The Punisher season 2, episode 2 review: Fight or Flight


“Oh yay, my savior…” Mild spoilers for The Punisher season 2, episode 2.

Frank goes on the run with Rachel as his very reluctant companion who, despite her best efforts, can’t get rid of Frank’s presence. Frank, likewise, doesn’t trust her to stay with him, which who knows if she would if she knew he was The Punisher.

Back in New York though, Agent Madani confronts a hospitalized Billy Russo, who now can’t remember his actions from season 1.

Frank and Rachel

Frank Castle has never been the most trusting character, so it should really come as no surprise that he doesn’t trust someone despite having saved their life. That was the case for Micro last season and that very much is the case for Rachel as of right now.

Frank calling people out on their obvious lies is probably one of the most entertaining things that this show has to offer, other than the fight scenes, and that is very much the crux of this episode. Frank and Rachel are two sides of the same coin and their dynamic in this episode is very enjoyable. Frank calling out Rachel on her lies and Rachel seeing right through Frank is done in way that feels familiar, but has come off as preachy when other films and shows have done similar things, whereas here, it just feels like two similar people toying with each other.

Their interactions also bring out some decent dark humor that really hasn’t been prevalent in this show. It was present in the first season, again with Micro, but it was rare, so to have several moments of dark humor in just one episode, it was enjoyable to get a few laughs. Some may not find it funny at all because, as mentioned, it’s dark humor, but for those who like that style, they will more than likely enjoy it.

The puzzle pieces of Jigsaw

Completely separate from Frank’s story though is the continuation of Agent Madani and Billy Russo’s story. Billy was arguably the second-best part of the first season of the show, while Madani’s character and storyline were some of the weakest. Here though, they both feel like the weakest parts of the show so far because they are so disparate from Frank’s story.

Seeing Billy as an amnesiac is extremely interesting and a turn that really shouldn’t come as a surprise given the extensive damage that Frank did to him the last time they met. He’s almost an entirely different character. Almost. He’s remorseful for the things that he did, when they’re told to him, and he’s actually terrified of Frank, despite not remembering why. He’s still a great character, but his story pulls the focus away from Frank, which is jarring to say the least. And one question though, why would medical staff give him such an obviously villain-type mask?

More from TV

Madani on the other hand continues to be the weakest link of the show. She’s just uninteresting which is sad to say because Amber Rose Revah does a really solid job with the role, but there’s really not much to the character. She just feels very one note.

The preacher comes hunting

Then there’s the seeming big bad of at least the first half of the season, the preacher, or as IMDb gives him the name John Pilgrim. His name hasn’t been stated in the show which is supposed to give him a more menacing vibe, but is kind of annoying.

That being said, he seems like an interesting villain right despite feeling like they took the character of Reverend Harry Powell from Night of the Hunter, updated him slightly, and put him in The Punisher. There’s no motivation to his character so far and the reason why he is hunting Frank and Rachel is muddled at best. Hopefully he gets fleshed out more and becomes a better character.

dark. Next. 100 greatest superhero stories

Despite some missteps early on, The Punisher has some promise moving forward and will hopefully continue an upward trend of quality.