This might very well be the last time we get the now, certainly iconic and defining take on the role which is a shame. With the recent MCU cancellations, I fear that will continue with this series which is disappointing as I thought this was a great improvement over the initial series. In The Punisher Season 2 we get a very different Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), he's had some time to cool down and is almost getting into a regular life. We get a glimpse of this at the start, but that's not really what we came to see as this guy needs to get to punishing people.
That's the initial just of where the character is, events are giving him a slight optimism and that comes crashing down as he notices this younger woman being pursued by some dangerous looking people. This is where a key theme and dynamic comes in as Frank is paired with this young woman (Giorgia Whigham). He looks after her and of course, we get that typical mentor type situation which actually works here. I usually hate this sort of setup, but it was a nice opposition to the intensity of Castle and really well done. Quick note that it's more father/daughter, in case that isn't clear.
Their relationship progressed naturally over the course of the season and ended up being a highlight of the series. This aspect of him protecting the girl was one of the main elements at play, but this was actually a three way battle. Not all of the sides were connected, but there was certainly an overlap at times. You have a returning enemy which I won't spoil and their faction going against The Punisher while this new mysterious Preacher-like character has another group after the girl. The two are then stuck in the middle, with some other returning friends helping out or generally being caught in the mix. They're also not always friendly.
Dinah (Amber Rose Revah) was great in here as she had a personal struggle and that leads into a big part of this. While the season is long in terms of episodes, they spend the proper amount of needed time to develop the conflicts. You get to know the key people from each faction and it doesn't slow down the pacing. You get actual motivations and manipulations which brings great results. There's action for sure that's visceral and well choreographed, but you get the more emotional notes that help drive the various characters at play. This was also very well shot, bringing some special moments and generally being an exciting time. It really is great when we get to see the intense action scenes come into play after calmer moments and they don't hold back.
It felt entirely disconnected from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of the style, but you will hear some mentions of the other Marvel MCU characters though don't expect anything too wild in terms of a cross-over.
The Punisher Season 2 brings the action you expect, while also having a mentor dynamic that perfectly opposes the cold Frank Castle. By having someone entirely new enter the picture and be a great pairing for the lead, is something that rarely works. I really felt that they had a genuinely great relationship that was built over the course of the episodes and it made them both grow as individuals.
It was a different side of the character as Castle worked to figure out why these people were chasing her, while at the same time opening up a bit about why he's always headed into war. I typically hate this type of dynamic in films and shows, but they pulled it off here in a meaningful way. There's also a lot of purpose for those going up against The Punisher and you slowly get a sense of their direction. It builds towards a really intense series of events and this works towards what's a more intimate, yet greatly improved second season for the series.
The Punisher Season 2 Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening was Provided by Netflix