Welcome back to Hell’s Kitchen, the decadent New York borough of noir, ninjas and nighttime avengers for the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil. Last year, it made itself a dark crime drama in the guise of a superhero show, offering not only a counterpoint to the lighter films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) but to the broadcast superhero shows like Agents of SHIELD and The Flash. And Season 2 isn’t resting on its laurels, adding fan-favorites Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung) to essentially double-down on the show’s features and crank them up to 11.
Season 1’s realistically-choreographed fight scenes offered a great contrast to the blockbuster films, as did the magnificent villain Wilson Fisk, embodied so well by Vincent D’Onofrio. Charlie Cox made a great Matt Murdock and Daredevil’s world of Hell’s Kitchen was vivid. The binge-watching model helps obscure a lot of Netflix original series flaws – they sag in the middle, episodes blur together, it’s too manufactured – and the same is true of Daredevil Season 1. It features multiple dull subplots and reams of unnecessary exposition. It also had all the problems of an origin story stretched to a breaking point, which can best be summarized by the fact that we don’t see Daredevil in his actual costume until the last 20 minutes of the season finale. Baffling doesn’t even begin to describe it. You can read my full thoughts on Season 1 here.
Season 2 sees the the third change of showrunners, this time handed to staff writers Marco Ramirez & Doug Petrie. They replace Steven S. DeKnight who departed to pursue bigger opportunities, like directing Pacific Rim 2. DeKnight steered most of Season 1 after the initial showrunner Drew Goddard stepped aside to develop Sony’s now-defunct Amazing Spider-Man spinoff Sinister Six.
Before we dive into Season 2, let’s step back and appreciate how crazy-quick the production turnaround was this season. Season 1 premiered April 10 last year, the show was renewed that month and now, less than a year after, 13 brand-new episodes drop. If only the Avengers were this efficient!
The live review is complete! Thank you so much for following along during this live review. It’s a unique way to review a show but I got a lot out of the process. I hope you did too. Just starting Season 2 or want to re-watch? Follow along episode-by-episode by clicking Next!