This is not going to be a full on review, it is going to be more a rambling of my thoughts I had while watching the show, and honestly I’m not very good at it. I went a bit overboard with my notes, so this is going to be a long-ass post. This review will be in English as I watched the show in English. All GIFs used in this post are not made me, they are gathered from Tumblr, so thanks to all the people who made and shared them.
Episodes: 13 (54 min)
Genre: Crime, Action, Superhero, Drama
Cast: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Rosario Dawson, Jon Bernthal,
A blind lawyer named Matt Murdock, with his other senses superhumanly enhanced, fights crime as a Lawyer by day, and a vigilante, the devil of Hell’s Kitchen, by night.
„I can’t let myself fall in love with someone, who’s so damn close becoming what he hates.“ (Claire Temple – 1×05 „World on Fire“)
„Then don’t.“ was Matts answer and he didn’t seem regrettable considering how season 1 went, it was quite interesting that he let Karen fall for him, knowing it’s a struggle to keep both his very different lives balanced. To me that was the theme of the season – what is right and wrong, should he be lying or telling the truth, which life is the right one to live? I don’t know if Matt got the answer to those questions, he definitely made a decision, but in the end everything scrambled.
But let’s start at the beginning. I took a lot of notes while watching the 2nd season over one weekend and I’m just in love with the show. I think it might take over the No. 1 spot. Anyway, as I went a bit overboard with all my – more or less – relevant notes, I’ll go episode by episode.
2×01 – Bang
You start the episode and you’re right back in – the feel, the look, the rhythm makes you feel right back home in Daredevil’s Hell Kitchen. Apparently six months have passed, but the break is over as we get a good taste of what The Punisher is going to be – his first impression makes sure, you know he doesn’t fuck around. He shoots down part of the Irish Mob like he’s a whole damn army.
I was also surprised by the fact that Matt and Frank already met at the end of the first episode. I thought they would play a bit of a cat and mouse game for a couple of more episodes, but the whole storyline for Frank Castle didn’t go as I somewhat expected.
One thing I was sceptical about was the new costume, because the black one looked so good, but the red one actually looked quite good in motion and made Matt less bloody and injured.
2×02 – Dogs to a Gunfight
I’m basically on Matts side, but I totally got where Foggy is coming from, especially after he found him being shot in the head. I also understand why Matt feels the need to do what he does, but he appears to be so stubborn to understand where his best friend is coming from.
The after effects of getting shot in the head were awesome, not so much for Matt himself as he lost his hearing and that made him really blind as he lost an important part to sense his surroundings. (I like the way Charlie Cox acted that scene, you could feel how desperate Matt was.)
I didn’t know much about The Punisher beforehand, never read the comics, hardly ever watched one of the movies and only got some information from reading things on the internet. So I didn’t feel sympathy for Frank Castle and what he was doing even if it was effective and got the job done. I particular didn’t like that he was shooting around in the hospital, because there were more than a couple of innocent people present.
We also got the second showdown between Matt and Frank, but as Matt was still dealing with the after effects of that shot, he wasn’t 100% capable of fighting and Frank for sure took advantage of it. (I’m not quite sure, if Frank thought Daredevil was blind.)
2×03 – New York’s Finest
„You’re one bad day away from being me.“ (Frank Castle)
Which is probably true, because Matt beating the crap out of people isn’t a good way either and as we see throughout the season, it fired back at him, but for now Matt puts himself on higher ground – not killing people is the right way to do the vigilante way.
„You hit them and they got right back up, when I hit them they stay down.“
This puts us right into the episode long conversation between Matt and Frank and the essence of their two different methods, both of them are thinking their way is the right way to do. (I think Matt’s more entitled to his method.) But at the end – in my opinion – neither of one of them is right or wrong. I guess it’s a matter of perspective.
Well, we got the homage to the famous and awesome hallway fight scene from season 1. This time around Matt fights a couple of people on a stairwell with a gun taped to his hand and a chain, which by the way makes an awesome accessory. We still see Matt getting exhausted and I like those bits and pieces to make a Superhero a bit more real
And this is the first episode we see a version of the famous skull.
2×04 – Penny and Dime
One thing I got from this episode is that Frank Castle is hard to put down. (I guess Matt Murdock isn’t the only one, who can take a beating.)
My favourite fighting scene was, when Frank got free and Matt came to the rescue, so they finally have to team up, I absolutely liked the fact that they fought together and yet they didn’t. It was kind of funny how Matt fought off the bad guys and simultaneously kept Frank from killing people by knocking weapons out of his hands.
