Matt Murdock Reenters The Ring: A Review of Daredevil Season 3
Daredevil Season 3 picks up in the aftermath of Netflix’s Defenders, leaving Daredevil/Matt Murdock in a crisis of faith. If you’re familiar with the character, you know that Daredevil is one of the few Catholic superheroes, and is likely the most popular of them. When a hero with such a deep faith begins to doubt in himself and his beliefs, it begins to affect the lives of all those around him. Matt Murdock’s faith plays a pivotal role in the plot of Season 3, possibly the best of Marvel’s Netflix seasons to date.
Daredevil’s third season stars a mostly familiar cast, with some new characters to add to the story. New additions to the cast include Joanne Whalley as Maggie Grace, a mentoring nun who guides Murdock, Wilson Bethel as Ben Poindexter, a damaged FBI agent, and Jay Ali as Ray Nadeem, another FBI agent and a family man. The returning cast has already set their reputations to portray their characters excellently, but I bring up these three new characters for fitting surprisingly well with the already great cast. Just as it did for the Punisher in season two, Daredevil excels in bringing in new characters which are just as engaging as many from the original cast. I’d feel as though I wouldn’t do this season justice if I didn’t mention these new characters before I get to Daredevil himself and his mortal enemy, Wilson Fisk.
In the second season of Daredevil, we were given hints to Wilson Fisk’s return when it was revealed that he was slowly gaining control of his own prison. Fisk’s corruption and deception slowly grant him full freedom in this season, which causes Daredevil to lose faith in the law, leading him to once again take justice into his own hands. This corruption of New York presents an overwhelming challenge for Murdock, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, and others just as it did in the first season, with many of their plans being turned against them or made useless towards stopping Fisk. The various confrontations Daredevil faces along this mission to bring Fisk to justice are what you come to expect from the series, meaning that the fight scenes never disappoint, and are some of the best battles on television or film today. As entertaining as the action can be, what continues to make Daredevil a beloved series is its complex characters and its great storytelling.
The six main characters of the show all have their own agendas and missions throughout the season, which all become more intertwined as the season goes on. I would argue that these six characters are Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Special Agent Ray Nadeem, Special Agent Ben Poindexter, and Wilson Fisk. Each of these characters is given special treatment and all have scenes where we see the plot from their point of view. Their varying personalities and goals lead to a clash of not only good and evil, but also varying perspectives on the effectiveness of the law. Seeing these characters interact and shape each other’s views is a highlight of the show. Giving us a close look at each of their respective families and motivations humanizes each of them, adding something that makes the season especially successful.
Of course, the show would not function without an engaging and interesting title character. At the start of the season, Daredevil is at his most conflicted and hopeless point yet. Even with the guidance of Sister Maggie Grace and Father Paul Lantom, Matt Murdock’s faith is shaken. As the season goes on, we get to see Daredevil go to new extremes in order to bring about his idea of justice, while his Catholic beliefs still remind him of his past efforts at living a moral life.
Matt Murdock’s fight against crime, corruption, and his own personal demons makes Season 3 of Daredevil one you won’t want to miss.