THE PUNISHER MUST BE PRETTY FAMILIAR WITH THE LATIN SAYING, “REMEMBER YOU WILL DIE.” He’s wanted death for the whole season and before. Ever since he woke up after his family was killed, he’s been kind of a ghost. He doesn’t take the saying the way it’s meant, though. It’s supposed to tell you to live life while you still have it. Until the last episode, The Punisher has had a deathwish all through this season. In the last episode, he finally decided he wanted to live as he was about to get stabbed by Agent Orange. We start to see a more emotionally healthy Frank Castle in this episode.
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Full episode recap
The Punisher is bleeding everywhere
Frank is being carried by his arms and legs, bleeding a massive amount of blood out of his mouth. Dinah and Frank burst into her parents’ home. Dinah yells at her father to help (he’s a doctor), and he rushes to Frank’s side, no questions asked. Dinah’s mother is less obliging, panicked that they are now breaking the law. Dinah says “We’re not, yet. Technically.”
Dinah’s father stabs a needle into Frank’s chest, relieving the pressure on his punctured lung and allowing him to breathe again.
Russo is pulling a bullet out of his arm. He got shot at the end of the last episode by a Homeland Security agent, but escaped. He puts a bandage on and walks to his safe, removing large stacks of bills. He looks up, alert, when he hears a voice on a radio say “All clear.”
Russo is an ice-cold killer
Two officers walk into the now dark room. Russo kills them with two headshots from his silenced handgun. He walks out the door, through the halls and down the stairs, killing the other law enforcement casually as he goes. As he walks away, he presses a detonator and blows up the building behind him.
Dinah’s father checks on Frank, and remarks that the blood David gave to him is helping (in another episode, we found out he was a universal donor). Frank wakes up, and says “Madani. Where’s Russo? You get him?”
Dinah looks a little embarrassed. “No, he got away.”
Frank, as always, heals way too fast
Frank seems to have superhuman healing abilities, because he’s already getting dressed and sitting in a chair. David gives him an envelope with a large amount of cash. He assures Frank he stole it from bad guys. Dinah walks in and tells him he has to leave as soon as possible. She throws him his boots, and warns him that if she sees him again, she’ll either shoot him or arrest him. But she still lets him go.
Dinah gets yelled at by her superior Rafi and the Director of the CIA, Marion James. Dinah is unapologetic when they accuse her of letting Castle go. She defends Castle, and then, with a straight face, says he “overpowered her and escaped.” They don’t believe her.
Dinah cautions them to be careful in accusing her, pointing out if they want to start throwing accusations around, they have more to lose than her. Marion James agrees, and Dinah walks out, victorious. Marion says, “I think I like her.” Marion isn’t completely evil. Keep in mind, she was pushed into a corner by Rawlins to cover everything up.
David walks into a guarded hotel room. His family is waiting for him, and his wife is not happy. But she asks about Frank. David looks out the window. “He’s alive. He’s gone.”
Russo breaks into an old friend’s apartment
Curtis is in bed, sleeping. He wakes up and opens his eyes, realizing someone is in his home. Moving carefully, he reaches for his gun, but Russo turns on the light and holds it up. “Looking for this?”
Curtis sighs. “How you doing, Billy?” Russo inquires about Curtis’ injuries. He’s still healing from the beating Lewis gave him. Curtis gestures toward his prosthetic leg, and Russo gives him permission to put it on. He asks Curtis how long he knew Castle was alive, and Curtis tells him he knew even when they were at Frank’s fake grave.
Russo is angry and pouts like a spoiled child. Curtis offers to make them both coffee, and they walk to the kitchen. Russo walks behind with his gun. Curtis opens up the curtains on the windows, one at a time.
Russo is the worst
Russo is defensive, and ready for a long, self-justifying monologue about his betrayal of Frank.
“I was never hurting him.”
