After a pretty epic two days of binging, just finished up the season. Collection of random thoughts, conclusions, and questions below:
--Required viewing: Episode 1. Interrogation from Episode 2. Everything from roughly halfway through episode 10ish to the very end. In between? Uhh. .... a five minute summarization would be pretty effective. I would be hard-pressed to say that there was more than an episode or two of "must-watch" content between episodes two and 10ish.
--At least it ended great! Woke up from my half doze and was riveted for the final 3-4 episodes. Yay! This could have easily just been an "A" miniseries, instead of a "B minus" 13 episodes. Most of the homeland security stuff (if not all), most of the stuff involving Micro's family, the PTSD/coming home stuff. Needless. Redundant. You know what else they can excise???
--The motherfucking flashbacks. We get it. EVERYONE WATCHING THIS SHOW TOTALLY, COMPLETELY GETS IT. When I stood up from my computer chair to take a piss while writing this post, my chair started to spin a little bit. I immediately flash-backed to Frank's wife and children on the carousel before they were horribly gunned down. I'm pretty sure when I close my eyes tonight after my head hits the pillow, Frank's wife is going to appear before me in an ephemeral vision. They need to put a big glass jar in the writing room next season. Any time a writer turns in any pages that contain a flashback (or even are flashback-esque), or verbally suggests a flashback, that writer needs to be punched until a tooth comes loose that they can toss into the jar.
---With perhaps two minutes of content revised, this show could be a prequel to The Punisher's appearance in DD2. And you know what? That might have worked better. Because it is difficult to jibe Frank's appearance in DD2 with his quasi ret-conned storyline here.
--That final scene with the glass. Yeesh. There was some supremely visceral shit in this show. Anus puckering, squint your eyes, visceral stuff. Why'd it feel like they were holding back most of the season?
--Frank should have killed the arms dealer and the sandwich guy with the grandma. Not because it's "right," but because that's the established character. I get that they want the bad guys to be politically safe targets like traitorous military-industrial complex types, but if this character returns they need to consider that well fully and completely dry.
--Since it ended on such a high note, I will forgive periodic wonky gun-play choreography from highly trained operatives. I also imagine that the budget might not be able to support things like long-range tactics or thermal imaging scopes (which, for a nighttime scene, would be an automatic add for Frank Castle).
--But what's harder to forgive is Behrooz's mother's daughter surviving a shot to the face with no explanation. C'mon ... does she have super powers? Just put her in a vest or have it bounce off a cell phone or something.
--I can't say I'm unhappy having watched it, because I really loved the final 3-4 episodes, and getting some more Punisher turned out to be a good thing. There just isn't 13 episodes of material here. The season feels fractured and takes way too long to get going. Plus, they had a bunch of episodes and storylines that thematically don't fit The Punisher. But, I'll take a show with a wandering and flabby middle, but a kick-ass ending, as opposed to the reverse.