Introducing an occasional feature, Dragonspire Watch, where I rate TV and film.
Caution, fangirling ahead!
Since I can’t watch Gotham Season 5 until it’s on Netflix, lets talk about a show I could binge: The Punisher Season 2.
I’ve seen season one four times. Frank Castle and his quest, despite the super bloody fight scenes, captivated me, and the January release of season 2 made my month: I’m not back at university until February, so I’ve got plenty of time to dedicate to Netflix. (Should I be studying? Maybe. But the way I see it TV counts as research for my Storytelling and TV blog series)!
Warning, this isn’t completely spoiler free!
Observations from episode one:
Faster paced than season one’s first episode by far, we open with Frank and a mystery girl, covered in blood and on the run from unknown assailants. We then flash back to how they got there: Frank came to the rescue of the girl when she was attacked in a bar. (But not before hooking up with a bartender and ruining her life when shit hit the fan)!
Turns out Amy, the mystery girl, has photos people will kill for, and Frank takes it upon himself to help/kidnap her. (Because even though he saved her she keeps trying to escape at first)!
Frank Castle: The Punisher
Frank’s character is best shown through his interactions with those around him, but essentially he tries to live a normal life and comes to accept he’d rather destroy bad guys and protect the innocent, because he can’t help but get involved.
Amy: The teenager Frank saves
Amy is so precious. The interactions between her and Frank made the season, and he becomes like an adoptive parental figure towards her. He’s ready to scold her when she steals Madani’s credit card to go on a shopping spree, only to shrug it off, distracted by the pizza she ordered with it. He plays cards with her. He teaches her to grab a gun off an assailant.
She’s sensitive (her friends were murdered, and she tries to play it cool but the moment they’re safe she crawls under the bed and cries 😦 ) witty, and a breath of fresh air. Who would’ve thought a teenage companion would work? Not me, but it does. So well.
Curtis: The Best Friend
Curtis is one of the most loyal friends I’ve seen since Charles Boyle (Brooklyn 99!). He puts up with so much shit from Frank, and even though he has a girlfriend he still drops everything to help him at great personal risk. He wants Frank to deal with Billy before Billy kills them.
Dinah Madani: Special Agent in Charge
Madani is a total bad-ass. I loved her last season, and she’s a great example of a strong female character who’s believable, because she has flaws too. (Rare, IMO, because shows often focus too much on the strong and forget about making characters realistic). She’s no nonsense, haunted by her mistakes (trusting Billy last season), and she’s happy to break the rules.
Mahoney: The Detective
Mahoney is after Billy Russo, and he constantly crosses paths with Madani, who isn’t even on the case but investigates anyway. He’s not Frank’s biggest fan, until Frank saves him from a car that’s about to explode: Exactly how Madani came to like Frank too!
Billy Russo: Jigsaw
I spent most of the show feeling sorry for Billy. Yes, he’s out to get Frank, but at first he doesn’t even remember who put him in hospital. I don’t think he ever remembered why Frank hurt him in the first place. This makes their story pretty tragic, because Billy thinks Frank betrayed him, and not the other way around.
Karen Page: The Reporter/Love interest
Karen only appears in episode 11, but with the season focused on establishing Frank as the Punisher, there wasn’t room for a romantic sub-plot. We did get a bitter-sweet scene where it’s clear they love each other, and if the series is renewed maybe their relationship will develop. Until then I’ll assume Frank goes straight to Karen after all is said and done with Amy.
Formally of the Russian Mafia, Pilgrim is forced to return to a life of crime when the Schultz’s are threatened with blackmail over photos of their son. Sent to retrieve the photos and kill all witnesses, Pilgrim tracks Frank and Amy to New York. I think he’s working for the Schultz’s because they’ve promised treatment to help his wife, and when she dies they have his sons.
On the one hand you have Pilgrim, after Amy for the photos, on the other you have Billy, who Madani and Curtis insist Frank find and kill. Having two villains made the plot feel a little rushed in places, and by the final episode I was wondering how they’d tie everything up in so little time. They did though.
There were less deep emotional scenes than season one, and more action. Amy was a breath of fresh air as a snarky companion, the friendships between the characters were awesome, and it was refreshing to watch a show with little emphasis on romance. Having said that, I found the Pilgrim plot a bit lacklustre, and Billy’s story arc felt rushed and anticlimactic.
Was I disappointed though? No. I liked how things panned out for the most part, and it ends with Frank as the Punisher, a vigilante clearing up the streets. It’s a satisfying ending if the show gets cancelled, but also an excellent place to start a new season, which I can only hope for.
I give it 4 stars!
If you haven’t seen The Punisher, what are you waiting for? There are only 13 episodes per season, and season 2 was just as good as the first 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Seen The Punisher? What did you think of season 2?
Next time: How to Train Your Dragon 3!