‘Daredevil’ Season 3 is More Brutal and Exciting Than Ever – Review
Daredevil is back for a third season, and our favourite blind vigilante has hit his lowest point, and there seems to be no way out of the darkness.
Netflix was kind enough to offer Geeks of Color the chance to watch the first 6 episodes of Daredevil season 3! Be warned: Mild spoilers ahead for season 3. Also, full spoilers for Daredevil seasons 1 and 2 and The Defenders.
Last time we saw our hero Matt Murdock a.k.a Daredevil (Charlie Cox), he was in The Defenders, trying his hardest to leave the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen behind. However, the Hand and Elektra (Elodie Yung) return to threaten his city forcing him to take action and come to the realization that he is Daredevil — he’s not going to deny who he is any longer. In the final moments, we see him in a bed, after surviving the collapse of the Midland Circle building, and is being taken care of by nuns. Elektra, who was in his arms as the building collapsed, is not by his side.
This season Matt Murdock has left his old life behind and fully embraces his life as the vigilante Daredevil. No more pro bono lawyer work, no more friends; “Matt Murdock” and the people in his life are distractions and at risk of getting hurt because of his actions. All that matters to Daredevil now is taking down Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), who’s on the rise again.
From the very first episode, we see a lost and disillusioned Matt change drastically; he becomes more focused on continuing his life as Daredevil and renouncing Matt Murdock and God. We see Daredevil recovering and being taken care of by Father Lantom (Peter McRobbie) and Sister Maggie (Joanne Whalley). Daredevil challenges their faith as a way to distance himself from all who care about him. He is devasted by losing Elektra again, he no longer has faith in his religion, and he has rejected his friends. This is Daredevil at his lowest point and it doesn’t seem to get better with each episode, which makes things more engaging and compelling to watch.
Meanwhile, Fisk is experiencing a reversal of fortune as he becomes increasingly more assured and dangerous during his stint in prison. Underneath the not-so-watchful eye of the FBI, he begins to exact his revenge on the city he swore to destroy. And, he is hell-bent on destroying Daredevil after he threatened his beloved Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer).
After watching the first six episodes of the new season, one will notice that this season is a lot more concise and focused on one singular story and no moment ever feels like a filler. Past Marvel/Netflix shows struggled with this aspect of their shows, often attempting to stretch out a 6-8 episode story arc into a 10-13 episode season. And, in Season 2 of Daredevil, there was trouble with trying to juggle a Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra storyline at the same time. Both arcs feeling hallow and riddled with filler episodes. This season the story is self-contained and doesn’t seem to be setting up any future series, which was what season 2 was preoccupied with. Season 3 evokes many of the great qualities of season 1 and improves from the stumbles in season 2.
Once Daredevil returns to fight for Hell’s Kitchen, he’s not at his best as he is still weakened from his wounds but is more determined than ever. Although Daredevil is at the center of the story, the character who really moves the plot forward is Wilson Fisk; who’s playing every other character like they’re a piece on a chess board. He knows what he’s doing and is ready to wreak havoc on Hell’s Kitchen and Daredevil’s life.
Erik Oleson took over the showrunner reins from Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez this season and seems to be borrowing heavily from Frank Miller’s 1986 comic book story arc Born Again, with Matt being at his lowest, as well as what I believe to be aspects from Ed Brubaker’s run on the character. Of course, these elements are borrowed and they create their own storyline with it but one continuous factor in the series is that they continually push Matt to his breaking point.
Another element that helps move things along is the fight scenes and they have never been better choreographed. It seems even more brutal than before. Daredevil is now up against one of his greatest comic foes, Bullseye, who helps elevate the action in this season of Daredevil, much like Punisher and Elektra did in the previous season.
The new major addition to the series is Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter (Wilson Bethel) or better known as Bullseye. Season 3 is exponentially better with Bullseye up against Daredevil, as an immediate physical threat like him raises the stakes greatly. Pointdexter is also given the now-iconic villain origin episode. The way they explore Dex’s backstory is creative, intense, and eerily creepy. When he is unleashed, he is dangerous and well-matched to take on Daredevil; he could possibly be Daredevil’s most dangerous combat opponent. The performance Bethel gives is great and I can’t wait to see what his character does next.
New additions also include a new original character in the series FBI Agent Ray Nadeem (Jay Ali) who works closely with Fisk as the FBI makes a deal with him to take down other criminal organizations. While interesting and enjoyable, he’s a character that only really helps connect the other characters. Based on the first six episodes we should expect Nadeem to have a major impact in the story, whether it will benefit or hinder Daredevil’s battle against Fisk is yet to be determined.
As for returning characters; every character in Matt’s life serves the purpose of challenging him and his belief. While I may have found some of the main cast of characters of the series rather annoying in the previous season, they have never been better now. Such as Matt’s best friend Foggy (Elden Henson) who is no longer tied down to Matt and is ready to make a big change in his life and make a difference for his community.
Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) continues to grow as a fierce and determine investigative reporter, and this season she finds herself yet again in the middle of Daredevil and Fisk’s battle. She seems to be the same from when we last saw her in The Defenders and Punisher, but her dynamic with the cast in Daredevil has always been her best and that continues this season.
As I previously stated, Wilson Fisk is playing every character like a puppet master and Vincent D’Onofrio continues to give a rich, powerful, and intense performance as Fisk. Many say that he is one of the best comic book villains in the MCU and I would argue he’s one of the best in the superhero genre and this season will further prove that. Kingpin shines bright and really puts Matt in a corner, who only barely makes it out of the situation alive. The character is still as menacing and every time he is on the screen you can’t help but be engrossed with him. And, it is his relationship with Daredevil that creates such an excellent show.
This new season honestly left me in awe at everything. From the characters journey to the actions to the creative storytelling, this season of Daredevil might be the best yet! After viewing the first 6 episodes, one should expect mayhem to ensure this season as Matt and everyone involved in his life, are in the gravest danger they’ve been!
Catch the Daredevil season 3 premiere when it hits Netflix on October 19!