Based on: Daredevil by Stan Lee and Bill Everett
Producer: Marvel Television
Created by: Drew Goddard
Showrunner: Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie
Starring: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Jon Bernthal, Elodie Yung
Genre: Action, Crime Drama, Superhero
Rating: 18 years (Blu-ray)
Marvel’s Daredevil is an American television series created by Drew Goddard and produced by Marvel Television for Netflix. It is based on the Marvel superhero, Daredevil. The series started on April 10, 2015 and continues to the present (September 2018). Although Drew Goddard started as the showrunner, he handed the project over to Steven S. DeKnight for Season 1, followed by Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez for Season 2, and Erik Oleson for Season 3.
On September 10, 2018, Netflix released a Season 3 teaser for the series. Season 3 was released October 19, 2018, with a positive critical response. However, with the cancellation of Netflix’s Luke Cage and Iron Fist in October 2018, some wonder about the future of other Marvel Netflix series, such as Daredevil Season 4.
Violence/Scary Images: Comic book fights/brawls occur throughout the season, including punching, kicking, beating with objects, heads/faces slammed against objects, stabbing with knives/swords, shooting, stepping on neck and fingers, tazing with stun gun, using chain as weapon, using hot water as weapon, throwing a person off a roof multiple times, men fighting women; intense violence/gore, including various shootings/gunfire (including on-screen to the head, face, neck, etc.), smacking, breaking of arms, crashing through roofs, men hanging from meat hooks, stabbing man in eye with ice pick, stabbing with syringe, throats and wrists slit, arrow through chest, drilling through man’s foot, hiding blade in flesh, bloodletting for human sacrifice, implied beating with baseball bat, foot almost amputated, vehicle used as weapon; dead bodies, including with blood, gunshot wounds, and many in crime scene settings and photos; wounds from fights and torture, including cuts, bleeding, stitches, bruises, concussion, knock outs; intense images, including people (including women and children) being kidnapped/taken hostage, binding of protagonist with chains, various explosions, people screaming, convulsions, talk of an arm blown off.
Language/Crude Humor: Over 37 uses of religious profanity (Jesus, God, Christ), 59 mild obscenities (h***, c**p, d**n), 143 scatological terms, 62 anatomical terms, 16 derogatory terms/insults, including b****, one F-word; three profanities in other languages, jeez is used; middle finger is given; various threats of murder; various jokes about sex, and a racial joke.
Sexual Content: Sex scene (backside and side of woman shown, but the front is not); various scantily-clad women, including dress cut to hips; male and female characters in underwear; males shirtless; several discussions about past lovers and having sex; various kissing, flirting, and caressing throughout the series; prostitution; human trafficking and child pornography mentioned.
Drug/Alcohol use: Lots of drinking throughout the series, drug dealing; drug trafficking.
Spiritual Content: Catholicism. Resurrection based on pseudo-mysticism.
Other Negative Themes: Vigilantism, prostitution; robbery; breaking into various locations; car theft; dog humping religious statue “to completion” mentioned, dog fights/torture mentioned.
Positive Content: Discussions on the morality of killing; discussion on military veterans and PTSD; redemption.
Episode 1, Bang, starts with Daredevil stopping a group of thieves who are running from the police. The next day, Foggy and Matt Murdock meet with Karen at the Nelson and Murdock Law Office, where we learn they are broke.
The Irish mafia attempt to fill up the criminal vacuum left by the Kingpin. However, military-level gunfire raids the hideout, nearly killing everyone. One man (Grotto) survives, and seeks out the help of Nelson and Murdock. He falls out and Karen takes him to the hospital. At the hospital, the same person that killed the Irish mafia comes for Grotto.
This killer (Frank Castle/Punisher) attempts to kill Grotto with a sniper gun. But, Daredevil tackles him and they fight on the rooftops of Hell’s Kitchen. The episode ends with Frank shooting Daredevil, dropping him off the rooftop.
Episode 2, Dogs to a Gunfight, starts the morning following Episode 1. Everyone is recovering from the aftermath of the hospital shooting by Frank Castle.