As much as I like Matt’s fighting style, I sometimes wonder how much of those flips and kicks are really necessary or if they are just for the show. I feel like they put even more exhaustion to the fights.
2×05 – Kinbaku
An episode filled with little flashbacks of how Elektra and Matt met, a little glimpse into their relationship and how it ended.
From the moment she appears you see that they have a history together and there’s still something between them.
But there was just one thing running through my head „She’s toxic.“, this might be a bit much, but she definitely brought out Matts more careless side, he loosened up a lot, there was basically no hiding from her about what he could do and what he’s doing as Daredevil
„I think it’s illegal driving under the influence of blindness.“
Matt is clearly determined to not let Elektra back into his life again, he even allows himself a bit of happiness with Karen, but with Elektra in the picture and their undeniable connection this is pretty much doomed as Matt is drawn to Elektra like a magnet.
2×06 – Regrets Only
I absolutely like the dynamic between Elektra and Matt, it feels natural. The diner scene was amusing and again it shows how hard it is for Matt to resist Elektra. I guess she makes the Daredevil part of his life easier, because there is no denying and Elektra definitely doesn’t care for a normal life.
I also totally like how Matt is so nonchalant towards Elektra to the point where he’s just annoyed by her and yet Elektra keeps totally ignoring it, she’s absolutely not bothered.
This episode also gave me one of my favourite parts, „The Heist“. It’s just great from the beginning in the car up to the end of getting away. (And Matt Murdock and I might have the same musical childhood – 90s Top 40.)
2×07 – Semper Fidelis
I didn’t expect Frank Castle to get caught so early in the season, because him going to prison meant to me that his storyline would be over; I couldn’t really believe that and yes I was wrong. (By the way, I totally liked the sound/music the show played when Frank entered the courtroom, it made him appear like he’s the biggest thread in the world.)
We also see more and more how Matt can’t balance both sides of his life, especially when Elektra is around and as much as I like Matt I totally get where Foggy is coming from. And to be honest did we ever see a superhero with a hidden identity be successful in balancing both parts of his/her life?
2×08 – Guilty as Sin
I don’t understand why Matt took the mask off in the car, I’m pretty sure the windows were see through, those Ninjas were able to get a clear picture of him or did they already knew, because of his past with Stick?
Now we’re at a turning point in the story and were moving towards The Hand storyline, which to be honest isn’t my favourite part of the season. I wasn’t a fan of Stick in the 1st season and was glad we only had to deal with him for one episode.
I don’t know why Foggy and Karen let Matt take over the questioning considering he didn’t really helped with the case and Foggy proved to be a capable lawyer. We see that it didn’t went quite well, even if it wasn’t completely Matts fault. I also wonder if Frank connected the dots and figured out who Matt was – he made a pretty long pause after he asked him, if he could call him Frank.
The big reveal came in the end, when Frank went to prison and met the man that apparently promised him something, which was worth screwing up is trial – Wilson Fisk. Another surprise! I don’t know why, but after watching half the season I didn’t expect him to show up and in good Marvel style I didn’t read anything about it and I never mind a spoiler. Also thumbs up for not putting his name in the opening credits as I’m one of the few, who pays attention to that.
2×09 – Seven Minutes in Heaven
„We have to stop corrupting each other.“
And yet Matt is drawn to Elektra like a moth to the light and shutting everybody out of his life, even Claire, who seems to be the voice of reason here, doesn’t really get through to him. Let’s be honest by that point in the season Matt isn’t the best person in the world. You kind of get the feeling that he’s very entitled about being a masked vigilante fighting the bad people in his city.
Anyway asides from Matt being a crappy friend, Frank Castle gets his own version of the famous hallway fight scene from season one and this one is very graphic and messy as The Punisher definitely doesn’t fuck around.
2×10 – The Man in the Box
This episode had another one of my favourite scenes; Matt visiting Wilson Fisk in prison. You might think at the start that Matt had the upper hand in that conversation, but by the end you know that even in prison Wilson Fisk is a very, very powerful man, which you aren’t threatening by mentioning Vanessa’s name.
I was nearly screaming at my screen when Fisk started beating up Matt to defend himself and he just didn’t. I don’t think he didn’t want to reveal what he was capable of, I think he was legit scared of him, because putting Fisk in prison didn’t change anything. He still ruled from in there, still had the power to effect the world outside those prison walls. Matt was really shaken up after that encounter.
