Comic book tv shows

The Daredevil and Punisher Relationship: Best thing from season 2

daredevil and punisher relationship season 2 netflix

I have to say one of the most fascinating things from Daredevil season 2 was the conflicting ideologies and growing relationship between Daredevil and Punisher. This isn’t the case of two heroes teaming up and being besties together. There were a lot of layers and complexity to this dynamic, which when unfolded throughout the season, made for a really interesting watch.

Okay be warned because I have finished Daredevil season 2 and will be talking mild spoilers!

Hell’s Kitchen is a terrible place. You either adapt to the city or you watch yourself be forced to adapt to the grueling and unkind place. The city birthed Daredevil, but not even the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen was enough to stop all the crime going down.

In comes Punisher. Punisher claims Daredevil is only a half measure, that he is actually willing to go far enough to stop the criminals once and for all. You have to consider his argument for a moment. If the criminals are acting on a completely different set of rules, how will Daredevil ever truly defeat them permanently?

Daredevil takes care of them for a while, until they learn to adapt and find another way. Now I’m not saying Punisher’s way is right either, but he has a point. In the face of injustice and complacency, men like Punisher will rise. Hell’s Kitchen created the force that is Punisher, a force who believes he is necessary to counter the chaos that runs through the city.

So we saw that at the beginning of Daredevil and Punisher’s relationship, Daredevil treated him like any other criminal (and they had one of many epic rooftop battles). However once he started internalising what Punisher was saying, that dynamic shifted. It was no longer hero vs villain, it was just man vs man. Two men in extreme conditions trying to figure out how to deal with a burning world.

daredevil and punisher relationship season 2

At the end of the day they want the same thing, they just have different motivations and methods. The two extremities of their conflicting ideologies eventually balanced out, as by the end of the season we found their relationship had met a happy medium. And this was partly because of the other influences in their lives, Karen Page and Elektra.

Karen helped Frank see that blind vengeance isn’t justice. This isn’t to say that he will stop killing, but he’s channeling his anger in a different way; he isn’t out to flood the street with the blood of all the criminals anymore.

Elektra made Matt realise that morality isn’t as simple as black and white. That sometimes we have to make uncomfortable decisions to achieve our desired outcomes. Again this isn’t to say that Matt will now become some killer, but he will start considering that sometimes not everything can be done by completely following the rules.

daredevil and punisher relationship

And hence the conflicting ideologies met a somewhat happy middle. It was easy for Daredevil to connect with Punisher because he saw that Punisher was also a man who had been through a lot of pain and suffering, a man born from an unfortunate situation and thrown into an agonizing world like himself. And it was easy for Punisher to connect with “Red”, as he saw that Daredevil understood and could sympathise with his frustration.

Now the two of them are by no means best friends now, but there is a mutual respect there, as indicated by Punisher’s parting nod to Daredevil. But they are still on different ends of the spectrum, and that will always be an obstacle to them ever truly being the kind of heroes who go out and form a team together or something like that.

And it was this relationship that really made the season for me. Fisk left a void on the show that wasn’t fulfilled by ninjas, but at least we had the addition of this really interesting dynamic. Hopefully we see the Punisher/Daredevil relationship continue to grow in upcoming seasons!

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9 replies »

  1. I will say that some of the story lines didn’t fully feel complete, such as that Blacksmith subplot responsible for Castle’s family’s death. But overall this was an amazing second season. Also, Jon Bernthal might have overtaken Thomas Jane in my opinion

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  2. Yes and yes again! The first four episode of season 2 was some of the most riveting, complex and awesome TV I’ve seen in ages. I loved how Daredevil and Punisher got interact in the first bloody episode, and that first fight definitely left an impression (that “Bang.” line was awesome!). But it was through their continued interactions and them learning about each other, talking, fighting and seeing both sides of their arguments, that was some of the strongest material of this season. Their rooftop conversation was so insightful and thought-provoking, I couldn’t help but side with Punisher with his permanent solution to crime (I’m not saying I condone murder, but considering Punisher’s point of view, it does make sense) and its at this point when Daredevil’s convinctions are tested and start to have some holes. But my favourite Punisher moment (besides his freak out in the court room or the bloody prison fight with the inmates) waswhen he was in the cemetery describing when he came back from the war, that was when you really learnt that Punisher was human just like the rest of us and the way he talked about being with hi daughter in school, that shit broke me and was SO beautiful. Perfect moment.

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    • Yeah what’s great is that you really felt you could understand Punisher’s point of view. Loved their growing discussions, that back and forth was great. Punisher came off as a really sympathetic character, you couldn’t help but feel for him

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  3. I thought Matt was a little hypocritical. He never admitted to murder Nobu (he didn’t know he wasn’t actually dead dead). I think someone asked him if he had killed and he said no. I don’t think it was the case for most people, but I sided with the Punisher over the protagonist. Not that Frank is the best human being, but his logic was more sound than Matt’s (who, again, brushed over the fact that he killed someone). Just take a look at Wilson Fisk. Everything that Matt did and in a few years Fisk’s gonna be in almost the same position he was before, only now he accepts that he’s a bad guy. Matt’s responsible for the suffering of the cops who are probably being blackmailed by Fisk in prison (not all, but some). All those inmates killed by Frank because Fisk helped him. The fact that Frank threw away his trial because of Fisk. It was hard for me to support Daredevil, especially compared to season 1. Sure, most of my arguments still apply to season 1, but Frank really put forward an alternative which was completely rejected by Matt (that cemetery scene made me tear up).

    Oh and by the way, do you know why the Hand didn’t have a problem with killing Elektra at some point (when she was saved by Stick), but then went on to let Stick and Daredevil live, even though they could have killed them all and achieve pretty much the same thing (when Daredevil freed Stick)?

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    • That’s what’s so great about this season is that it really makes you question the legitimacy of the hero. Their back and forth really showed that Castle had a good point.
      And yeah no idea come to think of it!

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  4. well i liked the second season wayyyyy better than the first one 🙂 although it feels rushed but the pace over all got a lot better(compare to the slow then really fast paced from season 1). it had some problems like a villain no one cared about (Nobu) and more than a few plot whole ( like when mat lost his sense then gains it back randomly and they explain why he lost it in the first place ) over all it made up for those flaws in mat’s back and forth with punisher, character development (basically punisher saved the show on that end) and some sweet sweet action. not to mention the fact that the show feel a lot brighter!!! in season 1 i struggled to see what was going on because all of the scenes where always so danm dark( especially the night scenes that made it impossible to see who was fighting who). i would give this season a 7/10. 🙂

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    • Yeah there were definitely some issues with the season, but overall it was pretty good. The character interactions on the show are always so good, so even when there is a bit of a slow burn we still get that.
      Also I completely agree about the whole darkness issue, I thought it was just me who had a problem haha!

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