The Punisher season 2, episode 10 review: The Dark Hearts of Men


Everything takes a turn for the worst for Frank in episode 10 of The Punisher, “The Dark Hearts of Men.”

Frank and Billy Russo have been comparing themselves to and gaining a better understanding of each other throughout the season. However, in episode 10 of The Punisher, “The Dark Hearts of Men,” their paths cross in a showdown that causes many characters to face epiphany’s that will redefine who they are.

Pilgrim and His Old Self

Within “The Dark Hearts of Men” we see many characters have to come to terms aspects of themselves that they tried to keep under wraps all this season. While Pilgrim’s may be the least impactful in terms of giving weight directly to the episode it does show a side of him that was never seen before.

Pilgrim’s journey thus far has been coupled with a strong conviction that everything he does is just. After a brutal fight to protect his own life Pilgrim finds himself falling back into habits he kicked before becoming the man he is today. Definitely the most humanizing moment for his character and while he is struggling to piece himself together with the fact that we see his raw vulnerability helps to give him more substance and rounds him out a little.

More from TV

The Great Debate

Throughout the episode we get to see a debate going on between Agent Madani and Dr. Dumont about the natures of Frank and Billy Russo. All the while this is juxtaposed by Frank and Curtis having a very similar conversation. Madani and Curtis both plead that Russo is drastically different from Frank, whereas Dumont and Frank himself argue that he and Russo are essentially the same.

This debate lays the emotional groundwork for the episode as Frank and Curtis prepare an assault to take down Russo. Without even noticing that Russo has been watching them closely the whole time. The ongoing argument builds tension rather well as it begins to beg the question how will this assault go, and what consequences will yield as a result.

A Soul-Changing Showdown

When the time finally comes for Frank and Curtis to make their move both fully commit to their separate roles. Curtis serves as a distraction so that fewer people can be hurt and Frank makes his siege on Russo’s warehouse of operations.

However, Russo is more than prepared and begins to make a weapon of his charisma similarly to season one in order to organize those around him into being a more united front. His cunning and overwhelming tactics give his character a mastermind kind of feel as he springs his well-laid trap on Frank and Curtis.

A trap that was successful only due to Dr. Dumont who promotes herself from bystander to accomplice, as the only reason she debated Frank and Russo with Madani was to find a weakness of Frank’s that Russo could exploit. A weakness that Russo uses to shake Frank to his core as the episode ends with Frank having taken innocent lives by mistake in an attempt to kill Russo and being taken in by the police.

Meanwhile Curtis is forced to retaliate against stray members of Russo’s crew as they come after him. An act that causes one of the men to die shaking Curtis at his core as he’s now taken a life that he was attempting to save.

Next. 100 greatest superhero stories. dark

Overall “The Dark Hearts of Men” proves to be very tense episode propelling us into the final act of the season. With Frank apprehended, Curtis currently destabilized by the consequences of his actions, and Russo along with Dumont rising into their villainous it’s hard to see how our heroes can proceed successfully going forward into the final episodes.