In Review: ‘The Punisher’ Season 2

Former Marine-turned-vigilante Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) has been living a quiet life on the road until he suddenly becomes embroiled in the attempted murder of a young girl

Synopsis: Former Marine-turned-vigilante Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) has been living a quiet life on the road until he suddenly becomes embroiled in the attempted murder of a young girl (Giorgia Whigham). As he is drawn into the mystery surrounding her and those in pursuit of the information she holds, Castle attracts a new target on his back as new and old enemies force him to confront whether he should accept his destiny and embrace a life as “The Punisher.”

Review: After what I felt was a superb first season. The second season tries to move things along but suffers at times with some incredibly slow pacing and overdone story elements that drag things out.

The Story

Having drifted through the USA Frank comes across a bar and decides to visit because he likes the music. While there he very nearly becomes involved with a bartender that takes a fancy to him, but his opportunity at a second chance of settling down with a woman is cut short when he finds himself having to rescue a troubled teen from a group of hired thugs.

Things move on from here as we are slowly introduced to The Pilgrim. A hired hitman who is tasked with hunting the girl down for what winds up being some form of a blackmail plot, which has gone seriously wrong.

Meanwhile, in New York. Billy Russo is still in the hospital and still kind of in police custody for the events that took place in the tail end of season one. Russo has no memory of events that took place after his military service and still thinks of Castle as his brother in arms. Agent Medani who has recovered physically from her bullet wound to the head is still struggling with the psychological repercussions and has been visiting Russo daily because she believes he has been lying about his loss of memory and wants a confrontation with him.

As the series moves forward. Frank is tasked with not only protecting the young girl called Amy from the Pilgrim and any other person that is sent out to kill her, but he also has to help Medani track down Billy Russo with a view to bringing him in alive, which just isn’t likely to happen.

Though the story is rather slow, the series still has a few interesting twists and turns and it does ask a number of interesting questions about the morality of taking justice into one’s own hands among a few more contentious topics.

The Acting

While the storyline and plot for this season are somewhat plodding. The same cannot be said for the acting.

Jon Bernthal puts in another powerhouse performance as Frank and that is in spite of being given some of the most repetitive dialogue in the history of repetitive dialogue. A lot of Franks scenes with Amy (Giorgia Whigham) show use both the strict if not over the top and more caring father that Frank could be. Amy has one of the more fun arcs in this series and I particularly enjoyed the scene where Frank teaches her how to disarm someone.

There’s a fun plot point in the show where Billy winds up falling in love with his psychologist who truth be told turns out to be as messed up as he is. The psychologist Dr. Krista Dumont is played brilliantly by Floriana Lima.

We also get a compelling performance from Josh Stewart as Pilgrim who has a quiet determination that is kind of spooky.

Returning cast members Amber Rose Revah and Ben Barnes also put in strong performances with what they are given.


As said above. This series suffered from pacing issues. For example, the whole plot surrounding Billy Russo’s supposed memory loss felt as though it was done to death, but the relationship that forms between him and Krista kind of moves that on a bit, but that didn’t happen until much later in the series. When it comes to Krista. I felt her character’s backstory was fairly lacking and it would have been interesting to have perhaps spent a little time working on that as opposed to Russo’s amnesia plot.

The action sequences throughout are as brutal as ever and I did enjoy the fact that Frank got to work alongside his old mate Curtis a bit more this year, but did miss the character of Micro from the first season and would have liked to have seen him again. Even if just for a one-off episode.

Overall. This is a serviceable second season, which concludes with Frank deciding to stay on his path as a dangerous vigilante, but it was nowhere near as good or as compelling as the show’s first season.

'The Punisher' Season 2
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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