Unlike Marvel’s Television venture in Agents of Shield, the Disney magic was fortunately, missing from Daredevil. Full of Film Noir qualities, origin stories, and angsty isolation, DC finally has a competitor in the world of TV (or online series).
Like its opening titles suggest, Daredevil is set to become the lady justice of morality, and its decisions therein (as symbolized by the other elements in the credits). Like the credits, Daredevil is set upon the consequences of bloodshed, and driven by the moral values embedded within the church and state, whose separation is often blurred, much like our characters’ agendas.
The Blurred Line of Justice
The parallels drawn between Wilson Fisk and Matt Murdock in episode 4, show us this blurred moral line that aligns heroes and villains, to be men beneath it all.
As Daredevil battles his limitations, serving the tragedy of his past at the cost of the future, Darkness lurks. It lurks at all times, in all realms, to challenge the hero for a moment more, not to emerge victorious, but to succeed within each moment.
As much as I wanted to binge watch this show, I was sadly overwhelmed by my “the real world” and the dark tones that may be a bit too much for a sleepless marathon. Although the urge to watch Daredevil haunted me throughout my work day, and then Game of Thrones started, it’s safe to say that my urge to tweet about my first world problems was barely tamable.
In Comparison with Affleck's Daredevil
With this revival of Daredevil we say goodbye to the guilty pleasures of Ben Affleck’s depiction. Now, either you’re admitting that it wasn’t THAT bad, or my memories of movies I saw when I was 10 are severely warped by my lack of exposure to good movies.
Watching the Netflix adaption was very reminiscent of when I read the Gotham Central graphic novels, in both theme and style - more than likely due to Jeph Loeb’s contributions in both universes. While the dark tones are present in most superhero tales, action shots within the show were an alluring combination of panel to panel reading; the undertone of dramatized violence, and the reference to (ok MY reference to) Daredevil’s style taking influence from the Dread Pirate Roberts.
Daredevil's Moral Struggle
What I mean to say, outside of my attempts at a witty repartee, is that the show, whose standards were set high given Netflix’s production reputation, is significantly appreciated, with its focus on the consequences of heroism.
While Daredevil’s past is most definitely tragic, the show opens in the much-hinted-aftermath of the Avengers, whose actions to save the world, gave rise to forces of evil in their wake.
Our Daredevil himself, Matt Murdock, personifies his character in episode 3:
“I’ve been preoccupied of late with, uh, questions of morality, of right and wrong, good and evil. Sometimes the delineation between the two is a sharp line, sometimes it’s a blur.”
Underneath the act of heroism, Matt Murdock is lead into Daredevil-hood through the injustice he deems extended past the capabilities of the law.
In episode 4, parallels are drawn between Fisk and Wilson that show a Hero or a Villain cannot reside in all aspects of life. While definitive to an extent, these roles mask a man who is a sentient being beneath it all. The relationship of the Russian brothers hints, that the role of Matt’s father has more to play than just an influential one, and shows us how family can drive agendas in different ways. It’s our choices that define us.
Upon the conclusion of Daredevil, in which I was put in the unfortunate - first world - situation of having to go to work before I could watch the final 11 minutes of the series, I was left - honestly? - disappointed.
Although I am happier upon a retrospect of the series, as gritty and angsty as it was, the end of Fisk felt to be insignificant and lackluster. A great origin act, Daredevil has a lot to prove in its next season; with Charlie Cox’s on screen presence being the draw in an unfulfilled plot line.
If Season 1 Was an Origin Story, What Can We Expect in Season 2?
If anything, this season really set itself up as an origin story within the battle Daredevil/Matt was fighting within himself, that any other arc didn’t compare. With strong definitions being set to isolate Daredevil from the moral lawyer that is Matt, Mentor Stick’s presence seemed unnecessary and creepy, to point out this obvious battle that Cox’s performance embodied alone. Upon the show’s conclusion, we see a conflicting alignment of Matt and his persona. While embracing his two sides as the hands of justice, Matt seemingly assimilates his two selves as copacetic in the exposure to his friends, and within his alliance with the cops.
While I praise the use of a slow burn narrative to the compliment of bulk uploading the series, the series never really set alight, and was a detriment to binge-watching audiences.
With these parallels set everywhere within this universe, Season 2 hopes to expand on who Matt is outside of his costume and his law room setting, to see, like the path of his father, which path will lead him to the brighter future, around his family and friends.
Mourning the loss of, and hopeful for the return of Rosario Dawson, the Daredevil universe is sure to see some expansion next season.