The Punisher is good. It is the type of good that allows me to sink into the myth of post-military action and PTSD. In other words, it is as good as we are going to see in a situation that needs to bear the not-quite-real scent of a Marvel show. In truth it feels like a version of a wonderful Cinemax show I used to watch called Banshee. It has that same tough feel to it and borrows heavily from action shows like Banshee to develop its own brand of action sequence. The show makes clever use of analogy to shout the deeper thematic messages and by doing so is able to string them out across the season in a very repetitive way that doesn’t feel entirely repetitive.
I have to admit bias here. I’ve been waiting for the Punisher since season 2 of Daredevil, and what I got was more than I bargained or hoped for. The Micro character is a revelation. His own character arc is strong and built around a supporting cast that is not only surprising in the action sense but in the character development sense as well. Micro’s children in particular were well developed.
Finally we come to Frank Castle. This is a great and nuanced rendition of a character who has been called psycho, sociopathic, terrorist, and even a great hero. He is a dark hero indeed and the writing here indicates it. The Frank we see this season is haunted and angry and really goes all in on combating the darkness built up around the private military and their relationship with the CIA.
Watch this show. It demands a second season.