The third season of Daredevil is finally only weeks away, and fans will get more than brief teases and tastes of what happened to Matt Murdock after the enigmatic ending of The Defenders. What little footage that has been released so far shows that the red Devil of Hell's Kitchen won't be red any more in the new episodes. Star Charlie Cox has revealed why Matt is returning to his roots with a black suit a la Season 1 rather than the red suit of later seasons:
First of all, it's so much more comfortable. So I'm very grateful for that. The thing with the costume has always been, for me, it sounds silly, but I really need to feel like, from a story point of view, it makes sense and it's in keeping with the genre and the tone of the show. So the way we transitioned into the red costume at the end of season one, the thing that really sold it for me was the conversation Matt had with Father Lantom, where he says, 'Sometimes it's important for there to be a symbol to be feared by people.' It keeps them in check, it allows them to remember why they behave in a moral way. That was the impetus for Matt to go and embrace this symbol, this iconic red suit. Earlier on in this season, there's an equally compelling reason, I hope, for him to not be in the red suit anymore. It's not explicit, but my understanding of it is clear. Matt, for various reasons, no longer feels like he is deserving of it. It's almost like he's lost that privilege. And also that he is, in some ways, outgrown what it stood for. There's also another reason why he cannot, literally can not wear the suit.
When Matt first donned the iconic red suit, it was so that he could stand for something and serve as a symbol to the criminals of Hell's Kitchen. According to Charlie Cox's comments at a visit to the Daredevil set, Matt hasn't just given up the red suit because it was irreparably damaged due to the events at the end of The Defenders or for any other simply practical reason. To Matt, he doesn't deserve to symbolize a reminder to criminals not to diverge from the straight and narrow. Does this point to a Matt Murdock who has to cross more lines and get even darker in Season 3? Has he outgrown his hopes for a better place?
While it does sound like part of why he gave up the red suit in favor of his simpler black suit because of symbolic reasons, Charlie Cox's mention of a reason why he "literally" can not wear the red suit indicates that he really doesn't have a choice of dropping the red. Perhaps he really did have to give up the suit because it was all but destroyed after the climactic fight at the end of The Defenders! Or maybe the nuns took it away from him because they don't approve of his violent ways. If that's the case, losing his iconic threads clearly won't be enough to stop his violence, and that may be for the best given the bad guy who will be back on the scene.
Yes, Wilson Fisk is back and looking pretty snazzy, and Matt can't count on an assist from Stick, and probably not from Frank Castle. We can't rule out Elektra returning, as is her wont, but the other heroes of the Marvel Netflix shows are probably too busy with their own problems. Matt may need to get truly dark to survive and protect his friends from Fisk, and returning to his black suit could be the way to keep audiences on board with that darkness. Will he end up back in the red suit with a swelling superhero score behind him? Probably. But we'll have to wait and see.