In anticipation of Marvel’s most merciless anti-hero in his very own standalone Netflix series, we’d like to revisit the ten most badass Punisher moments of Daredevil season 2. Let us know your thoughts!
1. Frank vs. The Kitchen Irish
The Punisher first makes his grisly presence felt in Season 2 without ever showing his face.
The Kitchen Irish have gotten together to make plans take over the drug trade and, in the absence of the recently dispatched Kingpin, make Hell’s Kitchen their new playground. Luckily, Frank has plans of his own.
Lacing up the bad guys with a rain of armor-piercing rounds, Frank only leaves a sole survivor: Elliot Grote. The shooter remains unseen, but the audience knows who’s responsible. And he’s terrifying.
2. The Pawn Shop
Frank enters a dark and seedy pawnshop looking for a police radio. He even grabs a shotgun just for good measure. Everything’s all hunky-dory until the pawnbroker mentions that he has some child pornography for sale. Big mistake.
Frank flips the shop’s “open” sign to “closed.” He then grabs an aluminum bat and swings for the pawnbroker’s head.
Score one for Frank Castle’s occasional “good guy” nature as one more evil soul purged from Hell’s Kitchen.
3. “See ya around, Red.”
The very first episode of Daredevil season 2 ends with the Punisher’s first fight with Daredevil. Unforgettably, this culminates in Frank shooting Matt in the head, and quipping “bang,” as Daredevil goes over the ledge.
Later in the series, when the pair is forced to work together to take down Nobu and the Hand, Punisher shows off his sniper skills and proves to be a valuable ally.
“See ya around, Red” is the last thing we hear Frank say on the show – clearly indicating he’ll be returning to Hell’s Kitchen soon (perhaps next time in his very own series).
4. The Run-in with the Kingpin
Audiences were wondering when we might get to see Wilson Fisk – and if he was ever going to meet with Frank Castle. Both questions were satisfactorily answered in the prison weight room.
When Fisk rests the 500 lbs. he was bench-pressing, he makes Frank an offer he can’t refuse. He’ll get Frank on the payroll (and well on his way to freedom) if he can eliminate Dutton, the thorn in Fisk’s side.
How could Frank turn down such a mutually beneficial move? Playing up Punisher’s grayer character traits, which are rather morally dubious, Frank shows us a bit more of his criminal side in his dealings with Fisk.
5. Karen Page and the Diner
Karen Page is the only character on Daredevil who can see past the Punisher’s monstrous exterior and acts of violence and into the heart of him, where Frank Castle still resides.
After we are led to believe that Karen is next on Punisher’s kill list, it turns out that he’s actually shown up at her apartment to save her. She goes with him willingly, in part to learn more about the story she’s writing, and they sit down at a small diner.
Frank observes that Karen is in love with Matt Murdock, which she refuses to really acknowledge. Frank also opens up more about himself – and about the nature of loss. Just as things are getting deep between the pair, some of the Blacksmith’s men show up to take them out.
As one might expect, the situation does pan out well for the bad guys. With little more than a coffee pot and the butt of gun, Frank makes quick work of his would-be assassins, displaying how quickly he can transform from almost-gentle Frank back into the ruthless Punisher.
6. The Captive
Not even Frank Castle can run away forever. When the Kitchen Irish finally catch up to him, they have some big plans for the man who has caused them so much misery.
With his hands duct taped behind him, Frank takes the beating of his life.
Finally, when ringleader Finn puts a drill through Frank’s foot, and then threatens to use the same drill on his dog, Frank fesses up: he tells them that their money is hidden in a van, giving up its location.
The joke’s on Finn and his henchmen, of course. The van is rigged with explosives, sending the baddies and their money sky high. In the nick of time, Frank cuts his restraints with a hidden razor blade, grabs a shotgun, and blows a hole right through Finn’s face.
7. The Rooftop Philosopher
In a scene stolen right from the pages of Marvel comics, the Punisher chains Daredevil up on a rooftop where he explains their differences in philosophy. The Punisher thinks Daredevil’s brand of justice is cowardly because he refuses to kill. The Punisher considers himself stronger because his solutions are more permanent.
Before long, Punisher gets him to confess to killing an old lady while Daredevil squirms and tries to break free from his shackles. Daredevil could shoot the Punisher and save Grotto’s life, but killing the Punisher would go against Murdock’s own philosophy. He cannot take a life even to save another.
Grotto dies at Punisher’s hands and Daredevil is forced to live with the guilt of letting someone else die because his morals were just too strong.
8. The Prison Fight
After his meeting with the Kingpin and arranging to kill Dutton, the Punisher is strategically betrayed by Fisk and is locked in a cell block with a few of Dutton’s old buddies.
In a scene reminiscent of Rorschach from Watchmen, Punisher goes through one prisoner after another, stabbing at his attackers with any weapon he can get his hands on. He does it all: gouging eyes, breaking bones, snapping necks, and utilizing a makeshift axe to make short work of Dutton’s crew. It’s some of the best fight work on the show to date.
9. The Cemetery/“One batch. Two batch. Penny and Dime.”
While Daredevil and Punisher wait for help to arrive, Frank goes into a detailed monologue about the death of his family. He bares every ounce of any humanity he has left in a heartbreaking story of his past.
As he mentions, Frank used read the book One batch, two batch, Penny and Dime to his daughter every night when she was younger, but when he came back from the war he was changed – tired, weary. The things he used to do easily were now very difficult. Nevertheless, his daughter still asked him to. He put her off until tomorrow… But tomorrow never came for Frank Castle.
The Punisher is all that remains.
10. The Birth of the Punisher
At the end of Daredevil season 2, Frank returns home to face what he’s been running from: the ghosts of his murdered family. Frank has some interested coping strategies, namely pouring gasoline over everything he owns…
In the infamous cemetery scene, Frank mentions that when he came home from the war, everything was just the way he left it. This tells us that, at least symbolically, there is some of Frank Castle that might have been redeemed. That is, of course, until Frank loses the last of his humanity. After killing the Blacksmith, Frank Castle is truly gone. There’s nothing left of the man that once called himself a family man. As he tells Karen Page, “I’m already dead.”
Frank Castle will never return home from the war.