As one of the most physically brutal characters in all of comics, The Punisher is a tough act to pull off in today's society. Yet, Netflix's standalone series is following up its stellar first season with a new mission for Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle, and fans can start to make sense of it all by watching the first full-length Season 2 trailer below. (It's probably NSFW if your work frowns on people getting murdered left and right by grunting behemoths.)
Woo! There's something about Alice In Chains' "Would?" that just goes perfectly with The Punisher's signature action beats; even the remixed version of the song. And boy, are there a lot of big, bold and bloodied action beats in this show.
Let's talk about the new details first. The trailer kicks off at Lola's Roadhouse, putting Frank into contact with teen Amy, playing by Scream's Giorgia Whigham. Not much has been revealed about Amy just yet, but we know she's on the run from someone (who is likely at Lola's Roadhouse). As well, she's doesn't seem to be afraid of hanging out with Frank afterward, possibly in a hotel room.
One might think that seeing Frank pull The Joker's pencil trick on a guy -- only using a bigass knife instead of a pencil -- should be enough to curb anyone's urges to keep Frank as a close friend. But I guess if he's stabbing those faces specifically to help keep Amy alive, that might sweeten the pot for her.
And wait a minute! Was that Frank Castle kissing up on a woman that is neither his late wife Maria nor his potential future fling Karen Page? (It definitely wasn't Amy, either, for those worried that the show might go down that creepy road in Season 2.) Is Frank going to find new love this year, and how would that affect his life and personality?
Then we have this season's big villain that isn't Billy Russo, and Interstellar's Josh Stewart is perfect at being the dead-eyed, buttoned-up zealot John Pilgrim. Admittedly, we don't get to see all that much from John Pilgrim through all of the gunfights and fistfights, so perhaps his approach to antagonism will be slightly different from the run-and-gun elements of Billy and Frank.
Speaking with CinemaBlend and other press outlets during a Punisher set visit earlier this year, here's what Josh Stewart had to say about his character.
I dare say he would feel criminally out of place within The Punisher if he wasn't planning on drawing his demons out once more. This isn't a show where happiness and calmness are used to balance Frank's dark and dour journey.
On the exterior, he's a man who is a Christian Fundamentalist who had a rage, a violent side of him,. It's buried deep. I think where this is all headed, that sort of side of him is going to resurface a bit.
Now for some more familiar elements, such as Billy Russo, who starts the season up as a scarred-up hospital patient dealing with major memories problems. (At least, that's what he says.) Though the show won't technically be calling him Jigsaw, comments have been made about how his brain is a jigsaw puzzle that needs to be reshaped and put back together.
Another weird thing is that Billy is also dealing with some memory loss, having dealt with some major head trauma after that brutal brawl in Season 1. So while Frank is now on a mission to keep Amy safe and to keep himself alive, Billy becomes obsessed with learning about what caused his injuries. Something tells me he's not going to like the answer.
Of course, Billy isn't trapped in a hospital for the entirety of the trailer or anything. Rocking a creepy black-and-white mask, he and a bunch of other dudes apparently have some kind of an anarchic crime spree happening. Will Frank be able to stop it? Will Billy and John Pilgrim work together at all? Where does Amy fit into all this?
As well, what can we expect from Supergirl's Floriana Lima as therapist Krista Dumont, the woman in charge of helping Billy mentally recover? She apparently has a set of her own unique issues lurking beneath the surface, and she's the character with the closest ties to Billy when things start off. But will she be one of his earliest victims, or does Dr. Dumont have what it takes to bring Billy back around to sanity.
There's no way we could bounce out of this story without talking about Frank being back in his skulled-out duds for Season 3, even though it looks like the jacket has taken and is taking a ton of damage. It's not immediately clear why he would bring that jacket out again, having supposedly left the iconic costume behind once Billy was put down. But there apparently is a distinct reason.
Here's how Jon Bernthal explained the reemergence of Frank's iconic look during the set visit earlier this year.
To me, I'm really rigorous with the writers that if he's got to wear it there's got to be a tactical reason. There's got to be something behind it. Because he's not a flashy guy. He spent season two of Daredevil laughing at Daredevil. Like, "What the fuck is with that costume? What's up with those ears?" We got to make that work. I actually feel like this year, when he puts it on, we figured out a very intelligent, very tactical reason, a very psychologically tactical reason to wear it. It makes a lot of sense.
Regardless of whether it makes sense or not, fans are always going to want to see Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle rocking the skull. It's a shame there aren't any moments in the trailer where Frank and Micro are designing a second version. Actually, it's a shame that the trailer doesn't show Micro or Karen in it, even if it's good to touch base again with Jason R. Moore's Curtis Hoyle and Amber Rose Revah's Dinah Madani.