Marvel's The Punisher
- TV Show
- ActionAdventure, Comic Book Adaptations
- run date
- Jon Bernthal, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Deborah Ann Woll
- Marvel Television
- Current Status
- In Season
We gave it a B
Frank takes off running down the stairs and comes face to face with Dinah, who demands he surrender and become a witness in her case. Obviously, he refuses, because vengeance. The tension in the scene crescendos once Billy arrives and grazes the side of Frank’s head, revealing his true colors to both of them in the process. “It was war, Dinah. And the only crime in war is to lose,” says Billy, kind of revealing why he teamed up with Rawlins. The ensuing suspenseful standoff between Billy and Dinah is interrupted by the NYPD, which arrests both of them. The cops try to apprehend Frank, who they believe is working with Lewis, but he evades capture by using a fire hose to jump down the remaining stairs, injuring himself in the process. (Note to Frank Castle: Ask Batman where he got his grapple hook made.)
Frank eventually catches up to Lewis and Karen in the hotel’s kitchen. Again, Frank tries to talk Billy down, but it’s no use. So Frank cleverly brings up how Lewis told him how to disarm the previous bomb in order to clue Karen in on how to disarm the suicide vest. It works, duh! Karen cuts the white wire, grabs the gun in her purse (when did she get her gun back? I thought Billy took it from her?), and shoots Lewis in the foot. Lewis locks himself in the freezer and begins reciting the final verses of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The Young British Soldier” before he detonates the bomb and kills himself.
Lewis’ final moments are pretty powerful, but the rest of the episode does very little to service them because it’s too busy jumping around in time. While I didn’t like the decision to turn Lewis into a homegrown terrorist who was out to defend the Second Amendment, I was still invested in his PTSD narrative because it was powerful and gave the show some added weight. However, all of that gets lost in the shuffle here until the very end.
After Karen helps Frank escape from the kitchen, Detective Mahoney begins interrogating everyone who was there: Dinah, Karen, Billy, and Ori. These interrogations are pretty useless because whether or not Mahoney believes Frank saved the day or was in cahoots with Lewis doesn’t really matter; neither he nor the NYPD will play a big role in the outcome of the first season. No matter what Mahoney believes, everyone is still going to be hunting for Frank after everything that goes down here.
Oh, I almost forgot: Karen and Frank almost share a kiss, but don’t.