Only the Good Die Young

The Boys | Amazon Prime Video | S2 E8: What I Know

We’ve arrived at the season 2 finale of The Boys. It’s been gross and violent, boring and thrilling, and very head-splattering. How could this season possibly end? [Major spoilers for The Boys follow].

We open with a Vought sponsored PSA: Homelander and a sheriff talk about school safety and what do if a Super Villain attacks; it includes an armed teacher and kids using their school supplies as weapons as they wait for dispatched Super Hero. It’s very matter of fact, as if it was for fire or drug safety.

The Boys (1)

Mallory and Victoria Neuman are talking to Defense Secretary Robert Singer (Jim Beaver), who tells them the president is declaring a state of emergency and authorizing the use of Compound V by law enforcement and first responders after the events at the courthouse.

Outside the underground lair, Starlight says goodbye to Donna and makes sure she follows a plan to stay safe. Donna gives her a gold cross and says she doesn’t care if she wears it – she just wants her to have it; they hug and Donna heads off.

Underground, Frenchie is demonstrating an EMP weapon aimed at taking out Stormfront when Starlight and Hughie join them. Starlight offers to testify about Vought, but MM says escaped convicts’ testimonies don’t mean much. She comes up with a plan and asks for a day before The Boys go nuts on Vought, and grabs Hughie to go with her.

The Boys watching Billy & Becca

It seems Mrs. Butcher has taken to fleeing from her idyllic yet fake suburban home, as we see Becca hiding in a wooded area while people search for her. She shows up at the storefront of the underground lair and tells Butcher that Homelander took Ryan.

The Boys get some food and a drink for Becca and say they’ve heard a lot about her. Butcher tells her to stay while he does a little digging; he promises to find Ryan for her.

Starlight and Hughie

Starlight and Hughie are driving and she asks him what the deal is with his love of Billy Joel. Starlight says Butcher is right; they’ve tried taking down Vought the legal way but it’s never worked. She asks Hughie why he helped her at Vought, and why he didn’t give up on her; he says he would never give up on her.

They go to Maeve’s apartment; Starlight asks Maeve to testify against Vought, Homelander, and everything else but Maeve’s not interested. Maeve says she’s done enough for Starlight by saving her life; nothing ever changes, and she’s tired. She yells at Starlight to take Hughie and leave, and they go.

On the drive back, Starlight shows Hughie her cross, and complains about her mother; she apologizes to Hughie, who tells her his mother isn’t dead (!). She left them when Hughie was six years old; she and Hughie had dance parties and that’s where his love of Billy Joel came from. As they’re talking A-Train shows up in the back seat of their car; Hughie pulls over and they all get out. A-Train gives Starlight a file folder and says they’re even; he says he wants back into The Seven and he needs Stormfront gone.

Elsewhere

Butcher phone, now with Siri.

Alastair Adana and Stan Edgar share a meal and discuss The Deep and A-Train coming back to The Seven. Stan says Stormfront has issues with A-Train and he has to indulge her for the time being, so he cannot come back; he is open to The Deep returning, though.

As he leaves the meeting with Alastair, Edgar gets a phone call from Butcher. Later, Butcher meets Edgar at an otherwise empty restaurant. Butcher says that Ryan is a contingency plan, and that plan doesn’t work if Homelander is playing dad to Ryan but Butcher can fix that for Edgar.

Edgar tells Butcher the situation is just business, and he’ll do whatever’s best for Vought, no matter what Stormfront does, or who she hates. Butcher says he can get Ryan away from Homelander, and when he does Edgar can come get him – and do a better job of hiding him; however, Becca isn’t part of the deal. Butcher says to find Ryan a new mother, because he’s taking his wife back; he tells Edgar to tell Becca keeping them apart is the only way to keep Ryan safe from Homelander. Stan agrees and the men shake on it.

The Supes

Homelander watches a news report in the Vought conference room, and Stormfront joins him. He asks about Black Noir, and she says he’s unresponsive; he may have brain damage but it’s “hard to tell.”

They join Ryan, who’s hanging out with Ashley. Ryan wants to call Becca, but Stormfront asks if he wants to go on a field trip – to Planet Vought (a Planet Hollywood type restaurant). Homelander and Stormfront are besieged by fans, and Ryan gets freaked out at the crowd. He tells Homelander he wants his mom, and Homelander takes Ryan and flies off.

Father of the year #not

At his cabin, Homelander waits outside while Ryan is inside; Stormfront flies to the cabin and tells Homelander to just talk to his son. They go inside and Ryan apologizes; Homelander says he felt the same way when he first encountered a crowd, and he flew away and cried his eyes out. He tells Ryan he’ll help him figure things out because he loves him. It’s a bonding moment.

Later, Homelander is teaching Ryan how to use his heat vision (to melt a Deep action figure!), but he can’t seem to use his powers. Homelander tells Ryan to imagine someone he hates, but Ryan says he doesn’t really hate anyone. Stormfront tells Ryan bad guys want to hurt them because of the color of their skin, and they need people like Ryan to fight on their side. Heavy for a little kid!

The Boys (2)

Butcher goes back to the underground lair, and tells Becca he knows where Ryan is – in a cabin upstate. Hughie is back and tells Butcher how great Becca is; then he shows Butcher what he and Starlight brought back with them. Butcher says the folder from A-Train is a jackpot and it will do nicely. Butcher tells The Boys that getting back Ryan is his job, but they’re not having it; they all prepare to go to war.

Butcher makes a promise

They grab weapons as Hughie takes pictures of some things in A-Train’s folder and shoots off an e-mail with the subject “Stormfront is a Nazi.” Becca grabs a gun and tells Butcher she’s coming with them; she says she likes his friend, especially Hughie, because he’s “good for” Butcher. She asks him to promise he’ll get Ryan back to her because he can’t grow up like Homelander did. He swears to her, on Lenny’s soul, that he will.

Kimiko asks Frenchie what happens if she freezes again when she sees Stormfront; he says she can take care of herself and when the time comes, she’ll know what to do.

Speaking of… Stormfront gets an alert on her phone, gets upset and flies off. She goes to Vought Tower, where newscasts are reporting her Nazi past, including her marriage to Frederick Vought. The Boys see her leave and spring into action.

Endgame (1)

As Homelander and Ryan are watching the news, they hear a deafening sound and Homelander goes out to investigate. He flies off, leaving Ryan, and Butcher and Becca drive to the cabin. They go in and Becca puts headphones on Ryan and the three leave. Meanwhile, Homelander finds the source of the sound – dozens of Vought speakers – and destroys it.

Butcher brings Becca and Ryan back to where The Boys are waiting. He tells MM to get Becca and Ryan to Mallory so she can get them somewhere safe. Becca asks what’s going on and Butcher tells her he cut a deal with Edgar to take Ryan but he couldn’t go through with it.

Vought soldiers come into the cabin looking for Butcher and Ryan as Homelander returns and asks where Ryan is. He kills a soldier and yells his question again…

Are you laughing at me?

Butcher tells Becca to raise Ryan right; they have a tearful goodbye as she gets back in the car with MM and Ryan. As they’re driving away, though, Stormfront arrives and attacks the car, sending it flying and flipping over. Butcher runs to the car as Stormfront marches towards Starlight and The Boys.

