Netflix has already renewed The Punisher for Season 2 and Omega Underground is reporting that production on the second season will remain in New York City. As you might have guessed from the word “remain,” the first season was also filmed and set there.
With the series keeping that aspect intact, there are a plethora of lessons from Season 1 that Season 2 should take into consideration. Some of those lessons could lead to changes from the series’ freshman outing. As is the case with many series, The Punisher experienced some growing pains as it evolved throughout its 13-episode run.
There were things that worked and others that didn’t. These are five lessons that The Punisher should take into consideration as it readies Season 2.
Warning: Spoilers for The Punisher Season 1 are discussed below.
1. Micro’s family is great
Micro’s family provided a tender counterpart to the military conspiracy that ran rampant throughout the season. Frank (Jon Bernthal) trying to help Micro’s “widow” and children gave him the chance to show his softer side.
If there were two missteps in the storyline, it was Frank not resolving his missed dinner with Micro’s daughter Leo, and Micro’s son never apologizing for hitting her.
2. Billy Russo is a great villain, whose survival needed better rationale
Nothing was more pleasantly surprising than Ben Barnes’ outstanding performance as the psychopathic Billy Russo. So it makes sense that the series would want to keep him around. How the series went about that is where things got confusing.
Frank’s core credo has always been to put his enemies down, so why would he let Billy live to die another day? He said it was to make him suffer, but all his actions have done is allowed Billy to ultimately return and inevitably hurt someone Frank cares about in the future.
3. Frank and Karen are everything
The best episode of The Punisher‘s first season was Episode 10, “Virtue of the Vicious.” In it, Frank and Karen’s relationship takes center stage as he rides to her rescue. In this episode, The Punisher proves it knows how to tease the audience with something it wants.
Frank and Karen’s connection was organically developed in Daredevil Season 2, and their arc on The Punisher builds on what that series founded. Would it have hurt the spin-off series to have explored it more though? You can never get too much of a good thing and by losing some of the various subplots that The Punisher featured, it could have paved the way for that.
4. No more fake-out deaths
As of the end of Season 1, Micro (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) has faked his death twice. While it probably caused permanent damage to his family’s psyche, it also messed with the audience’s belief he was actually at risk of dying.
When the audience stops believing a character is vulnerable, it loses its overall sense of suspense and that trust cannot be restored overnight. The series also tricked the audience into believing that Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah) had been fatally shot, when she wasn’t. That is one too many fake-out deaths for a single season.
5. Less punishment, more punisher
There were many times throughout Season 1, where Frank struggled to take out his opponents. When he was on Daredevil that was heart-in-the-throat material because it felt so plausibly visceral.
After seeing what he is capable of throughout both series, it became harder to believe that Frank would have to work so hard to win. Perhaps, it is his desire to suffer and be punished taking the helm, but it is not fun to watch. Frank being tortured consumed way too much time and it was torture to watch.
The first season of The Punisher is currently streaming on Netflix. No air date has been released for Season 2.