The Hindenburg. The Titanic. Marvel’s Daredevil. What do these have in common? Any guesses? No? Okay, here’s the answer: They all started out with tremendous hype. They were bigger, better and had what was needed to make a splash. Unfortunately, the promise only ended in complete and utter disaster.
Before I begin my rant, I must say that I loved the first half of the season. The story telling, the acting, the cinematography and the directing were all superb. I was completely caught up in the world of Hell’s Kitchen even though I could previously care less about the Stan Lee creation. Everything was going the way of this Netflix binge-worthy phenomenon, and then everything stopped.
The decline was not immediate, though. Like the zeppelin and steam liner above, there were signs of trouble long before the end. Episode nine was promising enough as Daredevil battled Mr. Nobu draped in ninja red. The fight scenes were engaging and well-done. At the same time, they came off as a predictable and derivative of other fights in the series. I just don’t know how many times you can cut through someone’s shirt and into the first layers of skin without causing major injuries. At episode’s end, Daredevil fell into the trap sprung by Fisk by killing Nobu without the Kingpin getting his hands dirty. At this point, the iceberg was right ahead, the captain fired up the engines and took aim.
After the action-packed eighth episode came an hour of Foggy Bear yelling at Matt as he came to terms with the realization that Murdock and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen were one and the same. Sure, the secondary story was interesting, but a guy can only take so much of Foggy’s bewilderment. The final episodes also exposed a super-weird continuity issue with Foggy and Matt meeting in college dorms in 2010. 2010? What about all the talk of the Hell’s Kitchen of their youth and the people they knew when they were growing up.
And where is this meeting happening? The scene portrays them as college freshman but that time frame doesn’t add up with the time needed to complete law school and internships. Plus, who in law school is taking Punjabi? Sorry, Foggy. It doesn’t make sense and breaks the entire illusion. Another timing issue pops up in the show regarding the time between episodes. It is hard for the viewer to gauge how much time passes from the beginning of the season to the end. Is it 13 days or 13 months? For a while, I was tracking Matt’s facial hair, but then I was thrown off by a midseason shave. Plus, Karen talks about Nelson and Murdock like they have known each other for years, not weeks. Hell, Foggy and Matt have only known each other for 5 years so maybe relationships move a bit quicker in the world of Hell’s Kitchen.
The final episodes are almost devoid of Claire. This was a big problem for me because her scenes with Matt out of costume were some of the brightest moments of the show. Rosario Dawson was sorely missed, as was much of the creative production that I loved so much from the earlier episodes. The fight scenes were repetitive and far less ambitious than the hall fight in episode two that was so loved. What we got instead was the Wilson and Vanessa show as he waited at her bedside during her recovery from the poisoning that was obviously an inside job from the onset.
This is another sticking point for me with the final episodes of Daredevil: He didn’t do anything. After DD inadvertently gets the red ninja to burst into flames, he does little to take down Fisk. Yes, he cracks some skulls and finds some pieces of information, but the task is left for Karen and Fisk’s own crew. All DD has to do is wait for the puzzle to get solved for him as he enjoys a latte with his priest. There were long talks about killing Fisk without ever conveying the message that this was an option because Fisk was presented as too much of a force.
By the end, Daredevil, in his fancy, new duds beats the crap out of Fisk in the alley showing that both the lawyer and the masked vigilante were needed to capture and confine the boss. I couldn’t help but wonder, though, so what? Who cares? Quit reminding me about dead Mrs. C and the others gone in Fisk’s wake. I don’t know them. I have no sympathy for them. Fisk is shown to be too much of a victim to really see him as a perpetrator. The lines between good and bad are too blurry for the subject matter.
What’s next for Daredevil? I can’t even speculate, but I will surely give it a viewing when season two comes out (As long as I can squeeze another free trial out of Netflix). The promise of what Daredevil was gives me hope for what it can be again. For now, I’m left let down and disappointed. We will see what 2016 has in store. Until then:
Consume.Review.Repeat. gives the final episodes of Marvel’s Daredevil a rating of 4 foaming fiancés out of 10.