Before we get started on this week, a quick note.
I will be covering the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando from Sunday-Wednesday this week. Between writing, radio and TV hits and interviews for podcasts, I’ll be even busier than normal. I won’t be able to do the Walking Dead power rankings for the midseason finale. I might not even be able to watch it until Thursday to be honest.
It’s likely I won’t be able to write anything, but if I find time, even if it’s a shortened post, I will.
Now, it’s time, finally, to review the Punisher. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Let’s start with this: it might be my favorite Marvel Netflix series/season. It’s close between this and the second season Daredevil. Jon Bernthal is the ultimate bad ass.
I had a conversation with someone the other day regarding the actors who portray superheroes that could actual hold their own in a fight in real life. Jason Momoa (Aquaman) and Mike Colter (Luke Cage) came to mind instantly given they’re both physical specimens. Bernthal was the other one, because I think he might actually be certifiably insane. I know there are similarities between his Frank Castle and his Shane Walsh (Walking Dead) and Grady Travis (Fury), but it works PERFECTLY in this role. And more to the point I’m trying to make, I actually think this is what Bernthal’s like. Maybe not on the surface, but deep down he’s got a Frank Castle SCREAMING to be let out.
Or maybe he’s the complete opposite and that makes this role easier for him. I doubt that. EITHER WAY, he, Momoa and Colter are bad asses and guys I wouldn’t want to get in a bar fight with.
Opposite him was his ex-best friend, Billy Russo (who we all know will eventually be known as Jigsaw). Portrayed by pretty boy Ben Barnes, this man is an exceptional villain. Certainly one of the most evil and twisted ones we’ve seen brought to life on screen in any of the cinematic and TV/Netflix universes. No one was special. Nothing was sacred. Russo was out to get his and that’s it.
One of the greatest qualities of the series was how they handled Lewis Walcott (Daniel Webber), a character created for the series. The mental strain he goes through, was illustrated in a way I can’t remember ever seeing before in television or film. Very powerful. The kid was obviously still immensely frustrating, but the strain he goes through could not be more apparent, making it easier to sympathize. That’s not taking away from the terrible things he did, but you understand the road that led him there.
The series was riddled with crazy scenes, like Castle killing the construction workers and the gangsters at the poker game or the flashback to when he got his men out of the mess Rawlins (Paul Schulze) led them to in the Middle East. Then there was Russo viciously killing Dinah Madani’s partner Sam Stein (Michael Nathanson). Of course Bernthal finally offing Rawlins was great.
Only one moment, however, stood about the rest. The final fight between Russo and Castle, particularly what Castle does to Russo when he finally gets the upper hand. Not sure if that qualifies as torture, but it should. Man did he mess that mug UP. Not many times you can give someone a fate worse than death, but Castle hit it right on the nose. Russo won’t be skating away on charms a looks.
The more I think about his face scraping across the broken glass those goose bumps come back up. I swear I felt it a little bit. Great scene. Underrated, but great job by Russo there, too. Sold it well.
All in all, this series is a must watch. Without a doubt, the edgiest of all the Marvel Netflix shows. Whether it be the violence or the sex, they goes places none of these other shows will. Well worth your time. In terms of binging it, it’s immensely addictive. I tend to control myself pretty well when it comes to that, but I know in college I wouldn’t have. This is one of those shows you can EASILY blow through in a weekend.
Can’t wait to see the next season.