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"You know, you were right about one thing. Trust. Loyalty. You gotta earn those."
―Sam Stein to Dinah Madani[src]

Agent Samuel "Sam" Stein was a junior member of Homeland Security who had been challenged by his partnership with Dinah Madani. Despite his skepticism, Stein agreed to investigate into the death of Ahmad Zubair, which had led to them into eventually seeking out the Punisher, whom Stein had believed was dead. Discovering that their investigation was being secretly bugged by a third party, Stein and Madani then attempted to outwit their enemies by planting false information in order to capture whoever was listening to all of their conversations. However, during a shootout, Stein confronted Billy Russo, with Russo using Stein's pause in shock to then brutally stab and kill him before Stein would be able to reveal the truth to Madani.

Biography

Homeland Agent

Carson Wolf's Shit List

"You're gonna run with this anyway?"
"Do you have a problem with that?"
"No. I'm already on the shit pile. Just surprised a hotshot like you is so eager to join me there."
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

During his time working for the Homeland Security, Sam Stein had inadvertently managed to make himself an enemy of Carson Wolf, who put Stein on a small desk in the hallways of the Headquarters. Due to Wolf's dislike of him, Stein was convinced that anybody assigned to work with him would have been put there to keep them out of trouble.[1] During his career as a Homeland Security agent, Stein struggled to mix his work life with his personal life, often missing dates due to his focus on his current work.[2]

Meeting Dinah Madani

"Gotta earn my trust first."
"Yeah. That's exactly what I have to do. Your approval immediately being the most important thing in my life."
Dinah Madani and Sam Stein[src]
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Stein has his first meeting with Dinah Madani

While still working still at the United States Department of Homeland Security, Stein was assigned to his new partner, Dinah Madani who had just returned from her tours with the United States Armed Forces. Immediately, Madani had begun work on a case involving Ahmad Zubair, as Stein questioned who Zubair was to Madani, as she then explained that Zubair had been had a partner back in Kandahar before being kidnapped and executed. Stein noted that while this was a good story it did not bode well for their partnership, to which Madani insisted that they were not partners.

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Stein and Madani discussing their partnership

Stein insisted that Madani call him by his first name, claiming that his surname sounded like a beer glass before then noting that ordering to their assignment they were indeed partners, despite Madani being given a vastly superior office to him. Madani, however, claimed that Stein first needed to earn her trust, as he jokingly claimed that her approval was the most important thing in his life. Stein questioned if Madani really thought Carson Wolf would allow her to take on this investigation into Zubair, as she claimed that she was confident that she would to able to convince Wolf of the case's importance.

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Stein and Dinah Madani talk to Carson Wolf

The pair were then interrupted by the arrival of Wolf was expressed his surprise at seeing that Madani already had a case ready, which she noted she had brought with her from Afghanistan. While Stein stood by, Madani explained how Zubair, who was also a member of the Afghan National Police had managed to discover that several US Soldiers were secretly smuggling heroin out of Afghanistan, which resulted in Zubair's murder. Hearing this, Wolf ordered Stein to leave him and Madani alone, while completely ignoring Stein's insistence that he should be allowed to hear the case being discussed as Wolf instead told Stein to close the door behind him on his way out.

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Stein knocking on Dinah Madani's office door

That evening, Stein saw Madani was still working from her desk and went to speak with her, tapping on the glass to get permission to enter before sarcastically commenting on how well her meeting with Wolf had gone discussing her Zubair case, as Madani smiled and claimed it had been peachy. As Stein asked if he, as her immediate junior, could ask how she was feeling about being rejected by Wolf, Madani became annoyed and told Stein to stop with his wise-ass comments about being the junior on the case, as Stein then jokingly claimed it was all he had to offer as he sat opposite Madani.

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Stein explains Carson Wolf's leadership style

Stein explained to Madani that he had known Wolf would not take on her case because she had been given him as her new partner, and he knew how much Wolf disliked him. When Madani questioned why exactly Stein was telling her all this, Stein explained that he believed that Madani was a good person and somebody who could easily have had a career at the top level if she wanted it. Madani questioned what Stein had done to piss off Wolf, to which Stein leaned back and used Madani's own words against her as he claimed that she had to earn his trust first before he would finally explain that to her.

