DAREDEVIL [Season 2 Face-Off Review]: Punish Me.
Aloha. My name is Mr. Hand…
Sorry, that was necessary. Before the breakdown, here’s the hype vid…
JaDarrel “The” Belser: Man, I have so many great moments to choose from. I‘ve decided to expand about this by putting it into sections: Best Dialogue Scene and Best Fight Scene. My favorite dialogue scene was pretty much the basis of the entire third episode — the collection of scenes between Frank Castle (The Walking Dead‘s Jon Bernthal) and a chained Daredevil (Boardwalk Empire‘s Charlie Cox) on a roof across from the bikers’ hideout. The back-and-forth banter between their backgrounds and lengthy debate on the moral implications of their ‘work’ is great to watch. Also, my favorite fight scene this season happens to be in the same episode: the Stairway Brawl between Daredevil and the entire Dogs of Hell biker gang. It was a direct homage to the “hallway fight’ from last season and, in my eye, surpassed it.
“Reverend” Ryan Ford: I’m gonna take the route Mr. Belser laid forth and split the scenes in two. Best Fight Scene(s): A.) Dogs of Hell Hallway – They took their Oldboy homage to a new level with a Hitchcock twist. To quote Barenaked Ladies, “Gotta see the show ‘cuz then you’ll know the vertigo is grow grow”; B.) Deadmen Walking – When Frank Castle is finally incarcerated (a la the numerous times that has happened in the comics), we get to see his unbridled animal rage in close quarters combat–one of my favorite Easter eggs also comes out of this sequence.
(“Father” Ford, continued…) Best Dialogue Scene(s): A.) Penny For Your Thoughts – When it seems that Matt Murdock has reached his limit in eradicating crime, DD tries to enlist the Punisher–just this once–to help him permanently end the Big Bad MacGuffin (a.k.a. the Blacksmith). Then he crosses himself, like any good Catholic. Frank, who ironically seems to be the more level-head in this conversation, tells him that’s a line DD can’t come back from. So much is said between the lines of that conversation, which get blurrier with every word spoken. B.) Jesus was a Zombie – With Elektra (G.I. Joe: Retaliation‘s Elodie Yung) recovering from a mortal wound (in Matt’s bed, no less), Stick (The Silence of the Lambs‘ Scott Glenn) finds an opportunity to expand upon the plight of The Hand – which boils down to immortality and resurrection. Finding this hard to believe, DD scoffs at the notion to which Stick replies “I thought you were a Catholic, Matty… Doesn’t your whole belief system hinge on one guy pulling that off?” Hilarious and brilliant.
Belser: This is tougher than I thought it would be but I’d say it’s a toss-up between Daredevil and Frank Castle, The Punisher. They were the two most engaging characters the entire season, as I just loved how Cox has evolved into a more confident and aggressive Daredevil while maintaining his hope in humanity–despite being tested tremendously. Plus, Bernthal completely killed it as Pun. He’s cold blooded, stubborn and ruthless, all with the trauma of losing his family that makes him so sympathetic.
Ryan: The Punisher. Hands down, this is the best portrayal of the character to date. Bernthal walks the line of calm intensity like an acrobat, showing the crushing emotion that fuels the Punisher in one deadpan look after another. One of the best and earliest glimpses of this feat is in a pawn shop where Frank learns the scumbag owner is peddling child porn. Calmly, Mr. Castle locks the door, turns the sign to read “closed” and slowly walks back to the cash register, nonchalantly plucking a metal bat from the rack on his way. Nothing after is shown, yet the look in his eyes tells us everything we need to know about the Punisher’s morals — and how far he’s willing to go. Conversely, the self aware detached empathy he conveys to Karen in private juxtaposes a homicidal maniac against a man with skills in a no-win situation. It takes just one bad day…
Honorable mention: The Kingpin. Vincent D’Onfrio (Full Metal Jacket) once again plays the part to perfection, though in a situation that highlights the power of his hulking man-boy–physically and mentally. We get to see some introspection of Fisk playing the long con, as well as referring to himself as the Kingpin. Awesome. We also get to see a better showing of his physicality, which was campily underplayed in the final battle of Season 1.
Belser: I personally didn’t care for the Stick dropping off young Elektra with the Greeks scene. Yes, it carries her story and explains her upper class background but it was pretty slow and took me out of it.
Ryan: Josie’s and the Pussycat – The first time Marci Stahl (The Mansion‘s Amy Rutberg) reappears in (Butterfly Effect‘s Elden Henson) Foggy Nelson’s life was a bit gratuitous for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, there were a handful of fun little nuggets sprinkled about, but overall, everything seemed forced. The name drop of Jessica Jones, the fact that Marci is employed at Hogarth, Chao and meh….
Belser: My least favorite character this season is my least favorite character from last season: Karen Page. I don’t blame the actress Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) at all. I think she is actually a fantastic actress with what she’s been given. She just falls into the mold of most of the lead ‘damsels in distress’ on most superhero shows. I just hate how she’s written. She can be inconsistent and has absolutely no real world common sense. She constantly makes really bad decisions based on emotion and — when shit she causes goes sour — she’s always crying and being the victim.
Ryan: DA Samantha Reyes (Law & Order: SUV‘s Michelle Hurd). While it was nice to see her again, further connecting the exploits of Hell’s Kitchen, it was a case of less is more. The best part of her character was watching Foggy tear her limb from legal limb–verbally, that is. And while the link to creating the Punisher instilled plausibility, the payoff wasn’t enough. What may eventually make her character stronger is if future episodes expand upon the backdoor shenanigans between the police and the criminal underworld, presumably orchestrated by Wilson Fisk. But I’ll leave that for another section…
BEST REFERENCES/EASTER EGGS
Belser: As mentioned by Ry-dawg earlier, Marci namedrops JJ and that she’s now working for Jeryn Hogarth’s law firm. Also, Carrie Ann-Moss (The Matrix) herself makes an appearance in one of the last episodes interviewing Foggy for a job, alluding to the Purple Man in the process. Claire Temple (Sin City‘s Rosario Dawson) states she got the graveyard shift because of her helping out Luke Cage, whom she describes as “Big Guy. Stronger than our mutual friend.” Frank Castle is given the name “The Punisher” because of a police psych profile, with his infamous skull logo forming from blood during his jail stint. Finally, Wilson Fisk refers to himself as “The Kingpin” for the first time while in prison.
Ryan: New York Bulletin – So. Many. Headlines: STARK TOWER RUINED IN BATTLE OF NY (Avengers), CYBERTEK SETTLES (Deathlok!). Also, the assignment board lists “Gas Explosion at 221st & MLK”, which is the location of Luke Cage’s bar. Melvin’s Workshop – More design plans can be seen for the weaponry used by (San Andreas‘ Matt Gerald) Melvin Potter’s sometimes criminal alter-ego “Gladiator”; he picks up saw blades in defense, with a poster visible for an old Italian movie about gladiatorsin the background. Once more, the mechanical legs for “Stilt Man” can be seen, which now have more validity as Turk Barret becomes dismembered. Miscellaneous – Finn Cooley (Defiance‘s Tony Curran) getting his face rearranged (not exactly like in the comics, but…) MICRO(chip), ROXXON…
Belser: Season 1 of this show was a masterpiece. To have a Season 2 that is equally as good is a testament to the creative staff and cast of this show. Can’t wait for Season 3.
Ryan: Watch Daredevil Season 2 A LOT!!!
Stay tuned to GodHatesGeeks, as both “The Belser” and “Reverend” Ryan Ford give us their theories on Daredevil Season 3, Luke Cage, and the rest of the Marvel Netflix Universe later on this week!!!