MM and Becca get out of the car as Butcher runs up and they get Ryan out; MM tells them to run and they’ll hold off Stormfront.

As Stormfront and Starlight argue, Kimiko has a moment of clarity and starts to laugh. She motions to Frenchie and explains exactly what she plans to do to Stormfront, as Starlight, Stormfront and Kimiko start fighting. Stormfront destroys the EMP device with an electrical explosion, and Kimiko attacks her; the two wrestle the ground but Stormfront gets the upper hand and snaps Kimiko’s neck.

Watching the ladies work

Hughie, MM and Frenchie all shoot Stormfront but the bullets don’t phase her; she sends bolts of electricity towards them, knocking them back. Starlight attacks, but Stormfront knocks her down. Maeve then joins the fight as Kimiko un-snaps (?) her neck and gets back up. Maeve, Kimiko and Starlight then all attack Stormfront as Frenchie, Hughie and MM look on. Stormfront is beaten up but flies off.

Homelander comes out of the cabin, covered in blood, as Stormfront flies to the woods to intercept Butcher, Becca and Ryan. Stormfront shoots Butcher back, but Becca stabs Stormfront in the eye. Stormfront attacks Becca; Butcher tries shooting the Supe then hitting her with a crowbar. Ryan gets upset and his eyes start glowing red and the screen goes white…

We then see Butcher on the ground and when he gets up, he sees a bloody Stormfront on the ground speaking German; her legs and arms are burned off and half her face is also burned. Ryan is crying and apologizes to his mom as we see Becca lying on the ground against a tree, bleeding from her neck. Butcher runs over as Ryan apologizes; Butcher yells for help as Becca tells him “it’s not his fault,” “he’s good,” and to promise he’ll keep him safe. Becca dies in front of him as he cries and kisses her head; Ryan is sobbing and apologizing as Butcher looks over. He grabs the crowbar as Homelander flies down to where they are. Stormfront continues to speak German as Homelander asks Ryan if he “did this.” Ryan says he didn’t mean to, and Homelander calls him over to him, but Ryan stands behind Butcher.

Finally taking control

Homelander laughs and says Ryan is his; he asks Butcher if he’s going to save the one who killed his wife. Butcher says he “promised”, and as Homelander starts walking towards them, Maeve arrives and tells Homelander to stop. She tells Homelander he’s going to let them go, stop hunting Starlight, and leave her and Elena alone or she will release the cell phone footage from the plane.

He says if she does that, he’ll destroy everything and everyone; Maeve says that’s fine as long as no one ever loves him again. He hears crowds chanting his name as Butcher picks up Ryan and walks away.

Endgame (2)

At a press conference, Stan Edgar blames the Washington head-explodey attack solely on Stormfront , as we see Starlight (in her old uniform) with Homelander and Maeve on stage next to him. Edgar says the release of Compound V has been put on hold.

Homelander takes the mic and says Maeve and Starlight neutralized Stormfront, who is being held in an undisclosed location. He apologizes to Starlight for being wrongfully accused, welcomes her back to the team, and assures the public that Stormfront will be punished.

The Deep and A-Train are watching the press conference and Alastair joins them. He tells them someone stole private data regarding Stormfront; Alastair knows it was A-Train. He says Vought needs to take a firm anti-Nazi stance right now, so Alastair spoke to Stan Edgar and A-Train is back in The Seven. Since there was only one slot, though, there’s no room for The Deep. The Deep gets angry for signing over his bank account and everything he had over to the church in exchange for getting back in The Seven; he curses Fresca and leaves.

Hughie meets Starlight in the park and notices she’s wearing the gold cross; she says if Billy Butcher can do the right thing “then there’s got to be some kind of higher power.” He asks her if it’s safe to go back to Vought, but she says she doesn’t know; she just needs to be there. They kiss, and Hughie says he’s going to try to be less clingy – but not with her. They kiss again, and she asks what he was referring to when he said he’d be less clingy…

So that’s a ‘yes’, then?

Butcher and Ryan are sitting by a body of water, and Ryan tells him he’s scared. Butcher takes a St. Christopher medal necklace from his neck and gives it to Ryan; he said it belonged to Becca, who will help keep him safe. Mallory arrives with some black SUVs, and Ryan gets into one and they drive away.

Butcher tells Mallory that Vought will want him back, but she says to let her handle them. She tells him all the charges against him and The Boys have been dropped (even the crimes they did commit – handy!), so he’s a free man. She says the White House is opening an Office of Supe affairs, headed by Victoria Neuman. Victoria is giving Mallory some off the books funding for a secret team to keep tabs on the Supes, if he’s interested…

Postgame

MM goes back home and gets a warm welcome from his daughter; Frenchie and Kimiko leave the underground lair for some dancing.

More than meets the eye

Homelander says he can do “whatever he wants” as he stands on a building, with no pants on, erm, masturbating.

Alastair calls Victoria and congratulates her on the Office of Supe Affairs; she says she knows it was his intel that took down Stormfront. He says he has enough dirt to ruin a dozen Supes and Stan Egdar if she’s willing to expedite his church’s tax exempt status. She says it’s a small price to pay as they hang up.

As he opens a can of Fresca, Alastair’s head explodes; we then see Victoria standing outside his office, using her powers (!).

Victoria goes to her office, where Hughie is waiting. She says she doesn’t know how to repay him; he says she can repay him with a job. He wants to fight Vought – the right way – and since he never fit in with The Boys, it’s time for him to stand on his own two feet. She asks him when he can start and closes her door.

The Wrap Up

So that’s a wrap on season 2! What a roller coaster of a season; deaths, lots of heads exploding, violence and gore, and lots of C words. Overall, if I had to give the season a letter grade, I’d give it a solid B- to B. For me, it was a good season but there were too many storylines that didn’t go anywhere, or were just unnecessary. I think I’ll do another post on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of season 2 since so very much happened in this finale (and this is becoming a novel length recap). What this episode did do well is perfectly set up the already-greenlit-by-Amazon season 3, and I’m anxious to see where The Boys and The Supes go from here with all the new info revealed in the finale. What does a (kinda) government sanctioned Boys team look like, potentially without Hughie? Will Homelander actually go along with Maeve’s blackmail and back off? And what, oh what, is Victoria’s end goal? This show has single handedly taken the super hero genre and flipped it on its head, then blew up its head, leaving a bloody stump. Who could ask for anything more? M

Hold On to Your Heads

The Boys | Amazon Prime Video | Season 2 Episode 7:
Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

Can the penultimate episode of The Boys season 2 top last week’s crazy, over the top, exposition and fight heavy spectacle?

The Supes

We see through the eyes of college student Tommy Patterson how the public is receiving the constant barrage of news about Vought, Supes, and potential Supe terrorists, with Stormfront at the forefront. Tommy is reading articles, listening to newscasts, and taking in every word; he gets paranoid that a local shop owner who he regularly interacts with, named Kuldeep Singh, is a Supe terrorist and shoots him dead.

Stormfront and Homelander addressing the crowd

Homelander and Stormfront address a rally and say they don’t condone what happened to Kuldeep; they say they need more Supes to deal with the threat of Supe terrorists. Homelander calls out Starlight for being a mole within The Seven; he says she’s been apprehended and can’t hurt anyone else.