Foggy finds Daredevil and returns him to his apartment to recover. Karen deals with the Grotto. Eventually, Foggy assists Karen, but the District Attorney (DA) wants to take over the case. She wants to use the Grotto as a mole to incriminate a drug dealer. Upon a name drop, Frank Castle is fully revealed as The Punisher. The Punisher buys weapons equipment from a storeowner before killing him for pushing child pornography. Back at Matt’s apartment, Matt finds his senses going haywire.
The DA set up Grotto with a wire. But, the DA actually planned to use Grotto as bait to draw out The Punisher. The police ambush fails, and The Punisher manages to get Grotto in his sniper scope. Daredevil prevents him from killing Grotto, but haywire senses debilitate Daredevil. The episode ends with The Punisher apparently dragging Daredevil off somewhere. Foggy and the SWAT team see no trace of anyone.
Episode 3, New York’s Finest, starts with Matt Murdock dreaming of a nun cleaning his wounds. This transitions to the present, with The Punisher fastening Daredevil with some chains on a rooftop.
Elsewhere, Karen stands up to the DA after the attempted hit on the Grotto by The Punisher. Grotto fled in the chaos, the DA threatens Karen, and Foggy tells Karen to calm down for now. Karen then tries researching the DA.
Daredevil and The Punisher have a long conversation about the morality of killing “bad” people. Foggy sees if Claire has any info, and ends up stopping a fight in the hospital. The Punisher brings Grotto to the rooftop, and attempts to make Daredevil break his moral code by either killing him or Grotto. Daredevil manages to hinder him, but Grotto ends up getting shot and killed regardless. The Punisher and Daredevil fight, and The Punisher blows up nearby motorcycles of a biker gang.
The episode ends with Daredevil fighting the biker gang in a very long choreographed sequence while trying to help The Punisher escape. Karen sees an x-ray of The Punisher’s head, showing a bullet hole in his skull.
Episode 4, Penny and Dime, starts with the Irish gang mourning the loss of its various members. Finn Cooley, the leader of the Irish mob, enters. He kills one of his men and orders the search and capture of The Punisher.
Matt, Foggy, and Karen mourn the loss of Grotto. Afterward, Father Lantom and Matt discuss guilt. Karen investigates The Punisher and actually goes to his abandoned house. The Irish mafia discovers The Punisher’s hideout. They corner and capture The Punisher. As they torture The Punisher for the location of their money, Daredevil goes to rescue him.
The Punisher tricks the Irish mafia, as the location of the money is a trap bomb. He also kills Finn Cooley. Daredevil and The Punisher manage to escape, with Daredevil preventing The Punisher from killing more people. Nevertheless, The Punisher stops in a cemetery, exhausted from the torture. Daredevil allows Sergeant Brett Mahoney to take credit for capturing The Punisher.
After hearing about the capture of The Punisher on the news, Karen and Matt share a kiss, solidifying their romance. As Matt goes back to his apartment, someone attacks him from the dark. It is Elektra Natchios.
Episode 5, Kinbaku, starts 10 years ago. Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson walk into a very fancy party. There, Matt Murdock meets Elektra Natchios; they like each other and she steals a car. Back in the present, Elektra asks Matt for help, but Matt refuses.
Karen meets the editor of Ben Urich. They get more information on Frank Castle from back issues of the newspaper. Karen realizes the DA is hiding something. More flashback shows Matt and Elektra becoming intimate. In addition, Elektra found Roscoe Sweeney, the man who ordered the hit on Matt’s dad. After beating Roscoe, Elektra tempts Matt to kill Roscoe. Matt refuses and wants to hand him to the authorities, but Elektra disappears.
Back in the present, Matt and Karen go out on a date, but a phone call from Elektra interrupts them. After taking Karen back home, Matt goes to see Elektra at her apartment. He accuses Elektra of manipulation. Matt then hears someone coming and she reveals the Yakuza are after her. The episode ends with Elektra pulling out the Daredevil armor and preparing for battle. She then pulls up her iconic comic book mask.