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Stein agrees to work on Dinah Madani's case

Focusing back to business, Stein asked Madani what their next step was, as Madani requested the files on Major Ray Schoonover, as well as details on the Destruction of the Blacksmith's Ship and whatever information they had on Frank Castle, who served with Schoonover in the Marines. Stein, however, was skeptical over Madani's requests, noting how Castle, also known as the Punisher, was dead, to which Madani noted that Castle and Schoonover served together and died within a day of each other in New York City. Stein confirmed Madani would run with the case and agreed to still assist her with it.[1]

Coffee with Madani

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Stein goes out on a walk with Dinah Madani

"Why do you think Zubair was killed by our people?"
"I was sent a video file of his murder by an anonymous source. He was interrogated and shot in the head by Americans 'cause they knew he was a cop."
"Holy shit. Why haven't you shown Wolf the video?"
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

As they slowly began to build trust with one another, Stein and Dinah Madani went out for coffee together as Stein listened while Madani noted how the feeling of being back in New York City from being in Afghanistan would keep hitting her, noting how she had forgotten so many of the little details of living in the city, comparing the feeling to how the city got back to normal after the September 11 attacks, as Stein noted that they let themselves forget the horrors.

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Stein and Dinah Madani discussing her case

Madani then noted that she knew the easiest thing for her would be to forget about Ahmad Zubair and put the case behind her, to which Stein then questioned why she believed that Zubair had been killed by the US military. Madani explained to Stein that she had previously been sent a secret video file featuring the death of Zubair by an anonymous source, explaining that the video featured Zubair being tortured and executed by their own troops, which horrified Stein who asked why she had not shown Carson Wolf that video file as proof of everything she had been talking about.

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Stein learns of Madani's conspiracy theories

As Madani explained that the file had been stolen in Kandahar, Stein questioned if Frank Castle and Ray Schoonover could be seen killing Zubair in the video, to which Madani explained that everyone in the video had worn masks to hide their identities. As Stein noted that all her suspects were dead, Madani questioned who had sent her that tape, noting there were seven soldiers in the video who were suspects as they speculated that Wolf knew this and was tasked with keeping Madani away, but she had her way in with Billy Russo, to which Stein claimed that Wolf would never allow Madani talk with Russo.[3]

Meeting Billy Russo

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Stein and Madani undergoing Anvil's training

"Sam, you did everything right. You can't legislate for that one terrified hostage who doesn't listen. Once somebody says go, it's all just a percentages game."
"I'll keep that in mind."
Billy Russo and Sam Stein[src]

Having convinced Carson Wolf to allow her to use Anvil to train Homeland Security agents and build trust between them, Dinah Madani and Stein went to the training exercise together as their teams were armed with plastic weapons and tasked with marching through an empty warehouse to rescue fake hostages, using blanks to gun down the "terrorists" as they moved forwards. During their mission, however, Stein came close to "shooting" an apparent hostage who attempted to run through the room, much to Stein's great frustration to his mistake.

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Stein being frustrated about his performance

Stepping out of the training area, Stein complained to Madani about how he had seen the "hostage" running at him and assumed it was hostile, to which Madani insisted that if that had been a real situation and only one hostage lost their life, it would still be considered a win for them. They were then joined by Billy Russo himself who assured Stein that Madani was right in her assessment of the situation as he noted that the real situations were always messier. Russo introduced himself as the CEO of Anvil, explaining how his teams would rent out different spaces for all their exercises to keep things fresh.

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Stein and Madani first meet with Billy Russo

Russo continued to assure Stein that he had indeed done everything right during the exercise, noting that it was impossible to predict the one terrified hostage who refuses to listen and gets themselves killed in the crossfire. Stein had told Russo that he would keep that in mind before leaving to put his equipment away, leaving Madani to speak with Russo in private so that she could try and get information out of Russo regarding his operations in Kandahar involving Frank Castle as well as Ray Schoonover, although Madani had still found that Wolf was constantly trying to keep her from the investigation.[3]

Murder of Carson Wolf

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Stein standing beside Carson Wolf's corpse

"Good night? Well, this is gonna sober you up real fast."
"I'm not drunk."
"Okay. I'm not judging."
"Holy shit!"
"Holy shit indeed. I never liked the guy, but still this does not look like a fun way to go at all."
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

That evening, Stein and Dinah Madani were called to investigate the home of Carson Wolf, as Madani arrived second following her going her a private drink with Billy Russo, while Stein had jokingly told her that what she was about to see would soon sober her up, although Madani insisted she was not drunk. Stein then showed Madani the corpse of Wolf as they discovered him lying dead in a pool of his own blood, having seemingly been beaten down, tortured, shot, before finally having his neck broken.[3]

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Stein and Dinah Madani discuss Carson Wolf

Following the murder of Wolf, Madani was made the ranking agent with the Homeland Security as she and Stein set to work to figure who killed him and why. Stein presented Madani with Wolf's autopsy report, noting that since it was unlikely that Wolf had just beat himself up and shot himself through the leg before breaking his leg, they appeared to be looking at murder. They discussed how the killer got to Wolf, while Madani theorized that the killer came down the chimney and snuck up on Wolf before attacking him, to which Stein joked that they were looking for Bad Santa.

