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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Jigsaw from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Jigsaw (Marvel).
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Trust me when I tell you that if Frank doesn't come after my guy today, nobody will be more relieved than me. That's the nature of the lives we chose, I guess. Make tough decisions. Live or die by it.
~ Jigsaw to Dinah.
The Punisher? What a crock of shit. You always did care too goddamn much.
~ Billy to Frank during the final showdown.
I dreamed about the Punisher every night. He thinks, he has the right to judge me. I want him to feel what I feel.
~ Billy Russo in the Season 2 Trailer
Curt? Curtis, here! I knew you'd come, and... Frankie. You don't look so good. Of course it's you. I should have known. If I'm gonna be with somebody, I'm... I'm happy that it's you. Frank... whatever I've done, I'm s--
~ Billy's last words before Frank executes him.
William "Billy" Russo is the main antagonist of the Netflix series Marvel's The Punisher, serving as one of the two main antagonists (along with Agent Orange) of the first season and one of the two main antagonists (along with Anderson Schultz) of the second season.
He once was the best friend and squad mate of Frank Castle during their time in the U.S. Special Forces. He also leads Anvil, a private military contractor in New York City. Despite their friendship, Billy would be revealed to have betrayed Frank to his boss Agent Orange during an operation overseas called Cerberus, which results in Frank not only losing his family but also setting him on the path to become the vigilante known as Punisher. By doing so, he becomes one of Castle’s main targets. Russo also sets out to kill Castle before Castle can do the same to him. Upon recovering from his injuries sustained from his fight with Castle, he starts his own gang, earns the nickname Jigsaw and becomes his archenemy.
He was portrayed by Ben Barnes, who also played Dorian Gray in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Logan Delos in Westworld, and General Kirigan/The Darkling in Shadow and Bone.
Russo had a very difficult childhood in New York City. Growing up, he lived very poorly. His mother was a meth addict who emotionally neglected her children. Later, he was put in foster care and lived in a group home. Russo was also a victim of attempted child molestation; luckily, he was already able at the time to defend himself, but not without being severely injured by the perpetrator.
Billy became a lieutenant in the U.S. Special Forces and befriended Frank Castle. During one mission, Russo and Castle became trapped in house in Basra and saved each other's lives multiple times. Russo and Castle joined several other soldiers for a briefing by Agent Orange, who explained they were helping to end the war, as Major Ray Schoonover explained they had joined Operation Cerberus, although Russo continued joking. Cornered by Frank Castle at the carousel where Frank’s family was killed, a plot that Billy (who had been Frank’s closest friend in the military) knew about, the suave former special-ops soldier pleads for Frank to kill him, only to be denied an easy way out. Instead, Frank smashes Billy’s face into a mirror, scraping it against shards, leaving him with a scarred face and brain injuries resulting in memory loss.
While being unconscious for months, Russo begins to have constant nightmares of Frank Castle torturing him on the same night where his face was mutilated.
As the nightmares continued, a psychotherapist named Krista Dumont arrived to help with his fear. Two police guards come inside the room to subdue him; however, Russo manages to fight back with complete resilience and is able to take down the guards. He is able to run away since Krista decides not tell anyone about this.
As Frank aproaches him, Russo tries to apologize but Frank shoots him multiple times before he can finish his sentence.
While initially appearing to be an arrogant (but still caring) comrade and friend, Billy is in fact a selfish, manipulative and ruthless businessman. Billy felt unwanted and unloved most of his life, and desired a sense of self-worth. However, this led to him becoming narcissistic and self-preserving, caring only for himself as he has only had himself to rely on his whole life. Frank Castle became the first real friend and form of family in Billy’s life, but despite not participating in the murder of Frank and his family, Billy’s loyalty was not strong enough to risk everything for them, even though Frank would have done anything to protect Billy. Frank points out that Billy may have been arrogant but he had honor, and did not develop his narcissistic personality until after his time with Cerberus. In the heat of battle, Billy can be very brutal and vicious as well as reckless, as he loved to taunt his opponents before killing them.
Upon losing some of his memory during the second season, Billy Russo becomes more paranoid and more violence driven whenever he gets into a fight. His attitude becomes completely unstable to the point that he throws constant tantrums and is driven to find out who scarred his face. Upon meeting Krista Dumont, Billy Russo becomes more open and kind-hearted towards her, but still retains some violent reactions. However, his arrogance rises to the point where he decides to hire war veterans and make them commit heists. His influence does corrupt Krista Dumont to the point where they both start to fall in love with one another and would do anything for one another.
In the comics, Billy Russo was a ruthless gangster nicknamed "The Beaut" for his good looks, not for being a war veteran or a businessman. After his initial altercation with Punisher, his face was horrifically disfigured and henceforth went by the alias of Jigsaw.
Even though Agent Orange served as the Big Bad Duumvirate, Russo was a more personal antagonist for Frank because, even though he didn't participate in the murder of Frank's family, he knew that Orange was planning the murder and did nothing. After Frank killed Agent Orange, Russo became the final antagonist of the season, although his death didn't happen til Season 2.
Billy claimed that he was named after the most famous outlaw Billy the Kid. In a sense of irony his relationship with Frank Castle mirror's to the story of Billy the Kid, except the role of Billy is played by Frank and his partner who betrayed Billy the Kid is played by Billy Russo.
There is a mistake made in season 2, that everyone says Billy was the one who killed Frank's family, which is not true as he just knew about it but didn't do it himself.