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Marvel's The Punisher Season 2 (Netflix)

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, May 10, 2018.

  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Season 1 Thread

    Returning Cast:
    • Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, reprising his role from the second season of the Netflix original series "Marvel’s Daredevil."
    • Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Frank’s Castle’s best friend from his days in the Special Forces. He ran a successful private military corporation called "Anvil" but is now on the run from the law.
    • Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, a highly-trained sophisticated Homeland Security agent who is vexed by the Punisher.
    • Jason R. Moore as Curtis Hoyle, a friend of Frank Castle’s and one of the few people who knew he was alive.
    New Cast:
    • Josh Stewart has been cast as John Pilgrim, a man whose calm exterior belies a ruthless interior. Despite having left behind a life of violence, circumstances will force him to use his old skills and bring him into Frank Castle’s world.
    • Floriana Lima will play Krista Dumont, a smart, compassionate, and driven psychotherapist for military veterans.
    • Giorgia Whigham has been locked to play Amy Bendix, a street-smart grifter with a mysterious past.
    • Corbin Bernsen will play Anderson Schultz, an extremely wealthy man who’s grown accustomed to getting his way. His power and legacy are of prime importance, and he’ll implement less-than legal means to further those ends.
    • Annette O’Toole has been cast as Eliza Schultz, a conniving, wealthy woman, cut from the same manipulative cloth as her husband, Anderson.
    Steve Lightfoot (“Hannibal”) is again serving as Executive Producer and Showrunner. The second season will draw heavily from Garth Ennis's "The Slavers" story arc.
     
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  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Oh shit! If I'm remembering correctly, he gets really violent in that arc. Even for the Punisher.
     
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  3. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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  6. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Looks great! Really enjoyed the first season. Only complaint: Billy should've looked a WHOLE lot worse after what Frank did to him at the end of last season. Apparently they were afraid to ugly up Ben Barnes too much.
     
  7. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    Just finished the first three episodes and they were frickin awesome! (Only I didn’t say “frickin”)
     
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  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I just finished the first episode and really liked it.

    Usually Frank Castle is this nihilistic force of nature, who wages his one-man war on violent criminals with a single-minded focus. But Bernthal's Castle is less far gone, which makes him more interesting. Between killing sprees, you see him take some tentative steps to build a life for himself again, which gives you a little hope that he's going to break the cycle, and makes it all the more impactful when he can't.

    His subplot with Beth the bartender was really well-rendered. For some reason, Alexa Davalos's performance reminded me a lot of Michelle Monahan.

    Giorgia Whigham first came to my attention in a feature guest role in a first season episode of "The Orville", and I looked forward to seeing more of her. She didn't disappoint here. One thing Steve Lightfoot's structure for this series does well is pair Frank up with a partner who has their own agenda and their own set of skills. Clearly, Frank walked into this young woman's life at what would have been the conclusion of her story if not for his intervention. There are several acts of her story that we're not made privy to, beyond two facts: whatever was in her backpack is extremely valuable, and someone is devoting extensive resources to eliminating her. She has an unusual set of skills, but those skills are entirely different from Micro's skills in the first seasons and quite a bit different from Frank's skills as well.

    That fight in the women's bathroom was more impressive than any of the fights in either season of "Iron Fist".
     
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  9. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Glad to hear this season is off to a good start. I won't get a chance to watch until at least Tuesday, and then I usually go one a day, so it'll take me 2 weeks to finish. But I am looking forward to it.
     
  10. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Quoted for truth. Loved the first three eps (all I've been able to get to so far). That bar fight in the first ep was great!
     
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  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Just finished episode 5, my favorite episode yet. There are some contrivances that strain credibility, but I'm enjoying the ride. Good way to ride out this snowstorm.

    SPOILERS OF FIRST FIVE EPISODES FOLLOW:

    I loved the cold open of this episode, which conveyed a lot very economically. Frank and Amy are sitting at the kitchen counter in Agent Madani's apartment, engaged in a game of Three-card Monte. Every time, Frank comes straight at the problem. And every time, Frank guesses the wrong card. But he perseveres, convinced that if he just watches closely enough, he'll guess the right card. Finally, Amy shows him how the game is rigged against him, and they play one more time. But he still guesses wrong. And his second guess is wrong too; because Amy knew he knew the trick, she could rig the game against him again. It's a way of showing just how talented of a grifter Amy is, but it's also Amy's way of making a point to Frank: sometimes the only way to approach a problem is to walk away. But that's not Frank.

