Here's What The Critics Are Saying About THE PUNISHER Season 2

Here's What The Critics Are Saying About THE PUNISHER Season 2

Here's What The Critics Are Saying About THE PUNISHER Season 2

The reviews are in for The Punisher and seeing as this will presumably be Jon Bernthal's final appearance as Frank Castle as Netflix continues cancelling the Marvel TV shows, is he going out with a bang?

The Punisher arrives on Netflix on January 18th and if you need any further proof that Netflix no longer cares about these Marvel shows, look no further than the fact that they only released the first trailer yesterday! Marketing the shows is no longer much of a concern for the online streaming giant and that's because Disney is launching its own platform. 

Regardless, the first reviews for season two of The Punisher have landed and, well, they're mostly good. There are definitely some negative verdicts but a lot of positive ones and it seems as if fans of the character will be happy with how things play out here. 

Unfortunately, it also sounds like Marvel stumbles in all the same places, including retreading old ground and not moving the titular character any further along than what we saw in season one. To check out the full list of review excerpts, though, click on the "View List" button below and be sure to come back later for our take on season two of The Punisher.

The Punisher has always been a series about overcoming personal demons and season two builds on that theme as Frank and company work to let go of their unsettling and often violent histories to build their lives into something more meaningful. By season's end, some have succeeded in their quests while others have failed, but that's life. Season 2 lacks some of the relentless momentum of its predecessor, but what it lacks in story, it more than makes up for with character and action, which still makes it a more than worthwhile watch. Jon Bernthal carries this season on his shoulders and it's honestly worth watching for him alone, because he's just that damn good.

SOURCE: ComicBookMovie

Saying that the second season of Marvel's The Punisher gets off to a slow start is a bit redundant considering the typical pace of Netflix's Marvel shows. The good news is that the season premiere uses its slow pace to good effect, allowing viewers to reconnect with Frank Castle and his struggle to return to a normal life after waging total war. That culminates in a memorably brutal action scene, suggesting that the new season will dole out its violence a bit more liberally. Season 2 still has plenty of work to do in terms of fleshing out the new characters and tying back to Season 1's events, but this is an encouraging start. [8.2/10]


It’d be unfair to say that this season was “better” than the last or vice-versa because again, they’re just...different. It’s a move for the show that gives you the sense that, at one point in time, Netflix might have really had plans to see Frank even further transformed or made over into a more heroic character farther down the line. But with Marvel’s deal with Netflix in the state that it is, this season might be Frank’s last.


Overall, Punisher season two is more of the same from season one. But, since that same was already great, it’s hard to make a case against rocking the boat unnecessarily. The show is fully formed and Bernthal simply takes the wind out of the sail of any of his fellow Defenders. It doesn’t get more straight forward than that.

SOURCE: Forbes

There are no easy answers when it comes to what’s acceptable in the realm of violent cinema (why do we cheer John Wick and boo other gun-toting vigilantes?), and as far as that goes, The Punisher Season 2 is a lot of fun — really violent, excessive fun. Your mileage may vary. But there’s also no denying that this time around, The Punisher has swapped bullets for brains, leaning into easy entertainment over meaningful narrative. [3/5]

SOURCE: Collider

In total, The Punisher Season 2 delivers what I want out of all of these Marvel shows - a familiar character dealing with new and exciting threats in a serialized story. That may sound basic, but it’s a feat that many shows on TV, Marvel and Netflix series included, aren’t able to accomplish. Given everything that’s going on with the partnership between Netflix and Marvel, it’s likely that this will be Frank Castle’s last ride in the MCU. If this is the last time we’ll see Bernthal’s Punisher, it’s a hell of a good look to leave on.

SOURCE: Den of Geek
Bernthal’s awards-worthy performance, alongside the well written dialogue and ambitious action choreography, make The Punisher season 2 a worthwhile watch that just about satisfies expectations, with a bold final shot that’s sure to make comic book fans giddy. If this is to be the last we see of Bernthal’s Punisher, as Netflix’s ongoing cancellation of its Marvel shows suggests, then he’s gone out with a fittingly thunderous bang. [4/5]

SOURCE: Total Film

What Marvel fans may object to the most is the fact that The Punisher Season Two is ultimately still just a stage-setting origin story. Even after all the bloody events of Daredevil Season Two and Punisher Season One, we're still watching Frank Castle's emotional turmoil about something that should've long been settled. In the end, The Punisher is who he's always been: a guy who shoots up the bad guys. All the emotional turmoil about it starts to feel circular and redundant, which would probably be the biggest storytelling challenge that The Punisher Season Three would face -- if it were to actually happen. [4/5]


