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Marvel's 'Daredevil' gains clarity in its third season

tv review

The third season of Marvel's "Daredevil" premiered Oct. 19 on Netflix.
The third season of Marvel's "Daredevil" premiered Oct. 19 on Netflix.

After more than two years, Daredevil finally returns with a third season and a new vitality. 

When we last saw Matthew Murdock (Charlie Cox), a.k.a Daredevil, he had been put through the ringer. Season two of “Daredevil” and the epic crossover miniseries — Marvel’s “The Defenders” — had left Matt emotionally raw, horribly injured and presumed dead. The show’s third season deals with the aftermath of Matthew’s heroic work defeating the Big Bad of last season — an ancient clan of mystical, evil ninjas called The Hand. But where season two spent an inordinate amount of time exploring Matt’s struggle to balance his life as lawyer and vigilante, season three takes a different approach.

Under the tutelage of new showrunner Erik Oleson, “Daredevil” season three mainly centers around the return of criminal kingpin, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) and the introduction of a new character — Benjamin Poindexter, or Bullseye (Wilson Bethel). Although it remains true to its origin in action, season three also manages to address Matt’s internal struggle with his faith without overcrowding the storyline. A devout Catholic, Matt finds himself questioning his purpose and his belief in God’s will as he examines all he has lost. 

Whereas Matthew’s grappling to overcome his inner conflict seemed to bog down last season, this season it’s much less so. Although it doesn’t stray away from those graphic, violent scenes it is known for, “Daredevil” now has an inherently introspective and contemplative theme as it takes Matthew down the path of absolution.

“Simply put, after everything Matt putt himself and his friends through in season two and in ‘The Defenders’, he was sorely in need of redemption,” said John Orquiola, feature writer at ScreenRant.

And redemption is what he searches for as he fights to put the exorbitantly corrupt Fisk back in prison.

In addition to Matt’s story, season three also delves deeper into that of Matt’s closest friends, Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) and Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson). 

For Karen, a dark past has been something that’s been alluded to since the very first episode of season one. Up until this point, we didn’t know very much about her life before meeting Matt and Foggy — other than she had a brother who died due to unknown, to us at least, circumstances. In season three, we finally get the answers we’ve been craving for years.

As for Foggy, we get to see more of his life outside of the singular connection to Matt. We see him as he interacts with his love interest Marci Stahl (Amy Rutberg) and with members of his own family. Arguably the most important, we get to see a new, combative side of him as he works to indict Fisk — one we have never seen before. 

Season three as a whole just seemed to be more put together — telling a clearer, more focused story than that of season two. Part of this is due to the lack of crossover characters, and for Erik Oleson, this was purposeful.

“To me, sometimes the appearance of Marvel characters from other shows distracts from the story that you're telling, so I asked to not do it and Marvel backed my play, and that's the reason we don't really have any crossovers except for some smaller ones — we have Blake Tower, Fisk’s lawyers, Rosalie Carbone (Annabella Sciorra) who is in “Luke Cage”— but I only wanted to do it if it was not a distraction,” Oleson said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

Coming from the previous season which featured crossover galore, season three was a fresh resurrection of the Daredevil world, and the Daredevil world alone.

Needless to say, Netflix’s “Daredevil” returned, and it came back with a bang.

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