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Top 10 Punisher Season 2 Easter-Eggs and Facts

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Andrew Labelle
We weren’t expecting many big crossovers or direct references to other MCU and Netflix series, but that doesn’t mean Netflix's Punisher doesn't have a lot of things you missed. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 best easter eggs and facts from Punisher season 2.
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We weren’t expecting many big crossovers or direct references to other MCU and Netflix series, but that doesn’t mean Frank Castle’s latest adventure isn’t full of winks and nods. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 best easter eggs and facts from Punisher season 2.

For this list, we’ve picked our favorite and most notable facts from season 2 of this Netflix Marvel that a lot of people might have missed, whether they’re comic book references, allusions to previous Netflix shows or notable changes to the character himself. Beware if you haven’t seen Punisher season 2 yet: there may be spoilers ahead.

#10: Billy’s Mask


Punisher season one ended with Frank Castle giving his friend-turned-enemy Billy Russo a complete facial makeover. It’s well known by now that this means Billy’s transformation from Billy into his villain persona of longtime Punisher villain Jigsaw is on the horizon. However, in the comic books and other appearances by the character, Jigsaw’s face is way more messed up than it is in the show. Fortunately for purists, as a compromise, Billy’s Purge Mask much more accurately reflects Jigsaw’s grisly comic book appearance.

#9: Speaking of Masks...


Netflix’s superhero shows - especially Punisher - have never been very subtle, and masks play a huge part in season 2 - both physically and metaphorically. To start, Dr. Krista Dumont’s therapy room has masks in the background. The members of Billy’s crew all have unique masks customized to each person, and when a member is killed, his mask is retired. Even Punisher wears a mask when he confronts Billy, even though he’s openly declared himself and doesn’t hide behind a persona. This is just more proof that the masks aren’t really there to conceal anyone’s identity; they’re to reflect how these characters want to be seen by others. Billy even tries to abandon his mask to be his true self, but in the end his true self and the mask are one and the same.

#8: Turk’s Bong Shop


So far, small time criminal Turk Barrett has appeared on every Netflix Marvel series, and his character is always evolving and changing, but his ties to and information about the criminal underworld always come in handy. At one point in Punisher season 2, Punisher sends Turk into a bad situation, and uses the crook as a double-bluff to lure mobsters away from his real target. The fooled mobsters end up at a bong shop, which Turk calls “his place.” For those of you wondering what the heck that means, it’s a reference to Turk’s appearance in the second seasons of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, where we learn that Turk has opened a legitimate business… one that Danny Rand seems a bit TOO interested in.

#7: One Bad Day


Season 2’s seventh episode sees both Frank and Agent Madani getting more unhinged and desperate. While pursuing Billy, Frank resorts to torture and Madani contemplates murdering Billy rather than arresting him. Both characters are potentially “One Bad Day” away from becoming the thing they hate. And while the episode title “One Bad Day” is a direct comic book quote, it’s not a Marvel comic: the line comes from Frank Miller’s “Batman: The Killing Joke,” when Joker says “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy.” We love this nod because it transcends comic book publishers, and it’s rare to see Marvel and DC reference each other. In this case it’s especially fitting, because not only do Frank and Billy share an origin, but most of Billy’s followers are also soldiers who had one too many bad days themselves and turned evil.

#6: The Battle Van


Frank Castle’s van might not be the most iconic superhero ride ever, but for fans of the Punisher, the Battle Van is an important part of his arsenal: it’s Castle’s mobile base of operations, allowing him to stay on the move and still have a place to store equipment and arm himself. The van made an appearance towards the end of season 1, and makes a comeback at the very beginning (and end) of season 2. Since season 2 begins with Frank semi-retired, however, the van isn’t armored up and ready for battle, and Frank is just using it as a plain ol’ everyday van.

#5: Amy Bendix & Her Other Aliases


In the comics, Amy Bendix is limited to a four-issue story arc, where she befriends Frank Castle and helps him out before being kidnapped and ultimately rescued. But on TV, Amy is more fleshed out as a street-smart grifter who reluctantly teams up with Punisher for self-preservation. What’s really interesting is that while being interrogated by the police, it’s revealed that Amy has other aliases, and two of those names match other characters from the Punisher comic books - specifically Stephanie and Rachel. Rachel Cole is a vigilante who partners with Punisher to kill bad guys… bad guys like Stephanie Gerard, a short-lived Punisher villain who Rachel personally finishes off.

#4: Many New Original Characters


So far, almost every major character in the Netflix Marvel shows has had some sort of comic book origin or equivalent. The most notable exception so far is Sigourney Weaver’s character Alexandra Reid from The Defenders. But now Punisher season 2 introduces even more major characters that have no comic book counterpart. The two biggest ones are Dr. Krista Dumont, who plays a huge role throughout this season, and the series’ new main antagonist, John Pilgrim. While he may seem like the type of over-the-top character that could only have come from comic books, Pilgrim is actually an original Netflix creation.

#3: The Iconic Pose


In season 2, Punisher completely does away with the “black trench coat and rifles akimbo” look in favor of more discreet clothes and Frank’s reliable M1911. This makes for a lot more realistic, tactical action, but also means we don’t get as much of the over-the-top schlock that Punisher is associated with. Even so, we do get this perfect shot of Jon Bernthal hamming it up and firing off two guns at once. Is the scene dumb and cheesy? Of course it is. But of all the Netflix shows, Punisher stays away from fanservice as much as possible, so when moments like this happen it makes them all the more sweet.

#2: O’Rourke


During the final episodes of season 2, Punisher is at his most vulnerable, and with a bounty on his head, scumbags come out of every nook and cranny to take him down. One crooked cop named O’Rourke is after Frank - not just for the bounty, but because Castle killed his cousin, who was a member of the Irish mob that Punisher so violently ended when he was first introduced way back in Daredevil season 2. It’s nice to see Netflix keeping the continuity so tight by referencing big moments from characters’ pasts. But what’s even better is this great moment when O’Rourke tells Frank to “smile.” Does he oblige? Pfft, of course not: in the comic books, Castle almost never smiles, so Frank’s refusal to play along is just one more great wink.

#1: Netflix Crossovers


It’s a Netflix superhero show; there can’t NOT be crossovers. But with Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple apparently out of the picture following her blowout in Luke Cage season 2, we really didn’t know what to expect. We already mentioned Turk, who’s a good fit no matter what show they put him on. And then there’s Brett Mahoney, who was a beat cop when Frank first started shooting up New York, and he gets a great arc this season. But the biggest crossover character is Karen Page. Okay, we know not everyone is her biggest fan, but for those who are, it is great to see her again - especially with the cancelation of Daredevil after season 3. Seeing her months later in Punisher means we get a little more closure on her, and by extension Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson - and we know that their legal company, Nelson, Murdock and Page, is going strong.
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