The expectations for Daredevil's second season were incredibly high, something the series can only blame on its own impressively strong debut. And while Season 2 initially appeared to live up to the hype, it soon fell victim to character glut, with new showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez attempting to cram every major Daredevil plot and character into a claustrophobic 13 hours.
It's an unfortunate turn of events and one that could have easily been avoided by paring the season down. Here are eight plots that should have been cut from Daredevil Season 2:
In an already overly crowded season, adding another villain into the final couple of episodes was an unnecessary detour. As the show reveals in a pathetically anticlimactic moment, Colonel Schoonover (Clancy Brown), Frank Castle's (Jon Bernthal) military commander and character witness from his trial, is actually the Blacksmith, the heroin dealer the cops were after in the sting operation-turned-shootout that killed Frank's family.
As for why Frank would blame the Blacksmith for his family's deaths during a police operation in which the Blacksmith never even showed up - who knows? Or what about why the Blacksmith murdered everyone tied to the sting and framed it on the Punisher? Beats me! Oh, and what about Frank and the Blacksmith's military ties: Is that just coincidence or part of a larger conspiracy tied to Kandahar? Once again, I have no freaking idea, because the show doesn't even bother to acknowledge that these are questions we need answered. Instead, it plows full-steam ahead, roping Karen (Deborah Ann Woll) and Matt (Charlie Cox) into this nonsense and killing Reyes (Michelle Hurd) along the way.
Let's not talk about how Daredevil turned Matt and Elektra (Elodie Yung) into a late '90s rom-com couple with the whole, "Am I a
bet mission?" origin story (FYI, Stick [Scott Glenn] would be the Paul Walker or Joseph Gordon-Levitt in this situation.) Instead, let's focus on Elektra and Stick's relationship now, because the second season sure wanted us to.
After their bizarre shared history is revealed, Stick tries to kill Elektra to stop her from becoming Black Sky (?) even though he knew her entire life that she was Black Sky (??) and then Elektra tries to kill Stick for trying to kill her (???) at the same time Nobu is trying to kidnap (????) or win over (?????) Elektra.
Whatever is happening, Matt gets caught in the middle and is thus inspired to mansplain goodness to Elektra, claiming that if she were to kill Stick, it would cut the last tether to her light within. This, of course, is just another batch of twaddle since Stick was the one who first encouraged Elektra's murderous tendencies when she was a child.
If none of that makes sense to you, don't worry. From the moment of its inception through Elektra's death, the Sticklektra storyline was a series of boring, baffled turns, transforming what should have been a kickass female character into the ultimate MacGuffin. And speaking of MacGuffins...
The biggest question mark of the season has to go to Black Sky, something that has been mentioned in both seasons of Daredevil but which the show is still no closer to explaining.
In the first season, Black Sky was a child, but now Elektra is allegedly the one destined to be the ultimate weapon and mystical entity that the Hand serves. But if Elektra is Black Sky, then why can't she just tell the Hand to stand down? And WTF is Black Sky anyways? Does this mean Elektra has superpowers? Is she immortal now? Does Elektra even understand what this means, or is she as in the dark as us?
Whatever Black Sky is will clearly come up again, since the Hand is apparently working on bringing Elektra back to life. But to be honest, I'd rather this plot stay dead unless they plan on giving some serious answers ASAP.
Matt and Karen's romance
After some billiards flirting, Matt and Karen's romance comes to fruition in a scene that is far too reminiscent of Ben Affleck's Daredevil. Their single raindrop kiss immediately escalates, with the couple suddenly comfortable enough to parade their relationship around, holding hands in front of Foggy (Elden Henson), D.A. Reyes and the Punisher.
But as quickly as Matt and Karen happened, it was over. As soon as Elektra shows up, Matt begins acting as though A) Karen doesn't exist, and B) They weren't practically going steady. So why start the characters down this road if they had no intention on following through?
There were lot of great characters in Daredevil's first season. Nobu (Peter Shinkoda) was not one of them. In fact, Nobu was such a forgettable pawn that I forgot he even existed until Matt and Elektra dropped some much-needed verbal exposition about his fiery death.
While Nobu's return to life was an easy way to demonstrate the superhuman abilities of the Hand, it lacked the narrative weight a magical resurrection should entail. And unfortunately, Nobu's immortality suggests that we haven't seen the last of this chain-wielding glass of skim milk.
The Hand is such a crucial part of Daredevil mythos, but the show's execution of the ninja organization leaves viewers with little to no idea of who these people are or what they want. The words "war," "ultimate weapon" and "Black Sky" are thrown out a lot, but never explained. The Farm provides a disturbing image - a dark cellar filled with caged prisoners being exsanguinated - but even this jumped the shark when the show reveals that the prisoners have been turned into hive mind pseudo-zombies who want their blood drained for some unexplained reason.
Introducing a clandestine group of magical ninjas was always a risk given Daredevil's devotion to gritty human drama. But it's one thing for characters to have mystical abilities; it's another to not ground them in any recognizable reality. And for Matt Murdock, his entire reality exists within the few block radii of where he grew up. So the abrupt leap from Matt, the street-level vigilante, to Matt, the superhero caught in an international magical ninja war, was a bit hard to swallow.
Don't get us wrong: Karen becoming a reporter is a great move. She's far too talented and dogged to remain anyone's secretary. However, Karen went from someone with zero experience to Ellison (Geoffrey Cantor) handing her Ben Urich's untouched office before you could say "lazy writing." This is a huge step in the show's evolution of Karen Page, but it was so rushed that we'd rather they waited until they had the time to do it properly. (They also could have skipped the part where her main motivation for becoming a reporter is to rehabilitate the public image of a male murderer, but you pick your battles.)
Roxxon and The Hole
We get that Elektra needed a reason to enlist Matt's help, but couldn't they have figured out a more reasonable way than Elektra refusing to divest her money from Roxxon out of vengeful pride? Of course they needed to include Roxxon in order to lead Elektra and Matt to the giant hole, which is also somehow tied to the Hand and the Yakuza. Yet even after this massive (pun intended) discovery, the hole is never mentioned again. It's a literal plot hole! So unless the Season 3 villain is the hole, we could have done without it.
What did you think of Daredevil's second season?