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The second season of the American web television series Daredevil, which is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, follows Matt Murdock / Daredevil, a blind lawyer-by-day who fights crime at night, crossing paths with the deadly Frank Castle / Punisher along with the return of an old girlfriend–Elektra Natchios. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films and other television series of the franchise. The season is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, with Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez serving as showrunners, and series creator Drew Goddard acting as consultant.
Charlie Cox stars as Murdock, while Jon Bernthal and Élodie Yung are introduced as Castle and Natchios. Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent D'Onofrio also return from the first season, with Stephen Rider joining them. The season was ordered in April 2015 after the successful release of the first, with Petrie and Ramirez replacing the season one showrunner Steven S. DeKnight. Production on the season began in July 2015 and continued through December, with the season focusing on the nature of heroism through comparison of Murdock to Castle and Natchios, and showing how the latter two affect Murdock's life.
The first two episodes of the season premiered in Paris on March 7, 2016, with the full season of 13 episodes released on Netflix on March 18. Critics praised the introduction of Castle and Natchios, as well as Bernthal's performance in particular, the season's action, and storylines. However, many missed the presence of Vondie Curtis-Hall's Ben Urich from season one, and D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk during the first half of season two. The series was renewed for a third season in July 2016.
Episode #1: "Bang"
Following the downfall of Wilson Fisk and the Russian mafia, and the disappearance of the Chinese and Yakuza, various gangs attempt to take control of Hell's Kitchen, including the Irish Mob and Cartels. When a group of Irish are gunned down by an apparent "army", the sole survivor, Elliot "Grotto" Grote, seeks out the firm of Nelson and Murdock for protection. Karen Page, Nelson and Murdock's assistant—who is struggling to manage their financial troubles given that the firm's clientele often cannot afford legal fees—takes the wounded Grotto to the hospital, while Foggy Nelson learns from the Dogs of Hell biker gang that a group of their own was murdered by the same "army" as the Irish. Matt Murdock, as his secret vigilante persona Daredevil, investigates the cartels, who he learns had all of their high-power weapons stolen by a single man. At the hospital, Grotto and Page are attacked by this man and barely escape alive. Daredevil confronts the new vigilante in the rooftops near the hospital, and is shot in the head at point blank range.
#2 "Dogs to a Gunfight"
Nelson finds Murdock the next morning. Though his body armor saved his life, Murdock's head and heightened senses are damaged and impaired, and Nelson insists that he rest and recover. Nelson attempts to get Grotto into witness protection, but since all of his mob contacts were murdered, District Attorney Samantha Reyes only agrees if Grotto wears a wire to a meeting with a high-level drug lord. After his senses improve, Murdock asks his armorer, Melvin Potter, for a new, improved mask, before investigating the hideout where the Irish were murdered. Realizing that they had a now missing dog, Murdock tracks it to a nearby apartment, where the other vigilante—nicknamed "The Punisher" by the DA's office—had been listening to the DA's operation with Grotto on a police radio. When the Punisher attacks the operation, Nelson and Page realize that Reyes had always meant it as a trap. Police snipers fire at the Punisher as Daredevil arrives and attacks him. Grotto escapes in the chaos, while Murdock is injured and loses consciousness.
#3 "New York's Finest"
Daredevil wakes up as the Punisher's captive, and pleads with him to stop killing, feeling that there is goodness within anyone, and that no criminal is beyond redemption. The Punisher insists that what he does is necessary, that by murdering criminals he stops them from doing wrong ever again, while Daredevil merely delays the inevitable by injuring them. Their debate culminates in Punisher bringing out Grotto, whom he caught stealing a car in an attempt to flee the city, and strapping a gun with a single bullet to Daredevil's hand, offering him the choice of killing Grotto, killing the Punisher before he kills Grotto, or doing nothing and living with the fact that his actions caused someone's death anyway. Daredevil shoots the chains holding him and breaks free, but in doing so gives the Punisher time to fatally shoot Grotto. As the dying Grotto asks why Daredevil allowed him to die, the Punisher attacks a nearby Dogs of Hell group. Daredevil manages to knock the Punisher unconscious, and then fights his way through the angry gang members to safety.
#4 "Penny and Dime"
Finn Cooley, a high-profile member of the Irish mafia whose son was killed by the Punisher, arrives in New York seeking revenge, and tracks the dog Punisher took to his apartment, where he realizes who the Punisher is. Page begins investigating the Punisher herself, using files slipped to her by assistant DA Blake Tower. She learns that he is Frank Castle, once a husband and father who was hospitalized with a bullet in his head. Barely surviving, Castle escaped an apparent cover up of some kind, potentially of Reyes's doing. The Irish confront Castle at a family carousel and take him hostage. Cooley violently tortures him, until Castle escapes and brutally murders Cooley and several of the other Irish. Daredevil finds them and stops Castle from murdering anyone else, helping him escape. Castle tells Daredevil about his family, who were murdered, before allowing himself to be arrested, with Daredevil giving credit for his capture to Sergeant Brett Mahoney in hopes of restoring the public's faith in the police rather than in vigilante justice.
