Mild spoilers below for the general storyline for The Punisher Season 2, though no major plot elements are revealed.
As it's gone with other Marvel series, The Punisher debuted its second season on Netflix after a marketing campaign that only gave fans fleeting ideas for what to expect. One exciting new element we did know about was Scream vet Giorgia Whigham's introduction as the comic-based Amy Bendix, which had star Jon Bernthal highly intrigued. Speaking with CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg ahead of Season 2's release, Bernthal explained why Amy's arrival was so interesting for both him and Frank Castle.
It's relatively impossible to imagine Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle reaching a point where he could unequivocally convince viewers that he's entirely comfortable from his toe-tips to his hair-tips. For the most part, viewers are used to seeing the embattled character diving headfirst into situations that require the utmost physical endurance, with the emotional turmoil always lurking just behind. Season 2, however, is wholly invested in pushing Frank to his emotional brink, while also dealing heavy damage to his body.
As Jon Bernthal put it, the best way to shake Frank up is to get him emotionally invested in something. His Season 1 motivations had largely been tethered to avenging the deaths of his wife and children, but through Giorgia Whigham's Amy, Season 2 allows Frank the chance to more fully grieve their memories, and to find ways to not only accept their deaths, but also to grow from them. (One scene involving Amy telling Frank he should keep daughter Lisa alive in his mind was particularly heart-wrenching.)
Though Frank may have entered Amy's life as an outsider trying to save her from certain doom, their relationship continually builds throughout the season, to the point where she's just as important as everyone else that isn't on his shit list. Here, Jon Bernthal talks about how that personal investment is somewhat anti-intuitive for Frank.
In as much as any of Netflix's Marvel dramas can be considered realistic, The Punisher's relationship between Frank and Amy follows a mostly natural arc, with the teen initially wanting little to do with the hulking bone-crusher, despite his efforts to keep her breathing. In time, though, she comes to trust Frank's decisions and somewhat embraces his killer instincts.
That's definitely a good thing for all involved, since the Walking Dead vet makes it clear that Frank will probably always be locked into his kill-or-be-killed mindset. In Bernthal's words:
Something tells me The Punisher Season 3, if it happens, wouldn't be taking place entirely on a peaceful cruise ship where the biggest point of conflict is too many people wanting to play shuffleboard at the same time. Frank Castle doesn't exactly do vacations, although I imagine that cruise would make him as uncomfortable as Billy Russo or John Pilgrim made him in Season 2.
Star Giorgia Whigham also talked with CinemaBlend about bringing Amy Bendix to live-action in Season 2. Here, the actress discussed how the young and not-as-street-savvy-as-she'd-like Amy evolved through the season's 13 episodes as a distressed damsel who unwittingly stumbled into a life-changing relationship.
For some viewers, Amy might have been a challenge to fully enjoy in the earliest Season 2 episodes, considering her unique mix of snarky bravado and blind naivety. Of course, most teenagers' behavior and attitudes are hard to embrace right from the offset, and Amy's the only one who had to worry about sewing up a bullet wound on Frank's ass cheek.
Saying that she actually shared quite a few characteristics with the comics' Amy, Giorgia Whigham talked about working with showrunner Steve Lightfoot to prepare for the role, and about changing the character up from the source material.
In some ways, Amy took the place of Season 1's Micro, by way of giving Frank a secondary mission that fittingly slotted in with his overarching quest for revenge. Oddly enough, I think Amy got on Frank's "good side" way quicker than the in-hiding computer whiz ever did last season. (Although Frank's situation with Micro's wife may have played a role there.) In any case, Amy had a big impact on Jon Bernthal and Frank Castle, and it was definitely one felt by viewers.
The Punisher Season 2 is currently available for streaming on Netflix, so be sure to binge through it soon. While waiting to hear about the (presumably low) chances of Season 3 happening, check out our 2019 Netflix schedule and our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are on the horizon.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.