The Boys are back and if possible things are even worse for our…heroes? There’s some shakeups in The Big Ride, mostly due to Homelander’s impulsive actions, but Hughie and the boys are finding it increasingly harder to stay off the radar even in the wake of a new nationwide threat.
What makes The Boys work so well is how easy it is to see how something as idealistic and pure as superheroes would truly get tainted in the real world. Instead of people trying to make the world a better place, petulant narcissistics with powers would be a far greater nuisance than any super villain…or super terrorists. Marketing is still spit balling the name.
That’s why it’s hardly surprising to see Madeline’s death get essentially monetized with dramatic re-enactments with a bad Billy Butcher stand-in with an even worse accent killing Madeline. Billy made an easy fall guy and has been off the radar ever since. If there was any frustrating aspect to this season premiere it’s the lack of any kind of payoff to the season finale.
Hughie and Mother’s Milk have been identified as Billy’s associates and while Frenchie’s picture is revealed his name isn’t known. And Kimiko remains an unknown ally of The Boys. They’re shacking up with some of Frenchie’s associates who may dabble in some illegal trades like drug dealing and gun running, but at least it’s a roof over their heads.
Homelander and Starlight put on a showy tribute for Translucent’s funeral. Starlight has learned how to play the game so as not to alert suspicion, but she’s working with Hughie to figure out a way to out Voght’s atrocities. While they’re aligned, the love is gone — at least on Starlight’s side.
Hughie gives Starlight a lead on one of her ex-Christian summer camp gifted pals, Gecko. He’s got the unusual ability to regenerate any limb and Gecko figured a unique way to get paid off it — S&M prostituting for guys who have a weird dismembering fetish. Hanging with Hughie hasn’t done wonders for Starlight as she threatens to release a video if Gecko won’t get Compound V for her.
Homelander remains in controlled psychopath mode. First, with his cruel dismissal of a potential replacement in The 7 — turns out Homelander is not very inclusive for folks that have some form of disability. Shocker.
He’s not thrilled at all when Stormfront (Aya Cash) introduces herself as the newest member of The 7. Stormfront is an influencer and all too happy to show a glimpse behind the curtain of life as one of The 7 much to Homelander and Queen Maeve’s chagrin.
Homelander goes on full subtle threat mode to Vought head Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito). While Stan doesn’t have any breast milk to placate him like Madeline, Stan isn’t intimidated and merely reminds Homelander he’s not the commodity. Compound V is what keeps the train rolling here.
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Hughie is desperate to find some way to turn the tide against Vought save calling up Billy. He feels deserted by the guy who ditched him after upending his life and is determined to do it on his own. This seems like the right call right up until a face to face with Agent Rayner gets her head exploded. In an episode where Black Noir ripped a person’s jaw apart this scene still managed to be the most gruesome, but it was close.
Going down the annoying CW Arrowverse route, Hughie decides to lie to Starlight when she reveals Gecko is in. Sure, Mother’s Milk warned him not to get Starlight involved, but it’s too late for that and Hughie keeps forgetting she’s the hero, not him.
The Deep manages to sink to new flameout depths as he gets arrested for causing a scene at a splash park. He gets bailed out by Eagle the Archer (Langston Kerman, Insecure), who introduces him to his friend Carol (Jessica Hecht), a representative of The Church of the Collective. This show/comic clearly has some issues with church and religion in general, doesn’t it?
After Hughie’s latest plan bombed, Frenchie wasn’t gonna take another setback and called up the man who could at least put a sensible one together. Billy’s back, boys.
The Big Ride was filled with the show’s typical dark humor and callous look at superheroes while introducing a number of potentially interesting subplots to hopefully avoid a sophomore slump.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: Amazon Studios