Apologies to Iron Fist, but Daredevil is the best martial artist in any of Marvel's Netflix shows. Ever since Season 1's epic, one-shot hallway fight, Marvel's Daredevil has elevated fight scenes into a brutal, bloody art form, delivering expertly choreographed brawls where each punch really feels like it hurts. Season 3 is no different, as it might just have some of the best fight scenes in the entire season.
**Spoiler alert for Marvel's Daredevil Season 3 below**
Not every awesome action scene is a "fight" scene. For instance, the moment in Episode 2 when Albanians attack Wilson Fisk's convoy and nearly kill the trapped villain before Agent "Dex" Poindexter saves him is a gripping action scene, but it's not really fair to call it a proper fight. And there are some fight scenes in Season 3 that, while solid in their own right, can't really compare to Daredevil at its best. Daredevil's Episode 7 throwdown with Melvin Potter feels a little drab, especially coming one episode after Daredevil and Bullseye's first duel. That's okay, though, because Season 3 still has five hall-of-fame fight scenes, each loaded with action, violence, and narrative importance.
5. DAREDEVIL V. KIDNAPPERS (EPISODE 1)
Part of the reason why Daredevil's fights are so satisfying is that despite having superpowers, Matt Murdock gets the s**t kicked out of him — a lot. Think back to Season 1's one-shot hallway fight. That felt real because Daredevil was exhausted, staggering and pushing against the limits of his superhuman body. When Season 3 begins, Daredevil is in rough shape, having had a building fall on top of him and (temporarily) losing his powers.
Even though he regains his abilities thanks to an especially gross neti pot scene, he's still very rusty. His comeback attempt at superheroics — an attempt to stop a kidnapping — doesn't go especially well for him. Sure, he stops the kidnapping, but Daredevil might've died had the cops not scared the criminals off, and he takes damage he wouldn't normally be taking if he were in top form. But, this poor performance from the Man Without Fear re-establishes the stakes of a fight in Daredevil's world. When you get hit, it's gonna hurt.
4. DAREDEVIL V. BULLSEYE V. WILSON FISK (EPISODE 13)
The three-way brawl between Daredevil and Season 3's two villains is possibly the show's bloodiest. Save for a couple isolated acts, Wilson Fisk didn't have many opportunities to flex his muscle in Season 3, so it's savage and exhilarating when he lets loose, using brute force to pummel Daredevil and shatter Bullseye's spine by embedding his former-ally in a brick wall.
Yet, despite being a climactic fight scene, the battle feels a little hamstrung by the constraints of the plot. Following who is punching who on who's behalf distracts from the visceral impact of the fight. It doesn't help that Daredevil's motivation unexpectedly flips so that he's largely protecting Vanessa, a character who has never been as interesting as Daredevil (or Wilson Fisk) think she is. Still, it's always good to watch Fisk and Daredevil whale on each other.
A good fight scene isn't just about trading blows; the background is important too. When Daredevil and Bullseye square off for the second time, they do so inside a Catholic church that has, for some inexplicable reason, been illuminated by red uplighting. Does the hellish crimson vibe make a ton of sense for a sermon? Not necessarily, but as atmosphere for Daredevil and his evil doppelganger's fight, it's extremely effective. The stakes are high for Matt Murdock, as everything involved in the fight — the woman he's protecting, the father figure he'll lose, his foes, and the hallowed church ground — are deeply connected to him and the core themes of the show. Catholic guilt has never been so action-packed.
The setting also gives Bullseye lots of things to turn into deadly projectiles, including rosary beads and a collection plate-turned-death-frisbee. Plus, Karen Page ultimately gets the win, a nice moment that harkens back to the episode's other good fight — Flashback Karen punching someone who tried to steal drugs from her in the face.
2. THE PRISON ESCAPE (EPISODE 4)
This 11-minute one-shot scene is the most impressive and memorable part of Daredevil Season 3, bar none. Much has been written about what went into making this scene — which includes a ton of movie parts, different brawls, important and emotional dialogue, and covers a lot of ground — and everyone involved deserves all the praise and attention. As in the fight scene from Episode 1, Daredevil is handicapped, some of his strength having been sapped when he was injected with a small amount of a mysterious liquid in an attackers syringe. Because of this, it really feels as though Daredevil might not have what it takes to make this impossible escape, and the lengths to which he has to go are made all the more impressive due to the one-take nature of the scene.
It's a towering achievement and one that brings out the best of what Daredevil can do, but it's not purely a fight scene so much as it's a set piece that contains some brutal fights. It's amazing, but calling it the show's best fight scene feels a bit off, even if it might be the show's best scene.
1. DAREDEVIL V. BULLSEYE, ROUND 1 (EPISODE 6)
Daredevil Season 3 came out a few days before somebody mailed a bomb to the CNN's New York News Room (and to several prominent Democrats), an unfortunate bit of real-world timing that makes Bullseye's assault on Daredevil's New York Bulletin offices that much more uncomfortable and horrifying to watch. But, even before the frightening serendipity, Bullseye was already a terrifying villain. When he shows up, wearing the Daredevil suit, he's unstoppable, and a ready match for the Man Without Fear.
It's the first true hero v. villain fight of the season, and oh man does it deliver. As in their later church fight, the setting is key, because Bullseye can turn any mundane office supply he can get his hands on into a deadly weapon. This makes every moment of the fight feel imperative, because if Daredevil lets up for even a second, Bullseye can grab what he needs to finish the fight. It's a frantic duel that manages to feel both superhuman and mortal, the outcoming resting on a razor's edge — literally, since Daredevil couldn't get a hand on that X-Acto knife.