As unnerved as I was, I really appreciated the complex plot, the outstanding fight correographies and the overall powerful drama played out. I am now on the edge of my seat awaiting news of a third season and if so, how Marvel would figure out the timing.

  4. TS

    I’m very glad that everyone else seems (for the most part) to have loved Season 2, because I NEED them to make a Season 3 and clean this up. But frankly, while this season had some awesome moments (particularly in episodes 3 and 4), there were a lot of things about it that made me really, really mad. I loved every single moment of Daredevil’s interaction with Frank Castle. I HATED almost everything to do with Elektra.

    Trying to step back and examine exactly what made me so irrationally angry, I think it’s what you’re saying, Christine: that to me, Matt Murdock is just as important as Daredevil. I want to see him be a lawyer. I want to see that Foggy is at least as important as anyone else in his life (probably more so). To me, everything after episode 4 was Matt saying, “Oh forget it…went to law school, set up a business, was best friends with Foggy for years and years, but whatever, Elektra’s in town so I’ll just ditch it all.” And that kind of drove me crazy!

    I would LOVE to see them bring back Fisk next season. Those five minutes with Matt and Fisk in the jail cell were one of the biggest highlights of the season for me. I don’t particularly want to see more Matt and Karen. Zero chemistry and it was really strange watching him be all awkward around her all of a sudden. Like so much of the rest of what Matt did, it felt out of character to me. But, overall I still love the characters and I’m of course looking forward to the Defenders and hopefully future seasons of Daredevil! I just hope they can clean up the subplots a little bit and get Matt Murdock feeling like Matt Murdock again.

  5. Broomstick

    I just finished watching the season last night (I was scheduled to work this weekend) and while I’m thrilled the masses loved it (because that increases the odds of there being more seasons) I had some reservations.

    My first reservation was the character of the Punisher. I have rarely liked stories involving him because all too often his story seems to be ultra-violence and killing. This time around, as said above, they show the person and his motivations. I can’t agree with what he does, I find it abhorrent, but there is a certain logic there as to why he is what he is and why he does what he does. This is one of the few instances where I liked the way that character was presented and Bernthal really nailed the performance.

    I was heartbroken over the break-up of Nelson and Murdock – BUT, really, that’s not final. Foggy never actually states that he has taken the job offered him, does he? Karen isn’t 100% committed to being a reporter (and I think her taking Urich’s place, and the way it came about, was well done). Matt is out of uniform instead of parkouring to his meeting with Karen. I am hoping and praying Nelson and Murdock come back together because really they’re golden. Between Foggy’s intellect (wonderfully shown), Karen’s nose for the Truth, and Matt’s physical talents they can take on the world. But they have to realize that.

    I’m not a big fan of Elektra, even when done well as here, but I can understand Matt’s position in part because I live with someone who is very capable while also disabled. Elektra is not “creeped out” by Matt’s enhanced senses, she wholeheartedly accepts both his abilities and his limitations. With her he can talk about hearing something 3 stories away or someone’s heartbeat, then turn around and ask her to read a printed page for him or describe something he can’t see and it’s all completely natural and seamless. He really can be himself with her in a way he can’t with Foggy or Claire who do find his enhanced senses weird and off-putting. With his Matt Murdock life in shambles I completely understand his desire to run away with a woman who accepts both his abilities and disabilities. But she dies in the end, and I think that makes Matt, who loves life, reconsider. Hence, at the end he goes back to Matt Murdock. When he meets with Karen he doesn’t show up as Daredevil and reveal himself to be Matt under the mask, he shows up as Matt and reveals the Daredevil mask. (Since I love secret identity reveals I kind of wish there was more to that scene, but objectively I think it was the correct point to end the narrative).

    In order for Nelson, Murdock, and Page to work Foggy and Karen have to accept and be as comfortable with Matt’s enhanced senses and abilities as they are with his disabilities and adaptations he uses to deal with them. Foggy is coming to terms with that, at times asking Matt to listen for something or asking him what he perceives, but he’s not all the way there yet.