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Stein getting all his orders from Dinah Madani

Stein noted to Madani that the press was aware that Wolf was dead, however she insisted that they would not make an official statement regarding his death just yet, as Stein also warned how the situation involving the New York City Police Department and the FBI would make their lives extremely difficult as they tried to investigate Wolf's death; however, Madani insisted that the other organizations could go screw themselves, noting that Wolf was one of them and therefore, only Homeland Security should investigate his death before walking away, leaving Stein still looking over the crime scene pictures.[4]

Frustration with Madani

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Stein shows off Carson Wolf's entire fortune

"We have to run this up the flagpole, Dinah."
"As far as you're concerned, I am the flagpole. Who else can we trust with this? I'm new here, you brought me the evidence. Everyone else is suspect."
"And you don't find that kinda scary? No. Of course not. Puts you right where you want to be."
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

Stein was tasked with researching Carson Wolf's bank records in the wake of his death, discovering Wolf had amassed his six million dollars fortune of over six accounts, which were buried offshore. Stein went straight to Dinah Madani with this evidence about Wolf's wealth, as she questioned where this sheer amount of money had originally come from, which Stein claimed he was still working on it.

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Stein discusses who to trust inside Homeland Security

As she closely looked over this new evidence, Stein recommended to Madani that they had to take this new evidence higher in Homeland Security, however, Madani just insisted that as far as Stein should be concerned, there was nobody there higher ranking than her. Madani questioned who else could be trusted with all of this new information, noting that she still only trusted Stein because he was the one who actually brought her this information and everybody else there was suspect, as Stein had questioned if Madani found that concept scary, which she denied while continuing to look over the paperwork.

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Stein becoming frustrated with Dinah Madani

Stein became frustrated with Madani's dismissal of him and claimed that Madani was now right where she wanted to be at the Homeland Security Headquarters. When Madani questioned what he meant by this, Stein said that she clearly liked to be on her own, going against the world, as Madani asked if Stein spoke to Wolf like this. Stein then complained about Madani's attitude following her return to New York City from Afghanistan, noting how she had been dismissive and now wanted him to keep her secrets, which she confirmed as Stein noted that she had still needed to earn his trust and loyalty first.[4]

Planning an Ambush

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Stein is completely ignored by Dinah Madani

"We are about to be the proud owners of a million dollars' worth of illegal weapons. Right now the guns are on a freighter just off the three-mile line due into Jersey tomorrow. We could roll up the Greeks and the guns the minute they hit the dock. Or you know maybe we just tomahawk their asses. Send 'em to Davy Jones' Locker?"
―Sam Stein to Dinah Madani[src]

Having gotten word of a gun deal going down involving the Greek Mob, Stein had briefed Dinah Madani in her office about the mission, explaining how the guns were currently on their way onboard a freighter and would be arriving by the next day. Stein, however, noticed that Madani was not paying any attention to what he was saying to her and suggested that they could use tomahawks to ambush the Greeks, which Madani approved of as she was still not listening.

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Stein asking for Dinah Madani's signature

Stein found that Madani was still completely focused on investigating the death of Carson Wolf as she still failed to hear what Stein was saying to her regarding the Greek Mob and their gun sale. Stein then managed to ask if they should ambush the Greeks on the boat, but Madani insisted that she wanted to catch them in the United States of America, noting that if they attacked the boat then they would only arrest the crew who likely would not know what they were carrying. Madani noted that Wolf had done a lot of work on this case and she wanted to still see it through in the aftermath of his murder.

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Stein introduces himself to Rafael Hernandez

Stein noted that despite being a dirty cop who made money illegally, Wolf was still a good officer who always tried to catch the bad guys. While Stein then attempted to get Madani to sign some paperwork regarding the tactical operation, they were interrupted by the arrival of Rafael Hernandez. Madani tried to introduce Stein to Hernandez, but Stein made it clear that he was already aware of who he was as he shook his hand, with Hernadez calling Stein by his first name which had surprised Stein. Hernadez had then requested to speak with Madani alone as Stein left the office.[5]

Robbery of the Greek Mob

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Stein briefing his team on their next mission

"Bowers and Sinclair will make sure that the weapons make it off the boat and then follow them across. No engagement from the follow car, no matter what happens. The second the money exchanges hands, the arrest team moves in quick, clean, tie it up in a bow and ready for the US attorney."
―Sam Stein[src]

Once their mission to rob the Greek Mob prepared to go underway, Stein gave the briefing to the Homeland Security agents, explaining how Sampson would act as their buyer and pointed out where they would place their snipers during the mission. Stein also noted that Bowers and Sinclair would make sure that the weapons make it off their boat and insisted that they did not engage with the Greeks no matter what happened, explaining that once the exchange was done then the arrest team would move in and immediately take the Greek Mob into custody.

