Frank Castle is back and in many ways it was a fantastic season. Although it was packed with great action and characters the follow up to season 1 fails to impress like the original.
Spoilers for season 1 follow
After the events of season 1 Frank is now Pete and living a life on the road. He’s given up the mantle of The Punisher and is just trying to live in peace as best he can. Well, as always trouble find him this time in the form of a young woman by the name of Amy. The young woman is caught up in some kind of mess and it leads her to be attacked at a bar that Castle happens to be at. He helps her and the story begins.
Most of the season was amazing. Adrenaline pumping action, conspiracy, character development and more. Even Tahani was a little better and less annoying. The Pilgrim was an interesting villain and Billy Russo was terrifying. Where I get held up is with the Russians. It felt out of place to have Russians involved. Granted the intent was to be a parallel to the world today but it felt poorly done and uninteresting. Further the two stories made the show lack direction.
I expected Russo and The Pilgrim to intersect in some way but they never did. Instead Castle was fighting a battle on two fronts and it made the story flow in a strange way. I have nothing wrong with adding another villain in the show but it needs to be done right. For instance season 1 had a subplot about a veteran who ended up becoming a terrorist. This was an interesting subplot that paid off with a great episode. Instead Frank’s attention was fixed on Russo but yet also on The Pilgrim and the conspiracy there all at the same time.
Despite it’s issues season 2 had some amazing aspects to it. Billy and his gang were captivating to watch, Amy and Frank’s relationship was a testament to both characters and sweet and the acting was superb. Jon Bernthal does a great job with the character and makes the audience love and hate him all at once. He’s not a nice man and he does terrible things. The show made me feel guilty for rooting for him at times and it made my immersion that much better.
Billy and John Pilgrim were the two villains this season. John started off with mystery and intrigue but his backstory is hardly explored. We learn about his past but don’t get a good enough feel for what led him into his extreme alt right lifestyle. Billy on the other hand is tormented by memories of the man with a skull on his chest. His doctor helps him cope as best she can and their relationship is one of the more psychologically fascinating parts of the season. The depths that doctor Dumont stoops to are a testament to how unstable even the most outwardly stable minds can be. How this psychologist can be so willing to do the things she does is baffling and intriguing.
At the end of the day, The Punisher season 2 was enjoyable but flawed. The action was stellar, gore just enough, and characters a joy to watch. The divided story made the show lack clear direction and was a detriment to an otherwise great season. I fully expect Netflix to cancel this like the others but sincerely hope it gets picked up by Disney for more. Binge on Crunchers!
3 out of 5 Couch Cushions and a throw pillow!!!