The Punisher season two fails to punish hard enough

The blood spilling, gun toting, deep growling Frank Castle is back in season two of the Netflix series The Punisher, but he fails to live up to the punishing the audience desires.

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The Punisher season two fails to punish hard enough

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Austin J. Yerington, Arts Reporter

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The blood-spilling, gun-toting, deep-growling Frank Castle is back in Season 2 of the Netflix series “The Punisher,” but sadly, he does less punishing than his name should demand.

The Punisher should be a character who can fully embody what he was designed to be: A tall, rebel with a trench coat, antihero who does things most normal heroes would never do, and whether you disagree or agree with his fatal vigilante actions, is entertaining to witness.

With many cinematic incarnations being out there in the world, ranging from the infamously bad Dolph Lundgren movie to the 2008 ultra-violent version “Punisher War Zone,” Jon Bernthal is the best actor who has dawned the white skull flak jacket.

This first installment of this series told a deeply personal story about Castle and his mission to avenge his family. This current season, however, moves away from the personal and makes it messy. Season 2 is filled with a lot of nonsense that makes most aspects of “The Punisher” confusing and surprisingly boring. For some reason, the show seems to be afraid to have him do what he is made to do: Punish.

The main issue of this continuation is that it is an overly stuffed and confused season that never really knows what it wants to say. With so many supporting characters, it almost makes you forget you’re watching a “Punisher” TV show.

Along with the sheer number of them, the side characters’ flip-flopping morals makes for uninteresting drama that goes nowhere; one moment, a character will be full gung-ho on Castle’s one-man war on crime, but in a matter of seconds, he changes to the opposite view, just to flip back again.

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This show does have three main parts that make it a fun ride; Bernthal’s Castle, Ben Barnes’ Billy Russo/Jigsaw, and the brief moments of the over-the-top hyper violence that really feels like scenes from the comics (i.e., the bar-fight scene from the first episode).

The relationship between Russo/Jigsaw and Castle really is something that stands out this season.

Russo wakes up a year or so after having his big fight with Castle and is scarred and suffering from severe memory loss. The injury being so bad that he forgets that Castle is the reason he is in the hospital and that Russo is responsible for the death of Frank’s family. This memory loss is a very interesting choice for him; because of this, he spends most of the season thinking Castle betrayed him and not the other way around.

This season builds on their relationship in a really interesting way; but it is quick to lose it with all the other noise going on.

This season of “Punisher” is another example of Marvel’s Netflix shows creating great first seasons, then choking when it comes to anything past the first introduction. “The Punisher” had great promise and also had many spots throughout that brought great entertainment, but way too many side plots cause the viewers to lose interest. With each of its 13 episodes running around an hour, the story can lose steam at parts and drag.

While this new season is a fairly enjoyable watch, it does not pack the Castle Punishment that it deserved.

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