The Punisher Reviews: Episodes 1.4–1.6

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The Punisher Episode 4

The Punisher 1.04: “Resupply”

The Punisher does not shy away from gun use and this episode is about guns, or the lack thereof. As the episode name suggests, Frank needs to resupply if he’s going to continue to take down the people who set his family up. Or as Micro scathingly puts it, “rob bad-ass Peter so you can kill psycho Paul.”

This leads to a reappearance of Turk Barrett, a low-level gangster you’ll remember from the other Marvel Netflix shows. While Turk doesn’t have what Frank needs, he does tip him off to a gun deal about to go down. What Frank doesn’t yet know is this shipment is also being tracked by Agent Madani who is under pressure to drop her investigations and focus on other cases unless she wants to lose her job.

Tensions between Micro and Frank heighten when Frank gets a call from Sarah, Micro’s wife. Frank knows this relationship gives him leverage over Micro, so he goes and even tries to sympathize with Sarah about her husband abandoning her. This backfires, as Sarah defends her husband and Frank has to backpedal in order to keep himself in the picture.

While we still don’t know that much about Micro, it’s obvious he’s very protective of his family. He stays firm in his belief that leaving them was the right decision for their safety even as Frank constantly derides and taunts him. It’s an interesting dynamic, and a sad one, as we feel Micro’s pain and jealousy that Frank gets to see his family while he has to stay in the shadows.

Digging a Deeper Hole

The Punisher Episode 4

In addition to Agent Madani’s subplot, we also see more of Lewis, the support group veteran suffering from PTSD. His mental state seems to be worsening after almost shooting his own father and deciding to live in a ditch outside (“I don’t have nightmares out here.”) Curtis tries to talk him down, but Lewis has other plans. He’s going to join Billy Russo’s company so he can be sent back to a war zone.

His story might be converging with Frank’s faster than we thought.

Even though it is just a subplot, it’s obvious the show is using Lewis as an attempt to say something more meaningful. As much as we sympathize with Frank’s losses, he’s still a vigilante running around NYC and occasionally teaming up with other superhumans. Lewis’s scenario represents a much more realistic portrayal of PTSD and centers the show emotionally more than the Punisher’s story can despite Bernthal’s excellent acting.

We later cut to Billy riling up a group of former soldiers who have signed up to join Anvil. A guy in a suit giving a rousing speech to his own private army? Sure does sound like a villain to me, but Billy is the good guy. Right?

Too bad for Lewis that Billy takes Curtis’ recommendation to not allow him to join the company. With nowhere to turn, I’m worried Lewis’ story will end badly.

Meanwhile, Frank and Micro are still after the gun shipment and end up clashing with Homeland Security. At first, it seems like Frank has it under control until Agent Madani realizes the mission has been compromised and decides to go in herself. Without any backup, Micro runs her off the road. Severely injured, she realizes the assailant is none other than Frank Castle. Finally, our protagonists have crossed paths.

Other thoughts:

  • Four episodes in and I still can’t get over Ben Barnes’ accent as Billy Russo. What borough is that supposed to be from?
  • I’m living for Micro and Frank’s odd couple routine:
    • “Hey Santana, I found your guns,” after Frank picks up Micro’s guitar.
    • And when they go to the gangster’s hideout, “There’s a dead man in a wheelbarrow out there.” “Yeah, I didn’t do that. ”
  • I wanted to give props to The Punisher for giving us a strong female character, but so far she’s mostly been victimized. I want to see Agent Madani actually get to kick some ass.

Read on for our review of The Punisher 1.05: “Gunner” on the next page.

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