The Boys (2020)
Written by: Eric Kripke
Starring: Antony Starr, Aya Cash, Chace Crawford, Claudia Doumit, Colby Minifie, Dominique McElligott, Erin Moriarty, Giancarlo Esposito, Jack Quaid, Jessie T. Usher, Karen Fukuhara, Karl Urban, Laila Robins, Laz Alonso, Nathan Mitchell, Shantel VanSanten, Tomer Capon
Following Season 1’s literally explosive finale, Season 2 sees The Boys split up following Butcher’s discovery that his late wife is actually alive. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t know the location, but that doesn’t mean he’ll give up trying to reunite with her. Given that The Boys are fugitives after Butcher is framed for Stillwell’s murder, staying off the radar is their number one priority. Fortunately for them, they have a supe on their side in the shape of Annie aka Starbright, but she has to walk the fine line between being a superhero and trying to take down everything Vought and the Seven stand for. After the discovery of Compound V in the last season exposed the fact that superheroes aren’t born with their talents, but purposely injected with them, Hughie and Annie formulate a plan to expose Vought but could they have bitten off more than they can chew?
With Translucent having passed at the beginning of Season One, his absence leaves an opening for a new Supe and it looks like it’s to be filled by new recruit, Stormfront. Her out-of-the-blue entrance and selection by the big man, Stan Edgar, seemingly puts Homelander’s nose out of joint as she looks to steal the limelight, but could the two eventually see eye-to-eye? They’re going to need to as there’s a Supe-Terrorist at large which need to be stopped. Meanwhile, across the country, The Deep is still unravelling at his exclusion from The Seven but finds support from the unlikeliest of places as he looks to reinvent himself in a bid to earn his place back.
Following Stillwell’s death, Homelander’s campaign to embed The Seven into the military seems to be moving full steam ahead but what could this mean for America itself?
Season 2 of Eric Kripke’s THE BOYS, based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis, picks up where the first season left off and delivers more of the 18-rated violence we’ve come to adore – an antidote to the saccharin output of blockbuster superhero films we’ve endured over the last couple of decades. Throw in a bit of domestic, corporate and political drama and you have the recipe for this season’s storylines.
THE BOYS isn’t shy with exposing and reflecting political manipulation of society and Season 2 brings it very much into play with the rise of the Supe-Terrorists – terrorists with super abilities. Ever heard of the idea that viruses are created to sell the cure? What better way to deflect the outrage and controversy over superheroes being made rather than born, than society being threatened by foreign super-killers. Why, the only people who could stop these threats are American’s homegrown, manufactured superheroes. A fine bit of political manoeuvring!
Season 2 introduces new characters to the franchise with the main one being The Seven’s latest recruit. Stormfront is a curious character and comes onto the scene with a bang. She’s chock full of attitude, bringing the girl power angle and purposely refuses to conform to how Vought, society, and the other Supes, Homelander especially, think she should act. She’s a breath of fresh air as a character and her command of modern technology, namely social media and meme culture, means she has the public eating out of her hand. However, her ruffling of feathers seems to hide some ulterior motive. Is she going to dismantle Vought, knock Homelander off his pedestal or is it something else? Her no-nonsense demeanour certainly piques the interest of Starlight and does a great job of getting Homelander’s back up, but what’s her angle? Watching her character unfold in the series is a delight as she always keeps the viewer guessing whilst our main villainous Supe, Homelander, continues to be king slimeball as he does his best to retain an iron grip on his legacy and America as a whole. Oh, and he still has a fascination with milk, with or without Stillwell there to supplement him.
The weakest part of Season 2 is Butcher. Though he’s one of the major favourites of a series packed full of fantastic characters, in this season he seems to resign himself to the sole goal of getting his wife back. I get it. If I thought my spouse was dead and found out they weren’t, I too would do whatever it takes to get to them but for a series like this, it kind of grates and becomes repetitive after a bit. Fortunately, Hughie, Frenchie, Mother’s Milk and Kimiko move the pace along with their joint effort storylines that see them fighting back and encountering a face from the past… one that Frenchie would rather not be reminded of.
THE BOYS continues to be shocking and edgy, bringing the attitude and action at thrilling levels whilst keeping the viewers on their toes. The introduction of more people with abilities opens up and you’re never quite sure how the series will play out, especially when we know that the franchise likes to surprise us at any given moment. Perhaps it’s not as strong as the first season, but Season 2 is a damn fine effort with a tantalising finale that opens up such a dark and twisted opportunity for Season 3. With THE BOYS unlike anything else on television at the moment, I can see Butcher and the boys gracing our screens for many more seasons to come.