Read at your own risk if you haven’t finished watching Daredevil season two.
The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen is back on Netflix, following the success of Daredevil season one and Jessica Jones. This time Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez have taken over the show from Steven S. DeKnight. The first season was a toe in the water for the Netflix and Marvel partnership, and season two brings an all out assault on the criminals of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Charlie Cox returns as the titular character, Matt Murdock aka Daredevil, along with returning characters Elden Henson as Foggy, and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page.
Jon Bernthal is phenomenal as the troubled Frank Castle, unlike the shadowy Kingpin from season one, The Punisher is central to the violence from the start. This is no slow burner, Petrie and Ramirez are quick to the pay off in each storyline. However, at times it feels that the rush to tell each story means that some events and the lead up to them are exactly that… rushed. The overarching Punisher story is well-paced and whilst it would have been nice to explore the character further, there was justice done to the anti-hero. Bear in mind, with rumours of a Punisher spin off series and the upcoming The Defenders series, we have a lot of Punisher waiting to ambush our screens. The relationship between Karen and Castle is interesting as she becomes his confidant throughout his trial, and I hope it is something that is explored more in further seasons.
Elektra on the other hand is dealt a very different hand. She appears out of nowhere and the relationship between Elektra and Daredevil is attempted to be set up through flashbacks, however I found it fell short of the mark. If you weren’t properly caught up from season one it might feel like you’re missing something (I was frantically googling to catch up). After backtracking to the first season things made a lot more sense.
The now infamous corridor fight from season one is rehashed in a bigger and better one shot fight between Daredevil and a biker gang. It’s amazingly shot and darkly comic. However a few episodes later it feels like a one trick pony, when the Punisher has a similar scene in the prison. The Irish antagonists, lead by Tony Curran as Finn Cooley, are menacing, and the Mexican meat hook impaled cartels are horrific. The Hand’s sickly disturbing blood harvesting, ninja training chamber leaves chills down the spine. We see a believable romance blossom between Karen and Matt as they kiss outside Josie’s bar, then onto the most awkward first date in a fancy restaurant. We can all relate to Matt when he asks the waiter to explain the entire history of wine in 30 seconds. The final scene where he tells her his true identity is stunning, a Marvel style film noir moment.
Karen really comes into her own, as Nelson and Murdock disband after the dismal trial of Frank Castle. Woll shines in the role of Karen as she leads the investigation into the Punisher’s past. Between Foggy and Karen they act as a stand in for the audience, and the citizens of Hell’s Kitchen, representing the conflicting opinions on the Punisher’s actions. Jessica Jones fans will appreciate Carrie-Anne Moss’s cameo as Jeri Hogarth, recruiting Foggy to her law firm.
Daredevil season two is a gore-fest of epic proportions, we see the fallout from the first season and a set up for future seasons and spin offs. Everyone is affected by the underbelly of New York descending on Hell’s Kitchen, everyone is dragged into the mess. New York belongs to everyone, but Hell’s Kitchen belongs to Daredevil.
Image courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com.