Netflix’s ‘The Punisher’ Shows The Dark Past of Frank Castle

Still Image via Netflix Netflix’s ‘The Punisher’ premiered November 17.

By Adam Miklas

Staff Writer

The MCU Netflix shows have been going on for a few years with varying degrees of quality, but one thing everyone who has watched these shows can agree on is that The Punisher’s introduction in season two of “Daredevil” stole the show.

It’s no surprise when Marvel and Netflix announced the release of “The Punisher” season one.

The series starts off with Frank Castle AKA The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) finishing off the rest of the mob members responsible for the death of his family and the attack on him. He hangs up the mantle of The Punisher and is presumed dead while he is in hiding for six months. He then catches the eye of a computer hacker named David Liberman (Ebon Moss-Bachrach)  and he seeks him out and ghosts from Frank’s past get intertwined with him and a covert C.I.A operation.

This series really delves into who Frank Castle is, rather than his anti-hero allias The Punisher. We get to see him struggle with his demons, try to come to terms with his family dying while trying to have new people to care about, but never forgetting to avenge his family first and foremost. It paints Castle as more of a traumatized marine instead of the borderline psychopath he is usually portrayed as.

The 12 episode series keeps the audience invested in the plot. The scenes are fast and bloody and when the action kicks into high gear blood starts flying, people start dying and it is incredibly entertaining.  The show definitely makes it a point to show how skilled Castle is at combat. It also manages to explain how his family was murdered.

In “Daredevil”, his family’s death was only hinted at, but in “The Punisher” the audience gets the full story that makes Castle seem even more sympathetic.

Castle is also more focused on punishing the people that destroyed his life and destroyed the lives of innocents rather than every bad guy ever like in the comics.

That being said, there are still some pretty big problems. For a series called “The Punisher,” there is not much punishing going on throughout the series.

Instead of having an action scene planned out behind the scenes while the audience sees the action, this show does almost the exact opposite. Instead they show all of the planning, and when it comes to the action, it is realistic where people go down  fast, so not much excitement in those small action scenes. Less “The Punisher,” more “The Talkerer.”

The show also moves at an incredibly slow pace. There is some action in the first episode and it takes a while for anything substantial to happen for a few more episodes.

There is also a major sub plot that barely affects the main plot. There is a reason for this part to be in the show, but it is deemed more metaphorical than anything. However, all of this build up and slow pacing is necessary for how the final few episodes play out and how they make the audience cheer for Castle, no matter how crazy he might get. If the show did not have this build up, the payoff would not be as cathartic as it is.

This first season is definitely  worth a watch, but if you expect to see The Punisher do his thing every episode or every other episode, you are not going to find it here.

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