So it only took us a little less than a week to finish all 13 episodes of Daredevil season 2 because that is as quickly as we could get through it. This season definitely starts with a bang because the action is already in progress in some respects. This season we get introduced not only to Frank Castle aka the Punisher, but also Elektra. This is also the season that Foggy and Karen really get to shine.
The first season of Daredevil was great because it introduced us to the character and the reason that he was needed in Hell’s Kitchen. In Season 2 we examine the different paths Daredevil could have taken and the toll that being a vigilante takes on the people in his life. (Spoilers to follow for Season 2 of Daredevil!)
Frank Castle, the Punisher
This season does not ease us in to anything, but starts the first episode with the slaughter of a group of Irish Mobsters. Now if you paid attention at all to the previews then at this point you already know who is doing the killings. Everything about how they represented Frank Castle just made me so happy. Just the fact that it was believed that the killing spree was being done by an army and really it was one man. That part is just brilliant. At the same time bringing in the Punisher for Season 2 makes a lot of sense because he is a nice counterpart to how Daredevil has chosen to help save Hell’s Kitchen. There is a great moment where Daredevil and Punisher are talking about how they handle getting bad guys off of the street. Punisher makes the point that with Daredevil’s way the bad guys just end up back on the street, but he makes sure that they will never harm anyone again. Daredevil keeps trying to push the point that what he does is different.
Then there is a moment late in the season where Daredevil seems like he might give in and says that just this once we will do it your way to the Punisher. I love that the Punisher won’t let him do that. He doesn’t need Daredevil’s help and he doesn’t want Daredevil to compromise himself. Yet, Frank Castle becoming the Punisher is the direction that Matt Murdock could have taken when becoming Daredevil, but chose to follow a different path.
The Punisher is not the only outcome for the path that Matt has chosen to follow, which brings us to Elektra. In this story Elektra is Matt’s ex-girlfriend who he dated during Law School and who almost ruined his law career. She manipulates him into getting involved in her current business, but it turns out that she has a lot of secrets. Apparently Elektra was originally trained by Stick similarly to Matt; but unlike Matt Elektra stayed with Stick, while Matt left. Now suddenly we have Elektra who believes in the war Stick is fighting and is willing to kill for it, and Matt who truly believes that you do not need to kill to get justice. Matt and Elektra are so intertwined with each other. She knows all of the buttons to press to get him to do things, but part of what she fell for in him is that he is truly noble. He admits that not killing is not the easy choice, but it is a choice that he has to make every day. It is also an important choice for him to make.
Again, we are looking at Daredevil interacting with a person who could be him. It would be easy for him to fall into step with Elektra, but he fights to pull her toward his way.
Karen and Foggy
Now, the real heroes of Daredevil season 2 are Karen and Foggy. This season Matt has more and more trouble keeping his day life and night life in balance. This leads to a lot of struggle between Matt and Foggy as well as Matt and Karen. In a lot of ways Daredevil feels like he has to help protect the city, but that often means that he cannot be there for the people in his life.
At the same time Matt not being their for Karen or Foggy allowed them to shine in their own way. Foggy had to stand on his own two feet and lead the defense for Frank Castle. We have seen how brilliant and amazing Foggy is, but he definitely seemed to not feel it himself until now. Then there is Karen who started out in the first season some scared naive woman who becomes the legal assistant to Matt and Foggy. At the break up of that duo and the trial for Frank Castle going belly up Karen finds her calling as an investigative journalist. She did not care about the trial or justice, she cares about uncovering the truth. Both of these characters have definitely found their own voice this season.
Now of course where they end the story just leaves us wanting more. The Punisher has completed his mission and is now out in the world finding justice his way. Elektra is presumed dead by most, but taken by the Hand to take on her role as the Black Sky, whatever that is. Foggy has a new job working for the law firm that Jessica Jones has been known to assist. Karen has taken over the desk of Ben Urich at the New York Bulletin and we close on Matt telling her that he is Daredevil. I am not sure where they are going with Daredevil leading to a season 3 and the Defenders mini series, but I am happy to go along for the ride.