After Daredevil's long struggle with Wilson Fisk throughout Season 1, another nemesis for the Marvel's lawyer by day, ninja by night was more than welcome. Jon Bernthal came onto the scene for Season 2 and I can only hope that his complex character the Punisher will be in Daredevil Season 3 if (or really, when) Netflix renews the series. Bernthal channeled his previous role of Shane in The Walking Dead for Frank Castle's attitude of doing what he felt was right no matter the cost. While he wasn't necessarily Daredevil's enemy in Season 2, Frank acted as a foil to Matt Murdock and had a fascinating dynamic with Karen. Not to mention his badass killing style, respect for Daredevil, and connections to Fisk, so honestly, how could the Punisher not be in another season of Daredevil?
While some have speculated that the Punisher could get his own Netflix series, I'm more inclined to keep his character within the Daredevil universe. (Although in the comics, the Punisher aligns with Spider-Man, which I would love to see on the big or small screen.) In the the Season 2 finale, "A Cold Day in Hell's Kitchen," Frank watched from a rooftop as an unmasked Matt fought against the Hand. Although Frank was ready to shoot to kill members of the Hand, he chose not to, a sign of respect for Daredevil, who does not (usually) kill. Frank even seemed to acknowledge that this was Matt's fight as Elektra had just been killed and recognized that Daredevil's fury meant he could take care of the Hand himself. (Especially since this personal loss for Daredevil echoed Frank's vengeance from his dead family.) After Matt successfully defeated the Hand in this battle, Frank — with his newly acquired Punisher garb — said, "See you around, Red" to Daredevil before disappearing into the New York City night.
This interaction makes me inclined to believe that the Punisher will return for Season 3, but considering that Daredevil hasn't been renewed yet, there is no evidence of Bernthal's return. However, when (not if) Daredevil is renewed, the Punisher's role would most likely be slightly smaller. While I preferred the Punisher's storyline to that of Elektra and Stick's confusing Hand-Chaste war, I assume the series will move forward with focusing on that plot in Season 3.
Yet, just like Fisk made a brief, but powerful appearance in Season 2, the Punisher could do the same in Season 3. His backstory of a tormented skilled assassin mourning the loss of his family, combined with his soft side toward Karen as she attempted to discover the truth about Frank Castle, elevated this antihero and made him a character I would be more than disappointed to not see again. Plus, let us not forget how epic his killing scenes are.
Although I have already stated I want more Punisher in Daredevil, star Charlie Cox joined the Punisher-series bandwagon when he told Screen Rant, "having worked with Jon [Bernthal] I would love to see Punisher get his own show. I’d love to see that happen. It’s such a rich character and Jon embodies him in such a spectacular way. Fans are going to be overwhelmed and pleased with what he brought to the character so I’d love to see the Punisher get his own 13 episodes. And if he does, I’d love to be in it [laughs]. I’d love Daredevil to make an appearance."
Cox also fully admitted that he has no knowledge or say in what will go down in Netflix's Marvel series, but I'm in full agreement that thanks to this "rich character" and Bernthal's performance, Season 2 of Daredevil will hardly be the last we see of the Punisher.
Images: Patrick Harbron/Netflix (2), Netflix