We open by the waterfront at night as homeless folks huddle over your typical New York flaming oil drums, set to an oddly jaunty accoustic Marilyn Manson song that just sounds so…. NOT his style it’s indirectly creeping me out. It’s like Manson’s been possessed by Johnny Cash. Anyway, Frank is sitting by one such flaming oil drum, having flashes to past interactions with Billy looking utterly crushed by Billy’s betrayal. He sits there til sunrise and then finally heads back to Micro’s. Meanwhile Dinah and Micro are separately watching Billy give an interview to local news playing the spin doctor, painting Frank as a monster he doesn’t recognize. Dinah throws her coffee mug into her tv screen in anger at Billy’s presumptuous smug arrogance. And at Micro’s place he looks up to see a still bloodied Frank walk in just in time to hear Billy on TV ask Frank what the hell happened to him. Opening credits.
Frank is weakly trying to clean himself up and treat his wounds in the bathroom. Micro follows him in and ties to help. He expresses sympathy that Billy betrayed Frank, but as Micro stitches Frank up, they get into an argument over Micro going to Dinah without him. He says they’re over and Frank is done with their partnership. He pushes Micro away and leaves. Meanwhile Zach and Leo are watching News reports about Frank. Sarah tells them to turn it off. Zack feels betrayed and lied to and lashes out of Sarah, while Leo is still calling Frank Pete and doesn’t want to believe what the news is saying he did at the hotel. Sarah comforts Leo as Zack storms off, saying if Micro left them with one lesson it’s how to keep their heads down and stay off the radar.
Billy arrives at Homeland to be interviewed by Dinah. He continues to act EVER the smug slimy bastard, including making a point of looking directly into the interview camera to point out their sexual history. He smugly bullshits his way through dismissing her accusations of murdering Sam, but she turns the camera off and says his best chance is to take a deal and give her Rawlins. Billy goes ghost white at the mention of Rawlins and Dinah notices. He didn’t realize she knew and suddenly he’s not such a smug snake. He tries again, much more meekly this time, to deny that he’s the man she’s looking for. She agrees, and says she’s looking for Frank to testify, but she might just take her sweet time finding him, knowing Frank feels betrayed and will come for Billy. Why, who knows? Someone may have reached out and tipped Frank off. Frank might even be waiting for Billy outside this very building. She leaves the room and Billy is scared shitless.
Rawlins meets with his boss and comes clean, sort of, about Frank. Se’s pissed at him for lying when she asked if he had any skeletons before promoting him. He defends his actions as for the good of the country, which I guess in Rawlins’ mind includes the corpse drug muling. He asks for permission to use their “New York Apparatus” to deal with Frank before he can hurt the agency. She just stares, obviously angry. While this is happening, we get shots of Frank interspersed with them talking that show Frank recreating the skull torso armor.
Dinah and her boss are arguing over her interview with Billy. She needed to rattle his cage. He thinks she’s made this personal. She says Billy killed Sam and all but admitted it during the stairwell standaoff so it was already personal. He tells her to tread carefully while he goes to rattle a few cages of his own. Meanwhile the doorbell rings at Sarah’s place, and it’s a cop claiming that this house made a call to the Frank Castle tip line. Sarah glares at Zack but he shakes his head that it wasn’t him even though we saw him run off with the phone earlier. Cop is being kinda skeevy and asks where Sarah’s daughter is, then insists that Sarah and Zack are coming with him. She tells Zack to run and tries to fight the skeevy obviously NOT a cop off, with Leo hiding upstairs, but a second fake cop arrives with a gun to Zack’s head, and Sarah surrenders.
Frank is packing up to leave Micro’s place and go kill Billy while Micro tries to talk him out of it. He tells Frank that skull is just a symbol for his death wish, that he’d rather be dead than feel. Frank says he’s not wrong. Frank is about to leave when Micro casually points towards the monitors for his house’s cam feed and asks Frank what about them? When they started this it was about the living, not the dead. Frank looks over at the monitors and immediately notices something wrong. They both go over to look closer and Frank points out the signs of a struggle. Micro understandably starts to panic and Frank tells him to run the footage back. Micro does so and they see the fake cops abducting Zack and Sarah and Micro almost goes off half cocked to go after them when he realizes the fake cops didn’t take Leo. They check the other cameras and see Leo snuck out and took off to safety. Frank tells Micro it’s time to phone his daughter, because this is clearly Rawlins and Billy’s doing.
Leo is sitting on a park bench, scared and not sure what to do, when Frank calls her. He tells her he’s going to look out for her. He knows she has no reason to trust him right now but he’s her family’s best hope. He tells her to take the battery and sim card out of her phone and throw eack in different directions, then go wait for him at a poolhouse in the park where Micro used to take her swimming and wait for him. She does as he asks. Frank then tells Micro it’s time to go protect his daughter. HE’S her father, things are spiralling, it HAS to be Micro. He says go get Leo, then go to the Green terminal to wait for Frank. If Frank doesn’t meet them by midnight, take Leo and go to Dinah and ONLY to Dinah. Micro nods but asks what Frank is going to do. Frank says he knows Rawlins and Billy are likely sending a team to Micro’s base as they speak, so he’s going to wait for them, ambush them, find out where they have Zack and Sarah, rescue them, and then kill everyone involved in the conspiracy.
Sarah and Zack are tied up in a warehouse someplace and she’s screaming to be set free. Zack apologizes for calling the tipline and Sarah says it’s okay. He wonders if their captors are going to kill them. She says she’d never let that happen. Meanwhile Rawlins and Billy are watching them from behind security glass. They’ve figured out Micro is still alive and working with Frank. Billy isn’t amused that they’ve devolved into kidnapping innicent women and children to cover their asses, (little late to grow a conscience I think). He’s also not happy with how exposed he is now that Frank and Dinah know about his involvement and that Dinah knows about Rawlins. Rawlins smugly says they traced Frank’s location from Sarah’s phone so Billy should take a team and go kill him and it will all be over and they’ll be in the clear. Billy calls him on being a fucking coward, saying he’s NOT going to go face Frank like an idiot unless Rawlins wants to come with him. Rawlins turns away silently, and Billy says yeah that’s what he thought.
Rawlins’ boss Marion arrives at Homeland, having been invited by Rafi to talk to him and Dinah. She and Rafi are old friends and he thinks rattling HER cage could get them Rawlins, because he thinks she’s one of the good ones and will want to get ahead of it. They tell her about Operation Cerberus, the covert assassins funded by corpse drugs, and the murder of the Afghani cop who found out about it. AND that they have it on video. They also tell her about the Homeland team killed not 5 miles away here on American soil. Marion is indeed clearly rattled and leaves, shaken by the extent to which Rawlins lied to her. Rafi tells Dinah that now they wait to see what shakes loose.
Frank carefully preps Micro’s hideout for the impending assault, making mini bombs and rigging them in key points, loading multiple guns and hiding them around the place, and armoring up for a fight. Meanwhile Micro shows up to the place where Frank told Leo to wait. She’s hesitant at first to come out of hiding, but when she realizes it really is her dad she runs up to him and hugs him an SHUT UP I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING. Micro promises to explain everything but they need to leave because they’re not safe. She understands but asks where Pete/Frank is. Micro just says they’ll see him later.
The camera gives us a quiet tour of Micro’s hideout, showing s there is now even less light, tarps have been hung around the Faraday cage, and Frank is wearing the skull. And shortly thereafter Billy’s team shows up, sweeping the place quietly. And fuck the Jason Bourne comparisons I keep hearing because Frank is go full-tilt Sam Fisher to begin with, taking out 4 guys silently like a ghost. The leader of Billy’s team reaxches the Faraday cage and phones Billy to give him a sitrep, saying there’s a torture video and a countdown at around 19 minutes but otherwise the place is empty. Billy asks if it’s empty how did they find it. the mook replies the phone Sarah called Frank on is right there on the desk. Billy screams it’s a trap, get out, but the call ends as Frank throws one of the mook’s heads at the rest of them, which he stuffed an explosive in because HEAD GO BOOM.
Frank then proceeds to decimate the entire team, taking a few hits to his kevlar but otherwise it’s a curbstomp battle. He screams for Billy as he whittles them down but no one answers his screaming. He leaves one guy alive but crippled to interrogate, and kills him too when he says information is compartmentalized and he doesn’t have access to info on either where Billy is or where Sarah and Zack are. He takes one of the dead mooks’ phones and calls Billy, calling him the coward he is for not coming himself. Billy says he’s got guys for that now. He wants to know what’s on those computers. Frank says everything and it will all go public and ruin him. Billy says if that happens he kills Zack and Sarah, so bring him Micro and the video and files and trade for Micro’s family.
Rawlins meets Marion and is STILL trying to sell her his Greater Good bullshit, offering to use Billy as a sacrificial lamb to give Homeland their win and keep the agency protected. Apparently he’s blissfully unaware that pretty much the ENTIRE GODDAMNED WORLD already believes the CIA does the kind of shit Rawlins does. Marion gives him two choices; offer up Billy as a scapegoat and then resign entirely, or she’ll hand Rawlins over to Dinah herself regardless of the fallout because Rawlins’ tactics disgust here.
Micro and Leo are in his van at the waterfront waiting for Frank. She’s worried he isn’t coming but Micro says he knows he will. Leo turns on the radio and jokes about her silly dancing. Micro says she’s a great dancer. She asks how he’d know. He says he NEVER stopped watching over her. Dinah and Frank show up, as Frank called her and told her to join him. He apologizes to Leo for all this and tells her she did good. Leo isn’t sure what to call him now because Pete seems silly and Frank is scary. Frank agrees.
Billy and more of his goon squad are cleaning up the mess Frank left at Micro’s bunker when Billy gets a look at the countdown on Micro’s PC, the one he has to stop every 24 hours with a retinal scan. Billy realizes EXACTLY what happens if the counter reaches zero and all he can say is “Oh shit”. End of episode.
Tags: Netflix, The Punisher