Marvel's Daredevil season 1 was a surprise hit when it arrived last year, proving to be popular with critics, viewers, and erasing all painful memories of 2003's botched Ben Affleck-led cinematic adaptation. You might know that today marks the day that the second season arrives on Netflix, and it's looking pretty strong already.
Thing is, a lot went down during season one, so here's our recap of the adventures of Matt, Kingpin, and everyone else involved, so far. It goes without saying, but *SPOILER ALERT*.
Daredevil Season 1 Recap
Season one begins at the beginning (where else?) of Matt Murdock's vigilante career, before he takes on the mantle of Daredevil and dons the iconic red costume. As a child Matt was blinded by a freak traffic accident that exposed him to toxic chemicals, but as a side-effect the rest of his senses were enhanced to superhuman levels. While he is comforted by his father after the accident, Jack Murdock is eventually killed for refusing to throw a boxing match - leaving Matt to be raised in an orphanage.
Matt begins fighting crime to take down the organised syndicates trying to take advantage of New York's Hell's Kitchen in the aftermath of 'The Incident' (the Chitauri invasion from The Avengers). Meanwhile, his day job involves running his own law firm with his friend and partner Franklin 'Foggy' Nelson – a handy spot for sniffing out law breakers.
Their first case is to defend Karen Page, a secretary for construction firm Allied Union, who is being framed for murdering one of her colleagues. It turns out Karen uncovered a pension fund embezzlement scheme, and her employers weren't keen on letting the story get out. After she escapes prosecution, Matt saves her from an assassin before exposing the conspiracy through reporter Ben Urich. Karen takes on a job as secretary with Matt and Foggy as payment for helping her. Meanwhile Russian mobsters kidnap a young boy in the hopes of luring Matt into a trap.
Matt's initial attempts at rescuing the boy were unsuccessful, ending up with him lying in a dumpster with multiple life-threatening stab wounds. He is discovered by ER nurse Claire Temple, who treats his injuries. As he recovers, Claire gets savvy to his enhanced senses which Matt uses to detect a Russian mobster inside her apartment building. The mobster is looking for Matt, and doesn't believe Claire's ignorance. Matt is forced to overpower him, and the two of them interrogate the man on the roof in order to find the kidnapped boy's location. This time Matt is able to overcome the kidnappers and return the boy to his father.
Later on James Wesley, the man who attempted to frame Karen, discovers Matt and Foggy's involvement in her defence, and hires them to defend Karen's would-be assassin. Despite their reluctance, the two take on the case in order to find out more about Wesley's employer. Wesley also offers Karen a substantial sum in exchange for her silence, but she instead offers Urich more information about the scandal. Urich is happy to oblige, since his editor insists on having him write fluff pieces in attempt to sell more papers. Matt and Foggy are successfully able to defend the assassin, and after confronting him in costume he discovers the name of the man behind everything: Wilson Fisk.
Turns out he's a right mental bastard. But we'll get to that in a bit.
Matt is unable to find records of Fisk and his activities, so instead continues to interrogate criminals to learn more. Meanwhile Wesley meets with the Russians with an offer of help from Fisk, angering them and strengthening their resolve to end Matt's vigilante activities. They visit the hospital treating the mobster interrogated by Matt, discovering Claire's involvement. They attempt to force Matt's identity out of her with torture, but she had been able to get in touch with Matt who rescues her. In the aftermath the Russians decide to accept Fisk's offer, sending a man called Anatoloy to inform him. Anatoly barges in on Fisk as he has dinner with art gallery curator Vanessa Marianna. Fisk takes Vanessa home, then proceeds to beat and behead Anatoly for embarrassing him. See? He be cray-cray.
Matt and Foggy are then visited by Elena Cardenas, a tenant of a powerful businessman called Armand Tulley, for help, after Tulley tried to evict her and other tenants by sending out violent goons. Tulley's lawyers, who include Foggy's ex Marci, inform the two that the tenants can either be evicted or take out a large settlement. This leads them to look into complaints against Tulley, where they discover two corrupt police officers who are working for the Russians. Matt then interrogates Blake, one of the corrupt officers, and uses his phone to hunt down the Russian leader Vladimir. Meanwhile Vladimir has received Anatoly's body, and declares war on Fisk. Their plans are foiled in a suicide bombing by goons working for Gao, a drug lord and ally of Fisk. This same blast injures Foggy.
Matt is able to find Vladimir, alive, but they are surrounded by police who have been ordered by Fisk to kill the Russian. Matt takes down the police, and flees with Vladimir - cauterising his wounds and accidentally alerting a non-corrupt officer to their location. Police then surround the warehouse, led by the corrupt Blake and Hoffman. Fisk speaks to Matt via police radio, expressing his admiration for what Matt is planning to accomplish but noting that it clashes with his own plans to save Hell's Kitchen. Fisk then frames Daredevil by having a sniper open fire on the police. In the meantime Vladimir sacrifices his life to save Matt, but not before giving him information about Fisk's accountant Leland Owlsey.