Episode 6, Regrets Only, starts with Yakuza bikers zipping through the city to Elektra’s apartment. Daredevil and Elektra manage to defeat these assassins. The following day, Matt and Elektra have a meal at a diner.
Elektra wants to team up with Matt to investigate the Yakuza. But, Matt does not want to kill people, to which Elektra grudgingly agrees. Matt also wants Elektra out of town once everything is done. Back at Nelson and Murdock, the law office realizes the DA wants to get Frank Castle executed. Matt decides to defend The Punisher. Matt, Foggy, and Karen go to the hospital to talk to Frank Castle. But, Elektra calls up Matt to discuss their team up. Elektra and Matt attend a gala, and obtain more information. They defeat various guards and barely escape.
Elsewhere, Karen and The Punisher connect, and The Punisher remembers his family. Foggy tells The Punisher to plead guilty before the judge and the DA. Instead, The Punisher decides to not plead guilty, instead aiming to figure out who truly killed his family. Foggy fills in Matt about the volatile turn of events.
Episode 7, Semper Fidelis, starts with the jury giving varied opinions about The Punisher, ranging from hero to psychopath. Frank Castle then enters the court room, ready for the trial.
Nelson and Murdock consider an insanity plea or PTSD for Frank Castle. However, Frank Castle does not want to resort to such an excuse. Daredevil continues to investigate the Yakuza with Elektra. They spend the night talking together, which makes Matt late for the trial. Foggy ends up defending Frank Castle, amidst strong arguments from the DA. Matt walks into the courtroom late, to the ire of Foggy.
Karen and Matt discuss the justification of vigilantism, particularly when the law fails. Karen reveals sympathy and agreement to what The Punisher does. The next day at the trial, the medical examiner states being threatened by a mysterious woman, obviously Elektra. Matt informs Foggy that Elektra tampered with the case, and Matt has a falling out with both Foggy and Karen.
The following night, Daredevil argues with Elektra about intervening in his normal life. Nevertheless, Daredevil and Elektra continue investigating the Yakuza. The episode ends with them discovering a large hole in one of the Yakuza buildings.
Episode 8, Guilty as Sin, starts with Matt and Elektra fighting a bunch of ninjas in the same location. Elektra is critically injured, but Stick intervenes.
The next day, Colonel Ray Schoonover takes the stand in the Frank Castle case. The Colonel explains how Frank saved his platoon and earned the Navy Cross. This boosts Frank’s image before the jury. Back at Matt’s apartment, Stick breaks down the conflict between the Hand and the Chaste. The ninjas were from the Hand and Stick is part of the Chaste.
During the court case, Foggy pleads mental trauma from Frank being shot in the head, to show his killings as crimes of passion. Matt convinces Elektra to leave Stick’s mentorship. Karen also discovers Matt with Elektra, which upsets her.
In the courtroom, Matt finally arrives to question Frank Castle. But, he inadvertently provokes Frank Castle to an unapologetic outburst, most certainly sinking Nelson and Murdock. Karen and Foggy ridicule Matt. He returns to his apartment and finds Elektra, who says she left Stick. Suddenly, a ninja from the Hand shoots Matt with an arrow; Elektra slits the attackers throat. This disturbs Matt, who is slowly losing consciousness. The episode ends with a corrupt cop leading Castle to the prison gym yard, where a bench-pressing Wilson waits for him.
Episode 9, Seven Minutes in Heaven, starts with Wilson Fisk going to prison after the events of Season 1. Even in prison, Fisk organizes his status within the prison as well as his future departure. Eventually, Fisk hears about Castle being sent to the same prison.
Having reached a level of power, Fisk arranges a meeting with Castle with the corrupt guards. Fisk manipulates Castle to deal with Dutton, an enemy drug dealer/prisoner. Elektra and Matt discuss the killing of the young Hand assassin. Matt realizes Elektra enjoys killing and he breaks up with her. Karen discovers a conspiracy with Castle, but Foggy tells her to let it go. Karen goes back to the New York Bulletin editor and takes up the mantle of Ben Urich, using his office and obtaining his research.
