Much is highly anticipated about the second season of Netflix’s hit Marvel show, The Punisher. A show that many thought might be doomed to fail from the beginning, due to its heavy gun violence and the fact that the Punisher is…well, he’s not exactly what you imagine when you think ‘superhero’. But fans fell in love with Frank Castle, rooting for him from the very start. And we have to say, we love to hate the villains, too.
In Season 1 of The Punisher, Billy Russo, played spectacularly by the incomparable Ben Barnes, was the big baddie. And in a final showdown between him and Frank in the season finale, Frank smashes Billy’s face into a broken mirror in a scene so horrifying that it wasn’t even satisfying. When Frank’s done with him, Billy is unrecognizable, every inch of his face torn to shreds. But it was the shriek that really made the audience cringe. Ben Barnes should have received an Emmy for that performance, and no one will ever convince us otherwise.
The last we see of Russo is in a hospital, with his face wrapped in an eerie smiling bandage, confirming what many believed from the start. Billy Russo has become Jigsaw.
Fans have been speculating since the Season 1 finale how much they would mess with Barnes’ face for the role of Jigsaw. Will his face be as disfigured as it was in the comics? Will it be makeup, or done in post-production? Will we recognize Barnes at all? Fans received their answer on Thursday when Netflix released a teaser confirming the January 18th premiere date for Season 2.
Billy Russo, potentially now known by his alter ego, Jigsaw, still has his face covered in a bandage when we first see him in this teaser. We watch as he unwraps it, unveiling his new, very scarred face. But it isn’t as horrifying as many fans were theorizing, or even hoping for. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not exactly pretty either, considering that we know what Barnes looks like without those scars. But Season 2 of The Punisher seems to be approaching the villain in a new way. It isn’t his face, but his mind that’s the real jigsaw.
If you recall, in the Season 1 finale, doctors are unsure how much, if any, brain function Russo will retain. He may have no, some, or all of his memory left. His face may be scarred, but his mind is an unsolvable puzzle. You can see it in his face in the teaser. He’s confused, frightened, and unhinged. Which makes him so much more intriguing.
They always say a hero is only as good as their villain. And we have no doubt in our minds that we wouldn’t love Frank as dearly as we do if it wasn’t for Billy Russo. And if Ben Barnes delivers a performance anything like he did in Season 1, we truly are in for a treat.
Watch the first teaser for The Punisher Season 2 down below.
The Punisher Season 2 Hits Netflix January 18.