The Punisher Season 2, Episode 13: "The Whirlwind" Review
The long-anticipated season finale is here at last.
By M.T. Bates
The season (and most likely series) finale of The Punisher starts with a scramble for survival. This is a confrontation a season in the making Billy was ready to finally hang it up and be done with it all, but we always knew it wouldn’t end that way. The cold open is a brutal one that will have ramifications later in the episode.
Most parents enjoy a phone call from their children, but I think the Schultz’s would have preferred not to receive this one. Amy is actually playing it smart, which of course backfires. John Pilgrim gets put in an awkward situation and you can tell he doesn’t like it one bit, all the while you can see the deep-rooted love he has for his family. His overall redemption lies within his family, if that is the path he finally decides to take.
This episode played it smart by all but ending the least interesting arc right from the start to leave the bulk of the finale to the one everyone cares about, but of course you have to leave something juicy for the end, right?
Finally, the Frank and John showdown that has been brewing all season happens here. Blood and realizations are what make up this fight. Frank is starting to see it a bit more clear, as John is fueled by emotion. Frank sees that and does his best to use it to his advantage. Family is a man’s greatest and strongest ally. Frank knows this better than anyone.
The ensuing battle does not disappoint, as it's dark, dirty, brutal, and a worthy ending to an amazing arc that should have been the main focus all season! John Pilgrim, while not a direct comic character, was definitely inspired by one and was truly a one-of-a-kind villain for the ages.
Krista somehow, again, survives her tumble out the window. She is definitely tougher than she looks. Madani pays her a visit and gives her a little play-by-play on how Billy is doing. I’d call this a well-deserved victory lap for her, as Frank, calm, cool, and cold as ever, does what he should have done a season ago to put his ghosts to bed once and for all. This scene in particular is almost cathartic to watch in terms with how satisfying it was. This season was all about satisfaction and this episode is the pinnacle of satisfaction.
The two final scenes are sights to behold. Powerful is putting it lightly, but Frank knows how to take all the power. Redemption is an amazing thing and no matter how many shows utilize redemption arcs for their characters, it will always be that one trope that never gets old.
This show had its ups and had plenty of downs. While not the best season for a Netflix Marvel show, it was satisfying enough in the end. The Frank and Amy dynamic was something I didn’t think would grow as it did, but it was amazing to watch. Frank and Curt bounced off each other in such a brotherly way that it made their scenes together instant highlights. Finally, Pilgrim might not be Kingpin or Purple Man, but he has earned his spot on the top of the villains list, and while Madani was great throughout, the whole Billy arc felt like a slog on top of all the other good stuff going on.
This season finale did not waste any time in getting to the good stuff and letting the not-so-interesting parts take a backseat. Each of the main showdowns during this episode were totally worth the journey.
As the Pilgrim arc came to a satisfying conclusion, it would have been nice to see more of this character throughout the season. Also, how does Krista keep surviving these window falls?
It’s the little things in life that make us smile, especially as comic book fans. What the final scene of this show tells us, though, without spoiling anything for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, is that we were only treated to a pseudo-Punisher these first two seasons. Sometimes it takes a vigilante some time to get his footing.