We loved every single second of Marvel’s most recent television adaptation, Jessica Jones, and this past weekend we were enthralled by each episode of Daredevil season two, which finds the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen questioning his mission, and engaging in a full fledged war on crime. With two new players and an enemy of vast resources and skills, it was always going to be a thrill ride.
Following the trial of Wilson Fisk at the end of season one, the offices of Nelson & Murdock are buzzing with activity, and things are good in the life of Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), thanks in part to a blossoming romance with Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). But all of that comes crashing down when a lone vigilante, The Punisher, begins to turn Hell’s Kitchen into his own personal shooting gallery. This pushes Matt has to confront the wild child shadow of his past in the form of former lover and gifted assassin, Elektra Natchios.
The action ramps up quickly, and the audiences will be engaged from the very first frame. Without a doubt the most exciting aspects involve new characters Frank Castle aka The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung).
From the minute he’s introduced on screen, Bernthal completely becomes the character of Frank Castle. Offering a complex and layered performance, he constructs a character who is driven by absolute pain and hurt. While the rest of the world might only see a bloodthirsty killing machine, under Bernthal’s care, audiences also get to meet the husband, father and soldier with a strict code of honour.
Literally turning Matt Murdock’s world upside down is the character of Elektra Natchios, a sophisticated, and well travelled socialite who also happens to be an international assassin for hire, and Matt Murdock’s former lover. Yung really taps into everything that makes Marvel’s resident bad girl so easy to like, and brings her to the screen with glee. Creating havoc in every fight while playing with Matt’s torn heart, it’s clear that Yung is in her element. But just like Bernthal’s Castle, Elektra is a well-rounded character whose wild side hides a darker, more sociopathic side.
Dealing with both The Punisher and Elektra is Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock, who still holds such loyalty to his city, and is in a constant fight to save it. But while he was successful in season one, things are now far more complicated, and the pressure of this double life of his is about to boil over. While always the capable fighter, Matt is also dealing with added psychological pressures this season, and it’s in these tense moments that Cox shines the most.
It wouldn’t be Daredevil without some amazing action set pieces, and there’s no shortage of them in season two. Matt and Elektra’s battles with the fearsome secret society known as The Hand are pretty unforgiving in the terms of their savagery, but there are two fight scenes that really stuck in our mind. The first finds Daredevil battling the Kitchen’s resident biker gang, The Dogs of Hell, and if you thought the first hallway fight from season one was impressive, then you have a lot to look forward to. It’s an extreme case of close quarter combat, and sets up another brilliant fight scene. The second standout fight stems from Frank Castle being called upon by a former foe to do his dirty work, with the result being a bloody and brutal hallway brawl that sees Castle taking on fifteen prison inmates.
Daredevil season two fundamentally questions the notion of hero versus vigilante, and with the introduction of Elektra and The Punisher, Netflix’s Marvel Universe is becoming a far grander place. Our hopes for season three are higher than ever.
We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the series, so make sure to let us know what you think in the comments.