Daredevil returns to Netflix for Season 2 on Friday. While you may still be reeling from the stress and excitement that was Jessica Jones, this series has its own set of heroes and villains in that branch of the Marvel universe. Whether you're looking to jump in cold or can't keep track of the Kingpin's henchmen, let's recap Daredevil Season 1 before the show returns.
There are three things you need to know about Matt Murdock: he's blind, he's a lawyer, and he's Catholic. He also lives in Hell's Kitchen, a neighborhood in New York City with about as many crime organizations and corrupt officials as Batman's Gotham City. Unlike Bruce Wayne, however, he has superpowers and does not kill anyone.
But wait, you say — I've been to/live in New York City. Hell's Kitchen is a nice area filled with brunch spots and a flea market, not gang warfare. What's going on? Early on in Season 1, a real estate agent reminds us that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, New York City is recovering from an alien attack — Loki and the chitauri from The Avengers. That allegedly explains the rise in crime and delay in gentrification. Now that we're settled into the world, here's what went down on Daredevil Season 1.
"The Devil Of Hell's Kitchen"
In addition to practicing the law, Matt is also a vigilante hero named "Daredevil" who, thanks to intense training, practice, and a little boost of super senses from the chemicals that blinded him, can navigate the city and dish out justice better than anybody. He has an army suit and two billy clubs. The people that know his secret identity are: his partner Foggy Nelson, his nurse friend and love interest Claire Temple, his mentor Stick, and his Priest.
Nelson & Murdock, Avocados At Law
Matt and Foggy have a fledgling law firm and a secretary named Karen Page, who was their first client. They turned down offers from more prestigious firms to do right by Hell's Kitchen. They were roommates at Columbia Law, became best friends and ended up going into business together. Foggy had a girlfriend named Marcy, who now works for a rival firm.
Speaking of romantic interests, does Karen have a crush on Foggy or Matt? I'm not saying she has to choose one; I'm saying I honestly can't tell which. In a Season 1 scene, she and Foggy decide that they're on a date at a client's apartment, and then she asks Foggy to pretend to be blind and touch her face — "like Matt." It's the biggest mixed message I have ever seen.
The Big Bad of Season 1 was Wilson Fisk, "the Kingpin," a business man who used money and fear to improve the neighborhood on his own terms and in anonymity. He was jailed at the end of the season, but it's clear that the threat to Hell's Kitchen reached further than one bald man with a penchant for art and breakfast foods. Not only did he leave mysterious instructions with his fiancé Vanessa Marianna, but there are other criminal organizations lurking in the shadows. Matt Murdock took down a man named Nobu, who worked with Fisk and was connected to a Japanese crime organization. They transported a child called a "Black Sky" for reasons unknown.
One of Fisk's associates, Leland Owlsley, may have been killed but he has a son who might come poking around for vengeance. There's also a Chinese woman named Madame Gao who has a drug ring. She left at the end of the season. Even Stick answered to an unseen individual and spoke of a "war" to come. The Roxxon Energy Cooperation was also mentioned in Season 1, Episode 10 — and they've been lurking in the background of evil-doings in all three Iron Man movies, as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and especially Agent Carter in Season 2.
Matt Murdock has had a rough life, and may like punching people a bit too much, but he has the best intentions. Plus, Daredevil is clearly part of something bigger. It's a tale as old as time.
Images: Barry Wetcher/Netflix; Giphy (3)