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In the still of the night, Netflix did it again, dropping the full second season of The Punisher at once. This may be the second to last Marvel Cinematic Universe season to ever occur, with only a third season of Jessica Jones still under contract and done with filming. In hindsight, this corner of the MCU took enough wrong turns to deserve overall cancellation, though the real reason is more likely the fact that Disney has finally consolidated all Marvel Universe film and television rights under one company. After his debut in Daredevil season one, Frank “The Punisher” Castle has been the most independent of the Netflix forays into the MCU. He was the only hero in this corner of the universe to not take part in The Defenders miniseries. In case you forget where we were at in Frank’s arc, let me take you back to the lowdown on last season’s finale.
Psychotic and damaged ex-soldier and mercenary Lewis Wilson started things off with a bang, taking out one of Billy Russo’s ANVIL mercenaries before going crazed lone wolf in an attack on a senator at a hotel. The episode occurred out of order with several threads and narratives explored in a winding chronology. Frank called Russo to warn him that Lewis was about to slip past his security team and attack Senator Ori, who was in an interview with Karen Page in a suite. Karen was then explaining after the attack to the FBI agent on the scene how Frank was not working with Lewis, which was his theory. We saw the attack and the confusion in the room as he gassed everyone. We next saw how Lewis snuck into the hotel disguised as an ANVIL agent. In this telling of the events, we saw that Frank arrived just in time to take a bullet to save Ori & Karen from Lewis.
Lewis then escaped with Karen as his hostage, holding a detonator that would kill them both if his hand let go of it. As soon as he exited on an elevator with her, the SWAT on the scene fired at Frank, who fled. We then began to explore DHS agent Madini’s path through the day. She was in the building to confront Russo about the fact it was 4 ex-ANVIL agents who did the job her partner died on. And it was the 5th one who got away who actually killed him. We fast forwarded to the confusion of Karen being kidnapped. She managed to corner Frank in a stairwell. She was taking him in when Russo appeared and glanced a shot off Frank’s head. Madini confirmed her suspicion that Russo killed her partner. They were in a Mexican stand-off when a bunch of NYPD swarmed in. Frank got away in the chaos, making his way to the basement, where Lewis was holding Karen in the huge hotel kitchen, which was otherwise empty.
Frank laid some heavy guilt onto Lewis, harping on how his now comatose father’s life was ruined. He talked to Karen using duress language to confirm she had a gun in her purse. She shot Lewis in the foot on Frank’s signal. Lewis locked himself in the walk-in cooler and blew the bomb. Frank and Karen shared a moment in the elevator and nearly kiss. Then he climbed away and ghosted from the hotel via a zipline. Gotta say, they went out with a bang!
Check out the entire new season now on Netflix!
Aside from binging this, I’ll also binge the three episodes on Young Justice that also dropped at 3AM on streaming service DCU.
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