Spoilers for The Punisher are ahead.  You ought to know that by now.

Frank (Jon Bernthal) and Micro’s (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) game of cat and mouse come to an end with Frank capturing the latter and preparing him for an interrogation.

Pretty early on in “Kandahar,” we learn that Micro has — according to the hacker — rigged his bunker to explode should he not be able to type in a code into a computer every so often.  We later find out that the bunker wasn’t rigged with explosives, rather if Micro wasn’t around to input the code into the console, video would be released to the public to prove that Frank was still alive.

I found the moment to be a cliche — especially when we saw Maximus pull the same “fail safe”-type measures just a week or so ago on Inhumans.  I will say, however, that even though the moment itself was a bit too cliche, it most definitely went to show how analytical and intellectual Micro really is.

This is the episode where we find out Micro’s story.  He’s married to Sarah — the love of his life — and they have two kids:  a son, Zach, and a daughter, Leo.  Working as a security contractor with the National Security Agency (NSA), Micro uncovers a video of the torture and murder of Ahmed Zubair — Agent Madani’s former partner.  Micro sends to the footage to Madani, who forwards it up the ladder.  Come to find out Wolf finds out about it and sends a team after Micro to kill him.

Thankfully for Micro, he has a cell phone in his chest pocket and it stops the bullet the Wolf fired and because of the force of the shot, it knocked Micro off a bridge into a river below.

While finding out Micro’s backstory, we also find out what happened in Kandahar — I mean, what’d you expect from an episode with that as it’s title?

A mysterious operative that goes by the name of Agent Orange (Paul Schulze) is assembling a covert term of some of the best special ops soldiers in Afghanistan.  They call the mission Operation Cerberus and their purpose is to capture, interrogate, and executive high-level enemy combatants.  It’s here we see Frank is on the team of his good friend Billy Russo (Ben Barnes).

After executing Zubair, the team starts to raid a compound based on Agent Orange’s intel but it seems as if it was a trap — and Frank & Co. are vastly outnumbered by enemy combatants.  Frank takes care of business, single-handedly killing many of the enemies, but not without some loss on his side. It’s a haunting scene and shows how unhinged Frank can come under pressure.  The scene wraps up with Frank punching Agent Orange in the face, seriously injuring his eye.

Presently, Agent Stein does some research and uncovers $30-some million of hidden funds by Wolf, showing that he was a dirty agent.  He gives the information to Madani, who decides to trust her junior colleague.

Final Verdict:

4 Look, We’re Finally Getting a Frank/Micro Bromances Out of 5.  I thought this was a slower episode, but again, it’s providing some necessary groundwork needed for the show to work.  Guys like Frank and Micro wouldn’t automatically trust each other, so I’m glad they’re taking their time with the Frank/Micro arc in particular.

One-shots:

  • This Agent Orange cat is incredibly unlikable.  Incredibly unlikable.
  • I’m not sure what to think of Agent Madani quite yet.  She has trust issues after the murder of her former partner Zubair, but it seemed like Stein was able to sell himself pretty easily.
  • The story and background of Micro brings an interesting dynamic to the show, to say the least.  While Frank’s family was murdered and he can never see them again, Micro’s purposefully staying away from his family in an attempt to keep them safe.