Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) may be roaming the United States when The Punisher season two kicks off on Jan. 18 on Netflix, but when he returns to New York City, it will seemingly be with one target in mind: Billy Russo (Ben Barnes). Following Frank’s final face-off with Billy in the season one finale, which debuted in 2017, Russo was put in a coma with significant facial injuries, creating a potential origin story for his super-villain role in the Marvel comics: Jigsaw. In the first Punisher season two trailer, Billy’s injuries take center stage — but so does the ongoing battle between him and Frank.
In the 50-second promotional clip, we see Frank decked out in his skull-adorned vest and carrying a gun, quoting a line said by Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) in season one: “Someone told me once, ‘Life is just trying not to be lonely.'”
Then we see Billy in hospital scrubs, pulling bandages we saw in the season one finale from his face, which is revealed to be covered in deep scars. He hints at his Jigsaw role, proclaiming, “It’s like a bomb went off inside my mind, scattering all the pieces.”
From there, the trailer cuts rapidly from Frank and Billy as they build on the idea of “putting the pieces together” through their individual narration. This joint speech hints at questions of identity for both of them, which supports showrunner Steve Lightfoot’s comments about how season two explores Frank “really adopting the mantle of the Punisher.”
In the trailer’s final seconds, Frank proclaims, “You need to let me be what I’m meant to be. I’m not the one who dies. I’m the one who does the killing.” Based on that, perhaps this season will be the last we see of Billy Russo, whether or not Netflix renews The Punisher for additional seasons (which doesn’t seem likely, given the slew of Marvel series cancelations in 2018).
You can watch The Punisher season two trailer below. The series returns Friday, Jan. 18.
Samantha Puc is an essayist and culture critic whose work has been featured on Bustle, The Mary Sue, SheKnows, The Tempest, Rogues Portal, and elsewhere. She mostly writes intersectional pop culture analysis with a particular focus on representation of LGBTQ and fat characters in fiction. Samantha is also the co-creator of Fatventure Mag, an outdoors zine for fat women and non-binary creators who are into being active, but not into toxic weight-loss culture. She lives in Rhode Island with her partner and cats.