The Punisher clues at the comic book alter-ego of Billy Russo (Ben Barnes), whose deformation on account of Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) in the Marvel funnies results in his being named “Jigsaw.”
Russo’s renowned moniker is never adopted in The Punisher, nor is Russo as terribly distorted as his comic book counterpart; rather, Russo is an amnesiac whose brutal fight with former closest companion and war mate Castle left him scarred and under the watchful eye of psychotherapist Krista Dumont (Floriana Lima), who brings out the expression “jigsaw” as a piece of Russo’s treatment.
“Gotta build the jigsaw,” a confined to bed Russo reveals to Homeland Security agent Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah), who makes practically day by day visits to his hospital bed, where she stares down at the man who shot her in the head one year earlier.
The previous pretty boy’s visage is currently totally concealed by a blank face mask, decorated just by rough shading markings of Russo’s own creation.
“We’ve been using the metaphor that Billy’s injuries turned his memories and identity into a jigsaw puzzle,” explains Dumont. “I’m here to help him solve it.”
Russo is almost never without his mask until the point that he gets away from his holding at a hospital, later appearing scarred — however not entirely disfigured — confront that bears the scars of his near-fatal confrontation with Castle, who rammed Russo’s face into broken glass in reprisal for Russo being included with the slaughtering of his family.
The unhinged criminal at that point builds up “Valhalla,” a brotherhood composed of wayward military veterans who work as masked criminals under Russo’s charge. The activities of a volatile and unpredictable Russo causes an outburst from cohort Bobby (Charles Brice), who calls Russo a “jigsaw-faced bastard” — the last thing he does before he’s promptly shot in the head for stepping out of line.
Russo’s conditioned down markings incorporate a bullet wound hole in his right cheek and two other noticeable facial scars, which further powers Russo to unwind as he by and by is stood up to by the haunting demon of his nightly terrors: the Punisher.
“It’s interesting, you know, I always make parallels to the Joker character in Batman, where he’s the antagonist that can’t be killed,” Barnes told EW.
“There’s no question that Frank has the desire to kill Billy and that he’s never had trouble killing anybody before, but there’s this combination of having felt so deeply for him and knowing there’s something in Billy that is maybe good at his core. Jon played it in this very interesting way.”
All episodes of The Punisher are currently streaming exclusively on Netflix.
Paulina Rice is a housewife as well as author. She’s the wife of a rock star, and the mother of two young adults, but she’s also been a ballerina, a typographer, a film composer, a piano player, a singer in an all-girl rock band, and a voice in those violent video games you won’t let your kids play. She does her best writing on entertainment such as movies.