This first episode of the returning Daredevil re-establishes both sides of Matt Murdock’s life quickly and efficiently – taking down a gang from the shadows by night, and working with Foggy and Karen to help the needy of Hell’s Kitchen by day. Matt’s highly acute senses help him in both parts (although we’re not getting the rather cool visual as yet to indicate how the radar is working), and Foggy’s concerns about his partner’s double life are front and centre.
The episode also introduces a mysterious figure (that we all know is going to be named as Frank Castle, the Punisher) who is targeting mobsters. He’s gradually revealed across the hour – firstly with a massacre of Irish gangsters, in a scene that is the equal of the excellent work Lexi Alexander did with Punisher: War Zone in depicting the raw brutality of Castle’s actions, and then as he tracks one of the survivors… who happens to be with one of Matt’s friends. That leads to what I’d guess will be the first of many hand to hand battles between Daredevil and the Punisher – and a very abrupt cliffhanger.
There’s not the novelty value of a MAX version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that the first episodes of Daredevil had, nor is there the sense that this is going to break new ground, as Jessica Jones did. However, if you enjoyed last season, you’ll likely to enjoy watching the way in which the characters around Matt have continued to grow (both Foggy and Karen are way outside what would have been their comfort zones in a number of scenes in this), and I suspect it’ll be a rarity this summer to see two superheroes fighting who are actually evenly matched (Batman vs Superman? Captain America vs Iron Man? Neither of these feel as if they can be fair fights.)
Verdict: Very much more of the same, based on this opener – which is no bad thing at all! 7/10