    Case in point: Turk, New York City's unluckiest small-time arms dealer, offers up the Russian mob that hired Amy's crew on a silver platter. He can go in guns blazing and catch them with their pants down, get exactly what he needs. But Frank doesn't want the Russian mob handed to him on a silver platter. He wants the fight. So he manipulates events to get the number of people in the room down to a manageable level, and then he walks in unarmed and fights the Russians hand-to-hand, heavily outnumbered.

    One gets the sense that if Amy's life hadn't taken a bad turn at some point, she would have made a very good detective. Whereas Frank attacks the problem, she breaks it down and analyzes it. She notices everything, and pieces together what she's seen with a high degree of accuracy. She's also good at reading people. But occasionally, she does something that hints she's concerned with more than just survival: Thanking the sheriff's deputy, and giving back his five dollars; cleaning Madani's apartment, and returning the credit card she stole with a neatly organized pile of receipts and invoices accounting for the illicit purchases. And how did she get in the habit of spelling out swear words instead of saying them?

    This Jigsaw version of Billy Russo is interesting, because with his memory loss and his difficulty processing thoughts, the character is much more direct and straightforward than he was last season. But as the episodes go on, and he puts more and more distance from the events on that carousel both physically and mentally, more and more of the old Billy starts coming back. By the end of this fifth episode, he's back to manipulating people with carefully planned precision.

    There are a few things that I'm having a hard time swallowing:
    • That Agent Madani, even with the director of operations for Homeland Security covering for her, can openly interfere with the case the NYPD is building against Billy Russo for months, use significant federal resources to pick up Frank from rural Ohio, shoot an NYPD detective at an active crime scene she's not supposed to be anywhere near, and still be on the job as DHS's highest-ranking investigator in the country's largest metropolis. Is any of the work she's actually responsible for getting done? Wouldn't she have lost the top job when she went out on medical leave after being shot in the head by her lover/public enemy number one?
    • That the psychotherapist, Dr. Dumont, would shield Russo from the authorities -- especially after it became clear that he'd brutally murdered someone since escaping police custody. And even if I did believe that, it's unfathomable to me that she'd be seeing patients in her home with Russo right in the other room.
    • That Russo can move throughout the city with such impunity while his face is plastered across every newscast.
    • Why does Madani have a bedroom door that locks from the outside rather than the inside, other than that the plot required it?
    The main thing that gives me pause, though, is that the fifth episode ends with the show feeling like it's heading into its end game. But the season's less than half over. I hope there isn't a lot of wheel-spinning in the back half.
     
  12. tempest21

    tempest21 Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm just waiting for Netflix to announce that they are canceling this series as well. Since these cancellations have been coming after Netflix has released these seasons of these respective shows. Disney has been pulling in the rights of any property that Marvel Entertainment had sold off before Disney had acquired Marvel. I'm expecting that we'll see Netflix either releasing its own statement or releasing a joint statement with Disney that Punisher has been canceled and another one after the new season of Jessica Jones has been released.

    Once these two shows are announced for cancellation, I expect that Disney and Marvel Studios will announce a reboot of these shows for Disney's new streaming service.

    Honestly, I think Warner Brothers should sign an agreement with Marvel Studios/Disney to produce its comic book properties for the big screen and that Marvel Studios/Disney sign an agreement with Warner Brothers to adapt its comic book properties for television broadcast. Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios) and Greg Berlanti (Warner Brothers) seem to be the only two who know what they're doing and how to adapt these comic book franchises into something the fans will enjoy.
     
  13. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Just finished the second season. It could have stood to be about three or four episodes shorter, because as it stands the characters looked stupid for not figuring things out until much later than they should have.

    SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRETY OF THE SECOND SEASON FOLLOW

    Episode 12 was a lot of fun for me because the vast majority of the first twenty minutes were shot in Albany, and it was fun spotting some local landmarks. A major action set piece including vehicle crashes and shootouts was filmed on the ramp I take into work every morning.

    This season was definitely pulpier than the first season. That season tried to be grounded. This season was far less concerned with being grounded. In reality, if Castle and Russo had both escaped custody and turned New York City into their battlefield, the entirety of the NYPD would have been mobilized to hunt them down. It would have been like Boston after the marathon bombings in 2013.

    Instead, there's only one guard outside Castle's hospital room, and there seems to be only one NYPD detective who's on the hunt for either of them. Madani is the top DHS agent for Homeland Security, but she never steps into the office once the entire season. And she's rewarded for her gross incompetence and dereliction of duty with a position of authority within the CIA.

    I did like how things wrapped up with both the Schultzes and with Billy Russo. As for John Pilgrim, he got better than he deserved. But I think Frank was probably right not to orphan his boys, right not to perpetuate the cycle of violence for two innocents who still have a chance to avoid it.

