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

Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) being a great investigative journalist:  check.  Frank (Jon Bernthal) and Micro (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) road trip:  check.  A totally badass fight scene in the middle of the Appalachian woods:  check.

“Gunner” is the episode where The Punisher put the pedal to the metal and didn’t let up throughout the whole entire hour.

After finding out about the botched Greek arms deal down at the docks — Karen begins to investigate the deal starting with the supervising agent on the case:  Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah).  By the end of their talk, Agent Madani has some questions about the relationship between Karen and Frank, and the loose ends start getting together.

Remember Gunner Henderson, the scripture-reading soldier from earlier in the show?  He plays an integral part of this episode as we find out that he was the soldier who videotaped the assassination of Ahmad Zubair and subsequently sent it to Micro.

Frank and Micro go to visit Gunner, who has since moved to a shack in the middle of the Kentucky woods.  While there, Gunner inadvertently shoots Frank with an arrow, as he was under the assumption Frank was dead.  The pair finds out Gunner has been living in the middle of nowhere, hoping to hide out from Agent Orange and the other Cerberus bad guys.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, Agent Orange — monitoring the it all from his cozy-ass office in D.C. — has put a strike team together to take out Gunner.  What follows is a bad ass scene where Frank and Gunner take down a squad of fully-outfitted soldiers in the middle of the woods — a scene where we see Frank go all-out Punisher.

All is not well at the end of the day, however.  Gunner ends up mortally wounded and Frank is clinging to life.

Prior to the pilgrimage to the woods, Frank continued to help out at the Lieberman household, continuing my least favorite subplot of the show thus far.

Final Verdict:

4 Gnarly Battle in the Woods out of 5.  This might be my favorite episode of the season so far.  We get Frank at his best, we get Karen at her best, and we get to see the relationship between Frank and Micro develop in real-time before our eyes.

One-shots:

  • Dinah and Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) got drinks.  Then had sex.  That guy’s so greasy, there’s a 100% chance he’s up to no good.  The dude reminds of shitty used car salesmen.
  • Speaking of complete pukes, we find out the true identity of Agent Orange before Frank and Micro:  he’s William Rawlins, the Director of Cover Operations for the Central Intelligence Agency — that makes him ust a few positions removed from a Cabinet position.
  • I said earlier that Karen’s appearance seemed a bit forced, but I really liked her in this episode.  We saw her at her best and she justs brings something else to this show than what we ever saw in Daredevil.
  • Have I mentioned how much I dislike Rawlins?