The Punisher – Season 2 Episodes 5 – 9 Review

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The Punisher’s second season continues onward with two plotlines starting to merge together.  It’s got some brutal action and some uncomfortably great acting from our lead duo of Frank Castle and Billy Russo. While it’s not quite up to the first season, which had a more interesting plot by now, but still good TV. Let’s take a closer look…


Frank Castle is back in New York and now has to deal with his old mentally unstable buddy-turned-enemy Billy Russo as well as a group of hitmen coming after him and a girl he’s pledged to protect. Seems like even The Punisher might need help this time…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

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“What was that? Good day?! I’ll kill you!”

Frank Castle / The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) – Frank is starting to come to terms with who he is, or who he thinks he is. Any chance at a normal life was him fooling himself, and now he needs to focus his anger and skills at the right people… or should that be the wrong people?

Amy (Giorgia Whingam) – Amy is a runaway who used to be part of a group of like-minded teens, until they were all killed after a job gone wrong. Now she’s a wanted woman, but luckily she’s befriended the Punisher…

Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) – Billy can’t remember the last few years of his life. He can’t remember killing Frank’s family, or shooting Madani in the head… all he knows is that he won’t go back to the hospital or prison, and he needs to find a new purpose…

John Pilgrim (Josh Stewart) – Pilgrim is working for the Schultz family, a wealthy mum and dad looking towards keeping their son’s homosexuality a secret. In order to continue to get money and support from them for his dying wife, he is willing to dip into his troubled past life in order to carry out their orders…

Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah) – Dinah is from Homeland Security and has been having a hard time readjusting to life after she was shot in the head by Billy Russo. Now Billy is free she feels even less safe, regardless of whether Billy actually remembers her or not…

Dr. Krista Dumont (Floriana Lima) – Dr. Dumont finds herself caring deeply for Billy Russo, her patient who is now on the run and hiding in her flat. She knows she shouldn’t be harbouring him, but she can’t help but like him, perhaps even love him…

Curtis Hoyle (Jason R. Moore) – Curtis is an old army friend of both Frank and Billy, but after getting shot previously by the latter, he is determined to see the Billy Russo problem finished, even if it means working with Frank Castle personally…

Plus more!

The Good:

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The standout thing about this batch of episodes is definitely Billy Russo, as he continues to go more and more insane. He’s shacking up with his psychiatrist, but also meeting some mentally wounded ex-soldiers and turning them into his own personal army. This lead to a great moment when Frank Castle appears on the street in front of him and he starts freaking out because of the skull emblem on Frank’s vest being the same in his nightmares. He escapes (just) and kills a couple of his own men out of frustration before properly breaking down in front of Dr. Dumont, wondering why his best friend in the world would want to kill him and why he did what he did to his face. Billy eventually appears in Midani’s apartment and directly asks her, and upon hearing it’s because he killed Frank’s wife and kids, he has a hard time processing it, but later still thinks it wasn’t a valid excuse to do what was done to him… So, yeah… he’s a proper nut job, but it’s all acted out so convincingly that it’s properly unsettling. Great TV though!

Speaking of Frank, there isn’t much to say here. He’s investigating the people after Amy, while also dealing with Billy alongside his old buddy Curtis, and both lead to some violent fights and large-scale shoot-outs. A fight between Frank and some Russian mobsters in a gym was particularly brutal, and the big fire-fight where Russo sees Frank mentioned above were both well shot, choreographed and exciting. Frank is no real closer to closing either “case” getting solved, but he has started to realise that as much as he sometimes tries to hide it, he’ll never lead a normal life, and this life of violence is where he will always be headed. He’s just on the verge of becoming the full-blown Punisher.

There are two quite unsettling scenes, but they add to the story really well. Frank, still emotionally unstable thanks to meeting up with Billy and seeing him get away, gets extremely upset and angry when Amy tries to take his gun away using a technique he showed her earlier, pushing the gun in her face and screaming at her, even firing it a few times away from her head before he’s pulled away by Curtis. Around the same time Billy Russo throws a fit against Dumont and pushes her up against a window and says some rather nasty things while she panics (she has a fear of heights…) It worked well to show how they’re both similar, despite everything, and that Frank Castle, Punisher or not, is no hero.

The rest of the cast has pretty much stayed the same. Amy spends most of this chunk hidden away in a trailer, learning about guns (see above!) and eventually even shoots someone in a hotel hallway. Curtis is worried about Billy enough to lose his girlfriend over, much to his distress, but otherwise has Frank’s back, Midani is showing how she is just as mentally unstable and effected by the Carousel incident as Billy Russo (without the memory loss…) and Pilgrim is still a religious man with a horrible background who’s being exploited by some unpleasant rich church-goers who are using his wife’s health as leverage. It’s a good cast, but the pay offs haven’t happened yet, obviously, so there isn’t much new to talk about…

The Bad:

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It’s John Pilgrim! Haven’t actually had a picture of him up yet…

Not much. Dr. Dumont is starting to annoy me. I get the whole “helplessly fallen in love with a bad man” schtick, but geez, every time she lets him in and doesn’t call the police drives me mad. Oh, and if you have a deathly fear of heights and get paid psychiatrist-level money, buy an apartment on the ground floor! It’s not rocket science…

Overall Thoughts:

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If you look down the street and see this: Run.

While still lacking that more deep storytelling of the first series, Punisher Season 2 continues to be a fun action-heavy series, with a great double act in our anything-but-nice protagonist and his antagonist in the crazy Billy Russo. Looking forward to seeing how it all comes together!

4 Star Watch


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