REVIEW: Netflix's Daredevil Season Three is the Pinnacle of Comic Book Television
Last week, after months of anticipation, Netflix dropped the third season of Marvel’s Daredevil, their superhero-crime drama, which has received equal or larger amounts of acclaim from fans and critics alike than than its predecessors. And all with good reason.
Following the events of The Defenders, Matthew Murdock (Charlie Cox) has beaten death. But where has he been? What has he been doing? After being taken in by his church in order to heal his broken body and being cared for by the newly introduced Sister Maggie (Joanne Whalley), who plays key role in Matt’s history in the comics, Matt begins to question his Catholic faith. But things go from bad to worse once he hears the news of Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’onofrio) being released from prison. From this point on, our protagonist also begins to question his methods and morals as a masked vigilante.
Oncoming showrunner Erik Oleson and the show’s crew of creators, old and new, hold nothing back. By returning the Man Without Fear to his roots as a street-level vigilante, the crew crafts a brilliant third outing that goes back to continue, answer, and resolve plot lines set up in the first season, yet reaches new heights of comic book adapting quality.
Adapting classic Daredevil storylines Born Again and Guardian Devil, this season explores themes of morality, faith, and the struggle of mental through fully realized character arcs and brilliant performances from not just Cox and D’onofrio, but also the entire supporting cast. Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) are utilized in the best way possible since the show began, and prove just why they are the people in Murdock’s life that matter the most. But the real supporting spotlights go to this season’s newcomers, FBI Agent Nadeem (Jay Ali) and Benjamin “Dex” Pointdexter (Wilson Berthel), AKA Daredevil nemesis Bullseye, who rivals even the Kingpin for the position of Daredevil’s worst enemy.
Determined to destroy the lives and reputations of both Matt Murdock and Daredevil, Fisk sends Pointdexter on a bloody warpath to accomplish exactly that with an incredible amount of violence and fairly entertaining results. The best thing about this season is that you never know just what in the devil Murdock, Fisk, or Pointdexter are going to do next. Cox, D’onofrio, and Berthel’s stellar performances are forces to be reckoned with, giving us some of the best acting that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever seen.
Not only does this outing satisfy on a storytelling note, but also on a technical note. And by technical, I mean everything, from John Paesano’s score, to the sleek and unique camerawork, and to the fight choreography. As much as I’d like to say that it’s movie level stuff, some of it even surpasses what you’d see in a movie, such as this season’s hallway fight sequence, which lasts over eleven thrilling minutes, doubling the length of the last season’s five minute sequence.
Overall, the cast and crew take the third season of Daredevil and let the devil out, delivering a perfect balance of drama, comic book thrills, and incredible characters that should impress both die hard fans of the comics and new fans of the show. It tops not only the show’s previous two seasons, but also every season that Marvel’s Netflix division has ever put out, and further cements just why Marvel’s Daredevil is the pinnacle of comic book adapted television.