Josh Stewart's villain in The Punisher Season 2 is an Alt-Right Christian fundamentalist. As the next season prepares for its debut, we have been treated with a bunch of new information about the highly anticipated return of Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle. Earlier in the week we learned that Ben Barnes's Billy Russo will be Jigsaw in Season 2, but he won't be referred to as that name when the show premieres. However, Barnes assured that the character is very much indeed Jigsaw. But, Billy isn't going to be the only villain going up against Castle this time around.
When The Punisher Season 2 premieres, Billy Russo will still be recovering from the severe beating that Frank Castle gave him at the end of Season 1, which will give time for Josh Stewart's mysterious villain John Pilgrim to emerge. Pilgrim has a dark past and has been described as uptight and creepy, which is a lot different than Billy Russo. The Punisher costume designer Lorraine Calvert described him as "Alt-Right." Stewart had this to say about his character.
"On the exterior, he's a man who is a Christian Fundamentalist who had a rage, a violent side of him. It's buried deep. I think where this is all headed, that sort of side of him is going to resurface a bit."
Alt-Right is known as a pretty vague term that basically applies to individuals on the extreme right who reject mainstream conservatism. Instead, they favor forms of conservatism that embrace white supremacy, either implicitly or explicitly. The term has come up a lot over the past two years with many on the Alt-Right being vocal supporters of President Donald Trump. It's doubtful that The Punisher Season 2's John Pilgrim will be a Trump supporter on the show as to avoid controversy.
In an interview from January of this year, Jon Bernthal condemned the Alt-Right for using The Punisher skull logo and flag as propaganda for their movement. While the actor is ok with the U.S. military gravitating towards the symbolism, and identifying with Frank Castle, his views on the Alt-Right go in the opposite direction, simply stating, 'F--- them', when addressing the more hateful members of the group. It sounds very plausible that the show is going with an Alt-Right Christian Fundamentalist as its villain to help get some distance between Frank Castle and the movement. Perhaps its a bit of revenge on the show's part. It's been made clear that Jon doesn't want his Marvel comics character to be identified with the Alt Right movement.
According to early reactions, Josh Stewart's portrayal of John Pilgrim is excellent, which will be good news for The Punisher fans who have been waiting over a year for new episodes. It has also been revealed that Season 2 will be even more violent and brutal than the first season, a feat that seems nearly impossible, though it will be met with open arms when the show returns. In addition to the darker and more violent aspects, there is some more humor thrown into the dialogue for Season 2.
And for The Punisher fans who are wondering about the snap from Infinity War, Season 2 will not address it. Frank Castle did not turn to dust and neither did anybody else on the show, which is great news. Deborah Ann Woll will return as Karen Page, but it has been reported that she won't have too big of a part. However, the part she has is very important to the story arc of Season 2. The Punisher Season 2 will premiere sometime in January, leaving fans guessing. This information was first reported by Collider.