The Punisher season 2, episode 4 review: Scar Tissue


Character motivations and backstories lead to revelations and developments in episode 4 of The Punisher, “Scar Tissue”.

The last episode of The Punisher ended Agent Madani bringing Frank, and the mysterious “Rachel,” back to New York so that Frank can help her to recapture the escaped Billy Russo. Now in episode 4, “Scar Tissue,” Frank’s return to New York allows for some much-needed insight to our main characters and helps set the stage for where they’ll be going within the season.

“Rachel” Finally Comes Clean

One of the biggest aspects of the season thus far has been that “Rachel” has kept Frank in the dark as to who she really is. Finally there are revelations of her real name, Amy, and on her backstory. Opening more opportunities to become invested in her character.

This is only further enhanced as we’re shown more of her bizarre character cues and habits in the episode, which helps to humanize her. These aspects seem a bit strange at first but the transparency given by her background allows for more empathy and understanding toward her character.

These factors come to a good meeting point when Amy realizes how much she has in common with Frank, after she finds out who he really is. While there is definitely more going on in the episode the relationship of Amy and Frank looks likely to one of the stronger foundations going into the rest of the season.

Madani’s Crusade and Frank’s “Responsibility”

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With Russo running free Agent Madani and Frank both argue over who should be in charge of how to find him. Tension builds as they both blame each other for not taking the shot to kill Russo when both had the chance. However the tension develops differently for each character throughout the episode.

For Frank, this shows when he meets with Curtis again for the first time since he left New York. Curtis, like Madani, also believes that Frank should have killed Russo in season 1, implying that Frank should this time when he finds Russo. Unlike Madani though, Curtis does believe that Russo has really lost his memory.This presents Curtis in a rather unique light for the season as he is also trying to push Frank to execute Russo but isn’t blind to what’s happening around him like Madani.

It does enough to change his position from where he was more loyally in Frank’s corner in season one while keeping him as an ally to explore later within the season.

Madani, in contrast, continues to show a more tunnel-vision mentality as she attempts to track down Russo herself. While she does manage to look calm and cool throughout the episode the moments when her composure fails paints that her character is willing to go to any length to get her revenge on Russo, an outlook that looks like it may lead her into trouble within the rest of the season.

Russo’s Rage and Redemption

The last major component for the episode comes from Russo himself, whose unhinged rage leads to the death of two people within the episode. Shockingly however, Russo returns to Dr. Dumont of his own volition seeking her out to help him sort through his madness.

This propels Dr. Dumont from being a simple background character to more of a side character. Especially considering that the episode ends with her making a crucial decision for herself in regard to Russo.

“Scar Tissue” seems to bring the first act of the season to a close as it lays the foundations for all the major players. Going forward we should begin to see character motivations grow and eventually begin to clash with each other on the stage that has been pleasantly set.

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The episode does take a bit of a reprieve from the action we’ve seen previously in the season but overall the revelations and character developments present help to keep a great pace as we move into episode 5.