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Recap / The Punisher 2017 S 01 E 05 Gunner

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"I'm coming for you."
Frank and Micro go looking for answers from a reluctant witness. Madani and Sam learn of a looming investigation. Rawlins sees a ghost.


  • Absence of Evidence: Madani's means of identifying the Operation Cerberus soldiers is by men who would have unusual gaps in their service records that can't be accounted for since the operation was entirely off the books.
  • Annoying Arrows: Averted. Frank nearly bleeds out from an arrow to the shoulder (though the firefight afterward also contributes).
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: When Micro's son asks what Frank is doing while he is fixing their minivan, he snarks "Baking a cake."
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Karen argues that Frank should expose the people who wronged him instead of killing them and making martyrs out of them, while Frank says that this still wouldn't bring the perpetrators to justice since they can still get away with their crimes and would put everybody he still cares about (like Karen herself) in the crossfire. Karen's approach would be more effective with someone like Wilson Fisk, not Agent Orange.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: At the beginning of the episode, Micro is putting together the drone he'll use to provide Frank with air support during the gunfight in the forest.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The one who released the video was Gunner, the soldier who expressed his concern to Frank when they were retrieving bullet out of corpses.
  • Coitus Ensues: Madani and Russo's sex scene has next to no build-up.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When speaking to Karen, Dinah cannot help but comment on Karen's habit of getting involved in stuff, like her past involvement in taking down Wilson Fisk, or even her past involvement with Frank.
    • Frank's friendly fire arrow from Gunner lodges in his right shoulder. Incidentally, Matt got a through and through arrow to this same point when he was attacked by a Hand ninja in his apartment.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Gunner, who lives off the grid, has set up booby traps in the woods around his cabin and shoots trespassers with his bow.
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  • Don't Create a Martyr: Karen's main objection to what Frank does is that it will only make heroes out of the guys he kills while further digging himself in. On top of this, Matt's "death" is still fresh on her mind, and she can't bear to see Frank go down the same destructive path that killed Matt.
  • Driver Faces Passenger: Frank even eats while driving.
  • Due to the Dead: Gunner found out what was going on (drugs being smuggled back inside the bodies of KIAs) when he sought to return a knife he had gotten from a young soldier who died in battle.
  • Dying Alone: Tragically, Frank tries to get help for Gunner and himself, leaving the Almost Dead Guy behind and then passing out. He gets barely rescued himself by Micro, with Gunner not being picked up. As a next minute resort, he calls the cops and tells them where Gunner's body can be found.
  • Fan Disservice: The burn scar tissue on Dinah's otherwise attractive body are not a pretty sight. Russo also remarks this when they're having sex.
  • Friendly Fire: Frank is wounded by Gunner, who mistook him for an intruder.
  • Groin Attack: One of the operatives dispatched to take out Gunner and Frank runs straight into a booby trap which impales him in several places of his body...including the crotch. And he is still alive after that.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Micro and Frank do not get along well.
  • Heel Realization: Gunner had one in the past when a young brother-in-arms died and he found out Schoonover, Agent Orange and the Colonel in charge of mortuary services had his corpse desecrated by stuffing drugs into him.
  • He Knows Too Much: Rawlins sends a team to eliminate Gunner to keep the truth about Cerberus and his involvement in it under wraps.
  • Home Field Advantage: Gunner's been living in these woods for a few years now. He's had plenty of time to get to know the land and lay a few traps. Thus even though he and Castle are really out-numbered and seriously wounded, they still take all their attackers down.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted with Gunner, who dies of his injuries hours later.
  • It's Personal: Madani takes the destruction of her car, a gift from her parents, quite seriously.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Frank remarks that Micro's son is just as much of a dick as he is.
  • Married to the Job: Despite not having fully healed, against all advice, Madani returns to work early after her injury in the last episode.
  • Mook Horror Show: The last operative to be killed by Frank and Gunner screams in terror while trying to find the duo before getting a knife in his throat, and after making a death threat to Rawlins through the camera, Frank breaks the man's neck.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Rawlins oversees the whole mission to eliminate Gunner by watching the operatives' live helmet cam feeds.
  • Oh, Crap!: Rawlins mutters "Shit..." upon seeing Frank's face through the helmet cam of the operative who walks into the booby trap.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Internal Affairs are grilling Sam and Dinah over the botched gun sting.
    • Only using a bow against a squad armed with fully automatic weapons doesn't always work out. Gunner does manage to take down at least three of the operatives, though, two of them AFTER getting shot.
    • Unlike in "Kandahar", Frank being hit near the shoulder with an arrowhead is not a flesh wound. Gunner also ends up bleeding to death.
  • Sex for Solace: Madani vents her excruciating few days by having sex with Russo. She tells him to just ignore the bandage when they're undressing.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Leo tells Frank the story of Life of Pi, then lends him the book. David is seen reading it later.
    • When inviting Frank to dinner, Sarah admits that she is no Rachael Ray.
  • Token Good Teammate: Gunner was the only man in Operation Cerberus who had reservations about what they were doing all the time.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Rawlins, since we saw the flashback, has become a well-respected CIA superior and Marion is considering him to be her Deputy Director.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The last of the commandos to go down is reduced to a screaming wreck as he realizes he's the last one standing.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Stein remarks what an odd name Gunner is.note 
  • Would Hit a Girl: There's at least one woman among the team of commandos that attack Frank and Gunner in the forest. She is the fourth operative to be killed after Frank snipes her in the head.


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