Daredevil gains more information on the Hand, which leads him to one of their hideouts. The Punisher kills Dutton. Fisk releases other prisoners to kill Castle, to tie up loose ends. The Punisher kills the prisoners. However, armed guards defeat him. The Punisher is sent to solitary confinement. Fisk goes to meet with him and sets up the guards to release The Punisher from prison. The Punisher escapes, under the guise of a prison guard. Daredevil discovers the Hand hideout was used for unknown bloodletting purposes. He manages to free the prisoners, but a resurrected Nobu stops him.
Episode 10, The Man in the Box, starts with Detective Sergeant Brett Mahoney finding the bloodletting prisoners in their cages. Daredevil tells Mahoney the Yakuza are still present in Hell’s Kitchen. They rescue the prisoners and take them to an undisclosed hospital, where Claire is.
Matt informs Claire that the Hand is still a threat. He notes the possibility the ninjas may also come to the hospital to deal with the remaining prisoners. Matt then overhears about the escape of The Punisher over the radio. The DA calls on Matt, Foggy, and Karen. She informs them of her failed drug sting, which resulted in the death of Frank Castle’s family. Suddenly, gunfire comes through the window and kills the DA.
In prison, Matt accuses Fisk face-to-face concerning the release of Frank Castle. Fisk denies this, and they momentarily fight before Matt leaves. Afterward, the assistant district attorney tells Foggy about the sloppiness of the failed sting cover-up. Karen informs the newspaper editor that someone murdered the medical examiner. Elektra tries to board a plane in secret, but an assassin finds her. Claire tells Matt the bloodletting victims may have been used to incubate chemicals in their bodies. She attempts to reconcile him with Foggy, but this does not occur. Karen returns to her apartment under police supervision. The Punisher non-fatally subdues the two policemen, followed by more gunfire through the window. The Punisher notes how this proves he wasn’t responsible for the recent attacks. Fisk asks for the Matt Murdock files to review.
Elektra fights the assassin, who was sent by Stick. Upon killing the assassin, Elektra gains her signature sai. The episode ends with the bloodletting victims awakening and Hand ninjas beginning the storm the hospital. Daredevil prepares for battle.
Episode 11, .380, starts with the ninjas breaking into the hospital. Claire attempts to get the bloodletting victims away, but a ninja stabs one of the coworkers through the heart. Daredevil saves Claire, but the ninjas manage to take away the victims.
Mahoney interrogates Karen. Still under police protection, Karen tells Matt The Punisher saved her from the shooter, showing he did not kill the DA or medical examiner. The identity of the Blacksmith remains unknown. Marci visits Foggy in the hospital, hinting at an interested employer. The hospital administrator blames Claire for the ninja attack. The Punisher is on the run, but still meets up with Karen; they go and talk at a diner. But, The Punisher figures out there are two hitmen tracking him. He kills them and gets a possible location of the Blacksmith.
Daredevil finds Madame Gao in Chinatown, who also gives a lead to the Blacksmith. Both Daredevil and The Punisher meet up at the same dock, but they do not find the Blacksmith. Daredevil and The Punisher fight momentarily. But, The Punisher throws Daredevil off the boat before thugs blow it up. The Punisher disappears in the explosion.
Claire quits her job due to the hospital covering up the ninja incident. Stick prepares himself for the coming fight with Elektra. Matt discovers Elektra is going to kill Stick. The episode ends with Elektra meeting Stick, with weapons drawn, wanting to “talk”.
Episode 12, The Dark at the End of the Tunnel, starts with Stick training a young Elektra. This transitions to the present, with an adult Elektra trying to kill Stick. Daredevil stops this, which is then interrupted by the Hand attacking all three of them. The Hand escapes with Stick.
The next morning, Karen and Mahoney view the aftermath of the dock explosion. Foggy and Matt mutually confirm the break up of Nelson and Murdock yet again. And with the Castle case closed and him possibly being dead, the newspaper editor tells Karen to adjust her story. Daredevil enters the sewers in search of the Stick and the Hand. Karen goes to get more information about Frank Castle from the Colonel. While interviewing him, she realizes the Colonel is the Blacksmith. And the Colonel realizes this. He pulls a gun on her and takes her to a car.
