The Punisher: Two Dead Men
November 17, 2017 11:56 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

A mysterious phone call forces Frank's hand. Meanwhile, Madani goes digging for suspects and Curtis delivers a message.

*In the flashback, Frank takes a ferry past the Statue of Liberty with his kids.
*At a diner, Frank reads an article by Karen about his Little Italy massacre, then gets called on the diner phone by a mystery man who claims to be another 'ghost' and wants to know if he got the disc he left him. Frank spots a reflection from a rooftop and races to it, but finds only a flashlight pointing at a mirror and a phone with a "Don't disappoint me" note, and the mystery man waving from the roof of the diner.
*At home, Frank watches the disc (labeled Micro), and finds it's a video of his torture and murder of Ahmad. Later he goes to visit Curtis to ask if he knows how Micro might have found him. Frank says that Schoonover said that his family was murdered because of something he did in Kandahar, that his outfit was lent to the CIA for interrogation and assassination.
*Dinah tells Sam that the reason she's so sure about Ahmad's murder is because she was given the recording as well, in Kandahar anonymously, but it was stolen from her before she was transferred back to the US. She believes that it's Schoonover and Frank in the video, and wants to talk to Billy Russo, a former member of Franks unit who now lives in NYC. Back at the Homeland Security office, she asks her boss (Carson Wolf) about having a tactical training exercise to better bond with the unit.
*Frank pretends to be a homeless guy to get Karen's attention, then goes back to her place for a drink, and asks her to help him find out who Micro is. She says she'll see what she can do, and gives him a hug.
*At the newspaper, she finds a reference to a Micro story but not the story. Her editor, Ellison, says Micro was an NSA analyst leaking classified information according to one conspiracy-minded reporter, but they couldn't get anyone to go on the record, and then Carson Wolf came by and asked him not to run the story because it would interfere with a bigger investigation, so he killed it.
*In his cyberstalker bat-cave, Micro spies on his family's home security/appliance cameras.
*Dinah and Sam go through the tactical exercises, run by Billy Russo's company, Anvil. She tries to ask him about his combat unit history, and is shut down by Carson, but Billy invites her out for a drink.
*Karen contacts Frank with her info - Micro was David Lieberman, who was supposedly killed by Homeland Security while resisting capture.
*Frank goes to the Lieberman house and gets himself hit by Sarah's car. She brings him inside for first aid and a coffee, and they talk about their dead families while Micro freaks out and races over, but leaves without confronting Frank directly when it seems Sarah is not in danger. (And Frank fixes the garage door.)
*Frank shaves off the 'hipster' beard and cuts his hair. Then he goes to Carson's home and beats him unconscious. When he comes to, tied to a chair, a masked Frank torture-interrogates him about where Lieberman is. He insists he's dead, and that torture doesn't work, so Frank shoots him in the leg. When he starts pressing on the wound, Carson manages to get free and grab the gun. He unmasks Frank, gives his 'Evil Speech of Evil' about why his family was killed, then shoots Frank, but the gun was empty all along. Frank kills Carson.
*At a bar, Dinah asks Billy about Frank, but their date-ish is interrupted by the call to the Carson crime scene. Sam tells her she's ranking agent now.
*At another diner, Frank has reactivated his phone and receives a call from Lieberman. He arranges a meeting, routing Lieberman through multiple locations, finally ending at the cemetery where Lieberman's tombstone is, but Curtis is there instead, with the message that Frank doesn't want to hear from him again and that Frank will visit Sarah if Lieberman tries to contact him again.
*But actually, Frank snuck himself into the trunk of the car to hitch a ride back to the cyberbat-cave. And then he punches Lieberman.
posted by oh yeah! (7 comments total)
It wasn't clear to me how Dinah figured out that it was Schoonover et al in the video, but, I guess that's just one of those things you have to take as a given for the story to work, same as the willingness of baddies to monologue. (Though Carson definitely seemed like the kind of baddie who would monologue at someone, given the opportunity.)

That hug. My little shipper heart. (I mean, I don't want Karen/Frank to actually happen because he is a walking nightmare and all, but, that was a nice hug.)
posted by oh yeah! at 12:15 PM on November 17, 2017

It's a good thing Frank didn't make Sarah mad. He's a tough guy and all, but an angry Blutbad could still tear him apart.
posted by homunculus at 3:18 PM on November 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh, forgot to mention one thing about this episode -- I don't know what they were going for with the wide-shot-cutaways during Frank's initial beating of Carson Wolf. I'm so used to that as a comedy filming tactic, like in the "Night at the Museum" movies during the tiny Cowboy/Roman Soldier scenes, or the 'locked off comedy frame' fight scenes in Leverage or The Librarians, that I found it very oddly distancing.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:12 AM on November 18, 2017

I was trying to figure out if this version of Micro was more inspired by Person of Interest or Watch Dogs. I'm leaning towards Watch Dogs, because the guy with a city-wide surveillance station tucked inside an abandoned industrial space spying on his closest family ostensibly for their protection is a potent parallel.

I don't know how you get a semi-automatic handgun to run out of bullets without the slide sticking in the breach-open position, but presumably Frank could rig something up.
posted by figurant at 7:54 PM on November 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

figurant, just remove the follower from the mag and you're good to go!
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 7:23 AM on November 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

figurant, just remove the follower from the mag and you're good to go!

Yep. IIRC he only fires once, meaning he needs one bullet in the chamber for the trick to work.
posted by gauche at 8:58 AM on November 20, 2017

I don't know what they were going for with the wide-shot-cutaways during Frank's initial beating of Carson Wolf.

it reminded me of zack snyder's take on the home invasion at the beginning of Watchmen
posted by entropicamericana at 7:46 AM on November 22, 2017

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