The Punisher seems to be taking a lot of inspiration from Logan, as Frank is still looking after Amy. She brings quite a bit of levity to the show, similar to how Micro was the perfect counterpart to Frank’s more grim outlook on things. Her character also helps balance out the general grim direction the show is taking with most of its characters. Billy is losing whatever was left of his mind. Madani is barely clinging on to her sanity and Frank still wrestles with what direction he should head into in his life. A question remains, will this episode continue to push him over the edge?

Let’s point out the biggest highlight in this episode, we got the return of everyone’s favorite thief Turk. At this point, he truly has become a staple in the Marvel Netflix franchises and still believes he should get his own mini-series. His set-up was quite nice, as Frank used the poor guy as bait to get to the Russians. They think he will be waiting at Turk’s place but he shows up at their gym prepared for a fight. It leads to a great action sequence where we see Frank take down the goons in rather creative and painful ways. Jon Bernthal‘s intensity always shines through in these action sequences that cement him as the perfect Frank Castle.

This seasons’ baddie John Pilgrim gets a few more moments. We find out more about his family life and his strong beliefs. The scene of him whipping his back was a bit cliché but was certainly in line with his character. The strange thing is that they do set-up him going to New York City, which gives the character a new environment to handle but there was no real revelation on why exactly he would go this far. The story between Pilgrim and the Russians seems rather unrelated and will hopefully come together at some point for a major revelation.

The direction he shows is taking with Madani actually surprised me the most. It looks like the scars from last season have hit her the hardest, as she is mentally falling apart. Her fears and hatred towards Billy Russo are turning her into a vengeful character. It’s quite an interesting contrast to how the Punisher has changed since the last season. In a way, their character arcs have switched as she may slowly give in to her darkest desires later in the season. Her inclusion makes sense, especially with the return of Billy who still feels like a complete wild card this season.

As of now, there are no real hints at what connections exist between Frank and Billy’s story. Personally, it might be their search for the Skull symbol. Billy wants to find out who destroyed his face and mind. Frank is heading back into his old life as the Punisher. The only problem is that there is no visual connection between them. Maybe showing Frank dreaming of being the Punisher could help solidify it. Both have dreams of that skull symbol so their goals are the same. The only difference is their reasonings for finding it. I think this is what they are building towards but we might get more hints later down the line.

VERDICT

3.5 broken legs out of 5.  

It’s a good episode with some great smaller moments, especially between Frank and Amy. It only suffers from setting up storylines that lack a thorough connection as of now. There is a fantastic action sequence with the return of Turk that helps push the episode. Hopefully, Pilgrim gets a bit more development and the loose threads between these plotlines are soon connection.

ONE-SHOTS

  • Wonder if that card trick sequence has any significance later down the road. Maybe Billy’s own insanity might be a trick he can’t figure out.
  • It is funny how the slow pace gets briefly interrupted by these quick action sequences. They do offer a nice change of pace to keep the interest in the show going.
  • While Billy doesn’t truly look like Jigsaw, the make-up on his scars is great. At first, I had a problem with it as well but thinking about a world that has Helen Cho, this might not be too surprising.