Warning: There are some spoilers ahead for Netflix’s Marvel show “The Punisher” and “The Defenders.”
Netflix’s “Daredevil” spin-off “The Punisher” is finally streaming and it reunites Jon Bernthal’s no-nonsense antihero Frank Castle with reporter Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll).
The two shared a great chemistry in the second season of “Daredevil,” so heading into “Punisher” fans may have been wondering if the two would become more than friends. It doesn’t seem like it could be out of the question.
“Jon and I have talked about that a lot and we certainly feel like there’s room for that,” Woll told INSIDER of a potential romance brewing between the two characters.
The groundwork is already there in the show’s first season. Castle gives Page a tender kiss on the cheek after a heart-to-heart on episode five. After saving her life near the season’s end, there’s a moment where the two come close to a kiss. Before anything can happen, Karen backs away from Frank and tells him to escape as he looks at her with teary eyes.
However, the current season of “Punisher” may have been too early for some sparks to fly with Page being a popular reporter and Castle presumed dead to most of the world after the second season of “Daredevil.”
“Obviously right now his [Frank’s] whole story is about avenging his wife and his children that he loved so deeply. I wouldn’t want Karen to step on that until he found some closure,” continued Woll. “I also think it’s interesting to have a male/female relationship that isn’t necessarily immediately romantic.”
“I think it’s the only honest relationship that either of them have,” Woll said of Karen’s relationship with Frank. “Karen is hiding as much as anyone else. She might attract you with shoulder pads and killer curves, but that’s just a way to say, ‘Hey don’t look deeper, because you might not like what you find.’ She can’t share that side of herself with Matt or Foggy because chances are they’ll reject her, but Frank didn’t and wouldn’t. He saw past all of that, and he accepted it. And I think that that’s a really powerful feeling. It’s part of what kept them connected. Despite everything that Frank was doing, she really tried to understand him and hoped that he could understand her.”
Even though the show hasn’t paired them together, Woll said she and Bernthal gave options for the show to play with while putting together their scenes knowing that their two characters have a chemistry.
“I think Jon and I, we played with those levels a lot, filming ‘Punisher.’ There were definitely takes where we went further with that concept and then others where we kept it more contextual,” said Woll. “It’ll be up to the writers, the directors, Marvel in the end about how far they want to take that storyline. But there’s certainly room for it, and Jon and I are interested in exploring that area.”
If Punisher and Karen ever became a thing, it might not be a relationship that sits well with Karen’s ex, Matt Murdock/Daredevil. If you’re worried about a potential love triangle between Karen, Punisher, and Daredevil at some point in the future, Woll says that’s not a concern.
“Right now there’s no contest,” said Woll. “As far as I know, he’s dead.”
The last time we saw Matt, he was presumed dead at the end of “The Defenders” by his pals. Of course, we know that’s not the case as he was teased alive at the show’s very end.
Still, tough break Daredevil.
“But also, I think Karen doesn’t think Matt’s dead,” Woll added quickly. “I think that there’s hope alive, and there’s feeling there. But you know, she can’t tell him [Matt] who she really is. He has a higher moralistic conscience than Frank does. And if she has to say, ‘Hey, I shot a guy and covered it up,’ I think Karen would feel pretty assured of rejection from him where, I wouldn’t feel that with Frank.”
“The Punisher” is now streaming on Netflix.