Nicole Rivelli/Netflix
November 20, 2017 at 01:55 PM EST

Marvel's The Punisher

TV Show
run date
Jon Bernthal, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Deborah Ann Woll
Marvel Television
Current Status
In Season
Action Adventure, Comic/Graphic Novel
We gave it a B

We start this episode with Lewis, which means we begin in a heavy place. Having killed O’Connor, Lewis cleans himself up and heads back home. Lucky for him, it doesn’t seem like he needs to worry about anyone coming over to check on O’Connor, who really appears to have lived alone. Two quick notes about the deceased O’Connor before moving on: Congrats to Delaney Williams on becoming the latest veteran of The Wire to join the Marvel/Netflix family (even if just for a short time). Also, O’Connor’s name feels like a deliberate homage to Carroll O’Connor, who with his character Archie Bunker created the conservative, anti-government resentment template Williams was playing with.  

PREVIOUSLY: The Punisher recap: ‘The Judas Goat’

When Lewis gets home (without a shirt and with a gun stuck into the back of his jeans), he runs into his dad. His dad tries again to comfort him, but unfortunately Lewis now has bigger problems than bad dreams. Overwhelmed by guilt over killing O’Connor, Lewis goes into the basement and shoves the gun in his mouth. Ultimately he takes it out, but it’s clear his life will still be full of struggle.

Later, Lewis finds his dad watching one of the all-time heroes of struggle: Muhammad Ali, during his 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” bout with George Foreman. Foreman was younger and stronger, so Ali used the “rope-a-dope,” allowing Foreman to whale on him until he ran out of steam before launching a devastating counterattack. Lewis is not sure what this has to do with him; his dad admits not knowing much about veteran PTSD, but he says that Ali reclaimed the title in Zaire because he was able to endure struggle and change his game. Lewis will need to do the same in order to navigate a post-battlefield life. In the short term, that appears to mean buying a bunch of hardware supplies and building a makeshift bomb in O’Connor’s apartment to hide the real evidence of his death. To each their own, I suppose.

Gunner Henderson may be dead, but Frank and Micro should still be able to use the information he gave them. Gunner said a certain Col. Morty Bennett would know who Agent Orange is, so Frank and Micro plan on paying him a visit. They get into a disagreement, however, about Frank’s tendency to use lethal force. Although he bristles at Micro’s caution, Frank admits that it will be hard to kill soldiers who believe they’re just serving their country, since he was in their place once. I’m glad that killing is an ongoing subject of debate in this show; I was worried Frank’s violent outlook would dominate, but instead it’s constantly being challenged by every friend and ally he encounters.

Also, Dinah realized her office was bugged, and together she and Sam removed the bug. That’s about all she has to do in this episode, though. Gee, I wonder who could have put that bug in? (Recap continues on page 2)

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