Netflix watchers tend to fall into two camps: those who binge-watch the entire season of a show the day it drops, and those who watch it sporadically, when time permits. So when Marvel’s hit Netflix series Daredevil returned on March 18, not everyone went all shut-in and tried to binge the season with the zeal of a student pulling an all-nighter. Some of us are busy, and with all that has happened in the world since the first season premiered a little over a year ago, we can’t blame you for not remembering all the intricacies of Hell’s Kitchen.
For those who can’t recall everything that’s gone on, or didn’t catch the show at all, here is a CliffsNotes version of what’s important and some things to look for in Season 2. But don’t worry, there are no second season spoilers.
Matt Murdock / Daredevil
The son of a perennial undercard fighter, Matt is a smart and altruistic lawyer who lost his eyesight in an accident when he was young. After finding the accident heightened his other senses, he was taught to live and fight by his mysterious blind yoda named Sticks. He now uses his gifts and skills to clean up New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen.
Matt Murdock’s best friend and the Nelson in the Nelson and Murdock Law Office. The two met in law school and became inseparable.
Originally a client that Nelson and Murdock successfully defended from a murder case, Karen became a worker at the firm.
Wilson Fisk / The Kingpin
Beneath the surface of the philanthropic businessman Wilson Fisk lies the ruthless gang boss that has started running Hell’s Kitchen from the shadows, The Kingpin. A rough childhood has given him a messiah complex and he feels that Hell’s Kitchen needs to be saved and put under his control. Ruthless, calculating, passionate, and relentlessly a formidable enemy.
The Kingpin’s consigliere and most trusted lieutenant. If you aren’t high enough up on the totem pole, your dealings are with Wesley. He is calculating, intelligent, and devoted to the Kingpin.
A doctor at a city hospital that patched up a masked Matt Murdock after finding him in an alley near her home. After realizing he is the vigilante who’s been trying to clean up Hell’s Kitchen, she now treats his injuries when he is hurt on a regular basis.
Curator of an art gallery, Vanessa caught the eye of Wilson Fisk and became a target of his affections. He pursued her and now the pair share a world with no secrets—a world Vanessa wasn’t originally aware of, but has now come to accept.
He and his brother Anatoly were prisoners of the infamous Utkin prison in Siberia before coming to America. They lead the crime group known only as “The Russians” in Hell’s Kitchen and work with The Kingpin. Upon his brother’s brutal death, Vladimir hunts for the masked vigilante who has been framed by The Kingpin. Anatoly finds the masked vigilante, gets shot by the police and then realizes the vigilante isn’t responsible for his brother’s death. The pair help each other escape and Vladimir tells him the name of Kingpin’s accountant and gets killed holding off pursuers to let the vigilante escape.
Brother of Vladimir Ranshahov and co-leader of the Hell’s Kitchen criminal organization known as “The Russians.” He was violently killed by the Kingpin after interrupting a dinner between him and Vanessa. The vigilante was framed for his murder by the Kingpin, setting into motion the run-in between the vigilante and Anatoly’s brother Vladimir.
One of the Kingpin’s allies who ran a drug ring in Hell’s Kitchen via a cab company. She partnered with the Kingpin’s accountant to kill Vanessa Marianna when they felt she was changing the Kingpin’s character. Her heroin warehouse was destroyed and she disappeared.
Leader of the Japanese gang in Hell’s Kitchen.
Season One Summary
“Into the Ring”
Immediately tying the MCU together, we are reminded of the invasion by the Loki-led Chitauri in the first Avengers movie and introduced to the part of New York City known as Hell’s Kitchen. With the city still recovering, violence, corruption and organized crime has helped the neighborhood start resembling its infamous name for those who live there. Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer and son of Hell’s Kitchen, has returned home with his law school friend and business partner Foggy Nelson to set up shop and defend those who can’t defend themselves. One such person, Karen Page, is a former secretary who has been charged with murder and has been caught up in the new reality of Hell’s Kitchen. When Karen’s information gets too dangerous, Matt and Foggy have to not only defend her freedom, but her life from people who want to shut her up. She ends up joining the law office in exchange for their help.
A young boy is kidnapped as part of an embezzlement scheme and Matt, tired of sitting on the sidelines, goes full masked vigilante and attempts a rescue. Despite his fighting prowess, his newness to crime fighting is evident as he gets the worst of it and is saved by Claire Temple (played by the beautiful Rosario Dawson), a doctor residing in Hell’s Kitchen. Matt heals up and eventually rescues the boy.
“Rabbit in a Snowstorm”
Cash strapped, Matt starts exploring the night as a vigilante, while he and Foggy finally get a big case. They take the case and end up winning, but Matt dressed as the vigilante pays the man a visit and finds out the name of who’s running things in Hell’s Kitchen: Wilson Fisk.
“In the Blood”
Wilson Fisk sets his sights on the masked vigilante who has been garnering unnecessary attention for his dealings and sets his men to find out who he is. He also is solidifying his relationships with his partners as well as courting the Ranskahov brothers who run “The Russians.” Fisk’s men trace Matt back to Claire, who makes it back in time to save her. After being defeated and discussing the situation with his brother, Anatoly Ranskahov interrupts a dinner between Fisk and art curator Vanessa Marianna. When the men step outside, we are given a glimpse of how Fisk rules, as he violently kills the man for exposing Vanessa to who the real Fisk was. He then frames the vigilante for the murder, infuriating Anatoly’s brother Vladimir, who vows to hunt the vigilante down and get revenge.
