If you haven’t heard by now, Netflix has canceled all future seasons of its Marvel properties. Daredevil was the first to prove the concept. A gritty, bloody take on New York’s blindest superhero. I watched it then and I recently finished what the showrunners didn’t know was the final season. And I can happily say, I’m glad to see it go.
And not because it’s bad! But because it is too aggressively mediocre in too many ways. This final season is arguably strong, especially after Season 2’s descent into the mystical (only saved by the presence of The Punisher). Kingpin is back, released from jail in exchange for information given to the FBI on other criminal organizations. They may think he’s under control, but we all know Kingpin is smarter than that. Matt Murdock, still recovering from the terribleness that was The Defenders, is furious, and decides not to call Jessica Jones for no reason at all. He must figure out a way to send Kingpin back to jail.
Season 3 is strong for a couple reasons. As always, the fight scenes are beautiful. There’s an incredible long take prison fight that is straight up glorious. And when Bullseye finally shows up, his fights with Daredevil are varied and brutal. This has always been the show’s strong point. The development of side villain Bullseye is also quite good. Much better than the ninjas from Season 2. It was great to see these two characters with different abilities battle it out.
But as always, Daredevil suffers from what it has always suffered from. The season is too long which means half of all the episodes are filler episodes with nothing of note to enjoy. Foggy Nelson, his best friend, is still played by the world’s worst actor and you can safely skip any scene that his him in it, and actually increase your enjoyment by lowering the runtime. About half the time this tactic works for Karen Page as well, but she is usually actually involved in important plot points. However, an episode that goes over her entire tragic backstory was easily skipped by me with nary a backward glance.
Charlie Cox does great at pretending these characters are his friends. But all I want to see is him beat up people. More that, less Karen yelling with her editor.
I would rate this season higher if it didn’t disappoint so thoroughly in the ending. We have Kingpin’s return. In any other series he would die. This show seems to think I care about Daredevil not killing people a la Batman. Foggy spends most of the show saying that if his friend kills someone he’ll never be the same and it will ruin him. He says this to law enforcement. Who have watched their comrades kill and be killed. Like this is super insulting to them. Especially when there’s a scene where Daredevil directs an agent to shoot at particular angles to literally kill henchmen. Hypocrite much? You think I care about Kingpin and his dumb wife’s lives at this point? At least have Bullseye kill them, which is what I thought would happen. Seriously, I would love this season if Bullseye killed Kingpin and his criminal wife and then Daredevil beat the crap out of him. Missed opportunity, especially since this is the final season. I love that there was a cliffhanger, because Netflix really left them out to dry.
Plagued by the same issues it’s always had, Daredevil was a nice experiment. But I’m glad it’s gone and if there were any more seasons I wouldn’t watch them anyways. Now to hate watch Punisher for the action sequences and watch it make the exact same mistakes.
3 out of 4 stars.