The Punisher season 2, episode 7 review: One Bad Day


“I’m just the guy stupid enough to get caught in the middle of them.” Minor spoilers for The Punisher season 2, episode 7.

After a roundtable meeting between Frank, Curtis, and Madani, no agreement can be made between the three on how to bring Billy down. Madani still wants to bring him in and arrest him, while Frank obviously wants to deploy The Punisher.

Billy isn’t just sitting idly by, though. He’s planning a bank heist with several other veterans, who feel like they deserve this money.

The Punisher searches for Billy

After being constantly told that Frank is on the hunt for those searching for him and Amy, it’s nice to see in this episode that he actually is on the hunt, well for someone at least. That someone being Billy Russo. While the search itself is passable at best, with it just being a couple of stakeouts and basic connections, this episode isn’t about the plot, it’s about the motivations, specifically Frank and Madani.

Those two are so similar that neither would ever admit it. Both want the same thing, but go about in vastly different ways. This is obviously something that has been seen over and over again in the crime genre, but here, there’s more of a brutality behind it.

Frank is a serial killer who is seemingly on the side of an angel at least and is willing to do whatever he needs to do in order to accomplish his goals. Madani, meanwhile, is a good, stressed cop that is still trying to hold on to her ideals. It’s a great dichotomy between the two that is probably best highlighted during the first episode of the scene when Frank explains that nothing he does is easy, he’s just able to live with it. It demonstrates how vastly different these two are, and Jon Bernthal and Amber Rose Revah play it excellently.

Billy plans a heist

Despite all of the problems between the protagonists though, there seems to be none of that conflict in Billy. Despite all of his memory issues, he’s still the ruthless tactician that he was presented as in the previous season, if not even slightly more unhinged.

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His scenes are often the visual equivalent of nails on a chalkboard because he’s portrayed as this calm, collected man who has everything planned out, but underneath it, it feels like he’s about to snap at any moment and kill everyone around him. Even when training with his crew, this feels like the case.

The moment when he snaps though is when Frank arrives to put him down and everything goes haywire. It’s an incredibly tense standoff that is executed extremely well.

Most of this is really thanks to Ben Barnes’ performance and what he’s able to do with his eyes. His face, even while admittedly not as badly scarred as it should be, is calm and even reassuring at times, but his eyes tell a different story. Barnes is able to makes his eyes seem pitch black and empty at times, which is extremely unsettling and gives credence to the idea that Billy could snap at any moment.

The season remains unfocused

While this episode as a standalone is one of the strongest of the season, it almost feels separate from everything else going on. Just the way this season has been structured, with Amy and John Pilgrim’s story being interspliced with Billy’s, nothing feels like it’s being focused on. In fact, this episode barely even mentions Amy except for a passing sentence.

The frustrating part about it is that the story didn’t need to be told interspliced like this. The first half could have focused on one story and then the back half could have focused on another, just like traditional comic book arcs. But instead, the season has these jarring shifts to and from completely separate stories that seemingly have nothing to do with each other.

Next. The Punisher season 2, episode 6: Nakazat. dark

The Punisher season 2 has one of its strongest episodes yet, but sadly, it feels entirely separate from everything else going on and the other stories that are being presented.