I reviewed the Netflix original series “Daredevil” a while back, after I’d watched (and enjoyed) the first two seasons.
I’d loved the positive portrayal of Catholicism in “Daredevil,” and just how well-done the show was as a whole.
So my husband and I were moderately excited when season 3 of the series came to Netflix this month, hoping it’d be as good as the first two seasons and not turn into a cheesy whining fest like the other Netflix Original Marvel series we’d watched, “Iron Fist.” Especially since the crossover series featuring all the Netflix series Marvel characters, “The Defenders,” had been pretty so-so.
Basically, our expectations were tempered with the knowledge that it might just not be that great.
It blew us out of the water
To give you some perspective, I’m eight months pregnant and always tired, and my husband works bizarre hours while going to school. So sleep is important to us, and we typically don’t watch TV for that long most evenings after our kids go down, before we’re ready to sleep ourselves.
We seriously lost some sleep in the couple weeks it took us to get through this thirteen-episode third season of “Daredevil.”
We’d be like, “We’ll stop it after this scene…” and twenty minutes later still be enthralled.
Matt Murdock is missing…
Season 3 starts off where “The Defenders” left off, but if you don’t want to slog through the mediocrity of “The Defenders,” you should be able to catch on pretty quickly to what’s going on, between the recap at the beginning of the season and some helpful flashbacks/here’s-the-situation dialogue.
Basically, everyone thinks that Matt Murdock/Daredevil has died. But obviously he hasn’t. He’s recuperating and nursing some self-pity/angst in the basement of a Catholic Church.
So refreshingly Catholic…
The first couple episodes of the season actually contain a ton of Catholic elements, including a lot of theological discussion between him and a priest, and between him and a nun. And if you’re envisioning something along the lines of the dialogue in a sappy, low budget “Christian” movie, you’re way off.
We were marveling aloud as we watched it how they had made this stuff so compelling, non-cheesy, and even pretty darn theologically accurate! It even touched on some nitty-gritty stuff like how people ordinarily discover the will of God for their lives, and how He doesn’t typically speak to people in a huge, obvious way.
There were a few minor issues of inaccuracy/that-wouldn’t-happen. Like a cardinal performing a marriage ceremony for a criminal out-doors. And maybe a line or two from the sister that was like, “Eh, I don’t think a nun would say it like that…”
But on the whole, a very solid portrayal of Catholicism, where the Catholics are the good guys (though they’re at times very flawed!), and Matt’s anger at God is the equivalent of him running away from who he really is.
Very well-done otherwise
It’s not just the Catholic elements that are fantastic in this season. The whole thing is very un-turn-off-able as villain Wilson Fisk is back at his evil schemes, despite being in jail.
We meet a few new characters, some FBI agents with complicated backstories, and things start to go pretty poorly for them as they get involved with the Fisk schemes.
And then, there’s one plot twist involving Matt Murdock’s backstory that was so shocking I legit sat bolt upright on the couch (through some mildly painful Braxton Hicks contractions, mind you), and exclaimed, “What!” (It’s at the end of episode 8, in case you’re wondering.)
The fight scenes are also some of the best-choreographed of their kind. I didn’t even notice so much myself, because I’m just not all that into fight scenes I guess. But my husband pointed out that the hallmark of this show has been these long, several-people-against-Daredevil fight scenes that are usually done in only one uninterrupted shot. And, contrary to a lot of fight scenes you see in other shows/movies, Daredevil typically actually gets his fair share of injuries even though he does usually come out victorious.
The first two seasons of “Daredevil” had some occasional issues with hard-core, sickening violence. In season 3, that wasn’t as big a problem. There was obviously plenty of lesser violence still, but only one scene that came anywhere close to the “ugh”-ness of villain Wilson Fisk decapitating someone with a car door like we saw earlier on.
There’s some language, though actually quite a bit less than most shows that are rated MA. And as far as sexual content, there are some implied things here and there but nothing that’s graphic at all.
Over all, this season is fantastic
If you’re at all into superhero shows/movies, this is a great choice all around. The violence in the first two seasons is a bit much at times, but if you’ve watched those seasons you definitely do not want to miss season 3.
Honestly, the only problem now is finding a show to watch that can come close to following that!