+ Recommended – TV-MA, Drama, Action (13 episodes, 51 minutes)
The last time we saw Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, he was buried under a pile of rubble. To everyone’s surprise (or not), he got out from underneath the rebar and destruction left behind after The Defenders teamed up to stop the notorious crime organization, The Hand. Now, he has bigger Fisk to fry (I couldn’t help myself). Let’s dive into the events of Daredevil Season 3 and what it will mean going forward for Netflix’s Marvel universe.
[WARNING: THIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM PREVIOUS SEASONS AND FROM SEASON 3]
Nearly reminiscent of the ultra-violent chaos of The Punisher Season 1, Season 3 of Daredevil is unrelenting. You’ll be tossed in many different directions during each episode and even though I’m an outspoken supporter of shorter episode orders for television, I find myself indulging in the gritty reality of Hell’s Kitchen in shows like Daredevil and The Punisher. In terms of characters from the other Netflix Marvel shows, Daredevil doesn’t really provide much in the cameo department. Matt is on his own mission, with his own agenda, and doesn’t call for help from his other colleagues. He doesn’t even ask for Claire’s, or Night Nurse’s, assistance once this season. There’s one mention of another Netflix Marvel character towards the end of the season, but I will not spoil that for you because it is too good.
While fans may feel odd about how the other characters outside of Daredevil were handled, enough of the narrative baggage from other seasons provide groundwork for some truly harrowing storytelling, particularly with Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). From Season 1 of Daredevil to The Punisher‘s first season, her character arc has come full circle. Watching Foggy (Elden Henson) mature and find his footing in the vast world of suits in New York has been a pleasure, too. But most importantly, Matt Murdock’s journey through grief, through heartbreak, and loss has been the soul of Netflix’s Marvel universe. Charlie Cox deserves every bit of recognition heading into award season for television, oozing pain and pent-up aggression together in the same scene. Newcomers Joanne Whalley (Sister Maggie), Jay Ali (Ray Nadeem), and Wilson Bethel (Ben Poindexter) all supply more ensemble ammunition for this fictional world. Everyone brought their A game. And of course, Kingpin himself returns: Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk.
Stunt work remains the core of the show, and the team doesn’t disappoint. Notable fights include: the one-take, prison fight and the showdown at the Bulletin. Though Fisk was the central antagonist, infiltrating the FBI and numerous other facets of New York, Season 3 establishes the potential Season 4 villain with Agent Ben Poindexter, aka Bullseye. Daredevil and Dex (Poindexter’s nickname) fight at odds, and it’s their difference in fighting style that layer each fight with, sometimes, unbearable tension. Dex, who specializes in a more distanced combat approach forces his enemies into the distance and Matt, who’d rather attack with melee in close quarters, grapples his opponents to subdue them. And to no one’s surprise, Matt gets the crap beat out of him several times during the season, especially when fighting Dex, whose psychopathic tendencies will have you biting your nails every time you sense a looming threat. It got to the point where I couldn’t handle how uncomfortable his character made me and I had to take a small bathroom break.
What makes these shows, and particularly Daredevil, excel past, say, CW shows, is the fact that there are consequences stemming from the character’s actions. These are typically serious ramifications that could impact how the final episode turns out. When people are hurt, I genuinely worry about them and how they will wiggle their way out of a dire situation. Unfortunately for some characters this season, they weren’t able to escape the hand of death. Dread lingers around, especially when the outcome of a certain character or storyline is so clear. The loose ends are wrapped up smoothly, and I left Daredevil’s reality with more hope than when I began. To say the least, Season 4 will come. When taking into consideration the critic’s and audience’s reactions alike it’s evident that fans and casual watchers will eat it up. After all, Daredevil is the perfect balance between comic book finesse and unapologetic realism.