Review: 'The Punisher' Season 2 escalates the violence beautifully
The Punisher Season 2 released on Netflix yesterday, January 18, and for fans of the show this means a return to the life of Frank Castle or the Punisher, portrayed excellently by John Bernthal. With more guns, violence and action sequences, Season 2 could probably be the last on Netflix. However, without focusing on that, we bring you The Punisher Season 2 review.
Season 2 follows Frank in the role of a protector and a vigilante. He is caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and becomes a father figure to Amy (a grifter who is in trouble with dangerous people). As Frank is reminded of his commitment to his now deceased family, he wages war against two villains, trying to protect her.
Season 2 boils down to a central relationship that pushes the story forward. Frank and Amy effectively change each other. Frank changes his coldness to become more of a family figure, while his tough love brings out a harder side to Amy. There is a striking scene where Amy pulls out a bullet from Frank's butt. The gruff father-innocent child relationship is portrayed beautifully.
While Frank is protecting the girl, he has to fight on two fronts against formidable villains. One war is against the Neo-Nazi John Pilgrim, played by Josh Stewart, who is out to eliminate the girl. Pilgrim quickly establishes himself as a chilling villain, not to be trifled with. However, Frank's bigger battle is against his one-time friend Billy Russo who returns deformed, as Jigsaw.
Punisher is known for gritty violence and Season 2 takes it to new extremes. The gunfights are brilliantly executed, even the trickier ones, where people are shooting at each other through a wall. Apart from that, fistfights are bloodier, as Frank uses a variety of settings including a bar, bathroom, and gym to inflict violence to the villains. Action fans will not be disappointed!
In a show that has lived up to our expectations, Jigsaw's portrayal is a little troublesome. His scars appear to be sexy rather than monstrous, which is strange considering his face was smashed through a mirror, twice. As comic fans know, Jigsaw's deformity is the primary reason he is Frank's antagonist. Considering the extent of his deformity, his motivations seem shaky in Season 2.
Agent Dinah Madani's characterization continues poorly through Season 2. After being duped by Russo, she becomes infatuated with him. Despite continuing with disastrous actions like recognizing Punisher as a threat but not containing him, Madani has lines like "I am a smart, strong woman, why would I do something like that?" Clearly, the writers didn't put much thought into her lines or her character.
Despite a few shortcomings, the show holds up to our expectations in terms of action. The writing and characterization could have been a little more polished, however, the padding out of episodes with dollops of intense fight scenes was well executed. Bernthal's acting was amazing, and Giorgia Whigham as Amy was a revelation. Overall, Season 2 could not have ended on a better note.