Episode Title: Home
Originally Aired: November 17th, 2017
If home is where the heart is, where does Frank’s heart belong? Is it in the afterlife with his wife and kids or is it in the real-world as an agent of vengeance and justice? We get the answer in this week’s episode of The Punisher but it isn’t straight forward, it, like everything else in this show is complicated and ugly.
This episode was small in comparison to what has come in the past, it takes place in just four locations. Homeland Security headquarters, Micro’s hideout, briefly at an unknown factory and in an all-black space that lives somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, between life and death. Frank is forced to make his choice twice in this episode and it is hard to tell if he is ever fully behind his decisions or if he is forcing himself to do what he feels is best.
We also learned why Frank keeps replaying the moment where Maria wakes him up. It was when he decided to make a change in his life and it was the last meaningful conversation the two had. That was the day they decided to go to the park where she and the kids would lose their lives. I really enjoyed that reveal, because it provided a lot of weight to a scene that I was frankly sick of seeing. It was also nice to give the actress who played Maria something more to do. She doubled her mount of lines, she laughed, cried, danced and made love with Frank in a series of clips that made you feel more attached to what Frank lost. Which has been bit of a downfall for the series. I know everyone is here for The Punisher, but since it is his origin story we should have a better idea of what was taken from him. I think they tried to mimic that with Lieberman and what is happening with his family. Especially after his wife and son were taken by Billy and Rawlins.
This episode dumped most of the money it saved on building sets and on location shooting, into fake blood and special effects. People are beaten, stabbed, gouged, shot and left in pools of their own blood in brutal torture and fight sequences.
With one episode left there are several loose ends to tie up. Will Frank survive, what will the CIA do next, will Madani get her justice and will Billy get away clean and be our villain/target in season two?