    Wilson Fisk didn’t have a large role here, even if he was important to the plot, but there was one thing to me that really showed his character, and it was the whole interview scene between him and Matt in the prison. Fisk is a complicated man, a mix of savage and gentleman, and that whole sequence beautifully captured his character. He very thoughtfully provided the waiver in braille, which is his gentlemanly, socially savvy side and illustrates that he can be very considerate of others (no doubt a quality that inspires people to follow him), he savagely beats Matt, showing his brutish side, and at the end, touching his sore mouth, we see his intellect possibly connecting the dots between Matt and Daredevil. The Kingpin is politically astute, physically incredible, and highly intelligent. They captured all of that in the action, without needing exposition. Kingpin is a serious adversary not merely because he can deliver a beat-down to a fighter like Daredevil, it’s also because his intellect rivals that of Foggy and Matt.

    And now I have to go back to work again 🙂 which saves the rest of you from several more pages of commentary by me. I look forward to more discussion of this season.

  6. David

    Excellent season, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters of Punisher and Elektra were so well portrayed and I can see how Marvel decided on a Punisher series. The one decision I disagree with this season is the inclusion of Nobu. I love his character but I don’t think he needed to be brought back to life. Especially because the Nobu-DD fight in season one was so amazing. In that fight Nobu gave everything he had, came so close to killing Daredevil but was bested in the end. Him being beaten at his best in season 1 made for a slightly underwhelming antagonist in season 2 in my opinion. We already know what he can do and Daredevil has gotten a lot stronger and more experienced since. So this season I never really had the feeling of “How could Matt possibly beat him?” that I had with both Fisk and Nobu in season 1. Also I found the Hand’s ninjas slightly underwhelming. The only times they got a real shot in was when Matt was sneak attacked in his appartment and when Matt distracted Elektra during the fight near the hole. They were often disposed of so easily that they risked the role of easily discarded goon. Nevertheless I loved this season, great acting, writing and action all around. And a special shout out to Melvin Potter who became a really cool character this season! 🙂

  7. castlebanner

    I’ve been a Punisher fan since I was 14. I’m 41 now. I can tell you that Jon Bernthal is to the Punisher what Robert Downey Jr. is to Iron man. This was perfect casting. To answer your question, YES. The Punisher shows glimpse of humanity but always falls into darkness. This is the Punisher fan’s know and love. They took some liberties with the origin but still stayed true to the essence of it. The Colonel was based on a character called Big Nothing from a Punisher graphic novel called Big Nothing from Steven Grant and Mike Zeck. In the comic his family is killed by Mobsters. Jon Bernthal should get a emmy for his role. Watch the graveyard scene. That sums up pretty much why Frank Castle is the Punisher. Also Frank Knows Matt is Daredevil before the rooftop scene. Watch the court room scene. He figures it out when Matt asks him if he can call him Frank. Overall I enjoyed the second season since I really didn’t care much for the first. My problems with the first season was that Foggy and Karen where really annoying. Charlie Cox as Daredevil was great. Hated the death of Ben Urich. Kingpin was to sympathetic until the end. Kingpin was better developed this season even if it was for a episode or two. Look forward to Season Three. Waiting for Marvel and Netflix to announce a Punisher series. Also just in case no one knows the Disc that Frank Castle got from his home is a easter egg. Microchip is a computer hacker arms dealer for Frank.

  8. Christine Hanefalk

    @castlebanner: ” I can tell you that Jon Bernthal is to the Punisher what Robert Downey Jr. is to Iron man. This was perfect casting.”

    Really happy to hear that. Like I said, I thought he was great, but good to know dedicated fans of the character feel the same.

    @David: I agree that Nobu wasn’t all that interesting as “master villains” go. Also, ninjas are clearly the stormtroopers of the Marvel U. 😉

  9. Tate

    Upon more reflection the only real problems I had with Season 2 were the following:

    Matt was an ass for sure, but Foggy was more than unreasonable a few times and if he’d only listened to his best friend maybe Matt wouldn’t have pulled away so much. “You don’t get to create danger and then protect us from that danger. That’s not heroic. That’s insane.” Uh… Matt didn’t create the Hand.

    Karens attitude after walking in on Matt and Elektra… and Stick. That just played the wrong way to me. Maybe they should have had it so she didn’t see Stick was there, maybe Matt senses her coming and meets her at the door and she hears Elaktra calling to Matt. They way it played was Karen acting as the betrayed lover, but there was obviously more to it than Matt with another woman. Again, maybe if Karen had just listened for a minute later when he did try to explain, then maybe Matt wouldn’t have pulled away as much.

    The Blacksmith reveal was a very underwhelming resolution to the Castle/Karen plot.

