The Punisher Season 2
Season 2 (Complete)
Release Date: 1/18/19
If there’s one series Netflix needs to keep fighting for it’s the Punisher, without question. Anyone who liked Season 1 will not be disappointed with the new season.
Before getting into any other details, while the show is dark, in terms of the actual picture, it’s not an issue. Marvel and Netflix have come a long way in that regard.
Now, there are some similarities form the initial season to Season 2, but in almost every way the first and second season were similar the latter was better. The action, the violence, the characters, it seems like everything that carried over from Season 1 got an injection of extra adrenaline and it will put you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. No one is safe. Nothing is stable.
Among the returning characters, you have Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher (Jon Bernthal), Billy Russo, a.k.a. Jigsaw (Ben Barnes), Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah). Several characters from the Netflix Marvel Universe make appearances, as well as other returning, bit characters (like Curtis, played by Jason R. Moore, who takes on a bigger role and an 8/10 performance ) from the Punisher, but by and large, those three are the heavy hitters.
Bernthal is the Punisher—strictly on screen, of course. When you consider some of the best superhero castings in film you think of Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, maybe a few others. When it comes to shows, Bernthal sets the bar. He is the best and solidifies that in Season 2. And Bernthal had to take some risks as the Punisher this season, but he never fails. (9.5/10 performance)
As impressive as Bernthal was, Barnes’ performance as Russo may have stolen the show. It’s a similar relationship to Dafne Keen as X-23 in Logan. No disrespect to the lead actor in both pieces, but Barnes, like Keen, will leave your jaw on the floor from start to finish. Where Bernthal was asked to try new things with Castle, Barnes is asked to do even more—while still maintaining certain characteristics Russo displayed in the first season. (10/10—and I do not take a 10/10 lightly)
Looking at the three, Madani was the one main character that seemed unnecessary in Season 1. There was a lot more there than we needed, as much as she did serve her purpose in the end. Well, it’s safe to say Madani definitely took a step or two forward in the season. Certainly more interesting. Let’s just leave it at this: Castle and Russo certainly left an impact on her last season. (8/10)
There are some interesting bit characters that were vital to the show, but touching on them could spoil their influence on the show. There are, however, several new main characters that bear mentioning.
Amy Bendix, played by Giorgia Whigham, John Pilgrim, played by Josh Stewart, Dr. Krista Dumont, played by Floriana Lima (Supergirl), are all very different from one another. As one would imagine, they all endure a ton getting mixed up with the lovely trio of Castle, Madani, and Russo. Lima and Whigham did a phenomenal job from start to finish and are not at all what you expect. (9/10 for Lima and 8.5/10 for Whigham)
More was asked of Stewart than the other two in order for the audience to develop a relationship with the character. In return, he received a significant amount of screen time where he was the focus. It might’ve been a little too much. And that’s not a fault of Stewart; he did well with the role. The nature of the character made it difficult to do everything he had to do and, in turn, wasn’t always effective. (7.5/10)
Like other Marvel Netflix shows, there are two plots going on at once, both involving Castle in this case. The production team did an excellent job of using one to feed off the other and continuously pull The Punisher in a million different directions, pushing him to his limits. However, neither story dominated the screen. Certainly, they were both vital, but the characters drove this story. (8.5/10)
The writing was sound. There aren’t lazy moments and by the end of it, there wasn’t anything that felt unnecessary. They might’ve been able to squeeze this into 12 episodes, probably not 11. Even in 12 episodes, a lot would’ve been
cut and seemed forced. There was a flow to the show. The transitions were good. The flashbacks were well done—not overkill like Castle’s flashback to his wife in Season 1. So, while 13 episodes might seem like cause for concern at first, it was the right move. At most, there’s five minutes of wasted time. Even then, it might be less. It’s a wild ride, to the point where several of the most intense scenes have zero action, a testament to both strong writing and superb acting. (8.5/10)
Lastly, the action was great. Truthfully, this series features the best action scene from all the Marvel Netflix shows, ever, and another one that’s in the top-10, maybe top-5. And there are plenty of other good ones, but two stand out so far from the rest.
There are only two reasons you wouldn’t like this show. Either you don’t like violence or you made a conscious decision going into the show that you don’t want to like it. When it comes to who takes the credit for the show’s grade it’s 45 percent Castle, 45 percent Russo and 10 percent everyone else. That’s not a knock on the rest of the cast; Bernthal and Barnes were just that good.