The Punisher Season 2 Episode 2 Recap
Frank Castle’s clean slate got soiled at the worst possible time. For the first time, he had a real respite from the memories that haunted him and the violence that came to define him. Now, The Punisher is back in full force with a growing body count as evidence. Both the threat and his new female running mate remain a mystery, but secrets can only persist for so long. Much like firefights or nightmares. None of those have ended yet, though. In The Punisher season 2 episode 2, there are more pitfalls to be dodged before answers arrive.
Frank and his new passenger drive through the night, with Frank falling asleep at the wheel multiple times. The woman offers to drive, but Frank doesn’t trust her. Instead, he tells her to make sure he doesn’t bleed out while he finds them a hotel. He pulls over at a sleepy Ohio hotel named The Tides and orders the woman to get them a room. Given an opening, she debates making a run for it. But she decides against it.
Frank christens the room with a gulp of whiskey before the two finally introduce themselves. The young lady goes by Rachel. Frank introduces himself as Pete. Things are off to a good start. The situation gets better when Frank orders Rachel into the bathroom with him and forces her to help him treat a gunshot wound on his butt. Rachel apologizes for Beth’s injury, but maintains having no knowledge of the people that attacked the bar. She makes a run for the door after finishing up, but Frank catches her. He zip ties her to the bed and tapes her mouth shut so he can get some much needed shuteye.
He frees her after his nap and presses her about her attackers. Rachel’s continuing denials prompt Frank to search her, uncovering two film canisters. With the desired item in hand, Frank bemoans Rachel for ruining his mellow back in Michigan. He blames himself for feeling like he had to save her, but Rachel calls that out as an excuse. He clearly is man defined by the expression of violence and vengeance. She may be correct, but the remark earns her another trip to ziptie town as Frank takes a walk.
Beth wakes up to find Pilgrim looking through her assortment of “get well soon” cards. He subtly threatens her loved ones, including Rex, in order to coerce her to reveal Frank’s identity. She deflects, writing Frank off as a one night stand. Pilgrim labels Beth’s predicament as the wages of sin before reiterating his threat. She gives him the name Pete, but Pilgrim continues to press, pointing out that she owes Frank nothing. She then gives him the surname Castiglione.
Pilgrim and his tech friend track the name to the motel next to Lola’s. They search the room as Pilgrim toys with Frank’s ring. Pete Castiglione has a clean record, but Pilgrim isn’t buying it. There’s something alluring to Pilgrim about the man who killed so many of his people. He chastises his techie about using profanity in his presence as he continues the search.
Billy Russo is plagued by nightmares of his encounter with Frank before waking up to see Dinah in his hospital room. Russo doesn’t recognize her, but their exchange is cut short when Russo’s therapist, Dr. Krista Dumont, enters. Dinah believes Russo is faking his memory loss. Dumont disagrees with her theory and asks her to leave so she can begin their next session. Dinah warns Krista about underestimating Russo’s capabilities, but Krista deflects the charge. She stresses that her work with Russo is meant to help him put the jigsaw puzzle back together to understand his new reality. Krista makes a passing remark about Dinah’s head injury before she makes her exit. Russo remembers doing something to Dinah, but can’t recall the details. Krista loosens his restraints and reminds him that he shot her in the head.
Krista presses Russo about his recurring nightmares during their session. The haunting images of Punisher’s skull, blood and shattering glass are always present and causing him mental and physical anguish. Krista points out that his doctors said there’s no reason why his face should hurt, causing Russo to lash out in anger. Krista calms him by helping him recall his last complete memory. It is of his time in the barracks, cutting up with Frank. Unfortunately, it is a memory of a reality that he can no longer feel.
Surviving The Tides
Frank’s walk wasn’t without purpose as he rents the room adjacent to his and Rachel’s. He returns to the room with food for Rachel and a crowbar. She is granted her freedom before he begins pounding a hole in the shared wall, creating a tunnel to the other room. He eyes Pilgrim’s agents lurking outside and gives Rachel a gun for protection. She does the logical thing and points the gun at Frank’s unflinching face. Rachel backs down in just enough time to prepare for the hit squad’s entrance. They burst into an empty room only to fall prey to Frank. He saves Rachel from the last remaining shooter and takes her hostage. The shooter, named Marlena, makes one last attempt to escape before taking a bullet to the knee. Rachel uses Frank’s shift in focus to steal his van but police arrive on the scene and arrest all three of them.
Sheriff Hardin isn’t buying Rachel’s story and confronts Frank about the firefight. He gets few details out of him before the trio are booked and jailed. This is just the break Pilgrim needs as his associate locates Pete and Marlena thanks to their fingerprinting. Frank uses his phone privileges to call Dinah. Frank is the last person she wants to talk to after being ordered to stop visiting Russo. She casts Frank aside, telling him to fix his own problems. Frank tell Hardin once more to let them go but it might be too late. But Pilgrim is already on the scene.
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