    The final reveal of Elektra’s body. Spoilers for Game of Thrones ahead. This would be like if the last season of Thrones ended with Jon Snows body being taken by Melisandre. Removes all the tragedy and spoiled the future reveal. Any fans of Daredevil already know she’ll be back one day so the reveal is pointless to us. Any viewers not familiar with the character and stories now have been spoiled on her return and know she’s not really “dead”.

    These are actually minor complaints, this season is still the best thing Marvel has produced.

  10. Broomstick

    A further thought on the two seasons that’s less detail and more meta:

    Season 1 was about Matt & company finding out what they CAN do: bring down Fisk, make Hell’s Kitchen a better place, be heros.

    Season 2 is about what they CAN’T do: Matt couldn’t turn Frank Castle into a good guy, he couldn’t save Elektra, they can’t save the law firm.

  11. Jack Batlin

    Just finished episode five. The fight choreography has taken two or three giant steps forward compared to season one, and season one had some excellent fights. The stairwell fight in episode three is a masterpiece. Visually the show is incredibly rich in a way that reminds me of Breaking Bad. It looks like a prestige drama.

    Bernthal is amazing as the Punisher. Perfect casting and a very good character arc for the Punisher so far. Much more human and textured than the comic but Frank Castle still has the mix of cold blooded determination, homicidal rage, and deep regret that I know from the comics.

  12. Dave

    Nobody’s mentioned my favorite part of the season yet, which was a late addition, THE BILLY CLUB! I cheered when Melvin unveiled it. And Daredevil actually gets to use it!

  13. JP Nguyen

    I’m sorry to be “that” guy, but I have to say I didn’t enjoy this season as much as the first one.
    Sure, the fights are well choregraphed, Bernthal is a good cast and Elektra an even better one. But there were plotholes bigger than the hole DD and Elektra find out in the Hand building…
    Just some of them on the top of my head :
    – Frank Castle uses a shotgun at the hospital and later prétends he was in control of his shots (sharp-shooting with such a weapon is dubious to me)
    – When Matt, Foggy and Karen go the hospital to take the defense of Castle, it’s early in the morning, but when they leave, it’s already late in the evening, so Matt can go with Elektra to Roxxon’s party
    – Most of characters don’t listen to each other, in an engineered misunderstanding to let things go South
    – Reyes is a badass but suddenly after Castle escapes, she goes soft and afraid, just before she dies
    – Most characters then blame Castle while the killing had really not the signature of a sniper
    – Hand ninjas don’t have heartbeats !!!

    But my biggest complaint is with ep 11, when DD considers he could go Frank’s way, just for once. It’s so out of character to have him say that. Oh he could think it. Act ambiguously. But to have him say that is a total betrayal of the character.

  14. Rachel

    I think Matt was an ass. But I also think it was necessary to show how much damage all of this is taking a toll on him. It feels real. Matt himself tells Claire that he’s flailing and barely able to keep up. One of the things that I love in the DD comics is that writers are fearless and that they aren’t pressured to always show Matt in the best of light. This season proves that. For all the good Matt does for his city, he also does so much bad to himself and the people around him. Stick said in season 1 to cut everyone out and I’m beginning to think that Matt is feeling that way. At this point, he feels alone which is why he rekindles the relationship with Elektra.

    It was important to start the breakdown this season, to strip him of all of his support. There’s a lot of set up for Born Again and for them to pull off, Matt has to start at a place where he’s already isolated from his friend. Because Fisk will only add to that to bring him lower.

    There were a few things that irked me… as JP mentioned Matt easily succumbing to the Punisher’s ways and the Punisher having to say to him “you can’t come back from this”. Its kind of similar to what happens in The Devil in Cell Block D but that was far subtler – this one felt rushed. I really would have wanted that they took out a lot from the Hand and Elektra storylines because they were so jarring.

    So few Claire Temple. I love Claire and I still think she’s there to show him a mirror of himself. She’s not afraid to tell him what he’s doing wrong but I also think she’s emotionally distancing herself from further hurt. I think its more of self preservation than anything because I still think she may have some feelings for him. And I even think he still has feelings for her even though he’s trying to mask it and put up walls when he’s with her. After all, she was the one who rejected him. Which makes the whole Karen/Matt relationship really seem forced. I just don’t think they have chemistry. All of the set up and atmosphere in their little dates is set up to be really sweet and romantic… but I still think that kiss with him and Claire in his kitchen was just off the charts… even when they aren’t being romantic, it still has more chemistry than any smooch in the rain with Karen. But I get it, its fan service.

