If you thought that season one was crazy, then let me be among the first to tell you that you haven’t seen anything yet. The success of the first season clearly showed that the insanity of the show works—in fact. people love it. Needless to say, this was taken to heart. There are things contained within The Boys’ second season that left my jaw on the floor, completely flabbergasted at what I was witnessing—and I mean that in the most positive way imaginable.
If I could list off the things I’m talking about, even in the vaguest terms, I would. There’s just something so unquestionably refreshing about watching a Superhero story where the Supers just don’t hold back. In any fashion. Even better than getting an insane off-the-wall superhero tale, the story being told is fittingly relevant to our current world in many ways. When you also include the stellar storytelling and performances that season two delivers, you have yourself the phenomenal end results that Erik Kripke and company have delivered here.
Everyone you know and love is back for more craziness. For starters, there’s the titular crew in The Boys. Hughie, Mother’s Milk, Frenchie, and even Butcher are back at it. This time however, it’s not only to end Vought and the Supers, but also to clear their own names. We start back up with them shortly after where we last saw them—give or take a couple of days. Their fugitive status has made their lives hell, and they are now forced to live in the run down basement of a storefront, one that’s also actively running drugs, among other crimes.
Everyone in the group has a heavy weight on their shoulders. No question about it, things are tense, and it’s certainly affecting the crew. One of the core thematic elements of this season is the exploration of a person’s breaking point. It’s something that is examined heavily with nearly all of the characters (including those outside of The Boys themselves). With it the show is able to give us some extremely deep and poignant insight in ways that we haven’t yet seen. This season does a terrific job at not only diving deeper into every one of these characters, but also exploring the inner workings and camaraderie within our ragtag group of fugitives. We start to really understand what this group means to each other, and what it means for them to actually work together.
One of my favorite things that this season brings to the table is Starlight’s new position. She is no longer in the dark about everything—not only about Vought, but also Hughie and his crew’s operation. Hughie and Annie’s relationship is obviously strained given where they left off, but the show is quick to make it clear that you shouldn’t lose all hope. Not yet at least. Even better than Starlight coming into her own in her fight against Vought, is that we get to see some really cool new dynamics that present themselves when her paths cross with The Boys and their agenda.
Then there is, of course, The Seven and it’s Suped up members. The show overall does an incredibly impressive job at juggling its many characters, making sure to give ample screen time and focus to them all so that everyone in this world has a story to tell—and something to contribute to the overall narrative. The sophomore season manages to give nearly all of The Seven respectable time and exploration, with only a single member in particular seemingly lacking in comparison (not that they are left in the dust by any means). I think one of my standout surprises was Queen Maeve– particularly the screen time and focus she receives. Maeve was given some fantastic content this season, and her journey throughout it was a treat to watch. I was also surprised to see The Deep given a similar focus to what he received in the first season. While it’s still quality development, I found myself noticing that his story continued to feel annoyingly disconnected a vast majority of the time.
To no one’s surprise, the member of The Seven to get the brunt of the attention is none other than Homelander himself. Anthony Starr continues to be one of the stars of the show. Is it terrible to say that he was born for this role? He is so unbelievably disturbing and off-putting, in all the best possible ways. Not to mention how simply terrifying he can be. This season provides tons of quality work with the character, and shines a spotlight on the further intricate complexities that are at play in his psyche.
That’s a lot of talk about characters we already know, so I think it’s about time we talk about one of the new faces to the party. Even with all of the existing cast, not many can stand toe-to-toe with Homelander’s immense presence; enter Stormfront. Aya Cash joins the sophomore season as the next member of The Seven, and new world sensation. Cash is fantastic, and the first time you meet her you immediately want more. She never misses a beat in the role, and she provides a treasure trove of great stuff for the story being told.
Stormfront isn’t the only new person in town. While he did technically show up for a minute or two in the first season, this go around gives us a proper introduction to Vought CEO Stan Edgar—portrayed by none other than the incredible Giancarlo Esposito. It’s no surprise that he is fantastic and fits perfectly into this crazy world. On top of Stan Edgar, another villain that we finally get to see is Lamplighter, portrayed by former Iceman Shawn Ashmore. The introduction to the Super responsible for so much trauma plaguing some of our characters is fantastic, and he doesn’t disappoint. This season also introduces us to Becca, the long thought to be dead, wife of Butcher, as well as her son Ryan. Additional new cast members include Caludia Doumit as a young congresswoman named Victoria Nueman, and Goran Visnjic as Alistair Adana, the head of the mysterious Church of the Collective.
In a world with so many Superhero stories, The Boys continues to shine and stand out in unique and fresh ways. The sophomore season of one of Amazon Prime’s most-watched original shows does not disappoint. It fully lives up–if not exceeds–expectations set by the incredible first season. Getting to dive deeper into these characters in ways that we have not yet seen is a rewarding experience, and the entire season is just one non-stop roller coaster. So you better strap yourself in, because it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
The Boys Season 2 premieres exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on Septembers 4th with their first three episodes, followed with weekly new episodes.