The Punisher: Two Dead Men

Curt: "You didn't kill your family."
Frank: "What if I did?"

The title of this episode refers to the story Frank told his children as well as to Frank and Micro, and the episode itself abounds with parallels between the two dead men.

The very first scene features a nice fakeout. It's a flashback, and it appears someone is stalking Frank and his children, only it's Frank himself stalking his memories. Later in the episode, we see Micro watching his family through surveillance cameras. Both men see their families from afar, unable to grasp them. Micro still has a shot to be with them one day, but there is no such hope for Frank. Both men are ghosts, living in the shadows and trying to bring to justice those responsible for their losses. Their stories converge to the same point, but will they ever trust one another?

I know Frank won't trust Micro right away – life has taught him to be extra careful. However, Micro is another man whose life has been ruined by those in power, except that he was able to forge his death in time to keep his family safe. Frank ought to see some worth in that, right? I'm not behind Micro keeping his wife in the dark, but I do respect his effort to keep his family out of harm's way until he has taken down the bad guys.

Micro's biggest mistake was to believe he could subdue Frank. He can be the almighty super hacker in his own little world, but this is the Punisher's world and no one can subdue him. I was seriously impressed by how resourceful and what a quick thinker Frank was. He is incredibly smart. And, of course, he has friends.

Karen and Frank are such an unexpectedly fascinating duo that it's always engaging to watch them together. Frank is a lone wolf and he won't get a Scooby Gang of his own anytime soon, but it's nice that he at least has a couple of people he can trust. And Karen, still shaken up from Matt's supposed death, loved seeing her other vigilante friend alive and well. Uh, alive, anyway. Her help was pivotal for him to turn the tables on Micro, and she clearly wants to help as much as she wants Frank to be safe.

However, things fell into place too neatly, didn't they? I mean, how convenient it was that Karen's editor just happened to have a story with all the information that Frank needed? Although I was surprised he went down so quickly, Carson was a very by-the-numbers villain in what turned out to be a very by-the-numbers conspiracy story. Okay, it's only episode two, there is still plenty of time for The Punisher to put its own spin into this broken veterans against a web of conspiracies story.

Tombstones

- So, is Sam, Dinah's [kind of] partner, a good guy? Or is he just playing her?

- What about Billy Russo, Frank's old pal? He is either evil or a red herring.

- I saw the unloaded gun twist coming, but this was yet another moment I was impressed by Frank's smartness.

- Carson put up a good fight against Frank, which is pretty remarkable considering his age and his not being a Hand/Chaste ninja.

- Frank was genuinely sweet to Sarah Lieberman, Micro's widow (or so she thinks). There were even some sparks between the two of them.

- Then again, Jon Bernthal would have chemistry with a rock if he played opposite one.

- Curt is a very good friend. You have to really trust someone to put yourself in front of a gun for them.

- With all these brutal deaths occurring, police are bound to put two and two together and realize the Punisher is not dead, right?

Karen: "Believe it or not, I actually care about you. Which makes precisely one of us."

Even though most of the plot was predictable, this was an enjoyable second episode. Three out of four unpublished stories that solve the entire plot.
--
Lamounier

4 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I was wondering if Lieberman's wife knew about the cameras all over the house. It felt like she looked directly into one of them. And how creepy are those cameras, even if he does love them?

I really liked the fight scene set to "Ain't that a kick in the head." I absolutely knew that Frank left the binding loose on purpose and that the gun wasn't loaded, but wow, that was smart, Frank. I thought Wolf was going to be an important character. Guess not.

Knew Frank was in the trunk, too. That was a fascinating looking cemetery. Apparently, it's a real one -- Mount Zion Cemetery in Queens?

I'm wondering. Is Karen just a friend? Am I getting a love interest vibe?

An Honest Fangirl said...

I liked this episode too. That final fight was awesome. Well shot, beautiful, awesome music, and genuinely tense. Even though I knew that Frank had to be playing with Carson, I was genuinely worried about him. I thought for sure that he was going to be an overarching baddie, so I'm glad that they subverted my expectations a bit.

Billie, I also felt some love interest sparks between Frank and Karen. I like them together, and I actually hope that Karen comes back more in future episodes as well.

Patryk said...

Yeah it looked like Micro's wife knew about the cameras but later we saw that she was just looking at the pictures, but let's keep that in mind if she indeed does know.

I guess Frank needs a lot of people to kill so most baddies will go dawn pretty fast. Might need a bigger conspiracy to last all season.

Sera said...

Just finished watching the whole season (and rewatching the Punisher scenes in daredeveil season2) because I was absolutely blown away by this.
What an interesting contrast, Frank grieving and utterly depressed, yet completely trusting the people he asks whether they ratted him out. Matt is missing here though, didn't he know as well from the finale of season 2? (I hope this isn't too spoilery, if it is, please delete!).

Also, hoping this isn't too spoilery for later episodes, but Frank shaving his hipster look off felt here more like a ploy to escape Mirco's surveillance. He tried normality after "finishing" his business but that didn't work out for him, he is still heavily grieving. Chasing Mirco gives him a new mission and purpose, and so he dusts off his Punisher-persona again.

And yes, I completely jumped ship from Matt&Karen to Frank&Karen. They are such a great fit, hope they will explore this more next season.