**Please note that this review contains spoilers for “Resurrection” and any episodes that occur prior**
“I’d rather die as the Devil than live as Matt Murdock”
Matt Murdock is back, and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen is broken. Not only is he physically broken, but his faith has been shattered as well. This is Matt at his absolute lowest–so low, that he truly believes that it’s better to let the people close to him think that he’s dead. The opening minutes filled in the gaps of how Matt got to the orphanage, washing on shore barely alive through a sewer drain, almost unable to utter Father Landon’s name into a bystander’s ear. Luckily for Matt, it all worked out. He’s back at home–well, back at the orphanage. It’s a neat parallel to have Matt back where he grew up just as he is in a place where he needs to find himself once again.
For his recovery Matt got himself a caretaker in the form of Sister Maggie. Joanne Whalley really does a swell job in the role, and I’ve immediately taken kindly to her presence in the show. To be able to hold her own across from Charlie Cox is impressive, and I already really enjoy the dynamic between the two. Clearly, there is something that Maggie is holding back from telling Matt because as Matt pointed out to her, she is being oddly kind and supportive to him. She is a great foil to Matt’s broken faith, and their conversations and scenes together are extremely engaging.
Matt may be bruised, deaf in one ear, and spiritually lost, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to get back on his feet (after clearing buckets of blood from his sinus’ of course). Charlie Cox is fantastic as always, and watching him struggle to get past his new ailments was impressive. Matt almost proved himself to be better during a private Catholic boxing match—but one good blow to the head knocked everything out of place again. Out of spite, Matt pulls together his old costume and goes out for a good old-fashioned beat down. Man let me tell you, it is nice to watch another Daredevil fight scene after so long. I missed them so much. Things however still weren’t looking up for Matt. After saving the civilians, he gets his ass handed to him. Not only that, but he even offers up his own death to the goons that bested him. Needless to say, Matt has a long journey ahead of him before he is even close to being fully healed.
It wasn’t all about Matt though. We got to see a bit of what Karen has been up to. It wouldn’t take a detective to figure out that Karen doesn’t believe Matt to be dead. This belief has caused her to try and maintain the lease of Matt’s place until he gets back. While it was cool to see what she has been up to, what made me extremely happy was that we got to see the immediate aftermath of Matt revealing his identity to Karen. I was always bummed that we seemingly missed witnessing that entire event thanks to The Defenders, but I’m happy that it was addressed immediately this season.
Kingpin finally returned to the spotlight as we got more glimpses of him in his prison life. His world was flipped upside down, however, when he learned that there was a warrant out for Vanessa’s arrest and that she couldn’t even enter the country because of him. As we all know, Vanessa means everything to Kingpin. Apparently so much so, that he’s willing to make a deal to protect her. This is surprising to me because I don’t see Kingpin ever snitching. He is The Kingpin, so it’s likely that he has something up his sleeve. When it came time to do this deal, who better than our newly introduced FBI agent Ray to be the one to make it.
Now let’s talk about Ray. He’s pretty much my only gripe with the premiere episode. The writers did a great job when it comes to his set-up. In that short span of time, we were given enough to sympathize with him, understand his motives, and know who he is. The problem is more in how they set him up. The show went for the angle of setting him up fairly quickly and spontaneously in the last five-ten minutes of the episode. While it’s not the biggest of deals, I do wish they had set him up throughout the episode instead of all at once towards the end simply for the Kingpin moment at the end.
Daredevil’s third season returned with a fantastic episode that explored Matt’s shattered body and faith. The journey going forward for him isn’t going to be an easy one, but I do hope we don’t have to wait until the end of the season to see him back in his suit (or likely an entirely new one). Because while this episode excelled when it came to the characters (and across the board really), I can’t help but selfishly want more fight scenes—especially their traditional long take. It’s easy to say that I’m happy to have Daredevil back on my screen.
- I do wish that Karen struggling to deal with paying Matt’s rent was brought up at some point in The Punisher.
- I do enjoy how everyone’s first instinct is to ask Matt whether or not he is truly blind.
- Surprised at how little Foggy was touched upon, but I guess it’s not really a surprise. The episode did have a lot to cover.
The third season of Daredevil is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.