Title: Daredevil Season 3
Directors: Marc Jobst, Lukas Etlin, Jennifer Getzinger, Alex Garcia Lopez, Julian Holmes, Stephen Surjik, Toa Frazer, Alex Zakrzewski, Jennifer Lynch, Jet Wilkinson, Phil Abraham, Sam Miller
Writers: Erik Oleson, Jim Dunn, Sonay Hoffman, Lewaa Nasserdeen, Tonya Kong, Dylan Gallagher, Sarah Strelcher, Dara Resnick, Sam Ernst
Starring: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Joanne Whalley, Jay Ali, Wilson Bethel, Stephen Rider, Vincent D’Onofrio, and others.
Network: Netflix TV-MA
Duration: 13 episodes approx 54 mins
Well, OK, I watched season 3 of Marvel’s Daredevil, and it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was a thoroughly enjoyable production, an entertaining, well woven, dark tapestry of crime drama noir, melodrama, and martial arts faithful to its comic book roots in the grim, grounded, and gritty style popular these days with little restraint on the melodramatic elements and a generously liberal hand regarding the plethora of masterfully choreographed fight scenes. If you are a fan of noir style married with genre narratives like I am, you’re going to love this. It doesn’t hurt that the acting and writing in this series best season yet is better than any other superhero series out there and even better than most other shows on TV.
Admittedly, I sometimes find D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Fisk as a villain laughable to a degree. He occasionally conjures disturbing images of a bloated, wealthy John Travolta with poor sartorial taste in a Saturday Night Fever white three-piece suit made of some shiny fabric (silk?). Fisk has at times, (esp season 2) seemed like a spoiled fat child throwing tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. Still, season 3, however, has managed to make Fisk scarier, and seem a lot less over-the-top bloated drama queen this time around; the show found a way to make him feel more manipulatively sinister, psychotic, and someone to be taken more seriously.
In sharp contrast, the series takes a shot at humanizing Fisk by having him motivated primarily by his distorted idea of love. The show even goes so far it has him talking like a sappy poetry-spouting romantic like a teen with a hard crush who utters lines like ‘Love is the perfect prison.’ But the series never lets you forget he’s a monster. The season provides the set of circumstances that lead up to Fisk being named Kingpin.
Season 3 finds Matt struggling with not just healing his damaged body but also his damaged soul in the wake of the events in The Defenders, and a decision ahead about what path to follow in life going forward, coupled with an existential crisis of faith. He gets help from an unexpected source. The season’s narrative unfolded nicely in an organic way with a few surprises along the way and other devices to flesh it out nicely.
On the surface, Froggy has moved on with his life and is a successful lawyer while Karen is still a half-crazed investigative reporter who continues looking for windmills to joust with when she isn’t crying. Karen cries a lot. They both know things aren’t right without Matt and do not want to give up on him and admit he might be dead. Karen most of all. Froggy keeps trying to convince her to move on and that Matt is dead, but it becomes apparent he is trying to convince himself.
The other bad guy this time around is Agent Benjamen Poindexter or “Dex” AKA Bullseye who has the uncanny ability to turn anything he throws into a dangerous weapon thrown with deadly accuracy. Wilson Bethel is convincing in the role. He’s a scary guy. He gets depicted as a true sociopath with a violent rage inside he can only relieve by killing. The fight scenes with the character were different from standard fight scenes because Bullseye would fight by rapidly alternating between throwing anything within reach and punching, kicking and shooting. He proves to be a formidable adversary. The season ends with what looks like a setup for his possible return.
What’s Going On At Marvel/Netflix?
Following on the heels of the release of season 3 of Marvel’s Daredevil came the news that Netflix had canceled Iron Fist which I am sure most fans did not find that surprising, but right on the heels of that announcement came the news that Netflix had also canceled Luke Cage, leaving just Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Now maybe it’s just me, but I suspect that Marvel would prefer to have four shows on Netflix as opposed to two.
These recent decisions lead me to wonder what’s going with the two entertainment giants? Are we on the verge of stage two in the relationship between Netflix and Marvel, or is the honeymoon over and these are the first signs of a breakup? If so, what characters should we expect to see in the second stage? What second-level Marvel characters do you think should have a TV series? Of course, they could rearrange the stuff they already have that people like, for example, a series that rotates episodes featuring the Daughters Of The Dragon, Or Luke Cage and Iron Fist working together in the Heroes for Hire premise.