Let me start off with how I felt when Frank Castle was first introduced back in Marvel’s Daredevil season 2. He seemed like a moron with a gun, a complete daft. I was quite sceptical about the violence. It felt unnecessarily over the top. Well as of today, I stand corrected. I have never been so glad to have been proved so utterly and absolutely wrong. Jon Bernthal is the man, carrying the whole season away on his shoulders. What a masterpiece! The series gets engaging from the very first scene which is unlike the other Marvel and Netflix series where they normally take 3-4 episodes to build up the momentum. The titular soundtrack is just as badass as The Punisher and I’m already addicted to it.
There is this scene where one of the antagonists, Lewis Walcott, sets free a pair of caged birds but they don’t move an inch. They don’t take a step away from that cage. The scene is beautiful and deeply metaphorical. They chose their hell, they’ve been there so long that flying seems abnormal to them. Freedom seems unnatural! This is what makes the show so special. The Punisher serves justice in his own way, almost divine vengeance you can say.
In the end, we see the antagonists punished in a way they deserved, like one of the antagonists dying because of one of his own bombs or betrayer Billy Russo’s pretty face (his only weakness) being disfigured once and for all. Billy Russo is introduced to us as a retired Marine making it big back in American soil as a private security contractor. He is handsome, well dressed, rich, and famous among women. He has everything he had ever dreamed of and goes to extreme extents to protect what he’s achieved, till date. What I take from the show is that Frank Castle is not a cold-blooded murder but a human with a conscience who has suffered a lot.
So the show deals with the aftermath of wars, very gently with care. Wars are real, the troubles, the mess, the deaths are real. The apparent ‘lucky’ soldiers returning home are damaged and scarred for life. For these people, the line between right and wrong is blurred. So, The Punisher puts forward very important questions. How far would you go for your country? Would you sacrifice your conscience and sanity? Are you ready to blurred out all the lines?
At one point Frank starts to hallucinate while being tortured. He sees his wife and they’re having a happy life but the background (which signifies his hallucination) is all black unlike in his nightmares in the past which took place in his house. All of this happens inside his head but it makes me wish badly that it were true, all of it. I feel terrible for Frank, I sympathize with his pain when I realize that memories are all that he is left with.
Of course, the story has its flaws and it does start to get a little haywire at times, like when Castle taking the shittiest of beatings but still bounces back, slaying like a Bollywood hero. I enjoyed the most when Frank had some light, happy moments with his friend and partner in crime, David Lieberman. I remember being so glad when I saw this man smile.
At times, when he needed to get stitched up, I prayed and prayed for the whiny Claire Temple not to show up and thankfully she never did. Karen Page was, however, the real shit magnet this time. I was hoping Matt Murdock would appear at least in one of the scenes but he never did and I must say I’m disappointed. I had heard a lot of criticism about the Punisher’s physique and height before the show but in my opinion, the casting is perfect. The leaner, the better in a fight and mostly, his weapon is a gun. What’s height got to do with it, anyway? The budding romance between Karen Page and Frank Castle seems to be interesting because I want to see how they’ll make it work. Alas! They couldn’t use a brilliant character like Dinah Madani to her full potential which I hope they improve on, next time.
The director’s done a good job and The Punisher is my favourite Marvel show right after Daredevil. Hopefully, it gets renewed for a second season soon.
Did you like Marvel Netflix’s The Punisher? Tell us in the comments.