Ten years ago, Murdock met Elektra Natchios, the bored daughter of a wealthy Greek ambassador. The two bonded over their shared thrill-seeking nature and skills, with Murdock eventually revealing his abilities and the nature of his father's death at the hands of Roscoe Sweeney. When Natchios manipulated Murdock into confronting Sweeney, hoping to have Murdock kill him, Murdock refused to do so, and Natchios left. In the present day, Natchios returns to New York asking for Murdock's help with the Japanese arm of the Roxxon Energy Corporation, with whom her late father had dealings. Murdock refuses, but spies on her business meeting with the company, where she plants a bug in their system. Murdock later confronts Natchios about Sweeney, and she claims that she knows Murdock's true nature, which she believes is the same as hers. To prove it, she has manipulated him once again, revealing that she has his Daredevil costume for him as what appears to be remnants of the Yakuza track the bug to her apartment.
#6 "Regrets Only"
Murdock and Natchios defeat the Yakuza assailants. Natchios believes that the Yakuza are up to something big in New York, and Murdock reluctantly agrees to continue helping her when she promises to leave the city once they are done. Murdock, Nelson, and Page are visited by the public defender on the Punisher case, who reveals that Reyes intends to link Castle to other Dogs of Hell murders outside of New York, making the death penalty an option. Murdock and Page convince Nelson that they should be helping Castle themselves, to protect him from Reyes and learn what really happened to him and his family. While Murdock and Natchios attend a Roxxon gala and steal a valuable Yakuza ledger, Page reveals to Castle what she has learned of his past, eventually earning his cooperation. However, in front of Reyes and the judge, Castle refuses a plea deal that would give him life in prison and instead pleads not guilty. An angered Reyes has the trial fast tracked, with The People v. Frank Castle set to begin within a week.
#7 "Semper Fidelis"
Because of his dealings with Natchios, Murdock is late for Castle's trial, and Nelson steps in for the opening statement. Unable to use a PTSD defense from Castle's time at war—Castle believes it would be disrespectful to real PTSD-suffering war veterans—Nelson instead focuses on Castle's family being failed by the justice system. Murdock works with Page in preparing to cross-examine the chief medical examiner, who likely doctored the Castle family death certificates for Reyes, but before he can do so in court the man confesses; he had been tortured the night before into revealing the truth. Murdock realizes that Natchios had overheard him and Page and attempted to 'help', and reveals his involvement with her to Nelson. With the examiner's testimony now invalid, Nelson's relationship with Murdock fractures. Murdock confronts Natchios, who agrees to stay away from the trial, before joining her in searching an abandoned building site from which the Yakuza ledger revealed shipments of dirt. Inside they find a giant hole.
#8 "Guilty as Sin"
Murdock and Natchios are attacked by ninjas, and have to be saved by Murdock's old mentor Stick. They escape back to Murdock's apartment, where Stick reveals to Murdock that Natchios works for him (and has done since before she first met Murdock, which was on a mission to recruit him for Stick) as he fights a war for the Chaste against the ancient group the Hand, for which the Japanese Roxxon arm and the Yakuza are fronts. Murdock offers to take Natchios back and help her defeat the Hand if she renounces Stick and his murderous ways; she agrees. In court, Nelson begins to sway the jury in Castle's favor, but Castle takes the stand and purposefully wrecks his own defense. Page and Nelson blame Murdock for losing the trial. Natchios and Murdock share a close moment before they are attacked by a lone ninja. Murdock subdues him and discovers that he is only a teenager, before Natchios impulsively slits his throat, to Murdock's horror. Castle enters prison, and is led by a guard to a meeting with Fisk.
#9 "Seven Minutes in Heaven"
Fisk offers Castle a chance at Dutton, the "kingpin" of Ryker's Island prison whom Fisk believes organised the deal-gone-wrong which lead to the deaths of Castle's family. Fisk admits that this will allow Fisk to take control of the prison himself. Castle attacks Dutton, who reveals that he organised the deal for a drug dealer called 'the Blacksmith'. Fisk then betrays Castle by releasing Dutton's supporters on him, but Castle slaughters them all. Realizing that Castle could be an asset against Fisk's competitors while the latter is imprisoned, Fisk arranges for Castle to escape the prison. Nelson and Murdock agree to part ways, while Page continues her personal investigation of Castle. She confirms with the now former-chief medical examiner that in addition to the Castle family there was another victim of the massacre, an undercover cop; the deal and subsequent massacre were part of a sting operation. Murdock investigates a Hand facility called the Farm, where he is confronted by Nobu Yoshioka, whom he had previously killed.
