Now that the second season of The Punisher is out, fans are eventually greeted with the death of one of the show's main characters. ComicBook.com had the chance to catch up with The Punisher executive producer Steve Lightfoot to break down the show's most shocking death.
WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for The Punisher Season Two. Proceed with caution if you have yet to watch.
Near the end of the season, Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) is shot three times in a confrontation with Agent Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah), who'd be investigating Russo's girlfriend/shrink Dr. Krista Dumont (Floriana Lima) for her role in harboring the fugitive.
With Russo gravely injured, he eventually crawls to the location Curtis Hoyle (Jason R. Moore) hosts his veteran support group, only for Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) to arrive shortly thereafter. Castle takes one look at Russo, fires two bullets, and the villain meets quite the unceremonious death. Speaking with us, Lightfoot agreed that the scene was poignant if anything.
"What's interesting, is when we started the season, we didn't know from start that we were even going to kill him [Russo]," Lightfoot says. "And it sort of developed as we were writing the show, and it just felt like, given that Frank, you feel like so much of what was happening in season two was born of this decision Frank mad to not kill him. It just, it didn't make sense to us that he would let Billy live again."
"It somehow diminished Frank if he didn't finish the job this time," the producer continues. "Then, as we got into the far end of the story, because they have a big gun fight in episode seven and eight, and then there's another confrontation in episode ten, and it just felt like the natural way for the story to go, and I like the fact that you used to word poignant, because I think there's a tragedy to those two guys, and I sort of wanted part of the audience to be rooting for, in a way, that Frank wouldn't kill him, but would maybe throw an arm around him and take him to a hospital or would sit with him while he died."
If you've seen the show by now, you'll know that's not how the scene ended up. Castle fires the two shots and walks out, never to see his former friend again. Lightfoot says the second Castle murdered Russo, that's when he officially became the skull-wearing Punisher.
"It spoke to me to the journey Frank had been on in season two, to fully adopting the mantle of The Punisher, so when he got there he was just like, 'Nope, you've got to go,' and he put two in him," Lightfoot mentions. "I think it's a really sad scene, I think it's sort of indicative of the fact that Frank is now fully signed up to this persona of The Punisher, and that's who he's going to be from now on, and he's choosing to leave his humanity behind."0comments
What'd you think of the infamous death scene? Were you expecting Russo to kick the bucket at all? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation online by hitting me (@AdamBarnardt) on Twitter to talk all things Punisher!
The Punisher Season Two is now streaming on Netflix.