Trying to think of something clever or profound to say about the experience of watching this show. That’s what I usually do here. Something to get people ready for the actual review. But I don’t have much. Crap. Let’s just get to the review.
The Punisher s01e03 Kandahar
writer: Steve Lightfoot
director: Andy Goddard
I’ve been singing the praises of Jon Bernthal and this episode continues the prose fest. Also enjoying the addition of Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Micro as an effective foil for Frank. They work quite well together. The downside is that a large amount of energy disappears when these two, especial Bernthal, aren’t onscreen. It isn’t that the rest of the cast isn’t good, but so far the only reason we have to care about them is that they are loosely connected tot he Frank story, and that second hand coolness isn’t getting them as far as the creators think. Overall a good episode, even if it does tread water a bit too much.
Spoilers Lurk Below
When we are talking about the bottle aspects of this show, Frank and Micro in their little Bunker, there are some neat character aspects going on. Who can trust who and what are the motivations going on. I also think there is just enough mystery in Bernthal’s portrayal to lead into big discussions as to whether or not Frank is conflicted about the abuse he is inflicting on a possible honest (if not outright innocent) Micro. Whether or not less mystery in such troubles would be good is debatable. I’m not even sure myself as I keep going back and forth on the matter.
I’m also on the fence about the conspiracy mystery in this show as well. It doesn’t help that a lot of the scenes concerning it are the ones that take us away from Frank, or that how the conspiracy angle was covered in Daredevil season two was not well done. None of it is done poorly, but I just can’t see it as compelling. I want to like the detectives, whose names I can’t remember, but so far they just aren’t that interesting. They feel too much like archetypes than anything fleshed out.
Still, the big sin of this particular episode is that it is just arranging chairs. Outside of that Micro and Frank link being formed, I don’t see anything in this one as being of particular note. It isn’t a good sing when an episode contains about 60% forgettable material.
Yes, it was nice and watchable and there might be a great deal of payoff. But, in the moment there was far too much fat and not enough meat on the bone. Not as clumsy as it could have been, but not as good as it should have been.