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Recap / The Punisher 2017 S 01 E 12 Home

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Frank makes a damning confession as his war with Rawlins and Russo progresses.


  • Admiring the Abomination/In Love with Your Carnage: After witnessing Franks's brutal killing of Rawlins, all Billy has to say is:
    "Goddamn, Frankie. I love to watch you work."
  • Badass in Distress: Frank spends most of the episode being captured and tortured by Rawlins.
  • Batman Gambit: Frank allows himself to get captured, planning to either escape and kill Rawlins and Russo, or at least either convince them to turn on each other, or expose them to the world.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: Russo is about to shoot Frank when a bullet from Homeland Security hits him in the shoulder, forcing him to flee.
  • Bring It: Rawlins hits Frank with a loaded glove so hard that his tooth falls out. What does Frank have to say in response?
  • Bullying a Dragon: Rawlins, the Non-Action Big Bad, starts insulting his partner Russo to his face. Russo is a former marine, and has shown he will backstab anybody he feels is an obstacle. This of course proves a mistake since Russo allows Frank to kill Rawlins.
  • Call-Back: Earlier in the season, Sarah mentioned that if she found David alive, she wouldn't know whether she would hit him or break down crying. In this episode we find out: she does both.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Rawlins uses this to get Frank to stop the countdown in Micro's lab and then employs it For the Evulz before planning to kill him.
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  • Dark Reprise: An unusual non-musical example. While Frank's dream had been set in a sunny bedroom for the rest of the season, in this episode, the full dream plays out under spotlights, surrounded by a black void.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Frank briefly seems to cross this, agreeing to give Rawlins and Billy access to David's files and begging Billy to kill him quickly, not to let Rawlins continue. However this is just a ploy to let him enter his retinal scan—as the reset requires Micro's retinal scan, all this does is active the Dead Man's Switch to turn on the cameras.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Rawlins is killed by Frank, after Russo gets fed up with the former and lets Frank break loose.
  • Enemy Civil War: Frank manipulates Russo and Rawlins to fight, which leads to Russo outright allowing Frank to break free of his bonds and kill Rawlins.
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  • Engineered Public Confession: After allowing himself to be tortured for hours to make it look real, Frank pretends to crack and reveals how to unlock the computer using the password and retinal scan. But it has to be Micro's retinal scan, so all this does is turn on the cameras to record everything that's happening. This includes Russo and Rawlins admitting their crimes while slanging each other. When Russo tells Castle that he intends to finish him off with Rawlins gun to put the blame on him, Castle just laughs, knowing Russo is finished anyway.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Russo refused to kill his friend back when it appeared he'd leaked the torture video. Though he also didn't warn Frank his life was in danger either, leading to the meaningless death of his family.
    • Russo gets slowly fed up with the needless violence Rawlins puts Frank through instead of just shooting him. Russo's female tech is also quite grossed out by it.
  • Evil Is Petty: Rawlins could simply shoot Frank, but decides to slowly beat him to death, and his disagreements with Russo cause him to insult his partner to his face. Russo even calls him out for this as the entire mess with Frank started because Rawlins wanted him dead for the loss of his eye.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: Rawlins's death; when Frank gets free, he uses the knife Rawlins stabbed him with to repeatedly shank him, cut his throat, pummels him with his fists, then gouges out his eyes.
  • Eye Scream: Frank plunges both thumbs into Rawlins' face while killing him. Moments before that, Rawlins was planning to cut an eye out of Frank as revenge for taking his.
  • Facial Dialogue: The shock is apparent on Madani's face when Castle confesses on tape that he—and not Russo as she believed—killed Ahmed Zubair.
  • Faking the Dead: The DHS fakes David's death from a 'stray' burst of gunfire by a DHS agent, forcing Russo and his men to take Frank alone. Sarah is not happy as they were Forced to Watch this happen without being in on the plan.
  • Fan Disservice: Frank's visions of having sex with his deceased wife in between being beaten to a bloody pulp is surely disturbing.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Rawlins enjoys himself beating Frank to a pulp while Russo tries to convince Frank to talk in exchange for a quick death.
