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Beware of mild spoilers lurking below for The Punisher Season 2.
The Punisher's second season was a whirlwind of broken bones and bullet wounds, with Jon Bernthal's mangled and gnarled Frank Castle still standing after all the chaos had run its course. Unfortunately for fans hoping to see Ebon Moss-Bachrach's tech-savvy Micro in Season 2, the character was neither seen nor mentioned during Frank and Amy's harrowing journey. Not that there wasn't enough badassery to keep viewers busy.
CinemaBlend spoke with Punisher showrunner Steve Lightfoot and Marvel TV mastermind Jeph Loeb ahead of The Punisher's Season 2 premiere on Netflix, and Lightfoot explained that his creative team did try to fit the fan-favorite Micro into this new story early on. However, it wasn't meant to be. In his words:
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, Ebon was brilliant in the show, and there were a lot of discussions about it, you know? In the end, what I came down to -- and, you know, talking to Jeph about it and he agreed -- was that we felt we told his story, and I didn't want that character to just become a guy who tapped a computer key and said to Frank, 'Here's an address.' We'd given him a full arc.
Whenever Micro was revealed to be heading to The Punisher's first season, having been teased at the tail end of Daredevil's Frank-filled second season, fans might have expected the show to use Micro in just such a way. The comic character, as developed as he's gotten, essentially handles everything for Frank that isn't wholly centered on hand-to-hand combat, and he could have been right helpful in keeping tabs on the jigsaw-brained Billy.
However, Steven Lightfoot & Co. bundled Micro down with an overarching story of loneliness and depression as a family man who had to leave his wife and kids behind. He reconnected with them by the end, of course, and though he could have easily remained a utilized member of Frank's inner circle, the executive producer didn't want to short-change the character with anything other than first-rate storytelling.
Plus, as Lightfoot put it, taking Micro out of the picture changed the way Frank approached everything. According to the showrunner:
Also, with Frank, the way you tell a different story for Frank is by putting different people around him. And you know, by not having Micro there, he has to work in a different way. So in the end, it was just about if I can't serve this character with a really interesting story after Season 1, I don't want to relegate him to being a guy who just gives Frank directions.
For Season 2, Frank's closest companion outside of Curtis was Giorgia Whigham's Amy Bendix, who got unwittingly caught up in a scandalous plot involving Corbin Bernsen and Annette O'Toole's Anderson and Eliza Schulz. They're the two responsible for sending Josh Stewart's deadly fundamentalist John Pilgrim out to New York. These were hectic times that called for desperate measures at times, and it probably would have been nice to have Micro around to help out in some way, right?
The fate of The Punisher is currently up in the air at Netflix, which seemingly sealed all of the Marvel series' fates whenever the streaming giant cancelled Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil. (The third season of Jessica Jones will premiere later in 2019.) However, Marvel TV head honcho Jeph Loeb made it clear to CinemaBlend that there is always a chance that Micro could return.
It doesn't mean that he couldn't pop up in subsequent seasons should we do subsequent seasons. We certainly talked about other stories, but this particular story didn't warrant it for the time being.
Realistically, the chances are pretty slim for The Punisher to get renewed for more seasons at Netflix. Marvel's future projects are largely being set up through the upcoming Disney+ streaming service, and there's not as much of a push for Netflix and Marvel to continue teaming on projects.
Still, there are more than enough good reasons to keep Frank Castle within the Netflix fold -- maybe because Frank Castle is too goddamned violent to be a marquee project on a Disney service. That also means there are more than enough good reasons to bring Ebon Moss-Bachrach's Micro if Punisher lives on for Season 3. They found a way to get Deborah Ann Woll's Karen involved, as well as an way to hassle Rob Morgan's Turk, so anything is possible, and welcomed.
When CinemaBlend spoke with Ebon Moss-Bachrach last year ahead of Season 1's release, he seemed fully on board with returning to The Punisher for Season 2. The actor had a few ideas about what he wanted to see happen with the character after he was finally freed from his constant need for solitude. Here's what Moss-Bachrach told me at the time.
I would like to see Micro having to be in the world even more. Away from his safe cell phone or the computer monitor, and more sort of forced to deal with people. And maybe even forced to commit violence, or to have to do his own dirty work. That would be interesting. To me, the big question is, can he even go back? How is that relationship going back at home? That is a big question mark.
This is one of those situations where it would be a pretty cool idea for Marvel to hook Micro up with a standalone tie-in comic book or graphic novel that shows how his story played out after Season 1 wrapped up. I highly doubt he was able to just lead a worry-free life after everything that happened, and he might get mixed up with some other vigilante's dangerous missions.
Does Jessica Jones need someone to fix her internet and also pull surveillance on all of New York in Season 3? I think I know a guy.