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The Punisher – S1E9/S1E10/S1E11 – Front Toward Enemy/Virtue of the Vicious/Danger Close

Previously on The Punisher

“Front Toward Enemy”

Following a deadly explosion, Karen lands in a bomber’s crosshairs—and Frank isn’t happy about it. Meanwhile Curtis makes a grisly discovery. – Netflix

Images: Netflix

Grief

Still reeling from the Sam’s death Dinah has more questions than answers. What do you do when a plan you executed results in the death of your partner? How do you prove you were saved by a ghost? How do you get your superiors to listen to you when your previous plans have failed so miserably? You go after the CIA and try to bang Prince Caspian, that’s what, and he continues to play the role of supportive paramour. Dinah has a chance meeting with Micro where he drops dime about the mission in Kandahar revealing to her that William Rawlins lead the ops team that murdered the police officer.

Broken

Lewis sets his plan in motion with a series of bombing attacks at the ATF Field office, 10 Ave NYPD Precinct and Federal Courthouse. Lewis feels like he is the common hero in his story like Frank and reaches out the Karen for help, the difference here being that Lewis is attacking the innocent versus punishing those who may deserve it.  Karen does not write a story painting Lewis in a positive light, he is deemed a terrorist who needs to answer for his crimes. She says it quite plainly during a radio interview with Senator Stan Ori, who is running on a strict platform of gun control. This interview gives Frank the clues to narrow down Lewis as the Bomber but Curtis has already figured it out and tries one more time to reach out to him. Things turn ugly when Lewis attacks Curtis in a brutal hand fist fight resulting in him being beaten almost to death with his own prosthetic leg.  Curtis ends up strapped to a chair with a bomb on his chest. Who in the writer’s room decided this was the way to go? Who sat down while outlining this episode and decided that Lewis would be so enraged he would beat a man with his own leg? Of all the brutality in the episodes to this point, this scene was brutal and intimate. Frank and Lewis have a virtual standoff as he is trying save Curtis’ life and prevent Lewis from harming anyone else, just when you think maybe Frank has gotten through the Lewis the police show up and Frank’s cover is officially blown via NYPD dash cam.

“Virtue of the Vicious”

An attack on a high–profile politician is examined (and re-examined) through different perspectives. Madani discovers a painful truth. – Netflix

In the Room Where it Happened

Lewis sets another plan in motion to kill Karen Page and Senator Ori. Karen and the Senator set up an interview at a hotel to discuss gun control. The episode is told from the points of view of Karen, Senator Ori, Mike Russo, Dinah and Frank as the detective tries to put the pieces together about what really happened. Frank reached out to Russo before the attack, told him his plan to keep Lewis from killing more innocent people. The heavily guarded suite is manned by ANVIL staff who are easily subdued by Lewis. Senator Ori proclaims himself a hero, when the reality is Karen helped him escape and was then used as a human shield by Lewis. Dinah finds Russo in the lobby as she asks him point blank about the men under his employ at the time of Sam’s murder. Russo still trying to play all sides and proceeds to gaslight Dinah and making it seem as if there is no way he would still be associated with those men. Dinah isn’t convinced but she still hasn’t put together that Russo killed Sam. It isn’t until Dinah, Frank and Russo are in a standoff in the stairwell that Dinah realizes where Russo’s allegiance lies, with himself and Rawlins. Lewis and Karen are forced to the basement of the hotel and Frank gives chase. Lewis is broken and as much as I despised him for beating the breaks off of Curt, I felt for him and how lost he was when he returned from Afghanistan, how he felt his life was without purpose and he needed to make noise in order to be seen. Lewis is beyond being saved and kills himself by detonating a bomb in the walk-in cooler of the hotel kitchen.

