Instead of showing us a typical world where superheroes have good intentions and are made to be idolised, The Boys gives us a look at something closer to reality. A world where they are celebrated by the media but riddled with corruption and abuse. Fronted by Homelander (who’s basically psycho superman) the Seven are the leading group of hero’s, they hide behind their smiles and the idea of protecting America while personal and corporate agendas are playing out behind closed doors.
Season 1 recap.
At the start of season one, we meet Hughie, a regular guy whose girlfriend is killed by A-Train, one of the Seven. Much to his anger, her death is considered collateral damage and he is encouraged to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and given a lacklustre apology.
That’s where Billy Butcher (played by the one and only Karl Urban) comes in, he has a personal vendetta against Homelander, the man who he (rightfully) blames for his wife’s disappearance. They, alongside two others, form the team The Boys and are set on taking down the superheroes and Vought, the company that manages them.
The key information from season one is that supers are actually made in a lab not born that way. Their powers come from Compound V, a chemical that can give any human being superpowers and is being manufactured by Vought.
Furthermore, the Seven are trying to gain access to the military so that they can have greater power. To help with this Homelander injects an unidentified number of terrorists around the world with Compound V, explaining that only they can fight these superterrorists rendering the Seven indispensable assets to the government. Crazy diabolical right?
In the last episode Homelander and Butcher come face-to-face, their confrontation ending with the former revealing his super son, the product of his rape of Butchers wife (who is apparently alive). All the while Hughie saves the life of A-Train after he has a heart attack during their confrontation.
Season two kicks off just about where we left off. Butcher has gone missing, Hughie and his team are wanted fugitives and the Seven remain as powerful as ever, or so it seems.
This season starts strong, immediately jumping into a scene that highlights the shows biggest strengths – sharp writing and snappy humour, fun yet gory fight scenes and a great soundtrack. It is smart to lead with this as it reminds viewers of what made them fall in love with the show in the first place.
What’s clear is that we are going to to get a deeper look into the characters’ emotions.
Especially within the Seven. Their internal battles are bubbling to the surface and causing cracks in the team.
This fits in well with the shows ‘grey area’ storytelling. We never see anything as a definitively black or white situation. Not all the good guys will do the right thing and not all the bad guys are devoid of kind or heartfelt moments – any them could switch in a blink of an eye and it keeps us on our toes.
The introduction of a new super, Stormfront, serves as a spanner in the works. Her presence is starting to cause tension and division and, most importantly, is getting under Homelander’s skin. Homelander’s character needed someone to pull up down from the platform he stands above everyone on, someone who will make him work and threaten his power.
Stormfront is unpredictable, we don’t know anything about her, what her motivations are or who she aligns herself with. This unknown is intriguing and should hopefully make for some exciting twists.
After last season events, the relationship between Annie/Starlight and Hughie is tentative but with both of them on the same side, it is unclear how it will develop. Hopefully, it will progress romantically because a little happiness in the darkness would be nice, but it feels unlikely that it will turn out well.
Its only downfall is that it can sometimes feel like they are trying a little too hard with the comedy, possibly stemming from the pressure to live up to their already established comedy style that defines the show.
For the most part, they manage to find a good balance of intense storylines and dry, dark humour and they give us moments to breathe between the heads exploding and arms being chopped off.
The worst thing that could happen is that the writers become too cocky after the success of the first season and get overambitious. Many a show has fallen just after the first hurdle so it really could be a make or break moment.
Right now, it looks promising but only time will tell if they can give us what we want, what we really really want.
The season will only be 8 episodes long, just like the last. A new episode is released every Friday.
Featured image credit: robertebert.com