'Daredevil' Season 3 is the best thing on Netflix right now
First, let’s have a moment of silence for Iron Fist.
Despite the second season being arguably better than most of Marvel Netflix’s current slate, it simply may not have been enough to recover from the damage done by an abysmal first season, and has consequently been cancelled by the streaming giant. It’s a shame because Iron Fist had finally turned into something potentially wonderful.
Hopefully, Colleen and Danny find their way into cameos in other Marvel Netflix shows. That being said, it’s time to take a look at a real gem of a series: The third season of Daredevil is, almost without question, the best Marvel Netflix show yet.
Netflix has announced that Luke Cage has also been cancelled, a week after announcing the demise of Iron Fist. It’s a shame, but ultimately, the Marvel Netflix universe starts and ends with Daredevil. Given how stellar the newest season is, the loss of both Iron Fist and Luke Cage—for better or worse—may not even be felt.
The pilot takes place immediately after the events of The Defenders, where Daredevil appeared to have been crushed by a collapsing building. The pilot resolves that rather quickly in the opening moments and a nearly dead Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is serendipitously delivered to the orphanage where he was once raised.
Loosely based on the Daredevil Born Again comic storyline written by Frank Miller, season 3 sees the return of the Kingpin, played to terrifying perfection by Vincent D’Onofrio. The Kingpin is an unparalleled villain, more menacing than perhaps any live action Marvel villain in history including even Thanos from Avengers Infinity War.
While Jessica Jones’ Kilgrave (David Tennant) was also a frightening adversary, his scope was far too small and his terror more intimate. The Kingpin is on a whole other level of sinister, and he brings all his cunning and resources to bear as he sets about destroying Matt Murdock completely.
By Matt Murdock, we mean Matt Murdock and not just Daredevil. Comic readers familiar with Born Again know the pivotal plot point where The Kingpin discovers who Daredevil is. It happens quite differently on the show, but the end result is the same. The Kingpin goes after Daredevil with everything he’s got, and the results are devastating. The show manages to demonstrate Kingpin’s absolute mastery of the long game, thinking so far ahead of everyone else that he has managed to game the legal system and essentially manage to have an entire government agency to do his bidding.
Charlie Cox as a disillusioned Matt Murdock is equally delightful. Having lost faith after the events of The Defenders, especially after losing the great love of his life Elektra (Élodie Yung) yet again, Matt Murdock has decided to abandon any semblance of normal life and fully embrace his identity as the devil of Hell’s Kitchen. The process of healing takes months, as his friends Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) and Franklin “Foggy” Nelson (Elden Henson) try to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.
Season 3 paints Daredevil at his worst and the Kingpin at his best, on different levels. Matt Murdock with his faith replaced by cynicism and bitterness makes for a meaningless Daredevil, and Kingpin with a purpose and all the resources at his disposal all the while feigning incarceration is the best kind of Kingpin. The tables have turned, and it’s a gripping story that viewers will want to see through the end, despite how uncomfortable it becomes in parts.