THE PUNISHER – 4 Episodes From Daredevil: Born Again Showrunner Dario Scardapane

The Punisher writer/producer Dario Scardapane is the showrunner for Daredevil: Born Again. How was his writing on The Punisher?
Jon Bernthal, Punisher, The Punisher, Frank Castle, MCU, Marvel

The Punisher writer Dario Scardapane is the showrunner for the upcoming MCU TV series, Daredevil: Born Again. Dario Scardapane is credited as the head writer for 4 episodes of The Punisher, and as producer for 24 episodes of the series.

How do the episodes of The Punisher which he wrote fare upon rewatch, and what might we learn about Daredevil: Born Again by examining those stories?

The Punisher “Resupply”

The Punisher Season 1, Episode 4, “Resupply” is a great first episode for Dario Scardapane. His Frank Castle is true to the heart of the character. Frank is a vicious killer of killers, but also a protector of the innocent. He has this all-American affability despite his rough, aggressive nature. Combine that nuance with a consistently incredible performance from Jon Bernthal, and you have a Punisher who is almost impossible not to love.

RELATED: THE PUNISHER – Ranking 4 Actors Who Played Castle In Live-Action

Frank Castle is cruel to Micro, but his cruelty inspires Micro to get the job done. Despite their contentious interactions, the seeds of friendship are clearly budding between the two. When Micro crashes his car into Agent Dinah Madani, Castle saves her life. In the act, he proudly admits that he killed her superior, Carson Wolf. The Punisher constantly alternates between altruistic and cold-blooded this episode.

The Punisher “Home”

Truly a next-level chapter in this saga, The Punisher Season 1, episode 12 “Home” is a fan-favorite for good reason. Frank Castle is drifting between life and death, on the brink of crossing over. At the crossroads, he sees his dead wife, Maria, who wants him to let go and come home. He’s caught between two paths, the world of war and the world of family.

Frank has to admit that as much as he wants to be with his wife, his home is the war. After enduring an absolutely brutal beating at the hands of “Agent Orange”, Castle breaks his restraints and turns the tables on his captor. Frank makes a mess of Agent Orange, pummeling him viciously before plunging his thumbs into his eyeballs.

The mission is now one body closer to completion, and Castle has a better understanding of who he is. Dario Scardapane wrote a surreal, hyper-violent exploration of what makes Frank Castle tick with “Home”. If the option is a peaceful reunion with his wife or revenge on her killers, Frank chooses the latter.

The Punisher “One-Eyed Jacks”

This episode features a more fully realized Punisher working alongside a chatty, exuberant young woman named Amy. While Dario Scardapane’s Season 1 episodes were easy to jump into without committing to a full rewatch, The Punisher Season 2, Episode 5 “One-Eyed Jacks” is a bit messier. The antagonists are less memorable and the plot involving the criminals hunting Amy feels convoluted.

Season 2 villain John Pilgrim doesn’t get much to work with, which is an absolute shame. He brings a palpable tension into every frame, but he has to share limited screen-time with Billy Russo. Russo’s shattered mind and relationship with his therapist is intriguing, but the villains still feel like a step back from Season 1.

RELATED: MCU: Daredevil, The Punisher & More Rejoin MCU Canon In Exciting Disney+ Update

As all this goes on, Frank Castle sets up a meeting with dangerous Russian thugs through the ever-lovable Turk Barrett. Frank Castle battles these men in a gym, destroying his foes with his fists, various weights, and other workout equipment. This episode has some fun moments and incredible action, but it’s not as strong overall as Scardapane’s other writing credits on The Punisher.

The Punisher “Collision Course”

The Punisher Season 2, episode 12, “Collision Course” is a fantastic, balls to the wall episode of Marvel television. Just as you begin to relish the indelible dynamic of Officer Mahoney and Frank Castle, John Pilgrim crashes onto the scene like a freight train. He crashes into the ambulance carrying Mahoney and Castle, pushing it off a bridge. The Punisher is undeterred by this attack and kidnaps a senator involved in the plot against Amy. He interrogates the senator, who is so frightened by Frank Castle that he is on the verge of tears.

RELATED: The Punisher Returns: Could Frank Castle Come To The MCU Alongside The Hand?

Meanwhile, in the B story, Agent Dinah Madani’s emotional scars caused by her relationship with Billy Russo are put under a microscope. In a painful and eventually lethal confrontation with Dr. Dumont (Russo’s therapist turned lover), all of the torment and rage Madani carries is laid out on the table. Like any great Punisher story, this episode is dark and barbed with tragedy, but ultimately too compelling to look away from.

Dario Scardapane’s work as a writer on The Punisher yielded 4 great episodes of comic book television. In his scripts, he crafted a layered, fascinating version of Frank Castle and put his supporting cast to full use. Scardapane showcased an ability to tell action-packed, emotionally rich storytelling in the street-level side of the Marvel universe here. There is no doubt that he will bring that same skill and passion to Daredevil: Born Again.

Punisher, The Punisher, Marvel,
Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Dario Scardapane will work creatively with The Punisher again on Daredevil: Born Again, as Jon Bernthal is already confirmed to return to the show as Frank Castle. Bernthal’s Punisher could face off against Wilson Bethel’s Bullseye, who was recently confirmed as a cast member of Born Again.

Which episode of The Punisher written by Dario Scardapane is your favorite? Are you excited to see Punisher and Daredevil reunite in Born Again? Let us know your thoughts on social media, and thanks for reading. We are always watching.



Picture of Corbin Shanklin

Corbin Shanklin

CJ Shanklin is a journalist. They have been writing & reporting in the entertainment industry for four years, but their best work is still ahead of them. Stay tuned for more stories for the fans, penned by a fan.