Matt tracks down Owlsey, but is interrupted by the arrival of Stick, a blind ninja that helped Matt hone his powers and skills as a child - before leaving because Matt got too attached. Stick asks for Matt's help in retrieving Black Sky, a weapon developed by the Japanese that is being smuggled into New York. Stick promises not to kill, but then goes back on his word by killing the young boy revealed to be Black Sky. Matt and Stick fight, with Matt victorious and Stick agreeing to leave the city. Meanwhile Urich and Karen look for proof linking Tulley with Union Allied, before being accosted and narrowly escaping with the help of Foggy.
After having left New York, Stick is then seen talking with a scarred man about Matt's role in events to come.
Karen and Foggy bring Matt in on their plans, who insists that they use the legal system and stop using tactics that put them in danger. Meanwhile Fisk's associates express their displeasure with the loss of Black Sky while he deals with the hospitalised Blake. Fisk persuades Hoffman to kill his partner before he can speak out against Fisk's plans, but this is topped by Matt's intervention. Matt is then able to get information from Blake before he dies. Gao informs Fisk that he needs to get things under control if he expects support from her and the rest of his inner circle, and he is later consoled by Vanessa. It's at this point that Fisk reveals that he murdered his father as a child, because he was attacking Fisk's mother. At Vanessa's suggestion, Fisk goes public with his plan to save Hell's Kitchen, negating all the information Matt and Urich had collected.
The revelation causes Matt, Foggy, and Karen to dig deeper into Fisk's past, in the hopes of finding some dirt. Matt heads to Vanessa's art gallery, and briefly runs into Fisk. Fisk then asks one of his confidants, Nobu, for a 'specialist' to take care of the vigilante. Nobu demands a city block in return, and Fisk promises the block where Elena Cardenas lives. Cardenas is the only obstacle between Fisk and giving the block to Nobu, and he has her killed by a drug addict.Matt, knowing Fisk is behind it, tracks him to a warehouse where he is confronted by Nobu's 'specialist' - who turns out to be Nobu himself. After a lng fight, and sustaining serious injuries, Matt defeats Nobu by accidentally setting him on fire. At this point Fisk shows up and beats him within an inch of his life. Matt escapes and returns home, only to collapse in front of Foggy.
Claire tends to Matt's wounds, while Foggy confronts him about his vigilantism and accuses Matt of having faked his blindness for all the years he'd known him. Matt then recounts the tale of how his senses caused him to discover a father was sexually abusing his young daughter, and there was nothing the law could do about it. It was this event that caused Matt to begin doing what he could to help people when the law was unable to do anything. Meanwhile Urich is contemplating dropping his investigation into Fisk, and taking a better paying job as an editor in order to pay for his sick wife's medical care. Karen attempts to change his mind, and takes him to a nursing home where they discover Fisk's mother Marlene. Marlene reveals that Fisk murdered his father. As this takes place, Fisk is throwing a charity gala for the victims of the bombing. There a number of the guests, including Vanessa, are poisoned.
Matt recovers from his injuries with the help of Claire, who suggests getting some better protection. Matt talks with Melvin Potter, a mentally ill engineer who was forced to create armoured clothing for Fisk. In exchange for the promise of stopping Fisk from hurting more people, Melvin agrees to build Matt a suit of armour. In the meantime Fisk rushes Vanessa to hospital, refusing to leave her side while she recovers. Wesley is then informed by Fisk's mother that Karen and Urich visited her, and he uses this information to blackmail Karen. As this is happening Fisk rings Wesley to find out where he is, distracting him long enough for Karen to kill him and flee.
Using information from Urich, Matt locates and dismantles Gao's heroin operation. Following a confrontation between the two, Gao leaves New York. Fisk then finds Wesley's body, and realises that the last person to call him was Fisk's mother. He attempts to find out what Wesley spoke with his mother about, but is unsuccessful. Fisk then sends his mother abroad for her safety, and attempts to convince the newly recovered Vanessa to do the same. Vanessa refuses. Karen then convinces Urich to write his story about Fisk, but it is rejected by his editor. Urich accuses the editor of being on Fisk's payroll, leading him to be fired and starting his own blog. In the meantime, Fisk's actual mole at the paper informs him that Urich visited his mother. Enraged, Fisk lies in wait in Urich's apartment and strangles him when he returns home.
Following Urich's funeral, Fisk discovers that Gao and Owlsley were behind Vanessa's poisoning since they consider her a distraction. Owlsley then reveals he has been keeping the corrupt Hoffman as insurance, and attempts to blackmail Fisk. Enraged, Fisk kills him by dropping him down an elevator shaft. Matt and Foggy reconcile following the revelation that Matt is the vigilante, and they begin building a case against Fisk. A costumed Matt then convinces Hoffman to testify against Fisk, and his testimony causes federal agents to arrest Fisk and his collaborators. Fisk escapes custody, but he is intercepted by a Matt - who is outfitted in a suit of red horned armour built by Melvin. Matt and Fisk engage in a brutal fight, which ends with Matt victoriously delivering Fisk into police custody. Vanessa then leaves the city, while Matt, Foggy, and Karen celebrate their victory. Matt's costumed persona is then dubbed 'Daredevil' by the media.
And with that...you're up to speed! Let us know what you think of Daredevil season 2 over the weekend, and we'll have a chat about it next week. No spoilers, yeah?