The previous episode might have created some doubt, but Memento Mori concluded The Punisher’s first season in gloriously satisfying fashion. It effectively wrapped all the remaining subplots and had an amazing ending.
Ma, Dad, guess who’s coming to dinner? The most wanted man in New York City? Good thing Madani’s father is a doctor capable of doing some makeshift surgery. I really liked the foreshadowing of Billy wincing and making a big deal about taking one bullet out of his arm compared to Frank’s near death status. Madani’s agents should get a job as bench-warming Hydra goons since they weren’t effective at all in capturing Billy. The slow-motion explosion scene was more Desperado than The Dark Knight, but either inspiration works.
Madani has a much better understanding on how the political game is played and wasn’t about to give Frank up to Ravi or Marion. After all, Frank and Micro knew too many secrets Marion would prefer stayed buried and Madani knew it. I loved her absolute no chill mode in that debriefing scene. Micro might have been a little too excited in his bathroom hookup with Sarah, but good for them for keeping things lively. I’m really glad Micro and his family got their well deserved happy ending.
Frank’s vendetta is nearly over. There’s just the matter of Billy now. Billy was wrapping his loose ends too as he was trying to kill Curtis, but Frank knew Billy too well and saved Curtis. I’m shocked Curtis managed to survive this season.
To settle the score, Billy wanted a showdown at the merry go round where Frank’s family was gunned down. Billy has no class man. That was evident as Frank kept having flashbacks to that fateful day including the bonus footage of Billy hanging with the family earlier.
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Director Stephen Surjik incorporated the flashbacks much better than those in Home. Surjik fully conveyed Frank’s disoriented state and trauma from being at that location. The final fight with Frank and Billy was strong with the gun play and even better when it went to edged weapons.
It’s good Billy was such an ass otherwise Frank’s final beat down including smearing his face along shattered glass would have made anyone else sympathetic. I’m glad Memento Mori writer/showrunner Steve Lightfoot didn’t go off script and have Frank kill Billy. Ben Barnes was too excellent this season not to get an encore playing Jigsaw. Ditto for not killing off Madani as Amber Rose Revah was a pleasant surprise all season.
With his record expunged and the ability to lead a free life, Frank had a lot of options, which made his decision to join Curtis’ support group such a fitting ending. Sure, he’s going to don the skill bulletproof vest eventually, but it made for a better conclusion to have Frank try to find some peace.
Memento Mori ended The Punisher’s first season on a high note. With an overall high quality of episodes and terrific performances, this is the new Netflix Marvel series to beat. I fully plan to watch this again very soon.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: Netflix