The Punisher Season 2, Episode 10: "The Dark Hearts of Men" Review
Men have desires and some are addicted to them.
By M.T. Bates
This is the sort of episode The Punisher season 2 needed five episodes ago. Once the crew went back to New York City, the show really kind of dragged. The change of scenery from the first episodes made the show feel fresh, until it got stale once it went back to the city. Thankfully, they let the one man army off the chain and Pilgrim hits a big road bump, which both combined for a premiere episode.
Curtis and Frank stake out Billy’s headquarters to find a weak spot, but our villain is on to them and he uses his element of surprise to strike back. The Curtis and Frank dynamic has been a highlight all season since the character was brought back. Throughout this arc, he faces constant conflict because he can’t figure out what to do, due to the fact that he doesn’t know what is right. It is an inner turmoil that never ends for him.
Madani and Krista have an interesting sit down, with both characters fishing for some inside information that they can use. These scenes are great complements to some of the heavier scenes that go down in this episode. It is this kind of balance that allows it to truly shine.
John Pilgrim has long been a man of mystery in every sense of the phrase and we have never really seen his skills on display. That thankfully changes big time during this episode. The inner demons that wage war within him are let loose in a showing of epic brutality, but his torturous road doesn’t end at bloodshed. It gets real dark real fast.
Frank is a hard man to kill, to the point where it seems like he can’t be killed, but when the smoke from the gun barrel dissipates and all the wounds and broken bones are treated, what hurts him the most is taking the control away from him. He has nothing if he can’t protect those who deserve to be protected.
How much of Frank comes out alive after this battle is dependent on how much he can live with what he thinks he knows. Knowing your enemy is knowing their weak point. Know that, and even the mightiest of giants can be toppled.
The dynamic between Frank and Curtis continues to delight as the show shakes off its earlier doldrums. Each of the characters progressed in their own ways this episode and that balance is what made it so great.
Frank seems almost invulnerable at times, but the true damage being done is to his psyche and not his body.
This was another fantastic episode that's making this season feel like it's headed towards a very strong finish. The stakes are higher than ever and we are no doubt closer to a bloody and epic conclusion.