This was a pleasant surprise. My review is that Daredevil’s latest season 3 is the best Marvel TV series (Netflix) of them all. The focus is on the characters. For me, Matthew Murdock’s struggle with his faith and friends is believable and comes at a time when these same issues are not just academic, but personal. It is not hard to stand in the shoes of Matt this time around.
For the first part of the season (the first arc), we have a hero that has fallen and is barely surviving. He lost his strength, health and his abilities. Stripped of his remarkable powers (enhanced senses) he is relegated back to being a scared, paranoid blind man, who seem to have lost everything. We get to delve into the mind of a person who wants to forsake everyone around him, for fear of pain and mounting guilt. History has taught Matt that those closest to him are those whom God takes away or whom he hurts the most. His only reaction is anger and rage. We see a broken man, struggling to come to terms with his loneliness and insecurity.
As the season progresses, the main players come to the forefront. The Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, shows his masterful planning and manipulation. A sleight of hand that is so deftly done that it is believable. His manipulative, powerful mind is beautifully shown in his analysis of Dex, who becomes of one Daredevil’s most dangerous foe, Bullseye (though in this series, this nickname is not given).
The ending arc shows the acting prowess of the cast members, particularly Sister Maggie and Agent Nadeem, played by Joanne Whalley and Jay Ali respectively. The twist and character focus pays off, as main issues are addressed and ‘revelations’ made. I like the ending – it is a springboard for the future seasons that WILL be made, despite Netflix’s cancellation of ‘Luke Cage’ and ‘Iron Fist’. There is just so much comic-connection and human emotions invested into this season.
My favourite moments:
- The single long-take in the 4th episode entitled “Blindsided”. It was a nearly 11 minutes long prison-fight sequence. Wonderfully shot – better than any sequence in the previous season or in the Punisher’s first season. Somehow I was reminded of
Half Life(the game)… especially when the “lockdown is now in effect…” keeps repeating in the background.
- Agent Nadeem’s heated exchange with Matt Murdock in Episode 12 entitled “One Last Shot”. Nadeem’s realisation is a needful moment for the audience to reflect and see how often we fall into the same trap that leaves us self-righteous and hypocritical – always maintaining a ‘victimhood’ mentality. Strong stuff.
- The fight at the church… in episode 10, clearly following Kevin Smith’s arc in the Marvel Knights reboot, which I reference below. There is the twist of course – do not worry, the TV version is different from the comic version. But still, the imagery was so similar, and strong.
I truly give my HIGHEST recommendation for everyone to watch this. There is no sexual references, but violence is truly extreme – lots of blood every where. This is a human soul season. It focuses on the heart. It forces us to think whether we are complicit in the very things that we accuse others. It forces us to examine whether we truly have friends, or mere acquaintances. Finally, Daredevil develops to be the ‘man without fear’, a title that the comics constantly subtitle this hero.