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TV Review: Marvel's Daredevil Season 2 Finale "A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen"

04.03.2016
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Missed an episode? Check out all prior reviews of Marvel's Daredevil here.

EPISODE 13: "A Cold Day In Hell's Kitchen"

SYNOPSIS: In the season finale, Daredevil is backed into the ultimate showdown for his own life — and the future of Hell's Kitchen.

REVIEW: After thirteen episodes that introduced two new Marvel Comics characters and delved deeper into the mystical and supernatural elements of the world of Daredevil, the second season of Daredevil comes down to this episode that fails to deliver an ending as big or powerful as the previous episodes had prepared us for. Instead, the season closes out on a bit of a bland note while still managing to tease big things for the third season. We have new directions for all of our main characters as well as a couple of potential villains for Matt Murdock to face off against. In a nutshell, this was a good season that stumbled in places but still managed to deliver a season of action that still holds up against the big screen outings from Marvel Studios.

In a nutshell, this finale pits Daredevil and Elektra against The Hand as they try to stop Nobu once and for all. Foggy has gotten a job offer from Jery Hogarth while Karen is still trying to find a way to become a journalist but struggles with her emotional connection to Frank Castle and his plight. Matt and Elektra outfit themselves with some new gear thanks to Melvin Potter. Potter also gives Daredevil his iconic billy club which is designed to serve as nunchaku, a grappling hook, and other weapons. Daredevil is actually speechless at the gift which is a nice nod to it's importance in the pages of Marvel Comics. Matt and Elektra are prepared to stop Nobu once and for all when they learn of The Hand's secret plan to stop Daredevil.

When you imagine a failsafe or master plan, you typically expect something more elaborate than just kidnapping everyone tied to Daredevil, but that is The Hand's clever plan. Matt, distraught at the capture of Karen, decides that he must rescue his friends while Elektra is determined to stop Nobu and The Hand. We get some nice fight scenes and an intimate moment between the two as they prepare for their potential death at the hands of Nobu's men which drives home why these two characters should be together. They manage to rescue everyone which affords Karen and Daredevil to share a moment, something they have not done since early in the first season. He sends Karen to safety while the showdown with Nobu takes place on the roof. It is interesting to think that both BATMAN V SUPERMAN and Daredevil ended in similar ways, but I digress.

The final fight with Nobu is a highlight of the season. Back and forth, intense, and well choreographed, we see Daredevil at the height of his skills. But, Nobu still gets the upper hand (pun intended) and thrusts his sword only to be blocked by Elektra who is skewered by the blade. She dies in Matt's arms which sends him into a rage while Nobu walks away, realizing that Black Sky is dead. Matt begins fighting the ninjas furiously and gunshots ring out in assistance. We see it is none other than Frank Castle who is now wearing his trademark Punisher logo emblazoned on a bulletproof vest he found in Schoonover's stash. Through the episode, we saw Castle preparing weapons and gear which led me to expect more involvement from him in the finale, but this was a nice and subtle way to show New York and our heroes that The Punisher is here to stay.

With the path cleared, Matt takes off after Nobu and uses his billy club to launch The Hand leader off the roof and to his death. But, as we have seen all season, Nobu isn't dead and he stands back up. Only this time, Stick is waiting to cut his head off and end the war for good. Battle won, everything seems to be back to normal. Stick and Matt bury Elektra and ponder the future while Foggy heads to his new career. Frank Castle sets his family home on fire and departs for destinations unknown and Karen begins her story for the newspaper about what it means to be a hero. The episode concludes with Matt finding Karen and showing her his mask, finally telling her that he is Daredevil. The episode ends there with a fade out and what seems like little fanfare. That is until we see the mysterious sarcophagus of The Hand. As they say it is ready, we see that Elektra's lifeless body is inside.

