NOTE: Here is my review from Soda & Telepaths that was posted back on September 21st, 2020
The Boys S02E01 – “The Big Ride” Synopsis
After the murder of Madelyn Stillwell, which has been successfully pinned on Billy Butcher, the Boys have gone into hiding. Living underground in a bunker, they’re slowly planning their next move. Currently, the best plan of action involves getting some Compound V and exposing Vaught. In charge of getting the Compound V is Starlight, who has officially gone full double agent and is helping Hughie while maintaining appearances with The Seven. Unfortunately, there also happens to be a Super Terrorist that’s just turned up with telepathic abilities which are already causing a few problems for the main gang. Now The Boys need to track down this telepathic supe without the help of their former leader Billy, who is just offscreen somewhere.
The Good Boys
Finally having a funeral for Translucent (What, 5 episodes after they confirmed he was dead?) was actually a great way of capping off that story arc, it might get referred to again later on but this feels like The Boys’ way of saying they’ve moved on to a different, more interesting, motivation. That new motivation being the death of Stillwell which this season sets up as a frame job in the best way possible, a crime recreation show called A Closer Look with Chris Hansen.
Meanwhile, in subplot land, The Deep’s drunken meltdown at a water park is hilariously pathetic. It really helps it sink in just how far he’s fallen and how desperate he’ll be to latch onto anyone who can get him back in the game. He’s basically The Boys’ punching bag at this point and every time he gets hit it’s hard not to laugh at his pain.
Speaking of people in pain, this episode Introduces Gecko, a supe who can regenerate limbs, by showing him at rock bottom as an S&M hooker who charges people to cut off body parts. It’s an idea dark enough to make me fascinated by this character but not so dark that I’m repulsed by it. According to IMDB he’s only in one more episode but I hope that’s wrong, something about this character makes me hope I see more of him..
The Boys has brought up the idea of test audiences before so having a short scene where we actually see Vaught’s test group in action really was a great little bit of context… and seeing Homelander basically overriding them because of his massive ego shows how much he’s let his power go to his head and it’s not going to end well.
The Bad Boys
The entire sequence with Blindspot was upsettingly cruel even by the standards of this show. I didn’t really need confirmation that Homelander was a vile piece of garbage, I have the entire first season for that but this was unmotivated cruelty that didn’t even have the decency of being an entertaining scene. Plus, Blindspot might be seriously injured but he seemed alive at the end to me and he knows who was the one to hurt him so… yeah, unmotivated, cruel and stupid.
Mother’s Milk confronting Hughie by telling him “You’re just a kid that sells stereo equipment” is kind of dumb cos Hughie hasn’t been that guy since the pilot, certainly wasn’t that when MM first met him. Almost feels like that would be an insult that Butcher might’ve thrown about halfway through last season, but certainly not at this point and not from this character.
Keeping Billy Butcher out until the absolute last scene really just hurt the episode in general. So much of the comedic tone of The Boys comes from Billy and without him there was an obvious void. What really didn’t help was that everyone acted like he’d just gone off on a walk and was only a phone call away instead of… you know, whatever happened between him and Homelander at the end of last season. I’m sure this will be addressed in future episodes, but his absence for this episode is still a bad thing and wasn’t exactly done well.
“It’s time to go, or I call TMZ”
Most Valued Performer
Even though he’s been kind of pushed off onto a side plot since the end of last season, Chase Crawford’s portrayal of The Deep is easily the most fascinating out of all the superheroes right now. Witnessing him be the one who is actually going through consequences due to his prior actions is creating some of the more fun and interesting sequences, especially his drunken rampage at a water park which is honestly the most relatable thing in the entire series.
Most Insane Sequence
Black Noir’s rampage through a terrorist hideout. Brutal, over the top, a great use of music with Sympathy for the Devil underscoring his silent blood-splattered trip… and the little dance he does with a toy bunny right at the end is the cherry on top.
- Cropping The Deep out of the funeral photo montage is petty even by Homelander’s standards
- Frenchie being a Hunger Games fan is one of those details that just puts a smile on my face.
- Every time they show the ‘reenactment’ of Butcher killing Stillwell I’m amazed at how awful the attempt at Butcher’s accent is.
- Something tells me Fresca was not fully aware of how sinister their brand name would be said because it feels like they’re setting something up with that.
- Homelander still having some of Stillwell’s milk in a bottle is just a whole bowl of yikes
- The introduction of Stormfront was certainly interesting but that name makes me wonder what we’re about to witness.
- Gus Fring being the only person who isn’t intimidated at all by Homelander is the most realistic thing in this entire series
In general a promising season opener for season 2 of The Boys, even though I still have a lot of questions related to the ending of last season. I’m hoping future episodes are going to address those but for now this has me eager to see what happens.