Daredevil hears Stick, despite being in another part of the complex. Stick tells Daredevil to track the ninjas by the breathing and not heartbeat. Matt rescues Stick, but Elektra tracks them down. The Punisher rescues Karen from the Blacksmith by crashing a car into the side of her captor’s car. The Punisher pulls the Blacksmith to a woodshed, where he kills him. In addition, The Punisher finds a cache of military weapons and armor.
Elektra prepares to accept the role of Black Sky, but refuses and escapes with Stick. Daredevil fights Nobu, throwing him down a few stories. But, Nobu revives. With ninjas around him, Nobu tells them Daredevil must die.
EPISODE 13 (SEASON FINALE)
Episode 13, A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen, starts with Nobu preparing for the final battle with Daredevil and Elektra. Stick is restrained in Matt’s apartment. Daredevil and Elektra discuss taking on the Hand together.
Jeri Hogarth talks to Foggy about joining her firm; she notes Foggy’s specialty in vigilantes. Karen deals with writer’s block. Daredevil and Elektra visit Melvin, who gives Elektra body armor and Daredevil a specialized billy club. Punisher returns home and reminisces. Frank reads the headline of his own death and begins painting on his body armor.
Foggy calls on Daredevil to talk to Mahoney. The Hand demanded files on everyone Daredevil rescued, and apparently beat up Mahoney. The Hand then captured these people, including Karen. Daredevil manages to track down their location after being calmed down by Elektra. Daredevil and Elektra fight the forces of the Hand, although they know it’s a losing battle.
Eventually, Nobu fights Daredevil and Elektra. Nobu attempts to stab Daredevil, but kills Elektra instead. Nobu sends the rest of the ninjas after Daredevil, but The Punisher comes out of nowhere, covering Daredevil’s back with his sniper gun. Daredevil goes straight after Nobu, and tosses him off the side of the building. Nobu revives again, but Stick appears and decapitates him.
With all the captured people rescued, the conflict ends. Matt and Stick hold a small funeral for Elektra. Foggy and Karen have a drink at Josie‘s Bar. The Punisher blows up his own house and dons his iconic white skull on his armor. The season ends with Matt showing Karen his Daredevil mask, revealing his alter ego. In addition, the body of Elektra is shown in the stone chamber by the Hand, implying a future resurrection.
Season 2 entertained me, though it’s not as strong as the first season. The plot takes a very logical route and I am happy for that. The defeat of the Kingpin creates a power vacuum in Hell’s Kitchen. This setup alone opens up some amazing possibilities, which unfortunately get cluttered, as I will explain later.
I really appreciated the comic book references. In Episode 3, Daredevil holds a gun whole smirking and walking forward. This is too similar to the cover of Daredevil Vol. 1 #134, Good Guys Wear Red, to not be a reference. The Punisher’s first appearance with a sniper gun in Daredevil is reminiscent of his first appearance in comics, The Amazing Spider-Man #129. Daredevil gains his signature multipurpose billy club, much to the jealousy of Elektra. And finally, Karen and Matt start their comic book romance.
Daredevil also brings up something I call the double-edged sword of a shared universe. You as a viewer know the other superheroes exist in this world. If most of them exist in New York, where are they? Shouldn’t the other Defenders, Spider-Man, and other street-level heroes encounter each other more as they increase in prominence? But, if they make too many obnoxious appearances in the solo series, they take away from the main character.
Thankfully, Daredevil handles this well. The name drops in this season are bare minimum. I appreciate that, because I do not need to watch the other Netflix series in order to understand this one.