After the rally, Homelander tells Stormfront it’s a mistake keeping Starlight alive; he says he underestimated her once and won’t again. Stormfront says she’s a common enemy that can unite their cause; she watches a baby in the crowd and says it reminds her of her daughter, 80 years ago.

The two Supes visit Becca and Ryan, and Homelander introduces Stormfront to his son. Stormfront says Ryan is special, as he is the first natural born super hero. Homelander tells them he wants them all to be family, and will be visiting more, since he wants Ryan to get to know Stormfront.

Later, Ryan shows Stormfront a video of his Lego reenactment of “The Blind Side,” and says he’s also done “Dances With Wolves” and “Terms of Endearment.” Stormfront asks Ryan if he’s into anything that other kids are into, like Pewdiepie. She tells him he’s old enough to have sleepovers and go to baseball games and go to Voughtland, where Homelander has his own roller coaster. Becca gets annoyed and talks to Homelander outside; he tells her he was raised the same way and that Ryan needs to see the outside world in order not to panic and mess him up. Becca says Ryan is different because he has a mother; she says what’s best for him is to be with her – she begs him to let her raise Ryan and he reluctantly agrees.

Becca is making dinner and goes to look for Ryan; he’s outside with Homelander and Stormfront and when he sees her, Ryan calls her a liar. He says they flew him up to see the neighborhood and it’s all fake; Homelander says he deserved to know the truth. Ryan gets angry and says he hates Becca; he runs to Homelander and with Stormfront they fly off, leaving Becca.

The Boys

Lamplighter meets with Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (in Grace’s house?) about his role in Sage Grove while The Boys hang out, with Mallory. Victoria tells Mallory that Lamplighter will be a good witness for the Vought hearings, but he’s not enough. She says she’s going to need more info about what was going on at the facility, and Mallory says they might know someone who can provide that – and that they’ll have to trust each other.

The Boys watch Victoria leave, and Mallory tells Frenchie to keep Victoria alive – and not to abandon his post this time. He responds with a “Oui, madame.”

Hughie tells Butcher he’s going with them, but Butcher tells him to stay and watch Lamplighter; as they’re getting ready to leave, Butcher gets a phone call – from his mother, Connie (Lesley Nicol). After declining the first call, he answers the phone and she says she’s in New York. He said she shouldn’t have spent the money, and as he’s talking Connie tells him his father is dead. She says she needs to see him “right now.”

Hughie joins Lamplighter, who is watching some Supe XXX DVDs, and Lamplighter says he’s dead if he goes and testifies; he says he was a prodigy and now he feels useless. Hughie tells him he thought he found what he was meant to do with Butcher and The Boys, but he’s terrible at his new job.

Star-witness Jonah

MM and Mallory drive to a gated estate; when they pull up Mallory asks for “Jonah”, and someone on an intercom says he’s not taking visitors. When she says who she is, the gates open and they drive through to the house. They are led inside and meet Jonah Vogelbaum (John Doman). MM asks him what he knows about Sage Grove, but he says he doesn’t know anything. Grace says Vought f***ed him, and now he can do the same to them… if he testifies. Ultimately, he says some things are “more important than the right thing” and MM and Grace leave. She tells him to go back to his wife and daughter – she can get them all to Nicaragua; she tells him to go and never look back, and that she wishes she had.

Frenchie and Kimiko are keeping watch over Victoria, and he recounts cooking with his mama; he again asks her to teach him her sign language so they can talk, and she teaches him how to sign “gun.”

Starlight

Donna meets Starlight at a coffee shop, and tells her she never left town. Starlight tells her mom that she feels stupid; the good guys don’t win, and it’s all for money. She gets upset that she’s in the middle of it all, alone. Donna tells her she’s not alone and they could take a vacation; she says she already cleared it with Ashley, not knowing Starlight was hiding from Vought. As they talk, a smoke grenade comes flying through the shop’s window, and Black Noir comes through and attacks and knocks Starlight out.

Starlight wakes up in a dark, secure room, where she’s obviously being held.

Hughie and Lamplighter

Hughie sees Homelander’s rally and learns that Starlight has been captured; he tries to call Butcher but can’t get through. Lamplighter says she’s probably in “42-D”, a Supe proof cell in Vought Tower. Hughie asks Lamplighter to show him how to get in and help Starlight and Lamplighter agrees.

Lamplighter shows Hughie a secret entrance in which he used to sneak college girls into Vought Tower; at an elevator, he uses a hand-scanning panel, and he still has security access to the building.

They arrive at 42-D, and go through the halls; they’re actually at the conference room in front of which are the statues of The Seven. Lamplighter sees his statue has been replaced (with Starlight), and in the conference room, he sets himself ablaze, killing him. Hughie (grossly) severs Lamplighter’s hand for the security panels.

Lamplighter’s fire sets off the fire alarm and the sprinklers come on; an emergency light in Starlight’s cell gives her the juice she needs to regain some of her powers, so she blasts open the door to her cell. As she’s walking down the hallway, Black Noir grabs her and throws her through the conference room wall, where she sees Lamplighter’s body. The two fight; he beats her up and is strangling her when Maeve grabs him off of her and stuffs an Almond Joy in his mouth. She tells Starlight he has a tree nut allergy, and kicks away his Epi-pen, leaving him gasping on the floor.

Starlight tells Maeve to come with her, but Maeve shakes her head and leaves.

Hughie runs back the way he came and hears someone asking for help so he unlocks a door with Lamplighter’s hand and Donna comes out and joins him. They meet up with Starlight; she asks him what he’s doing there and he smiles. Awwww. Severed hand in, well, hand, he says he knows the way out…

Butcher

Butcher meets Connie at her hotel, and she leads him out to a terrace where his father, Sam (oh, hi, John Noble!) is waiting. He turns to leave but Connie convinces him to stay. Sam says he just wants to talk, and Butcher says he’ll give him 2 minutes. Sam says he knows he hasn’t been the perfect father; he says he never got a chance to say goodbye to Lenny, but Butcher says he’s the reason Lenny is dead.

Papa Butcher

Sam says you have to choose to sink or swim, and Lenny chose to sink. He said he was hard on his sons but it just made Butcher fearless and tough. We learn Lenny committed suicide, and Butcher ran off to join the special forces. When Sam says Butcher abandoned Lenny, he attacks his father; Connie breaks them up and Butcher leaves.

Butcher is in a bar drinking when MM calls him and tells him about Vogelbaum; he says he’ll “take care of it.”

Butcher shows up at Jonah’s house and the two men chat about Homelander when he was a boy; Jonah says when he was around 5 or 6 he was very sweet. Butcher says Jonah kept Becca away from him for all those years, and for that he’s going to kill Jonah’s daughter, his sons and their families, unless he helps him.

Mama Butcher

The Boys (and Starlight) go back to Grace’s house; she is on the phone with Butcher and says Hughie let their star witness burn himself, and Starlight thanks him. Butcher says he has it sorted, and goes to meet him mom at a coffee shop. She says Sam is at the airport, and she didn’t mean for it to go so badly. She says he only has a few months to live, so Butcher won’t have to see him again. She thought when Butcher saw how helpless his father was, he would let his anger go. Butcher hugs his mother and she leaves.