    Amy also gets her chance to break out of Frank's orbit, with a chance at the future she's fantasized about. She leaves the show with us knowing nearly as little about her as we did when the show started.

    Dumont started the season arrogant and deluded, but once she told Russo to kill those three innocent women as psychological warfare against Castle, she became irredeemable.

    The Punisher of the final scene was the Punisher of the eighties. Jumping ahead three months to him massacring a hangar full of low-level thugs, without any of the context that led Castle to that point, reduces him to single-minded killing machine that has defined much of the character's run. I liked the first season finale better, though I can see why the writers didn't want to repeat it. And this ending was probably more honest to who and what Frank Castle is.

    Pretty jarring to jump cut from Castle mowing down dozens of minority youths to "In Loving Memory of Stan Lee", though.
     
  14. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Episode 1 for me so far, and wow, what a change from season 1. The rural setting for most of this was a welcome change. Good to see Frank out of his element. Alexa Davalos is so good in everything; glad we see her in this. And oh boy, that bar fight. There is probably nothing that his been staged and filmed more than a bar fight, to the point where they all feel superfluous and familiar. But this was something different. Tremendous work.
     
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  15. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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  16. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Episode 4 for me at this point, and this season is hitting all the right notes. Getting Rachel (or whatever her name is) to spill her story is agonizingly long but it is compelling. I've said repeatedly that I was never a fan of the Punisher; not in the comics, never saw the movies, but this take on the character is fascinating.

    I hope Disney finds a home for all of these shows, with the casts and creative teams intact. They are some of the finest work Marvel (or anyone) has done for TV.
     
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  17. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Russo doesn't yet feel right to me. As of Episode 5, he's a very different person than the greedy corporate soldier he was in season 1. He had a life full of expensive things, yet he seems to have no interest in that now. He never seemed passionate about ideology, so what's driving him? Revenge is all I can think of.

    I always love seeing Turk. I was worried about him for a minute there.

    I saw the lines on the side of Dr Dumont's arm. Made me think there's more to her story than we yet know. She obviously has some phobias of her own.

    I still have a long way to go (8 more) but so far, I am enjoying this season more than last, even if I don't understand why Frank is involved.
     
  18. George_W_K

    George_W_K Screenwriter

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    Finished this tonight. I enjoyed it very much and the last 3 episodes had me glued to the TV even through some of the predictable outcomes.

    I really don't want to subscribe to a Disney service, but if they move Punisher and Daredevil over there, it'll be difficult for me to resist.
     
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  19. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Finished the season. As I have said plenty of times before, I never liked the Punisher as a character. I always thought he was far too anti-hero to be any kind of hero, and I disliked how in the 1980s he helped usher in the revenge thriller as a type of movie; I also disliked the right-wing appeal of the character, who really exploded in popularity after the Bernard Goetz incident in NYC in the early 80s.

    That said, I couldn't wait to watch each episode this season, finishing the whole thing in two weeks (about 1 per day). Jon Bernthal (an actor I admired from his other work) was terrific; even better this season than the first. The whole cast was really strong, especially Giorgia Whigham. Wow - she's young, but she conveyed so much in her character.

    Spoilers for the season follow.

    The narrative was very different from what we're used to. Most shows don't have two different stories playing out that have no relation to one another, with either one taking the back seat in a given episode to let the other flourish. It was a bit unsettling at first but I came to appreciate it.

    A lot of people seem to be down on Floriana Lima's character, but I thought she did a good job with what was written. It was certainly miles away from what she did on Supergirl. She was responsible for some of the show's biggest twists and turns, and it all made sense. One thing that didn't, however, is that she could still be alive at the conclusion. The same could be said for Madani being alive after Billy choked her and Billy making it out of the building with three bullets in him.

    I found Billy Russo's character the biggest change since season 1, as I mentioned in an earlier post. He was this sophisticated character in the first season, enjoying the finer things in life and running a company. In this season, he was just a thug, essentially. He was the one out for revenge, and that's not enough of a motivation to make him the big bad of the season.

    I had been pleasantly surprised to find I liked The Punisher season 1. I was even more surprised to find that I was thrilled with season 2. Hopefully, Disney finds a way to keep the Netflix shows alive with these casts intact. They're too good to retire. Disney made an announcement this week that they will make R-rated Marvel movies, meaning the Deadpool movies will continue. If they're going to do that, there is no reason they can't keep the Netflix corner of the Marvel Universe alive, even if it's on Hulu or Disney+ or whatever. Another thing they should do is make sure these shows come to blu-ray. There are about six seasons still missing from blu-ray, including both Punisher seasons. Blu-ray gives better picture and sound and these shows deserve to be seen and heard that way.
     
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  20. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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