Nearly a year since the defeat of Wilson Fisk, the criminal element in Hell’s Kitchen looks to fill the void and take control. The much-anticipated return to this corner of New York in Marvel’s Daredevil looks to rise the stakes and introduce a new legendary antagonist/antihero.
The first season very much had a freshman-feeling to it: it was a twelve hour long origin story. The execution of it and the actual story being told therein was phenomenal however, and it’s great to see things pick up with Matt Murdock comfortable in his (slightly upgraded, and better designed) Daredevil armor. No longer prying into criminal enterprises and finding himself instead as a street-level hero of the people is something that hasn’t been done yet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Looking like an unstoppable force in costume, and being quite the busy lawyer with a full office (but empty wallets,) life is going well for Nelson and Murdock. Foggy slowly coming to accept Matt for his night-time activities and respect it, the brief story he told of Mrs. Almeida and how the courts couldn’t help her but the Daredevil could helped sway Foggy into taking more risk himself.
The scene with the Irish mafia family had a mysterious vibe, with a mix of “meeting our villains of this season” and a “the victims of a slasher flick” going on. In the end they were both right, with Frank Castle punishing the local crime syndicate in a grandiose fashion, reminiscent of the Breaking Bad finale. The vague hints at a “militarized army” throughout the episode are reminiscent of the teases of “your employer” giving us the slow burn toward the Kingpin. Rather than that sizzle, we get a flaming explosion right out the gate and bullets flying.
The whispers through the wind of this radical group of militarized extremists that no one knows about slowly unraveling, from both Daredevil’s interogations against Turk Barret (my man) and Foggy daring to go out in the field and mingle with the criminal element himself. Though the viewer would already know, seeing the characters come to the realization that the piles of bodies and death sweeping the city are the creation of one man is something that is truly terrifying. Seeing him in the flesh wreathed in shadows, walking silently through the darkness evokes images of that monster. The directorial style of framing Frank to keep him on the sides of the action makes him out to be The Terminator, a force to be wreckoned with who will stop at nothing. The climactic battle between himself and Daredevil atop the rooftop showcased the physical rivalry and skill of the both of them happening before they actually interact on a personal level with their conflicting philosophies is an interesting twist.
The ending was sudden and jarring; and goes to show how even the fighting between the two truly is. The Punisher has a few tricks up his sleeve that Daredevil won’t bring to the table: guns. As for how drastic the consequences of Daredevil’s injury will be and where that takes The Punisher on his warpath we will see, though the season is off to an incredibly promising start.