Frank Castle shot his way back to Netflix for what may probably be his last rodeo on the streaming service (based on the number of Marvel series they have cancelled so far), and while The Punisher Season 2 did a few things right, there were also a couple of things it did wrong.
Season 2 started off reminding me of one popular line Frank Castle said in the first season, “You are just one bad day away from being me.” It was a testament to how he just can’t find happiness no matter how much he tried as the one person he got close to at the beginning was caught in the crossfire due to his own actions.
The Punisher season 2 was what I’d like to call a season of redemption. Frank Castle redeemed himself from not being able to protect his wife and daughter by saving Amy and Beth no matter the amount of cost and blood he lost. Agent Madani redeemed herself for not realising Billy Russo was the bad guy all along by realising (although a little late) that his psychiatrist was actually involved in a way with Billy and she finally had the excuse to throw her problems out the window (literally). Curtis found redemption in getting more involved and saving Frank from both going too far and doing what is necessary when it matters, and Pilgrim redeemed himself for his numerous crimes by leading the way for Frank to deliver punishment. Billy Russo, although his ending was somewhat sad when you think about it, did not necessarily find redemption, but the time he decided to put his past behind him was when it finally caught up to him.
The storyline, progression, and overall pace of The Punisher season 2 were amazing. It knew how to keep you on your toes, make you emotional, and actually be sympathetic for the main villains in the movie (Billy and Pilgrim) at the end.
However, there were a couple of things that could have been better. Pilgrim, for starters, didn’t really have as much impact on the overall season as one would have expected because his story arc was sidelined a lot by Frank Castle and Billy Russo’s rivalry. Billy Russo’s end, although understandable, still felt unnecessary at this point because he was killed at his most vulnerable mental state. It would have been better if he got his memories back and Frank and he fight as anti-hero and villain. Though, the way he didn’t get a chance to apologise played perfectly into the moniker we have come to enjoy with Frank Castle’s character over the years both in comics and on screen.
The Punisher is a calculative, strategic, and tactical person. Yes, he goes in guns blazing a lot of times, but he is someone who has a clear head. In the second season, it felt more like he was a rabid dog more than anything. Taking a beating is one thing, but the way he acted in certain scenarios made it feel like he wasn’t thinking at all. Like he wanted a fight, wanted to bleed, and purposely inflict pain and destroy his enemies in the vilest ways possible.
All in all, it was an enjoyable season that will take you on a journey which cements The Punisher as the anti-hero we have always known him to be.
Ranking it against other Netflix/Marvel productions, it will come in 6th after Daredevil Seasons 1, The Punisher season 1, Daredevil seasons 2 & 3, and Luke Cage S2.
Score – 6.5/10
The Punisher is available on Netflix