*This article may contain spoilers.
“Batman v Superman” is claiming the limelight as this month’s hit movie, but “Daredevil’s” second season on Netflix is sure to captivate those who want to see vigilantes clash.
With a TV-MA rating, the show brings its characters to their full potential. After Steven S. DeKnight’s departure, producers Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez uphold the season of Daredevil v Punisher to near perfection.
Though the show is still about Daredevil, it tries to develop new characters. Season two focuses on the stories of the Punisher, Elektra Natchios and a group of assassins known as The Hand. With only 13 episodes, season two is a fast-paced thrill-ride with great origin stories of the characters but lacks in villain development.
In the first half of the season, Daredevil and the Punisher face conflict because the Punisher chooses to kill his victims. The season focused on the morals between Daredevil and Punisher, and the men they once were before they became anti-heroes. Rather than the stereotypical good versus evil fight, the conflict in this season is between opposing ideals.
Bernthal perfectly executes his role as Frank Castle, also known as the Punisher, a ruthless vigilante who will stop at nothing to seek his revenge on three New York gangs that murdered his family and critically wounded him in crossfire. Bernthal exhibits Punisher’s bloody vendetta and also brings to light the soft family man that Castle once was.
Actress Élodie Yung brings her accent and personality into redeveloping Elektra Natchios, Daredevil’s former love interest that equals him in his pseudo martial arts combat. Unlike Jennifer Garner’s over-sexualized and seductive version of Elektra seen in the films, Yung retains the seductive nature but develops a new outlook of Elektra, who is a complicated and manipulative character. She has both a protagonist and antagonist vibe that makes her difficult to trust.
With a suburb casting, seamless transitions and an action packed plot with a dash of humor added to character’s dialogues to create a more personable vibe between characters that was absent in the previous season, Daredevil season two stays true it its roots and expands further on what DeKnight started. The show balances Matt Murdock’s life with and without the Daredevil mask, while he wrestles with the fact that he is not so different from Frank Castle. Daredevil is also pitted against himself were he draws the line between being who he his or killing his enemies like the Punisher.
But the second half of the season becomes an issue for the show and makes the plot a complicated and incomplete mess. With the main focus shifting from the Punisher to The Hand, 13 episodes became too much of a time constraint needed for the plot to be effective.
During the second half of the season the story became rushed with no room to develop the plot with The Hand effectively.
While comic book-lovers will love season two despite its issues, pieces of dialogue and plot holes weigh down the season’s second half. Halfway through the season, Daredevil and Elektra form an alliance to fight against The Hand after they come across a massive hole in the ground in a territory operated by The Hand. This point in the plot is left unexplained and adds no benefit to the plot of the season.
Daredevil goes underground and discovers a group of kids with tubes in their bodies that drain their blood into some sarcophagus thing, when brought to the hospital they become possessed and zombie-like. Again, this is left unexplained and never followed through.
Stick, Daredevil’s mentor, makes a return with nothing revealed or followed through after the first season ended showing Stick talking to an unidentified man that was never mentioned nor alluded to.
Upon Elektra’s introduction, flashbacks between Matt and Elektra reveals their relationship during their college years and illustrate his lack of trust towards her after she manipulated him. The plot was rushed when he easily trusted her after only one or two episodes, something to this extent should have taken at least majority of the season for effective character development.
Despite these inconsistencies, the season kept a well-balanced pace overall until the final episode were the entire plot was tossed to a conclusion with a lack of transitions to develop the plot. I was surprised that the studio didn’t just add another episode or two to refrain from a bland and hollow finale.
Ending with more questions than answers, Ramirez and Petrie did a fantastic job developing the Punisher and Elektra. However, the plot would have been more effective if it focused on developing those two characters, saving The Hand for a later season. Doing so, would have kept the story from being rushed and riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies.
Character development and acting were the only factors that kept the second season afloat but for the future of the series, Steven S. DeKnight must return as the show-runner to continue the near flawless first season of Daredevil.
Final Score: 7.5/10
Collegian A&C Reporter Connor DeBlieck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @CDeBlieck1995.