#10 "The Man in the Box"
Daredevil asks Mahoney to send the several children being used as apparent human incubators for a mix of chemicals at the Farm to nurse Claire Temple to receive hospital treatment. Learning of Castle's escape, Reyes has Nelson, Murdock, and Page meet at her office. She confirms that her office had organised the sting on the Blacksmith's deal with the Irish, Cartel, and Dogs of Hell, and explains that she chose not to clear the area so as not to tip off the criminals, leading to the deaths of the undercover cop and Castle's family when the deal went south. Now, she believes that Castle is targeting her daughter, and pleads for help in bringing him in. However, Reyes is gunned down in front of them by an unidentified shooter. Murdock visits Fisk in prison and confirms his suspicions, that Fisk is running it and orchestrated Castle's release. Natchios kills an assassin sent by Stick, and Castle saves Page from a similar attack to the one on Reyes. At the hospital, the children awake as Daredevil prepares to defend the building from the Hand.
Daredevil saves Temple from the Hand, but the children willingly leave with the ninjas and drain themselves of their blood to feed the chemicals into an ancient device. Some of the Hand died during the fight, and an attempted autopsy on one of them shows the scars of a prior autopsy. The hospital board chooses to cover this up, compelling Temple to quit. Page and Castle are confronted by the Blacksmith's men, and Castle violently beats his location out of them before murdering them. He then leaves the horrified Page. Daredevil confronts Tower, who reveals the one lead the DA's office has on the Blacksmith: a competitor working out of Chinatown. Daredevil goes there to find Madame Gao, an old ally of Fisk's, who sends him to the pier. Castle attacks a boat there, used to smuggle drugs, and attempts to kill a man claiming to be the Blacksmith; Daredevil stops him, but the Blacksmith's men arrive and attack the boat, and Castle escapes in the chaos. Learning that Natchios survived the hit, Stick prepares to fight her himself.
#12 "The Dark at the End of the Tunnel"
Stick regrets never being able to "tame" Natchios, who always had an affinity for murder, and is trying to rectify that mistake. Daredevil stops the two from killing each other, but the Hand arrive and kidnap Stick. The police believe that Castle is dead, and Page reluctantly agrees; rather than dropping her investigation into Castle, which she was going to write an expose on for the New York Bulletin, Page decides to write a profile to show the public that there was more to Castle than just the Punisher. She interviews Castle's Marine commander Ray Schoonover, but realizes that he is the Blacksmith. Castle arrives, and murders Schoonover despite Page's pleas. Daredevil and Natchios find Stick, with Natchios still bent on killing him. However, they are confronted by Yoshioka, who reveals that Natchios' killer instincts are because she is the Black Sky, a mythical weapon worshiped by the Hand. Natchios considers accepting the Hand's fealty, but Daredevil convinces her to choose her own destiny, and she instead helps Stick escape.
#13 "A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen"
Nelson joins the lawyer firm of Jeri Hogarth. With Stick safe at Murdock's apartment, the Hand raids a police station for information on people Daredevil has helped. They take hostages, including Page and criminal Turk Barrett. Because Barrett is on house arrest, police officers tracking him report the situation before they are killed by the Hand. Murdock and Natchios use this call to find the hostages, and free them. They are then confronted by a horde of Hand ninjas, led by Yoshioka. Natchios sacrifices herself to save Murdock, and he defeats the rest of the Hand with help of Castle, who looks to move on from his past and accept the Punisher mantle. Stick returns to finish off Yoshioka, beheading him. Murdock and Stick mourn Natchios, with Murdock stating that his love for her was worth it, and accepting that Stick's philosophy of cutting off emotional ties is flawed. He arranges a meeting with Page, and reveals to her that he is Daredevil. The Hand later exhume Natchios' body, and place her in the ancient device.
A spin-off series, centered on Bernthal's character Frank Castle / Punisher and titled Marvel's The Punisher, was released by Netflix on November 17, 2017.
Episode #1: "3 AM" - November 17, 2017
Frank finds and kills the last members of the criminals groups which ended his family's lives: the Dogs of Hell bikers, the sole survivor of the Mexican Cartel of NYC, and the last member of the Kitchen Irish. Six months later, Frank (now going by Pete Castiglione) has been working as a construction hand breaking down walls for 12+ hrs a day, living in a rundown apartment with nightmares about his family. He is helped by friend Curtis Hoyle, who runs a support group of retired servicemen feeling screwed over by their leaders. One night, new kid Donny goes out with some guys from work to rob a mobster, only for Donny to slip and drop his wallet, exposing his driver's license. Frank kills the gang before they kill Donny, and proceeds to kill the mobsters before they find Donny. As this happens, David Lieberman tracks Frank by using a Gait tracking software. Meanwhile, Dinah Madani gains a new posting in Homeland Security, striving to gain a task force to find out who killed her partner Ahmed Zubair of the Afghan National Police, who was undercover investigating a heroin ring. Her new DHS partner Sam Stein urges her to be cautious around their boss Carson Wolff, who immediately denigrates her choice to pursue this case.
