DARE­DEVIL Sea­son Three

Hope­fully not a Matt fin­ish

SFX - - Reviews -

View­ing the new sea­son of Dare­devil as the wheels of the Net­flix/Marvel­verse ap­pear to be com­ing off – it launched the same week Iron Fist and Luke Cage were can­celled – is a dis­con­cert­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to watch with­out think­ing, “Is this get­ting axed too?” You des­per­ately want it to be some­thing spe­cial to en­sure the show’s fu­ture.

In­stead, it’s pretty much busi­ness as usual. Nor­mally this wouldn’t be a bad thing; the first two sea­sons of Dare­devil were im­pres­sive. Not flaw­less, but with plenty to rec­om­mend them, in­clud­ing hard-hit­ting themes, a street-level vibe, com­plex vil­lains, ex­cel­lent sup­port­ing casts and great ac­tion scenes.

We get that all again here, wrapped up in a new tale vaguely based on comic-book sto­ry­line “Born Again”. Matt’s gone even more angsty af­ter al­most dy­ing in The De­fend­ers, re­fus­ing to let Foggy and Karen know he’s alive. He hangs out in his priest mate’s church be­ing given tough-love ad­vice from a no-non­sense nun (Joanne Whalley, in fine form). Mean­while, the King­pin or­ches­trates a re­turn to promi­nence while still of­fi­cially in cus­tody by ma­nip­u­lat­ing the FBI.

Mostly, it’s very good. Af­ter a rather slow-mov­ing pre­miere, the se­ries kicks into gear with a story full of twists and clev­erly crafted mo­ments. The se­ries also in­tro­duces its own twist on comic vil­lain Bullseye (Wil­son Bethel), who is bril­liantly creepy.

There are also the usual Net­flix/ Mar­vel prob­lems, though. It’s too long, and sags, pad­ding things out with in­dul­gent back­story flash­backs. And Dare­devil is one of the least in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters here; you’ll find your­self root­ing more for tar­nished FBI agent Nadeem (Jay Ali).

Over­all, sea­son three feels like it’s preach­ing to the con­verted. It’s more than good enough to sat­isfy fans, but un­like sea­son one, it’s not go­ing to ex­plode through word of mouth Dave Golder

“Bul­basaur, I choose you!”

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