Daredevil – Season 3 Episodes 1 – 4 Review

Daredevil S3 P1

With Daredevil Season 1 still standing as one of my favourite series of TV ever, my hype for Season 3 is sky-high as not only does it bring back S1 villain Wilson Fisk but it finally gives us the MCU version of Bullseye! So, how does it start? Well, quite grimly for our protagonist…

Synopsis:

After the destruction at Midland Circle, Matt Murdock is washed up at the docks and saved by a cab driver who takes him to Father Lantom and Sister Maggie, the place where he grew up. Injured and with his senses out-of-order, Matt begins to think whether continuing to live at all is a good idea, let alone trying to go back to being Matt Murdock or Daredevil…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

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“You thought I was dead? Come on Foggy, I’m a comic book hero!”

Matt Murdock / Daredevil (Charlie Cox) – Matt though he died alongside Elektra when Midland Circle collapsed, but instead he eventually woke up in the church he grew up in. Deaf in one ear and lacking a sense of smell, Matt knows he can’t be Daredevil any more, and that his time as Matt Murdock only brought misery to his friends… So few options are left for him…

Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) – Karen has never given up on the possibility of Matt still being alive, after all his body was never found in the building wreckage. Still, while she waits and hopes, she also still works as a reporter…

Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) – Foggy has begun to accept Matt’s apparent death, though he feels responsible for it due to being the one to give him his old Daredevil suit. Foggy continues to be a lawyer, but he feels something is wrong with his life…

Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) – Wilson Fisk was once at the top of the chain of New York crime, the Kingpin, as it were… Sorry. Anyway, he has spent a good while in prison without telling the FBI anything, but now he’s worried his old love Vanessa might be in danger…

Benjamin Poindexter (Wilson Bethel) – Dex is a frankly amazing shot, and as a SWAT sniper has personally killed many people. Psychologists worry what effect that could have on his mind if he doesn’t have a way to deal with it…

Rahul Nadeem (Jay Ali) – Ray is a respected agent in the FBI who is waiting for his next big promotion, but sadly his finances took a hit when he had to help with an in-law’s cancer battle, and a bad credit rating means no promotion…

Plus more!

The Good:

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“What’s wrong friend, you look like you just took part in long, elaborate fight sequence!”

Well, the old “break the hero down so you can build him back up” plot point is certainly being used here! Matt is a literal and mentally broken man, angry at any and everyone, especially himself. He does eventually get his senses back (after doing a bad job at attacking some kidnappers and begging them to kill him…) and then decides that Matt Murdock should remain dead, and that he is now only “the Devil”. It’s an interesting, and sad, character path he’s on, but it makes for great drama! Episode 3 sees him finding out that Fisk is out of prison, though still very much in FBI custody, and that’s where he finds his goal: to finish what he started and kill Fisk, returning to the old all-black costume and ready to fight anyone, including FBI agents, seemingly!

Episode 4 has a now-classic amazing long fight scene, in this case it’s Matt escaping a prison where several inmates and paid-off guards try to kill him. It’s brutal, with several scenes of Matt or his attackers slowly getting up to their feet groaning before another short burst of action, making it feel more real than an overly choreographed fight with no breaks. It ends with an amazing long single shot of Matt being accompanied out of the prison and into the back of the taxi he arrived in. It was properly great TV. The episode ends with Matt in the taxi as it’s plunged off the end of a bridge into water, so… there’s a cliffhanger for you!

Wilson Fisk is still a fascinating villain, one that’s hard to get a handle on. He’s undoubtably evil, has no qualms about killing people etc, but his love for Vanessa is a charming aspect to him. When he is being escorted to his new FBI-ran penthouse, his motorcade is attacked, complete with his car being tipped over and several agents being killed. As Kingpin struggled to try and get free, you do feel his panic as if he’s the hero in peril, despite that fact he’s clearly the villain. He is saved by Dex, later known as Bullseye (well, knowing the Netflix MCU, probably not later known as…), who takes out several of Fisk’s attackers with amazing accuracy, of course!

The FBI become worried about Poindexter, both mentally in terms of cumulative effects of killing, and in terms of how he handles himself on the field of battle. He talks to the FBI psychologist about having a girlfriend he can confide in to get stuff off his chest, but we later see that at most he’s stalking a woman without talking to her, or possibly something more sinister. Either way, the potential mental damage is being kept in his head, all the while Fisk is thanking him and lying to other agents for him, setting up his eventual turn really well.

Karen Page is still very much the reporter who intrudes on people’s lives to get the scoop (but it’s okay because she’s a good character!) and Foggy is still very much Foggy (though as scene with his family, who run a small butchers shop, was a nice bit of character development), but both are still haunted by what happened to their good friend Matt… or what they think happened. Seeing Matt show up just to tell Foggy “Hey, I’m alive, but you’ll never see me again. I’m just here to tell you not to go after Fisk… and steal your wallet. Bye!” was unpleasant, which goes to show how well their relationship had been built up.

New character Ray Nadeem is… fine. A family man FBI agent who, thanks to a stupid bit of red tape, is struggling financially which means he can’t get a deserved promotion, which ironically would gain him the needed finances. He happens to be the FBI agent who arrives when Wilson Fisk spills the beans in order to get out under FBI custody (well, that and a set-up stabbing so he can claim to be unsafe in prison), and so gains big fame when he brings in some top criminals, and then faces infamy when several agents lose their lives in the motorcade to escort Fisk out of there… He has a moral dilemma, and I’m interested to see where it goes…

The Bad:

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I doubt we’ll see him carve a bullseye into his forehead…

Not much! There is quite a bit of God / religion talk, but that’s always been the case with Daredevil comics. Matt’s M… Er, Sister Maggie is an enjoyable character too, but at the moment is just spouting pro-religion talks. I don’t really mind as it’s true to the source material, but I do feel maybe there was a tad too much in the first two episodes… though that is all about Matt loosing faith in everything, so it’s a good metaphor… Ah whatever. Let’s just stick with “Not much!”

Overall Thoughts:

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“Take that, FBI agents just doing your job!”

Daredevil is back to Season 1 / First half of Season 2 levels of great characters, well filmed fight scenes and a well paced plot that keeps you hooked. They even have a new showrunner, yet Daredevil still comes out far above the other Netflix MCU efforts, and I loved some of those! If this introduction is anything to go by, Season 3 is going to be a very fun ride!

5 Star Watch

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