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Stein is undermined again by Dinah Madani

When Stein asked if there were any questions, Dinah Madani spoke up and told him that his sniper positionings were off, also making a point that they had needed a dedicated communication line to the snipers. As Madani briefly misspoke and said that the team was hers and not Steins, Stein dismissed the agents and spoke with Madani alone. Considerably annoyed that she had criticized his plan in front of all his agents, Stein had sarcastically questioned if he had gotten anything right, to which Madani claimed that his plan was good and she had merely made it better with all her many corrections.

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Stein and Madani discuss Rafael Hernandez

While they were speaking, Madani hinted that she was considering taking up Carson Wolf's position, as Stein then questioned if Rafael Hernandez came there to offer it to her. Although Madani claimed that Hernadez was merely making sure she behaved in a manner which could ensure her the position, Stein noted that Hernadez was a good man to have on the side. Madani told Stein how Homeland often recruited agents who spoke foreign languages, but Hernadez had always viewed her as American first and that was why she agreed to join the agency, before complimenting Stein on his work.

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Stein waits for his orders during their mission

As the mission went ahead, Stein took a position with his team and listened while Madani confirmed that all the agents were in position as well and ready to begin as soon as the Greek Mob appeared to sell the guns. While waiting behind several containment units, Stein impatiently paced around the area, waiting for the go-ahead from Madani, confirming that they were waiting for their target to Madani. However, mere minutes before the truck would be in position, the team's communications were taken over as a hacker had managed to play loud music, which disrupted their ability to communicate.

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Stein learning that something has gone wrong

While the music continued to play, Stein could only look up at the camera he was being watched on, questioning what was happening and why he could no longer communicate with Madani or any of the other agents to continue the mission. Stein then called Madani on the phone, questioning what has happened and if they all needed to abort the mission, as Madani said it was some kind of interference and ordered him to stay in position. The mission was then interrupted by the Punisher, who had managed to successfully steal the guns for himself before escaping, injuring Madani with a brutal car crash.[5]

Punisher's Return

Tracking the Punisher

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Stein working alongside Rafael Hernandez

"So you're telling me the Punisher is not only alive, but he just stole a truck full of guns from under our noses?"
"Castle pulled me out of my car. Why would the Punisher save my life? He looked right at me and said, "Stay out of my way, Madani". What does that mean? What is he chasing?"
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

In the wake of the failed mission to arrest the Greek Mob, Stein then worked alongside Rafael Hernandez to figure out exactly who had hacked into their systems to disrupt the mission, as Hernandez commented that whoever was behind it would face up to thirty years in prison if they had been caught, questioning why they would have left witnesses alive, before Dinah Madani had then arrived and commented that she was glad that they did leave witnesses alive.

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Stein sees Dinah Madani returning to work

Hernandez noted that he had told Farah Madani to keep her home to recover from her injuries, as Madani noted that her mother had tried her best to do as Hernandez requested. Looking at all the pictures of her burnt out car, Madani noted that it was her birthday present from her father, noting that somebody killed it and she could not let that go. Hernandez questioned what evidence Madani had to assist with their investigation, noting that she should not have gotten out of bed if she had nothing to contribute, to which Madani asked Stein to give her and Hernandez a minute to talk alone which Stein agreed to.

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Stein being told to investigate Frank Castle

Stein was later called to Madani's office where he saw her desk was covered with pictures of Frank Castle before Madani gave him a list of names that she wanted him to track down. As Stein questioned if this was in relation to the Greek Mob and the guns they had failed to capture, Madani instead explained that these men could have been in the room when Ahmad Zubair had been killed, while she had also noted the Operation was kept off the record which was why there was not an official list of who was involved, with Stein confused as to why Madani was still focusing on the Zubair case at this time.

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Stein refuses to follow Dinah Madani's order

While Stein began reading the list of names, commenting on Gunner Henderson's name, he had complained that there must have been twenty names on the list while Madani had only needed one to know something, as Stein noted how their last operation had been a failure which they were just about to be questioned over and Madani was still wasting her time with a case which she should not be working on since Carson Wolf had ordered her not to even look into it. Stein then claimed the case was about dead men who nobody cared about and refused to get involved before walking out of Madani's office.