2×11 – .380
By this episode a lot of people were probably already on that Frank/Karen ship and I have to admit they worked really well together. Karen was definitely more sympathetic towards him, because of what she did at the end of season 1 – killing Wesley, even if it was more of an accident. He was a bad person and killing him stopped him from doing more bad things, but it’s still killing. Frank took a liking to Karen and it wasn’t romantic in any way to me as he was still grieving his family and the love he lost. (I read somewhere the actor thinks, he saw in Karen what his daughter could have become.)
But the diner scene rubbed me a bit the wrong way. First of all this whole speech about pain and love, and basically advising Karen to go for Matt, when he’s been more than a shitty friend and I don’t know how healthy this whole pain thing was. Frank is grieving so hard for his family and so hell-bend on getting revenge, but after that speech I wasn’t sure if the marriage was still good. And he used Karen as bait. He always makes a point on only killing the guilty ones, but he sure has no trouble of putting other people in harms way.
„You cross over to my side of the line, you don’t get to come back from that. No ever!“
The whole season so far Matt was pretty firm on not killing anyone, but I guess after his visit in the prison with Fisk and falling more and more back into the life Elektra is living, he was finally ready to cross that line and I’m kind of glad that Frank wasn’t all in for him following his path, maybe because he was past redemption and Matt is clearly still seeking redemption for all the things he’s done. I think it’s time to pay Father Lantom a visit again.
2×12 – The Dark at the End of the Tunnel
We got the conclusion of Frank’s story arc and basically his origin into The Punisher, but I didn’t really get why everything happened to his family, so the big reveal fell a bit flat and I guess when you get someone like Clancy Brown to guest star you know something more has to come with this character.
And Karen can’t catch a break, but she’s very stubborn, so she always runs into the danger in her need to find out the truth. Honestly at one point in her life, I would just grab my stuff and run far far away from everything.
2×13 – A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen
„… there’s one thing that makes me feel more alive, and that’s you..“
Matt has no trouble of letting go his friendship with Foggy so easily, but he can’t give up on Elektra despite her being not the most positive influence in his life. I admit I was a bit surprised when he wanted to run away with her. He did a whole 180° on that. He was so determined to get her out of his life, to make it right with Karen and when that Matt Murdock part of his life fell apart he went for Elektra, because it seemed so much easier.
After that scene I was pretty sure Karen knew it was Matt, because it felt like he was dropping his mask without actually taking it off, but after his choice for Elektra fell apart he decided to finally tell the truth to Karen and he revealed his secret identity at the end of the season. So, I’m not quite sure if she didn’t already put two and two together and figured it out by herself or if she was really surprised by it. I guess we have to wait until we see those two together again.
Nice cameo from Carrie Ann Moss, making a nice connection to Jessica Jones by offering Foggy a job at her law firm.[/wpex]
The fight scenes didn’t feel as rough as in the 1st season even if they were. In the 1st season you could feel the exhaustion dripping out of the screen. I guess having an armoured suit helps getting not ripped into pieces.
Like last season I’m wondering if Charlie Cox‘ voice gets deeper because of the American accent or if it’s part of the character.
I always like the things Charlie Cox does to indicate Matt Murdock is blind, he did that a lot in season 1. There were less this season around, but he had to pretend less to be a regular blind guy.
The worst thing this season was the one wig a stuntman had to wear. Usually with this show I can’t hardly spot when a stuntman is taking over for an actor, but with Gilles Marini they just did a half-assed job in disguising the stuntman, like they run out of money and couldn’t afford a proper wig, which by the way made a return when it had to pretend to be Naboo.^^
I also liked how characters from the first season popped up again, e. g. Turk, Melvin (I hope there will never come harm to him.), Madame Gao and probably a couple more.
I also like Officer/Detective Mahoney, they should make him part of the main cast.
I really, really enjoyed this season there is no doubt about that, the hangover from my binge-watching lasted for about two weeks and, I’m still totally digging it. Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle/The Punisher was an awesome addition and Elodie Yung felt right for Elektra.
The only downside of this season when the show went into The Hand storyline. I feel like I was missing a big chunk of information, because I had absolutely no clue what it meant that Elektra was Black Sky and I wasn’t that interested in that part of the many plots in season 2. Elektra was a great addition, but I think just concentrating on Frank Castle would had made the season equally awesome.
Anyway, if you enjoy this kind of show – watch it!