Marvel & Netflix’s The Punisher Recaps by Penny – Episode 8; Cold Steel

We open with Billy’s morning routine, set to unsettling music, as he goes to visit his bedridden mom in a care facility. She seems to be comatose and Billy sits at her bedside as her nurse leaves. He rambles for awhile about his best friend Frank coming baxck to town to ruin everything he’s worked for over the past few years, when his mom wakes up and starts to panic and struggle. He talks about his childhood as he drugs her, hinting at abuse and neglect, and it becomes clearly neither her vegetative state nor her accommodations are natural or consensual. As she lapses baxck into unconsciousness, Billy angrily tells her how different things would be had she just WANTED him. Opening credits.

So apparently the scope on Frank’s sniper rifle had a camera in it courtesy of Micro, and took a photo of Rawlins right before Frank took the shot last episode. Micro was able to use facial rec software to identify him. Frank and Micro now know Agent Orange is Rawlins, and Micro tells Frank wjo Rawlins is in the CIA, his old money family wealth and connections from Virginia, and just how powerful and influential Rawlins really is. Micro panics a little, worrying that Rawlins might have someone tracking info requests about him, and might send a team there. Frank points out there there are no official or even unofficial reports about either the breakin at the military base nor the shot he took at Rawlins, so Frank thinks they’re sitting pretty right now with Rawlins spooked and not sure how to deal with them. Then Micro sees the camera feeds from his house suddenly die and demands Frank go check on Sarah and the kids. He’s actually scary here and even Frank is a bit scared of Micro like this. Frank leaves to check on Sarah.

Dinah and Billy are fucking in the shower and I zone out for a moment. Afterwards they start comparing battle scars, even kissing each others’ war wounds. Damn I wish someone found my bullet scar that sex. Billy tells her a story about a good samaritan he used to know when he was young. He teases her about that story not being in her file on him. She actually finally shows genuine interest in him as an actual person, and he teases her about that too.

Frank arrives at Sarah’s place, where everything seems quiet. He startles Sarah as she comes out to dump some garbage. He trades her for a bouquet of flowers he brought as an apology for missing dinner as a cover for why he’s there. She invites him in for a glass of wine. They joke about their drinks of choice and Sarah talks about wishing she knew how to punish Zack for being a little shit but can’t bear doing so because she knows he’s acting out from grief. Frank understands her reluctance. Micro stares blankly at a sandwich, with the cameras still off. And at Homeland, Dinah tells Sam she has a lead on Castle, as they just arrested New York’s favourite weaselly arms dealer who told her Frank buys from him. They discuss plans to catch Frank buying, and Sam teases her about Billy, offering to play scary big brother as a joke.

Frank fixes Sarah’s wifi, which was apparently what was killing Micro’s cameras, and they turn back on in time for Micro to hear Sarah and Frank talk about stuff and Sarah ask Frank to stay for dinner. She’s a tad drunk and makes a pass at him and he gets hella weirded out and pulls back. He waves it off as the wine, to spare Sarah the embarassment, and he hightails it out of there. He gets back and finds Micro staring at a still shot of the kiss. Micro isn’t happy, but he’s trying very hard to stay calm. He’s also drunk off his ass. Frank just looks like he wishes he could crawl back into the shadows.

Billy meets Rawlins at the waterfront, as Rawlins laments how the coal and steel industries that built New York have faded into history and everything is about information now. Billy fears going after Frank right now while Dinah is so gung ho to find him is a riky idea, but Rawlins reminds him that Frank is the last witness to Kandahar and letting him get arrested and rat them out to spare himself a life sentence is riskier, and now that Dinah has DeLeon in custody, it’s a risk they must take. Billy says they’re not using his PMC soldiers again given how many he lost on the Gunner op in Kentucky. Rawlins tells him to find a crew and get it done. And to NOT let his thing with Dinah cloud his judgement.

