Most fans headed into The Punisher Season 2 with the assumption the antagonist this season would be Jigsaw, aka Billy Russo. Actor Ben Barnes is in this season, and his character is a big problem for Frank Castle. But it actually takes several episodes for Castle and Russo to even be in the same geographical location, let alone head for a mano-a-mano showdown. Jigsaw is a problem, but he's Madani's problem that Castle agrees to take care of while he deals with the Schultzes. Who is the Schultz family in The Punisher? Warning: Spoilers for The Punisher Season 2 follow.
Castle doesn't know he's going after the Schultz family at first. His first encounter is with what seems like an odd overreaction to a small-time blackmail scheme. Amy and her gang of her teenage friends are hired to take some incriminating photos at a funeral. Then, her entire crew is murdered, and a band of thugs comes after her, lead by John Pilgrim, a religious evangelical who, despite his trappings, seems to be a stone-cold gangster.
The only contact Amy had for the blackmail photos was a guy named Konchevsky. Castle hits up longtime Marvel bit player Turk to check where the Russian mobsters hang out and find the guy. But Konchevsky is dead, and someone already came after his compatriots. Castle gets a name: Nikolai Poloznev.
But Poloznev, despite being worth several billion dollars, is just the next fish up the chain in a byzantine labyrinth. When Castle tracks Poloznev down and kidnaps him, he learns they're actually allies. The ones coming after Amy are the same ones who are coming after Poloznev's guys.
They are the Schultz family. Anderson and Eliza Schultz are the owners of Testament Industries, a billion-dollar corporation with hands in thousands of small towns all across America through farming and oil, but mostly through the evangelical church. They plan to take over America in the name of God, with their son David Schultz as the president. David is already a Senator, and moving up the political chain quickly.
There's just one problem, as Poloznev puts it: "David prefers the company of men." Not that Poloznev wants to stop David from being president over this. He just sees it as a way to own him. Poloznev wants to be the next Putin to David Schultz's Trump.
Anderson and Eliza cannot have this. This is why they sent Pilgrim, an ex-gangster, now a born-again Christian, after the photos. They have the leverage to do so, as they are paying for the treatment for Pilgrim's wife and are looking after Pilgrim's two sons.
It seems rather incredible this enormous body count is over a photo or two of a senator kissing another man in 2019. But Anderson and Eliza's determination to take over the world knows no boundaries. It also has deep pockets, as they offer a $5 million bounty on Castle and Amy's heads.
The only question is how deep their son is on this plot with them. Sometimes it's not the crime, but the cover-up that takes a politician down.