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Netflix Brings Back the Excitement of 'Marvel's Daredevil'
October 19, 2018  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment
 

Marvel’s Daredevil did the right thing with its alpha villain back in Season 1. It didn’t kill him. It just locked him up.

In Season 2, we all missed him.

So for Season 3, whose 13 episodes become available Friday on Netflix, Vincent D’Onofrio’s (bottom) Wilson Fisk is coming back into our lives.  

That’s not a spoiler. That’s the hook of the whole season, and as if to underscore the point, the season’s first episode moves slower than a line at the Department of Motor Vehicles until Fisk shows up.

He remains a Big Bad in every sense. His sheer size dominates the screen, and his orange prison jumpsuit provides a stark immediate contrast to the dark scenes where we start getting some clues about what Daredevil himself – Matt Murdoch, played by Charlie Cox (top and right) – is going to be up to. Or not be up to.

It also won’t be a spoiler to hear that what’s whirling around inside Matt’s head is dark stuff. And with good reason. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its Netflix subdivision, of which Daredevil is a part, will recall he was last seen barely alive at the end of the Defenders miniseries.

As we get reacquainted, then, our boy is not having his best day. Without getting into actual spoilers, he has a number of career-oriented conversations with Maggie (Joanne Whalley), a nun he meets in the course of his convalescence.

Their conversations have a strong theological underpinning, which is notable because Daredevil has been that rare superhero who has spoken of personal involvement in traditional religion. In his case, that’s Catholicism, which dovetails nicely with the nun connection.

Among other things Matt makes some rather judgmental comments on Job, apropos of the tough road on which he has found himself.

If Matt’s conversations are of some theological interest, though, they move along at a pace that could charitably be called deliberate. Likewise, his ambivalence about whether he should continue as Daredevil at all, or return to his day job as a lawyer, plods on at considerable length.

At the same time, it should be added that self-doubt and vocational soul-searching hardly constitutes a unique moment in the Marvel universe. It often feels like getting a superpower is contingent on agreeing to become anguished about it periodically.

Meanwhile, a promising new character named Ray Nadeem (Jay Ali) is trying to figure out some way to bring his family’s life back into financial balance. His sister-in-law has been undergoing extensive cancer treatment, and while it seems to have been successful, it has left intelligence agent Ray and his family deep in debt.

Against this backdrop, Ray is sent to talk to Fisk, an annual ritual in which the agency asks him to become an informant, and he says get lost. This year, however, Fisk may have some fresh issues of his own, so it feels like he could cooperate. That’s a big win for Ray and opens a witch’s brew of possibilities for the show

Matt finally gets an action scene, too, and between that and the Fisk development, Daredevil finally seems to have kicked into gear by the end of Episode One.

In fact, it looks like it could reach a pace and story level comparable to that of its first season, which would be very good news for viewers even as it could induce more handwringing and soul-searching for its title character.

Ah, the joy of a good bad guy.

 
 
 
 
 
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1 Comments
 
 
Michael Flanagan
I think it's Matt Murdock, not Meadows.
Oct 19, 2018   |  Reply
 
 
 
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