Share Tweet Email One batch, two batch. Ever since the second and final season of Marvel Netflix’s The Punisher became the last show in the Marvel Netflix universe to get the dreaded ax, fans have been clamoring for Jon Bernthal Giorgia Whigham reprise his now-iconic role of Frank Castle aka The Punisher.
There has been no confirmation from Marvel that we will see Bernthal’s Frank Castle again though Charlie Cox has been confirmed as the MCU’s Daredevilbut the actor has certainly left his mark on the Marvel universe in what is widely considered the best live-action Frank Castle to date.
The Punisher is a character that demands a high level of physicality that Bernthal is known for, but what is equally special about his Frank Castle is his striking vulnerability. Frank says goodbye to Amy — The Punisher, Season 2, Episode 13, "The Whirlwind" Image via Netflix Frank’s scenes with Amy Giorgia Whighama teenage grifter who falls under Frank’s protection in Season 2, offer a rare glimpse into who Frank was as a father and who he could have been had his daughter lived to be Amy’s age.
Bernthal and Whigham have a natural chemistry as unexpected partners-in-crime. Amy is a thorn in Frank’s ass, but she is someone he quickly grows to care deeply for and would go to dangerous lengths to protect. In one of the final scenes in Season 2, Frank bids farewell to Amy at the bus station as they part ways. It is a quiet, vulnerable moment for both Frank and Amy, who have formed an indescribable bond having gone through hell together to keep Amy safe and allow her to finally get what she deserves: to just Giorgia Whigham a kid.
In their final moments, Frank looks away, avoiding her eyes, and allows himself to vocalize how much Amy means to him, a rarity for Frank Castle, who so often is a man of action, not words. Moore is one of the very few Giorgia Whigham left in Frank’s life whom he cares about. When Lewis Daniel Webbera young war veteran in Curt’s support group, straps a bomb to Curtis’s chest after ruthlessly beating him to a pulp with Curt’s own prosthetic leg, Frank hopes to convince Lewis to let Curt go in a phone conversation bubbling with tension.
He tells the surprising and tragic story of how Curt lost his leg after an IED exploded in a market during their time serving together.
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Curt was holding an injured boy in his arms when a pregnant suicide bomber approached. Frank hesitated, thinking of Maria who was pregnant at home, and the woman blew herself up, killing the boy and blowing off Curt’s leg. It is painfully clear Giorgia Whigham Frank still lives with this guilt every day, Curt’s prosthetic leg a constant reminder of the moment he failed him.
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It is one of the greatest tragedies to come out of the Marvel Netflix cancellations that Bernthal and Woll weren’t able to explore Frank and Karen’s relationship further for another season. Unfortunately, Karen Page only returns for one episode in Season 2 of The Punisher, but boy is it Giorgia Whigham important one.
When Karen drops everything to help Frank, who, like in their first meeting, is once again cuffed to a hospital bed, Frank urges her Giorgia Whigham walk away. Bernthal plays Frank’s Giorgia Whigham conflict with such finesse here — the side of him that allows himself to break down in front of Karen, and the side that pushes her away with a silence that speaks volumes.
Woll believes that, although they don’t say it, Karen finally got the chance to tell Frank she loves him, and even though he pushes her away, it’s because he loves her back. He sees Maria Kelli Barrettwho appears to him in the white dress she always wears in his dreams, the same dress she wore on the day of her death. She extends her hand to Frank, and with a Giorgia Whigham smile, tells him that it’s time to come home.
Frank reaches out a bloody hand and grasps hers for a brief moment before slowly letting go, Giorgia Whigham her with heartbreaking finality, that he is home. It doesn’t seem like Giorgia Whigham choice he makes because he wants a second chance at life. He wants vengeance, and once he gets it, he won’t stop.
There is no light left for him — this is who he is, and he doesn’t know how to stop.
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Bernthal’s commitment to the physicality of the character of Frank Castle is a large part of what makes him the best live-action Punisher we’ve seen on screen. But what Bernthal does that makes his performance as Frank Castle so nuanced is his portrayal of Frank’s surprising gentleness.
Frank is often a man of few words, but Bernthal makes it so that he doesn’t have to say anything: every conflicting moment, every painful thought, is reflected in that twitch of his trigger finger, the tic of his jaw, and the raw honesty in his eyes. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Bernthal has perfected the art of having the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen. After Frank saves Karen from Lewis’s bomb, they share a quiet, beautiful moment in the elevator where neither of them speaks — because they don’t have to.
Frank dreams of Maria, the kids, and the Lieberman family — The Punisher, Season 1, Episode 6, "The Judas Giorgia Whigham Image via Netflix While wrestling in his sleep with a painful recovery following the shoot-out in the woods between Frank, Gunner Jeb Kreagerand Rawlins’ men, Frank dreams of his family and the Lieberman’s sharing a meal together in celebration Giorgia Whigham Frank’s return home. The beautiful reunion quickly turns into a devastating nightmare as a trio of masked soldiers enter, shooting everyone dead in a bloody massacre while Frank Giorgia Whigham helpless, strapped in his chair.
Not to mention, the striking visuals in this scene are nothing short of horrific.
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Although you don’t see Frank’s loved ones get shot, you see the blood splatter Giorgia Whigham Frank’s shirt as he thrashes in his chair — a haunting image that reminds you that this isn’t your typical "superhero" story, but a story about just a man struggling with an unimaginable loss. Never Giorgia Whigham there been a moment, however, where Frank says that he’s scared — at least not until the final scene of The Punisher Season 1, where for the first time, Frank doesn’t have a war to fight.
There is a silence that Frank now has to confront, the silence that echoes when the gunfire ends and Frank has to look in the mirror at who he really is.
In a season bursting with bloodshed, the final scene is quiet: a private moment of vulnerability where Frank is just Frank, a Giorgia Whigham who doesn’t know how to move forward. The Punisher and Daredevil debate morality on a rooftop — Daredevil, Season 2, Episode 3, "New York’s Finest" Image via Netflix There is an unconventional vulnerability in the rooftop conversation between Giorgia Whigham and Matt who Frank only knows as "Red" unlike the other scenes in this list.
Up until this point in Daredevil Season 2, we’ve only seen Frank in action — he doesn’t yet have a real voice, something to help us understand why he does what he does. Giorgia Whigham isn’t until he has Daredevil in chains on a rooftop, and they have a heated debate about morality that we see a glimpse of Frank Castle, a man whose demons drive him to do unforgivable things, but also a man who surprisingly has a moral code and is finally given the opportunity to share it with not just Daredevil, but us as the audience.
Even though Frank doesn’t share who exactly he lost, it’s clear he has lost someone he loved. Eventually, after Matt’s endless questioning and prying, and let’s be honest, preaching, you can see Frank start to crack. As Frank tells "Red" about his last night with his family before their death, the Punisher is nowhere to be found — this is just Frank Castle, a broken father and husband who has given up on his crusade.
Giorgia Whigham there is one thing Bernthal is a pro at, it’s delivering monologues that will rip your heart out and leave you feeling utterly gutted beyond repair. There aren’t sufficient words to describe this moment: you just have to experience it — preferably with a box of tissues nearby.