The fact that this very first episode opens with Matt Murdock’s shape forming a cross descending into a literal hell is no coincidence. As we learn through the episode, Matt’s relationship with religion will be one of the focal points of this season. The cinematography might make it meaningful, but the scene itself is not the best the show has ever looked. The CGI is weird and it answers us the question that’s been asked for months in a way that felt a little disappointing. Daredevil could’ve done better than “he fell in the water and was carried through a pipe”. Felt a little too easy to write, while also a little too complicated to actually happen.

That, however, is one of the very few low points this episode gives us. The next thing we see is Daredevil finding his way to Father Lantom, and it means a lot that, while trying to stay away from the ones he loves, Matt goes to a priest and a church for salvation. It has a lot more to do with him going back to his roots in the orphanage, of course, but it still is worth noting.

The fact that one of the first things he exclaims once he’s awake is “I can’t see!” also shows one thing most of us hadn’t realized about Matt: He’s gotten so good at mastering his other senses, that at times he (and we) seemingly forgot he was blind. Being disabled is one of the things that made him what he is, and it is important that he had to remember that early on his redemption arc. A building falling on him took his heightened senses, which means that for the first time in years he’ll have to deal with being actually blind.

Sister Maggie was the target of much of the speculation surrounding the season, and we still don’t have a clear answer as to what exactly is her relationship to Matthew. She is definitely acting as a mother for him when he needs help the most, but is she actually his mom? She mentions his father, talks about his fights and uses him as an incentive to get Matt back on track, which indicates some sort of past between them, but the show could just as well leave this one in the air. So far, their relationship is pretty sweet, since no one expected a nurse to be that open to his vigilante side.

Another thing we see quite clearly in “Resurrection” is the even further complications of Murdock’s relationship with religion. At first, it seems just an impatience with Father Lantom’s approach, but as we see through the episode, he now believes he was mistaken in thinking he had a role to play in all of this and sees God in a much different light. The irony, though, is that his spiral into darkness is as deeply rooted in faith as his life always has been. Matt is not even a little less religious than before. He still believes as hard as ever, except now he’s disappointed with God. What he can’t see is that acting based on his relationship with religion is the same as what he always did. “In front of this God, I’d rather die as The Devil than live as Matt Murdock.” In front of this God. Not the city, not Elektra, not Foggy or Karen. God. It still is as much about him and God as it always has been. Matt’s may be in a descent into darkness, but underneath he’s still very much the same.

Despite being psychologically destroyed, Matt’s physical recovery happened quickly. At first, it felt a little too quick, but the fight scene in the street highlights that he’s not exactly recovered yet. He’s back in the street to get one of two things: Either his full senses will be beaten back into him, or he’ll get beaten to death. He’s fine with both, as the metal pipe scene shows.

The end of the episode is another example of the great writing this season has going on. We usually see corrupt cops as one-dimensional greedy characters, but giving us the backstory on Ray’s family issues and his trouble at work humanizes a character that is now a potentially corrupt cop. We’ll have to see how the season treats him, but this was a great start.

What we see here is a lot more original than it looks like. Redemption arcs for heroes are almost always about them giving up on their powers to lead a normal life. In the end, it is about them realizing that it is possible to be a hero while also leading a balanced regular life. Daredevil is the opposite. Matthew Murdock is giving up on his life to become the perfect warrior. In the end, he’ll have to realize it is possible to be a lawyer with friends while also keeping a balanced vigilante life. This time it’s about the hero realizing he has no space for personal life in his hero time, not the other way around. Nice one, Marvel.

VERDICT

4.5 senses out of 5

The first episode of season three gives us everything we were hoping for and a little extra on top of that. It’s not a perfect episode since there are issues with the escape from Midland scene and a little rush on Daredevil’s return to the streets, but it looks like the start of a great season, and that’s all everyone wanted. Erik Oleson seems to have really captured what the fans loved about season one, while also adding new, promising elements. Here’s to twelve more episodes!

ONE-SHOTS

  • Is the season going to deal with Elektra? Or just keep Matt wondering whether she made it out or not?
  • Fisk and his omelette has officially won the “most Hannibal-like scene in a Marvel show” prize.
  • What a creepy hideout for Murdock. You can almost feel the coldness of the statues and the creepiness of the sacred chants above.
  • So Karen’s taking care of Matt’s apartment? So nice of her! Also, her and Foggy splitting the bills is a nice reminder that his friends are still there for him, and that deep down they both believe he could still be alive. Karen says so, but Foggy shows it by offering to pay one more month of rent.