The Great Daredevil Season 2 Binge Is Here, and I’m Reviewing Every Episode. Head Here to Keep Up.
Which One Is “Regrets Only”?: Matt, Karen and Foggy talk their way into being The Punisher’s legal representatives, but then he surprisingly pleads not guilty. Oh, Frank Castle. You lovable, yet completely terrifying scamp. Elsewhere, Elektra steals Matt away to a Roxxon party to help her pull off a heist.
1. Elektra Is a Jolt of Energy & Levity
My lukewarm opinion of Elodie Young’s Elektra was reversed the moment she celebrated defeating a horde of Yakuza ninjas with Daredevil’s help by excitedly pulling off her mask to ask him, “Hungry?”
Wait. Was that an actual joke? On Daredevil? On top of that, a Whedon-esque play on genre convention where after vanquishing a round of thugs the heroine nonchalantly announces how famished she is?
Daredevil never has been nor will it ever be a funny show. It’s only ever amusing in the way a Christopher Nolan movie might be, which is to say occasionally someone will have a line which causes you to smirk. On Daredevil, that someone is usually Foggy (although I’m aware that some people really, really can’t stand him). There was also an undeniably hammy quality to Vincent D’Onofrio’s line deliveries as Fisk last season which made him both a foreboding villain and a source of unintentional laughs. He was scary, but also fun to mockingly imitate.
Season two has had next to none of that so far. Now along comes Elektra, arrogantly striding through Matt’s life and just not giving two shits about decorum. She believes every man wants to sleep with her, and she recognized Matt as Daredevil not because of his mask but because of how his ass looked in the suit. Plus, she can tell that he’s toned up that ass, which she appreciates. When he leans in and does his low, scary voice thing to intimidate her it takes everything she has not to laugh. His classic comic book hero threat “Stay out of my city” bounces right off of her.
Yet she’s still a cliched version of the cool, exotic kick-ass who says and does whatever she wants. As entertaining as I now find her to be, I don’t know how well drawn she is as a character to this point. Plus, the completely different energy she brings to her scenes feels airlifted from a different show. Speaking of which…
2. A Heist? In That Dress?
When Joss Whedon wrote and directed Angel’s third season episode “Waiting in the Wings,” he wanted to take a break from the show’s usual vampire detective storylines. For one week, Cordelia wouldn’t have a vision, and Wolfram & Hart wouldn’t be ending the world. Team Angel could simply dress up in tailored suits and stunning gowns and head to the ballet. Of course, the ballet would have to turn out to be haunted, but even then it was nice to see them in an unfamiliar setting and wearing unfamiliar clothing for a week.
That’s how it felt watching Matt and Elektra dressed to the nines at a corporate party as a precursor to executing a heist, with Matt’s super hearing standing in for so many spy gadgets they might otherwise need to use. To be honest, I didn’t know Matt’s abilities were so multi-faceted, i.e., that they could be used almost like x-ray vision to see (or in this case hear) through walls and cabinets. However, it was remarkably entertaining watching him do that while executing a corporate heist with a gorgeous woman while wearing a nice suit.
It’s unlike anything the show has done before, standing in complete contrast to the concurrent scenes of Karen talking to the Punisher in the hospital. In fact, the contrast might have been overly jarring, but it was still a inventive departure from this show’s norm, particularly the way Matt and Elektra bluffed their way out of the building instead of giving us another 7 minute fight scene.
3. Matt and Karen Aren’t Going to Make It
They stopped holding hands once they fully entered the room and saw the Punisher. Oh no, you guys, they’re totally not going to make it.
In all seriousness, Karen’s conversations with the Punisher offered us another glimpse of his human side, such as the comfort he takes just from hearing the updated layout of his old home described to him. As Karen grows closer to Frank and thus approaches a better understanding of why he did what he did Matt is sucked even further into Elektra’s conundrum with a corporation which has been misusing her money. Matt’s portion of the story is cut and dry, but why does Karen express such sympathy for a man who is 100% guilty of nearly 40 counts of murder? And will her dance with this proverbial devil alter her opinions on, um, Daredevil?
4. Is Reyes a Completely Ineffectual Villain?
At the moment, District Attorney Reyes is the chief antagonist. She won’t be when the season ends, but for now she’s the thing standing in the way of the heroes. Foggy keeps telling us she’s the reason they have no new clients, and anyone else who speaks of her does so with a healthy sense of intimidation. However, we’ve now seen her rather epically lawyered by both Foggy and Matt, giving the impression that outside of her bully tactics she has no real legal skills. Moreover, she’s been written as such a one-note character that it used to be somewhat unintentionally funny; now it has become a genuine problem.
5. What the Heck Are the Yakuza Up To?
Actually, who ever said it was actually the Yakuza? Roxxon is up to no good with some kind of human trafficking operation and big plans for Hell’s Kitchen, and I have absolutely no idea what those plans might be.
Lastly, Frank has no chance of winning his big Trial of the Century, right? He’s all kinds of guilty, tragic back story or no tragic back story.
On to the next episode: “Semper Fidelis”