#2 "Two Dead Men" - November 17, 2017
Frank goes to the Statue of Liberty, and relives the visit he took with his family just days before they died. At a diner in Hell's Kitchen, David calls Frank, and tells Frank he needs him. Frank goes to Karen to look up the name "Micro" and she learns that he was an NSA analyst who was killed resisting arrest. So Frank visits David's wife Sarah, who still believes her husband dead, and the two share their grief over lost family. David, having hidden cams on his family, sees Frank and goes to intercept, only to see Frank helping her out around the house. Frank learns a DHS agent named Carson Wolff 'killed' David Lieberman and breaks into his home to interrogate him, but he breaks free. Wolff, believing he can kill Frank, admits to being part of a conspiracy using Federal resources that orchestrated the Castle family's death. Pulling the trigger, Wolff realizes Frank used only one bullet in the gun during interrogation, Frank proceeds to snap his neck. Frank calls Micro, leads him on a wild chase, only to follow him to his hideout and interrogate him. Dinah talks with her mother Farah about her partner, feeling shame and guilt over failing to help him. Part of her investigation is to have her co-workers go to a training session at Anvil Securities, run by Billy Russo- one of Frank's squad-mates during their tour. When at a bar later that night inquiring if Castle had a hand in the Heroin trading like Schoonover, Billy informs her Frank opposed such acts. She receives a text informing her of Wolff's death.
#3 "Kandahar" - November 17, 2017
Frank interrogates David to find out if he's a threat to him, but alarms sound as Micro has rigged the base to blow if he is not at his console. David then takes a moment to recount the events which led to his 'death'- as an analyst, he found footage of Ahmed Zubair's capture and murder by Frank's team in Afghanistan, encrypting and sending the file to Dinah, but is found out the next day by Wolff. He is chased and cornered by Wolff who shoots David in the heart and falls into the river behind him. David is alive to tell Frank as his cell phone blocked the bullet, but Wolff rewrote the narrative as David being a traitor. When alarms sound again, Frank reveals he secured the perimeter finding no bombs, and David reveals he was filming Frank, threatening to expose his still being alive. David disarms the security, but tranqs Frank with a needle/pen. After Frank comes to, David reveals he wants to work with him to kill the men who ruined their lives. Frank remembers CIA Agent "Orange" bringing him into a squad to find and kill a target- Ahmed Zubair. They later raid a compound on Orange's intel, but many on the squad die as a result. Frank attacks Agent Orange for his indifference to his brothers in arms dying meaninglessly because of him, permanently blinding him in his left eye. Dinah is now lead agent due to Wolff's death and is in a jurisdictional dispute with NYPD and FBI, but stays ahead as Wolf was DHS. Her mother argues that she should not take on guilt over Wolff's death, and to trust someone, since she lost her partner already. Sam brings Dinah bank statements showing $30 million. When Sam reminds her to trust someone, she decides to trust him as she needs someone to work with without friction.
Flashback: During their time as members of an illegally-sanctioned assassination squad, Frank and Russo are recruited by CIA operative "Agent Orange" to kill Ahmed Zubair. They later raid a compound on Orange's intel only to lose several of their fellow squadmates, prompting Frank to attack Orange and permanently blind him in his left eye. Micro, after finding footage of Zubair's death, encrypts and sends the footage to Dinah only to be found out by Wolf, who shoots him. Micro survives the attempt while Wolf frames him as a traitor.
#4 "Resupply" - November 17, 2017
Needing an arsenal, Frank attempts to steal a shipment of weapons from Turk Barrett, finding that a Greek gang has already taken them. Frank visits David's wife to sign an insurance waiver, growing closer to David's family in the process. Lewis Wilson's mental state continues to deteriorate as he now sleeps in a foxhole in his backyard. He tries to join Anvil, but is rejected when Curtis informs Billy about his instability. Dinah is warned off of investigating Wolf's corruption by her mentor, Rafi Hernandez. She is put in command of a Homeland Security operation to arrest the Greek gang and recover the stolen weapons. David discovers the operation by hacking their files, but is reluctant to get involved in stealing the guns from Homeland Security until Frank convinces him. Frank and David steal a car and foil Homeland's operation, taking the weapons for themselves. Dinah and Frank engage in a car chase, which is ended when David accidentally rams her car with a truck. Frank removes an injured Dinah from the wreckage, and she recognizes him, asking if he killed Wolf. He confirms it, warns her not to get in his way, then leaves.
