The day is finally here! Oh the excitement of logging onto Netflix and seeing Daredevil included in the new releases list, with a banner stating ‘new episodes’ adorned across the bottom. My Mum and I adored watching Daredevil’s first series together, and have been eagerly awaiting the next instalment since watching Wilson Fisk go to prison in the series one finale.
Sorry – this won’t be spoiler free at all (I’m too excited)
Let’s start with the star. I love Charlie Cox, so SO much and he is absolutely in his element in this role as blind superhero Matt Murdock. He’s a British actor, who prior to Daredevil was best known for his role as Tristan in the fantasy film Stardust – which while we’re bringing it up can I just say is actually probably one of my favourite films that I could watch again and again for the rest of my life and still scream at the screen at that chase scene towards the ending (bloody hell I burst blood vessels every time from the stress). I also know that my cousin, who is a stage manager has worked with Charlie Cox in the past and at the end of the project he bought her thank you presents. What a lovely guy. With possibly one of the most flawless accents I’ve witnessed by an actor too – that American drawl makes me melt.
Okay so back to Daredevil.
The first episode opens with the Hell’s Kitchen night skyline, and all the people and sounds that Daredevil can hear with his super hearing. It’s a really beautiful shot that welcomes us straight back in to the world in this show, and as the camera pans around Matt Murdock comes into frame as he listens, waiting to select what and who he could save tonight.
It then cuts to a police chase scene, as the cops chase down three men with briefcases full of diamonds, simultaneously opening fire at the officers chasing them. It’s a tense scene, but kept brief as Matt Murdock easily saves the day. It’s something that could be easily be seen as just the cheesy superhero/damsel in distress scenario that we all know how plays out. But it’s pace prevents the cheese – it just acts as a reminder that Matt’s now officially taken on this role as vigilante in his proper, tailored superhero suit created fro him at the end of series one. As the suit got barely any screen time last series and no action at all, it’s nice to finally see Daredevil as the full on superhero he is.
It’s not long before the first major plot point of series two happens when an Irish Mafia meets to begin a new chapter for them. A guy is leading the group in a big old bad guy speech, plotting and hyping the other guys up for their triumphant return to owning the streets of Hell’s Kitchen once more after being pushed away for Fisk to take over. He reaches the climax of this big dramatic speech and IS SHOT IN THE HEAD.
Honestly I found this scene brilliant. The way they led with the whole speech by the leader, building slow tension to what you thought would be a glorious end of a dramatic talk but instead turned out to be a massacre. The camera work was so so good, and made the unexpected turn of events shocking without being jump scary.
It’s very refreshing watching and knowing that Matt is no longer having to hide his identity from his best friend and partner Foggy. Obviously Foggy is still having to get used to it, and still isn’t a massive fan of his extra curricular activities but he supports him and it’s so good to see their friendship hasn’t suffered from it. Elden Henson is also upping his game in fearlessness, highlighted in this episode as he strolls into a Mafia bar just to have a chat with an old classmate. Obviously he isn’t welcomed well but he’s stubborn and forces himself to fight back for what he came from, and it’s admirable even to the mafia members. Foggy is one of those character’s who stereotypically would be the nerdy, scared best friend who leaves everything to the best friend. But he absolutely stands his own ground and that’s what makes him great.
And excuse me how badass is Karen? We already knew that from her face off with Wesley in the first series but she’s brought it into her every day life now. Not only is she a killer business woman who manages the Nelson & Murdock firm but she also takes on the role of carer and bodyguard for a client named Grotto (played by McCaleb Burnett), the last surviving member of the Irish Mafia who is now being targeted by the person who murdered the rest of his group. Karen went through a lot last season after she murdered her kidnapper but she’s returned to her usual optimistic self, this time with an added toughness that suits her well. Deborah Ann Woll is doing a fantastic job of played every single side of her.
I think that seeing the three of them as friends just hanging out in the office and at bars is just really lovely. It’s a pretty serious show a lot of the time so it’s so nice seeing a little gang of friends together to ease the tension a little, and remind us what the heart of the show really is; three broke friends without much in the world who stick together despite all the odds. It’s their little group of three, each as strong as the other, that really powers this show through.
And of course, the episode also saw the introduction of season two’s bad guy – The Punisher. He’s played by Jon Bernthal, who’s face wasn’t even shown until the last few moments of the episode. And I am so excited for this role. This guy is one of really creepy bad guys who knows every thing he is doing and has no trouble or inner conflict with it all. He’s a calm and collect man – and they’re always the way better characters. He’s doing daredevil’s job but on a grander scale by getting rid of the villains, but also opposes Murdock’s masked alter-ego which raises a lot of questions on what side he’s on.
My Mum seemed to think he could be connected to Fisk – but I really don’t think it’s his style. I’m pretty certain he’s a new guy, who’s seen that Hell’s Kitchen is ready for the taking and is absolutely confident that it’s his to have. I feel like he’s the kind of guy that has the potential to make Wilson Fisk look like an amateur, and I’m very looking forward to what he brings to the show.
I’m not usually a massive fan of fight scenes. They often feel unnecessary, included just to make it look cool or whatever. But for some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, Daredevil pulls it off every time and makes it brilliant to watch. And this fight scene at the end between Matt & the mysterious Punisher- brilliant. I need to research into who the stunt choreographer is for this show because it’s those moves paired with the clever cinematography that makes these fights seem alive. And it certainly ended with a bang (sorry).
Basically, this is how to start a new series. It certainly does not disappoint in the slightest, doesn’t have a slow start or give too much away right off. It’s perfectly proportioned, non-confusing and totally absorbing. I’m very excited for what else this season has to offer, and am especially looking forward to seeing Élodie Yung as Elektra. That will be ACE.
Season 1 & 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil are available on Netflix