  • Happy Place: Frank sustains himself during torture by imagining himself making love to his wife. This leads to a disturbing Interplay of Sex and Violence.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: David tells Madani that he believes the only way to defeat the likes of Rawlins is to become like them.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Russo still has a sense of brotherhood with Frank and when Rawlins doesn't respect that, he is more than willing to let Frank go and watch as he kills him.
    • Micro promised to Frank not to reveal to Homeland Security where he is being tortured. This leads to Frank being tortured for hours until he gets the chance he was looking for.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Sarah and Zach learn that David is alive.
    • Madani learns that Frank was the one who killed Ahmed Zubair on Rawlins's order.
  • Manly Tears: Frank cries when Billy coldly tells him that he indeed knew about the assignation attempt that ended up killing his whole family but did nothing to stop it or even warn him.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: After Rawlins calls Russo a stupid grunt one too many times, he decides to set Frank free on him.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: A happy memory of Frank in bed with his wife Maria has been played over and over, throughout the season, only to be interrupted as Frank’s guilt over Kandahar turned it nightmarish. Here, the memory plays out fully: Maria actually began an argument over whether or not Frank ever mentally returned from his deployments, and the damage it was doing to their family. The memory ends with Frank agreeing to leave the military and retire. And go to the park with his family for the day...
  • Please Don't Leave Me: David's rather Ho Yay pleas for Castle to wake up as he clutches his bloody body.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Frank only had the strength to kill Rawlins thanks to a shoot of adrenaline. Once he wears off his injuries catch up to him and does have the strength to stand.
  • Prisoner Exchange: Billy exchanges the Lieberman family for Micro and Frank. Homeland Security intervene, but they're still able to snatch Frank though Micro is accidentally shot. Or so they think...
  • Reality Ensues: Frank collapses after killing Rawlins. The adrenaline shot gave him the strength to kill a Non-Action Big Bad but Frank still took a hell of a beating. He was not going to have the strength to kill Russo, who would have shot Frank if Dinah and the DHS hadn't showed up.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Frank tells Russo he has to be the one to kill him and Russo obliges. When Russo brings this up to Rawlins, he doesn't respect the agreement, which leads to the two villains butting heads.
  • Smug Snake: Both Russo and Rawlins are absolutely sure that Frank is finished.
  • Stupid Evil: Rawlins wants to slowly beat Frank to death instead of killing on the spot like Russo wants to, and he loses his temper and insults Russo to his face. This leads to Russo turning on him and allowing Frank to kill him.
  • Teeth Flying: Frank loses one during the first part of the beatdown from Rawlins.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sure Rawlins, call Russo, your ally who has proven numerous times to be a backstabbing, self-serving snake a "grunt", tell him that you own him and expect that Russo will just take it...
  • To the Pain: Rawlins gets very enthusiastic about how he's going to beat Frank to the point he'll be begging for death.
  • Vapor Trail: The hostages are wearing jerry cans of fuel which are punctured before they are sent over in exchange. Frank warns Micro not to freak out as they're just doing this to intimidate them—sure enough when the fuel trail gets lit, all Micro has to do is tear off his jacket and extinguish the flame.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Frank manages to stab and bite him, Rawlins completely loses it.
  • We Have Reserves: Russo shrugs off all the men Frank cost him, saying that he could always hire new ones.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Russo's idea for killing Frank is to shoot him in the head. Rawlins wants a slow and painful death for Frank and even goes so far as to inject Frank with adrenaline so that he would stay conscious and alive long enough for Rawlins to get his satisfaction. This proves to be Rawlins' undoing.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Deconstructed with The Reveal of Frank's dream being from his last day with his wife before his family's murder. It's not that Frank couldn't return home from the war — to Frank, the war was his home. When given a choice between accepting death and being with Maria again, or life and revenge, Frank comes roaring back to life and slips his bonds in time to butcher Agent Rawlins.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Implied to be a motivation for Russo's betrayal of Rawlins. More than his mistreatment of him or refusal to kill Frank quickly as promised, he seems to sniff out that Rawlins has been stripped of the very influence that is the sole reason they're partners. Without those connections and authority, well, what does he need him alive for?


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