#5 "Gunner" - November 17, 2017
Frank and David search for Gunner Henderson, Frank's old squad-mate, who they realize filmed the video of Zubair's execution. As the official inquiry into Homeland Security's failed operation gets underway, Dinah is forced to confide in Stein and admit that Frank is alive; also asking him to keep it quiet until they find out more. She and Billy become intimate. William Rawlins, the "Agent Orange" who commanded Operation Cerberus in Kandahar, prepares to be promoted to CIA deputy director. Frank finds Gunner in the Kentucky woods, and learns from him that Rawlins and Schoonover were smuggling heroin to the US. He and Gunner are ambushed by a team of mercenaries sent by Rawlins, who wants to silence Gunner before Homeland Security can interrogate him. With the guidance of a recon drone piloted by David, Frank and Gunner kill the mercenaries, and Rawlins sees Frank is still alive. Gunner is mortally wounded, and Frank is also seriously wounded. David rescues Frank and drives him back to New York.
#6 "The Judas Goat" - November 17, 2017
When Frank's wounds become infected, David is forced to ask Curtis to treat him; Curtis blames David for Frank's current condition. Billy learns that Dinah is investigating Frank and angrily asks her if she is exploiting him for her investigation. Billy begins broadcasting a radio call to Frank, but Frank does not respond. Dinah investigates Gunner's death and confirms Frank's involvement. She later tells Billy that Frank is alive. Lewis is arrested while handing out leaflets in front of a courthouse with O'Connor. Curtis bails him out and tells him O'Connor lied about serving in Vietnam. Lewis confronts O'Connor and stabs him to death. Frank meets with Billy, who offers to give him a new identity and help him escape New York. Frank visits David's family, apologizing for missing a dinner date and reassuring Sarah that things will be all right. Frank chooses not to accept Billy's offer, and it is revealed that Billy is secretly working with Rawlins.
#7 "Crosshairs" - November 17, 2017
As Frank sets out to target Morty Bennett, one of the founders of "Operation Cerberus" and one of Rawlins' allies in the heroin smuggling plot, Rawlins stages a trap for his former subordinate. Micro, however, has Frank keep Bennett long enough for the recon drone to clone his phone and track down Rawlins. Frank arrives at Rawlins' house and tries to kill him only to fail and flee when an alarm goes off. Meanwhile, Russo kills Bennett in an attempt to clean up any loose ends and Dinah, suspecting that her office has been bugged, has Sam stage a "plan" to find whoever is listening.
#8 "Cold Steel" - November 17, 2017
As Frank and Micro come to terms with learning Rawlins' identity, Frank learns that Micro's son Zach brought a knife to school and decides to scare him straight. Frank confronts him and learns that he has grown afraid since his father's "death". After convincing Micro that seeing his son would be too dangerous, the two agree that the next course of action is to work with Dinah. Meanwhile, Rawlins and Russo decide to go after Frank, unaware that Dinah, Sam and their DHS team is going after them. The two engage in an open confrontation that results in Russo's men being gunned down and a disguised Russo stabbing Sam to death. Russo later "consoles" Dinah and helps wash the blood off her body.
#9 "Front Toward Enemy" - November 17, 2017
Dinah is grieving for Sam, blaming herself for his death. A series of explosions hits the city, planned and executed by Lewis. Lewis sends Karen Page a letter, believing she will side with his cause as she had sided with Frank Castle before, but she does not. During an on-air debate between Karen and gun-control activist Senator Ori, Lewis calls and says his favorite Latin quote, making both Curtis and Frank realize that he is the bomber. Curtis goes to O'Conner's house while looking for Lewis, and finds the corpse, a new bomb in the making, and Lewis himself. In the following altercation, Lewis beats Curtis with his own prosthetic, and ties him to a chair with the bomb. David meets with Dinah in secret, and reveals Agent Orange's name to her, as well as his work with Frank. Frank finds Curtis, and following a phone call from Lewis, convinces him to help him disarm the bomb. Lewis has called the police, and although Frank manages to escape without killing a police officer, the dashcam of the police car Frank steal films him, and the public is made aware of Frank's continued existence.
#10 "Virtue of the Vicious" - November 17, 2017
This episode is told in the Rashomon style, jumping back in forth in time as Sgt. Brett Mahoney interviews Karen, Dinah, Russo, and Senator Ori to determine the sequence of events in an attempt on the Senator's life. Dinah learns that the mercenaries who killed Stein were connected to Anvil, so she heads to a hotel to confront Russo, who is there providing security for Senator Ori as he sits down for an interview with Karen. The interview is attacked by Lewis, who has infiltrated the hotel by killing one of Russo's men and stealing his uniform. Frank arrives and shields Karen and Ori from the gunfire, but in the confusion, Karen is taken hostage by Lewis, who reveals that he is wearing a suicide vest. Frank and the Anvil agents who show up have no other option but to let him escape via the elevator. Frank then flees as Russo's men open fire on him. Fighting off Russo, his men, and several cops, Frank catches up to Lewis and Karen in the hotel's kitchen. He brings up how Lewis told him how to disarm the previous bomb in order to clue Karen in on how to disarm the suicide vest. Karen cuts the white wire, grabs a gun she took from one of Russo's men, and shoots Lewis in the foot. Lewis locks himself in the freezer and begins reciting the final verses of Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Young British Soldier" before he detonates the bomb and kills himself.
