I made a typical college student move this weekend (**cough cough, week before final exams, cough**): binge watch a new show on Netflix, of course. My boyfriend and I are your average Marvel fans. We've seen all the movies, read articles and watched way too many YouTube videos on the upcoming movies and he has even gotten into reading some comics recently. So when it came time pick what show to watch we decided to give the Netflix original, Daredevil a try. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that we finished the entire first season in about three days and I cannot wait for season 2 which was announced last week and should be back to Netflix next year.
So from here I'll give my own opinion/analysis of the series and what has made it so great as well as where they could take the series in the next season(s). If you don't agree with anything I write here please comment! I appreciate you pointing out any holes in my future plot predictions or what you think could happen or even if you hate this show I'd love to hear why!
*****Be aware that there are a ton of spoilers past this point in the article.
Going into the first episode of this series I knew very little about Matt Murdock, a.k.a Daredevil, other than that he is a blind lawyer by day and blind ass-kicking ninja by night. But Murdock/Daredevil has proven to be much more than just that. It's textbook Marvel, or honestly textbook comic book character for them to have some sort of parent, usually Daddy issues and Daredevil certainly falls into this cliche category. As I think more deeply about the series, Daredevil and the villain, Wison Fisk, a.k.a. Kingpin, have very similar origins. They both feel responsible for the deaths of their fathers as children. Whether or not this is the case for each is sort of left up to the viewer to decide (Was Fisk acting in defense of his mother or out of rage? Is it Murdock's fault his father threw the fight? What if he hadn't done it?). These moral dilemmas drive both men into the rage that makes them such powerful characters in the present time of the show.
Something Daredevil has that I think may series lack is flow. I thought it was really awesome that we didn't know why Fisk loved the "rabbit in the snow" painting until it is revealed that it reminds him of the wall his father made him stare at It just brings so much more to a person we though we had figured out. It makes the characters seem more multidimensional and also keeps you on your toes. I think every detail was revealed at the perfect time, specifically the details of their origin stories. We knew enough information to understand the story but to also keep the element of surprise so it wasn't boring and made us (well, me at least) feel the need to watch 5+ episodes in a row (don't judge me).
A Villain You Can Almost Get Behind
One of the things that I think really drew me in to this series was the villain, Wilson Fisk. The way he is portrayed in this series humanizes him way past any comic book villain has in a series or movie I have seen. Rather than being violent just for the sake of being violent, Fisk had a dream to make his city better. Okay maybe he goes about it in the wrong way but in his own mind he is totally justified (as most villains and actually people in general feel about their own ideas).
I felt that the growth of Fisk and Vanessa's relationship throughout the show was extremely intriguing. It had me almost confused. Fisk opened his heart and soul to Vanessa. He told her things that he told no one else, including what happened with his father, but in the beginning of the series would kill anyone who said his name. Shouldn't a big crime lord realize that letting someone in would be his downfall and ultimate weakness? I mean isn't that what caused Fisk's operation to fall apart in the first place? His accomplices Leland and Gao tried to kill Vanessa via poison at the benefit because they knew that she was a liability to the operation which then led to Fisk eventually killing Leland and Gao going back to her homeland.
All of these elements make it hard to hate Fisk even though you know he had Elena Cardenas killed, brutally murdered Ben Urich and bashed in Anatoly Ranskahov's head with his car door. I think you really have to hate him for the way he frames Daredevil
Despite all this, Fisk's rage issues show that he is just a dangerous person that did not really want to help Hell's Kitchen, despite his claims. What he was hoping to achieve through running a heroin trade and stealing women and children (etc.) is way beyond me.
Awesome Fight Sequences
For me the action scenes and harsh murders rival those in HBO's Game of Thrones. Don't get me wrong I love GoT but the level of brutality and gore in Daredevil is WAY more terrifying and stomach wrenching than the very worst in Game of Thrones. I'll just bring up the GoT season 4 episode The Mountain Versus The Viper and leave it at that (The Mountain versus Fisk anyone?).
Questions Left Unanswered (Future Plot Directions??)
1. What does the future hold for Wilson Fisk and Vanessa?
We last saw Fisk (Better known as Kingpin although he is never called this in the show) in prison staring at the wall that held quite a resemblance to the painting he bought from Vanessa when they first met as well as the wall his father made him stare at while he beat his mother. The last Vanessa/Wilson face-to-face interaction before he was taken by the FBI. He gave her a beautiful diamond ring and told her he loved her. It is clear that Vanessa is in it for the long haul with Fisk after she was poisoned and almost died and still would not leave the country without Fisk. Vanessa was then forced to flee in one of Fisk's helicopter as Fisk fought Daredevil and was eventually caught by one of the few cops he didn't have paid off (Wait he had the FBI but forgot one cop? Sloppy, Fisk, sloppy).
2. How far does Fisk's influence go?
As stated above, Fisk had people in the FBI that we did not know about until the end of the last episode. Are there more people under Fisk's control we don't know about? If he could get a senator on his side as well as the FBI and the majority of the Hell's Kitchen Police Force, who is to say he doesn't have anyone left to break him out of prison?
3. WIll Gao ever return?
Of all of Fisk's accomplices the only one he didn't kill or have killed was Madame Gao, the old, Chinese woman in charge of the heroin trade in Hell's Kitchen. It seemed that she and Leland, the man in charge of Fisk's finances, were in league when they decided to attack Vanessa by poisoning her champagne at a benefit. She says that she will return to her homeland for some time but does not say if she will return. Although her relationship with Fisk was not so great could Gao come back to Hell's Kitchen and cause problems for Daredevil?
4. I guess the biggest question having to do with the villains of Daredevil is who will be the villain in the next season?
As Daredevil has his "no kill" code, Fisk is alive in prison and could be there for a while as he await trial but again, we do not know who Fisk has on his side and the possibility of a break out seems very possible. Another thought may be that we get a/some new villains for next season and eventually come back to the Fisk-Daredevil conflict. Fisk has way too much rage to let the man who made his entire operation and vision for Hell's Kitchen fall apart completely.
5. What will happen to Karen?
You can tell that she clearly has a guilty conscience. And I mean she should! She killed Fisk's assistant Wesley and was accused of killing a coworker (although she didn't) and was the reason Ben Urich was murdered. That kind of stuff messes up your mind and Matt knows something is up with her. Will she ever come clean or will she just get what is coming to her? I find it hard to believe that Fisk's mother would tell Wesley about Karen and Ben going to visit her at the nursing home but conveniently (for Karen) forgetting to tell her son that she was with Ben when they went to visit her. I guess that's dementia for you...
6.Foggy and Marci... that was a surprise to me for sure.
Is Marci going to have more of a role in the next season? Am I the only one who ships Foggy and Karen? Also, and I'm completely speculating here, but could Foggy cause trouble for Matt since he knows that he's Daredevil? And on top of that Marci was a part of Fisk's legal team and who knows, maybe she'll turn dark again some day when/if Fisk gets out of jail.
7. Will we get more Rosario Dawson next season?
It seems pretty clear that Claire will always be a part of Daredevil's life. Without Claire he wouldn't be alive and certainly would not be in fighting shape. I'd love to see her have more of a relationship with Murdock but we have seen with Fisk how getting close to someone can be a weakness. I'd rather her not die but we certainly do not see her enough in the first season. Foggy says Matt is good with the ladies. Let's hope he shows it next season!