Daredevil Season 3 Review [SPOILERS]

This review is not intended to be an episode by episode review or to be in anyway comprehensive. Like my review of Iron Fist: Season 2 available at https://steemit.com/comics/@burgcomics/review-of-iron-fist-season-two-spoilers, this review reflects my thoughts as I was watching the episodes.

Reading List
For those looking to get some back story to season 3 before or after watching, I would suggest reading the following Daredevil story arc:
Daredevil #131 – Origin and first appearance of Bullseye
Daredevil #227 – #233 – Daredevil: Born Again story arc
Daredevil (1998) #1 – #8 – Kevin Smith written relaunch of the Daredevil title.
Daredevil #196 – #200 – Daredevil/Bullseye story that may explain to watchers the last scene of the series

Daredevil has been the highlight of Netflix’s series of Marvel stories. It, along with the Punisher, are the top Netflix series. So, needless to say, I had high hopes going into this season. Fortunately, I was not disappointed.

I watched the recap for some insight on what to expect in season 3 of Daredevil. What I gathered from the recap was:
Wilson Fisk will return as the main villain for season 3.
We will, unfortunately, get no additional Punisher story in this season.
There will be some resolution to the Karen Page/Wesley “event” from season 1.
Elektra will not be part of season 3. (and I did not miss her)

Episode 1 – Resurrection
Early in episode 1, we meet Sister Maggie (Joanne Whalley). I, as most Daredevil readers immediately wondered if this would end up being Matt Murdock’s Mother. Daredevil (Charlie Cox), is without his powers. The only question is, how long will it take for him to get them back. No one wants to watch a full season of Daredevil without his abilities. Neti Pot to the rescue. One set of disgustingly clogged sinus clear later, and Daredevil is nearly back up to full capabilities. As Daredevil goes back to the streets, back in his original black costume from season 1, we get a terrific image of Daredevil on the roof of the church crouched alongside the cross. A real thrill for fans of the #comics.

Marvel’s Daredevil

So, Daredevil hits the streets, and is able to break up a kidnapping (that will affect the story in a few episodes). However, after winning the fight, he gives up and waits for the kidnappers to beat him to death? Really. Why bother going back out and testing your skills, if you don’t intend to use them long term. We meet FBI Agent Nadem (Jay Ali). We learn that Agent Nadeem has some financial problems, which will obviously come back up (But not in the way I expected.) Episode 1 ends with Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) offering to make a deal for Vanessa’s (Ayelet Zurer) safe passage and freedom from charges.

Episode 2 – Please
Not a lot to say about the 2nd episode. We get a few additional pieces of Karen Page’s (Debra Ann Woll) history concerning her brother. Daredevil is able to track down the kidnappers through the scent of their special all-organic dry-cleaning process. Glad to know that Hell’s Kitchen’s criminal element is concerned about the environment. Wilson Fisk’s caravan is ambushed in route to his new house arrest location. Fisk is saved by a particularly talented FBI agent Benjamin Poindexter (Wilson Bethel). Ricochet bullet shots and some particularly good brutality help to quickly define this character. An excellent first scene for Bullseye. We do learn ab it more about Sister Maggie’s background, and it is still possible for her to be Matt’s mother.

Episode 3 – No Good Deed
We get a nice throwback to the #comics as we see Wilson Fisk in the all-white suit. They should have put a pair of purple pants and an ascot in his closet, but that would probably been too over the top. We are further introduced to Bullseye. At this point, I am hoping we get to see him in costume. I also wish that these writers had been given first crack at Typhoid Mary instead of the writers for Iron Fist. There are several mentions of Ben Urich in the first few episodes. If I could change one thing about season 1 of Daredevil, Ben Urich would still be hanging around in season 3. We learn that Bullseye is a bit of a stalker. I liked that the writers did not try to overly “humanize” this character. Bullseye is a psycho-path and should be portrayed as one. His infatuation, Julie (Holly Cinnamon) will have a major impact on the story later. Matt finally reveals to Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) that he is alive. Additionally, Fisk also learns that Daredevil is still hanging around as well.

Episode 4 – Blindside
Foggy’s love interest, Marci Stahl (Amy Rutberg) is still around. I was not a big fan of the character initially, but she has grown on me quite a bit. Matt, attempting to access the prison, uses the “I lost my ID” routine for the second time in the first 4 episodes. After some serious trouble in the prison, Matt manages to get out, and the cabbie he paid to stick around did, even though there was a prison riot going on. Each additional scene with Bullseye is showing him to be the psychopath we expect out of the character. Matt wakes up in the back of the cab, just in time to realize the driver has been replaced and for the cab to be driven into the river. Really, it would not have been easier to just shoot the apparently unconscious guy in the back seat?

Episode 5 – The Perfect Game
We get more and more odd behavior, psychosis, and creepiness out of Bullseye. I really liked in the flashback scenes that the team logo was Bullseye’s costume. I guess this is the episode where you could say Bullseye breaks, though you could argue he was broken the whole time. Karen’s murder (I still think self-defense) of Wesley begins to have an impact on season 3.

