Important things happen, but overall this episode gives us a breather. I like a show that gives me a change of pace. When the real action starts up again, it’s much more meaningful.


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In a weird fever dream, Castle is being welcomed home by his family and David Lieberman’s family, but they’re all in David’s home. Frank is happy until someone comes to the door, and he finds himself zip-tied to a chair. Masked soldiers march in theatrically and execute both families as he screams.


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Frank’s still got a giant arrow in him

In real life, Frank is twisting and turning feverishly on a cot in the lair and calling out in his delirium. But Micro is gone, walking through the rain to obtain Curtis’ help.

Curtis makes good use of his training as a corpsman to operate on Frank and remove the arrow Gunner shot him with last episode. Micro almost faints as Curtis removes the very large, barbed arrow from The Punisher’s shoulder. Curtis cauterizes the wound to stop the bleeding, uses whiskey as a disinfectant and hands it to the shaking Micro. Curtis is mad at Micro though, for dragging Frank into this dangerous situation.

Billy and Dinah are having a fling. Billy finds Frank’s file in Dinah’s apartment and feels betrayed. He’s starting to realize Dinah has something going on with Frank, somehow. He says, “Did you know they never found his body?” Billy is definitely suspecting that Frank is alive now. Dinah gets distant and (as Billy puts it) “mean” to get him to stop asking questions. They both leave, angry.



Frank is doing better. He’s at least conscious. Mostly.


Frank wakes up and tries to get up and save Gunner. Micro tells him Gunner’s dead, so Frank’s response is to immediately try to get up and bury him. He’s not thinking very clearly right now. Micro talks him down: “I took care of it. He’s gonna get a proper burial.” Frank gets that, at least, says, “Thank you.” and lies back down.

In group, Curtis clashes gently with O’Conner, a miserable, angry old man who seems to be proposing armed revolution. O’Conner says Lewis understands and “saw the light.” Curtis passes that by, and gets sad thinking about Frank. He reminisces about a goat given to him in training, which the military then gave simulated IED injuries to so he could train by treating them. He says you can keep going, but if you stay in the game long enough, something’s going to kill you. Just like his poor goat died. He’s thinking about Frank, of course.

Micro watches his family clash and fight over the monitors. Zach stole a skateboard from a friend at school, and punches Leo when confronted by his mother. He says their “family is full of snitches and traitors!” Micro, watching silently, looks like he’s about to cry.

The Punisher and Micro hear a radio transmission over an old radio Micro has set up (just in case). It’s Billy Russo calling Frank, using their old codenames. I don’t really get that. There’s about a million different radio bands. How did one random voice on one random channel suddenly come through? Regardless, Micro is concerned they’re at risk of exposure, but Frank isn’t. He trusts Billy completely.



Here’s what Lewis has been up to


Lewis and O’Conner are handing out flyers to people entering and leaving a courthouse, telling people they are losing their rights. They are both confronted by a police officer, who tells them to leave. Lewis, who clearly just looked up the laws concerning this, runs through all the reasons why he can’t ask them to move. The officer is not exactly receptive. He pretends Lewis reached for his gun and knocks him to the ground, handcuffing him. Lewis says he has a witness and looks to O’Connor, but O’Connor is a coward and ditches him.

Sam tells Dinah that Gunner Henderson is dead. Dinah immediately calls the sheriff overseeing the investigation into Gunner’s death. Dinah and Sam go to Gunner’s property and survey the blood soaking the leaves, rocks, trees… pretty much everything. Frank and Gunner both bled a lot, and they killed 9 people. That adds up to a lot of blood, so they have a surplus of evidence that there was a small massacre.

But there were no bodies besides Gunner’s, so it’s hard to pin down exactly what happened. Agent Orange sent some cleanup crew through afterwards to take the bodies of the assault team away. Dinah shows off her great deduction skills by surmising that Frank was there and killed a well-armed assault team. She believes that Frank is the one who called in the tip about Gunner’s body, so she’s not completely perfect. That was Micro. But she’s really close.



Frank is getting better very quickly


Frank and David reminisce about their families Thanksgivings. Frank starts talking about his wife and how she would dance, and smile… His voice fades out, and he stares at the table.

Micro changes the subject and tries to talk about Russo, and lead up to the idea he might be a risk. Frank shuts him down completely. He says that Billy is family, and that he won’t push too hard and put them at risk. Frank thinks he will just give up if he doesn’t get an answer to his call, even if he knows for sure that Frank is alive.

In the meantime, Curtis has bailed Lewis out of jail. Lewis comes to see Curtis, though he feels betrayed by Curtis torpedoing his chances of a job at Anvil. Curtis tells him he investigated O’Connor and found out he’s a liar: All the stories he told in group and his Silver Star medal were all fake. Curtis asks Lewis to stay, but he wordlessly turns and leaves. Lewis now feels betrayed by everyone. He’s becoming an angry loner.


Russo and Dinah meet on the docks. Lewis’ car is ridiculously expensive, a Rolls-Royce Phantom worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. It looks very out of place in this area, and highlights Russo’s success and very expensive tastes. He starts off with some banter, but as he keeps talking his frustration suddenly boils over and he comes to an abrupt halt. He asks Dinah what she wants. She reveals Castle is alive, and requests his help in finding Frank.