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Stein and Dinah Madani discuss Frank Castle

Madani however then followed Stein into the hallway and pulled him aside, where she had revealed that Castle was the one who stole the guns, which Stein scoffed at before recommending that Madani go back to the hospital. As Madani explained that she had seen Castle up close, Stein noted that from her theory, Castle was alive and had stolen a truck full of guns from under their noises, as Madani explained that Castle had pulled her out of the car and saved her life, questioning why he would do this. Stein, however, noted that with his new arsenal of guns, the Punisher would start dropping bodies and advised her to go public with it, which Madani refused to do.[6]

Maintaining Secrets

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Stein is questioned over their mission failure

"Shit! Shit! You damn well knew I wouldn't tell."
"Look we find Castle's unit, the men on that list, and hopefully, they can give us Castle."
"Here's my condition. You get a week. A week to find Castle or some kind of evidence. If we don't have anything, then I'll go to Hernandez myself. For both our sakes."
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

Stein had later sat down with his superiors in order to discuss what happened during the Robbery of the Greek Mob's Arsenal, as they questioned what had gone wrong and how the mission could have been hijacked by outside forces. Stein insisted that the plan could not have been known by anyone outside of the Homeland Security Headquarters and noted that he was the one who had first come up with the plan which he had been confident in before his team had begun the mission to arrest the Greek Mob.

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Stein considers Dinah Madani's last request

As the questioning still continued, Stein was asked about who had hijacked the guns, and he soon became conflicted over whether he should reveal the Punisher's involvement or respect Dinah Madani's request to keep it quiet. As Stein paused to consider what he should do, his OIG Agent asked him once again if he had any suspects. In the end, however, Stein had made the decision to put his trust back in Madani's leadership and did not reveal Castle was still alive and had stolen all of the guns away from them, fearing that if he was wrong in his trust, then his entire career could be in jeopardy.

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Stein making his own deal with Dinah Madani

Stepping out of the interrogation room, Stein found Madani waiting for him as she followed him to the elevator. Once they were alone, Stein began cursing his decision while Madani smiled to herself, with Stein noting that Madani had clearly known he would not rather out. Madani then suggested they find Castle's military unit for answers and hopefully they could get them Castle. Stein, however, warned that he would give Madani a week to get her evidence before he would go to Rafael Hernandez and tell him everything, telling Madani that it would be for both their sakes, as Madani reluctantly agreed.[6]

Shootout Aftermath

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Stein explains that Gunner Henderson is dead

"You were right. Blood on the scene matches Castle's DNA."
"Knew it."
"You got Castle and Gunner up there on that mountain, versus who?"
"Whoever doesn't want Kandahar to come out. They're cleaning house. CIA, the military. Someone sent a death squad."
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

Stein was informed that Gunner Henderson had turned up following his search for him, however, he discovered that Henderson had been found dead in Kentucky. Stein informed Dinah Madani of the update as they had entered her office to discuss the matter as Madani told Stein told him to shut the office door. Madani got in contact with the Kentucky sheriff, as she and Stein prepared to go to Kentucky to investigate Henderson's death themselves.

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Stein and Dinah Madani investigate the scene

Once they arrived in Kentucky, Stein and Madani had soon found the aftermath of a violent shootout in which several people had clearly been killed, including Henderson whose corpse was found alone with multiple gunshot wounds. As they had continued looking all around the area for any clues regarding what had actually happened there, Stein noted how Henderson, whose corpse had been the only one recovered, had taken bullets to the hand and chest before eventually bleeding out, with Madani noting that somebody had been with him, before they had left Henderson behind and made their escape.

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Stein discusses Frank Castle's involvement

While they explored the area, Madani found some bullet casings and deduced that a serious firefight went down, with Henderson and his ally coming out mostly on top as Stein noted this is what happened when a Special Forces soldier was attacked on his own turf. Madani explained her theory on how Henderson and his ally, who they both agreed was likely Frank Castle, fought side by side until Henderson died of his injuries, as Stein noted that there were no hospital reports of people coming with gunshot wounds, noting that Castle called the police to ensure that Henderson's body was eventually found.

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Stein questions who killed Gunner Henderson

Once they returned into the Homeland Security Headquarters, Stein and Madani had looked over the crime scene photos, as Stein then confirmed that the blood they had found on the scene had matched Castle's DNA. Stein then questioned who Castle and Henderson had been fighting against, as Madani suggested that whoever it did not want the story about Kandahar to go public and were taking out any leads they had. Madani suggested that the CIA or the FBI could have sent a death squad up that mountain to kill their targets while commenting on the sheer balls it would take to do this.

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Stein questioning how to locate Frank Castle

As Stein noted that if he had been able to get off the mountain after the shootout, then Castle would have been bleeding heavily from his own wounds and would have been seeking medical assistance for his wounds. Madani and Stein agreed that they had to locate Castle sooner rather than later, while Stein questioned where they would be able to find a deceased United States Marine who was unlikely to be on social media. Madani, however, came up with a plan to go to Billy Russo and inform him of Castle's survival, hoping that either Russo knew where he was or he could lead them directly to him.[7]

Billy Russo's Assistance

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Stein witnesses Billy Russo's new involvement

"You're compromising me. I put my head in a noose for you over this. You're not gonna tell Hernandez about Castle, but you'll tell Billy Russo? How do you know you can trust him?"
"Same as with you. Instinct."
"See that's not gonna work. The implied flattery there? No, nice touch. Appreciate it, but no."
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

While sat in his office, Stein was given some paperwork by another agent before he then watched as Billy Russo walked into the Homeland Security Headquarters, as Russo offered Stein a friendly wave while walking past, before Russo was taken inside Dinah Madani's office for a conversation regarding exactly what Russo knew about Frank Castle and if he had any leads on where Castle currently was.

