Posted December 8, 2017 by Jasmin in Reviews

REVIEW: The Punisher S01E09 – Front Toward Enemy

Episode: S01E09 – Front Toward Enemy
Directed By: Antonio Campos
Streaming Available: November 17, 2017
Created By: Steve Lightfoot
Based on Characters By: Gerry Conway, John Romita, Sr., Ross Andru
Starring: Jon Bernthal, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ben Barnes, Amber Rose Revah, Paul Schulze, Jason R. Moore, Michael Nathanson, Daniel Webber, Jamie Ray Newman, Deborah Ann Woll

I feel sorry for Lewis early in the season. There is still some room for sympathy after he kills O’Connor. But his actions in “Front Toward Enemy” are too much to overlook. He bypasses every lifeline thrown at him and instead chooses extreme measures, like blowing up civilians. He compares himself to Frank Castle; says he’s taking a stand like Frank did when he killed a lot of criminals.

Lewis - Front Toward Enemy - The Punisher

© Nicole Rivelli /Netflix

No, Lewis. I can’t imagine what’s going on in that twisted little mind of yours, but you are nothing like Frank Castle, buddy. For starters, Frank has integrity. That might be a stretch for some to believe, but he absolutely does. Frank’s motives are warped, no doubt, but Lewis is just plain unhinged. He’s out of control and past the point of redemption. If I’m honest with myself, I might have still felt sorry for Lewis, but he came after Curtis.

Curtis is a pillar of his veteran community, and a place of calm for Frank Castle. I cannot abide Curtis being hurt, especially not by someone as warped and delusional as Lewis. When he overpowers Curtis and beats him with his own prosthetic leg, I am too through. I want Curtis to go hulk mode and smash Lewis’ face in, but he doesn’t. Again, he’s consistent in his compassion and I am so angry at him for it. But that’s what makes his character so phenomenal in The Punisher. We all need a Curtis in our lives.

Frank and Curtis - Front Toward Enemy - The Punisher

© Nicole Rivelli /Netflix

As Frank and Micro decide their next move, they’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to loop Madani into their equation. But before they can get to it, Lewis thwarts their plans by setting off 3 bombs simultaneously. The aftermath causes a split between Frank and Micro as Frank dashes off to save Curtis and Micro makes his own intro with Madani.

“Front Toward Enemy” does well with showing how team Punisher has grown. They know how to push each other’s buttons, yet there is unspoken trust that each will do what is necessary when the time comes. They are always going to be arguing about motives, but at this point in the season, there is no doubt they will be there in the other’s time of need.

Frank Castle - Front Toward Enemy - The Punisher

© Nicole Rivelli /Netflix

This 9th episode feels like another filler as it bridges the gap between Stein’s death in “Cold Steel” and Frank’s main arc. His determination, however unrefined and brutish, to save Curtis results in Frank blowing his own cover. As he runs from the cops after disarming the bomb, his image is caught on a dash-cam. But don’t for one second think it changes anything about Frank’s plans for vengeance. Come hell or high water, he’s going to make Russo and Rawlins pay for what they did to him.

Time for a welcome back party, Frank!

The Punisher is now available on Netflix.

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Jasmin loves Batman, sci-fi, and movies with lots of explosions. When she’s not writing about geektastic things, she’s probably playing video games or watching sports. Her ultimate goals include traveling the world to watch tennis and working for BioWare to revive the essence of the original Mass Effect Trilogy.