#11 "Danger Close" - November 17, 2017
Sarah and Zach are kidnapped by Russo's men while Frank makes preparations to go after Rawlins. With Leo having eluded capture, David reunites with her at an old family hangout and enlists Dinah's aid. Having anticipated that Anvil would trace the call history of Sarah's phone, Frank ambushes and kills the assault team in the power station. With his assault team dead, Russo arranges a location for a hostage exchange site, demanding that Frank and David exchange themselves for Sarah and Zach.
#12 "Home" - November 17, 2017
Dinah records the testimonies of David and Frank regarding Operation Cerberus for video evidence against Rawlins in order to present her findings to Deputy Director Marion James. Castle and David arrive at the agreed exchange spot, finding both Sarah and Zach alive, but laden with gasoline canisters as insurance against a double-cross. Anticipating that Russo would double cross them, Frank and David agree to fake the latter's death, with Dinah's DHS team shooting David in order to make the ruse convincing. While David is reunited with the entirety of his family, Frank is transported to the power station for interrogation by Rawlins and Russo. Frank is tortured to the brink of death, and with some aid by Russo, breaks free before stabbing Rawlins to death. DHS storms the complex, wounds an escaping Russo, and provides a medical evacuation for Frank.
#13 "Memento Mori" - November 17, 2017
Frank is given medical attention by Dinah's father, and provides the gathered evidence to James while DHS executes a failed attempt to apprehend Russo. Russo sneaks into Hoyle's apartment in order to confirm suspicions of the latter's knowledge that Frank is alive. Enraged, Russo attempts to execute him, only to be interrupted by Frank in a sniper's position. Frank gives Russo an offer for an agreed battleground for their one-on-one confrontation, with Russo picking the amusement park where Frank's family was slain. Russo takes two amusement park workers hostage and bleeds them for a tactical advantage against him. Frank and Russo engage in a firefight, where Russo gains the upper hand by leveraging his hostages. Dinah, having deduced Russo's location, intervenes, only to receive a headshot wound. An enraged Frank beats Russo in hand-to-hand combat and bashes Russo's face against the merry-go-round's mirror repeatedly, disfiguring him. Three days after the battle, Frank is greeted by James and Dinah's mentor Rafael Hernandez and learns that the CIA and DHS have erased Frank's criminal record, allowing him to live in anonymity as Pete Castiglione.
Jon Bernthal stars as Frank Castle, with principal cast members Ben Barnes, Amber Rose Revah, and Jason R. Moore returning from the first season. They are joined by Josh Stewart, Floriana Lima, and Giorgia Whigham. Former series regular Deborah Ann Woll returns in a guest capacity. A second season of The Punisher was ordered in December 2017, a month after the first season was released. The new cast members were added in February 2018. Filming began in New York City the next month and wrapped in August.
#1: "Roadhouse Blues"
Castle meets a young girl at a bar who insults him. The girl later calls a Russian gangster, requesting a meeting to sell some photos. Unknown to her, the gangster is tied to a chair and being interrogated by a man looking for the photos. After hanging up, he kills the gangster. Castle deals with a belligerent drunk who was hitting on and insulting the bartender, Beth. Afterward, she asks him to grab a drink at her place. The following night, Castle returns to the bar to meet up with Beth, but notices a group of people searching the place while the young girl tries to avoid them. A fight ensues when Castle intervenes, but Beth gets shot. He carries her into a nearby truck and heads for the nearest hospital, taking the girl with him. Castle shoots and kills more members of the group who were following them, reaches the hospital, and Beth survives. Later, Castle and the girl move on. Meanwhile, Dinah Madani visits Billy Russo's hospital room. Shortly after she leaves, he opens his eyes.
#2 "Fight or Flight"
Castle and the girl check into a motel in Larkville, Ohio and he has her treat his wounds. The girl says her name is Rachel and Castle interrogates her about why people are trying to kill her. The gang that attacked them tracks them to their motel. A gunfight ensues in which Castle, Rachel, and one remaining henchwoman survive but all get arrested by local police. Madani visits Russo, who does not remember anything more recent than his time in the Marines. Madani has been visiting Russo almost every day and refuses to believe he has amnesia. Her mentor, Rafi, tries to convince her to stop. That night, she goes home and has a nightmare about Russo right before Castle wakes her up with a call asking for help from the police station. She says no, leaving him to defend the precinct from religious zealots led by a mysterious man on his own.
