There are a lot of great TV shows out there. And in those great shows are great individual seasons. Little moments that seem to rise above the regular level of greatness. I am here to say that the second season of Daredevil just might be the greatest single season of any TV show, ever.
Seems like a bold statement, right? Well, if you’re new here, hi. I’m Archer and I make bold claims that I can absolutely back up. So let’s get into it. Why is Daredevil S2 the GOAT season? There’s a lot of reasons and I’m gonna try my best to illuminate y’all.
First up, the story. Season 2 picks up where season 1 left off (duh). Matt is fully the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, complete with the horns and billy club and his civilian life is in bit of a mess, mainly due to his nightly endeavors. The schism this creates within Matt is the biggest source of drama and tension in the whole season. Is it enough to be the Daredevil? Can he still have a life as Matt? And of course his natural born Catholic angst is just icing on the cake. Everything is perfectly balanced in this Spider-Man 2-esque battle within himself. Difference is both halves of Matt’s soul are equally compelling to the viewer. You want Matt to be happy. You want his relationships to work, both romantic and platonic. You also want him to be Daredevil, because he’s really good at it and he does a lot of good with it. The tension and anticipation in seeing if/how he resolves this makes for some compelling TV.
Secondly, we have the characters themselves. We’re familiar with Matt and Foggy and Karen Page. The “Big Three” if you will. But the second season introduces more characters. Frank Castle; the no-hold-barred, take-no-prisoners flipside to Matt’s Daredevil. Elektra; a relic from Matt’s past that comes roaring back to life. And Stick; like Elektra, he’s also a time capsule to a past Matt thought was long gone. Stick and Elektra help to add to the tension of Matt’s dual life choice, and all three demonstrate the different approaches to the “spicy nightlife”. They all deepen our knowledge and understanding of Matt, but they’re not one-dimensional characters themselves. All of them have depth that is allowed to show, and character that adds to the show itself. Even existing characters like Foggy and Karen get more definition and layers to themselves.
Third, and this is perhaps my favorite bit, the writing. Now, as you may have surmised from all my rambling earlier, the show is pretty fucking well written. But beyond excellent storybuilding and worldbuilding and all that, the dialogue, the way the scenes are written, how there are anywhere from one to three bad guys at any one time during the run of the show and it never feels overwhelming, how this rather large cast of characters for a non-ensemble setup can all feel organic, is a testament to the skill and talent involved. I will go to my grave maintaining that this scene between Matt and Frank is the greatest scene ever, movie or TV. The interplay between the characters is some of the best I’ve seen on TV, with each one acting on the other in almost equal measure. Like an orchestra playing in perfect harmony, all the pieces moving exactly as intended, each with their own individual goals, but each with an effect on all the others around.
Fourth, the performances. Now, this holds true for all the Marvel Netflix shows, but in this season of this show, everyone was on it. I’m talking “rent was due” performances. Every one of these characters was perhaps the best versions of themselves in this season. Jon Bernthal as the tortured Vet with an ungodly war to wage, Elodie Yung being just the embodiment of chaotic neutral energy. Stick, Foggy, Karen, and so many more. Top to bottom, this season had the best acting I’ve seen in any comic book adapted media since Heath Ledger’s Joker. Just magnificent all around.
Fifth and perhaps finally, the bingeability. I know this can be said of a lot of TV shows, especially on Netflix, but this is on a different level. I have watched this season twice. And on both occasions I could not stop once I started until I was done with the whole season. There’s an almost Lord-of-the-Rings like quality to it where once it grabs you, it grabs you and you’re not going anywhere. You want to watch the next episode, you need to see how it all ends. Even if you’ve seen it before.
Did all this convince you? Maybe, maybe not, but I’ve done my part. I have, to the best of my modest ability, laid a not-complete list of why I think the second season of Daredevil is, not just great, not just amazing, but perfection.