    But my major annoyance this season is Karen Page. They REALLY have to stop writing her as a plot device and a Mary Sue to the point that its annoying and incredibly unbelievable. I find myself saying “you know this would have been great if Ben Urich was doing this storyline and not Karen.” She just got on my nerves so much. I’m all for strong female roles, but there was so many thing that were convenient in majority of Karen’s storylines and she still hasn’t learned to pick and choose her battles.

  15. Ion Bond

    I hated Matt’s declaration of love for Elektra for a meta reason — it twas a huge tip-off that she was going to die, robbing her death of the impact it would otherwise have had. Strictly from a narrative perspective, there’s no way Matt is going to leave NYC; thus the fantasy he builds cannot be fulfilled, even if that’s what the character really wants at the moment.

    Let me see if I got this right: after baby Elektra killed that dude, Stick gave her to those diplomats, and told her to lay low. But then he somehow engineered her meeting with Matt, his other estranged pupil, years later? If she felt so abandoned by Stick, how come she was still taking his “missions”?

    I loved all the returning characters from season 1 — Marci and Ellison and the badass hospital administrator and lovely Melvin Potter and Turk Barrett. Was the Jeri Hogarth cameo supposed to take place before or after the events of Jessica Jones?

  16. Genesis Malakh

    “Trying to pass himself off as fully sighted works spectacularly well in costume”.

    Well, not in the JR, Jr. mask of Season 1, it doesn’t.

    Elektra is Daredevil’s Black Cat, in that she has interest in the hero’s costumed identity, rejecting his civilian Life.

  17. geb

    very insightful.. very well written.. i am jealous of your command of the language.. all of you.. regardless whether using an editor or whatever.. (wish I knew how to use one.. what with the keys and all always falling off of this PC)

    very, very good show.. good all around coverage .. even if we could nit-pick a bit.. strong character adaptations being both unique and faithful.. surely not the usual it’ll pass for now or ok or so-so or even pretty good tv stuff..

    karen was a sight and wore it well.. same feeling that i got as when i first viewed fringe.. (i know, not all of it was great or some of it even good but.. compared to abraam’s lost?.. where i was just exactly that, “lost” to the point that i couldn’t watch it).. 1st viewed fringe and i thought that it was the usual comp-graph excess and changed the channel but just when the low light fell on anna torv in an “ordinary?” building so switched back at once..
    one of the very few women in a business suite that didn’t initially make me wee my pants.. hair back in ponytail not relying on just it.. i do detect a form of “tension” there between her and matt.. i don’t think that i could label it anything other than that she is almost full 6 years younger than rosario and 4 than elodi.. besides this, she, as were all of the main actors, was very impressive and convincing..

    humans.. society.. law.. politics.. policing.. beliefs.. all the makings of a good soup.. and time.. most of us think somehow differently with the passing of time..

    no one (human) is made to withstand all of the burden of judge+jury+executioner.. even when left no other recourse.. as even those bestowed with the authority to use lethal force, such as agents of the law, soldiers in combat, have had it been shown an experience that can be more than what the human mind can contain.. (yes, even when in full right, if in need to believe it or not)

    if policing were in fact ineffective (and suppose deposed by vigilantism) we would wind up having no society.. basically.. as we know it.. what appears simple, finite can and does stream further events.. that very easily, quickly stray from control.. and chaos follows..
    and so, enter the law.. which is why we can walk out of our front door and be on our way without slithering along the wall-sides and such, continually looking over our shoulders..

    (house.. that’s the grk pronounce for chaos.. haha.. house “music”)

    time.. it appears that immigrating before vocal chords change virtually always eliminates any trace of an accent..

    and if frank had indeed stopped with, as mentioned, the avenging of his family i too would personally wish to have been the 1st to (privately) shake his hand.. but, then again, what happened to both frank and matt did occur at different times in their respective lives.. (pro-hypothetically of course when dealing with comics)

    in all an exceptionally played out performance.. and what a relief to see a variety of races at play.. holy smoke what a bore if only this or only that and none of that nor none of this..
    (odd, we’re pretty good at picking off the delicious sparrow sized “tsichles” as we call them here, with a 12g)..
    guess we grow more forgiving.. i would not be surprised if a full fledged movie were to be announced even before season 3 got underway.. just as the kettle is bubbling..

    i get dumbfounded from another stance.. between where bale spares the thief’s (and begins) but does not (intervene with) al-goul’s fate.. and when 5 years prior, mwf permits the violator be railed, but fisk’s left out.. ?.. another chapter, i guess.. right again, a very thematically clear write up awaiting a to be continued..

