Following a stellar debut for Marvel on Netflix with the first season of Daredevil, the legendary comic book company ups the ante by adding the Punisher to the mix for the show’s second outing.
The first season of Daredevil gave us a grittier and more down-to-Earth level of hero than the MCU had previously given us. It was praised for being more realistic and showing a darker side of Marvel. Season two immediately takes the brutality to another level upon the Punisher’s introduction.
Throughout the season, the writers attempt to show parallels between Matt Murdock and Frank Castle’s Punisher. They create the appearance they while Matt initially resists the Punisher’s methods; he knows that he could have very well became the Punisher if the circumstances had been changed ever so slightly. This is featured in multiple scenes, but there are a few highlights that truly stand out. The first comes in a scene pulled straight from the comics where the Punisher gives Daredevil a gun and gives him the opportunity to send a criminal to his demise. The show also capitalizes an outstanding recreation of the famous hallway fight scene from season one, this time featuring the Punisher in the place of Daredevil. This is one of the most brutal scenes Marvel has featured in their shared universe, and it is a scene people will be talking about for years to come. Jon Berenthal is the perfect Punisher and proves that is it is possible to translate this great comic character from page to screen.
This season spends more time developing the characters of Karen Page and Foggy Nelson. Both characters have scenes that showcase their humanity and prove why they are needed as a counterbalance to Matt Murdock on this show. Both Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson get to showcase their acting talents and look to be featured more prominently as Marvel’s Netflix shows go forward.
Unfortunately, the show takes a downward turn during the middle episodes of the series when Elodie Yung’s Elektra enters the fray. Yung did her best with the character, and it is much better than Jennifer Gardner’s portrayal of the character in the 2003 movie, but the writers could not find a way to keep Elektra’s storyline interesting compared to the events surrounding the Punisher. While it remains to be seen where the show runners will take her character, this season dragged on when her character was on screen. Luckily, the show picked back up, later in the season, when Frank Castle’s storyline picked back up and a surprise villain showed up to shake up both the Punisher and Daredevil’s worlds.
Overall, this was another great season and an outstanding addition to Marvel’s ever-growing cinematic universe. The show truly shines with the Punisher is onscreen, and he will hopefully get his own show in the near future. This season teases much to come for the Marvel’s Netflix shows, and they will return in September with the first season of Luke Cage.