#3 "Trouble the Water"
In a flashback, the mysterious man is revealed to be John Pilgrim, a pious man and a former white supremacist with two sons and a sick wife who regularly attends a rural church. The wealthy couple financing the healthcare for his wife, Anderson and Eliza Schultz, tells him that they need him for a mission. In the present, Sheriff Roy Hardin finds that "Rachel" is one of many aliases used by the girl. Pilgrim brings a small army to Larkville County Sheriff Station, who starts firing on the building from the surrounding woods, but Castle gets out of his restraints and kills all of the shooters. Pilgrim manages to sneak up behind the Punisher, but — just as he gets Castle in his sights — Madani shows up with a DHS helicopter to tell Castle that Russo has escaped the hospital. Castle takes Rachel for her protection, and all three leave for New York.
#4 "Scar Tissue"
Flashbacks show counseling sessions between Russo and psychotherapist Dr. Krista Dumont as he tries to recover his memories and strength amidst nightmares about a skull vest. It's revealed that he grew up in foster care and felt the military was the closest thing he had to a family. In the present, Madani hides Castle and Rachel at her apartment in New York. Castle then visits Curtis Hoyle for information about Russo, but the latter believes their former colleague does have amnesia. Castle recalls Russo telling him about being abused by one of his childhood caretakers, which he relays to Madani and Mahoney, with the former trying to find the abuser while the latter tries to follow her. Rachel breaks down and tells Castle she was part of a group of con-artists from Chicago that had been paid by a Russian gangster to take pictures of a man kissing another man. After the job, the group is massacred while Rachel is out getting dinner for them, forcing her to flee. Meanwhile, Russo tracks down his abuser and kills him. Rachel goes out and discovers Castle's history as the Punisher. When she returns, she reveals her real name is Amy. Russo shows up at Dr. Dumont's apartment asking for help, covered in blood.
#5 "One-Eyed Jacks"
Frank coerces Turk Barrett to set up a meeting with the Russians who had contracted Amy's group for the photos. At the Russians' gym, they force Turk to set up an ambush for Frank at Turk's apartment. Frank instead goes to the gym and has a deadly confrontation with the remaining Russians while he extracts their leader's name, Nikolai Poloznev, a Russian businessman. Madani attends one of Hoyle's veteran group therapy sessions. Billy befriends one of the troubled veterans at a bar. The Schultzs send Pilgrim to New York, assigning him to go after the Russians. He kills the remaining Russians at the gym.
Castle and Amy develop the photos in order to meet Poloznev. Pilgrim tracks down and threatens Madani to turn over Amy and Castle. After capturing Poloznev, Castle interrogates him, wherein the Russian explains that photos were supposed to be used to blackmail Senator David Schultz, a closeted homosexual who had been groomed into power by his parents, the highly religious Anderson and Eliza Schultz. Frank spares Poloznev's life and tells him to leave the country with his wife and daughter, but Pilgrim later finds Poloznev and executes him. Meanwhile, Russo befriends more veterans from Hoyle's therapy group. After violently beating a tow-truck driver for towing one their cars, he convinces them that they are meant for violence and they make plans to rob a bank. Hoyle helps one of the veterans, learning that Russo is meeting with them. Russo returns to Dr. Dumont's and reads his file. He attacks her, causing her to stab him in the hand. He then kisses her and she reciprocates.
#7 "One Bad Day"
Russo and Dr. Dumont's relationship becomes sexual. Hoyle, Castle, and Madani track one of the veterans that had been meeting with Russo, with Castle brutally interrogating him. After they find out about the planned robbery, Castle and Hoyle go after Russo while Madani calls Mahoney to let him know about it. Russo and his gang then rob a payday loan business, but Castle confronts him while wearing the skull insignia vest from his nightmares.
#8 "My Brother's Keeper"
After Russo freezes upon seeing Castle, who he still believes to be his best friend, his gang grabs him and they attempt to flee. Castle chases them, so Russo leaves his vehicle to confront him while Curtis takes out a sniper going after Castle. Castle reveals he was the one responsible for his facial scars and memory loss. Both Castle and Hoyle hesitate when they get a shot at Russo, which lets him get away. Mahoney chases Castle and catches him, but Hoyle intervenes so he can get away. Russo kills the veterans who disagree with him after they get to the rendezvous before returning to Dr. Dumont, feeling betrayed by Castle. Dumont supports this by implying that Castle is not the man Russo thought he was. He then makes plans to use the veterans to create an army to take on the world. Castle visits his family's graves for guidance after feeling reluctant to kill Russo while he is unaware of his past crimes.
