The Punisher season 2, episode 12 review: Collision Course


“Well looks like it’s time to call mommy and daddy.” Spoilers for The Punisher season 2, episode 12 follow.

Sergeant Mahoney has captured The Punisher again, after Frank tried to escape from the hospital, only to be attacked on the way to the police precinct by John Pilgrim, who seems completely broken at this point.

While Frank is still living a life of violence, Billy is planning the final steps to move past Frank and be with Krista, away from New York.

Bring on the metal

This episode brings what The Punisher, comics and TV alike, excels at, brutality and tension. There is much in this episode that captures the essence of the world that Frank Castle and most of it is just the brutality.

That opening scene is one of the tensest action scenes of this entire season. In reality, not much actually happens during it, but that doesn’t make it lose any impact. The combination of the cat and mouse game, race against the clock, and metal music playing over the top of it all was exhilarating and really worked as the opening image for the episode because it set up what the rest of the episode would be like, and it follows through.

Even when Frank is interrogating Senator Schultz about his family, everything feels tense and brutal, despite only one punch being thrown.

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The pilgrim is lost

This episode really plays up the intimidation factor when it comes to John Pilgrim. He’s constantly been a scary villain because he seems like a very effective killer, but now he feels like way more of a tragic character after his wife has died. He seems like he has nothing to lose and that makes his brazen acts of violence even more terrifying. Even him praying while performing a self-surgery after being shot by a shotgun is terrifying.

Now, it’s even more apparent how closely tied thematically Pilgrim is tied to The Punisher. Both are men who believe themselves to be monsters, but have tried to change themselves. In a certain sense, Pilgrim is even slightly more tragic of a character due to his faith, with said faith being manipulated. It’s a sad thing that feels like a very topical thematic moment.

The sad thing about this character decision being so good is that the story is so disconnected from the Billy and Frank conflict that it feels like an afterthought for most of the episode, which is a common thread throughout the season.

The cop and the psychiatrist

Then there’s Madani and Krista. In a season that has been plagued by odd storytelling decisions and an odd structure, these two have stood as being the worst aspects of that. For Madani, it just feels like her character isn’t necessary for a good portion of the story being told, while Krista simply is not a good character.

So with the third act of this episode centering on a fight between these two, the episode actually provides a cathartic release with the death of Krista, which in turn, creates more reason for Billy to hate Madani, even if Krista and Billy’s relationship wasn’t something that was actually written well.

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The Punisher season 2 goes into its finale on a higher note than previous episodes, but still retains the unfocused issues of the season.