a THE PUNISHER (2017) musing (part 1 of 2!)

Spoilers ahead! These will just be bullet points of things I found interesting in each episode. First off, I am loving this series so far. It’s a great, surprisingly quiet take on PTSD and identity.

Episode 1: “3 AM”

  • The choice of Western music is great, setting up Frank Castle as that kind of hero. There were already shades of that in Daredevil Season 2, with Frank seeking revenge on those that have wronged him aka killed his family.
  • The poker robbery was pretty tense, setting up the whole end battle, with Frank taking action for the boy who’s just getting his feet wet. It’s a wonderful sequence for these construction workers that we just met, and culminates in brutality. If you didn’t know what you’re getting into, welp… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Episode 2: “Two Dead Men”

  • Frank’s kid being disrespectful and saying “hajis” leads to Frank grabbing him by the neck. It’s good that he’s teaching his son to not be an asshat, and we see Frank’s PTSD coming through.
  • I’m glad the show establishes a way for Frank to not call upon the Defenders for help. He’s too proud to do that anyway, but has more of an excuse now that he doesn’t want people to know he’s alive.
  • Frank finds out who Micro is, then tracks his wife down who subsequently runs him over. Frank and Sarah begin to bond, and oh my goodness, there’s tension. But Frank seems too nice to not let that angst take over. Their talk about family here [and throughout the series] allows Jon Bernthal to really flex his acting muscles, too.
  • The killing of Wolf was super brutal, and really well executed (no pun intended).

Episode 3: “Kandahar”

  • This episode is a lot of table setting. Dinah’s importance to the story is amplified, while flashbacks reveal Frank’s past. (It was a bit distracting when they cut to the Ahmad Zubair interrogation and not seeing where the camera that was shooting the footage was/not seeing anyone there.)
  • It’s a bottle episode for Frank, as he and Micro bond. I can tell their relationship is gonna be one of the best bromances in the MCU. It’s great to see them learning how they can use each other in a beneficial way.
  • They lay the irony real thick during the storming of the compound. The music is a bit too on the nose for me, but in the end is a good juxtaposition of the cost of this war. This sequence and the song playing behind it only reinforces the themes this show is emphasizing.
  • Sam’s banter is getting kinda old, but at least he’s proving his worth and gets things done. Dinah’s just best at her job.

Episode 4: “Resupply”

  • I loved the little touch of showing David Lieberman’s/Micro’s daughter looking at a tutorial on how to fix the garbage disposal before Frank helps. It’s little things like that that show and not tell a character’s personality and intelligence. It’s more interesting that she does that, while her mother remarks that David calls a mechanic when he can’t do it himself. Nice little character moments make me happy.
  • Frank is playing different layers with Sarah because he knows Micro is watching him. It gives Bernthal more to play with, and he kills it.
  • After hearing Ben Barnes’ (Billy Russo) monologue, I’d join Anvil too. Damn.
  • I’m really enjoying the pacing of the season so far. It made the anticipation for the final heist/car chase really heat up. The show has spent a lot of time establishing everyone’s relationships and backstories, and now, the fireworks are about to start…
  • Interesting choice having no music during the car chase… I guess I’m just used to BABY DRIVER.

Episode 5: “Gunner”

  • Alright I’m getting tired of David’s son. This punk ass kid deserves some discipline, and it sucks seeing Sarah not being able to bring herself to really scold/help him. He clearly wants or needs attention.
  • Oh man, Agent Orange is back. And he has a scar on his eye. Now we know he’s evil. Thanks, show.
  • Frank pecks Karen on the cheek, a beautiful moment of restraint and great acting from Bernthal (as usual). It’s a loaded, short kiss, but powerful.
  • Wasn’t too hot on the whole woods battle and things going on there. Meh.

Episode 6: “The Judas Goat”

  • The sex scenes are getting to be a bit much. It’s a little too male gaze-y and annoying. Yeah, Amber Rose Revah (who plays Dinah) is a beautiful woman, but those excessive sex scenes can be skipped over and we can still get character development after. It’s a tad indulgent to me.
  • Okay, I’m done with this kid, punching his super mature sister in the face. Boo.
  • Interesting irony, where Lewis kills his “creator”, or at least the man who reignited those killer tendencies in him. Like a Frankenstein’s monster. Or something. Analogies can be hard sometimes.
  • And with that reveal, it looks like the end of Act 1. Time for intermission.