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The Punisher: Crosshairs

"Shit's a lot easier when you can kill people."

Frank's developing relationship with David Lieberman is my favorite thing about this series.

They're becoming friends at a pretty serious level. Frank wants David to get to the point where he can go home to his family someday, which is remarkably unselfish since Frank will never have the same opportunity. That conversation they had in the van about David's family was a stand out for me. David said he couldn't imagine just walking in the door again after all this time with his family thinking he was dead, and Frank told him sincerely that he shouldn't hesitate to walk back in that door if he had a chance, and hug them until they begged him to stop, because it was what Frank would do. I really do hope that David indeed gets his family back before we reach the end of these thirteen episodes.

David and Frank also have complementary skills that make them a highly effective team. Their raid on the military base was a roaring success. David outthought Agent Orange and Billy Russo by having Frank simply clone Morty's phone, and it worked because they weren't expecting something that devious and nonviolent out of Frank. And now, Frank knows that Rawlins is Agent Orange, his enemy. For a moment, I even thought Frank was going to succeed in killing the guy. Visually striking but nonfatal bulletproof glass. Too bad.

I was so pleased that Frank's mission parameters specifically included not killing soldiers on the base who were just doing their jobs, especially that frightened young guy in the tunnel that Frank reluctantly wounded but didn't kill. It wasn't Frank's fault that Billy Russo ended up killing both Morty and his unfortunate mistress of pain. Oh, well. Maybe she's whipping Morty in the afterlife right now.

(One thing about that didn't work for me. It was so obvious that Billy was taking Morty away to kill him, but Morty just went along with it all and never seemed to see it coming. Morty, haven't you ever seen a movie?)

For Agent Orange, it's personal. He knew Frank would kill him back in that tent. But Billy Russo appears to be betraying Frank, his closest friend and fellow veteran, for money. Billy deliberately lied to Dinah Madani about Frank, something we'd expect, but it was outright sleazy for him to deliberately mention their sexual relationship when he knew her office was bugged and Agent Orange would hear it. Did that contribute to Dinah's subconscious mind latching onto the fact that Gunner's death wasn't a coincidence? What about all those disappearing soldiers in Kentucky, Dinah?

At least Dinah and Sam found the bug in her office, even though they don't know who put it there. And Sam told Dinah outright that he wasn't happy about Dinah trusting Billy's "scarily pretty face and catwalk silhouette." Dinah actually had the nerve to tell Sam that he won't ever have a real personal life in this job when she is literally sleeping with the enemy. Sam also told Dinah that she and Frank Castle are a lot alike, obsession-wise. That was apt.

In other somewhat predictable but still sad news, Lewis has continued his descent into angry radicalization. What is wrong with Lewis' father? Is he just determined not to notice his son coming home shirtless and covered with blood in the middle of winter because that would force him to take some sort of action?

Lewis and his father were talking about the classic Ali/Foreman fight in 1974, and Lewis said he envied boxers because the enemy was right in front of them. His father said that life isn't war, that Lewis had to change his game. Is that why Lewis decided to shop at the hardware store for bomb ingredients?

Bits and quotes:

-- This series is supposed to be about a man without superhero powers, but Frank doing pull-ups with a chain tied around his belt after a major injury and near death experience seemed pretty superhuman to me.

Billy: (to Dinah) "Relax. Nobody's listening."

Frank: "Am I supposed to kill a U.S. soldier for doing his job?"

Morty: "Oh, my lord God in heaven."
Frank: "Not exactly."

I am really liking this series: the storylines, the performances, even the photography. Three out of four... somethings. Any suggestions?

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I really like that they finally realized tht killing/capturing the Big Bad after half the episodes takes all the momentum out of you series. I'm looking at you Daredevil season 2, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the Defenders. So for me it's 3 out of 4 surviving Big Bads.

    If they did the typical then Billy Russo would be the new Big Bad, but I have a feeling that he's there for Madani to kill not for Frank.


  2. Billy Russo is slowly climbing the ranks of Villainy for me...Infact there is a moment in the next episode that takes him above Fisk and just behind Kilgrave. Also like the way he pointed out just why Agent Orange is so afraid of Frank.


    Completely agree. Whereas the other series whilst still good seemed to lose something around episode 7 and go slightly done in quality i think Punisher actually not only intensifies but becomes even better.

  3. I really liked this episode. Billy is just absolutely fascinating now that we know for sure that he's a villain. I love the way that he interacted with Mort and Rawlins. I would call Rawlins the season's Big Bad, but I think Billy might just be the bigger threat.

    (I love the knife contraption that he used to kill Mort. So. Freaking. Cool.)

    Oh, Lewis. What are you doing? The scenes between him and his father might have been my favorite of the episode. I think that Dad did know that something was wrong, and that he was trying to doing something about it. He tried to help Lewis sleep and gave him some really good advice. I don't think that he knew that Lewis killed someone, but he's obviously trying to help in any way that he can. He just doesn't know how or what to do.

  4. Frank's developing relationship with David Lieberman is my favorite thing about this series.

    Mine too.

    In nearly every episode there is a cool fight scene. This time, it was the confrontation in Morty's place on the military base. All that smoke and laser, both Billy and Frank being clever.

    I also liked that Madani put two and two together and figured out quickly that she was being tapped.


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