The Boys Season 2 Episode 1 : The Big Ride
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About The Boys
The Boys is an Amazon Prime original, based on the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis. The first season of eight episodes was released on July 26th 2019 and was renewed for a second season which had the first three episodes drop on September 4th 2020 with a new episode being released weekly.
Set in a world where DC-esque superheroes exists, The Boys plays with the idea that a large amount of uncontrollable power would give superheroes a sense of moral superiority which would lead to them misusing their powers. This has lead to a small group of vigilantes being formed, under the leadership of Billy Butcher, with the intent of taking down the superheroes by any means necessary.
Since this review is for the first episode of season 2, here is a handy recap of season 1 to help you catch up.
“The Big Ride” Review
After the murder of Madelyn Stillwell, which has been pinned on Billy Butcher, the Boys have gone into hiding. Living underground, they’re slowly planning their next move. Currently, the best plan involves getting some Compound V and exposing Vaught for their ‘years of experimenting on children’. The person tasked with getting the Compound V is Starlight, who has gone full double agent by helping Hughie while maintaining appearances with The Seven.
While The Boys try to deal with this, a Super Terrorist arrives with telepathic abilities, which can do things like “make boats fly” or “make heads explode”, neither of which would be helpful right about now. So The Boys need to track down this telepathic super terrorist without the help of their former leader Billy, who is just offscreen somewhere after the events of season one.
The Good Boys
From the opening moments of Black Noir’s rampage through a terrorist hideout, this episode reminds the audience of the tone this series thrives on. The entire scene is a brutal blood-splattered trip underscored by Sympathy for the Devil with the comedic capper of Black Noir finding a small child and doing a little dance with a toy bunny. It easily gets us right back in the mood of this series and is probably the best part of the episode.
Shortly after we finally have a funeral for Translucent (roughly 5 episodes after they confirmed he was dead) was actually a great way of closing off that story, it might get referred to again later on but this feels like the show’s way of saying they’ve moved on to a different motivation. That new motivation being the death of Stillwell which this season sets up as a frame job via a crime recreation show called A Closer Look with Chris Hansen (which has the most hilariously awful fake accent you’ve ever heard).
Without Stillwell to guide them, most of the episode has The Seven (Homelander in particular) trying to adjust to this new power vacuum that’s been created by her absence. You can see everyone trying to figure out just who is in charge, who gets to replace people in The Seven, how her death will effect them moving forward and just who will be in charge from now on.
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 since we first met him. Honestly, Chase Crawford’s portrayal of The Deep is easily the most fascinating out of all the superheroes right now and this episode is him at his comedic and dramatic peak. The entire episode just hammers in that he is a desperately lost cause, he’s the show’s punching bag at this point and it’s hard not to react to his pain… both with amusement and sympathy pain.
The Bad Boys
Speaking of pain, the entire sequence with Blindspot was cruel even by this show’s standards. I didn’t need confirmation that Homelander was a vile piece of garbage, I have the entire last season for that. This was unmotivated cruelty that didn’t even have the decency to be entertaining. Plus, Blindspot might be seriously injured but he seemed alive to me and he knows who hurt him so… yeah, unmotivated, cruel and stupid.
Lastly, keeping Billy Butcher out until the absolute last scene really just hurt the episode in general. So much of the comedic tone comes from Billy and without him, there was an obvious void. What really didn’t help was that everyone acted as if 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.
- Cropping The Deep out of the funeral photo montage is petty even by Homelander’s standards
- Homelander still having some of Stillwell’s milk in a bottle is just a whole bowl of yikes
- Gecko, the S&M prostitute who sells off the chance to cut off his own limbs is so darkly fascinating that I hope we get a ton more time with the character
- Gus Fring being the only person who isn’t intimidated at all by Homelander is the most realistic thing in this entire series
- Best line of dialogue, “It’s time to go, or I call TMZ”, I just love the idea that TMZ is a bigger threat than the cops to a Superhero
In general a promising season opener. I still have a lot of questions related to the ending of last season, hopefully future episodes will address those quickly but this has me eager to see what happens.
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