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Stein confronts Dinah Madani over Billy Russo

Once Russo had left her office, Stein then walked in and questioned if and why Madani had told Russo about the Punisher's return, as Madani demanded that Stein knocked before entering her office. Stein noted that Russo was Castle's best friend during their time together in the United States Marine Corps and therefore had stood the best chance of tracking him down, before Stein questioned why Madani did not tell him her plan to get a civilian like Russo involved with their case, claiming that this decision compromised their investigation and Stein's own career if Madani's agreement with Russo backfired.

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Stein comments on Billy Russo's good looks

As Stein continued to complain, he also noted how Madani had not trusted Rafael Hernandez with what they knew and questioned why she felt she could trust Russo, to which Madani claimed it was the same reason why she trusted Stein, instinct. As they walked out of her office, Stein noted that while Madani's applied flattery was a nice touch which he appreciated, it was not going to work this time as Stein questioned if Madani's trust for Russo had anything to do with his handsome face and seductive confidence, before Stein told her not to create a situation like this again, which she agreed to.[2]

Search for the Bug

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Stein listens to his music while sat at his desk

"It's tough because we're standing in a hallway for some reason and you're whispering."
"My point is Henderson's death is not a coincidence. He was only killed after we were onto him. I think there's a bug in my office."
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

While working from his desk and listening to music, Stein heard a tap on the glass as Dinah Madani had requested a private word with him. Once they were alone, Madani noted to Stein how just one day after they had first mentioned Gunner Henderson's name he had turned up dead, calling it a massive coincidence. As other Homeland Security agents walked past, Stein and Madani had pretended to be having a casual chat about a night out Madani when she had been groped until they were certain that nobody else could hear them.

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Stein learns of a bug in Dinah Madani's office

While Stein questioned if the story Madani told of being groped was true, she confirmed that it was and that she had broken the guy's finger, as Stein had asked why they were not having the conversation in her office rather than the hallway. Madani was once again noted that Henderson only died after they got a lead on him, telling Stein that she believed someone had put a bug in her office which was how whoever was listening had found out about their investigation into Frank Castle's Former Unit and was having them assassinated before Stein and Madani could get to them for questioning.

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Stein and Dinah Madani search for the bug

That evening, Stein and Madani waited for the other agents to return to their homes, before they silently stepped back into her office and began a search in complete silence, scanning all of the paperwork and under every desk and bookshelf to try and find where the bug had been hidden, knowing that they were likely still being recorded and could not risk whoever was listening knowing they were actually on to them. At one point, Stein accidentally dropped the papers he was holding which had made a slight noise, although not enough for them to believe they would have actually been discovered.

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Stein and Dinah Madani locate a hidden bug

Eventually, Madani's search of her bookshelf led her to find a read on her scanner, as she silently called Stein over to assist her. Without making a sound, Stein and Madani lifted up the shelf where Madani discovered a wire had been hidden underneath one of the screws, allowing somebody to listen to every word that was being said in the office which had resulted in the death of Henderson. Madani and Stein chose to leave the bug there, however, knowing that as whoever put that there was now unaware that they had found it and therefore they could use that to their advantage in their investigation.

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Stein and Dinah Madani drinking together

With their task completed, Stein and Madani both sat in the hallway drinking together as Stein revealed that he had actually completely missed a date he was supposed to be on to help Madani find the bug. Stein noted that it was not the first date he had missed due to his job and admitted that it was unlikely to be the last that he missed. They then discussed the concept of dating with their line of work, as Madani had noted that if Stein was dedicated to the job, then his relationships would always come second, which Stein accepted was true but claimed he would still keep on trying regardless.

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Stein being given some harsh career advice

Madani then offered Stein some free advice, which he claimed to be all ears to until Madani told Stein that their job was not compatible with family and friends and suggested the job might not be suitable for Stein's personality, noting that it was best for closed off people. Stein then claimed that Madani reminded him of Frank Castle, which offended Madani as she claimed that they were nothing alike, as she was about the law and Castle was about something that they had not figured that out yet. Stein had then asked what they were going to do about the bug and Madani confessed that she had no idea.[2]

Planting False Leads

SSteinDiscussesFakePlan1

Stein and Dinah Madani discuss a fake plan

"I guess he needs bullets for all those guns he stole from the Greeks. I guess you made DeLeon an offer he can't refuse?"
"Horse's head and all. He'll walk into the meet with Castle, and we will be right behind him."
"So, when do we go?"
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

Now they were aware of the wire secretly bugging her office, Stein and Dinah Madani came up with a plan to trick whoever was listening by planting false information to see how they would react. While in her office, Madani told Stein that they just got a new lead on the Punisher, claiming that he was buying ammunition from Jack DeLeon for all of the guns which he had previously managed to steal from the Greek Mob during Homeland Security's first encounter with him.

