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The Crazed Spruce

S01.E03: Kandahar

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Cool seeing Schoonover again in the flashbacks.  Clancy Brown is always great.  Enjoyed seeing a bit of the relationship between Frank and Russo too back in the day.  Interesting that Russo still seems to be in the dark about Frank not actually being dead.

Ah, Paul Schulze!  Are you ever not a slimy scumbag?

Enjoyed Dinah and her mother again, admittedly mainly due to the awesomeness of Shohreh Aghdashloo.

I'm guessing this other solider suffering from PTSD will factor in a later on.  I see this dad is being played by Tim Guinee, who I'm pretty sure I've seen in every show at one point or another.

Frank and David/Micro teaming up is expected.  Definitely think they'll never really like one another, but as he said, it does seem like they need one another.

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And this is the episode that made me dislike the main male and female character. Frank was a complete psychopath to the whistleblower guy and I couldn't stand the interim Directors attitude with asking her former partner if he spoke to his old boss like that considering that only a day? or two ago she was mouthing off to her boss. Self righteous and stupid the both of them. 

I thought this show might be entertaining, Punisher is one of the more interesting Marvel characters and this show has ruined him as far as I'm concerned. All this unnecessary violence just makes Frank look like an unhinged psychopath and I'm bloody sick of the dead wife flashbacks. 

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On 11/19/2017 at 7:01 AM, wayne67 said:

Punisher is one of the more interesting Marvel characters and this show has ruined him as far as I'm concerned. All this unnecessary violence just makes Frank look like an unhinged psychopath and I'm bloody sick of the dead wife flashbacks. 

How would they make a version of the Punisher who isn't a psychopath? I'm really not sure how they can without making him a cartoon character. That said, they could have given some more insight as to how he was totally ok with just following orders. And I agree that the dead wife flashbacks are annoying.  At least mix it up and have other scenes other than just her waking him up.

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5 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

How would they make a version of the Punisher who isn't a psychopath? 

I don't think the comic book character is a psychopath, he's just more inclined to kill bad guys than the likes of the X-men who keeps their villains alive so that they can randomly and frequently changes sides on a dime for plot purposes. Just because he's a mass murderer doesn't mean he has to violently assault someone claiming to want to help him. The whole point of the Punisher is to punish bad guys with violence and death. In this he just seems to beat on anyone he feels like. He seems to lack any moral code or real convictions. It makes for a tiresome character. IMO

The whole tying someone naked to the chair and randomly beating them up as payback for releasing a video of soldiers murdering a cop after torture seems OTT, I could understand being unhappy with him for disrupting his life but the reaction seemed like gratuitous violence and nudity solely for the sake of violence and nudity. MMV

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If there's one thing that's been bothering me so far, it's the idea of Frank involved in dirty stuff in Afghanistan.  That's not the Frank Castle from the comics.  His Vietnam experiences did help to shape his outlook in the comics but what happened to his family wasn't blowback for shady stuff he did in the war.  It was literally just wrong place at the wrong time.  But no show can seem to avoid the old government conspiracy trope nowadays.

Hell, I think Frank used to be a religious man in the comics and considered becoming a priest.

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How would they make a version of the Punisher who isn't a psychopath? 

Frank is about as mentally healthy as Batman.  Both of them are unable to overcome the terrible trauma and tragedy.  They lash out violently at criminals as a result.  Except Frank kills them and is much more prone to torture to get the answers he needs.  I used to read The Punisher comics in the 90s and read the War Journal comic a few years ago.  I don't remember him being a big torture guy save for beating answers out of street trash.  Maybe that's changed since as torture is used constantly in pop culture.

I thought Frank was an asshole to Micro in this episode and his treatment of him was way over the top.  But I still very much enjoyed it.  The interaction between the two is great.

Edited by benteen
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17 hours ago, wayne67 said:

I don't think the comic book character is a psychopath, he's just more inclined to kill bad guys than the likes of the X-men who keeps their villains alive so that they can randomly and frequently changes sides on a dime for plot purposes. 

I think it depends on the comic. The only Punisher comics i ever read were the super violent Garth Ennis ones where Frank was a violent psycho. I think at one point he threw a mobster into a lion habitat at a zoo as a way to kill him.

12 hours ago, benteen said:

If there's one thing that's been bothering me so far, it's the idea of Frank involved in dirty stuff in Afghanistan.  That's not the Frank Castle from the comics.  His Vietnam experiences did help to shape his outlook in the comics but what happened to his family wasn't blowback for shady stuff he did in the war.  It was literally just wrong place at the wrong time.  But no show can seem to avoid the old government conspiracy trope nowadays.

Hell, I think Frank used to be a religious man in the comics and considered becoming a priest.

Frank is about as mentally healthy as Batman.  Both of them are unable to overcome the terrible trauma and tragedy.  They lash out violently at criminals as a result.  Except Frank kills them and is much more prone to torture to get the answers he needs.  I used to read The Punisher comics in the 90s and read the War Journal comic a few years ago.  I don't remember him being a big torture guy save for beating answers out of street trash.  Maybe that's changed since as torture is used constantly in pop culture.

I like that this Frank is something different. The kind of character who is generally an honorable person who murders bad guys but is otherwise well adjusted and feels no affects after all the killing is kind of played out. That's basically the Dirty Harry character, and if I want to see that there is Voight on Chicago PD. Now a guy who murders people and is messed up by it and it makes him do crazy stuff , that is more interesting.

On top of that Frank seems to have been messed up long before his family was killed. I mean he executed an unarmed prisoner of war after the guy was tortured when told to without so much as a second thoughy. That I'm pretty sure would be a war crime. So what makes Frank tick that he would do something like that?

