Episode Title: The Judas Goat
Originally Aired: November 17th 2017
Episode six was a lesson in dichotomies it as simultaneously the sweetest and most brutal episode of the series so far. Frank’s delusions and flashbacks to the death of his family receive an unexpected uptick in viciousness. The tale of a soldier struggling with his return to life as a civilian took a dramatic and fatal turn. A real life story of military training that is every PETA members worst nightmare and a betrayal round out the depressing side of the episode.
Luckily it is buffered by scenes of memories of holidays past, families taken too soon and expressions of true friendships. It is an action free episode as Frank is on the mend from the injuries he suffered when he and Gunner were attacked in the previous episode. I enjoyed the more relaxed and dramatic tone of this episode that help foster the relationships between several characters. We are able to learn more about Curtis and his role in the military and how he would never be the same even after his training. We learn about stolen valor and how that affects some soldiers, especially those still adjusting to their old lives. I want to talk more about this episode because it is my favorite of the season so far. I implore you to watch it for yourself and judge these men and women for yourself because many of them will illicit strong emotions.
Soldiers aren’t always the only people that suffer from the trials of war. Their families can be forever changed as well; in this case the focus is on the Lieberman family and how the loss of David has thrown them for a loop and sent them down different paths. A mother who fears that she is losing her grip on the family she has left, a child that feels the need to control everything because it is the only way they feel safe, and another who is angry and has turned to violence as their outlet.
This episode was directed by Jeremy Webb best known at this point for directing episodes of Downton Abbey and Masters of Sex, but he may now be known as a director of superhero shows. He has an episode of Legion and The Runaways yet to be released, and after today I can’t wait to watch those episodes. His approach to the dramatic will work great for the psychological thriller that is Legion but I would like to see how he handles action. Unfortunately, this is his only episode of Punisher so we will all have to wait for his next project.