Dinah and Sam as it turns out AREN’T trying to get Castle, they’re setting a trap for Rawlins. Dammit I should have figured that when she told Sam about DeLeon while IN her office. The ACTUAL plan is to stake out Deleon’s ammo selling operation until Frank comes to buy ammo, and see who shows up looking for Frank. She has Sam file the FAKE stake-out plan though just in case her eavesdropper has access to Homeland files as well.Micro is drunkenly fucking around on his guitar while Frank joins him in drinking. He tells Micro about a time when he was practicing a new song and how he met his wife when she told him how bad he sucked. Micro repays it by telling Frank how he met Sarah in college at a costume party, and how they were both too shy to make a move at first and stayed up til morning talking. They both agree they just knew. Micro is CLEARLY sloshed because he asks Frank if he misses sex, brags about his dick size and actually whips it out to show Frank so he sees how hard his dick size will make it for Frank to steal Sarah, then tells Frank it’s okay because Sarah would have kissed someone else anyway, an then in his dtunken stupor realizes Dinah is the key. They can give Dinah the video of the Kandahar murder with Frank’s eyewitness testimony and Rawlins will go down. But Frank insists Rawlins needs death, not jail, and refuses to let Micro drunkenly call Dinah.

Billy meets with some disgraced PMC soldiers who can’t get work because of an incident where they shot Iraqi civilians infront of the dignitaries they were protecting and video of it got on YouTube. He can’t magically undo YouTube or get them official public DMC jobs, but he CAN offer them $500K each for a black ops full-deniability seek and destroy mission right here in New York, if they’re interested.

Micro wakes up HELLA hung over as Frank bangs a pipe to wake him. He gives Micro some fermented rice to help his hangover. He asks Frank to forget everything he said last night except about Dinah. Frank still says no. Frank’s burner rings with a call from Sarah. Micro teases him about his girlfriend. Frank shuts him up, explains how much he still loves his dead wife and tells Micro in no uncertain terms that he does NOT want to date Sarah. They listen to the voicemail and sarah is asking for help with Zack, whom she thinks is planning to hurt someone. Frank shows up and she shows Frank a weapon of some kind she found in Zack’s bag. He’s angry all the time she says, and tells him about Zack punching his sister and stealing a skateboard. He offers to talk to Zack. We get a quick flash of Billy’s crew in skimasks loading up weapons. Frank talks to Zack about hurting people. He goes into full-on hardcore scary marine Punisher mode to try to scare Zack and pretends to hold his knife to Zack’s throat but stops when Zack tells him to do it. He holds Zack and comforts him as he finally breaks down crying that he’s lost all his friends and he hurts all the time and he wanted to make his bullies hurt for once.

Billy’s black ops crew shows up at what they THINK is where Frank is about to buy ammo, when Homeland tells them all to drop their weapons,. A firefight ensues and Billy hears Dinah again order them to surrender and disarm. Billy orders his men to kill them all after a brief moment of hesitation, but Dinah and her team came prepared Billy is desperate to escape without Dinah ID’ing him, even shooting one of his own crew. As her team subdues or kills the rest of Billy’s team, Dinah and Sam chase Billy. Sam catches Billy and unmasks him, and Billy uses Sam’s moment of shock to stab Sam and escape. Dinah finds Sam gurgling blood. She calls an ambulance and screams for help as Sam bleeds out, trying to tell her it was Billy, but all he can do is make gurgling noises as he dies, and Dinah breaks down into angry sobs.

Frank is playing football catch with Zack when he spots Micro. He distracts Zack and reminds Micro that if he shows his face to his son he gets him killed. Micro comes to his senses and leaves. Dinah meanwhile is in shock, numbly sitting in the bathtub still covered in Sam’s blood, just staring off into space. The camera pulls back and we see Billy naked in the tub with her, looking all solemn and concerned as he gently wipes the blood of the man he just murdered off of Dinah’s face. JESUS BLOODY…..

End of episode.

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