Punisher 2 review: One batch, two batch, will there be more?

Elliot Tritto

Central Bureau Chief

Netflix’s the Punisher resides, to me, as one of the greatest superhero shows that’ ever been on screen. The Punisher accomplishes this by having masterful storytelling, relatable characters, choreographed action sequences and a pulse-pounding musical score.

Rarely do I binge-watch television shows yet with all these boundless aspects, the show submerges the audience in a binge-watch craze. After 13 episodes of just the first season, I’ve wanted more. For those of you who haven’t watched this, please do.

To sum up the first season, former Marine and CIA special operatives, Frank Castle lives in grief after the tragic murder of his wife and kids. Throughout the season, we see him and Micro, a former CIA analyst, go after government officials who were framed as criminals and terrorists to the state. 

To endure, the Punisher greets us with themes of military veterans suffering Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), what great lengths American citizens will do to protect their families and pride and how the 7 deadly sins can make someone go beyond their wildest dreams.

Season 2 promises to continue the legacy of the energetic antihero in which it does. Season 2 picks up where it left off. We see Frank try to find a new life to which ends up biting him in the behind. One of the many themes that is brought up in this show includes how sometimes past decisions can affect your future. Many of the crucial characters like Frank, Billy, Curtis and Madani undergo a traumatic state to which they all allow their past demons to affect their future. 

By means of who’s at fault for the traumatic state, Billy Russo is the one to blame. Russo has affected the other crucial characters with manipulation and lies to get what he desires. With Castle, it’s discovered that he’s a part of the reason his family was tragically murdered and in the first season. Frank thought he finished what he started when at the end of the first season, him and Billy had a psychological and brutal fight to the death. From this fight, it left Russo in a paralyzed state and hospitalized. Russo had other skeletons in his closest when being involved with Agent Madani.

To continue, Billy and Agent Madani had a series of sexual encounters, which got Madani’s career almost down the toilet and her partner and several agents killed. With their history intertwined, the plot of season 2 thickens to an uneasy situation.

Yet enough of the past and onto the future. The series succeeds in keeping the same tone as it does from the first series. What really spoke out to me was the actor’s performances. Jon Bernthal still flawlessly plays the Punisher alongside Amber Rose Reeva as the tough and mean-spirited Agent Madani. Who of course could forget the menacing portrayal of Billy Russo by Ben Barnes?

With all these positives, come the negatives. Nothing is perfect yet sometimes the positives outweigh the negatives. Season 2’s biggest problems include the pacing. By episode 7, things REALLY begin to pick up. I felt that the show needed to get the ball rolling by episode 3. I understand that they needed to build the relationship with Amy, yet again, the pacing could’ve improved.

Oh, and speaking of Amy, she’s someone that I felt had great potential, but the execution wasn’t there. Girorga Whigham plays an average girl with some depth to her but I wasn’t emotionally invested in her. 

Overall, I still feel I need to watch season 2 again to fully wrap my mind around what I truly feel about the show. With highs and lows, I still feel confident that the Punisher is still a great series everyone should watch. Let’s hope that Netflix doesn’t pull the plug. Anyway, 7.5/10, for now. 

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Photo: The Punisher Season 2 in on Netflix/Courtesy of Inverse.com