Spoiler-Free Review: The First Three Episodes of ‘The Boys’ Season 2 Set the Stage for Another Wild Ride

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Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.

The time has come … we’re just a few days out from the premiere of the highly anticipated second season of Amazon Prime Video’s hit series The Boys!

Rather than dropping the entire season on day one like last year, only the first three episodes will be available on Friday, September 4 in order to whet viewers’ appetites for what’s to come later in the season. The remaining five episodes will be released weekly on Fridays through October 9.

So what can viewers expect from their Friday binge of the first three episodes of season 2?  To put it simply — things are diabolical, as usual.

After an explosive season 1 finale, season 2 of The Boys finds Billy Butcher reeling from the knowledge that his wife is still alive. And thanks to their extracurricular activities, he and the Boys are now on the run from Vought, the Supes, and the law. Meanwhile, The Seven have their own problems, as a new Supe named Stormfront will be joining their ranks. To top it all off, Supervillains are now an emerging issue, too … because, well, of course.

With only eight episodes, pacing and storytelling are a delicate balance, and it appears that The Boys has once again managed to find the right rhythm for its second run. An assortment threads were left hanging in the air at the end of the last season, and the first three episodes dropping on Friday serve to touch on these various issues and funnel them toward the plot points that drive season 2. For those that enjoy continuity and revel in the small details, and perhaps haven’t watched the first season anytime recently, a rewatch beforehand wouldn’t be unwarranted in order to fully appreciate how tight the storytelling remains.

An overall theme that plays out across these episodes is the struggle for power and leadership. As promised, Butcher’s whereabouts remain unknown for the time being as the season opens. Whereas we saw him bring the team (back) together in the first season, we now are shown how Hughie, M.M., Frenchie, and Kimiko function under pressure without a leader to make tough judgement calls. Meanwhile, at Vought, the main person that Homelander was forced to answer to — Madelyn Stillwell — is now gone. Though Homelander may still have other higher-ups to report to, there’s a stark shift in his perceived level of power within the organization.

The Boys also continues to expand upon its satirization of the superhero genre by exploring how super powered humans would actually function in our modern world. Not just as “heroes” and celebrities, but as tools of massive corporations. Season 1 was focused on how these “supes” might exploit their powers for their own personal gains and to escape punishment from the inevitable death and destruction they leave in their wake. The beginning of season 2 takes that and expands it to the macro. It’s looking at how these Supes are used by corporations and global political powers to amass wealth and enforce the status quo. Season 1 parodies Superman (Homelander), Aquaman (The Deep), and The Flash (A-Train) etc., by showing us their dark, sociopathic sides, but season 2 parodies the film franchises of Marvel and DC by demonstrating how these corporations shamelessly exploit the American public’s tendency towards hero worship. And, with the addition of Stormfront, how corporations are adept at adopting the current trends in social media and the language/activism of the new generation.

If that sounds bleak as hell, don’t worry, season 2 promises to be just as funny and outlandish as season 1, with some truly jaw-dropping and side-splitting (literally) moments. In fact, humor continues to be an integral part of the show and is what allows it to dig so deeply into the darkness and depravity of its characters. Superheroes, with their brightly colored spandex leotards and fancy capes, are by their very nature absurd. They are awesome power in flamboyant and often silly trappings. They are serious and silly. And so, too, The Boys is serious and silly, bleak and hopeful, horrifying and humorous.

But above all, also extremely violent. Which is a warning for some and an enticement for others. The bloody gore and body horror can be intense and unrelenting at times. If you were a fan of season 1, or enjoy intense action and horror, then strap yourselves in for a gory, sticky treat. But if bloodshed and violence (and dark themes like abusive relationships) make you queasy, then this show might not be for you.

Overall, the first three episodes are an appetizing build-up for what’s to come, promising that the second season will be another hit. One of the season’s biggest catalysts comes into play by episode 3, setting the stage for everything to truly begin hitting the fan. So, rest assured … things are still bloody as always, the script continues to be brash and unapologetic (and not for the faint of heart), and Billy Butcher remains a fashion icon, to absolutely nobody’s surprise.

Begin streaming season 2 of The Boys on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, and stay tuned for our recaps after each episode! Don’t miss out on the new weekly after-show — Prime Rewind: Inside The Boys — which is hosted by Aisha Tyler and aired its first episode last week.

In the meantime, make sure to check out our recent interviews with various members of the cast and crew, in which we discuss the upcoming season with them: Showrunner Eric Kripke, Karl Urban and Laz Alonso, Jack Quaid and Erin Moriarty, Chace Crawford and Jessie T. Usher, Giancarlo Esposito, Aya Cash and Antony Starr, and finally Karen Fukuhara and Tomer Capon.

Nerds and Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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By Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. If she's not writing or out and about with her camera, she's probably watching anime, nerding out over Star Wars, reading manga, and definitely forgetting to water her plants. And waiting for the Genshin loading screen to pop up. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com
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