As far as finales go, I feel very strongly that this episode failed to stick the landing. Yeah, I am okay with killing off Elektra and the potential for her to return as a villain next season. Many opinions on the season have claimed that Elodie Yung's portrayal of Elektra was too whiny and needy, but I found that it fit well into this version of the Marvel Universe. If she comes back evil, that will open lots of narrative doors and could link to both Iron Fist and potentially DOCTOR STRANGE. Overall, this season seemed to have way too many subplots that left characters doing nothing for long periods of time. Elden Henson was once again a highlight of the show but was relegated to only a couple of scenes far too many times this season. His act of closing out their tab at Josie's was a powerful scene and he deserved more this season. Karen Page has developed into something of a surrogate for the too soon killed Ben Urich but I began to find Deborah Ann Woll to be repetitive and annoying this year. How the hell does she get to be so involved with the law firm and then somehow becomes a journalist all by accident? It seems her backstory is developing to something but I am not sure what yet.

The best element of this season was by far The Punisher. Jon Bernthal absolutely crushed it as Frank Castle and more than deserves to get his own series out of this. He was perfectly cast and they utilized the Netflix forum to use just the right amount of violence without overdoing it. His shared scenes with Charlie Cox elevated their showdowns as one of the best superhero battles on big screens or small ones. Cox, per usual, knocked it out of the park as Daredevil although I found his time this season as Matt Murdock was not alloted enough time to really explore his misgivings about his two dueling identities. Reflecting back on the entire season, I think the highlights manage to balance with the low ones which leads me to give the season the same score I gave it last year. Here's hoping that we get to see Bullseye in season three along with more Wilson Fisk and a little more Elektra.

MARVEL UNIVERSE REFERENCES: Carrie Ann Moss reprises her role as Jery Hogarth from Marvel's Jessica Jones.

EPISODE GRADE:

SEASON GRADE:

NEXT ON DAREDEVIL: There are currently no official plans for a third season of Daredevil, but Marvel's Luke Cage premieres later this year.

Source: JoBlo.com

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2:51PM on 04/05/2016
I enjoyed this season and especially Frank Castle's scenes. But I don't how many times you can show the Daredevil fighting off a bunch of ninjas. I was sick of the ninja fighting halfway through the season. It just seemed repetitive.
And this is kind of nitpicky...but did anybody else notice a lot of moments with really bad editing? Stick's stuntman in his fight with Elektra comes to mind. But when there are tiny mess ups with editing it really bothers me. Great television shows are ones that
I enjoyed this season and especially Frank Castle's scenes. But I don't how many times you can show the Daredevil fighting off a bunch of ninjas. I was sick of the ninja fighting halfway through the season. It just seemed repetitive.
And this is kind of nitpicky...but did anybody else notice a lot of moments with really bad editing? Stick's stuntman in his fight with Elektra comes to mind. But when there are tiny mess ups with editing it really bothers me. Great television shows are ones that have an extreme attention to detail (like Vince Gilligan had with Breaking Bad).
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+1
11:44AM on 04/04/2016

Obviously it's great....

But I did have some moments this season where I found myself looking forward to the next scene (or next episode). As Castle showed, a ninja running around throwing stars is a weak idea, and having 50 ninjas (with magically unbeating hearts) was just stupid. It made for some good fights, but you wound up with that idiotic thing where the hero struggles against one specialist, then suddenly is fighting 20 at once. It makes no sense and takes away a lot of the cool factor that the show earned
But I did have some moments this season where I found myself looking forward to the next scene (or next episode). As Castle showed, a ninja running around throwing stars is a weak idea, and having 50 ninjas (with magically unbeating hearts) was just stupid. It made for some good fights, but you wound up with that idiotic thing where the hero struggles against one specialist, then suddenly is fighting 20 at once. It makes no sense and takes away a lot of the cool factor that the show earned last year with amazing moments like the one-take fight in the hallway with the Russian mobsters.

Castle was incredible, although I'm not sure I like more time with him. The more time you spend, the more his personality starts to break down. He might be a character that is more entertaining in short bursts than someone to build a series around.

