The Punisher Season 2 Gives Frank a Female Companion and a Chance for Redemption

Who will save Frank Castle's soul?

The first full trailer for Netflix’s second season of The Punisher has landed, giving us our first look at the new roster of supporting characters that will join Frank Castle on his endless quest for vengeance. When we last left him, Frank had smashed his former friend Billy Russo’s face in the wall of mirrors at the carousel, leaving Russo in a coma. The trailer picks up with Frank grabbing a drink at a bar and unwittingly finding himself defending a young woman from attackers.

The woman, Amy Bendix (Giorgia Whigham), turns out to share Frank’s trauma, as everyone she loves has been murdered. She quickly joins forces with Frank, and according to the trailer, forms a friendship with him. This is a promising plot development, as it brings more women into the world of The Punisher, but more importantly, it provides Frank Castle with a touchstone of humanity he so desperately needs.

Frank is a blunt instrument—a violent, efficient, and highly effective blunt instrument, but an instrument nonetheless—but for me, the character is most interesting when he forms relationships with other people. Season one’s tentative partnership with Micro and his relationship with his family allow Frank a chance at redemption and a reprieve from his self-imposed isolation.

The Punisher can so easily fall into a one-note vengeance machine of a character, a problem that has plagued the previous Punisher film adaptations. The series allows Frank to be a fully formed character, delving into his vulnerability and rage, as well as his fighting skills.

One of the highlights of season one was the series’ take on toxic masculinity and PTSD, and how both issues create a prison for the men of The Punisher. The series is a powerful look at repressed trauma and how it shapes the veterans, something that all the male characters share. The ending of season one found Frank finally agreeing to join his friend Hoyle’s veterans support group, hinting at a desire to open himself to the world again.

The trailer also gives us a glimpse at the season’s big bads, with Billy Russo waking up from his coma and reckoning with his facial injuries. Comic fans will recognize this as the birth of Jigsaw, although actor Ben Barnes said in an interview with io9 that Russo will be dealing with internal damage from his fight with Frank.

He said, “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.”

We also get a look at mysterious new bad guy John Pilgrim (Josh Stewart), who dresses like a preacher and may be playing a version of The Mennonite, a popular foe in the comics. In addition, Daredevil‘s Deborah Ann Woll will return as Karen Page, as will Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani. Conspicuously absent is Eben Moss-Bachrach, who plays Micro, although his storyline was pretty much wrapped up by the end of season one.

With Disney+ on the horizon and the cancellation of Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, it seems highly likely that this will be The Punisher‘s final season, and that’s a shame, because the series is one of Marvel’s strongest Netflix entries. Here’s hoping Frank Castle can survive another season.

(via CBR, image: screencap)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.