The Punisher - First Impressions
The Punisher - First Impressions
We’ve taste tested the first two episodes of Marvel's The Punisher on Netflix and have some first impression thoughts for you if you’re still on the fence.
- Episode 1 | 3am
- Episode 2 | Two Dead Men
We’ll be back with a full review once we’ve watched all 13 episodes!
Cover artwork courtesy of @EthanAmundsen
Initial take on The Punisher after only 2 episodes?
Logan | I didn’t have my hopes set too high for this series but it’s not too bad. There is some underlying annoyance at how much time he spends trying to fly under the radar but then spends 12hr days attacking a wall with a sledgehammer? I like the gritty feel to this series and his world has a bit of depth with the references to Afghanistan/Iraq...
Paul | Jon Bernthal is awesome in this role. He really sells the character - perfect casting. Brilliant writing with some hilarious moments, which are needed in amongst the violence and anger! Love the opening credits design and the opening theme music is fantastic too. What I like about The Punisher is, despite all the anger, he’s also got a strategy and patience about him too - love the drawn out scenes of him trying to remain unseen.
Dan | I’m 100% hooked. I’m a full Punisher fanboy and this is turning into everything I’ve ever wanted in a Punisher to screen adaption. My excitement for what’s to come is off the richter scale. Full credit to Jon Bernthal for bringing this brooding, angry, anti-hero and bad-ass to life.
Samara | Violent, bloody, angsty, fast paced action. All of my my favourite things. TWSS.
Ethan | I watched it only to be cool like everyone else, but I love it! I don’t want to watch someone discover themselves and their powers… I want to see somebody wreck shit from the get go - which I feel is what I got. All with hipster and manbun jokes tied in.
How does The Punisher compare (so far) to the wider Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Defenders series?
Logan | This is way more my cup’o’tea than the others shows I’ve sampled. There is some nice understated humour with the hipster references etc and it hasn’t veered into the farcical yet either.
Paul | It’s right up there. After a very mediocre Defenders S1, The Punisher S1 is miles ahead after just 2 episodes. I’ll need to watch a few more episodes to see if it can surpass Luke Cage S1, Jessica Jones S1 and Daredevil S1&2 as I found all of those to be top notch. Iron Fist S1 was good, but I already have a strong feeling Punisher will finish ahead of this.
Dan | The Punisher feels like a distant cousin to the wider Netflix Marvel universe, and I think that’s the best thing ever. You can tell it links into the wider world, particularly with Daredevil, though it’s not trying to force this wider setting into the story. Also The Punisher doesn’t give a damn whether he fits into that world or not. The Punisher does what the Punisher wants. So if you’re worried you haven’t seen any of the other Netflix Marvel shows, don’t, it’s perfectly fine as a stand alone so far.
Samara | so far, way better. Apart from the original Jessica Jones, I don’t think I’ve finished the full season of any of the following series. I love a good superhero show but the story lines just bored me. I’m hoping for a good change this time round.
Ethan | My only other foray into the Marvel series of shows was Iron Fist .. which I never got hooked on - I didn't even make it to the season finale. Maybe I’ve had this perception that the other shows would be poorly produced with lackluster acting, but I’m fully hooked into it now… I might even have to go back and actually watch Daredevil, Jessica Jones, etc.
Ethan’s Mum is a nurse, she wants to watch The Punisher, though she’s not quite sure who and what ‘The Punisher’ is? Describe The Punisher for Ethan’s Mum.
Logan | Perhaps a Charles Bronson in ‘Death Wish’ or good ole’ Dirty Harry might be a helpful comparison? Revenge is a big motivator for this guy - basically old testament ‘an eye for eye’...
Paul | The first time I ever encountered The Punisher was when Jon Bernthal showed up in Daredevil, so I was in the same boat as Ethan’s mum until recently. Give or take Bruce Banner, Walter Sobchak and Mr Grumpy, The Punisher is the angriest person you’ve ever met. Unfortunately, he’s also very good with weapons, his fists and anything else he can get his hands on. Try not to piss him off (just ask Daredevil).
Dan | Well the Punisher is a very angry man. He’s served time in the military, he’s lost his family and he definitely suffers from some type of PTSD which he then channels into a black rage for killing everyone who has ever wronged him. He’s almost more like a Deadpool style hero without the chortles and haha’s.
Samara | Hi Ethan’s mum. I would describe it as a bloody battle of revenge, where the main protagonist is an absolute anti-hero, badAF but gets caught-up with doing the right thing.
Ethan | I wouldn’t even know where to begin…
If you had to give The Punisher a mid-term report, two episodes in, how would it fare?
Logan | It’s running on about 70% for me so far but I’m encouraged and optimistic that it will just get better. A bit over the ‘wake-up’ scenes with his dead wife where she talks to him like a baby and he pats her like a dog...
Paul | It’s at 87% for me and if it can maintain the form of S01E02 this show will finish in the high 90s for sure. A strong start with great potential.
Dan | The Punisher is a 13 episode season and we’re being introduced to several new characters and factions that will play bigger roles in the story to come. At times it feels like we’re jumping around to lots of sub characters, but the good thing is that it’s almost as though the writers know this, so they’re adding in huge smatterings of violence and general badassery to keep us grounded in The Punisher’s world. I’m loving where it’s heading, the tone, the story, all of it. Great moves Frank, keep it up – 90%
Samara | I’m gonna go with 90% - we’ve started off with a bang, but unless a few things tie together in future episodes I will wonder what the point of a few scenes were.
Ethan | Will.Watch.More. 85%.