Thursday’s The Punisher Season Two trailer reveals the first look at new enemy John Pilgrim (Josh Stewart), a shadowy man-in-black described as an Alt-right Christian fundamentalist in relentless pursuit of wayward teen Amy Bendix (Giorgia Whigham).
“John Pilgrim is a fairly quiet, still person. On the exterior [is] a man who is a Christian fundamentalist who had sort of a rage, a violent side of him. It’s buried deep,” Stewart told Collider.
“I think where this is all headed, that sort of side of him is going to resurface a bit.”
Stewart explained there’s “nothing cult about it,” saying instead Pilgrim is a God-fearing man who “believes the word. He knows that he’s got to follow the word by the word or it would be too easy for him to go back to his old ways.”
Pilgrim’s seedy mission brings him and his powerful employer into the scope of violent vigilante Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), who emerges as Amy’s lone protector and ally after the teen runs afoul of dark forces.
The assassin shares some common ground with Castle, who operates in a grey area in his quenchless thirst for vengeance.
“What they’re doing today and the reasons they’re doing it completely contradict what they’re doing tomorrow,” Stewart said. “But it doesn’t mean there’s a wrong thing. It doesn’t mean that it’s bad or it’s good. It’s just what needs to be done in their mind, in their beliefs, in their way.”
The events of The Punisher’s sophomore season will serve to reinforce Castle’s beliefs in his one-man war on crime as the grieving family man continues to embrace his identity as a gun-toting vigilante.
“If you ask, ‘What is the theme of Season 2?’ It’s about Frank really adopting the mantle of The Punisher,” showrunner Steve Lightfoot previously told Collider.
That means acting as savior and father-figure to the runaway Amy, who forges an unlikely bond with the anti-hero.
“I think he hears this opportunity to work with this young woman and as they discover more about each other it runs the gamut. It can be anything. The minute you start limiting what a relationship can be and classifying it, it just becomes far less interesting,” Bernthal said of Castle’s personal relationships in Season Two.
“I think that’s true in life, too. When you meet somebody, anything is possible. Especially when you’re dealing with a bunch of people who have both been through a sh-t ton. The possibilities are endless of what those two people could end up meaning to each other. It changes from moment to moment.
“I really enjoy working with Georgia just for that. Because a lot of everything I lost is in her but everything I maybe secretly, quietly I hope to gain is in her as well.”
Starring Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Amber Rose Revah, Giorgia Whigham, Josh Stewart, Jason R. Moore, Floriana Lima, and Deborah Ann Woll, The Punisher Season Two debuts January 18 on Netflix.