SSteinDiscussesFakePlan2

Stein sharing another joke with Dinah Madani

Stein and Madani then joked over comparing their fictional weapons deal with The Godfather before they had claimed that they would know exactly when Frank Castle would be and they would be right behind him to take him into custody, as they claimed to be simply waiting for Castle to set up the meeting. When Stein jokingly claimed he could kiss Madani, she told him that he was not her type, as Stein teased her over her relationship with Billy Russo. Stein then went on to offer to meet with Russo himself to ensure his intentions were honorable until Madani had finally ordered Stein to get out of her office.

SSteinDMadani-FakePlanPaperwork

Stein giving Dinah Madani their fake reports

Stein later greeted Madani as she briefed her team on what to expect as they prepared to meet their enemy team who were expecting to encounter the Punisher, as Madani also noted that once they saw Homeland Security there to greet them, they did not expect them to surrender quietly. Madani had informed Stein that their teams would arrive at the Abandoned Warehouse first and wait for whoever turned up there, while Stein then explained that the fake tactical plan was completed and ready to be put on their systems, where it would likely be read by whoever had bugged secretly Madani's office.[8]

Warehouse Ambush

The Punisher Sep 12 Promo 7

Stein and Dinah Madani during the ambush

"Drop it! I said drop it! You know what? Don't! I'd love the excuse. Hands behind your head! Hands behind your head! On your knees. Get on your knees! Move an inch, asshole, and I will gladly shoot you in the goddamn face."
―Sam Stein to Billy Russo[src]

As was expected, Stein and his team saw the team of mercenaries arrive at the Abandoned Warehouse seeking to assassinate Frank Castle. Once the team was in an exposed position right in the center of the Warehouse, Stein and Dinah Madani then revealed themselves along with their own squads of Homeland Security officers and demanded that the men drop their weapons and surrender to them. However one of these mercenaries fired a shot which killed one Homeland agent, resulting in a shootout breaking out between them.

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Stein furiously shooting at the enemy squad

Stein and Madani took cover, as Madani furiously demanded that the mercenaries drop their weapons and get down on the ground, while Stein questioned who they were as they were better armed than they had expected. As the lead mercenary told his team to take down the Homeland agents, Stein pulled Madani to cover as they were fired upon. Once they had an opportunity, Stein and Madani ordered their men to move forward, as they killed Jim Pruitt while forcing the other mercenaries to desperately try and take cover, as Stein gave Madani cover and killed Mike Bashille as he and his team moving up.

The Punisher Oct 27 10

Stein taking some cover with Dinah Madani

As they took cover behind a pillar together, Madani again reminded the mercenaries that they had nowhere to run, before ordering Stein to flank and get behind them for a final assault. Stein asked for cover as he charged across the room, firing at the remaining mercenaries while he got out of the building to get around to the back during the chaos. While Stein had then made his way into position in order to ambush the mercenaries before they escaped, Madani was also able to gun down Spencer Geiger, while Tom Weems was shot in the leg before being brutally executed by his own lead mercenary in order to ensure that Weems could be captured and then questioned.

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Stein attempting to arrest the lead mercenary

During the chaos of the shootout, the lead mercenary was able to get away from Madani and her men, getting outside where he managed to shoot another Homeland agent through the head. This killing was witnessed by Stein who got behind the lead mercenary and furiously demanded that he drop his gun, while also claiming that if he did not drop his gun then Stein would be happy to have the excuse to shoot him dead. However, the lead mercenary did as he was instructed and threw away his weapon before getting down on his knees, seemingly surrendering to Stein who kept his gun trained on the mercenary.

SSteinKilledByBRusso

Stein being brutally stabbed by Billy Russo

With the mercenary now down on his knees, Stein then kicked away his gun while keeping his own weapon trained on his, ensuring that the mercenary put his hands behind his head before Stein took away the knife which was kept on his belt. Stein warned the mercenary that he would shoot him in the face, before removing the mercenary's mask to reveal him to be Billy Russo. While Stein stood horrified that Russo was behind everything and had been lying to Madani, Russo drew his Hidden Blade and plunged it into Stein's throat, mockingly questioning if he was still pretty before ripping the blade out.

