Friday, February 10, 2017

Now on Netflix: Daredevil Season 2 (2016)

Daredevil Season 2 (2016) - Created by Drew Goddard; Starring Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Jon Bernthal, Elden Henson, Elodie Yung, Vincent D'Onofrio, Scott Glenn.

By Kenny Howell

Despite the darkness both on the screen and at its core, Daredevil Season 2 lives in a gray world.

Where Season 1 had a very defined enemy in Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin (though it took several episodes to get to him), Season 2 does not. There is the Punisher making his debut, though he is more of a frenemy. So is Elektra, Daredevil's flame, sometimes person who messes everything up because of her own self interests. There is a crime syndicate that rules the last half of the season, but isn't really dealt with in the first part.

That kind of directionlessness is both intriguing and troubling for the second season of the Netflix show. I like that the show doesn't stick by the standard structure, it's OK with veering off its path on occasion, but it doesn't feel like a cohesive season. It almost seems like a stop gap to get Punisher's show started, and set up The Defenders series which will come after Iron Fist has its run.

The season starts with Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, played by the always excellent Jon Bernthal (The Accountant), exploding onto the scene, taking out just about every crime family that might have had something to do with the murder of his family. There is also the return of Elektra, who plays a much bigger part in the second season as she returns to Matt's life and helps him out, or complicates things further. Karen is still worried about everyone, and has started a relationship with Matt, but her focus turns to The Punisher when she learns why he did the things he did. All that culminates into a battle with a crime syndicate who is trying to take over New York in a very weird way.

The pieces are all still there that made the first season so excellent, though I could have used some more Vincent D'Onofrio (Jurassic World). Bernthal is a welcome addition, and his show should be violent fun when it comes. But now that it has set all those pieces into place, it's time to reign it back in and let Daredevil be less sprawling. It's focus needs to be on Daredevil and not what else Netflix has in store.

Both seasons of Daredevil are now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***

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