Back in the underground lair, The Boys, Starlight (and Donna) watch the hearings. Jonah is introduced, and comes into the courtroom, as Maeve, Stormfront and Homelander look on.

As soon as he is sworn in, the speaker conducting the hearing head explodes; as everyone is in shock, Jonah’s head explodes, followed by several others. The court is in pandemonium and Hughie asks “What do we do now?”

Elsewhere

Elena tells Maeve she’s going to stay with her sister; she gets upset about the plane footage, and says she wonders what else Maeve has done. She says she’s not blaming Maeve, but she needs time; Maeve flips the dining room table and sends it flying. She tells Elena “this is the real [her]”, and Elena says she knows, and she’s sorry.

Later, Ashley goes to Maeve’s apartment looking for her and finds her in bed with two men. Ashley says they need Elena to proudly sit behind Maeve at the hearings, but Maeve tells her Elena is gone.

At a party, The Deep is having fun with wife Cassandra. A-Train shows up and gives him a goldfish as a gift, and apology for being mean to him. We learn it’s a birthday party for Alastair Adana, who comes over and talks to them. He says he has a meeting with Stan Edgar, and Vought “needs” A-Train and The Deep. He asks what they think of Eagle the Archer, who The Deep likes, but turns on him when Alastair says he’s persona non grata.

The Deep and A-Train watch a news report on Eagle, who says he wouldn’t cut his mom out of his life; when he refused the church leaked a video of his partner dressed as a deer, that Eagle hunted and mounted…

The Wrap Up

So one episode to go in the season (how time flies!) and this literal head-popping episode surely sets up a battle between The Boys and The Supes. Who’s popping all these heads, and how? And why?! What’s Homelander going to do with Ryan now that he’s Super Dad? What’s Stormfront’s real interest in Ryan? Is Black Noir dead? Hopefully we’ll get some answers and an epic showdown to cap off a crazy, super, second season. M

Thank You For Being a Friend

The Boys | Amazon Prime Video | Season 2 Episode 6: The Bloody Doors Off

If last week’s episode was nothing but filler (and it was), this episode was nothing but killer. We got tons of backstory, secrets revealed, allegiances tested, several Golden Girls references, and a whole lot of action. Let’s recap!

Flashback Frenchie

Flashback (1): Frenchie is extolling the virtues of The Golden Girls to Cherie and Jay (Michael Ayres); he says the Girls made their own family, and Cherie and Jay are his Blanche and Dorothy, respectively, and that of course he is Betty White. He holds up a bomb and asks “Who wants to rob a bank?”

The Boys

Starlight tells Frenchie and Hughie she needs her Vought tracking chip removed because Stormfront knows she leaked the story about Compound V. Frenchie uses a small circular saw on Starlight’s neck, and manages to puncture her skin (grossly) and take out the chip.

In home base, Butcher and Kimiko watch Stormfront and Homelander in an interview and Butcher says “they’re f***ing,” keying in on their relationship. Starlight goes back to the underground lair with Hughie and Frenchie; Kimiko hugs her when she see her.

Hughie tells Butcher that Starlight has a lead on Stormfront: dozens of e-mails from Stan Edgar regarding a potential breakthrough at Sage Grove Center, a psychiatric hospital in Pennsylvania. Butcher says they’ll investigate with Starlight, in case Vought comes looking for any of them.

At Sage Grove, Frenchie, Kimiko and MM dress as orderlies. Butcher and Hughie wait in a wooded area with their van, and Butcher watches as Starlight fries a chain link fence so the “orderlies” can get through; they take off running towards the hospital and Starlight heads back. She asks Butcher why he hates her so much, since she hates Vought as much as he does. She says he’s just a bigot and a bully just because of what’s in her blood. Just then, Stormfront arrives at the hospital…

Flashback (2): Later, potentially after said bank robbery, Mallory interviews Frenchie in an interrogation room; she offers him a job working for her. He’s not too keen on the idea at first, but Mallory says Cherie and Jay can go free instead of going to a super-max prison, if he joins her.

MM, Frenchie and Kimiko

Inside, Frenchie tells Kimiko to get on a stretcher, but she motions and he gets on instead; she and MM wheel him through the halls.

Don’t mess with Cindy

The Boys take out a guard and manage to get into the security room, where they see dozens of cameras on cells that contain people with super powers. They watch as a male orderly (Shawn Ashmore) and Stormfront go into one of the cells. They talk to one of the patients and ask about his powers; they say he was admitted because he was suicidal. When he says he won’t cooperate until he can talk to his sister, Stormfront agrees and leaves the room; the male orderly closes the door behind her and lights the patient on fire.

In the control room, Frenchie yells out that it’s Lamplighter, and they have to kill him for what he did to Mallory’s grandchildren. Hughie calls MM and tells him Stormfront just flew away so they need to get out of there. Frenchie gets back on the stretcher and Kimiko and MM wheel him out again.

The Boys pass Lamplighter in a hallway, and he seemingly recognizes Frenchie; Frenchie jumps off the stretcher and Lamplighter tries to attack him with fire, but Frenchie pushes his arm, so he ends up incinerating a nearby door. The patient in the room, Cindy, comes through the door and Lamplighter tries to keep her calm. A guard comes behind Cindy and shoots her several times, but she simply turns around and makes a fist and the guard explodes (grossly). The Boys and Lamplighter run away and barricade themselves in the security room as Cindy crushes all the doors to the patient rooms. The patients come out and start killing all the guards and doctors.

A patient who vomits acid breaks into the security room and attacks Lamplighter, but Kimiko pulls him off and throws him as his acid burns his own face; he dies in front of them. Lamplighter takes The Boys to the drug storage room and tells Frenchie he remembers him: he was following him the night he “torched those kids.” He asks why Frenchie didn’t stop him; Frenchie gets enraged, but is held back by MM.

Flashback (3): In a warehouse, MM shows Frenchie and Mallory an engagement ring. Butcher gets their attention, and Lamplighter walks in. The Boys laugh at the spectacle of his costume and flaming staff and say he looks like a majorette. They’re not wrong! Mallory shows him some pictures, and tells him he’s going to tell them everything he sees and hears in Vought Tower. Lamplighter leaves, and Mallory says she doesn’t like the situation; he’s an animal backed into a corner. She tells Frenchie to follow him.

Back in the hospital, Frenchie helps himself to some drugs, and says he can make a “knockout bomb” with some supplies. He asks Lamplighter why The Boys were still alive; Lamplighter says they “weren’t worth it,” but Frenchie realized Lamplighter never told The Seven what he had done. He tells Frenchie he didn’t know the kids were going to be there, and that it was supposed to be Mallory who died, but once he realized it wasn’t her, it was too late. Lamplighter says he saw Frenchie following him, and then Frenchie disappeared; Lamplighter asks Frenchie again why he didn’t stop him, which MM says is a good question.

Flashback (4): Frenchie follows Lamplighter, but gets a call from Cherie, who tells him Jay is OD’ing. He leaves and goes back home, and tries to resuscitate Jay; he does CPR, gets him breathing and tells Cherie to look after him. He leaves them to go back after Lamplighter.

