With the recent cancellation of The Punisher (And Jessica Jones) being announced, being the final nail in the coffin for Marvel Netflix, I got to thinking how they could have improved their most recently released series, Punisher Season 2… Now this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the series, it was a lot better than Jessica Jones Season 2, for example, but it has definitely slowed down a hell of a lot and lost some of it’s bang. Needless to say there are spoilers ahead.
Improve or write out Agent Madani
I’m pretty sure I’ve covered this before, but I just can’t stand her. I’m unsure if it’s down to the acting or the way the character is written but it seems she sees herself as part of a trinity with Billy and Frank, I do not. Yes I understand she was hurt by Billy and he screwed her over, but I really do feel she’d have served the story better if Billy killed her off and had given Frank more of a reason to kill him. In Season 2 she is a really big part of the backstory, but they seem to try and force her into the forefront a lot, and it doesn’t really work. She gets involved with every character and has some sort of pre-existing relationship with everybody. She does come into her own a little towards the end, but I still disliked her on-screen presence.
Make it 10 episodes
There were a fair few episodes of filler here, especially episode 9 – I think you could cut it out and lose nothing. The basic stories are Billy has lost his memory, Frank wants to kill him, there’s a girl who Frank’s helping that’s run away from a cult who gets mixed up in it. There are then some side characters who serve the primary story; now to me this is just a basic story of revenge and doesn’t warrant a 13 episode run. If it had been cut down, it could have been much faster paced with a quick narrative and brutal consequences happening every episode, however what we get is a stretched out story which still has slight moments of brutality and a lack luster driving force, there’s also a lot of Frank grunting miserably.
Give Amy and John Pilgrim a better back story
The overarching story involving the Russians, the cult and Amy really doesn’t have enough time spent on it, and although it’s explained in a satisfying conclusion at the end, it’s never truly clear who has what motives. It seems that a bit too much time is spent developing relationships, which perhaps isn’t necessary, and more time should have been spent explaining Amy and John’s backstory and why they’re linked. There is a big build up for them to get to the end of the series, but in all honesty John’s built to be a badass, solely put in to fight Frank then gets let off the hook; not for me. They both get a lot of screen time which almost feels empty as so much of it doesn’t really progress the story, it feels that the show directors didn’t know whether or not to go all-in with these guys, and it probably doesn’t help that it’s now been cancelled… So any onward story is non existent. Amy doesn’t do a lot except give Frank someone to half care about; let’s be honest, she’s only here to make him look more human, but her story itself is uninteresting and hidden until near the end; I expect some people gave up. Equally with John, I didn’t know why I should care about him and he doesn’t do anything interesting until episode 10. Both of these felt a little needless, and only put it so it wasn’t solely about Frank and Billy, but were then wasted. They really contrast badly compared to Frank and Billy who are both well played and deep characters.
Give Billy’s psych (Krista) more reason to be a turncoat
Oh hey Billy let me heal your mind… Oh wait I’m now super in love with you… What the damn heck is happening here? I’m fine with this type of story line (Harley Quinn anyone?), but there’s not enough to go on here, and really nothing at all until the last few episodes. Maybe they should have picked her as a more main character and given her more time and us more reasons on why she’s such an unhinged psychiatrist. The turn is just too sudden and almost seems forced as she helps Billy when he escapes, and suddenly wants to fuck him, then love him. She does serve the series well in the fact that she acts as a safehouse for Billy, but her turn from helpful psychiatrist to kinky fuck buddy is too forced.
I’m a sucker for some brutal action and series one had it in plentiful doses, and what The Punisher is really about is brutal action. Yes there is a story, but really what I want is to see him punching, stabbing and shooting his way through enemies; to me the story is a reason for this to happen… However the action pieces (Although still as exciting and devastating as ever) are few and far between, and some are even cut down for some odd reason. What really disappointed me was the fight with John (Which had been built all series) was short and had no ending, and the fight with Billy didn’t even fucking happen; Madani almost kills him and Frank just finishes him off with 2 bullets… Although it was badass, it was definitely disappointing and could have been more epic.
So overall I wasn’t overly impressed, and felt it definitely dragged. It’s a shame it’s been cancelled, but I can see why, and I probably won’t be watching Jessica Jones Series 3 as a matter of fact either!!