Normally I try to open up a review with something philosophical. Maybe try to tease what is included within the episode but I have to say that this episode really pushes the relationship between Frank and Amy. We get a scene where she actually keeps him from killing a man and has a much more active role in his mission. We get a great little sequence of her being tailed. While sneaking through a group of high school girls, she switches her outfit and disappears into the crowd. It was short but a great sequence to highlight how she managed to survive all this time until Frank showed up at the right time.

We finally get the reveal what exactly Amy was being hunted for and it was a rather interesting surprise. Some rather dangerous pictures have been snapped that could get some really important people into trouble. It leads to Frank cleverly kidnapping one of the Russians to find out why these pictures were so important. While it was a plot-relevant moment, there was something else that truly sold it. Just before, Frank had a heart-to-heart with Amy about his daughter. We got to see his soft side again, as he tries to forget his own past. Now, he is faced with a man who he would kill for the evil things he has done. Yet, he can’t bring himself as he also has a family. It was a great dilemma that would pay off much later as well.

The only downside is that the Russian was taken down instantly by Pilgrim shortly after. We actually get a great sequence with him confronting Madani without any hesitation even at gunpoint. He certainly knows how to intimidate people. Pilgrim still lacks a bit of personal involvement in this ordeal or a thematic connection to Frank. That aspect was given to Billy, who makes a stronger return in this episode. We slowly see his goal come together as he hangs out with other veterans. We see a part of him from the first season return, especially in how effective his charm is. His face may be ruined but he still knows how to win people over. Ben Barnes really put a lot of work into making Russo one of Netflix’s iconic villains.

This all comes to the one moment that Curtis confronts both Frank and Madani about what they need to do. Billy confronted him and is on the hunt for the man that destroyed his face. While he never really reveals who it is and gets away, he is tired of the potential of being killed at any time. He already got shot once and he pushes Frank towards giving up on mercy. In that short moment, he realizes what needs to be done to ensure that no one else gets hurt. It seems that at this moment, the show will focus more on the Billy storyline as Pilgrim takes a backseat. Personally, this isn’t a bad decision as the show can offer a breath of fresh air before returning to the original plotline. Let’s see if Frank will truly use his opportunity to take out Billy or the sentiment that kept him from doing so in the last season might still linger.

VERDICT

4  Dorothy clicks out of 5.  

What really sells me on this episode is the dynamic between Frank and Amy. We got some rather heartwarming moments, especially when they talked about Frank’s daughter. Billy Russo may feel out of place at times but his storyline is still the strongest. We also get a great moment from Pilgrim that finally gave him a bit more agency. His family gave him some humanity but this was the first time we actually saw him show some stronger emotions that truly made him more than a one-note character. This episode really delivered on all the right emotional beats and reminds viewers that Frank isn’t just a killer.

ONE-SHOTS

  • Not the way I would have expected to see a Wizard of the Oz in a Marvel show but The Punisher doesn’t hold back.
  • Jon Bernthal is just amazing as Frank and I really hope we get to see more of him in the iconic role. At the same time, Ben Barnes also gives us an amazing performance as Billy Russo that makes up for the lack of comic-book accuracy.
  • Is this the most we have seen of Mahoney in any Netflix season? Really liking his addition to this show after his brief appearance in the first season.