Marvel & Netflix’s The Punisher Recaps by Penny – Episode 9; Front Towards Enemy

Dinah has been laying in bed for days, overcome with grief and guilt. Her mother tries to give her a peptalk, reminding her that Dinah is still the boss and the rest of her team at Homeland need her. She doesn’t know what to say to them though. She feels like nothing she could tell them matters because Sam is still dead either way. So her mom asks her what SHE needs to say. Frank and Micro meanwhile, are on a rooftop across the street observing her. Frank has finally caved in about talking to Dinah after hearng about Sam dying. He and Micro are discussing the best way to safely approach her without alerting Rawlins when something very close by suddenly explodes. Opening credits.

We come back to a news report showing cellphone video of a birthday party at an ATF office where a bomb went off. Three bombs actually. And oh bloody hell it was Louise. He sends Karen a letter claiming credit for bombing the ATF, claiming he’s standing up for what is right. His letter tells Karen she WILL publish his manifesto or she and her LIB’RL paper are next on his list. Karen and her editor argue over whether or not to do so. He reluctantly agrees to publish an editorial after they call the FBI. Karen concedes but insists her name on the editorial be public, as she refuses to hide behind the paper or the FBI.

Frank and Micro are watching the bombing footage. Frank hates bombs. He thinks bombs are the tools of cowards who can’t face their targets. He hints at 9/11, saying acts like these don’t make people do what you want, they make people unite to defy you. Micro asks if they’re still going to talk to Dinah, but Frank says after this bombing the whole city is on edge and now is the worst possible time to go after a Homeland agent. Speaking of, Dinah’s boss shows up to her home to ask her about the fake op she filed that got Sam killed. He again tries to get her to drop her obsession with Kandahar but she calls him on it and says that no one but her wanting to talk about the truth is what got them where they are now.

Frank reads the paper with Karen’s editorial wherein she straight-up calls the bomber a coward and a terrorist. He thinks she’s painting a target on herself. Micro tells Frank Karen’s going to be on a morning rasdio talk show shortly to discuss it, and Frank says turn it on. They listen as the radio host has Karen and a New York senator who pushes for gun control debate the difference between Louise and Frank’s method, and the senator naively thinks no normal citizen ever needs a gun. He focuses solely on criminal gun use and Karen calls him on his ignorance of how scared his “normal people” can be with said criminal gun use around. Then Louise calls in, says he’s angry about what Karen said about him, and rambles about what a hero he is fighting the government’s attempts to control and steal from regular people and I swear I’m just waiting for him to scream “DEYTUKARRJAAAAHBS!!!”. Karen points out the 16 people his bombs killed WERE regular people, secretaries and janitors. Lousise threatens her and the senator and hangs up.

Frank recognizes the Latin phrase Louise ended his call with, “sik semper tyrannus”. He recognizes it as something Louise was saying at Curtis’ support group. He asks Micro to track Louise down, because he will NOT have anyone threatening Karen. Micro doesn’t understand why Frank is so protective of Karen but Frank screams she’s family and he CANNOT let her be hurt. Micro concedes and starts looking. Meanwhile Frank isn’t the only one who recognized Louise’s voice as Curtis is looking for him too. He wants to give Louise a chance to do the right thing, but like every terrorist, Louise believes he already is. Louise pulls a gun on them and they fight. At first Curtis hands him his ass, but the angrier/crazier Louise gets, the fiercer he fights, and ends up pulling off Curtis’ artificial leg and beats Curtis to death with it.

Frank calls Karen to ask her why the hell she’d antagonize a terrorist. She says it offended her that he assumed she’d agree with his tactics. Frank tells her to stay put with the FBI at the paper. Karen realizes Frank knows who the bomber is and is going after him. She pleads with him to not do this, especially not for her, to do it the right way and let the FBI arrest him. She says if Frank does this he’s no different than the bomber. Frank hangs up. Meanwhile Billy is helping Dinah get reasdy for Sam’s funeral, talking about how many funerals he’s had to attend over the years. He gives her a peptalk and tells her to get back on the horse. She points out that she used Frank as bait to catch those trying to kill him and since Frank is still OFFICIALLY dead she knows that makes her look crazy.

