Two episodes in and I’m anxiously awaiting my next peek at Marvel’s Daredevil. If I wasn’t reviewing this series for NBF, I’d have finished it before the end of its first weekend streaming. Instead, I’m watching and writing each review one at a time as my anticipation builds. At least when I’m done, the “now what?” empty feeling will be eased by Orphan Black’s premiere and the episodes of iZombie waiting on my DVR.
After episode two, I’m convinced I need to start reading some Daredevil. This character is darker and more intense than I imagined. For some reason, I always expected Daredevil to be silly. I’m just going to blame Affleck for that one. I need to check in with my friends who are Daredevil fans and see if the series reflects the Daredevil they know and love.
This episode had a slightly different tone than the first. The vulnerability of the characters is explored, and we gain much more insight into Daredevil’s past. A good chunk of the episode is flashbacks to Matt Murdock’s childhood, mostly through interactions with his boxer father. We see their bond, and how hard his father tries to teach – and do – the right thing. I like the actor, Skylar Gaertner, who portrays the young Daredevil. Often these roles get overlooked and we end up with subpar actors filling these roles. I found that the scenes between Gaertner and John Patrick Hayden (who plays Jack Murdock, Daredevil’s father) flow nicely with the show’s current-day narrative. The audience gains a more complete understanding of Daredevil’s desire for justice in these flashbacks, and that his ability to keep getting back up no matter how many times he’s been knocked down is deep-rooted and possibly hereditary.
The episode opens with our devilishly handsome superhero laying in a dumpster, bleeding from multiple wounds and in pretty bad shape. He is rescued by an ER nurse named Claire, played by Rosario Dawson (squee!). She takes him in and nurses him back to some level of health. Both are coy about their true identities, yet have an almost immediate trust with another. Through their conversations, we learn that word about Daredevil’s activities are spreading, in both good and bad ways. We also find out about Daredevil’s heightened sense of smell. By heightened, I mean superhero level scent abilities.
Daredevil is still running around fighting in his street clothes, something he makes light of when he first meets Claire. His stature seems small when he fights, which only furthers the fact that all the odds are stacked against him and he shouldn’t be winning these battles. And yet, we root and cheer for him, mesmerized by his stellar hand-to-hand combat abilities. One scene in particular finds Daredevil in a narrow hallway, fighting multiple men, mostly larger than him. Oh, and several of them have guns as well. We’re shown once again how connected Daredevil is to his other senses, and how attuned he is to the movements of others around him. The action in this scene is immense, and you don’t know if anyone is going to walk away from the all-out assault.The scene is done in a one-shot, which I’m a sucker for, and if it’s any indication of what’s to come for the rest of the series, I’m all in.
The storyline between Matt Murdock’s business partner, Foggy, and their office assistant, Karen, went where I never would’ve expected. Foggy Nelson is played by Elden Henson, who you may know from his role as Pollux in Mockingjay, and Deborah Ann Woll from True Blood plays Karen Page. This episode emphasizes their roles as more than simply sidekick or love interest. I’m not sure if it’s his hair or what, but I keep expecting Foggy to be a douchebag. Instead, he’s the right measure of sarcastic and self-admittedly awkward. He also happens to be a caring guy. We see him counsel Karen through a hard time, and while he may make a crack or two about them being on a date, he’s not creepy at all. He’s the friend you want to have a beer with and forget your worries for a while. Please don’t ruin this and have Foggy turn out to be a Nice Guy! All credit to the writers for exploring Karen’s anxiety and PTSD in a genuine manner. So often in shows and movies like this, characters are witness to horrid acts of violence and bounce right back like nothing has happened. There’s a realness to this show that I greatly enjoy.
In episode two, we see that Daredevil is vulnerable, and will need the help of others to continue his crime-fighting. I look forward to seeing how he balances his vigilante heroics with the daily life of Matt Murdock. I’m wondering who Claire is and what her role in Daredevil’s story will be, and if Foggy or Karen will ever learn about their friend’s nighttime hobby. I’m also curious about Daredevil’s mother and what else happened in his childhood. This is a pleasant surprise to me; remember how I complained about long backstories? If the backstory has value and offers solid performances, as I’m seeing so far in Daredevil, then I welcome these scenes. More than anything, I’m happy with the intriguing storylines this show brings and, of course, the stunning fight scenes. Oh, and I’m hoping for some quality screen time for Fisk in episode three.
Binge along with me! Daredevil is streaming now on Netflix.