SSteinDeathScene

Stein bleeds to death in Dinah Madani's arms

Russo then dropped Stein's bleeding body down onto the floor and made his escape from the scene, while Stein was left desperately grasping his throat while drowning on his own blood which poured out of his open wound. Before long, Stein was discovered there by Madani, who momentarily froze upon seeing her friend bleeding to death before she ran to his side and desperately called out for help while trying to stop the bleeding. Stein found his wound to the throat left him unable to communicate Russo's betrayal as the loss of blood from his wound eventually caused Stein to die in Madani's arms.[8]

Legacy

Madani's Guilt

"Every time I close my eyes, I see Sam Stein's face staring up at me. He had this look when he was dying. He wasn't sad or scared. He was surprised. Like he couldn't believe it was ending that way."
Dinah Madani to Rafael Hernandez[src]

After the incident at the Abandoned Warehouse which resulted in Stein's death, Dinah Madani was given time off to emotionally recover from the event and was asked by Stein's mother to talk at his funeral. Madani refused to return to work and stayed with her parents, believing herself responsible for Stein's death. Madani would later meet with Rafael Hernandez, and go into detail on how Stein was killed by the lead mercenary, and how Stein looked shocked when she found him bleeding to death.[9]

Personality

"As your immediate junior in the chain of command am I allowed to ask how you're feeling about that?"
"How about you lay off with the "junior" shit? I can live without your wiseass comments right now."
"Not really sure what else I have to offer."
―Sam Stein and Dinah Madani[src]

Sam Stein was a skilled agent and showed himself to be a person who believed in connection and was dedicated to his work to the point of missing dates. Despite being told by Madani that he couldn't have a romantic relationship or family with his profession, he didn't believe so and stated he would continue to try. Stein was known by many to upbeat, comical, and sarcastic, most notably joking on Madani's relationship with Billy Russo. Despite not trusting her initially, Stein became Madani's most loyal friend in Homeland Security, as she returned the favor by knowing he wasn't a suspect when he gave her Carson Wolf's wealth.

Stein was known to be frustrated with himself and Madani, as he didn't like that the latter had embarrassed him at the briefing in front of agents. In addition, he didn't like how Madani's obsession with her partner's death and wanted to help her move on with it. Though he had a strong trust with Madani, he would question most of her actions, notably her telling Russo that Castle was alive instead of telling Hernandez. He also appeared to be somewhat lonely due to being alone in Homeland Security and would set updates so that the could connect with someone outside his profession.

In addition, Stein also was skeptical of many of Madani's theories, such as the Punisher being alive, or believing that the FBI and CIA were suspects after Wolf's death. Despite questioning her theories, he trusted his gut that she could trust, and didn't tell Hernandez that their lead suspect on the theft of the Greek Mob was Castle. Stein's death would have a great effect on Madani, who became more determined to hunt down Frank Castle, and learned who murdered her partner.

Abilities

  • Expert Tactician: Being trained by Homeland Security, Stein was an expert tactician, and was allowed to lead the trade-off with the Greek Mob. During the briefing, Stein went into detail on how the trade would go, and with the assistance of Dinah Madani, was able to get everything in position.
  • Expert Investigator: Stein greatest attribute was his dedication in cases, as he went great lengths in investigating Carson Wolf's wealth, and on Frank Castle.
  • Expert Marksman: Stein was a skilled gunman, being able to aid Madani during the shootout against mercenaries at the warehouse. He was also praised by Billy Russo during his exercise course at Anvil despite nearly shooting a hostage.

Equipment

Weapons

SteinP226R

Stein aiming his pistol at Billy Russo

  • SIG-Sauer P226R: Stein carried this handgun in an ambush that they had prepared in an attempt to capture the people they were investigating, using the bug in Dinah Madani's office to feed false information. As the five men that appeared did not surrender, Stein and the rest of the DHS agents engaged in a shootout, with Stein managing to kill Mike Bashille. He ran into Billy Russo, who attempted to escape, but despite threatening him with his gun, Russo managed to kill Stein.

Other Equipment

  • Bulletproof Vest: Stein wore a bulletproof vest that was used by Homeland to protect agents when on missions. Notably wearing a vest during the theft of the Greek Mob's arsenal, and the shootout at the warehouse.

Facilities

"Sure, you're the lead agent with a nice office and I'm the junior with the shitty little desk outside, but partners nevertheless."
―Sam Stein to Dinah Madani[src]
  • Homeland Security Headquarters: Stein had a small desk at the Homeland Security headquarters, probably due to Wolf's dislike of him, or being considered a junior agent. Stein would work with his partner Dinah Madani on cases and do a briefing with other higher officials. He also worked alongside Madani in her office, working with the investigation of Wolf's brutal demise.

Relationships

Family

  • Mother

Allies

Enemies

Appearances

Appearances for Sam Stein

In chronological order:

Trivia

  • Sam Stein had romantic feelings for Dinah Madani, and died trying to confess said feelings.[10]

Behind the Scenes

References

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