“The Punisher” thoughts, Season One, Episode Seven: “Crosshairs”

This is frequently the point where Marvel/Netflix shows run out of both story and steam. Both the woefully overrated Jessica Jones and the enjoyable but bloated Luke Cage made the mistake of dispatching their antagonists early (successfully imprisoning the telepathic rapist Kilgrave in episode 9 of the former, killing off the charismatic ganglord Cottonmouth in episode 7 of the latter), forcing them to generate preposterous plot twists (prison breaks, long-lost brothers, etc.) to run out the time for the rest of the season. Daredevil Season 2 did something similar by wrapping up its initial Punisher storyline by episode 4 before introducing secondary antagonist/love interest Elektra and eventually making the inert ninja master Nobu the season’s big bad, but since Castle never fully went away and Elektra was an entertaining substitute in her own right, it weathered things well enough. Of the shows from this corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe I’ve seen (life’s too short for Iron Fist and The Defenders), only the first season of Daredevil felt like it had a beginning, middle, and end that justified its length, rather than the other way around, and honestly even that could have been tightened up.

So I’m pleasantly surprised to see how engaged I remain in the questions and storylines remaining at this point in The Punisher. I fully expected Frank to successfully plug Agent Orange, a la Jessica locking up Kilgrave or Cottonmouth getting beaten to death by his cousin Mariah. But thanks to bulletproof glass, Frank blew it, and now I’m intrigued to see how he and Micro can overcome the obstacle of a target who sees them coming.

My review of The Punisher Episode 7 contains a brief Comparative Marvel/Netflix Studies lesson.

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