Season one of Daredevil was brutal and occasionally brilliant, setting up the world of Matt Murdock, lawyer-by-day and vigilante-by-night; a darker side to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The introduction of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk as the antagonist brought things to another level. It was a strange, unpredictable performance that was elevated by some excellent characterisation.
As if stunned by its own villain, the show then kind of had to tread water for the back half of the season, which was great whenever D’Onofrio was on screen, but the rest of the time we were watching Foggy and Karen play catch-up to what we had found out hours before. The ending was standard superhero fare, which stuck out like a sore thumb in a show that had gone to such great lengths to convince you of its realism and “serious” tone. Daredevil season 2 starts with similar aims, but like the hero himself, more confidence and skill. The costume looks a lot better (well, the cowl looks good but the rest still looks like motorcycle gear), and the fight choreography is excellent, especially a stairway action scene that blows the first seasons long-take corridor fight out of the water. There are also considerably fewer drawn-out storylines to stretch the series out, so the pacing feels far more in-keeping with the format.