After a fantastic and emotional ending to Episode 12, it is time for the final push through the end of the season. Episode 13 is where it all goes down on these shows. Many people have found this season to be somewhat lacking. I, however, have really enjoyed it. The fact that The Defenders is more critically well-received than this season is beyond me. So how well does this episode hold up against other MCU Netflix finales?
In the aftermath of Madani shoving Krista to her death, Billy goes after her for revenge, leading to an emotional brawl that ends in Madani strangled and Billy shot three times. The credits cut as they are lying there, both seemingly dead.
Frank uses David’s phone to contact his crime-boss parents, who are in the company of John’s two sons, in order to get Amy back. They agree to it so long as they get their son. They call John to have Amy delivered. Meanwhile, Amy attempts to kill Pilgrim in his hotel room yet again, but can’t bring herself to do it.
Surprise, surprise. Billy and Madani both lived, because the biggest MCU character Netflix ever killed off was STICK. I understand not wanting to kill off your lead characters, but seems that even the side characters in these shows will never die. That’s likely because they use them to fill the runtime, and every character has to have an origin and a set of side characters or a love interest of some sort. And they put so much focus on original characters rather than side characters that are actually from the comics, such as Micro, who wasn’t even mentioned this season. It is really weird and I’ve grown tired of it. Rant over.
Madani wakes up, in a display of great acting on Amber Rose Revah’s part. She seems truly shocked, terrified, and beat up. Mahoney is on the scene and comforts her, offering her dropped badge and gun back. She refuses, saying she won’t need them anymore.
Amy, unable to commit the act herself, calls Frank over to the hotel Pilgrim is staying at. What ensues is a really cool shootout, where each character is shooting through the wall between the 2 rooms they are in. Frank crashes through the wall, and a struggle ensues, but eventually John gets a hold of Amy and escapes, using her life as a bargaining chip. Frank then gets into a fight in an elevator with 3 policeman who see him with a gun. It is a really cool scene and reminds me of the elevator scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Billy, injured from Madani’s gunshots, forces an Alfred Molina-looking doctor to save him and pull the bullets out. However, Billy passes out, allowing the doc to steal Billy’s money and leave him in a dumpster. Billy wakes up and stumbles away. We catch up with Curt and David, who discuss prejudice and the actions of the Schultz’s.
John, with Amy in his custody, calls Frank (who doesn’t know where Curt and David are) to make the exchange. Afterwards, he speaks to Amy, in their first civil conversation. He reveals that, if he could, he would walk away from all of this. Curt, without Frank knowing, hands David over to Mahoney, who in turn lets Curtis slide for holding a gun to his head earlier this season.
John arrives at the trailer park to meet an unarmed Frank. After an awesome and somewhat heartfelt exchange, John does the unthinkable and lets Amy go, believing he will get Schultz in return. However, since Frank has no idea where he is, he can’t deliver. Why John would let Amy leave then steal the car he came in is beyond me. The fact that John easily catches Frank off guard and beats him fairly easily is also beyond me. (I actually like this episode despite all the complaining I’ve done). Frank eventually gains the upper hand, and is ready to smash Pilgrim’s face in with a large canister Irreversible style before John asks Frank is he is going to kill his children. For this, he spares him. Frank really has gone a tad soft this season it seems.
Billy, with nowhere else to go, hides out in Curt’s old session room and then calls him. He reaches out to Curt, who clearly feels sympathy towards him, to either save him or be there with him as he dies. It is left open-ended as to whether or not Curt intended to go be with his brother or not. In another meaningless twist, Krista actually survived her clash with Madani, only to be in ONE more scene. Why? Seriously, why? There was no point that I can see. Krista’s death was a nice echo of what her father did to her and a good conclusion to her story arc. I don’t see them forcing much good storyline out of her, or a third season of this show happening at the moment, so this was the thing that pissed me off most this episode. She should’ve stayed dead. Anyways, another rant over. Madani visits her to settle everything and gloat about shooting Billy.
Billy, expecting to see Curtis, is met with “Frankie” instead. He tries to reach out and apologize to Frank, and, with no words, he guns Billy down. A tragic end to the character that would be Jigsaw. This scene made me very sad, something that is uncommon with villain deaths. When Frank beat up, stabbed, then gouged in Rawlins’ eyes in season one, I cheered. It was bloody, brutal, and satisfying. But Billy’s death at the hands of his ex best friend who had no words to say to him, was gut-wrecking and hard to watch. RIP Billy.
Amy and Frank surprise the Schultz’s at their mansion, and Frank ends up shooting Mama Schultz in the head right in front of her husband. His reaction of pure sadness, agony, and anger at his wife’s killing was portrayed very well. Frank then convinces Papa Schultz to blow his own brains out with a pistol, which was pretty dark and disturbing for me. Even for a guy who has slaughtered countless enemies, scraped Billy’s face through glass, and shot up a hospital to get to Grotto all the way in Daredevil season two, this was very dark. The pair run into John and his children outside, who leave as soon as John pieces together what happened. I like this moment, because of course Frank wouldn’t kill John in front of his children (not that he would’ve anyways as he spared him).
Frank sends Amy on her way to Florida to be safe. While I was annoyed at her character at first, she has grown quite a bit and I really like their relationship. They both express that they care about each other a great deal, in a pretty emotional farewell scene, before parting ways. She turns to look at Frank one last time, but he pulled a Batman and vanished.
We cut to a “Three Months Later” title card, much like the end of Iron Fist Season 2. We see Frank waiting in a car when Madani calls him, offering him a job at the CIA (NOT Homeland). He refuses, stating that he already has a job, before fully suiting up as the Punisher, trench coat and all, and you know what happens when that happens.
3 Bullet Wounds out of 5
I usually find myself loving Netflix’s Marvel season finales, while the seasons themselves, Daredevil aside, are usually bombarded with a drawn-out plot and filler. This season of The Punisher was no different. However, I really like this show. It isn’t Daredevil tier, but it is action-packed, bloody, and entertaining as hell. I love the Punisher’s killing style. And I love the MCU version of Frank Castle. He really stands out as one of the highlights of the entire Netflix corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This season wasn’t a masterpiece, but I quite enjoyed it overall and I enjoyed the finale episode.
- I love the line “Mom is waiting for us at the funeral home” from John’s son. There are so many small moments of masterful writing sprinkled through this show.
- Why did/ how did Madani visit Krista in the hospital in a shirt soaked in the blood from a crime scene?
- I know Billy is dead but man I really wish he wasn’t. Will Krista become Jigsaw in the unlikely third season? If so, they should have made her face scarred. But what if she goes mad after learning of Billy’s death and thinks she IS him like in “Psycho”? Just a thought that I hope doesn’t come to fruition.
- I LOVED seeing him in full-on Punisher garb at the end. However, I do wish he would either get a new vest with an officially imprinted logo (Melvin Potter?) or at least put the standard Punisher shirt over the vest.