Nakazat continued The Punisher’s stop and start rollout of the second season. There’s good moments and never anything objectively bad, but there’s also the sense that some of this story is being dragged out.
That definitely felt the case with the Amy/Russians subplot. It’s clear the writers are trying to show Frank being the protective Papa Bear as Amy reminds him of who his daughter could have been if she were still alive. Frank’s showing tough love to help her not become a victim or worse…end up like his baby girl.
With the knowledge we have now and the very strong likelihood that there won’t be a Punisher Season 3 the Amy subplot realistically could have been resolved by now. Amy seemed more like the gateway to bring Frank into this conflict and then get written out. Maybe she pops up in the season finale to marvel at Frank completing his mission, but it almost feels like The Punisher writers wanted to create a Logan
-esque vibe here. The real question though: is it working?
Frank and Amy bum rush a guy who was working with the Russians taking skeevy pictures of teen girls in costumes. The beat down was fun, but it was just so Amy could get the film rolls developed. These kinds of pictures wouldn’t work floating around in the digital space so this made a lot of sense. Amy guilted Frank into not killing the photographer, but was perfectly fine with him burning the place down.
After some digging, they find the head of the Russian gangster squad and show him the pictures of two dudes kissing. They were taken under his orders to blackmail one of the boy’s parents — The Schultzes. They’ve been grooming him to be the next president, but his sexual orientation could prove problematic. Frank is in the Love is Love camp questioning why that would matter, but the Schultz couldn’t keep that secret and maintain their traditional values voters.
Still, Frank isn’t down for this proposed alliance. ‘Call me old fashioned, but I don’t work with Russians.’
Dumont isn’t happy with Billy running around, but he’s increasingly starting to challenge her. There’s some psychos you can’t redeem. Billy scans through her files and gets further unhinged and grabs his Jigsaw mask.
Curtis is the only smart one and is on high Billy alert, camping out in a hotel to keep he and his lady safe. It doesn’t help as Billy tracks him down wanting to know who messed up his face. He’s got no beef with Curtis, but wants him to warn everyone he’s not going back to prison.
Billy is starting to find another community with fellow soldiers, including fellow Dumont patient Jake. When Jimmy’s car gets towed, Billy rallies the guys to stop the driver and get the car back. Emboldened by their quick action and Billy’s leadership they want to do more. Maybe rob a bank? That’s not going to be good for anyone.
Billy’s really feeling himself now and when Krista challenges him this time, he throws her against the desk and kisses her. Maybe not that surprisingly, Krista doesn’t fight back.
Madani has other issues as Mahoney wants to collaborate. He says Madani was a good cop until all this Billy Russo drama started. He knows there was a third guy when she apprehended Billy and just wants her help. Madani isn’t biting though.
Before heading to work, Madani stops by her local diner, which is being scouted out by Pilgrim. Already on edge Madani doesn’t appreciate her new tail. Pilgrim assures her all he wants is Frank and the girl. Showing some very smart thinking, Madani returns to the diner hoping Pilgrim’s prints are on anything. That seems unlikely.
While Frank spared the Russian gangster, Pilgrim isn’t as forgiving. He’s tying up all the loose ends now.
Pilgrim is going to have to wait for our heroes though as Curtis talked to Jimmy and realizes the Billy threat level is escalating. He calls Frank and Madani in and tells the they’ve got to stop him now. Frank might have been putting it off, but now it’s Billy first then everything else.
Nakazat was largely a setup episode. We know some big things are about to pop off but this one was used to put everything in motion. Frank and company have a plan, but there’s no guarantee Pilgrim will let them go along with it before trying to accomplish his mission. I love the multi-layered threat aspect to this season even if I wish the episodes could build them up a bit neater.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: Netflix