As for Electra, I'm personally okay if they are done with that experiment for good. She was fine, but that whole Black Sky story line was lame. I never for a moment bought the idea that she was some mythological unstoppable killing machine that could inspire legions of magical non-heartbeating ninjas would worship. If they're going to dabble in the mystical, they need to do it better than that.

We're now two full seasons in, and instead of exploring Matt and his abilities that make him a freakishly great lawyer (and someone who can get information through those abilities), we've gone into him being a superhero pretty much 24x7 and giving up everything else. I think it was a bad choice, and at times the show started resembling a slightly better version of Arrow with the storyline. Here's hoping next season will have better ideas and less ninjas.
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8:19AM on 04/04/2016

Maybe I am biased but...

I think this was hands down the best season to any comic book show ever. It's not fair to compare this to shows on The CW because this is on another level of quality than any other superhero show on a network channel.
I think this was hands down the best season to any comic book show ever. It's not fair to compare this to shows on The CW because this is on another level of quality than any other superhero show on a network channel.
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11:48AM on 04/04/2016
And I had just the opposite reaction. I thought this season was a noticeable dropoff from last year, and I think the Flash is better on a nightly basis. Yeah there are more lulls, but you're comparing a 22 episode show to a 13 episode one, so of course there will be more filler. This show had a better feel for reality until the ninja invasion. Now it's just silly.

And I had just the opposite reaction. I thought this season was a noticeable dropoff from last year, and I think the Flash is better on a nightly basis. Yeah there are more lulls, but you're comparing a 22 episode show to a 13 episode one, so of course there will be more filler. This show had a better feel for reality until the ninja invasion. Now it's just silly.

+0
5:52AM on 04/04/2016
Of the shows I'm currently watching, this is by far the best - enjoyed it loads. That said, here are my nitpicks:

This episode had a good 5 or so minutes hyping us up for a fight between DD/Elektra and 100's of ninjas. I was all stoked up, predicting all kinds of awesomeness with my assumption that the punisher will show up, sniper style, to balance the odds a little. Then it kicks off with DD/Elektra running at the ninjas ...and ...bam...it's a boss fight while the ninjas all stand down.
Of the shows I'm currently watching, this is by far the best - enjoyed it loads. That said, here are my nitpicks:

This episode had a good 5 or so minutes hyping us up for a fight between DD/Elektra and 100's of ninjas. I was all stoked up, predicting all kinds of awesomeness with my assumption that the punisher will show up, sniper style, to balance the odds a little. Then it kicks off with DD/Elektra running at the ninjas ...and ...bam...it's a boss fight while the ninjas all stand down. Quite the let down unfortunately. Still, my assumption with regard to the Punisher turned out okay.

Think they missed an opportunity to have a news helicopter filming what was going on, on the roof - I love all that "public" reaction stuff in TV shows and movies - the "news" could have come up in Shield episodes tied to civil war.

Finally, this season showed Matt to be a terribly undependable person when it comes to his profession by the day. I totally understand the problem he has but that court speech, what the heck was that about? I was so looking forward to Matt getting to question Castle - I did not expect it to do down like that. I think we got one great bit of Matt the lawyer - when confronting the DA in the hospital - I wanted more of that stuff.
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4:08AM on 04/04/2016

Micro

Really enjoyed this season,was great to see The Punisher done right. The disc that Frank got from behind the photograph must be a hint to Microchip.
Really enjoyed this season,was great to see The Punisher done right. The disc that Frank got from behind the photograph must be a hint to Microchip.
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3:24AM on 04/04/2016
It was a good finale. It was kinda obvious that the Punisher would come to the rescue. More Wilson Fisk would be awesome for season 3, cause Nobu wasn't an interesting bad guy.
It was a good finale. It was kinda obvious that the Punisher would come to the rescue. More Wilson Fisk would be awesome for season 3, cause Nobu wasn't an interesting bad guy.
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