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Top 10 Punisher Season 1 Easter Eggs You've Missed

VO: JG WRITTEN BY: Andrew Tejada
Written by Andrew Tejada There’s more to Punisher than meets the eye, especially if you're missing one. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Punisher Season 1 Easter Eggs. For this list, we're looking at the best Easter Eggs, references and callbacks in the first season of the Netflix series. Since some of these Easter eggs are hidden behind important plot points, a spoiler warning is in effect.
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There’s more to Punisher than meets the eye, especially if you're missing one. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Punisher Season 1 Easter Eggs.

For this list, we're looking at the best Easter Eggs, references and callbacks in the first season of the Netflix series. Since some of these Easter eggs are hidden behind important plot points, a spoiler warning is in effect.

#10: The Bathroom Kill

What a way to go. In the series’ opening sequence, The Punisher tracks the last member of the Kitchen Irish gang, Mickey O’Hare, and strangles him to death. The scene is almost identical to the ending of the Punisher’s “Man of Stone” story arc. In the comic version, the Punisher’s victim is actually William Rawlins. And instead of getting strangled, Rawlins’ hand is cut off during his bathroom encounter. The show’s bathroom scene may have occurred for a different reason, but it’s still a great homage to Punisher history.

#9: “Front Toward Enemy”

The ninth episode of Punisher season 1 shares its title, “Front Toward Enemy,” with the phrase that appeared on Tim Bradstreet’s cover of 2008’s The Punisher #53. In addition to sharing the same name, the issue and the episode have a similar plot. In the comic, the Punisher tries to save his daughter from the assassin Barracuda but runs into a hitch when he finds her car seat strapped to a claymore. The episode focuses on the Punisher trying to save his friend Curtis from Lewis Wilson’s deadly bomb trap. Fortunately, in both cases, Frank was able to save the people he cared for from a brutal end.

#8: Dogs of Hell

This gang can’t seem to catch a break. The Dogs of Hell biker gang first appeared in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. When the mind-controlling Asgardian Lorelei took over the gang, they were taken down by the agents and the Asgardian Sif. The Dogs of Hell reappeared in Daredevil season 2, where they were targeted by the Punisher and beaten down by the devil of Hell’s kitchen. After those defeats, we had little hope they would escape from the Punisher in this season’s opening sequence. If there are any Dogs of Hell left at this point, they should seriously consider a career change.

#7: Chaos Under the Streets

Blink and you’ll miss this one. In the episode, “Two Dead Men”, Karen’s editor is seen holding a newspaper - but if you look closely, you’ll see the headline “Chaos Under the Streets” is front-page news. This title references the main conflict of the “Defenders.” In that series, an evil organization called The Hand searches for a magical substance buried under New York City. When their actions cause deadly earthquakes, a motley crew of heroes goes underground to stop them. Those events get a subtle callback with the quick newspaper shot. But more importantly, the headline confirms where “The Punisher” series occurs in the MCU timeline.

#6: Bullitt Chase Scene

When Frank needs to restock on guns and ammunition, he decides to steal from a Department of Homeland Security sting operation. But Homeland Security agent Dinah Madani doesn’t let the guns go easily and pursues Frank in a frantic car chase. The hectic scene is a homage to the 1968 thriller “Bullitt.” The movie features a famous scene where Lieutenant Bullitt goes after mob hitmen. Both chases feature ‘68 Mustang GTs in hot pursuit, with close quarters driving and roaring engines. There are even shot-by-shot recreations of stunts from the original film. Although both scenes end with explosions, all of the drivers in “The Punisher” live to fight another day.

#5: Senator Stan Ori

You might want to think twice about voting for this senator. In the series, Stan Ori is an anti-gun advocate that seems to be a stand-up guy. But when Lewis Wilson threatens his life, he cowardly throws Karen in the line of fire so that he can escape. However, Ori’s comic counterpart manages to be even worse. After the Punisher kills the senator’s corrupt nephew, he forces Frank into hiding and sends an assassin after him. The Punisher eventually kills Ori in the comics for his evil plot. Time will tell if Frank will permanently end Ori’s political career on the show.

#4: Rawlins' Bad Eye

The third episode of the season gave us an extended flashback to Frank’s military service. We learn that Frank’s superior William Rawlins sent his unit on a doomed mission that lead to a harrowing ambush. After barely making it out alive, Rawlins asks the soldiers if they completed the mission. Frank answers with a devastating punch that permanently damages Rawlins’ left eye. This echoes a moment in the comics where Frank takes the same eye out as part of an intense interrogation. In either case, Rawlins is left with diminished eyesight and a deep grudge against Frank Castle.

#3: The Rumble In the Jungle

Before Lewis Wilson turned into a terrorist, his father tried to connect with him while watching the Rumble in the Jungle. The Rumble in the Jungle was a legendary boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman that took place in 1974. That was the same year that the Punisher made his very first appearance in “The Amazing Spider-Man #129.” Although Muhammad Ali and The Punisher have never shared a comic like Ali and Superman once did, both men were fighters who could take punishment and dish it right back. It’s a subtle nod to the time period the Punisher was born out of.

#2: The Castiglione Family Name

At the beginning of the series, we learn that Frank Castle is calling himself Pete Castiglione. The surname Castiglione can be translated to mean “small castle”. However, its inclusion in the series goes deeper than its definition. In some versions of the Punisher, Frank Castle was born as Francis Castiglione before his name was legally changed. He has also relied on his Castiglione family in Sicily to hide him from the clutches of Senator Stan Ori. The surname is a recognition of The Punisher’s varied history and a great alias to keep Frank hidden from the world…until Micro finds him.

#1: The Welcome Back Frank Storyline

The last line of the first episode references a crucial point in Punisher history. During the 1990s, comic book readers were losing interest in The Punisher. That all changed when Garth Ennis made the character popular again with his “Welcome Back, Frank” 12 issue run. During the legendary series, The Punisher came out of obscurity to take down the Gnucci crime family. In the Netflix series, Frank takes out members of the Gnucci family to protect a co-worker. In the comics, Ma Gnucci attacks Frank and his friends to get revenge for her family. That means that the “Welcome Back Frank” reference is likely more than an Easter egg−it’s an ominous dose of foreshadowing, possibly for season two!
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