Netflix’s lone remaining Marvel Original show comes back for a second season. Kade Battles and Vincent Gauvin are back to discuss this action-packed season. Minor spoilers follow from this point forward.
Kade: First off, what were expectations for this season of The Punisher?
Vincent: My expectations for this season weren’t high because, personally, I thought another season of The Punisher was a bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, I loved season 1, but the way it ended didn’t open the door for a second season. Frank’s decision to not kill Billy was him moving past his killing tendencies, showing he grew as a character and realized there might be a better way. He was able to move past killing the man who caused the death of his entire family, which was his only goal for the longest time, so seeing him go back to killing strangers felt off. My expectations were mostly negative because I was scared the writers would take major steps backward with Frank’s growth as a character.
Kade: I didn’t expect too much, though I don’t agree with Frank growing past killing, I think he just saw what he did to Billy as more of a punishment than death. I really just wanted a story where Frank kills people that deserve it in a classic Punisher fashion. I think we got that. Now the classic questions: What was your favorite moment so far? Who’s your favorite character? Favorite episode?
Vincent: I do see your point of it being more punishment. This is clear to me now that I’ve seen part of the new season, but I found the way it was communicated last season as lacking, which is why I got this impression. I’m liking the direction they are taking so far while keeping the theme of the show rooted in different kinds of trauma.
My favorite moment is a tie between Frank going full Rambo in the Russian gym and the entire police station sequence. Both were great action set pieces that supported the plot so well. My favorite character so far is Amy – she’s a complex character who adds life to Frank’s stoic nature despite her trauma. She has so many layers that get peeled back slowly as the season goes along, adding intrigue and motivating me to want to know more about her character. I don’t think I have a favorite episode because none of them stand out, but they all have individual moments of strength. They work incredibly well as a cohesive set, which keeps me invested in the story.
Kade: I agree with the favorite episode assessment, though I like the police station one a lot. Amy is also my favorite character, in the sense that the show needs these dynamic characters to develop Frank’s flat personality. She’s the new Micro. My favorite moment was the bar fight, gotta love when Punisher’s nature keeps him from being happy. What do you think will happen in the next part of the season?
Vincent: I’m not sure, but the two-plotline method they’re using is very effective so far. From the way episode 6 ended, I think Jigsaw will be the first order of business, but I’m still intrigued on how the whole Amy plot will fit in the bigger picture.
Kade: I’m really curious to see how John Pilgrim develops as a villain since all his stuff has been short or off screen. Any last thoughts before we rate this half of the season?
Vincent: I’m intrigued about John Pilgrim, I just didn’t really see the point of adding a sympathetic angle to his character followed by showing he is a white supremacist. Also, the Billy angles are always intriguing, but the “doctor trying to save the convict” angle is cliché and overplayed, in my book. My biggest concern of the season is that the villains each have one element which makes them weaker than they could be.
Kade: The therapist is my least favorite part, but I think making the white supremacist sympathetic makes it even scarier, like anyone can be a bad guy. I’m not saying I want good things for the guy, but it’s terrifying to think you can talk to someone and not know how evil they are. I hope the next half fleshes both villains out some more. In conclusion, verdict?
Vincent: Yes, you make a very good point on that part and I want that angle to come in as a factor or else I don’t see the point in introducing him. My verdict would be a solid 4 out of 5.
Kade: Mine for this half, right now, is a 3.5 out of 5, but I have high hopes.