    (and i think of my mother’s favorite.. “world was on fire, no one could save me but you.. strange what desire will make foolish people do.. and i never dreamed that i’d lose somebody like you”)

    season 3 should resolve some issues.. and lift the spirit a few notches.. if success is depending on it

  18. geb

    always forgetting something.. yes, feel that i did not or forgot to mention the appreciation that you deserve for really driving home the most important elements that are essential to the correct imaging of this character.. it has long been an on/off emotional connection for me also.. and below is a basic why.

    the points that you make about the issues troubling you regarding this season’s direction and the arguments you present to support them are so very valid in that.. they are by nature as central to the composition of this character as they are to the core of the character of all men (and women).. it is this reality reflecting back at us that i feel most marks the appeal of MM/mwf.. an example of it’s importance?.. as steven stills wrote:

    “you’ve gotta believe in something.. if you don’t you will be lost.. you’ve got to believe in someone.. no matter the cost..”

    see, if like me, we put our faith in men and women, with knowledge, knowing we can count on them.. they on us.. then everything is svelte.. if however matt is lost, engulfed by the other side and his principals compromised then.. can we put our faith in such a man?. this is the most crucial point of not just the murdock persona, but one of life in reality.. and why it is we feel distress when he gets beyond borderline..

    i wished to express gratitude to you for being the most open and sincere of site directors.. the effort, the conciseness, and most importantly the manner in which you present an overview is simply commendable.. just the sheer honesty of your “how this or the other came about” and the sincerity of your “i’m not really sure about” that or the other thing “but i think that”, is by far the most pleasing to read.. (as opposed to some other.. well i won’t say)

    thank you again.. i think from all others here too.. just a big private bravo and be well..

  19. geb

    concerning my dumbfounding.. sorry, it was 2 yrs later, where bale does permits neeson to die.. my real, further dumbfoundedness was 8 yrs later where then bale, in opposition to “begins” but in congruence to the ’03 “mwf film”, DOESN’T permit ledger to die.. this was the real mind-pluck i intended to convey..

    sorry for the date mix up, hadn’t explored batman as much as mwf.. and this PC is quite tiresome..
    (and this 2nd installment, with a bit more budget, grossed 3 times more and during the crisis, and almost as much as the finale 4 yrs LATER, and which had a significantly higher budget)

  20. Donald Reif

    “Trying to step back and examine exactly what made me so irrationally angry, I think it’s what you’re saying, Christine: that to me, Matt Murdock is just as important as Daredevil. I want to see him be a lawyer. I want to see that Foggy is at least as important as anyone else in his life (probably more so). To me, everything after episode 4 was Matt saying, “Oh forget it…went to law school, set up a business, was best friends with Foggy for years and years, but whatever, Elektra’s in town so I’ll just ditch it all.” And that kind of drove me crazy!”

    Yeah, I mean, Matt’s a summa cum laude lawyer. He should act like one. I mean, he’s kinda an asshole in season 2, for letting Daredevil interfere with the Matt Murdock side of his life, and because he seems unaware or unwilling to accept that he isn’t as good at pulling off both as he’d like to be. In other words, if being Daredevil is so important to him, then he shouldn’t have taken on so much as Matt Murdock. More importantly, he shouldn’t have lead Foggy, who is in on his vigilante double-life, to believe that he had it all under control. He should have warned him in greater detail, even if not entirely, that he was onto something big, and that Foggy should be prepared to handle this largely without him. He should have distanced himself from the Castle case once it became apparent (as it should have when he wasn’t there to do the opening speech like he said he would) that he couldn’t handle it all. Of course, that seems to be a genuine, conscious flaw that Matt was given as something to either work past or cause more problems in the future. Because on both the Daredevil and Matt Murdock side of things, he’s demonstrated he isn’t making meaningful change on the level he’d like. He’s helped people, as both lawyer and vigilante, but whenever he goes up against the big problems, like Fisk, he’s a stopgap at best.


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