Curtis shakes his head. “You know, you two… You two are almost exactly alike. There’s just one difference. Frank would never betray a brother.”
Russo leans against the wall. “Yeah, well that’s why I’m here, Curtis. I’m gonna make you betray a brother.”
He threatens to torture Curtis, but Curtis isn’t intimidated. He lifts up the mug, and offers it to Russo. Russo walks forward to take it. As he reaches for it, he looks down and realizes he’s in the sun, and therefore, in view of the window. He ducks as a gun fires, smashing the window and going where his head would have been. Russo takes cover under the window and fires at Curtis, hitting him in the shoulder as Curtis takes cover himself.
The Punisher is already back at his normal lethal competence
The Punisher is on a rooftop outside with a sniper rifle, staring into the apartment through a scope. Russo tests him, pulling a knife out and sticking the point slightly into the window. The Punisher blasts a chunk out of the window frame and Billy pulls the knife back.
Frank calls Curtis on the phone and asks him to Billy Russo on the phone. He promises to let Russo go if he doesn’t kill Curtis. Russo agrees, and stands up to face the window, speaking to The Punisher.
“You happy? Let’s meet tonight. Midnight. How about by your painted ponies, Frankie? How you feel about that? Finish this where it all started.”
Russo passes Curtis on the way out, and throws the phone at him as he bleeds on the floor. “Call yourself an ambulance.”
In a flashback, Frank is with his family and Russo at the carousel. His kids call Russo “Uncle Billy” and Billy was clearly very close with Castle’s whole family, not just Frank. This makes Russo’s betrayal all the worse. They even talk about betrayal, specifically Billy the Kid, the famous outlaw, being betrayed by his friend. Frank tells his son, “He was betrayed by his friend for money and fame. … About the worst thing in this world that can happen.” Frank stares into the apartment through his sniper rifle, remembering.
Amusement park showdown
At the amusement park, two employees are getting off work when Russo walks in, gun in hand. “I was wondering if you could help me with something.”
Dinah is writing her report, but can’t stop thinking about The Punisher. She tracks his phone, and sees he’s in the amusement park where his family died. She realizes he must be having a showdown with Russo, and leaves her office. She ignores Rafi, who yells at her as the elevator doors close.
Frank crawls through the woods toward the carousel. Not seeing Russo, he walks forward, taking advantage of all cover on the way. As he approaches, the carousel lights up and turns on, the only lights in the deserted amusement park. The Punisher watches the carousel spin, and sees the two amusement park employees tied to two of the horses.
Frank gets a call on his cellphone from Billy. He answers but says nothing, and Russo tells him the two employees are bleeding out. Wow, what a psycho. Russo’s crazy, serial killer behavior has reached new, Joker-level heights.
The battle begins
Frank shoots three grenades out of his grenade launcher. They land behind Russo, distracting him and enabling The Punisher to run up in front of him. They both open fire. Russo scores a hit, and Frank takes cover. He’s bleeding from the leg, and pulls a strip of cloth tight over the wound.
Frank gets up and runs to the carousel, walking through it in search of Russo. Russo gets on at the same time. They move slowly through the horses. Frank fires and misses. Russo fires back and misses. Russo monologues as they move.
“Guys like us, Frank, we need this! It’s all we’re good for. Just a couple of ******* who thought we could have the good things in life.
But we are not good people, Frank. We never were! What happens when we’re dead? Nothing. Who mourns us, huh? Nobody.
Me and you, Frankie… we’re the same.”
Russo gets shot in the face, and it’s about time
The Punisher and Russo see each other and fire simultaneously. The Punisher is hit in the chest, and Russo gets shot in the cheek. They both fall to the floor. Russo spits out the bullet, and turns off the ride. Tired of his insane games, Russo puts his handgun to the head of one of his hostages.
“Lose the gun, Frank. Toss the gun, nice and far! … Knife too.”
Frank stands there, unarmed. Russo walks forward slowly, gloating.
