Almost 13 hours of grunting, growling and gruesomeness, takes us through the 13 episodes of Netflix’s (now final) season 2 of The Punisher.
Beginning the season Frank Castle, Jon Bernthal, is a drifter now going by the name Peter Castiglione. Castiglione is a nice nod to the comics with Francis Castiglione being the punishers original name before changing it to illegally enlist in the army.
Season 2 finds Frank completely changed and seeking the quieter life. After seemingly finding that life with a small town bartender things seem to be heading upwards but that is not the story we’ve come to see and soon enough trouble finds Frank.
Meanwhile Billy Russo, Ben Barnes, is recovering from the wounds inflicted upon him by Castle. He has no recent memories, thinking both Frank and himself are still friends, and is struggling to adapt to life with his facial disfigurement and amnesia. With the help of the psychiatrist Krista Dumont, played by Floriana Lima, he attempts to repiece his fragmented memory from within the police monitored hospital. Agent Madani, played by Amber Rose Revah, frequently visits Billy, not believing his memory loss story, hoping to expose him as a fraud as she still has bullet scar on her head from him in last season.
I was a fan of the first season of the punisher. It was bloody, action packed but most importantly had some interesting characters that were likable. It was definitely one of the best Netflix Marvel offerings and helped to forget the mis steps that were Luke Cage and Iron Fists first outings.
Season 2 manages to introduce some new equally enjoyable characters and should be commended for taking sometime in the first episode to establish the new relationship with the bartender, played by Alexa Davalos, a relationship that symbolises an escape for Frank. The first episode is a slow burn and eventually culminates in a guns blazing showdown within the bar.
Unfortunately season 2 doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor as it all to often gets bogged down in macho men doing macho monologues. Jon Bernthal, as always, is reliable in his hardcore anti hero role but the whole season drags along feeling all to repetitive. The need to fill 13 episodes seems unnecessary as the season could have been trimmed down to a palpable 10 and been much better. Similar problems are found in Jessica Jones season 2 as it dragged along without a clear direction also.
As the dust settles on Frank in the final episode of the show the overall plot covered during multiple episodes seems minimal compared to the time taken to tell the story.
The performances are strong and the characters are all likable enough yet the series becomes tiresome all to quickly which is unfortunate for this now swan song of Frank Castle.
It’s an unfortunate 2 out 5 Birds from me – Jason
Click the links below to listen to our Podcast: