Review: The Punisher Season 1 Episode 8 “Cold Steel”

In an episode undoubtedly meant to serve to clarify the origin of Billy Russo as a vindictive, selfish figure, torn between notions of loyalty while believing he can uphold all, ‘The Punisher’ again plods along, with no true focus. The childhood backstory to Russo here feels generic and cliched, it keeps within theme of the relationship between parents and their children, but the ‘mummy issues’ and sense of abuse is such a simplistic way to form anger within a character that it has been done thousands of time before. Nothing here is particularly unique or compelling, as exposition dialogue dominantes  Consequently, Russo’s villainy is richer when the writers focus upon his physical prowess, betrayal and two-faced nature, than what is driving him to commit such acts. Castle exists somewhere in the periphery here, with predictable but ultimately also settling relationship development with Sarah and David. It is oddly edited together with a shoot-out at the end, an unusual series of sequences to juxtapose, reflective of the show’s evident lack of true direction. 6.4/10

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