Jon Bernthal's Punisher was the standout performance of Daredevil Season 2, so having the character in his own series was always going to fly, particularly if it followed up on the beats Daredevil did that year.
But Bernthal's return to the role means so much more than just another series of stellar television. Netflix's Marvel troubles have been well documented in 2017, stemming from the poorly misjudged Iron Fist, which featured a less than convincing Finn Jones in the lead role, and The Defenders too, which bungled its exciting premise with a crescendo of comic clichés, despite the presence of three exciting leads in Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
Point being: Netflix have lacked a truly compelling protagonist this year. The Punisher makes great strides to rectify this mistake though, with Bernthal again turning in a powerhouse performance as Frank Castle. He embodies the spirit of the character in a way no other actor has managed, and while Frank continues to cut a divisive figure both on the page and off it, there's no denying that he's a damn sight more interesting than Rand ever was.
From the very start, it's clear that Bernthal just straight up gets the character, conveying Castle's tragedy internally and externally, through quiet, more contemplative moments on set, as well as those scenes of pure rage. You won't find a performance quite like it.