NOTE: Here is my review from Soda & Telepaths that was posted back on September 22nd, 2020
The Boys S02E02 – “Proper Preparation and Planning” Synopsis
With the Super Terrorist still on the loose, Billy Butcher and the deputy director of the CIA make a deal. If Billy and The Boys can capture the Super Terrorist then the CIA will help Billy find his wife AND clear their criminal records. While this is going on, Starlight is part of a press tour with Stormfront and Meave to celebrate three women being part of The Seven but things go a little sour when A-Train wakes up from his coma (the one he fell in at the end of last season). Finally, The Deep is spending a little more time with his new friends and goes on an existential trip which naturally leads to a one on one discussion with his gills.
The Good Boys
Opening with a quick flash of where Billy was helped fill in a lot of the major blanks that kept irritating me. While they still haven’t really explained how Billy could just be called back or even what Homelander’s plan was in taking him there in the first place, seeing Billy trying to piece together what happened so he can go back to find his wife sets the stage for something big in the future. His hunger to find his wife really plays into the episode’s story about the importance of family, either real or found.
We get a lot more time with Homelander and his kid and this is where Anthony Starr becomes this week’s MVP because it’s the first time since the series started that we’ve seen him treat someone as an equal. Watching Homelander try to figure out how to get his kid to use his powers is tense, you can see Homelander holding back the rage we all know is in there while also trying to be something resembling a good dad… or at least as good as Homelander is capable of being.
Even work families like Starlight, Stormfront and Meave get a bit of time here. Just seeing them dealing with the monotony of answering the same five questions and how each of them responds to it (In one case, finding the first excuse to run off) sets up an interesting dynamic between them, even though I am spending the entire time watching their scenes just wondering exactly when something’s going to happen that’ll explain why Stormfront is part of this team.
And then, off on his own, The Deep has fallen into his new bad family (The Church of The Collective) and as part of how they’re trying to deal with his issues, they drug him. The drugging sends Deep off on his own little acid trip and goes exactly where you think it would go… The Deep talks to his gills, voiced by Patton Oswalt, which is objectively incredible. Seeing The Deep confronting why he treats women badly and how much he hates himself because of his body is captivating. It’s a very small scene that’s about this church buttering The Deep up so he’ll fall in line with this new crowd, but it promises so much for this character.
The Bad Boys
The one part of the episode that didn’t work for me was the coincidental reveal of who the Super Terrorist is and how he specifically relates to The Boys. It feels like a pointless connection that’s meant to have us conflicted and… I’m not? I’m not even a little conflicted. Maybe in the upcoming episode it’ll pay off as being worth a damn, but I just have this gut feeling that it’s going to be a pointless connection that keeps things small.
- What happened with Theodore? The news station at the beginning brings up that Stillwell’s son Theodore was threatened but is still alive, anyone going to follow up on that?
- The Deep starting his drug trip by listening to Iris by The Goo Goo is perfect, he doesn’t want the world to see him because he doesn’t think that they’d understand.
- Patton Oswalt should just voice all body parts that gain the ability to speak due to a drug trip.
- Hughie listening to Billy Joel music is one thing, having him watching “You’re Only Human”, a music video where a tall lanky guy has his life story altered by a bearded man with a weird accent in a big coat with the first name Billy is about as on the nose as it gets.
- Mild nitpick, I watched Gecko cut his arm off in the last episode and it grew back in seconds but some mild eye irritation means he has to wear a patch?
- Pippi Longstocking is absolutely the best superhero, where’s her 100 million dollar epic?
- Best line: “It’s like Hughie’s infected the both of you with a raging case of vagina!”
In general, it’s a solid episode that really picks up the ball and runs with it, setting things up to revolve around what’s going on with Homelander’s kid. That feels like where everything’s going and, at least right now, I’m curious to see how things get there.