(Note: this piece originally appeared on my (TW) Tumblr as part of my Informalities series, on 02 May 2016).
Expectation is a cruel mistress.
While it couldn’t be the revelatory experience of season one, DAREDEVIL season two was nonetheless felled by the lack of a compelling central villain, the overabundance of stop-and-go moralizing, the grating Nelson-Murdock-Page soap opera–all the more disheartening when the dynamic between the three characters was much of what made season one special–and, as with JESSICA JONES before it and, to a lesser extent, DAREDEVIL’s own first season, a meandering, sometimes excruciating middle third.
In other words, DAREDEVIL has become a typical Marvel project.
That’s not to say there weren’t bright spots: Bernthal’s Punisher and Yung’s Elektra were spectacular additions (in spite of leading to the aforementioned stop-and-go moralizing); Scott Glenn was, again, note-perfect as the wonderfully uncompromising asshole, Stick; Vincent D’Onofrio’s brief appearance revitalized the sagging middle and made a promising set-up for a third season; and Karen Page’s evolution into the new Ben Urich is intriguing.
The most troubling aspect of DAREDEVIL’s second season is that, in spite of D’Onofrio and the promise of his efforts to reclaim his throne and the shades of BORN AGAIN that it cast, its conclusion didn’t leave me with breathless excitement and anticipation for a third, a stark contrast to my ebullience at the conclusion of the first and the promise it held, a promise not met.
Still, I would much prefer a third season of DAREDEVIL to the “street-level Avengers” team-up THE DEFENDERS but, alas, the insistence that everything in the Marvel Cinematic/Streaming/Television Universe lead to a team-up is all-compassing, the Dark Side of connectivity unleashed: everything a perpetual set-up for some future promise, some future expectation, the soul-sapper of storytelling,
At least Robert Downey Jr. hasn’t shown up.