The violence is still very brutal and the dialogue is realistic. The shaky cam is lessened, which is a plus. The music fits better than last season, although it is still not something I would play as background music during daily chores.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND CAST
The regular characters fit their respective personalities and progress further. Charlie Cox still carries the mantle of Daredevil well, although Matt Murdock didn’t come across as “blind” as he could have. Despite his super senses, Matt can’t see in the traditional sense. As someone who has actually had a blind friend for over a decade, I thought Cox captured this amazingly in Season 1. But, Season 2 couldn’t convince me of Matt’s blindness the majority of the time.
I still like Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, but I didn’t care for her character taking up Ben Urich’s mantle; she just didn’t feel like a writer. I would have preferred Ben Urich mentoring Karen Page, instead of the New York Bulletin editor. A precedent for this already existed and relates to themes of mentorship found with other characters. I did really enjoy her romantic rain scene in Episode 4. Netflix handled this so much better than the comparable scene in the 2003 movie with Jennifer Gardner/Elektra. Remarkably, I found Foggy Nelson more enjoyable this season as he grows to be less dependent on Matt.
I enjoyed Clancy Brown’s initial appearance as the Colonel; any comic book geek would recognize him and his voice from various TV shows, video games, etc. Vincent D’Onofrio delivers again as the Kingpin flawlessly. The role of Sergeant Brett Mahoney would remind any comic book geek of Commissioner Gordon from the Batman mythos. Although similar, it is welcomed. The introduction of Elektra and The Punisher leads to my main criticism of this season.
ONE MAIN CRITICISM
I remember hearing about the weakness of Season 2 in contrast to Season 1 of Daredevil. Upon reviewing it myself, I see one main problem: The overlapping stories of Elektra and The Punisher.
It makes sense they are in same season; both are anti-heroes who tempt Daredevil to kill. And ironically, the plot moves at an even and exciting pace. But, both Elektra and The Punisher carry such heavy backgrounds and extreme personalities. They could have individually carried a season alone. I found it coincidental that both appeared in Hell’s Kitchen at the same time. In real life, conflicts and problems occur simultaneously. But, for purpose of story telling, the conflict that arises from both characters creates too much clutter.
This is not even mentioning the antagonists that are connected to each of these characters. The Punisher has the DA and the Blacksmith/Colonel; Elektra has Stick (initially) and Nubo/the Hand. I hate comparing everything to Season 1. But, almost every conflict of that season could ultimately be traced back to a clear antagonist: the Kingpin. When he is defeated, the resolution feels complete. Not so much in Season 2.
I would have had the first part of Season 2 focus on the trial of Frank Castle and the second part focus on Elektra and the Hand. That way, the clutter is removed, the theme of murderous vigilantes remains, and you can still have The Punisher come in for that awesome save during the Season 2 climax.
Other minor criticisms include the editing and lightning. The clearing of the courtroom in Episode 7 looked surprisingly amateurish and choppy, skipping forward. Some scenes looked too dark to make out what was happening. The cinematography didn’t look as picturesque as in Season 1. Even the opening action with Daredevil stopping some thieves, though exciting, did not look visually appealing.
THE PUNISHER AND THE LOVER
I do not like the intermingled stories of Elektra and The Punisher. But, I do love the portrayals and characters individually. Both characters enjoy killing, which proves to be a stumbling block for Daredevil.
Jon Bernthal portrays Frank Castle as an unstoppable force. This is a stark contrast from The Punisher of the 2004 film, which suffers from the tone of superhero films of that time. I am glad they called him The Punisher quickly, in stark contrast to Daredevil in Season 1. His introductory scenes (the massacre of the Irish mob and the killing of the child pornographer) is classic Punisher. Bernthal captures his conceit down to the speech patterns, as he even consistently interrupts other characters.
Three scenes really defined this Frank Castle. First, Frank discusses the morality of killing “bad” people on the rooftop with Daredevil in Episode 3. They ridicule each other’s ideologies and even fight each other. But, a bizarre respect still exists between them. Second, Frank’s courtroom outburst of Episode 8 not only displays the sadism of Frank Castle, but also the failure of the protagonist. If Matt would have been there for the previous hearings, he may have handled the situation better. Third, the prison fight in Episode 9 shows The Punisher’s ingenuity against impossible odds, and serves as a reminder of the manipulative Kingpin. It is brutal, but beautifully choreographed nonetheless.
