The Punisher Season 1, Episode 3: Kandahar review and recap

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The Punisher Season 1 streams exclusively on Netflix.

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Episode 3 synopsis – Video footage connects Frank Castle and Dinah Madani

During Frank Castle’s interrogation of Micro, he discovers a video with footage that connects to his past in Afghanistan. Ironically, this is the same video that Agent Dinah Madani has in her possession which contains the torture and execution of her former partner Ahmed Zubair. Also, we take a look back into the past with Frank, Billy Russo, and Curtis Hoyle put together on a special squad with direction from the mysterious Agent Orange.

Episode 3 recap – Kandahar changed connected Frank Castle and Micro for life

The whole central focus of this episode is how the events of Kandahar has forever changed and connected the lives of both Castle and Micro. Frank has not only infiltrated Micro’s hideout, but has zip tied him to a chair butt naked before interrogating him. While this interrogation is going on, Micro reveals that he was the one who has been keeping surveillance under Frank and has been altering footage so that Frank is erased from the video. Frank discovers that a countdown sequence is starting on the computer, which Micro insists he needs to put in the code or else the place will blow. Frank sees through Micro’s bluff and states to Micro that there are no bombs in the facility as he has thoroughly swept the area. Castle allows him to enter a code sequence, but ends up getting knocked out with a hidden tranquilizer dart disguised as a pen. When Frank comes to, Micro tells him that the sequence is not a bomb, but if the code is not entered, it will broadcast a video which shows the execution of Zubair. After seeing this, Frank asks how he got the footage and then we are shown a flashback sequence showing Frank, Billy Russo and his unit.

The crux of this episode deals with the flashback in Afghanistan which shows you how close Frank and Billy were as squadmates. Both eager to return home to their respective lives — Frank to be with his family and Billy to his playboy lifestyle — but are summoned by their superior Major Ray Schoonover. Schoonover first appeared in Daredevil Season 2, under the codename The Blacksmith, and ends up being a catalyst for Frank’s actions and his mission to avenge his family. During the Flashback, we learn that Russo and Castle have been recruited to join an assassination squad who carry out the orders of a gentleman code named Agent Orange. Also, we see a great sequence which shows this assassination unit raid a terrorist compound and Castle goes into the facility and clears it out himself.

During the raid and subsequent assassination, Frank has concerns for his men and himself as to what they are truly doing and vents this frustration by punching out Agent Orange, blinding him in one eye. The flashback concludes with a beaten Zubair pleading for his life as he states he is not a terrorist and an innocent man when Agent Orange threatens to shoot him before passing the gun off to a soldier. The soldier who takes the gun and executes Zubair is none other than a reluctant Castle.

Fast forward to the present and we see Micro stating to Castle that he tried to send this video to the Department of Homeland Security, but it was buried by Carson Wolf, who then proceeded to chase Micro and ultimately shot him. Ironically Micro was saved when he puts his cell phone in his pocket and continues to prolong faking his death in order to protect his family.

Checking back in on Madani, $30,000 is discovered in an offshore account belonging to Wolf and she begins to piece together that he was indeed dirty.

Rare Review — Why we gave Episode 3 3/5 stars

What worked

  • The feeling out process between Frank and Micro.
  • Micro getting the jump on Frank.
  • Interrogation of Micro.

What didn’t work

  • No scene of them actually kidnapping or retrieving Zubair from his home.
  • More on why Agent Orange chose these men.
  • The flashback sequence of Frank with his unit.
  • The footage that shows how Frank and Micro are connected.

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