Frank Castle is back… or was back. Netflix did just announce there would be no season 3 of The Punisher, so we are left with this second season as the last. Which is disappointing, to say the least.
Season 2 picks up more or less where the first one left off. Frank (Jon Bernthal) is trying to start a new life, away from his violent past. He even meets a woman, which is the TV way of showing he’s trying to move on. Before long he makes the decision to protect a young woman from some bad guys inside a bar. Those bad guys happen to be part of a white supremacist group who will stop at nothing to find that girl and kill Frank. All this goes down while Billy Russo, aka Jigsaw, recovers from his injuries to also… stop at nothing to find and kill Frank.
After a phenomenal intro in the second season of Daredevil and the great first solo season, season 2 is a bit of a letdown. There’s a little too much going on. It feels like 2 seasons combined into one. The show would have worked better if it would have picked a storyline instead of having 2 distinct and separate ones between Jigsaw and “The Pilgrim”.
Besides the lack of focus in it’s story, I just found the season overall a little boring. I lacked the urge to binge it like I did the first season. The reluctant hero angle with Frank gets tiresome. I kept wanting him to just throw on the skull and go after some bad people, and we don’t really get that until literally the last scene, teasing a great third season we will most likely never see.
That isn’t to say there aren’t great moments in this season. The action is still outstanding and well choreographed, as it is in all these Marvel shows. Jon Bernthal is still perfect as the character, and most of the side characters are well acted as well. While this season doesn’t focus on PTSD as much as the first one did, it does do a good job of showing what the real world impacts would be of someone like Frank Castle in terms of it straining all of his relationships and turning those that love him against him. Being a vigilante would most likely do that, and most movies and shows don’t show that very well.
Overall I enjoyed the second season, but not nearly as much as the first. I wish we got to see Frank Castle finally embracing his role as The Punisher, like the glimpse we get in the last scene, instead of reluctantly taking on those coming after him. I recommend this season to anyone that’s already a fan, but I don’t think I would draw anyone else.
The Punisher: Season 2 Rating- 10-4