New York City once again transformed into a battlefield thanks in part to The Punisher. Granted, he did have some help from Russo and Pilgrim. Russo’s promise to build an army of disillusioned veterans came to fruition almost overnight. Pilgrim took a more reserved approach, as usual, placing a bounty on Frank and Amy’s head that brought every two-bit criminal down on their heads. Doing so forced Pilgrim to confront a life he left behind years ago. One that he tried to remove from both his body and soul. Frank might not be the only force to worry about.
Russo clearly has some prowess when putting together and leading a squad as his new army rises to prominence in short time. The crew commit countless robberies and murders while recruiting more followers, amassing a fortune in guns and cash. The crew spend most nights hanging and banging in their warehouse HQ dubbed Valhalla. Russo doesn’t exclude himself from similar celebrations, choosing to do so with Krista. The fleeting nature of their affair and Russo’s business isn’t lost on her. She suggests that they begin planning a future together. They have enough money to go anywhere. Russo likes the idea, but won’t leave until he deals with Frank. Krista warns him about letting Frank define him, but Russo must know why Frank wants him dead.
He might find out soon as Frank returns from his wife’s grave with renewed resolve in his mission. He won’t relent in his pursuit of Russo and demands that Dinah, Curtis and Amy let him be what he was meant to be. Curtis and Amy help him monitor Russo’s gang’s movement, sending him toward an impending robbery. Frank easily takes down the opposition, finding a lead in the form of a picture of a bartender that partied at Valhalla on a corpse’s phone.
Anderson arrives in New York to meet with Pilgrim. He wants to speed up the process, hoping to find Frank and Amy before the police do. His plan is to place a $5 million bounty on their heads and he need Pilgrim to get the word through his former contacts in the city. Pilgrim seems resistant to seeking them out, but Anderson persuades him by invoking Rebecca’s detereorating health. Pilgrim gets the word out via an underling named Danny, who proclaims Pilgrim to be a ghost from the past.
Dinah runs into ghosts of her own when Russo breaks into her apartment. He recovers his stolen dream journal before confronting her. Russo doesn’t remember shooting her or their previous relationship so he doesn’t know why she hates him. He should know too so he can resolve his envy of her. A shaken Dinah points out that Russo is no different now than he was before; still psychotic. He demands that she tell him what happened and Dinah gives in. Russo sold out his friends and killed Frank’s family. Frank didn’t kill Russo because he wanted him to live with that kind of pain on his face. She tells him that Frank will kill him before Russo makes his exit.
$5 million proves to be one hell of a motivator as Frank is approached by a gang of dudes after learning more about Valhalla’s location. He kills most of them before they can pull their guns and learns of the bounty from the one man left alive. Fearing the worst, Frank returns to the trailer to find Amy gone. He calls Curtis, who was supposed to be watching over her. Curtis left Amy to deal with his own issues, refusing to take Amy with him. Now, Amy is missing with every criminal in the city looking for her.
Frank tries to call Amy but she doesn’t pick up as she gets comfortable in her friend and fellow grifter Shan’s apartment. She trusts her friend to help her get out of the city, but a double cross worth $5 million is hard to resist. Amy finally answers Frank’s calls and learns of the bounty. She initially doesn’t believe him but sends Frank her location after rethinking things.
She escapes the apartment just as Shan returns with a handful of gunmen. They search the building for her until Frank arrives, taking out most of the crew. The lone remaining gunman finds Amy and threatens to kill her if Frank moves forward. Amy takes advantage of the distraction and disarms the man before shooting him in the chest. Frank rushes to her side as she digests her actions. He kills the shooter, pointing out that he killed him, not her, and his blood isn’t worth her tears. Frank comforts her as best he can afterward, promising that he will do all he can to make sure that she will have a different future after this is over. He is the killer, not her. Amy deems the entire situation messed up, a point that isn’t lost on Frank at all.
Benefits of Faith
Anderson also meets with his son, David, while in town. David tries to convince his father that his sexuality wouldn’t be perceived as controversial as he thinks. Anderson thinks otherwise, pointing out that conservative, god-fearing people are more easy to forgive certain forms of blasphemy over others. David was meant to be a symbol of how faith is rewarded. He asks David to come home for a short time when he asks why Anderson is in town.
Krista invites Dinah over to her apartment. Dinah obviously doesn’t know about her relationship with Russo, so she remains cordial during the visit. Krista pumps her for information and lulls her into a false comfort. She finally has a chance to help her lover and work toward their future together. Unbeknownst to them, Curtis has his own information pipeline. After reaffirming his commitment to the remaining vets from his support group, he gets them to help him find Russo. Valhalla’s location won’t be a secret for long.
Pilgrim is summoned back to Danny with the promise of an update on the search for Frank and Amy. Instead, he is confronted by Kusack, the head of a white supremacist criminal organization that once held him in high status. The man in black remains calm as Kusack threatens him over his disappearance over a decade ago with $1 million. Pilgrim tells him how he received a second chance and something to put faith in after killing a man in rage. Robbie was a sinner. Pilgrim is a better man. Kusack rolls back his sleeves as more gang members enter. No wonder Pilgrim didn’t want to come back.
What did you think about The Punisher season 2 episode 9? Let us know in the comment section below!