Billy's army goes on a successful robbery and murder spree though the city. Anderson visits Pilgrim in order to set a bounty on Castle and Amy, so he contacts mercenaries. Russo breaks into Madani's apartment and confronts her on his forgotten memories, where she reveals that he killed Castle's family in an act of greed. Castle learns Russo's hideout is called Valhalla, but he is confronted by mercenaries after the bounty on his head and he kills them. Now aware of the bounty, Castle tries to contact Amy, only to find her gone. Amy left to try and flee the city by making contact with a friend from her former Chicago gang, who seemingly agrees to help. Amy finally answers Castle's calls and tells him of her plans, but finds out about the bounty on them. Amy's friend betrays her for said bounty and brings mercenaries after her. Castle arrives and kills all but one while Amy hides in a utility closet. The last mercenary is then disarmed by Amy and she shoots him before Castle kills him so that Amy is not the killer. Meanwhile, one of the mercenaries contacts Pilgrim while he's confronted by his former gang.
#10 "The Dark Hearts of Men"
In a vicious fight, Pilgrim defeats his former gang while sustaining several injuries. He then falls back into drugs and alcohol during his recovery, doubting his purpose. Castle and Hoyle scout Valhalla, while Russo spies on them. In flashback, Madani visits Dr. Dumont to discuss Russo and Castle over a bottle of wine. Afterwards, Dumont surmises the only difference between them is Castle's belief that he is better than his victims due to his moral code. In the present, Castle attacks Valhalla, believing the women that attend the gang's parties every night have all left the building. Knowing he was going to attack, Russo sets up an ambush, wherein his gang brutally beats and cuts Castle. After Russo leaves, Castle kills everyone and goes after him. Enraged, he fires blindly into an upper office. Back in the flashback, Dumont tells Russo how to break Castle: destroy his sense of moral superiority over his prey. In the present, Castle enters the office while still chasing Russo and finds three dead women, causing him to freeze in guilt as police arrive.
#11 "The Abyss"
Believing that he killed three prostitutes during his attack on Valhalla, Castle allows himself to be arrested. While he’s under armed guard by the NYPD at a hospital, Karen Page visits him. Amy attempts to free Castle before any hitmen can come after him. After she informs Madani and Karen about what happened at Valhalla, the two women examine the dead prostitutes’ corpses in the hospital's morgue, where they learn that the women were executed at close range by Russo and his men before Castle arrived. Before presenting their findings to Castle, however, the two have to rescue him and Amy from a police officer who was after the bounty. Karen triggers the hospital's fire alarms so that Madani can exfiltrate a disguised Castle. The escape is thwarted by Mahoney, who attempts to transport Castle to a nearby precinct, unaware that Pilgrim is pursuing them.
#12 "Collision Course"
Pilgrim ambushes Mahoney and Castle, pushing their ambulance off a freeway bridge. Before he can finish the job, he's knocked down by Madani's car. While she searches for his body, he steals her car just as Castle saves Mahoney from the ambulance's burning wreckage. Castle obtains the address to Senator Schultz's residence and kidnaps him for interrogation in regards to finding Pilgrim. Meanwhile, Pilgrim discovers the location of Hoyle's trailer from Madani's on-board GPS and briefly interrogates him. Amy arrives at the trailer and Pilgrim knocks out Hoyle while she escapes. He returns to his hotel, unaware that Amy has hidden herself in his car. Realizing that Dr. Dumont is in league with Russo, Madani heads to her residence to confront her, only to push Dumont out of her apartment window in self-defense after the psychotherapist attacks her.
#13 "The Whirlwind"
After witnessing Dumont's fall, Russo tries to kill Madani in retaliation, but is mortally shot by her and forced to escape when the police arrive. Meanwhile, Amy notifies Castle of Pilgrim's whereabouts, only to be kidnapped by the gunman during the ensuing shootout. Hoyle frees Senator Schultz and turns him over to Mahoney, who decides to not arrest Curtis for his involvement. Pilgrim and Castle engage in a brutal hand-to-hand fight, with the latter coming out on top. After being asked by Pilgrim to spare his sons, Castle uses the gunman to secure a path to the Schultz residence. After a botched underground surgery, Russo takes shelter in Hoyle's workplace basement, where he waits for Curtis to sit with him until he dies. Castle, however, arrives instead and executes him. Later, Castle and Amy confront the Schultzes in their mansion. Eliza tries to kill Amy, but Castle kills the Schultz matriarch instead and gives her husband a gun to use on himself. As the pair leave, Anderson commits suicide. With Russo and the Schultzes dispatched, Castle, Pilgrim and Amy go their separate ways. Dumont is revealed to have survived her fall. Three months later, Castle resumes his duties as the Punisher while Madani works for the C.I.A.
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