This post contains spoilers for Marvel’s Echo.
Ah, Netflix’s Daredevil. We didn’t know how good we had it.
We all thrilled to the series’ first season, with its violent actions and powerful performances from Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock and Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, but the second season got too muddled with the Punisher and Elektra, and then Netflix diluted the Marvel shows with seasons that went on too long and the boring crossover Defenders. Daredevil‘s third season returned the show to its former glory, but by that time, too many viewers had fallen off.
So when Cox’s Matt caught a brick in Spider-Man: No Way Home and when D’Onofrio’s Fisk lumbered into the final episode of Hawkeye, fans got excited. In this era of mediocre Marvel entries, Daredevil and Kingpin would bring a much-needed edge back to the MCU. Daredevil’s one-episode appearance in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law didn’t quite have the edge that people expected, given that it ended with a (very funny) shot of Matt doing the walk of shame from Shulkie’s apartment, but that fit the tenor of the self-aware and self-mocking show.
Echo promised something different. Not only did the character Maya Lopez aka Echo spring from the Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker Daredevil comics that heavily inspired the Netflix Daredevil show, but Disney created a new banner for the series: Marvel Spotlight. With its TV-MA rating and its gritty, visceral trailer, Echo promised a proper return for Daredevil and Fisk.
First, the good news. Wilson Fisk is all over the five episodes of Echo. After Maya shoots Fisk at the end of Hawkeye, she returns to her Oklahoma hometown to recuperate. Fisk and his men follow her there, forcing Maya to make a difficult choice. Once again, D’Onofrio puts in a titanic performance as Fisk, an emotionally-stunted child in the body of a hulking man.
Now, the bad news. Matt Murdock does NOT follow Fisk and Maya to Oklahoma. Instead, he stays in Hell’s Kitchen. Now, Maya does drop by Hell’s Kitchen in the first episode, as part of a flashback of her early days working for Fisk. When she and some of Fisk’s men break up a rival gang’s hideout, Daredevil arrives in his signature red costume to battle with Maya.
The fight scene is great, the best of the series. Although it takes place in an open warehouse room, it has the feel of the classic hallway fights from the Netflix series, complete with long unbroken takes (with a few obvious cheats here and there). Even better, Daredevil uses his batons as whips or nunchucks as he does in the comics, making for a visually dynamic battle.
But after the fight ends, Daredevil disappears, never to return for the remaining four episodes. While Maya’s fight was enough to impress Fisk, directly leading to the position we find her in at the start of Hawkeye, it leaves us disappointed.
That said, the tv series Daredevil: Born Again is still slated to come to Disney+ soon. However, the show is currently undergoing a significant overhaul, which might delay the series further. Hopefully, though, we won’t have to wait too long for the devil to get his due.