Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

The Punisher: Kandahar

Review by An Honest Fangirl

Three episodes in, and we're starting to see how this overall season is going to shape up.

The vast majority of this episode is flashback, which I'm a bit torn about. On one hand, it's good that The Punisher is making sure that everyone is up to speed. They're not dragging out the mystery of what horrible thing Frank and Billy did overseas.

But on the other hand, I'm actually more interested in what's going on in the present. I want to see Frank go up against those who have wronged them in brutal, bloody ways. It's kind of a perverse feeling, similar to what I get when I watch a horror movie. I care more about the blood, guts, and killing than I do about why the monster is attacking this group of people.

I just realized that that means that Frank is the monster in this scenario. It fits.

I'm really liking the dynamic between Frank and Micro. It was easily my favorite part of the episode. It would have been very easy to make them friendlyish by the end of the episode, but this is certainly a marriage of convenience. I liked how Micro turned Frank's own words about routine against him. Micro spent the majority of the episode strapped naked to a chair. It helped to put them on a more even plane in terms of the power dynamic between them.

Don't get me wrong, the flashbacks were all interesting and well done. Micro's slide into vigilantism was very believable. He wanted to do the right thing, but paid a horrible price for doing so. I didn't quite buy his final showdown with the dearly departed Carson Wolf, if only because it was so obvious that he didn't have a weapon. Yeah, yeah, corruption and cover ups. It just rang a bit false to me.

I guess that Agent Orange is going to be our overarching Big Bad for the season. I had an easy time hating him. Essentially everyone in the room knew that Frank was right about being sent into an ambush, but it still happened. It made sense that that was the event that finally broke Billy's back, as it were. I really hope that Billy is a decent human being, but I have a sinking feeling that he's going to be evil. Either Billy or Curtis has to be evil, and my bet is on Billy.

What does all of this have to do with the cocaine smuggling that Dinah is investigating? I get that Operation Cerberus killed her partner, but I'm still a little iffy about the exact chain of events. When exactly did all of this happen? How many years have passed? (I assume that this was covered in Daredevil or something?)

This episode was very largely set up for the rest of the season, and that's okay. It was well done set up. I'll spend an hour watching that.

Random Thoughts

I keep expecting Donnie from the first episode to show up. I guess not.

I kept thinking how this could not have been an easy episode for anyone to film.

So far, there's been surprisingly little violence. Only one big scene per episode. For some reason, I keep expecting more.
An Honest Fangirl loves superheroes, science fiction, fantasy, and really bad horror movies. 


  1. The killed partner was a cop so he was probably targeted by agent Orange to stop investigation into heroin smuggling.

    Billie is definately evil. Pretty people who are a type of people in power are often evil in stories about the underdog.

  2. I really like that on a show that features multiple killings, it was the death of one good man that is driving all this. I'm also cool about it being about veterans, not superheroes. And I really want Lieberman and Billy Russo to be good guys.

    Yay! I was hoping for Clancy Brown.

    It's delightful how well read Frank is. It's unexpected but it works for the character.

  3. This was a good episode, it had some of the strongest scenes of the series so far, and yet I have a few complaints.

    I love a good flashback, but my impression is that the Marvel Netflix series overuse them so they can reach the 13 episode order. Most of the flashbacks in "Kandahar" were great, but we already knew most of what they showed us. Yes, better show, not tell, so why tell so much in the first two episodes?

    I know that Frank is a major badass who takes no shit and trusts no one, but, wow, his routine with Micro bored me. The things is... Frank is also smart, and it was *so* obvious that Micro was trying to help that Frank's stubbornness got old very quickly. The moment I realized it would take the entire episode for Frank to come around I thought "shoot me already".

    I was so pleased when Micro dosed Frank and flipped the script. Then he didn't tie Frank, he didn't kill him, and that surprised Frank. See, dude, he just wanted to have a conversation! I loved Micro telling Frank to get over himself. Micro has probably become my favorite character.

    I think Billy is evil for the reason Patrik gave: he is the pretty, wealthy guy in a story about the underdog.

    Fangirl, I'm actually relieved there is less violence than expected. I love some adventure-y type of action, like on Buffy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but brutal violence just isn't for me. I actually took my headset off while Frank smashed the hell out of the last enemy.

    Then again, from a character development perspective, showing the moment Frank had his humanity stripped away from him was great. Tough to watch, but great.

  4. Like you said, an episode that's all set-up can be wonderful so long as the set-up is done well. And it was done very well here.

    The moment that really stuck with me was Frank's haunting speech to Micro about "what torture really is." Wow.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.