Season 3 Saved Matt Murdock's Soul
Matt Murdock's very soul was at stake in season 3 and Daredevil shined a light on the inner torment of the man who styles himself after the Devil. Matt's belief that God had abandoned him and his journey of self-discovery to reconcile his many gifts and the goodness within him was on full display throughout the season. Having survived death itself, Matt was saved by Father Lantom (Peter McRobbie) and Sister Maggie (Joanne Whalley) and key questions about his past were finally answered - specifically, who Matt's mother is. Comic book fans weren't surprised by the revelation that Maggie is his mother, but the anger that Matt felt towards the two parental figures he trusted most after he was orphaned forced him to examine his own behavior and the lies he's told all his life, especially towards Karen and Foggy.
Though he struggled with the temptation to kill Wilson Fisk and he teetered on the precipice of ultimate darkness, season 3 was the redemption as a character Matt Murdock had needed all along. Between Kingpin and Bullseye, Matt faced enemies he couldn't defeat alone and he finally let Karen and Foggy back into his life. And although Father Lantom was murdered by Bullseye, Matt did regain his long-lost mother and, most importantly, a renewed desire to not just be Daredevil but become Matt Murdock - a complete person - once again. Matt faced the point of no return and came back from it as the best version of himself.
Bullseye Was The Daredevil Villain We've Been Waiting For
Another masterstroke was how the origin of the assassin who will one day be called Bullseye was woven throughout the story. In FBI Agent Benjamin "Dex" Poindexter, Matt Murdock faced a broken mirror image of himself. Dex was the person Matt might have become; he was also an orphan, but grew up angry and sociopathic instead of under the loving care of Father Lantom and Sister Maggie. Dex never learned to be a whole person; he merely functioned within institutions while struggling to keep his worst, homicidal impulses in check. In turn, Wilson Fisk recognized the monster inside this FBI agent and unleashed him, dressing Dex in a Daredevil costume in order to make the Devil of Hell's Kitchen the enemy of the city.
The best part about Bullseye, however, was how season 3 used him to raise the level of its action scenes even higher. The showdown between Murdock and Dex in the offices of "the failing New York Bulletin" in episode 6 was a series highlight: the fake Daredevil-in-red massacred the reporters and then defeated the real Daredevil-in-black, putting his incredible marksmanship on display. The challenge of depicting Bullseye as someone who can make any object a projectile weapon was one Daredevil thrillingly met; nearly every throw Dex made, especially ricocheting weapons that would then collide perfectly with Matt's skull, was incredible to watch. Bullseye may have been teased in season 1, but his arrival in season 3 was worth the wait as the arch-rival Daredevil has needed all along.
Season 3 Finally Offered Daredevil Hope
By the end of season 3, Daredevil finally gave Matt Murdock, Foggy Nelson, and Karen Page the hope they've been longing for and the fresh start-over they all sorely needed. Karen got an intense focus as her tragic backstory was finally revealed. What's more, a secret lingering from season 1 - that Karen murdered Fisk's consigliere James Wesley (Toby Leonard Moore) - came to light in an electrifyingly tense confrontation between Karen and Fisk. Meanwhile, Foggy struggled with having it all as a lawyer but still wanting to help people in need, including his family, who were victimized by the Kingpin. Foggy was the true believer who urged the reunion of Nelson, Murdock, and Page that ultimately won the day and brought down Fisk for the second time.
Matt isn't complete without the two friends who are most loyal to him in spite of everything. Season 3 recognized this important fact and reaffirmed the core triumvirate of Page, Nelson, and Murdock. By the end, the trio is back together just like how it was when the series began, but better - with no more secrets and lies between them and a future full of hope they all have justly earned.
With the recent cancelations of Iron Fist and Luke Cage, the future of Daredevil and the remaining Marvel Netflix series is now uncertain. If season 3 does end up being the final season, at least Daredevil ended on a high note of grace. Season 3 rewarded fans who have watched the Devil of Hell's Kitchen through 47 hours of television by leaving the darkness of season 2 in the past so that Matt Murdock, his friends, and the series as a whole found their best selves.
Marvel's Daredevil is available to stream on Netflix.