The finale of the second season of Daredevil tops season 1, it lives up to expectation and also primes plenty more to come from Hell’s Kitchen.
There will be SPOILERS ahead so do not read on unless you have seen the whole season.
Nobu (Peter Shinkoda) and his ninjas were never quite as compelling an antagonist as Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), but this is a much more satisfying and enthralling finale. However it was great to see Fisk appeared running the jail mid season especially the dialogue heavy but tension filled Fisk and Matt (Charlie Cox) interrogation that reinforced how good Fisk is as a screen presence.
Back to the finale, as many predicted, Frank (Jon Bernthal) did indeed turn up to help Matt in the final battle, but only momentarily as a way of presenting the now fully formed Punisher complete with skull blazoned costume. Introducing The Punisher as a character within the Daredevil series was a master-stroke. After so many failed attempt to create this beloved character on small and big screen this is the ultimate portrayal. Bernthal is perfect casting his gritty and violent persona that embodies the character and the Netflix output brand allows some great action scenes especially the bloody fight in the prison. There is also still plenty to be revealed about the Punisher’s past in future series.
There was an end-of-an-era feeling between Matt, Karen and Foggy as they all wrapped up Nelson & Murdock as Matt has essentially chosen to be Daredevil full-time now. Foggy (Elden Henson) ends the series entering the big time by joining Jeri Hogarth’s (Carrie-Anne Moss) firm presumably so the supporting cast can all be in one place in time for The Defenders miniseries. The most irritating character Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) remains the weakest of the series and has landed the role left vacant from Ben Urich’s death in the first series of investigative journalist. But in the finale she again fills the damsel in distress role but was captured off screen this time.
After the great opening half of the season being Punisher based I was wary of the introduction of Elektra (Elodie Yung) but the flashbacks and link to the Stick (Scott Glenn) leading to the final revelation really paid off. I believed in her past and relationship with Matt and enjoyed her action scenes.
The best stuff in the finale was the long awaited showdown as Matt and Elektra finally take on The Hand and succeeding despite some genuinely hopeless odds. During their breather, trapped like rats in a stairwell between two groups of advancing ninjas, it did genuinely feel like neither of them was going to make it adding a decent layer of character jeopardy for the fight.
However Matt’s no-killing stance is increasingly tenuous as he chucks a guy off a building, even if that man is a ninja with resurrection powers. In a great character beat Stick ensured that Nobu wasnt coming back this time and Glenn remains a joy to watch. Elektra’s death was mildly surprising but I’m sure The Hand will be bringing her back to life
I did enjoy the end-of-an-era feeling between Matt, Karen and Foggy as they all wrapped up Nelson & Murdock, and it does seem as though Matt has essentially chosen to be Daredevil full-time now, which completes an arc that’s been running since the start of the season. It’s gonna be hard to do any lawyering when he doesn’t have a firm to work for, at any rate. Not everything was tied up neatly but it felt extremely satisfying and there are plenty of questions to be answered but Daredevil remains the best superhero/comic TV series.
The visual style and dark palate suits the season and allows the action spectacle to be fully realised within the Netflix brand. The show-runners have excelled themselves allowing the story to evolve naturally but escalating the actions set piece. I already cannot wait for more Daredevil.