Other highlights include Frank’s diner talk with Karen. Although their friendship is a bit awkward, I liked his insight into Karen’s love for Matt. This humanizes The Punisher, along with his discussions about his family. There is also some good, yet subtle humor when Daredevil prevents The Punisher from killing the Irish gangsters. Jon Bernthal definitely made me want to see the spin-off series.
Elektra is another stand-out for Season 2. Elodie Yung performs the role of assassin with allure and lethalness. Like The Punisher, I loved when she pulled her mask on early in the season, solidifying her role as the character. Like Daredevil gaining his iconic billy club, I also loved Elektra gaining her sai…although it took some time to get there.
The Netflix series handles the flirtatious fight between Matt and Elektra many times better than the 2003 movie. At first, I thought I was not going to like Elektra not being killed by Bullseye. But, the Hand killing her (and foreshadowing a resurrection) does keep things focused. Yung definitely makes me want to see her as Elektra again in The Defenders.
Elektra plays the perfect role of a seductress for Matt Murdock. She is beautiful and charming, but ultimately distracts Matt from his already unstable mission. Although a master assassin has never tempted me, I know I have chased after girls I probably should not have chased after. Some women, though very beautiful, carried many spiritual red flags I ignored. Thankfully, God protected me from myself.
Proverbs 6:24-26 (NKJV) says “To keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids. For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.”
Although males and females can be tempted by physical attraction, men carry a special weak spot for beauty. As a man, I definitely know. This is even more emphasized by many of the Proverbs coming from King Solomon addressing his son. No matter how wise (consider King Solomon) nor how strong we are (consider Samson, lust can reduce someone to a crust of bread), temptation can harm us.
Beauty is not evil. But, the heart of a person must be considered too, something a lot of us Christian men forget. We must remember what the Lord said in 1 Samuel 16:7: “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
VENGEANCE IS MINE
We love our honorable heroes: Superman, Spiderman, and Captain America to name a few. But, we also love our antiheroes. The Punisher hits the mark, pun intended.
I believe the appeal of antiheroes is no different from that of superheroes. It is a catharsis for our own feelings. It feels good seeing bad people (even fictional ones) get what they deserve. But where non-Christians may justify personal retribution against “evil” people, Christians are called to be different. Romans 12:17 says, “’Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
Frank Castle takes vengeance on all “evil” people. He makes himself to be the instrument of God’s vengeance. And although I sympathize with The Punisher, Daredevil said it right on the rooftop: Frank thinks of himself as a one-man firing squad. The problem is everyone is evil (Romans 3:23), not just people he perceives as bad. If he were to take his logic to a full extreme (let’s say, to extinguish the very thought of evil), he would target everyone, including himself.
The Punisher reminds me of some first-hand accounts I’ve heard from missionaries. Some missionaries who worked against human trafficking spoke of the wrath they felt against traffickers. I completely understand and agree; I believe this is a righteous anger. These traffickers destroy the lives of children in ways we can only imagine.
But, these missionaries often realize something else too. Even these traffickers need to hear about Jesus and turn from their dark ways. They also need redemption, similar to Daredevil’s stance on the rooftop discussion. Personally, I don’t know if I could say that if I saw what these missionaries saw.
Does this mean we should just allow bad things or not seek justice when we’re wronged? Not at all. And if the law of God defies the law of man, we follow the law of God. But in general, if human law fails and we do not see justice in this life, we must trust the Lord will avenge. And when someone has sinned against us, we must be willing to offer forgiveness, just as God has forgiven us (Colossians 3:13).
The Bottom Line
Netflix’s Daredevil remains one of my favorite current series. Both The Punisher and Elektra are the highlight of this season. But, both characters and the story elements surrounding them bring clutter to the overall narrative. Although not dependent on other Netflix Marvel series, you will need to watch them if you want to follow the exploits of The Punisher and Elektra. Nevertheless, Daredevil Season 2 is a must-watch for any Marvel fan.