Winter Sunlight

Having now finished Daredevil ...

... I figured I ought to do a quick wrap-up post about it.

It's stylish and fun and definitely worth watching if you like superhero stuff and aren't bothered by a little gore/darkness. I think they captured the comics very well, and I loved a lot of things about it. However, it didn't turn out to be one of my favorite things in the MCU, and my detailed thoughts are very mixed.

(On the other hand, it is kind of a relief to watch something that's simply entertaining, that I can then leave behind, because the last two series I watched -- Agent Carter and Engrenages -- got their hooks into me good. I'm not sure how I would've coped with having yet another set of characters settle into my creative brain at the same time.)

So, the answer to the question of whether the show's endgame pairing(s) would be Matt/Karen, Matt/Claire, or Karen/Foggy, is ... none of the above! Which was refreshing, while still leaving the door open to future pairings (well, probably Matt/Karen, let's be honest here) - or OT3s or however people want to write them. It was an ending that left the show open to all possible shippy headcanons, or provided a lovely gen team with no internal shippiness at all. Not at all what I was expecting given the amount of ship-tease in the first few episodes, but I'm all over it!

There were two particular "fuck yeah", fistpump-and-cheer standout moments from the final three episodes that really got me:

• Karen shooting Wesley. HOLY SHIT, I did not expect that scene to end the way it did. That was FUCKING AMAZING.

• Matt parkouring across the rooftops when he's chasing the car. I don't know why this scene hit me the way it did. It's just ... I was captivated. THIS is what I watch superhero stuff for. THIS is the place where it hits me sometimes, in these amazing, adrenaline-laced, gravity-defying action sequences. And it was so triumphant-feeling, after he'd been in such a dark place for the previous few episodes, to see him embrace his abilities that way. It was simply glorious.

And I did enjoy the interpersonal stuff in the last few episodes. Matt, Foggy, and Karen are a great team, and I will probably be poking at AO3 a bit for show tags. For me though, I think the series peaked with 1x10 (the college flashbacks and h/c, omg) and nothing subsequent to it really affected me the same way.

And the reason why it didn't is precisely why Daredevil, the comic, has never been one of my favorites -- because it's very heavily focused on Matt's "lone hero" thing, and I've never really been a big fan of that. I'm all about teamwork and tag-team day-saving. But the basic nature of the series is about Matt saving the day alone, and the characters keeping secrets from each other, which ultimately was what the show was about in the end, too.

It's not that I hated the ending or anything. In particular, the finale was gloriously cinematic-feeling, with the orchestral music and striking shots of Fisk with his swirling black coat (the series was as much an origin story for him as for Matt, I think). And it ended the only way it could have -- Matt and Foggy are still uneasy with each other (also in keeping with the comics; IIRC they're at each other's throats as often as they're in each other's corner). Karen doesn't quite trust the boys enough to tell them about killing Wesley, and Matt doesn't trust her with his Daredevil secret. And Matt can't have his friends' help in the final boss fight because their safety depends on Fisk not knowing about them. Meanwhile Fisk has to get away to come back another day because he's Daredevil's own personal nemesis.

But the lingering uneasiness between the characters wasn't what I wanted emotionally. As in the first part of the series, there's too much separateness, not enough togetherness. And yeah, here, the big reason is that the characters are broken apart and have to find their way back to each other, but the reunion scenes weren't quite enough to make up for the separation, I guess? Particularly since the nature of the thing was that Foggy and Karen couldn't be part of the final fight, because of comic-book narrative causality. It kinda had to end the way it did, and I feel like the ending was in keeping with both the source material and the comic-book-ness of it all, but ultimately, that's why I liked it, but didn't really love it -- even though I really loved parts of it. It's not a flaw in the show, and actually I think that more sappiness in the last couple of episodes wouldn't have been as ... believable, I guess, or something. It was what it needed to be. It just wasn't quite what I wished it was.

(Also, on a purely shallow level, is it just me or does Daredevil's black costume work a lot better for this version of the character than the more comic-booky red costume? I understand why he ended up with the red costume, both in-universe and out-of-universe, but it's so ... cheesy-looking. XD The black costume was more ninja-like and looked better in the fight scenes, IMHO.)

ETA: BUT WAIT I HAVE MORE THOUGHTS! I was just commenting elsewhere on someone else's post about the parallels between Matt and Fisk, and realized that I didn't say anything about that here. I really loved what they did there, honestly. It took me probably 2/3 of the show to realize that they were doing that, and it didn't really click fully until Fisk went full-on menacing at the end, and I went "oh". Because I'd spent a lot of the series wondering why, for the big bad, Kingpin was so nonthreatening and generally uncertain. But he wasn't Kingpin yet! The whole show was, at least partly, about the similarities between Matt and Fisk -- how they're both these kids from a bad neighborhood with shitty childhoods, both with the capacity to deal violence, both having to balance the violence of their lives with the welfare of the people they love. And ultimately, Matt is the one who chooses not to kill, and who successfully manages to protect the people close to him, because they are worth protecting; Fisk loses (nearly) everyone and embraces his violent side and goes full-fledged supervillain.

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I am definitely with you on Matt's revised costume. While going to red was inevitable, the end version was kinda iffy for me. I much preferred the black version. In fact, if he'd just added armour/fisk-cloth to the original costume, it would have been awesome.

Yeah; I think the overall superhero-ishness of his eventual costume jars a lot more in a show like this than it would in, say, Avengers, because the rest of the show is so noir and down-to-earth. It just feels out of place.
probably Matt/Karen, let's be honest here

Huh, I really don't see it...they treat each other like they're siblings, imho.

Also, I too loved the scene where Karen kills Wesley! I was totally rooting for her to do it, because she was in danger and he was going to hurt her, but I hadn't actually expected her to do it! In most movies the woman wouldn't be able to shoot him and they'd play it off as she has high moral fiber. But I'm damn glad she shot him... as much as it sucks for her to feel guilt right now, I'd rather she was alive to feel it. In general, Karen is probably my favourite character on this show (so far)...I loved the hug between her and Matt so much! (I read it completely friendly though... )
Yeah, I think my expectation of Matt/Karen comes from the comics and not really from their interactions on the show. At most it seems like she is occasionally pumping Foggy for information on him, but that could just be curiosity about the more emotionally unavailable and mysterious of the two people she works for. But yeah, I can completely go with "sisterly/friendly affection" for her interactions with both of the guys (and would be quite happy if the show stayed there indefinitely).

Karen is really great. :D Foggy has a slight edge for me, but I pretty much love them all ... The show itself kept not quite hitting what I wanted from it, but they are a fantastic ensemble and really adorable together. I would totally be up for the Further Adventures of all of them. :D