Despite any and all behind-the-scenes drama that went on with Netflix and Marvel, leading to all those cancellations, The Punisher Season 2 is definitely still high on my list of anticipated 2019 shows. That excitement level definitely ratcheted up today, thanks to this new video showing off Billy Russo's reemergence as the disturbing comic book villain Jigsaw. Also, the Season 2 release date! Check it out!
As the second Punisher teaser to get released this week, the Jigsaw-centered video doesn't feature any actual show footage, but is instead a more supplemental promo that underlines the upcoming rivalry gets between Frank and Billy, similar though they may be. We all saw how things ended the first time around, which is why the former Marine sniper's face looks as grisly as it does. It's hard to walk away injury-free after having one's face dragged through a bunch of broken mirror shards.
Now let's talk about that mask, shall we? Rather than making Billy's face the roadmap of ghastly scars that the source material might have inspired, The Punisher showrunner Steve Lightfoot decided to add a delightful horror touch to the Jigsaw introduction with that mask that would feel right at home in a Purge flick. As a related aside, how baffling would it have been to see him wearing the Jigsaw mask from the Saw franchise?
Check out the first official still of Jigsaw in his mask, while Billy is apparently still in the hospital.
I gotta admit, I do love the way it looks, as if it was quickly crafted with a Sharpie without any real knack for design or proper aesthetic. It definitely helps keep the creep factor intact, if nothing else.
Of course, for all that I've been referring to the villain as Jigsaw, The Punisher won't actually be using that nomenclature in Season 2, similar to the way "Kingpin" wasn't used to refer to Wilson Fisk during Daredevil's first couple of seasons. While that will likely tick some fans off, the point was to keep things grounded and focused on the psychological torment that Billy is going through. (Something that's played up pretty well in the above video as he screams about his scars reflecting his biggest sins in life.)
Here's how star Ben Barnes put it during the Season 2 set visit that CinemaBlend's Corey Chichizola attended.
We're talking abut a deeply narcissistic character -- in Season 1 -- whose mask of appeal in terms of doing his hair and the nice suits and all that kind of stuff has been stripped away from him. It's about what he sees when he looks in the mirror rather than necessarily what other people see, because we didn't want [Billy's story] to be a horror show. It's something more internal. We don't refer to the character as Jigsaw in the series, but he very much has a jigsaw puzzle in his brain. It's not about his face, it's about the psychological, which is really something we wanted to focus on this season.
Note that by saying Billy is dealing with psychological issues that have turned his brain into a jigsaw puzzle, that isn't to say that his mental troubles are solely tied to how his face looks or the pain he still feels from his injuries. He literally did go through some brain trauma during his big carousel fight with Frank, and it's taken away some of his memories and parts of his core personality. Which could be a good thing, at least until it isn't.
Ben Barnes continued:
It's not just about the physical. He's had his head very much traumatized in the same way that many many veterans have been and he's trying to deal with that. He's got brain damage and severe issues with his memory. He's trying to piece together what happened and who he is, and at one point the metaphor is used that his brain is the jigsaw they're trying to put back together.
I wonder if Ben Barnes is only referring to medical professionals when saying that "they" are trying to put his brain back together. It seems like he'll end up falling under some other character's wing in Season 2 that guides him to flourish as a homicidal shitshow, but I guess he'll have to get mildly healthy first.
Check out another new picture of Billy Russo's Season 2 visage, in which you can peep out his scars a bit more closely. Because yes, that is definitely a bullet hole in Billy's cheek, from where Frank shot him in the Season 1 finale.
It's almost criminal that Ben Barnes manages to still look as suave and attractive as he does despite all the physical trauma he went through. I've had sneezes that caused more noticeably debilitating damage to my face than what he's got going on there. Still, it's hard to envy that.
It's not just Billy going through some thangs in Season 2. We know that Frank will be dealing with his own issues in trying to come to terms with the fact that everyone he gets close to dies a horrible death. He'll be trying to figure out if there's a "real" Frank Castle hiding inside somewhere, or if he's forever meant to only be a brutal shell of a soldier, fighting without a sense of an end game.
As such, Jigsaw should make quite the formidable foe during that self-discovery journey. Billy is a reflection of what Frank could have turned into had he not stuck to his guns and stayed on an ever-so-slightly more virtuous path. Of course, if Billy starts trying to sway Frank to the other side, our friendly neighborhood Punisher might need Karen Page around to keep him on the right path.