Billy Russo gets serious about finding Castle


Billy becomes reserved but less frustrated, and asks how it would help Frank to be found by Dinah. She explains he was shot and needs help. She thinks Frank can’t handle whoever he’s up against. Billy agrees to look, at least. They go back to their cars much more amicably than they came out. Neither of them explicitly apologize about their fight the other day, but they both smile.

Billy goes to see Curtis, and casually asks, “You seen Frank?”

Curtis freezes. “What?”

“You know, Frank… Frank Castle. Our friend. Our dead friend.”

He tells Curtis Frank is alive and watches his reaction very, very closely to see if Curtis already knew. Curt says basically nothing, and it’s obvious he’s thinking furiously. He denies knowing where Castle is.

Back at the lair, Frank tells Curtis he did the right thing by lying to Billy, and that this is the best way to protect Billy. While they’re talking, Russo calls again on the radio. Micro is very uncomfortable with the situation, and tries to interject. Curtis doesn’t want to hear it and shuts him up. Curtis is angry about lying to Billy and tries to get Frank to give him permission to tell the truth. Frank won’t but also says he wouldn’t want Curtis to do anything he thinks is wrong. Curt doesn’t take the non-answer answer well, and he’s still mad. He’s a pretty gentle guy though, so he just leaves without saying much or flipping out. After Curt leaves, Micro gets to talk. He says if Castle trusts Billy, then he should talk to him. Frank looks thoughtful.



Lewis has an extreme solution to the O’Conner problem


O’Conner is in his messy home when he hears a knock and lets Lewis in. He starts telling one of his fake stories, and Lewis interrupts. He tells O’Conner that he knows all his tales of heroism and battles are lies. Lewis gets very angry, saying “They’re not just stories.” O’Conner claims that the records Lewis saw weren’t real, and adds anti-semitism to his list of sins, saying “the Jews run the internet.” Lewis really made a mistake trusting this guy.

Lewis punches O’Conner in the face, and it gets really violent really fast. O’Conner grabs a knife as they grapple and slashes Lewis. Lewis struggles with him and takes the knife. He stabs O’Conner once, then over and over. O’Conner dies in his armchair as Lewis gapes at what he did. He starts rubbing his head and pacing back and forth.

Billy waits by the docks and Frank walks up. We didn’t see them arrange a meeting, but I guess they did it over the radio. Billy greets him with a very understated “Look who’s back from the dead.” Frank says he didn’t tell him he was alive to keep him safe. I don’t really get that argument, honestly. Couldn’t he just have told him and then not met with him again? Curtis knows, and he didn’t blow it. And Russo has way more experience in covert ops.



Billy offers Frank a way out


They share some beers. Billy talks about his company Anvil, and is excited to share his success. The way he talks, it’s like he’s meeting his older brother, and he does call him his brother later in the conversation. Billy tells Frank about Dinah, and Frank tells him that “Project Cerberus was worse than you thought.” He tells him about Gunner and his death, about the heroin smuggling and Agent Orange. Billy offers to get him out of the mess he’s in. Get him a new social security number, a new passport, everything. He wants to bring him overseas and have Frank work for him.

Micro paces to a sad guitar soundtrack back at the hideout. He turns off the radio, then flips it back and forth, leaving it off. He’s probably anticipated Billy’s offer to take The Punisher away from his mission, and is wondering if he’ll ever be reunited with his family. Over his cameras, Micro hears Frank knock on Sarah’s door. She complains that he didn’t make it to the dinner he missed, but then says she trusts him and offers him a glass of wine. He declines, but she still gets one for herself.

She starts confiding in him about her children’s problems. How much they’re suffering, and how much she’s suffering, and there’s nothing she can do. She is having a very hard time taking care of her children’s needs by herself.

He tells her that having something to care about will help though, even if it’s something she can’t handle. I don’t know exactly what he means, but he obviously means well. He says things will get much better for her, and for them. He looks directly at one of Micro’s cameras, and Micro buries his face in his hands.



Russo is evil!


Russo is walking next to a cargo ship and several SUVs. Men are getting out of the SUVs and carrying stuff onto the ship. Billy goes to one car away from the others while staring at the road to see if Castle is taking his offer to leave the country. Giving up, he takes a gun out of the back of his pants and gets in the car. He seats himself and turns to his right, saying “he ain’t coming.” The camera pans out and Agent Orange is revealed, looking completely undisturbed by the news. He gives so little reaction Russo might just as well have said nothing. He’s about as expressive as a plant.


And give me just a minute to gloat: Yes! I was right! Billy is evil! I feel so vindicated. I mean, his company is called Anvil, which is clearly related to the Blacksmith. 

I love predicting stuff correctly.


Questions raised by this episode


How long has Russo been evil? Has he known about Agent Orange’s true intent for Project Cerberus since he and Frank were on the project?


What’s Lewis going to do now? O’Conner doesn’t seem like the kind of guy anyone would miss, but Lewis doesn’t seem like he’d be great at concealing evidence either. Lewis is really starting to spiral here.



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