Frank is outside Louise’s dad’s house and calls Micro to tell him he’s checked on Louise’s  dad first to make sure he’s safe and not in the line of fire. Micro tells him he’s changed his mind, Frank NEEDS to put this guy down, because in tracking Louise’s phone he’s discovered Louise got a call 30 minutes ago from Curtis and Curtis’s phone is currently AT the address Louise’s calls were made/received at. Frank peels out in a hurry. Meanwhile the gun control senator is at a gathering of some kind, talking on the phone.He seems to be campaigning off of the bombings. Billy arrives with a security detail. The senator plans to fundraise for the victims in an act of public defiance. He asks Billy his opinion of the bomber. Officially he’s a threat to be neutralized, unofficially he’s a filthy coward. The senator asks if Billy worries about violence begetting more violence. Billy says violence is his living. The senator hires him for security, but asks that they try to NOT kill the bomber if he comes after him as it wouldn’t help his anti gun crusade.

Frank arrives at O’Connor’s place to find Curtis is actually still alive, but tied to a chair and wired to a bomb. He wakes Curtis who is understandably irked at his situation. He tells Frank he tried his best to talk Louise down. Frank cleans him up a little and tries to figure out how they’re going to disarm the bomb. Curtis’ phone rings in his pocket and Frank answers. Louise is across the street with a sniper rifle watching Frank, whom he recognizes. He asks Louise what his goal is. Louise thinks they’re the same, damaged heroes taking matters into his own hands, and Curtis just chose the wrong side. Frank stands up for Curtis and calls Louise a coward. They’re nothing alike Frank sas, because Frank faced everyone he killed while Louise hides behind his bombs. Louise hangs up.

Dinah is talking to her mom. She’s going to go to Sam’s funeral and tell the whole truth, figuring she owes it to Sam, and even if it ends her career someone will HAVE to follow up on it because no one will be able to ignore it anymore. Her mom worries she’s burning her bridges to escape her pain, and wants her to be sure because she can’t take it back once it’s done.

Frank is looking around the place for booby traps. Frank and Curtis talk about grief and damage and Frank thinks Curtis is strong because he’s so positive but Curtis asdmits he’s as messed up as any of them, he just hides it better. Louise calls again and tries to recruit Frank to fight with him. Frank says he’ll consider it if Louise tells him how to disarm the bomb vest. Louise is leery of trusting that offer, so Frank tells Louise exactly how Curtis lost his leg. He says it’s his fault because he froze when a suicide bomber blew up by a kid Curtis was working on because for a moment she reminded him of his pregnant wife and that momentary freeze is what ruined Curtis’ life. Louise called the police but Frank doesn’t care. He’s not leaving. He calls Louise on his cowardice again, how he needs to be a big man. Louise threatens Karen and Frank says he’ll cut a wire right now while Louise is right outside the door. Louise caves and tells Frank which wire to cut.

Frank disarms the bomb and Curtis makes him leave, but he’s too late to not get spotted by police. A chase ensues, and Louise uses the confusion to escape unnoticed. Frank commandeers a cop car and books it.

Micro approaches Dinah at Rhonda’s and tells her he hopes she’s one of the good ones. He offers her the names of everyone involved in Kandahar, and tells her about Rawlins. Meanwhile, Karen’s editor angrily asks her if she knew. When she asks him to clarify he turns on the TV news. Frank was caught on the copcar’s dashcam, which uploads to NYPD servers automatically. Karen gasps in shock, Dinah and Micro both see the report at the bar and “Oh shit” each other, and Frank gets back to Micro’s base and sees the news and just looks annoyed. The secret is out now. All of New York knows the Punisher is alive and well.

End of episode.

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