Throughout the episode, the detective is trying to frame a scenario where Frank Castle and Lewis Wilson (formerly Walcott according to IMDB) worked as a team in this attack. Dinah and Karen call bullshit on his theories and tell him to look at the evidence not what fits a certain narrative or newspaper headlines. I know I said I didn’t want any more Karen in the show because generally speaking, the less Karen the better. But this episode she served a purpose, she was a true advocate for Frank and a more trustworthy narrator than the Senator.

“Danger Close”

As danger knocks on Sarah’s door, Frank takes his quest for vengeance to the next level with some help from an unexpected ally. -Netflix

Fuck Mike Russo, and not in the sexy way

Dinah has the nerve to be upset with Russo because he is using the news to create a narrative that he is just a good guy doing his job, when she practically spoon-fed Frank Castle to him. And who goes throwing mugs around at work. She calls in Russo for a proper questioning. Russo plays dirty and tries to throw their sexual relationship in her face during the interview. He admits to nothing but is surprised when she drops her ace in the hole, the name of William Rawlins. Dinah finally does something impactful, she spills all the tea to the right person, Marion James, director of the CIA. She tells her about Rawlins, Wolf, the heroin, the torture and the murders. What does Marion do? She does exactly what you expect her to do, deny, protect and deflect. But she is visibly rattled as she was unaware of the extent Rawlins misdeeds.

Rawlins Gonna Rawlins

Rawlins likes throwing the word “we” around. He doesn’t know where his life begins and the agency ends. He needs to clean up his mess and wants permission from his boss to do it. Knowing only a small portion of his transgressions Marion agrees that he can do what needs to be done. This involves ANVIL sending a team to the Micro/Castle bunker to kill Frank. Russo is trying his best to stay out of the crosshairs of Marion James, Rawlins claims he is protected and Russo is foolish enough to believe him. As soon as Rawlins’ neck is on the line he spills the beans about Russo, makes a convincing argument to lay all of the murders at the feet of Russo. Marion agrees it’s for the good of the Agency, but Rawlins is done, his career is over.

Family Reunion

Micro’s family tries to come to grips with Pete’s lies, this leads Zach to call the tip Frank Castle tip-line. This spells nothing but trouble for the Liebermans. An ANVIL contractor is sent to their home to find the whereabouts of Frank, when that doesn’t work he kidnaps the Sarah and Zach. Leo manages to escape. If Lewis’ death wasn’t enough, the kidnapping of Zach and Sarah sends Frank into full blown Punisher because apparently what we’d been seeing was Punisher-lite, Diet Punisher, the Tab of Punishers. This Punisher saves children and decapitates his enemies. It’s the first time we see The Punisher in all black adorned with the memento mori, and the air was taken out of my lungs as he went on a rampage. It’s a grimy, bloody and loud as Frank calls for Russo’s punk-ass. Frank is all shoot first ask questions later, I am not sure how you get answers that way but he winds up with a dead man’s cell phone and makes a call the playboy Billy Russo. Russ finally checks out the Micro/Frank bunker and realizes he is fucked.

The show did not shit the bed after episode 7 and I am more than pleased. Why it took 6 seasons of other Marvel shows to achieve this feat I am not sure but I welcome it. Jon Bernthal may not have known he was getting his beak whet with the Shane character in order to portray Frank Castle but he most definitely was. His version of The Punisher is the best portrayal on both the big and small screens, much like Chris Evans is my Captain America, Jon Bernthal is my Punisher.

With two episodes remaining I am not sure where the show is going.

  • Will Russo and Rawlins get their comeuppance?
  • Will we see Curtis again?
  • Does Micro reunite with Sarah and Zach?
  • Does Rawlins kill Marion James? She gotta die right; he isn’t going to let her end his career.

Not a binger? No problem. ProFans Ejiro and Kituria will be reviewing the first season of Punisher a few episodes at a time each week.

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About Kituria Gaines (95 Articles)
Kituria is an award winning shower and car singer, lover of Game of Thrones and novice guitar player. She spends her free time, searching Netflix for just the right movie, cooking, attending concerts and dragging friends to free cultural events.
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