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Brotherhood is the hall of mirrors, looking back at you, reflecting your own self back at you. But there comes a time, you gotta smash the mirror, and look inside and decide, "Who am I? What kind of man am I?" You gotta understand your own true nature.
~ John Pilgrim

Robert, or better known as John Pilgrim, is the central antagonist of the second season of the Netflix series Marvel's The Punisher. He is a brutal assassin hired by Eliza and Anderson Schultz to kill Amy Bendix, which then pitted him against Frank Castle/the Punisher.

He is portrayed by Josh Stewart, who also portrayed Rupert Ames in Law Abiding Citizen and Barsad in The Dark Knight Rises.

History

John was hired by Anderson Schultz and his wife Eliza to kill Amy Bendix, who unintentionally took photographs of their son David kissing a man, which would ruin their names and their legacy. While doing this assignment, Anderson kept his wife and children safe, and he was promised a fancy house for them. While trying to kill Amy, he then found himself up against Frank Castle/the Punisher.

He ended up killing dozens of people for Anderson and unknowingly assisted his plans to take over the world. After his wife died, John entered a deep depression where Anderson then revealed to John that they kidnapped his two sons and held them captive until he killed Amy and Castle. During shootout in a hotel he finally managed to capture Amy and set a deal with Castle for an exchange.

Pilgrim is ordered to release Amy. However, he starts a rough battle with Castle as he realizes that Castle did not bring David to him. Frank knocked John on the ground, and as he is heavily injured, he begs Frank not to kill his children. He redeems himself, calling Frank the whirlwind.

Pilgrim later takes him to the Schultzs' residence. There, Castle rescues his two sons and kills Eliza Schultz and walks out with Amy Bendix before hearing Anderson shooting himself. Pilgrim then drives off with his sons to finally live a peaceful life.

Personality

Being a ruthless and cruel killer for a White Supremacist Gang early in his life, John Pilgrim later became a quiet and restrained man as well as a loving husband and father.

Despite being forced to return to his violent nature during the chase for Amy Bendix, he did not seem to feel any pleasure doing so. Instead, he carried out his mission without any display of emotion at all both when killing people and when suffering heavy injuries himself.

However, Pilgrim now seemed to despise violence as he sought to avoid it at several opportunities, for instance when he tried to convince the police captain guarding Frank Castle and Bendix to give them up in order to avoid any further bloodshed.

With his faith in God, Pilgrim valued live very much although he would not hesitate to use violence and even deadly force if he considered it necessary for achieving his goals, hoping to return to his wife and sons the soonest possible.

Trivia

  • John Pilgrim was speculated to be one of the two main antagonists of the season alongside Jigsaw. However, Anderson Schultz and Eliza Schultz took that role as they had bigger plans than any one of them.
  • He is based on the Punisher villain, Mennonite, a violent assassin who left his work to be with his wife, Mary. But after becoming desperate for money to save her, Mennonite was hired by a mafia to kill the Punisher.
  • John Pilgrim is currently the only major villain in the Punisher series to not get killed or incarcerated. He is also one of only two villains from the Marvel Netflix shows who didn't get killed or imprisoned, the other being Bushmaster.

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