[Ed. note: This post is being scheduled way back in August, so we don’t know the release date for Daredevil’s third season. Also, being that TV and City is on a semi-hiatus while I’m abroad, this article has not been edited! :)]
By Matthew Stanford
In 2015 when Daredevil first premiered on Netflix I was pretty burnt out on Superhero stories. I read that there was good close combat in the show (which I love) so I decided to give it a chance. It completely changed my opinion on what was possible for a Superhero show. It felt grounded and real almost like a noir film that happened to have a super hero character. Season 2 was OK; the character of Stick was awesome as was the sort of villain the Punisher. However, I found the true villains “The Hand” to be just an endless stream of people rather than a concrete antagonist to drive the story.
Season 3 pretty much picks up right where The Defenders left off. As a reminder, Matt Murdock was trapped under a building that exploded. He is presumed dead by everyone, but then he is shown badly injured but alive with nuns taking care of him at an undisclosed location. Season 3 is tremendous. Six episodes were provided for review and I watched them in a day and a half. In other words: highly bingeworthy.
Foggy continues to be annoying. I do not read comics, but from what I hear that is how he is in the comics as well. Fun fact, Elden Henson who plays Foggy was Fulton in the Mighty Ducks films! He certainly has some strange storylines this season, but the absolute worst is a long scene with his family about how they wish he would take over his parent’s deli. He is a successful Lawyer at a big firm, but yes by all means he should run a deli because… family. Foggy exists to be the voice of reason for Matt and I understand that is needed so I have grown accustomed to his storylines and side stories. It is what it is.
There is a large criticism these days about how female journalists are portrayed in TV and Film. Thankfully Karen Paige does not fall into these stereotypes. She is smart, ethical and is a darn good reporter. Much like Foggy I don’t care much for her storylines, but they do give her more to do this year then be damsel in distress or complain. There is substance to her presence and she helps drive the story at times. Plus, if she wasn’t around who would pay Matt’s bills for months while he was presumed dead.
There is a portion of the season where Matt Murdock/Daredevil acts extremely pouty and emo. While it is a bit much, it is necessary to show his psychology at this moment in time. He truly believes that anyone that is close to him is or will be at some point in harms way. He tries to syphon himself off from the world, but circumstances bring him back to the forefront. Charlie Cox continues to be great in this role.
This year introduces the classic daredevil villain Bullseye aka Benjamin Poindexter, he is played by Wilson Bethel. I came in unfamiliar with Bethel as an actor but he is incredible in this role. Bullseye is a character who is a true psychopath. Bethel makes this very believable you can almost feel his mental issues along with him. Those familiar with Bullseye’s origin story, this is played out on screen with a high level of detail and they hit all the right notes.
In order to properly introduce bullseye to the world, a character needed to return to the show, Kingpin! I am extremely biased when it comes to Vincent D’Onofrio, I love his quirky style of acting and most of what he has done. I thought his performance as The Kingpin in Season 1 is one of the greatest comic book villain interpretations of all time. I felt that he was sorely missed in Season 2. I am happy to report he is back in full force in Season 3. This is not a cameo, he is a major player. He attacks this role with such an intelligence, tenacity and menace, it is just great. The writing suffers a bit in that he cares and mentions the love of his life Vanessa a bit too much, but just tune that out and enjoy the rest of this fantastic performance.
Just like every other season you will not care much about Foggy and Karen’s storylines, but Season 3 of Daredevil gets its groove back. The fight scenes are plentiful and excellent!
There are a lot of close combat scenes and there are some very clever moments once Bullseye’s skillsets are brought into the fold. The two antagonists are the highlight here and definitely worth the price of admission.
I give Daredevil Season 3 an A-.