The Punisher season 2 has arrived on Netflix, and we're here to break down the season finale, "The Whirlwind," which will also likely be the end of the series as a whole. Like Netflix's other Marvel shows, The Punisher is expected to be cancelled rather than renewed for a third season - but at least Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle goes out with a bang.
The second season of The Punisher can be a little confusing to follow, because it has two entirely separate plotlines that are connected only through Frank - who is fighting a war on two fronts. One plotline concerns teen grifter Amy (Giorgia Whigham), who became embroiled in a plot to blackmail a wealthy family with photos of their son kissing another man, and is being hunted by a hitman called John Pilgrim (Josh Stewart). The other plotline revolves around Frank's friend-turned-enemy Billy Russo (Ben Barnes), who was been left scarred and mentally traumatized by their last encounter, and begins building a vicious new identity for himself: Jigsaw.
Over the course of the season many players are drawn into the conflict, including Homeland Security's Special Agent in Charge Dinah Madani (Amber Rose Revah), Frank's fellow veteran Curtis Hoyle (Jason R. Moore), psychiatrist Krista Dumont (Floriana Lima), and NYPD detective Brett Mahoney (Royce Johnson). This cast of characters eventually all clash in The Punisher season 2's explosive finale, which finally sees Frank embracing his vigilante persona.
- This Page: What Happens At The End of The Punisher Season 2
- Page 2: John Pilgrim, the Schultz Family, Billy Russo & Krista Dumont
- Page 3: The Meaning of The Punisher Season 2's Ending
What Happens At The End of The Punisher Season 2
At the end of The Punisher season 2's penultimate episode, "Collision Course," Madani gets into a fight with Krista that ends in Madani hurling Krista out of a third-story window - just as Billy returns with a bouquet of flowers. Krista doesn't die, but the fall lands her in hospital with serious and likely permanent injuries. An enraged Billy runs up to the apartment and engages in a brutal fight with Madani, who shoots him three times in the torso before Billy succeeds in strangling her into unconsciousness. Billy passes out from blood loss before he can finish the job, and when Madani wakes up surrounded by cops (including Mahoney), Billy is gone.
As Mahoney predicts, Madani did effectively kill Billy during the fight - he just didn't know he was dead yet. Billy manages to make it to a back-alley doctor, whom he orders at gunpoint to remove the remaining bullets and stitch him up. He refuses anaesthetic, but passes out from the pain anyway while the doctor is trying to remove the second bullet. As soon as Billy is unconscious, the doctor takes all of his money, leaves the second bullet inside him, and throws his body in a dumpster. Billy wakes up several hours later and manages to drag himself out of the dumpster and stagger to the basement where Curtis holds his support meetings. There, he finally collapses against a wall.
While all that is going on, Frank is organizing a hostage exchange with one major flaw: he doesn't have a hostage. Curtis took pity on Senator David Schultz (Todd Alan Crain) after realizing that he had nothing to do with the mess of blackmail and murder surrounding the incriminating photos of him, and let him go. However, Frank is able to bluff his way out of the situation when John Pilgrim arrives with Amy, claiming that David is inside the trailer with C4 strapped to him. Once Amy gets clear, Frank reveals that David is already gone, and he and John engage in a bloody fight that ends with John on his back and Frank ready to stove his head in with a fire extinguisher. John uses what he believes are his last breaths to beg Frank not to hurt his boys when he kills the Schultzes and (families being his soft spot) Frank decides to spare John's life.
Just as Curtis is finally preparing to rest after several difficult days, he gets a call from Billy, who asks him to come to the basement where he has collapsed. However, it's Frank that shows up, not Curtis. Billy isn't particularly surprised, and tells Frank that if he has to be with someone when he dies, he's glad that it's him. Billy then starts to say he's sorry, but Frank puts another two bullets in him before he can get the words out, finally killing him. When Madani, Curtis and Mahoney discover the body later, Mahoney is frustrated by the situation, knowing that Frank must have been responsible. However, Madani and Curtis convince him to let it go, with Billy's death being put down to his injuries from the earlier fight.
Frank isn't done exacting his own brand of justice. He heads to the Schultz family's mansion with Amy, who confronts them about what they did to her and her friends. Eliza Schultz (Annette O'Toole) reaches for a knife to stab Amy, but Frank appears suddenly from behind her and shoots her in the back of the head before she can do anything. He then offers Anderson Schultz (Corbin Bernsen) an ultimatum: he can shoot himself, or Frank will release the taped conversation of him confessing to all of his awful deeds. Schultz, valuing his legacy above all things, chooses to kill himself; as Amy and Frank walk away from the building, there is a gunshot from inside. John Pilgrim, reunited with his sons, makes peace with Frank and they go their separate ways.
The next day, Frank gives Amy some money and puts her on a bus to Florida, where a friend of his runs a diving school (Amy said that when she was younger her dream job was diving for treasure). The two of them hug, and then Amy leaves for what is hopefully a better future.
In the final scene of The Punisher season 2, Frank is waiting in his car, scoping out a warehouse where two gangs are gathering. Madani, who has joined the CIA now that her career with Homeland Security is over, calls him and offers him a job as an assassin for the CIA, but Frank turns her down (she's not particularly surprised by his answer). Inside the warehouse, the two gangs square up against each other, each believing that the other called the meeting. The argument escalates and they draw their weapons, but they are then interrupted by Frank, who reveals himself as the person who actually called the meeting. Wearing his iconic skull vest, Frank pulls out twin machine guns and starts roaring as he fires into the crowd of gangsters... and that's where the season (and the series?) ends.