Saturday, March 24, 2018

What I’m Watching: The Punisher (Season Finale)

The Punisher: Season 1, Episode 13 “Memento Mori” (B+)

Most loyal viewers of this series watched this finale way back in November, but I’m happy to be concluding it now after getting to thoroughly process each and every hour. That proves to me at the very least that this show is greatly superior to the one that spun it off, “Daredevil,” which took ten episodes to get me hooked. This was an expectedly violent conclusion to Frank’s hunt to kill all those who took his family from him, though not quite as deadly as it could have been. With David safely reunited with his family and Frank rescued after killing Rawlins, it came down to Billy versus Frank, with the former tracking down first Curtis and then two innocent young employees of the carousel to bait the one person he felt he needed to kill in order to somehow get away, despite everyone knowing who he was and no way out truly existing. Billy seemed genuinely hurt that the two guys he could actually call friends had betrayed him, though lying about Frank being dead is hardly comparable to allowing Frank’s family to be killed, especially when we saw just how close Billy was with them, visiting that same carousel earlier when things were much sunnier. One thing this show did tremendously well was to visualize Frank’s psyche through the night terrors and daydreams he had about what he lost, and while he got a pass and can now live peacefully as Pete, he’ll never be able to recover from that in a real way. At least David is back with his family with no imminent threat to his life, and Marion proved to be as good as she could when it came down to it. I don’t know where season two will go, but seeing Frank try to help other people process their experiences in war while admitting that he has no idea what’s next for him is a truly appealing start.
Season grade: B+
Season MVP: Jon Bernthal as Frank