Netflix’s The Punisher dropped on November 17th. The Punisher is now Netflix’s sixth Marvel show to hit the streaming service and is definitely one of their better properties to date. In this review episodes 7-9 are being examined.
Episode 1.07: Crosshairs
Frank Castle aka the Punisher played by Jon Bernthal and Micro (Ebon Moss- Bachrah) are going after another person from Frank’s past while Lewis (Daniel Webber) is trying to cope with his actions from the previous episode of killing O’Connor (Delaney Williams). All the meanwhile, Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah) is still looking for Frank Castle and trying to put all the pieces together of her former police partner’s murder. Madani is also trying to balance her fling with Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) who happens to be an old friend of Frank.
Jon and Ebon make such a great team together, especially with their characters’ differing personalities. They are fun yet so compelling to watch together, and their friendship and partnership evolves organically over of all of the episodes. Castle and Mirco prove once again that their combined skills can take down a team with larger numbers.
A surprise favorite performance of this series for me is Daniel Webber as Lewis. Though, I do not find Lewis to be a likable character, I found Daniel’s portrayal of Lewis intriguing and was impressed. His character’s journey through episode 7-9 is an intense one, but worth watching. And brings awareness to how PTSD and serving in the Military can affect each individual soldier.
Amber Rose Revah performance as Agent Dinah Madani is subtle but powerful. She is driven and doesn’t give up despite whatever is thrown at her. There are frustrating moments where I was hoping she would see through Billy Russo and realize he’s not who says he is, it’s thrilling to watch. Ben Barnes is wonderful at being a well dressed and groomed smooth talking player with a well hidden more menacing side to him. He is the antagonist that you hate to love, but Ben does it so well.
Episode 1.08: Cold Steel
Billy Russo’s childhood is revealed to us in this episode in a scene that opens with him and his mom giving us a better understanding what drives him. And also, in another scene where he shares with Madani about scars on his body and where they come from. As well in this episode, we see Frank checking up on Micro’s family which his presecene is affecting Mirco’s family in different ways. Finally, the episode ends with an operation planned by Madani going horribly wrong. The ambush of Madani’s op team was done by Billy’s team unknowing to Madani.
Barnes is unnerving but yet so charming as Billy Russo. The chemistry between Barnes and Revah is outstanding, but their pairing also leaves you hoping that Agent Madani will be able to see through Billy’s act. The episode ends with Billy taking care of Madani after the ambush on her team went wrong due to Billy’s team. He’s cleaning blood off of her which belongs to her now dead partner, Sam Stein (Michael Nathanson). This scene is so well performed by the two actors. It was so jarring to watch knowing that Madani has no idea what kind of person Billy really is.
There’s a lot of heart to hearts in this episode, but one of the most compelling is between Frank and Micro’s son Zach. Frank is able to get through to Zach which ends with the two throwing a football with each other.
This episode was one of my favorite in the series.
Episode 1.09: Front Toward Enemy
The whole series is politically charged and also follows issues that deeply effect Veterans. This episode in particular raises the bar in those aspects. Lewis, the young veteran suffering severely from PTSD and other mental health issues, finally decides to take matters into his own hands and bombs a building. He even writes a letter to Karen Page (Deborah Ann-Woll) threatening her and others, if he doesn’t take her side. Lewis’ actions gets compared to the Punisher’s and sparks a debate on gun control. Curtis (Jason R. Moore), an ex-Marine and friend of Frank, tries to help Lewis. This leads to an intense fight between the two and ends with Curtis being tied up with a bomb rigged to him.
One of the things that has surprised me about this show is the strong writing. As much as I loved Jon on Daredevil season 2, I wasn’t sure if there would be any depth to a Punisher show. Yet, there’s so much depth in this show. Thank you to Steve Lightfoot, Angela LaManna, and the rest of the writing team for fleshing out the Punisher and his world.
The scene between Frank and Curtis towards the end of the episode is such a very well written scene and so compelling to watch. I love both Jason’s and Jon’s performances in this scene. Honestly, I’ve enjoyed all of the scenes between Frank and Curtis. It’s nice to see Frank have someone from his past that he can trust.
Episode 9 ends with footage of Frank fleeing a crime scene airing on the News with the headline “Punisher returns”. Now, that everyone knows the Punisher is alive, what’s in store for Frank? How is this going to slow down his and Micro’s goals?
The Punisher stars Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Amber Rose Revah, Jason R. Moore, and Deborah Ann Woll. The show is currently streaming on Netflix. And Prince Caspain can’t be trusted!!!