The theme to this season really is whether Frank Castle will embrace the mantle of The Punisher and in that regard, the season succeeds in setting this story up for more seasons, which we may never get. There was clearly no one building this story with knowledge that Netflix would be cancelling all of their Marvel shows and that is a shame because the third season could have fnally been worthy of the name of the show. As it stands, The Punisher shares a lot in common with Iron Fist in that both shows took two years to finally deliver the character audiences had been waiting to see. Now, it looks like we may have to start all over again. [7/10]


Visceral action pieces, an intense plot and tremendous acting makes you want a third season of The Punisher as soon as possible. Marvel and Netflix fixed almost every problem the first season faced and easily created a second season of The Punisher that rivals the entire Daredevil series. I found myself stunned at every moment and I just couldn’t put it down. What The Punisher season 2 does for the comic book genre is simply brilliant. It totally levels up the gritty superhero TV stuff. If you’re a fan of The Punisher or just comics in general, you’re going to want to watch till the very end. It’s masterful. [9.5/10]

SOURCE: Heroic Hollywood

Yet for all of its narrative flaws, showrunner Steven Lightfoot miraculously reinvented the character, with Season 2 expanding upon the new interpretation. The difference between Punishers of yesteryear versus Jon Bernthal’s is that the text acknowledges that we, the audience, know he’s disturbing. Even Frank knows he’s disturbing, but Frank is trying really, really hard to not be that guy anymore. Frank doesn’t want to be miserable. Frank wants to have fun, kick back, and have a nice cold brew. Frank’s only problem is that he doesn’t like assholes. Unfortunately, the world is full of them.

SOURCE: Inverse

One of the strongest aspects of The Punisher as a TV series is seeing how Bernthal and his costars deal with the tension between who Frank Castle is as a person versus who he becomes as the Punisher. Unfortunately, we see less of that this season than we do the villains, which ultimately makes season two fail to uphold the beauty of The Punisher series as a whole.

SOURCE: Comics Beat

After 11 seasons of Marvel’s Netflix franchise, fans know what to expect. The Punisher offers decent action scenes and a great lead actor, and the same level of okay-to-boring crime drama storytelling we’ve seen throughout the franchise. If you enjoyed season 1 you’ll be perfectly happy with this addition, but it doesn’t do anything interesting with a character who should feel more relevant to our current political climate.

SOURCE: Daily Dot

If The Punisher follows suit with the rest of the Marvel Netflix series (only Jessica Jones has yet to be canceled), this will be the last we see of him on the streaming service. It’s a shame such a wild and impulsive character is likely going out on such an underwhelming note.


This journey doesn't always make for good television — there were multiple episodes this season that were an absolute slog to get through — but it does encourage interesting debate. It also, at least in this case, leads to some pretty damn cool action sequences. And when a show is (unfortunately) as dead on arrival as The Punisher almost certainly is, maybe that's enough.


The inclusion of multiple villains in the MCU on Netflix has worked in the past (“Daredevil” Season 3, for example), but not only are these two characters too interesting to have their arcs cut in half, but their individual storylines also create an, at times, distractingly divided storyline. Ultimately, it’s not reason enough to deter viewers from watching the ‘Punisher,’ but truthfully, it might just be a show for Marvel TV diehards at this point — oh, to be a fly a wall on the of the Netflix metric bean counters to see just how many viewers get past the first half. [B]

SOURCE: The Playlist

The Punisher season two is a frustratingly dull return which suffers from the worst habits of Marvel and Netflix shows (too many episodes, glacial pacing), while managing to bungle its bright spots. If the cancellations of Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil point towards doom for the series, you’re better off crashing out early and avoiding this second outing altogether. [2/5]


I generally like diving deep into story themes in my usual overly-long reviews for this website, but I don't have a lot this time around. Whenever I feel like I understand what the show is going for thematically, it pivots in a manner that gives me narrative whiplash. Jon Bernthal is still the perfect Punisher, but watching him bellow while shooting two rifles is only so sustainable. The Punisher season 2 could have asked some real questions about what place a violent vigilante has in 2019, but instead, it focuses on tired narrative tropes that feel ten years too old and an overextended feud that leaves an absurd trail of destruction.

SOURCE: Flixist

In conclusion, I can not confidently say The Punisher Season 2 is a worthwhile binge for fans of the series and Netflix in general. I have overall mixed feelings about it as the show juggles flawed storylines with great performances and a handful of exhilarating action sequences. Some good concepts are lost when it begins to focus on themes they already touched on last season. There was potential to dip into new waters but for some reason, they felt like consistently reverting back to a plot that delves into familiar territory. I still want to see more soon, but I have a feeling the next time we see The Punisher it will not be on Netflix.

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