Yeah, yeah, I know, this is a little delayed but I have been doing a bunch of things and I have several things to write about. Besides, I needed to rewatch the entire thing again because...well, I don't need a reason, do I?
The second season was grimmer, darker, bloodier and edgier than the first, which is saying a lot.
Let me break the 13 episodes down into three separate arcs, although the line between them is kind of blurry.
1. The Punisher arc - As I said before, what this series does amazingly is the tease before the introduction of a major character- Punisher in this case. The Punisher is bloodthirsty, crazy violent and when you meet him, you either feel like yeah, we need this kind of a badass who hunts down criminals like filth or woah, keep that deranged lunatic behind bars for life. Essentially, it deals with Daredevil tracking down the Punisher after Frank Castle goes on a rampage eliminating all drug dealing gangs in Hell's Kitchen. The only piece of humanity the Punisher shows is when he shoots Daredevil in the head (yeah, that's human) purposely on his helmet, in a sniper-like way just as a warning shot, when he could have killed him. Doesn't stop him from laying a beating on our hero, yo! The end of the arc is with the Punisher getting arrested thanks to Daredevil saving him from an Irish mobster who captures him and giving him up to the police to account for his crimes. My only gripe is the reveal of Punisher's past via a typical crying monologue. It fits the character to a tee but I still expected something more...unique.
2. The Elektra arc- Unlike the other characters, we are introduced to Elektra straight away in Daredevil's apartment. A departure from the tested route but well done. Telling Matt Murdoch's and Elektra's college romance story in flashbacks is well done but again cliched and in my opinion takes away from the gripping present story where Elektra baits in Matt to play Daredevil (revealing his secret identity is no secret for her) and also making him feel like he missed fighting alongside her all the while. The brilliant part is that Daredevil fails to juggle his normal day job as a lawyer and a vigilante by night, which screws up his relationships with his friends and colleagues. Why this doesn't happen to more superheroes is beyond me! If I was away saving people/world half of my office time, I would get fired and rightfully so (cue Superman). Elektra is trying to hunt down plans for a mysterious organisation and the arc ends with Elektra leaving having failed her mission.
3. Punisher + Elektra arc - This arc is amazingly built up from the previous two with the Punisher arc going from a short courtroom episode to the baddie from Season 1 - Wilson Fisk getting Punisher in jail to do his dirty work. That is how you use a villain! You don't forget him once he is put away because he is the BIG BAD, who obviously will try and get out of prison. There is a brilliant yet horrific scene where the Punisher kills a block full of prisoners and it is amazingly choreographed. I usually snort at scenes where one guy takes out 15 men alone, but it seemed completely realistic and believable here. The Elektra part is more to do with the slight turn of Daredevil to the dark side to be with Elektra and Elektra's redemption to be with him. There is an introduction to the mystic arts (probably a shout out to the upcoming Iron Fist series), whereby the shady ninja organisation has developed an immortality solution (again not an elixir - more like a bloody blood draining evil contraption, which looks like it takes away your soul). The twist at the end with Elektra's death and exhumation of her body by the ninjas to bring her back to life was a tad predictable, but again well done.
Final impressions - A very good season 2. New characters were handled superbly, specially the Punisher since it is very difficult to pull of a bloodthirsty vigilante with just enough morals. However, as you might have noted in my review, it didn't surprise me as much, probably because I'm holding it to an impossibly high standard. I still believe Jessica Jones season 1 is the best among the three Marvel Netflix TV series out as of this date.
But still if you haven't watched it, slap yourself for not doing so and go watch it!!