Frenchie finishes his makeshift bomb, and Lamplighter explains what they’re doing at Sage Grove: trying to stabilize Compound V. Infants take it well, but adults have a random sets of outcomes when exposed to it. Vought wants to create a stable compound that works on any adult; Lamplighter doesn’t know why, he just burns the evidence. Frenchie tells Lamplighter about Jay and why he wasn’t there to stop him; Lamplighter asks if he lived, and Frenchie says he did, but died a few months later from another overdose.

Guilt ridden Frenchie

After a fight with a patient’s Supe penis (let’s leave it at that), The Boys and Lamplighter try to make their way out of the hospital; they come across Cindy, and Frenchie throws his bomb near her. Gas comes out but she just crushes and breaks it. As she’s turning towards them Stormfront comes in and zaps Cindy, knocking her out, as she yells out for Lamplighter. He goes out and leads her away from The Boys; she leaves and he rejoins them.

The Boys take an ambulance and get away from the hospital; in a wooded area they regroup. Frenchie apologizes to Kimiko for trying to ‘save’ her; he thought he could make up for the things he did, but she never asked to be saved and she can’t absolve him. He says he’ll leave her alone.

A car comes to meet them, and Mallory gets out; she asks where “he” is. They open the ambulance and Lamplighter is sitting there; Mallory pulls her gun on him, and he says she’d be doing him a favor if she did it. Frenchie begs her for his life, but she says she has no choice; Frenchie says Lamplighter is tormented by what he’s done and she’d just be ending that torment. She asks Frenchie what they should do with him…

Butcher, Hughie and Starlight

Hughie is watching the carnage at the hospital, while Butcher tries to call MM. One of the patients comes near Butcher, Starlight and Hughie, and he releases a burst of energy, knocking Starlight and Butcher back and flipping the van with Hughie inside. Butcher shoots the patient dead, and checks on Hughie, who’s been impaled through the stomach. Starlight tries to use her powers to cauterize the wound, but her powers are drained; Butcher and Starlight take Hughie to get help.

They stop a passing car and try to commandeer it, but the driver gets antsy and pulls a gun on them. To get Butcher to stand down, Starlight uses her powers on the man, who flies back and hits his head, inadvertently killing him. She takes some power from the car to cauterize Hughie’s wound; Starlight and Hughie get in the back of the car, next to a car seat, and Butcher drives as they leave the scene.

Butcher tells Starlight he appreciates what she did, and that she didn’t have a choice. She tells Butcher maybe once she would have cried over the situation, but now that man was just another person in her way. Butcher seemingly approves, which angers her; she says they are nothing alike.

Butcher and Starlight get to a hospital, where Hughie is treated; Starlight talks to the doctors and tells Butcher that Hughie should be okay in a few days. They bond over Hughie’s kid shampoo and Axe body spray; Starlight says Hughie never gives up on them, and that he’s too good for them.

The Supes

Homelander and Stormfront find a man who just committed a robbery in an alley; Stormfront forcefully knocks a gun out of his hand, potentially breaking his hand. They discuss what to do with him, and say if they take him to the cops he’ll just be back on the street the next day. As Stormfront rubs his crotch, Homelander crushes the man’s skull and they proceed to have sex next to his corpse. #Classy.

Stormfront leaves Homelander to go to Vought Tower, and he waits in his trailer. Later, he sets the trailer on fire – from boredom, or anger. Stormfront comes back, and Homelander says he knows she didn’t go to the tower. She says she’ll explain, but he asks her why she would need to explain anything to him.

At Vought Tower, Stormfront finds Homelander in her apartment and tries to explain the situation. She says she’ll never lie to him again and tell him everything. She shows him a picture of her with an old woman – her daughter, Chloe – who died of Alzheimer’s a few years ago. She says she was born in 1919 in Berlin and shows him more pictures of her: in Nazi Germany, and in a wedding photo with her husband, Frederick Vought (!), who gave her the first successful injection of Compound V. She says Frederick didn’t care about superficial nonsense, only about fighting back at other races. She says Homelander will lead their army and that she loves him with all of her heart. She says neither of them need to be alone ever again; he turns and kisses her as The Golden Girls theme plays.

Elsewhere

Alastair and Fresca, trying to recruit A-Train

The Deep comes to visit Queen Maeve on the movie set, and he tells her he didn’t find the ‘black box’ but he’s got aquatic friends keeping an eye out. He gives her a camera from ‘the wreckage near Iceland,’ and she tells him if he wants to get back into The Seven he can’t say a word about ‘this’ to anyone.

Ashley shows A-Train the video for his potential “anthem,” then A-Train talks to The Deep, who’s presumably just came from Maeve’s trailer. The Deep offers A-Train a Fresca while pitching him on the Church of the Collective. A-Train has dinner with The Deep and Alastair Adana, who tells A-Train he can help him with all his problems. Convenient!

Later, Elena finds the camera hooked up to Maeve’s phone and watches the footage – it’s Maeve and Homelander leaving the hijacked plane (from season 1) to crash. Maeve says she’s going to show that to Homelander in order to get him to leave them alone, or else she’ll leak it to the press.

Literally elsewhere, a hitchhiker is walking down the road, and it’s revealed to be Cindy, who finds a ride…

The Wrap Up

What a crazy episode, with so much exposition! We finally learned more about what happened to Mallory’s grandkids, and the roles that Frenchie and Lamplighter played. We learned what Vought is up to at Sage Grove, and the role Lamplighter is currently playing. We learned about Stormfront’s history, and what she really wants from Vought and Homelander. We learned not to mess with Cindy, who may come back to haunt Stormfront at some point. And we learned Maeve is going to try to blackmail Homelander into leaving her and Elena alone (which can’t end well).

I enjoyed how Butcher and Starlight seemed to bond over their mutual affection for Hughie; it showed how hardened Starlight has become since this started – she’s certainly no longer the idealistic, wide-eyed young girl that came to The Seven.

I’m still not a fan of the Church of the Collective subplot; since The Deep and A-Train were kicked out of The Seven it seems like they’re reaching for reasons to keep them around. With so many characters they should either cut them out, or find some way to bring them back into the fold. I did like tying The Deep and Maeve’s storylines together; A-Train and The Deep could be double agents working for The Seven but also for their own agendas…

There was so much stuff going on in this episode that probably also sets up some things for the end of the season… With some Supes like Lamplighter and Starlight (seemingly) on The Boys’ side, and Maeve turning on her team leader, the only logical conclusion is a huge showdown between Homelander and Stormfront vs everyone else, right? M

Dangerous Liaisons

The Boys | Amazon Prime Video | Season 2 Episode 5: We Gotta Go Now

Now with more canine goodness

After last week, where Becca effectively chose her son over Butcher, Homelander effectively took out his support system, and Stormfront effectively raised an army, The Boys, The Supes – and this week, a Terror – are back in action.

The Supes

We open on a scene where Queen Maeve is looking for ‘Ruby’ in some wreckage in New York City; they find each other and after a tender moment, a director – Adam Bourke – yells ‘cut’ and we see this is a movie shoot for ‘Dawn of The Seven.’ Homelander is reviewing the movie footage when Ashley shows him some footage of her own: Homelander accidentally killing a civilian while taking out a villain. She tells him Mr. Edgar and the legal department don’t want him addressing the incident.

Starlight’s mom, Donna (Ann Cusack), comes to the movie set and talks to Stormfront; she asks Starlight to forgive her for using Compound V on her. Stormfront tells Starlight she should forgive her mother; she says her mother, Adele, never let her do superhero pageants like Donna.

