At this point, with 17 movies, nine television shows, and more on the way, it can be very difficult to keep track of who's who when it comes to the minor supporting characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So who is Carson Wolf in The Punisher? Have fans seen the Homeland Security agent played by veteran character actor C. Thomas Howell before? What do viewers need to know about him going into Season 1 of the Daredevil spinoff? Is he a good guy or a bad guy? Spoilers for Episodes 1-6.
Let's start with the last question first: with a last name like Wolf, do you really expect the character to be anything other than a villain? Indeed, it's not very long into the season before Carson Wolf shows his true colors, introduced as one of the first bad guys Frank Castle will have to face off against in his question for vengeance against the people responsible for the deaths of his wife and children. However, if you're worried that you've forgotten something from Daredevil Season 2, fret not — no, you've never met him before.
Wolf is first introduced when Agent Dinah Madani returns Stateside after serving a stint in Afghanistan. Her partner and friend, Ahmad Zubair, had just been murdered under somewhat suspicious circumstances, and it's Madani's top priority to get to the bottom of his death. To her chagrin, Wolf immediately suggests that she let Zubair's death go and focus on other things… which should be a pretty good tip-off that he's somehow involved in whatever shady shenanigans are going on in the Middle East.
Indeed, Wolf is one of a number of dirty agents, cohorts that include Colonel Schoonover (aka the Blacksmith, the Marine-turned-drug kingpin who Frank executed at the end of Daredevil Season 2) and the mysterious commander known as Agent Orange. Eventually it's revealed that these men were profiting off the unrest in the Middle East, using their covert ops force (code named Cerberus) to smuggle drugs out of Afghanistan — inside the corpses of fallen soldiers, no less — to sell in the United States.
But while Wolf's name is a dead giveaway, it's also a bit misleading. While his surname may lead you to believe that he might be the Big Bad (Wolf) of the season… well, Frank actually makes pretty short work of dispatching him. Every comic book (or action movie or video game) has to have mini-bosses for the hero (or antihero) to defeat before he (or she) arrives at the final confrontation with their ultimate antagonist. Needless to say, Wolf is not that ultimate antagonist.
In the series' first stand-out action sequence, Frank invades the home of the dirty agent to confront him about his role in Cerberus. To his credit, Wolf actually puts up a pretty good fight, even getting the upper hand at one point and holding the Punisher hostage with his own gun. Too bad that gun wasn't actually loaded, or Frank might have been in real trouble!
So don't bother getting too attached to Agent Wolf; Frank huffed and he puffed and he blew the dirty agent's house down. If only finding and punishing Agent Orange were going to be that simple… but something tells me that the real Big Bad of the season won't fall for Frank's tricks so easily. Hopefully, with her obstructionist boss out of the way, Agent Madani will be able to get back to the business of getting to the bottom of what happened to Ahmad — and join forces with Frank to take down the man responsible for the deaths of both her partner and his family.