Daredevil is back in his third season, and as usual we’re going to be reviewing every episode of the series – one per day – providing analysis, Easter egg spots and speculation for those who aren’t planning to binge it all in one go. All discussion is welcome but please don’t spoil future episodes in the comments.
3.13 A New Napkin
We close the book on another season of Marvel Netflix television, and I think it’s safe to say that Daredevil season three will go down as one of the better made seasons, if not the best outright. But then given the classic stories it had to work with, it would have been hard to mess it up. As finales go, I loved it, though part of me is a little nagged at by the resolution.
Specifically, I’m a little unsure about a video of Nadeem being his big plan (is it really a law that a video’s admissible in court if the person making it thinks they’re about to die? I have to assume so but it seems convenient.) and extremely unsure about the idea that Fisk will keep his word and the system will hold him. As Karen said, what, are they just going to hope Vanessa doesn’t get hit by a bus? I can totally understand not wanting to kill D’Onofrio off because he’s bound to be a part of the show moving forward. But this doesn’t feel like quite the win they’re celebrating it as in this season’s concluding scenes.
Anyway, let’s do this the traditional way: character by character.
Matt got his life back together. Interestingly, he never actually wore the Daredevil suit, even for the finale. I don’t for a second believe that Matt plans to stop being Daredevil but I at least believe he’s not going to let it take over his life from now on, and that his friends will be in on it. Plus, he got his mother back. It’s as close to a happy ending as he’s ever had.
Likewise, Foggy and Karen get to rejoin Nelson and Murdock (or rather, Nelson, Murdock and Page) and they can get back to the real mission. I’m not sure how pleased Mitchell will be to lose his star reporter, but maybe she can freelance. I’ve been extremely satisfied with the role they’ve played in the series both philosophically and narratively, and I don’t know if it’s just because they’re all great but it really reminds me how Luke Cage and Iron Fist, for example, use their supporting characters quite thinly. Foggy and Karen both felt like they could have been the protagonist of a series with the same events happening, and I enjoyed their key roles in it.
Fisk, of course, is off to jail. The three-way fight between him, Dex and Matt was a truly cathartic end to the season and I loved seeing Fisk brawl like the monster he is inside. I can also sort of buy that he’d put Vanessa’s safety and security above his own, but I’m not sure to the extent that he can be trusted to go to jail and not throw Matt under the bus in perpetuity. I sort of think he needed to die (not necessarily at Matt’s hand) for the others to go back to their lives feeling safe, given what we’ve seen of it.
And of course, there’s Dex, aka Bullseye, who ends the season with the same fate he faced in Daredevil #181: he’s paralysed, and therefore unable to use his abilities. It’s hard not to feel some pity for the guy given that he was manipulated by Fisk (and later Matt) into throwing away his life in which, some creepy stalking aside, he was actually a law-abiding FBI agent. But also he was an unrepentant murderer by the end of it, so let’s not let him get off too lightly…
As for next season – if there is one – I can only imagine we’re going to see an adaptation of one of my favourite Daredevil stories, Out. After all, Matt’s been pretty relaxed about protecting with his secret identity this season, and you can imagine that Mitch especially is going to be gunning for it now that he knows people around him know. I’d also like to see Vanessa back as a crime boss, if the universe would please oblige.
Oh, and one last pair of comics references: in his eulogy for Father Lantom, Matt uses the phrase “Man Without Fear”, which is the Daredevil tagline. And when Vanessa dresses Fisk up for their wedding, she suggests that he wears a rose. Part of me wonders if that’s a nod to Richard Fisk, the Kingpin’s son, who once styled himself as a crime boss called The Rose…
Anyway, given the way Marvel Netflix has been going lately, who knows whether we’ll be back here for season four. But see you all soon for The Punisher season two, I guess?
Read James‘ review of the previous episode, One Last Shot, here.