How “The Punisher” S2 Rethinks Jigsaw
The end of the first season of Netflix’s “The Punisher” saw Ben Barnes’ vain and narcissistic Billy Russo have his face smashed and partly shredded by the end, meaning fans have been keen to see him re-emerge as famed comics villain Jigsaw in the new season.
Speaking with io9 though, Barnes says his arc on the show’s second season is going to be quite different and more nuanced than the comics – with the fragmented-ness of Billy’s psyche as much a factor as his disfigurement in becoming a villain and how he’ll be humanized via this predicament:
“At the end of the first season, we hear the doctors sort of saying that he’s undergone surgery for stab wounds and wounds on his face, so he’s had a plastic surgeon try to fix him. We’re talking about a deeply narcissistic character – in season one – whose mask of appeal in terms of doing his hair and the nice suits and all that kind of stuff has been stripped away from him.
It’s about what he sees when he looks in the mirror rather than necessarily what other people see because we didn’t want [Billy’s story] to be a horror show. It’s something more internal. We don’t refer to the character as Jigsaw in the series, but he very much has a jigsaw puzzle in his brain. It’s not about his face, it’s about the psychological, which is really something we wanted to focus on this season.
It’s not just about the physical. He’s had his head very much traumatized in the same way that 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.”
With Netflix’s partnership with Marvel seemingly over, it’s likely the new season will be the final bow for both Barnes’ Billy and Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle. The new episodes air sometime later this month.