Congresswoman Victoria Neuman speaks at a rally about the Homelander incident; she says she will have hearings on Vought and Compound V. Homelander flies to the scene next to her, and she looks terrified; he takes her microphone and addresses the crowd. He says he’s upset too, but sometimes ‘these things just happen.’ He says freedom comes with a price, but a soldier in the crowd yells that Homelander doesn’t speak for them. The crowd starts chanting ‘you don’t speak for us,’ and Homelander gets angry; with his heat vision he incinerates dozens of people at the rally – in his mind, at least. Instead, he says they are the real heroes and flies off. Later, he watches the footage of himself at the rally, and has a mini breakdown.

On the phone, Stormfront talks to a male nurse (Shawn Ashmore) at a place called Sage Grove Center, about a kid who’s a hero. #Cryptic! As they hang up Homelander shows up; she tells him she’ll have her meme person put together some memes for him (as a way of getting support for Homelander back).

Later, Starlight goes into Stormfront’s trailer after she leaves, correctly guesses her tablet password (Adele), and sees e-mails about Sage Grove Center. When Stormfront comes back, she tells Starlight she knows she leaked the story about Compound V and she’ll tell Vought. Starlight says she’ll tell the world that Stormfront used to be Liberty; Stormfront says Starlight is going to be a big help to her, confusing Starlight. Homelander comes in, Starlight leaves, and Homelander tells Stormfront he owes her for his poll numbers going back up.

Stormfront throws Homelander against a wall and starts kissing him; he returns the favor and they start getting rough. His eyes glow and she tells him to do it; he burns her chest with his heat vision and she tells him she doesn’t break easily. They continue to throw each other around and end up having superhero sex.

(Most of) The Boys

In a bar, Butcher is drowning his sorrows; he picks a fight and takes out some aggression. Later, Hughie calls him, and tells him about Stormfront being Liberty. They discuss this and Becca, but Butcher says goodbye and destroys the SIM card in his phone. Hughie tells MM something is wrong with Butcher because he was being nice…

At the house of Judy Atkinson (Barbara Gordon), the doorbell rings and Butcher is standing there with groceries; we learn Judy is his aunt. In her kitchen, she tells him to call his mother because she’s worried about him. Judy tells him his father’s cancer is getting worse, but he isn’t interested in talking to or seeing either of his parents. He asks Judy where ‘his boy’ is, and finds him – a bulldog names Terror. Butcher takes Terror for a walk – without a leash! – and he talks to the dog; he tells him he thought he, Terror and Becca would grow old together.

Terror and friend

Butcher and Terror come back to Judy’s, and Hughie and MM are there waiting. MM says Hughie heard a dog toy and he knew Butcher kept Terror at his aunt’s. Judy asks Butcher if Hughie looks like ‘Lenny’, but Butcher isn’t interested. Hughie and MM ask for help with Stormfront, but Butcher refuses. He gets in his car, but sees Black Noir on a roof across the street. He goes back inside, starts shutting windows and curtains, and apologizes to his aunt. MM calls in a gas leak to get the entire neighborhood to be out on the streets; he wants an audience for whatever Black Noir is planning.

Black Noir watches as firemen arrive; Butcher decides to keep him busy while Hughie and MM escape – he says he’s tired and needs a break. Hughie says he thought about ending things after Robin died, but he didn’t; he says Butcher is feeling sorry for himself because he doesn’t have anything, but neither does anyone else. Butcher tries to pass, but Hughie and MM block his way.

The firemen eventually leave and the neighbors go back inside. Judy leads The Boys to the ‘taffy room’ – a safe room in the basement; they learn the sweet old lady is also a drug dealer on the side. They also set up explosive traps for Black Noir, should he get into the house.

In the taffy room, Hughie asks Judy who Lenny is, and she tells him Lenny is Butcher’s little brother. She tells Hughie a story about when Butcher and Lenny were kids and how Lenny had a way of making “Billy not be Billy.” She says she thinks Butcher needs someone like that in his life; as she tells Hughie Lenny is dead, they hear several explosions, then footsteps, up above them.

A smoke grenade comes through a vent to the taffy room, and everyone hurries out of the house. Butcher stays back and locks the door; he yells to Black Noir to come out, and he does. MM comes in and starts shooting at Black Noir, but Noir hurls knife into MM and he falls down. Hughie comes in shooting and the men fight; as Black Noir is going to attack Hughie, Butcher tells him he’s got pictures of Ryan and if he lays a finger on any of them, they’ll be released.

Black Noir chokes Butcher, and gets a phone call from Stan Edgar, who can see Butcher from a camera on Black Noir. They make a deal; Butcher won’t release the pictures and he’ll call off Black Noir. Edgar calls him off, and Black Noir leaves. Hughie asks Butcher if he really has pictures; Butcher says ‘of course I do’, and Hughie smiles.

Later, Butcher tells Terror he’s going to get ‘his mum’ back, and he should hang in there and be a good boy for Judy. He gives the dog a Homelander toy to hump; Butcher, MM and Hughie say goodbye to Judy, and take off.

Kimiko and Frenchie

Frenchie follows Kimiko, who goes to meet some men in a bar; she proceeds to kill them, quite violently, despite being shot several times. Frenchie walks in and sees the carnage, and follows after her.

He follows Kimiko to a church, where she goes in and meets Cherie, who hired Kimiko to take out the men. Frenchie tells Kimiko doing this won’t help her, and that it is only poison to her soul. Kimiko signs to him that she got her baby brother – the only thing that mattered to her – killed, and she doesn’t want his help. He doesn’t understand her, gets annoyed, and leaves.

The Deep

We learn through Nancy O’Dell and Extra that The Deep got married! Later, Katie Couric interviews The Deep and his new wife; Cassandra says Kevin had issues, but he’s grown and changed.

A-Train watches an ad The Deep filmed about the Church of the Collective, ending with shaking hands with the founder, Alistair Adana (Goran Visnjic). Later, Maeve goes to see The Deep and tells him she can help him get back into The Seven if he helps her…

Elsewhere

A-Train talks to Adam and gives him a proposed rewrite; his dialogue doesn’t seem authentic, and he wants his ‘goodbye speech’ to be open-ended, as if he’s not 100% leaving The Seven. Adam shoots him down, and when A-Train says he’s not going to do the scene, Adam tells him to talk to Ashley.

Stormfront and A-Train chat, and she taunts him about being fired. Ashley comes over and grabs A-Train; they talk about his career and Ashley tells him she’s sorry, but he can either leave with dignity or get fired for shooting up Compound V. He relents, and shoots his goodbye scene as written.

Maeve and Elena talk to Vought’s PR team about re-branding Maeve as a gay superhero and Elena as her girlfriend; Maeve says this is Homelander messing with her and they need to play along in order to be safe, but they’re going to take him down.

Wrap Up

I was able to write a lot of words, but nothing really happened in this episode. The Boys kinda took on Black Noir. Homelander and Stormfront boned. Kimiko took out her anger about losing her brother. The Seven shot a movie, which took up the bulk of the episode.

