TV Review: The Punisher Season 2, Episodes 4-6

Jumping right back in, after the very strong opening to Season 2, it felt a bit like the next three episodes, titled ‘Scar Tissue,’ ‘One-Eyed Jacks,’ and ‘Nakazat’ were a bit slower paced, and felt more like building episodes setting up the rest of the season. Which is ok I suppose, but pacing has been a bit of a problem for many of the Marvel/ Netflix series and episodes like this, where Frank spends a lot of time sitting around a couch eating, talking and watching TV, while other characters explore, and talk, and “shop” (literally in Rachel/ Amy’s case), just feels off, especially with such an action-packed character like Frank Castle.

So anyways, here’s the nuts and bolts of these episodes. Frank and Rachel (who we learn is actually named “Amy”) are in New York now, staying with Madani, who basically wants Frank to kill Russo, thus ending her torture, and not just hers. She and Curtis Hoyle (another returning Season 1 character) are both a little unhappy with Frank for not simply killing Russo last season, as what Frank did to him seems pointless now that Russo has no memory of it.

The whole thing leaves Madani and Curtis in a tough, anxious situation now that Russo has escaped, something Frank discovers when he goes to visit Curtis and finds the man answering the door with his gun drawn and ready, telling Frank he has to keep his new girlfriend away from all the danger. Amy opens up to Frank about what really happened and why they are after her. We learn she and her friends were part of a crew that “worked” a funeral and took pictures there and aafterward they stayed at a hotel, she left to get tacos, and when she came back, everyone had been killed. Pilgrim came back and she hid under the bed, and when he left she fled, thus bringing her to the bar where she found Frank.

Meanwhile, Russo stays busy trying to piece together his mental state, first stopping by a childhood tormentor from one of the homes he was abused at. Having a semi-calm chat with the man who eventually starts making fun of Russo’s scars (which, admittedly, are not nearly as bad as they should be, based on the comic), Russo snaps and kills the man. He flees to Dumont’s apartment where, to no one’s surprise, she lets him in and continues to give him care, somehow still believing she can save him and clearly developing some kind of feelings for him. Even as she comforts him after his skull nightmares, it becomes more and more apparent that he is unstable.

Despite her orders not to leave the apartment, Russo does so anyway and meets up with a vet from Curtis’s support group. They hit it off with the pair eventually forming a small gang of like-minded vets who all get along. One night they work together to save the car of another vet from Curtis’s group from being impounded, knowing the man was homeless and living in the vehicle, and they realize they all work really well together and should team up to do “jobs”, though we all know with Russo involved, that it is not likely to stay legal. Dumont is unhappy with Russo leaving the apartment thinking it too big a risk and they feud. The fight gets violent which finally spurs their passions, and they have violent, angry sex, again, which everyone should have seen coming. It all makes Dumont so much less of an interesting character because she just seems so dumb and predictable, even if they are trying to give her layers with her fear of heights and belief in “saving” Russo.