Episode 6 – The Devil You Know
Fisk is now back on top through his manipulation of the FBI. Bullseye has a near suicidal meltdown. I never really considered Bullseye to be suicidal, I would not think most psychopaths are, but Fisk is again able to use this to his advantage. We finally get the first fight between Daredevil and Bullseye at the Bulletin’s offices. I was not expecting the copied Daredevil suit. However, this fight between Daredevil and Bullseye was INCREDIBLE. I felt like we saw both characters at their best. I was completely blown away. The fight made Bullseye’s skill set very evident. Bullseye comes out on top, as he kills a key witness.

Episode 7 – Aftermath
Here we are in episode 7, and still no Vanessa. At this point I am starting to wonder if she will be appearing or not. I also was wondering if we will see Melvin Potter in the Gladiator costume. Matt and Melvin have a bit of a fight, and we do get see Melvin with the saw blades again, so that was a nice throwback to the #comics. We learn that Ellison (Geoffrey Cantor) was not killed in Bullseye’s attack on the Bulletin, for which I was glad. Karen, now hunted by Fisk contacts her father, wanting to come home. Her father seems to be a real piece of work.

Episode 8 – Upstairs/Downstairs
Really cold, Fisk killing Julie, Bullseye’s last hold on normalcy. I do love that they repeatedly show Bullseye using random objects as weapons. Though I would have like to see him use a playing card to slice someone’s throat. And, it is finally confirmed that Sister Maggie is in fact Matt’s mother.

Episode 9 – Revelations
Agent Nadeem decides to come clean with his involvement with Fisk. They meet at Agent Hattley’s (Kate Udall) home that is conveniently undergoing remodeling and has lots of plastic strewn about. Agent Hattley kills the other agent, and frames Nadeem. So, the financial problems that Nadeem was having were not so that Nadeem would turn, but to make him want the promotion all the more and to get him to play ball with Fisk when the time came. Periodically, we see Matt speaking to other’s like Fisk and his Father in his mind. I kept expecting that the camera might pan away and back to see Mephisto briefly as the cause of this, but it did not happen. That is probably for the best for the non-comic reading viewer.

Episode 10 – Karen
We finally get the full story on Karen Page. I would like to point out some thoughts on Karen Page by another user on steemit @arseniclullaby. You can read what he thinks of Karen on the Arsenic Lullaby web site at https://arseniclullabies.com/wordpress/?p=15986. We basically learn that Karen was a big party girl and how her brother died. At this point, I am thinking they might kill her off ala the Kevin Smith Daredevil storyline. But, as Bullseye attacks the church and flings a stick at Karen, Father Lantom (Peter McRobbie) steps in the way to save Karen. In hindsight, this was pretty obvious how this would turn out, to give the father the chance to redeem himself from hiding Sister Maggie’s secret from Matt. Father Lantom will probably be the character I will miss most moving forward with Daredevil. At this point, I assume Sister Maggie will take over this role, assuming she survives.

Episode 11 – Reunion
Still hoping to see Bullseye’s in costume, but I am also hoping they keep him alive for a future season. With everything going on, Fisk gets a quick release from his incarceration. Bullseye is able to tie Sister Maggie to Daredevil, and I start thinking she will not make it out of season 3.

Episode 12 – One Last Shot
finally, Vanessa and Fisk are reunited. I think Ayelet Zurer is terrific as Vanessa. Vincent D’Onofrio is also incredible as Wilson Fisk. However, I have some concerns about D’Onofrio’s health, or at least his physical mobility. His fight scenes often take on an odd style, which I attributed to the writers emphasizing his bulk as part of his prowess. However, watching the scenes where he is walking down stairs, it looks to me like he is struggling. For his reason, I feel like they are setting up Vanessa to take over Fisk’s empire in a future season. And based on her performance, I think that would be just fine. And in this episode, Bullseye “retrieves” the painting from the little old lady. A blood splatter on the frame indicates he did so with malice.

Episode 13 – A New Napkin
Matt uses Fisk’s murder of Julie to pit bullseye against Kingpin. But, when the moment comes, and Bullseye is ready to kill Fisk, Matt stops Bullseye. Kingpin is able to put an end to Bullseye, seemingly breaking his back in the process. I kept expecting Bullseye to get up and kill Vanessa, but it did not happen. Fisk turns himself in after Matt threatens to go after Vanessa if Fisk retaliates against Foggy or Karen. I was hoping we would get a scene with Matt and Bullseye in the hospital playing Russian roulette, but instead we get a scene of Bullseye on an operating table getting possibly adamantium implants in his spine ala Daredevil issues 196 to 200.

I really enjoyed Daredevil Season 3. I give it a Very Fine/Near Mint (9.0) grade. Not that anyone is asking, but here are my rankings of the various Marvel seasons on Netflix:

  1. Daredevil season 2
  2. Punisher season 1
  3. Daredevil season 3
  4. Daredevil season 1
  5. Cage season 2
  6. Jessica Jones season 1 (only because of David Tennant)
  7. Cage season 1
  8. Jessica Jones season 2
  9. Defenders season 1
  10. Iron Fist season 2
  11. Iron Fist season 1

If you would like to hear more of my thoughts on Daredevil season 3, add Campus Comics Cast #campuscomicscast to your favorite podcast app. We will discussing this season in an upcoming episode.

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