That last point was my biggest issue this week. Why would actual superheroes be starring in a movie about themselves? Even if they were all brought up in the Vought ecosystem and taught how to act – even though we know they all weren’t, because Starlight and Stormfront recently joined the team – you would have to imagine they wouldn’t be good actors. It’s like putting real doctors on Grey’s Anatomy, or real lawyers on Law & Order; it’s just odd. I think they missed an opportunity to ‘cast’ The Seven – they could have had lookalike actors talk about each superhero and their motivations…

While there were a few interesting story beats – Butcher’s dog, his brother, and Stormfront’s mysterious connection to Sage Grove Center (and Shawn Ashmore’s Lamplighter) – it definitely felt like a filler episode. Hopefully we’ll quickly (and finally) learn what Stormfront’s agenda really is, and what happened with Lamplighter, and his connection with Frenchie, before the end of the season! M

Give Them Liberty

The Boys | Amazon Prime Video | Season 2 Episode 4: Nothing Like it in the World

After failing to deliver Kenji to the CIA, a new lead sets The Boys in a few different directions. [It’s a recap, so spoilers follow].

Butcher and Becca

Butcher goes to the building that Stormfront demolished and meets with Mallory in front of a memorial wall. She gives him an envelope with a magazine clipping of Liberty, a Supe from the 70’s, and tells Butcher to have MM talk to her; an address in North Carolina is on the back. She also gives Butcher a possible address for Becca, even though he couldn’t deliver Kenji. Butcher is going after Becca alone, and he tells MM to find Liberty.

Reunited (finally)

At her house, Becca looks out a window and notices her car door is open; she goes out and finds Butcher in the back seat. She takes the car and they drive off to a bridge in the woods. Becca is happy to see him; he calls her his girl and she says ‘always’. She tells him about the one-time deal she made with Homelander: she says if Homelander killed Butcher, she’d kill herself in front of Ryan and her last words would be ‘your father did this to me’. Butcher says he’ll get her out of there; they kiss, and she goes back home.

After checking in on Ryan, Becca comes back to where she dropped off Butcher and they sleep together in her car; later she tells him they’ve been there since she gave birth. She says the arrangement is ‘ok’ and all that matters is that Ryan is happy; she says Butcher will love Ryan, but he doesn’t seem interested in the kid. He apologizes to her for ‘not being there’ and says he’s going to make it up to her.

The next day, Becca meets Butcher but tells him she’s not leaving. She says Butcher doesn’t want Ryan with them, and if the three of them leave, Butcher will find a way to get rid of Ryan. Butcher says Vought won’t just let Ryan go, but they could run away together. She says she has a son, but Butcher calls him a ‘Supe freak.’ Becca tells Butcher that when Homelander raped her, she didn’t go to Butcher because she knew all he would do is seek revenge. Butcher says he’s not leaving with her, but she hits an alarm and drives off…

Homelander and The Seven

Homelander watches Stormfront on the news; she is criticizing Vought and encouraging people to protest the company to stop more terrorist incidents from happening. Homelander flies to a secluded cabin where Madelyn Stillwell (!) greets him in some lingerie with a glass of milk (what is it with this dude and milk?!) Later, they watch Taxi Driver, and Homelander complains about Stormfront and the rest of The Seven. He says she “would have” got them back in line, and Madelyn says he doesn’t need her; he should get rid of “the weeds.” Suddenly Madelyn is in pain, and we learn it’s not really Madelyn (#obviously), but Doppleganger (Dan Darin-Zanco), who changes back to his normal form. Homelander gets angry and orders him to change back, and he does.

At Vought, Homelander gets into an elevator with Starlight and hits the emergency stop. He says Maeve begged him to save Starlight’s life; he gave her a second chance, and she failed him. He chokes her, pushes her up against the wall and says she disobeyed him for not killing Hughie. She says Hughie broke her heart and she hates him, but she’s not a murderer… convinced she’s not lying, he lets her go.

Black Noir visits analyst Anika with a note that says BUTCHER, and she searches for him; later, Anika finds Butcher on a security camera as Black Noir looks on.

A-Train sees Shockwave (Mishka Th├ębaud) in the halls at Vought and angrily goes to talk to Ashley. As they speak, Homelander comes in and tells A-Train he’s out of The Seven. Homelander says he knows that A-Train can’t run anymore, so he’s out.

Homelander has eyes for Stormfront

Homelander and Queen Maeve go on a talk show with Maria Menounos, and Homelander says they had no idea about Compound V. They discuss superhero dynamics, and Homelander announces that Maeve is a lesbian, with a Hispanic girlfriend. Maeve confronts him, and he tells her he knows all about Elena. She admits they are together and she loves her; he tells her he’s happy for them, but Maeve looks worried. Outside, Stormfront continues to criticize Vought at a rally. Kimiko moves through the crowd and approaches Stormfront, but Frenchie stops her from attacking Stormfront.

Homelander gets angry as he looks at memes of Stormfront, and confronts her about undermining him. When his eyes start to glow, she apologizes to calm him down. Stormfront says Homelander has fans; she has soldiers. She tells him he is the best of them, but he needs help connecting with his audience; he says he doesn’t need help.

Homelander goes back to the cabin, where ‘Madelyn’ is waiting. She does her usual routine, but he’s not interested. He tells her he doesn’t need anyone but himself, and Doppleganger changes into a copy of Homelander. He tells Homelander everyone loves him, but Homelander says he doesn’t need everyone’s love and he doesn’t need him; he snaps Doppleganger’s neck.

Hughie, Starlight and Mother’s Milk

Road trippin’

Starlight meets Hughie in Central Park, and she says she got his voicemail, but Hughie doesn’t want to discuss it; Starlight thinks things are worse off now that Compound V is common knowledge. Hughie gets a call about going to North Carolina, and he goes to leave, but Starlight breaks down and says she ‘can’t do this anymore.’ Hughie asks MM if Starlight can join them; he reluctantly agrees.

At a diner, Starlight tells MM how her dad used to sneak her to Dunkin Donuts for sugary treats, and he would just listen to her, unlike her mom. MM tells her about how his dad used to go to Baskin Robbins and sample every flavor; they toast to ‘fathers and sugar’. Afterwards, MM gives her wet wipes in the parking lot as a truck hits a car behind them. Starlight goes to help, but Hughie and MM say she can’t.

Hughie, MM and Starlight get 2 rooms at a motel. Starlight asks Hughie about MM’s OCD (the wet wipes, how he stirs coffee and taps the steering wheel 3 times, as examples), but Hughie hasn’t noticed. After discussing Starlight’s questionable candy bar tendencies, she tells Hughie she only sleeps 4 hours a night and is in constant terror of Homelander. After saying she doesn’t feel terrified with him, they sleep together.

Valerie tells her story

The group arrives at the address Mallory gave them, and a woman named Valerie Hunter (Dawnn Lewis) answers the door, but thinks they’re from Vought; they say they just want to know about Liberty. MM tells them he has a vendetta against Vought because his dad was a lawyer who fought them and ended up dying at 55; he says he wants to make Vought pay for what they did to his dad. Inside, Valerie tells the group that when she was little, while her brother Myron was driving and she slept in the back seat, Liberty stopped the car and took him out. Liberty accused him of being involved in a robbery and killed him; Vought offered them a $2,000 settlement and they took it. She says they can’t let anyone know she talked to them because Liberty would kill her; Hughie says she disappeared and no one has seen her since 1979. But Valerie gets a newspaper article with a picture and says “that’s Liberty.” The group looks at the photo of Stormfront on the front page.