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11 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

 

On top of that Frank seems to have been messed up long before his family was killed. I mean he executed an unarmed prisoner of war after the guy was tortured when told to without so much as a second thoughy. That I'm pretty sure would be a war crime. So what makes Frank tick that he would do something like that?

I think the deciding factor here is that Rawlins lied to the team and told them they had Senate approval. Even with it being a war crime, I think Frank had gotten to the point where he was willing to follow any orders without question as long as he believed they had come through the proper chain of command.

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On 11/19/2017 at 7:01 AM, wayne67 said:

I thought this show might be entertaining, Punisher is one of the more interesting Marvel characters and this show has ruined him as far as I'm concerned. All this unnecessary violence just makes Frank look like an unhinged psychopath and I'm bloody sick of the dead wife flashbacks. 

For me the Punisher is the least interesting of all the Marvel characters that they have so far made into Netflix Marvel movies.  Mainly because he is so one note kill kill vengenous guy.  At least with all the others there was some other mitigating factor at play.  Without his family's death Frank would probably be a farmer somewhere.  

At least the show is trying to say that Frank always had some other problems or PTSD at work but without his family's death pushing him over the edge there is no Punisher.  So the flashbacks are a necessary part of his story.    

Edited by Chaos Theory
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56 minutes ago, Chaos Theory said:

For me the Punisher is the least interesting of all the Marvel characters that they have so far made into Netflix Marvel movies.  Mainly because he is so one note kill kill vengenous guy.  At least with all the others there was some other mitigating factor at play.  Without his family's death Frank would probably be a farmer somewhere.  

At least the show is trying to say that Frank always had some other problems or PTSD at work but without his family's death pushing him over the edge there is no Punisher.  So the flashbacks are a necessary part of his story.    

Yea i have always felt the same way about the Punisher, totally ome note. There is only so many nameless criminals you can watch him kill before it gets old even with creative deaths. Making him a somewhat corrupt soldier adds a much more interesting level to it.

On 22/11/2017 at 8:41 AM, moonshine71 said:

I think the deciding factor here is that Rawlins lied to the team and told them they had Senate approval. Even with it being a war crime, I think Frank had gotten to the point where he was willing to follow any orders without question as long as he believed they had come through the proper chain of command.

I really hope it is not just a following orders thing, because that is such a crap excuse and an illegal one for that matter (you're not supposed to follow an illegal order). Especially being that Frank was an officer he was supposed to know that. So what else is going on in his head where murdering prisoners is ok?

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Might just be me, but Frank eating beans straight out of a can fells like a callback to Rorschach.  I'm not sure if they intended to bring him to mind in this, but there are certainly similarities in the characters.  Frank is not a well person.

Lieberman was smart and pretty together considering he was tied to a chair.  Their interactions are interesting, and they contrast well with each other.

On 11/19/2017 at 1:38 AM, thuganomics85 said:

I see this dad is being played by Tim Guinee, who I'm pretty sure I've seen in every show at one point or another.

I've seen him in a bunch of things as well.  What interests me here is that he already has a tiny role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  He's an officer in the situation room in Iron Man when Stark has a confrontation with the two military jets, and first confesses to Rhodey that he's in the suit.  I don't think it's meant to be the same character, but who knows.

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I've seen all the Marvel Netflix series.  This episode made me wonder whether or not I wanted to watch The Punisher, though.  In hindsight, it's a bad episode.

The problem is okay, the Punisher is a killer, he's a dark character.  But on some level we're supposed to feel some sort of empathy with him because of what happened to his family.  He's supposed to have some sort of code of honor, he's supposed to be likable in some sort of way.  It's one thing to kill the bad guys, it's another thing entirely to torture a guy who is really on his side.  This episode made me wonder why I would want to invest in this character at all.  Like I said, bad episode.

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I guess I'm in the minority here. I thought this was a fantastic episode (the best so far). For frame of reference, I just finished watching Jessica Jones season 2 which I thought was terribly and superficially written. To contrast it with this episode, I thought the writing was much deeper and even the smallest characters aren't one dimensional.

The Good

I love the PTSD support group scenes even when it doesn't affect the main storyline. Currently, there's an entire generation of American service men and women who have been fighting an unwinnable war for 15 years. I don't think there's enough attention paid to what all those folks have gone through and are still going through. I also think it's a nice parallel to what Frank is going through mentally shown through other characters, which makes Frank more sympathetic in my eyes.

I thought that Russo was going to be a bad guy because of what his company does (and most corporate characters turn out to be baddies), but in the flashbacks, he seemed like a pretty decent dude so that was a nice surprise.

The flashbacks for Operation Cerberus gave us a good setup of what the operation was, how Frank was pushed over the edge to have all the personality traits necessary to become the Punisher, and how Frank's rescue recounted by Clancy Brown in Daredevil were woven into that.

The Bad

I hate Dinah's character, but I didn't understand why until this episode. Her mom admitted she was only interested in a promotion and climbing the ladder during the discussion scene in the bedroom. People obsessed with status (which usually leads to ego and hubris) bore me. Add to that the way she talked to her former partner (which showed her ego and power trip due to her promotion) made her completely unlikable in my eyes. Maybe that's the point because they're setting up for a Dinah/Frank showdown. However, the best protagonist/antagonist stories to me are the ones where you can understand both sides. So far, I'm Team Frank all the way.

Overall, I'm interested in where the story goes, which I didn't think I would be. I assumed it would be all revenge porn, but it's got more depth than that so far which is nice.

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