The Punisher - Season Two [TV Series] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Punisher

Season Two [TV Series] (2019)


It's no surprise that Netflix is preparing to cut all ties with Marvel as Disney eyes its own streaming service. Shows like Luke Cage, Iron Fist and heck, even the ever-awesome Daredevil have already been axed and we're just counting down the days until The Punisher meets its demise. Until that happens, make no mistake Season 2 goes out with a bang, which interestingly enough would be the perfect stepping stone for a movie with Jon Bernthal in the title role once more.

This season does get a bit convoluted at times with the Pilgrim and Frank Castle locking horns after a blackmail/political extortion scheme. I thought this was going to be an adaptation of Marvel's Slavers arc but it turned out to be random coincidence and Frank being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Be that as it may, it takes him back to New York as he's being hunted, trying to protect what's now become his family -- and yes that includes Agent Madani and ex-war mate Curtis. With this arc spiralling out of control, lo and behold, Ben Barnes' Jigsaw returns to the fray but with a shattered memory.

Having him piece together things felt like an undersell as Jigsaw should have been batshit crazy and way more disfigured but I guess Netflix/Marvel didn't want him coming off to much like Heath Ledger's Joker. So they went the cerebral and somewhat boring route. Which makes their decision to give him his own Harley Quinn feel so rudimentary. That said, the way he intertwines with Frank's mission to ensure politicians don't emerge on top feels organic by the finale, although it's a tad frustrating to see Frank's arc take so long to develop.

Having him sleep with someone early on and then still say he's in love with his family feels off. Frank never gets over Maria and that's what makes his fire burn so much more. That's why by the time he does go all trigger-happy at the end of the season, killing off key characters, you feel like it's time to say fuck it with the background and just focus on him moving forward killing gangsters. Which is essentially what's framed in the final scene.

That aside, it's got a great cast, emotions are all over the place and the action sequences make you squeamish in a good way. It has hints of Sicario to it and I think this is the best approach moving forward. Now, he's the only character that Netflix doesn't have a hold on (the rest, Disney can't use for 3 years or so, so consider them dead). But using this Frank as an Elseworlds movie on the big screen fits so well because there's no way he fits the teen-friendly MCU at present. Once more, this show's a hit and it'll bide time well for whoever's waiting for Jessica Jones to wrap.