The trio discusses the situation and Hughie asks how Liberty and Stormfront could be the same person; she would be around 70 years old. Starlight says they don’t know what Compound V can do and maybe she doesn’t age normally… Back in the city, Starlight thanks Hughie for letting her tag along, and she tells him they can’t be together again. She says they’re all alone, kisses him and says goodbye.

Elsewhere

After doing some drugs, Frenchie tries to kiss Kimiko, but she pushes him away. Later, Frenchie goes to see Cherie (Jordana Lajoie) and tells her about Kimiko; they sleep together, and afterwards Cherie says he’s trying to make amends for the people he’s hurt, but he should just let her grieve.

In Ohio, The Deep and Carol are interviewing women about love and relationships. The Deep chooses one woman – Gianna – but Carol tells him a woman named Cassandra is ‘his wife.’ They are trying to rehabilitate his image to get him back in The Seven, with the Church of the Collective’s help.

So Butcher and Becca can’t see eye to eye, Frenchie and Kimiko can’t connect, and Homelander can’t escape his serious issues. With A-Train being pushed out of The Seven, The Deep trying to get back in, and the shocking reveal that racist 70’s Supe Liberty is now Stormfront, things seem to be shaping up for an eventful second half of the season! M

Let’s Hear it for The Boys

The Boys

The Boys | Amazon Prime Video | Season 2 Episodes 1 -3

The Boys are back! After that bombshell was dropped in the first season finale, the first three episodes of season 2 ratchet up the blood, gore, twists, turns, and fatalities as Hughie (Jack Quaid) and the gang continue their mission to take down the Supes. [Spoilers for all of The Boys follow].

The Supes

Daddy dearest

The season starts with a funeral for Translucent (Alex Hassell), and Homelander (Antony Starr) continues pushing his agenda on the world. He wants all opposing Supes to be called super villains – not super ‘terrorists’ – but above all he wants his son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) to start using the powers Homelander is convinced he has. Much to the annoyance (and terror) of Ryan’s mom Becca (Shantel VanSanten), Homelander harasses his son – even pushing him off a roof – to get him to try to exhibit some sort of super power. Ryan does seemingly have powers, as he’s able to push Homelander away from Becca, as his eyes glow red. As a psychotic version of Superman, Homelander is scary, but as a father he takes this to a whole new level.

Stormfront admiring HL’s blue eyes

Homelander’s other main concern is the arrival of the brash Stormfront (Aya Cash), who was recruited by Vought exec Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) to replace Translucent. She arrives on the scene, live-streaming phone in hand, and Homelander is none to happy to not be in the loop about her. Stan tells off Homelander, and the Supe accepts the situation for the time being.

Annie/Starlight (Erin Moriarty) is still trying to take down Vought from the inside, and she blackmails a lab tech named Gecko (David Thompson) to get a sample of Compound V. With Hughie’s support, she manages to expose the fact that superheroes are created, purposefully, with Compound V. Starlight, Maeve (Dominique McElligott) and Stormfront go on a Girl Power press tour, and Stormfront tells Starlight not to take anything from anyone. Along the way, Starlight locks horns with A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) about the sample and her role in letting The Boys escape. He surprises her at the press tour, being released from the hospital; however, he’s not doing well – he has heart palpitations and seemingly can’t run the way he used to.

The Deep gets deep

The Deep (Chase Crawford) is still in Ohio, and still not dealing with his situation; he’s arrested for making a scene at a water park, but bailed out by a Supe named Eagle the Archer (Langston Kerman) and gets recruited into his church, The Church of the Collective – a riff on Scientology? He meets Carol (Jessica Hecht), a member of the church who, for some reason, is trying to get him back into The Seven. After reconciling the fact that he has gills and he’s not a monster, he gets some info from the head of the church, and goes after The Boys…

The Boys

The Boys are laying low with a gang in an underground ‘base’ beneath a jewelry store, but Hughie has been communicating with Starlight in secret; he ultimately professes his love for her. He’s having a hard time with the situation and ends up fighting with Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), but powers through as best as possible.

The Boys learn that a Supe terrorist with telekinetic powers has been smuggled into the country and turn to CIA deputy director Susan Rayner (Jennifer Esposito) for help. When she meets a grisly end, Frenchie (Tomer Capon) calls on Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) and Butcher rejoins them. Butcher gets in touch with former colonel Grace Mallory (Laila Robins), who gives them a lead. Later we learns that Butcher made a deal with Mallory to get Becca back in exchange for the terrorist.

A happy reunion…

The Boys track down the terrorist to a costume shop, where it’s revealed the man is Kimiko’s (Karen Fukuhara) brother, Kenji (Abraham Lim). They capture him, and keep him subdued; he tells Frenchie that he and Kimiko’s parents were killed and since that day she stopped speaking. They were alone in a camp together and came up with a type of sign language in order to communicate. Frenchie asks Kenji to teach him how to communicate with Kimiko, but he refuses.

…and a not so happy reunion

Butcher steals a boat as they take Kenji in to the CIA; as they are on the sea they are attacked by whales, led by The Deep. They ram a speedboat into Lucy the Whale, and shortly after The Seven arrive on the scene.

They chase The Boys through a sewer system, and eventually Starlight finds Hughie as Homelander comes upon them; he tells her to kill Hughie or he’ll kill them both. Butcher calls out Homelander and Kenji uses his powers to break the ground beneath Homelander and the roof of the tunnel, dropping a bus on Homelander. Kenji escapes and Kimiko goes after him; as they run Stormfront finds them. She chases the siblings through a building and ends up destroying it; on the roof, she shoots Kimiko with lightning and snaps Kenji’s hands. In front of Kimiko, Stormfront kills Kenji, but Kimiko manages to escape. Homelander arrives and is angry Stormfront didn’t save him for Homelander, as instructed; she replies with a ‘you snooze you lose, gramps,’ and leaves.

At a press conference near the building that was destroyed, Stan Edgar says Vought had no idea about Compound V, and places blame on a group of scientists led by the late Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue). He thanks Stormfront for stopping the super terrorist, and as she takes the credit, both Homelander and Kimiko – watching on TV – stare at her with savage hate.

Wrap Up

Three episodes in, and The Boys continues to be ultra violent while building upon the themes of season 1. The addition of the Ryan sub-plot adds a new scary dimension for the already horrific Homelander, and he also gets new foils in the forms of Stan Edgar and the equally scary Stormfront. These characters add a fresh energy to show; Aya Cash as Stormfront, in particular, dominates every scene in which she appears.

On the flip side are A-Train and Maeve, who so far aren’t really adding anything to the show… Maeve’s storyline with ex-girlfriend Elena is only loosely tied to the main story and probably could have been left out. A-Train suffering after his bout of drug abuse could really only lead to him either dying or recovering; his threatening Starlight doesn’t make him any more likable, and with an already large cast, it’s likely he won’t survive the season.

Since it was announced that Aaron Ashmore is joining the show as Supe Lamplighter, it’s probably only a matter of time before one of The Seven meets a super violent end; due to Amazon’s baffling decision to release episodes weekly from now on, though, only time will tell! M