Following the events of The Defenders, Matt Murdoch (Charlie Cox) finds himself in pretty good shape, considering a huge building fell on top of him. He has managed to find a respite, but the extrasensory powers that allow him to be Daredevil are on the fritz following his injuries. With Daredevil out of action, nefarious things are afoot in the city. Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) is working his schemes, has found a way out of prison and is using extortion and violence to establish his reign as the Kingpin of crime.
The latest season of Daredevil hits a home run. While the series has maintained its high quality across each of its three seasons, the newest one delivers a welcome highlight for the show. Daredevil spends some time digging into its characters and what makes them tick, and the writing supports this well, telling backstories in an engaging way that keeps it from feeling like a bunch of tacked-on expositions. It gives the cast a chance to shine and turns the show into more than just a string of action sequences.
Of special note is D’Onofrio’s portrayal of the Kingpin. The effort put into developing Fisk’s character pays dividends, giving the show a compelling villain to complement its hero rather than just some maniacal bad guy to serve as a punching bag.
I have been enjoying the little corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that Netflix has been working with over the last few years. Don’t get me wrong, I still love The Avengers and all of their box-office glory, but Netflix’s side of the MCU really helps round out the setting, making it feel more like the comics on which their based. However, the franchise has an uncertain future. Two other related titles, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, were not renewed by Netflix, and with Disney migrating their Marvel properties to their own proprietary streaming service, it’s hard to tell what, if anything, we can expect from The Defenders in coming years. It’s an unfortunate turn of events for the franchise, and I’ll be disappointed if it just fades away, though it bears mentioning, that none of this is set in stone yet. If this is indeed Daredevil’s swan song, at least it’s going out on a high note.