The Punisher - Season 2 - Review
Frank Castle's second solo outing just hit Netflix, and if one thing is abundantly clear, it is that he will never know peace. The second season tried to do something a bit different, but still fell into the same troublesome tropes that previous Marvel seasons have.
Usually the main plot and the subplot merge into a singular story on most TV series. But for the most part, both stories were kept separately. The one thing that they had in common was that Frank Castle got involved. That was pretty much it.
The main story, the rebirth of Billy Russo, was personal to Frank. The other one he was thrown into by helping a kid. The way they had them intersect, with Frank as the focal point, was creative in some spots. But the separation of keeping two stories straight got tedious sometimes.
This season was not lax on any action though. The fight scenes were unapologetically violent and bloody. Jon Bernthal was at the forefront of nearly all of them, and it seemed that he had more coordinated hand to hand fights than last season. The fight scenes come often, and they were all pretty varied, so it kept things that could most definitely be stale, fresh.
We got most of the old cast back, and they all had things to do. They all went on journeys to evolve their characters. Curtis, Dinah and even Sgt Mahoney from Daredevil had great journeys to watch.
The new additions to the cast, Floriana Lima, Josh Stewart, and Giorgia Whigham all made the season what it was, for better or for worse. While Lima's character of Dr. Dumont didn't win me over because her arc felt rushed and forced, it opened the door for other characters to shine, and that is a positive.
Giorgia Whigham was great though. Amy Bendix was an interesting character that never got old. She was forced into Castle's life - almost literally - and it turned out Castle needed her as much as she need him.
The show fell into the same trope as always. One villain is not really the villain, but it turns out to be someone else. The plot screeches to a halt at about episode 6 and treads water until about episode 10. It happens with every season of Marvel shows that are made by the streaming giants. It seems like an easy thing to avoid, either have more story or make less episodes. But for some reason, they don't fix it at all. Ever.
Bernthal was incredible as always. The tough, brooding, yet emotional take on the character is the best portrayal of Frank Castle we have seen. His interaction with everyone, from Dinah to Mahoney to even Karen Page, Castle makes you feel for someone we shouldn't feel for.
The ending was satisfying, and ended the only way it could. But getting there was problematic. This is probably the last season of the show, but I hope it is not the last time we see Bernthal as the character, because if it is, then the only ones getting punished is the audience.
The second season of The Punisher is now streaming, exclusively on Netflix.