The standalone Marvel-Netflix Punisher show has finally dropped, and once again we’re doing daily write ups of every episode, highlighting the influences, in-jokes, reference points and Easter eggs we spotted, as well as a few thoughts on the show itself.
As usual feel free to discuss whether you’re watching along or you’ve seen it all, but please don’t spoil future episodes for anyone in the comments.
This review contains spoilers.
Ooh. THIS is a little more like it. Frank and Micro working together has created an interesting dynamic for a show that was previously very interior. Frank’s after a soldier, Micro’s after a weapon, and the two of them – having agreed to work together – are still both looking for the upper hand. I really enjoyed their scenes together.
In particular, Micro’s reaction to being in the field was great, as he gets to see The Punisher’s work up close. I’m not sure whether he’s going to get more or less comfortable as time goes on, but that’s a potential arc right there, and one I’m interested in seeing. There were some nice individual moments too as Frank cleans up Micro’s otherwise decorative gun and tunes his guitar. That, combined with his actions at Sarah’s house, suggest that Frank is a guy who just can’t help fixing problems when he sees them.
That said, the high point for me was the ending of the episode where Frank – having killed a warehouse full of murderers (woo!), jacked their cars and then used them to outsmart the DHS, goes back and rescues Dinah because at the end of it all, he’s the Punisher and he doesn’t want good people to die. Him admitting he killed her boss right to her was also a perfect character moment. He doesn’t care that she’ll come after him – in his mind, the guy was crooked and had to die, and he doesn’t care who knows because he can stay one step ahead.
I’m even enjoying the stuff with Lewis, though I have a suspicion it’s going somewhere quite predictable. The subtext of this show isn’t exactly hidden, as we get another look at what happens to soldiers once they’ve got no war to fight, though it feels like this guy is an interesting mirror of The Punisher. He’s trying to find a new war, while The Punisher started his own.
Anyway, big fan of this one. For me, the series is largely getting by because Jon Bernthal is super-charismatic, not least when he’s having those scenes with Sarah and her kids – you can really see the family man he used to be. However, if we get a few more episodes like this then I’ll be happier with the plot as well, because this is the first time (even including Daredevil) that The Punisher has felt like the comics version of the character to me.
Just the one that I could spot, and of course it’s Turk! Who doesn’t love Turk, the down-on-his-luck whipping boy of every Marvel-Netflix title character? Turk has been hanging on the fringes of Daredevil ever since he was created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan in Daredevil #69 (1963). He’s also been in all of the previous Netflix shows, and his appearance in The Punisher means that he’s up on even Rosario Dawson, who had previously done the same. Permission to start referring to Marvel-Netflix as the Turk-verse?
Read James review of the previous episode, Kandahar, here.