SPOILER WARNING: This article discusses plot elements from "Daredevil" Season 2, now streaming on Netflix.
There are two more vigilantes stalking the streets of Hell's Kitchen in "Daredevil's" second season, and both of them have made life infinitely more difficult for Matt Murdock. The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra (Elodie Yung) made their debut in Netflix's recently released "Daredevil" Season 2, adding more menace and complexity to the already darkly dramatic Marvel Television series. But considering that both characters have grown from supporting players to leads in the comics, it would have been very easy for one -- or both -- of them to stage a hostile takeover of "Daredevil" and make the show into their own. Comic Book Resources spoke with showrunners Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie during the season's premiere event in New York City and learned how they made sure all the drama stirred up by the new cast members found its way back to Daredevil.
"It was a constant concern and also a constant aim for us in the writers' room that we need to make sure to point these two wonderful missiles at Matt Murdock every time," Ramirez told CBR News. "The show's about Matt. How do we keep it about Matt? Because it was very easy to get enamored with any of these other side stories. Also, we feel the same way about Karen and anyone else on the show that we love writing for. It was by design that he had to make sure Matt was front and center and, ultimately, I think we accomplished that."
"Everything goes through Matt," Petrie added. "If we have an amazing Elektra story in the writers' room and we got excited, we'd look at each other and go, 'That's an amazing Elektra story, and we're going to put it on the shelf because it has to be a Matt Murdock story.' So we've got bags on the shelf, I can tell you that."
The show managed to stay focused on Matt Murdock by bringing Frank Castle into the Man Without Fear's line of work, with Nelson & Murdock agreeing to represent the Punisher in court.
"It was very organic and very much [that] Marvel felt like putting these two characters together in exactly the way you describe," said Petrie of the Punisher's plot development. "It made total sense. At first, we were like, 'Gee, I don't know. Is that our show? Will that work?' Once we got into it, we realized that we were enriching the story. And, in terms of the 13 hours of real estate that you have to tell this story, it gave us a different rhythm to play that character while we brought Elektra to a boil."
Punisher's involvement also serves to highlight Daredevil's faith in the police and the law -- a contrast Ramirez and Petrie specifically wanted to play with in the season.
"I think Daredevil would love nothing more than to not have to be Daredevil," said Ramirez. "I think Daredevil and Matt Murdock believes in order and justice and would love for nothing more than for it to all kind of work. He trusts the police, he wants that to be a thing. He's a religious person; he believes in the inherent good in people."
"He wants the law to work," added Petrie. "He's a lawyer. He doesn't take that lightly and he doesn't blow that off. He's someone who really wants this system to work and it's only by his perceived failure of that system that he has to reluctantly but valiantly step up and put on the boots and go out and do what he does."
All thirteen episodes of "Daredevil" Season 2 are now streaming on Netflix.