Both of the ultraviolent vigilantes at the center of this season’s dueling narratives, the Punisher and Elektra, reached a point at which they could decide to become the cold-blooded killers people said they were, or figure out another way to fight. Frank Castle chose what was behind door number one, murdering his mentor-turned-enemy and seizing his arsenal of military-grade weaponry for his own. “If you do this,” Karen had warned him, “you are the monster they say you are.” Well, that settles that.
In fact, Frank takes the metaphor a step further. “You’re dead to me,” Karen shouts in dismay when it becomes apparent he plans to kill Schoonover for his role in the gang shootout that (coincidentally? it’s unclear) wiped out the family of his former subordinate. “I’m already dead,” Castle responds, allegorically identifying himself with both the grim reaper his superhero costume evokes and even with zombie-like warriors of the Hand, who pursue their bloody quest for domination from beyond the grave. Frank Castle can relate. The whole sequence is shot like a cabin-in-the-woods horror movie, leaving Karen as the “final girl” who survives the killer’s rampage.