“Daredevil” Season Two: Heats up Hell’s Kitchen


Grade: B-

Verdict: Despite a surplus of fight scenes, The second season of “Daredevil” packs less of a punch. A lot of dead space in the first few episodes kills the pacing, which really doesn’t recover until around episode seven. However, the introduction of new (and old) enemies and romances helps bring the season back to life.


“Daredevil” kicked off its second season with a bang, dropping the viewers right into the middle of the action as Daredevil makes quick work of some criminals. However, after this initial burst of adrenaline, the first half of the season falls flat. The writers struggled to balance fight scenes with heavy dialogue, and, though the fight scenes were pretty well choreographed, you can only watch Daredevil punch people for so long before it gets old. The dialogue, too, got boring in places, simply because the writers had several new characters to introduce and develop. A lot of the conversations droned on and didn’t really feel like they added to the plot. It felt more like the writers were trying to get too much information out in a short amount of time.

The first half of the season saw the introduction of two new characters: Frank Castle, a.k.a. the Punisher, and Murdock’s old flame, Elektra Natchios. The trailers set up the Punisher, played by Jon Bernthal, as the main villain of season two, and, while Bernthal’s performance was good, the Punisher simply could not fill Wilson Fisk’s shoes. He was a flat character driven solely by a need for revenge, something that has been done a million times before. He lacked the same depth that made Fisk both a compassionate and terrifying character.

Elektra, on the other hand, was allowed more depth. We got to see the complexities of her personality and how they worked with Daredevil’s. The pair’s dichotomy was definitely a breath of fresh air after the Jennifer Garner/Ben Affleck flop in the 2003 “Daredevil.” However, despite Elektra being a badass hero on her own, she’s still written as a damsel in distress who needs the great Matt Murdock to remind her that she’s good after all. This does create a compelling emotional bond between the two but is far less interesting after the introduction of “Jessica Jones,” who faces a similar struggle but ultimately doesn’t really need a man to save her.

There are also several plot points that don’t get explored this season. We still don’t find out about Karen Page’s past, and in the second episode of the season, Murdock goes deaf. It only lasts about ten minutes of the episode, though, and doesn’t really come up again, which made it feel like a cheap trick for shock value.

Part of what made the first season so successful is that it offered a better look at the psychological toll on superheroes. Daredevil was allowed to be a hero and still cry in front of his best friend. The villain was someone you found yourself rooting for at times. Unfortunately, season two just doesn’t have that same depth. It trudges along a middle ground, only managing to pick up towards the end of the season.