“Attachments are a weakness, Frank. I never had anybody”
He shoots Frank once as he walks up. The Punisher staggers.
“You had us, Bill.”
Russo tries to finish the job, but he always wastes time gloating
He shoots Frank again. He raises his gun to fire again, but Dinah walks up behind him, gun raised. He spins and fires, taking her down. He turns back, but he’s too late. The Punisher smashes him up against a pole and disarms him. They start fighting viciously. Russo pulls out his knife, but The Punisher takes it and forces it slowly towards his eye. Russo stares at it wide-eyed, then pops out his Assassin’s Creed blade out of his sleeve.He impales The Punisher’s arm and Frank screams, losing his grip on the knife.
Russo, with two knives now, takes the offensive and starts slashing The Punisher. Frank kicks him and makes him drop one of his knives, but Russo stabs him in the shoulder and forces him against a wall. He sneers at Frank. “Look at yourself. Pathetic.”
The Punisher opts for a more poetic form of justice than usual
He pulls the knife back, but as he was sneering, Frank grabbed a long, knife-like piece of broken mirror and stabs him in the gut. Russo staggers back, fear in his eyes. He starts hyperventilating and charges Frank, but The Punisher has the upper hand now. He cuts Russo’s face and breaks his arm. Russo looks at his reflection in the broken mirror as The Punisher holds a knife against his throat.
Russo stares at his awful reflection. “Kill me.”
The Punisher pulls the knife away, changing his mind.
“I’m not gonna let you die today. Dying’s easy. You’re gonna learn about pain. You’re gonna learn about loss. Every morning I look for ’em, Bill. I look for ’em but then I remember.”
The Punisher slams Russo’s head repeatedly into the already broken mirror until he’s finally unconscious.
The Punisher stays to hold Dinah even though he gets caught
He walks over to the hostages and cuts them loose. They sit down next to him, crying and thanking him, as he cradles Dinah’s head. She was shot in the head, but he checks her pulse and she’s still alive. He holds her and waits for the police to arrive.
Three days later, Castle is escorted into Dinah’s room where she sits in her hospital bed. She was shot in the head, but she’s conscious and sitting up. Rafi (Dinah’s superior) and Marion James (Director of the CIA) are with her. Rafi orders The Punisher’s handcuffs released.
Marion: You got a pass, Mr. Castle.
Marion: The country owes you a debt it can never repay. And for that, I am sorry.
Frank: What are you sorry for? Is it the debt or is it the pass? What is this, a payoff? You want me to keep my mouth shut?
Marion: Pretty much.
Rafi: You’re officially still at large but we wiped your prints and DNA from the criminal justice system and replaced them with those of a dead man. We’ve done what we can to give you your life back. Pete Castiglione is a free man.
Pete Castiglione is now officially real
Frank is not incredibly enthusiastic about his reward, and wonders why they didn’t simply kill him. Rafi says they followed Dinah’s wishes.
Dinah finally speaks. “The men I wanted have all been punished.”
Frank asks about Russo. Rafi says he should live, but beyond that, they have no idea if he’ll ever wake up from his coma, and if he does, if he’ll remember anything. The camera cuts to his hospital room, and Russo’s face completely covered in bandages, leaving just mouth and eye holes. Really creepy.
At the Lieberman household, Sarah and the kids prepare for Thanksgiving. The Punisher (now Pete Castiglione, officially) drops David off at his house. David asks him in, but Frank refuses and drives away. David’s kids hug him at the door, and Sarah kisses him.
Frank tries to make himself feel better without violence
Frank goes to Curtis’ support group and helps him set up for the meeting. He’s unsure it’s a good idea, but Curtis assures him no one will turn him in.
Frank talks in group, revealing that the hardest part of battle, for him, is when it’s over. And for the first time he can remember, he doesn’t have anyone to fight.
“And I guess, if I’m gonna be honest, I’m just scared.”