“World on Fire”
Fisk’s business deals again start to involve Matt and Foggy, as an elderly women comes to them for help to save her building that has been targeted by Fisk and his henchmen. Meanwhile, Matt as the vigilante is found by Vladimir. After a battle, the two are both on the other side of a police barricade with men who are loyal to Fisk with orders to kill them both.
Matt manages to escape with Vladimir and treat his wounds. Fisk gets the police radio frequency and talks to Matt. Vladimir realizes that Fisk was the one who killed his brother and gives Matt information on Fisk’s organization and buys Matt time to escape from the cops. Vladimir pays with his life.
The man who helped Matt overcome his blindness and fight, he mysterious Sticks, comes to town in search of a weapon that is in the possession of Fisk’s allies. The reunion is a tense one, leading to a fight between master and former pupil over hurt feelings and Matt’s current vigilante hobby. Karen, who thinks the investigation is losing steam, enlists the help of a reporter.
“Shadows in the Glass”
Matt’s vigilante routine is causing major mayhem for Fisk and his allies. We also learn about the troubled youth of Fisk, as he shares his harsh upbringing with Vanessa before he goes public with his intentions to reshape Hell’s Kitchen in a press conference.
“Speak of the Devil”
After Fisk’s press conference complicates the plans of Matt, Foggy and Karen, they decide to take the investigation in another direction. Nobu, tired of Matt’s vigilantism interfering with his plans, takes matters into his own hands. While Matt defeats Nobu, he loses when confronted by Fisk. When he gets home, he unmasks and is discovered by Foggy.
“Nelson v. Murdock”
The history of Matt and Foggy is laid out for us. In the present, Foggy’s upset because Matt didn’t trust him enough to tell him about his vigilante activities, while Matt defends his choices to protect Foggy and Karen. Ben, the reporter who Karen sought out to help with the investigation, starts to waver based on Fisk’s new public persona. Karen continues to search and visits Fisk’s mother in a nursing home.
“The Path of the Righteous”
After his last battle with Fisk, and Claire’s proclamation of no longer being able to patch up his wounds and send him back out to return possibly worse, if at all, Matt decides to track down the man who designs Fisk’s protective suits. He finds him and convinces him to create a suit for him. Meanwhile, Karen is discovered by Fisk’s second in command Wesley, but manages to escape, killing him.
“The Ones We Leave Behind”
Matt’s activities as the vigilante begin to wear down Fisk’s empire and the allies begin to split off. Foggy takes the legal approach and tries to recruit an old flame to attack Fisk through the court. Karen convinces Ben to publish a story on Fisk, which leads to Ben’s death at the hands of Fisk.
Fisk, alone and cornered by federal agents coming to arrest him, musters the remains of his group and has an armed standoff. Matt, Foggy and Karen come to terms with the death of Ben and bury the hatchet. Matt goes out in his finally finished suit to face Fisk and defeats him, sending him to jail.
What to Look for in Season Two
Weren’t They On That Other Show?
Well, the MCU is getting pretty crowded, so look for many tie-ins with other Marvel properties like Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the recently announced Iron Fist in the continuing lead up to the Defenders event.
The woman known as Elektra Natchios has a long history with Matt Murdock and Daredevil. She was the daughter of a Greek ambassador and studies martial arts. She met Matt while at Columbia University and the two fell in love. She knows his secret, as he saved her and her father when they were kidnapped by terrorists. During the incident, her father was killed and she left Matt and the U.S. She went to train with Matt’s master Stick and was asked to leave for being too violent. She infiltrated the Hand and has been on both sides of the law, acting as an assassin for hire.
Devil in a New Dress
After a lot of feedback about the odd fitting Black Ops-esque armor that debuted at the end of season one, there is said to be a new suit in season two.
Remember Nobu, the Japanese guy Matt took out in season one? Well, the Yakuza are supposed to play a major role in Hell’s Kitchen.
If you’re going to have the Yakuza, ninjas can’t be far behind. The Hand is a mystical demonic order of ninjas who are involved in organized crime and assassination for hire. They are a magical group of baddies that have often been in the employ of the Kingpin and are even known to resurrect the occasional dead person or two.
The Punisher Cometh
Francis Castiglione, a.k.a. Frank Castle, was a Vietnam vet whose family witnessed a murder by a mob family. The mafia in turn killed the family to silence them, but missed Frank. He vowed revenge, and the Punisher was born. The Punisher looks to speed up the legal process by jumping straight to the punishment phase, which gets on the bad side of Daredevil. While there are many run-ins between the two, it seems like the show will adapt the storyline from Welcome Back Frank: Devil by the Horns, in which the pair are trying to find a mob boss. When they get him, the Punisher knocks out Daredevil. When Daredevil awakes, he’s tied in chains and given a gun with two choices: kill The Punisher and save the mob boss, or watch The Punisher kill the mob boss.
Now you are all set to binge on Daredevil season two!
PHOTO CREDIT: Netflix
Binge-Watch Responsibly: Your Cheat Sheet for “Daredevil” Season 2 was originally published on globalgrind.com