TV Review: Marvel’s Punisher Season 2 (Netflix)

“I’m just the asshole who can’t stay out of trouble” Be Warned! I will try to remain as spoiler free as possible but I can’t promise there will not be […]

“I’m just the asshole who can’t stay out of trouble”

Be Warned! I will try to remain as spoiler free as possible but I can’t promise there will not be one or two in the article.

I was looking forward to reviewing season 2 of Punisher. As great as season one was, my hopes for a great season two stood in limbo after the cancellations of previous Marvel Netflix shows.

The season opens with Frank in a bar assuming a new identity given to him by Agent Madani after last season. However, trouble seems to always find Frank even in the remote parts of the United States. Frank AKA Pete, despite his efforts to ruin a good thing, finds himself in the arms of a woman bartender who he begins to share his secrets with. The relationship is short-lived and somewhat meaningless to the storyline when Frank steps in to protect a young girl who was being chased by a group of people that end up shooting his would-be girlfriend in the crossfire. Leaving the bartender at the hospital Frank and, Amy (The girl he protected) take off on the run from the newly introduced villain to the storyline, John Pilgrim. Pilgrim is hired to hunt down Amy and recover some property she was using for blackmail purposes.

The story continues with Billy Russo hidden behind a mask having survived the face smashing, his memory of all previous events leading up to and including the carousel gone. What remains are dreams of the skull. Helping him cope is Doctor Dumont who later becomes a love interest of Russo. Eventually, Russo escapes the hospital and begins to piece his memories back together by getting answers from those he wronged such as Curtis, and Agent Madani. Reaching out to Frank, Madani wants him to finish Russo once and for all, bringing both Frank and Amy back to New York. Amy is along for the ride because Frank feels a sense of loyalty to her and protecting her from Pilgrim. Pilgrim’s story is broken down eventually and we find out who he was and why he’s so eager to kill Frank and Amy.

Meanwhile, Russo aka Jigsaw shows his face and begins to build a small army and his crime spree begins. When he realizes Frank is the reason his face is scarred he plots to make Frank pay for it.

The stories were at best sporadic. Trying to build on Frank’s developing relationships and concerns for others while mixing in an array of villains which included Jigsaw, Pilgrim working for the parents of a senator with secrets, with minor stints with mercenaries, and the Russians. This left little room to develop a strong brother versus brother storyline that could have been the focus of season 2 with Billy Russo even after last seasons budding hatred.

Russo’s character was one of the highlights of season 2. I was expecting something along the lines of Warzone’s take on Jigsaw, however, his look worked because of a vain world we live in he would be considered an ugly monster. The mask was a nice touch to show how Billy viewed himself in the eyes of others. Again the character’s storyline was underdeveloped and could have been used in place of Pilgram as a hired hitman to kill Frank and the girl Amy giving Russo even more reason to punish and kill Frank. The Senator and Pilgrim storyline just felt out of place.

Highlights of Season 2 are the action scenes. Although there is a lot more drama than action by far the best fight scene is the one in the elevator. Being in such a confined space left little room for error and the stunts were well done for this scene. Season 2 was not as good as season one, there were key moments that stood out such as the classic black van, and the last scene of Episode 13. This was the main reason why I felt Jon Bernthal is The Punisher.

Overall I give it a 6.5 out of 10 and a 10 out of 10 for action and homage to the comic.

Season 2 premiers on Netflix January 18th

About Mike Hopkins - Feature Editor

As a long time collector, Mike's love for pop culture began in the 1980's with G I Joe and has grown since. Today he is our Managing Editor specializing in reviews of Mezco, DIamond Select Toys, DC Collectible and many other brands. As a writer he brings a honest but fair review style to Fanboy Factor. "What makes us who we are is our opinions other wise we get lost among many others who do not stand apart in the crowd."