Welcome back to Hell’s Kitchen Crunchers! The long-awaited Daredevil season 3 is finally here! Matt Murdock obviously survives the events that occurred at the end of The Defenders. He heals up and comes back to see that all Hell has broken lose. The Kingpin is rising in power, poised to take over and wreak some serious mayhem in Hell’s Kitchen. What he doesn’t realize is that in Hell, the Devil is king (good line right? I need to sell it to Netflix). So, did season 3 live up to its great predecessors? Let’s Crunch this!
This season had a lot of focus on philosophy and religion. Murdock is torn because of what he has always believed in God is conflicting with his current feelings toward him. He feels betrayed and cursed by God and believes that he’s found strength in enmity toward him. There were a lot of discussions in the show regarding right and wrong, God’s nature, and what Murdock should be doing next. They remind me of debates between Daredevil and The Punisher in season 2, except that The Punisher was vastly more compelling character than the person that Daredevil is debating this time around.
I had a love/hate relationship with that being such a focus this season. While Daredevil’s scramble to find himself brings his character more depth, there is also a recurring theme that has been in every season. Should Daredevil kill? I feel like this debate has been beaten to death. I already felt like it had been by the end of season 1. At this point it is just annoying and I don’t even care which one he picks, just stop talking about it.
Karen Page is a lot less stupid this season than in previous ones. I felt like she had been such a cry baby previously and did some of the dumbest things that sometimes even got people killed. Her character is actually like-able this season, but that does come with a downside. I feel like in an attempt to make her more like-able, they spent way too much time building her character. Sometimes I felt like they should have renamed the show to “The Karen Page Chronicles” or something like that.
One thing that Daredevil has done well every season has been to make some really great villains. This season they introduced Bullseye. The superior version to the disastrous villain from the Ben Affleck iteration of Daredevil. Bullseye is a character that can shoot or throw anything and make it hit exactly in the spot he’s trying to hit every single time. This makes for some fantastic fight scenes between him and our favorite Hell’s Kitchen vigilante. You do have to get past some unbelievable things, like pencils being thrown at such force that they shatter glass and imbed themselves into plastic. Just enjoy it for the awesomeness that it is. They do a great job developing his character and making him feel like a really threatening opponent.
The Kingpin is definitely the highlight of season 3. He has just as good of a performance as season 1, and is everything that you want the Kingpin to be. His ability to seize power and cause mass fear from everyone that his vast influence can reach is awesome (in a terrible way). The majority of the intense suspense in the season stems from him. I honestly feel like Vincent D’Onofrio was born to play Wilson Fisk.
Foggy Nelson and Marci play a decent part in the story as well. Foggy is a character that I already liked, but found to be annoying on occasion. I really felt like Foggy’s character improved this time around. He is the crazy loyal stalwart friend that just does the right thing, because he’s awesome like that. I do wish he was a little bit more of the comic relief that he was in the first season though. Also, he does probably get a little bit too much screen time as well. Marci is a completely different person now, which makes me a little sad. I liked her “I have a bad attitude, but in the end, I’ll do the right thing” charm that she had going previously.
Daredevil himself has some pretty interesting changes. One thing that was different and really fun to watch, was Matt Murdock switching from pretending that his blindness hindered him, to this season being a blind man pretending to have working eye sight. Charlie Cox (Murdock) does a fantastic job acting that out. You’ll notice as well that I switch between calling him Matt Murdock and Daredevil. That is indicative of his struggle with identity this season. He once again has a journey of self-identification and it’s really done in a cool, yet not “Eat, Pray, Love” kind of way.
Overall the season was very enjoyable but fell short of the previous two seasons. It had some great elements from our bad guys, but focused on side characters a little too much. It was to the point where I almost felt like Daredevil became a side character in his own series. Daredevil’s self-defining journey made me feel like I knew and liked his character more, but once again had some points where it was rehashing things that have been hashed and rehashed just too much in the show already. The fight scenes were phenomenal, but I also felt like they were too few. Still, a great season. I highly recommend checking it out Crunchers!
Four out of Five Couch Cushions