After a killer first season, season 2 of Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys has finally arrived. The season 1 finale saw Hughie, M.M., Frenchie, and Kimiko pull off a narrow escape from their captors, while Butcher’s explosive hostage situation with Madelyn Stillwell went sideways when Homelander killed her himself. The final scene found Butcher waking up on the front lawn of none other than his seemingly dead wife’s mysterious new house … with a son, to boot. Keep reading to find out what happened in the first episode of season 2, “The Big Ride.”
WARNING: The Boys contains mature subject matter, potentially triggering events, vulgar language, violence, and gore. Those themes may appear in the following recap.
This season opens up with the Secretary of Defense Robert A. Singer (wink wink, Supernatural fans) and Vought CEO Stan Edgar. The two are having a discussion about moving forward with militarizing The Seven. Simultaneously, we see Black Noir on a mission in Syria taking out the “Super-Terrorist” Naqib. Remember the Supe that wiped out the U.S. task force sent to eliminate him last season? The one that Homelander purposely used to help to further his agenda with merging The Seven and the military? Yep, that’s him. And rest assured, we’re hardly five minutes in at this point and someone’s face has already been ripped open.
Next, we cut to Translucent’s funeral (R.I.P. clear guy, 1980-2020), which looks more like a concert, complete with a fancy clear casket on the center of the stage (I momentarily pondered the fact that they’d decided to make the man go to his own funeral naked, until I remembered … there’s nothing left of him, thanks to Hughie.) Homelander paces around on stage, and we learn that he’s framing Translucent’s death on cartel Super-Terrorist — Supervillain — El Diablo, to further the agenda of getting The Seven into national defense.
Meanwhile, The Deep is still banished to Ohio, sitting at a bar with a collection of empty glasses beside him, wallowing in his sorrows. The bartender cuts him off and threatens to call TMZ if he doesn’t leave. Can’t catch a break, huh?
Outside of Translucent’s funeral, people are milling about with flowers and posters, while aspiring entrepreneurs are peddling ironic shirts honoring the fallen Supe (“Out of sight … never out of mind”) for the low, low price of two for $64 — what an absolute steal. Bagpipes drone on in the background as Homelander and Starlight exit the building and walk down the red carpet, hand in hand as they present a united front.
The screen pans out to find Hughie watching the news footage on his phone from his incredibly sanitary and comfortable looking new home, which (if I had to describe it) most closely resembles a janitor’s closet from the depths of hell. We jump back and forth between Hughie and Annie both going through the motions of getting dressed, and the scenes contrast as Hughie tries to dress himself up despite his dungeon-dwelling appearance, while Annie works to dress herself down as inconspicuously as possible.
On her way out of the Vought building, Annie slows down in a doorway to glance at A-Train, who is still unconscious, outfitted with a breathing tube. As Hughie goes to leave whatever unfortunate dwelling he now calls home, we see that he’s not alone in his less-than-savory underground hideout. There are people putting drugs in A-Train shoeboxes, Kimiko is practicing writing in English, Frenchie and Cherie are selling weapons, and M.M. is removing a bullet from someone’s shoulder. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from this crew, to be quite honest. Hughie exits to street level, and we learn that they’re living underneath of a pawn shop.
Hughie and Annie meet up on the subway. They sit with their thighs flush; there’s still lingering tenderness between them despite all that has happened. Hughie hands her a piece of paper with information on a Vought employee (somebody that Annie used to know) for whatever mission the two are currently cooking up.
Meanwhile in Ohio, The Deep is now having an existential crisis at a waterpark and gets himself arrested. A Supe bails him out — Eagle the Archer from Cleveland. It’s worth mentioning that he offers him a can of Fresca soda as they go to leave.
Back at the hideout, the Boys are discussing Butcher, wondering where he is and why he hasn’t called. Wanted posters with their faces on them pop up on the television screen in front of them, and they launch into a debate about needing to leave. We learn that the nefarious dealings that are taking place in their underground hideout are so that they can work toward saving up money for “good” passports, as per Frenchie. Hughie, on the other hand, would prefer that they not run, and instead suggests that they try to get Compound V and bring it to the New York Times to expose Vought. Clearly, they’re all struggling without Butcher as a leader.
We see Homelander step into Stillwell’s old office, which is now being renovated. He proceeds to rifle through her mini fridge (of course she drank La Croix) and whips out a bottle of her frozen breast milk. To absolutely no one’s surprise, he warms it up with his laser vision and chugs it. How … refreshing. He’s interrupted by Ashley Barrett, who has replaced Stillwell at the recommendation of Homelander himself. If she noticed what he was doing, she was certainly too terrified to make a comment on what an absolute freak this man is.
Ashley brings Homelander down to the gym to meet the candidate that she found to replace Translucent in The Seven — Blindspot. In the spirit of inclusion, she’s hatched the idea to attract millennial support with the addition of a Supe who is blind. Homelander wastes no time going from cordial to downright insane in ten seconds flat, as he bursts Blindspot’s eardrums, knocking the man to the floor in a pool of blood. He then rounds on Ashley, telling her that she answers to him, and he will be the one to decide who goes in The Seven.
We switch over to Annie, who’s currently in a taxi. She glances at her phone, which is lighting up with apologetic text messages from her mother. She exits her ride at a motel, and we see that she’s following the Vought employee she had been discussing with Hughie. Said guy enters one of the motel rooms with another man, and after an exchange of money, allows the man to excitedly hack off his arm (which then grows back afterward). Annie stands at the window outside, filming what’s happening inside of the room.
Back at the underground hideout, two of the Boys’ smugglers come running in, and one of them is in incredibly bad shape. After a heated exchange, the Boys take off in their van to investigate a dock area on the waterfront, and they find a boat smashed up in the parking lot. Kimiko picks up an origami mouse from the wreckage and curiously studies it. They check the security footage and learn that not only were the smugglers secretly smuggling people along with the drugs and guns, but they also brought over a Super-Terrorist (hence the boat, which was mysteriously flung out of the water.)
We cut to an amusing scene at Vought tower, in which a study is being conducted with a group of people to find what they think the scariest term is — super criminal, super villain, super terrorist, super outlaw, or evil doer. Homelander, annoyed as he stands behind a two-way mirror, puts his foot down to say that they’re using the term Supervillain going forward.
And what happened to The Deep? He wakes up on Eagle the Archer’s couch. He’s startled to find a woman is also sitting in the living room with them — Carol, a “good friend” of Eagle. She offers The Deep a Fresca (because soda for breakfast makes sense, I guess. But seriously, what’s up with this soda?) Their discussion, which is beginning to sound like an intervention, eventually leads to the fact that Carol and Eagle just want to help him get back into The Seven. Carol proceeds to reveal where she’s from, the Church of the Collective (*deep breath* it’s … a … CULT!)
At the hideout, Kimiko shows Frenchie the origami mouse she found at the docks in the boat wreckage, and she writes the word ‘boy’ on a piece of paper. She becomes frustrated when he doesn’t understand what she’s trying to tell him. M.M. is hard at work on his Vermont Country Dollhouse as the Boys end up in another heated discussion. Hughie pushes for them to contact CIA Deputy Director Susan Raynor, while also letting it slip that he’s been in contact with Annie.
Annie, speaking of, tracks down Gecko, the motel guy with the impressively gross power to regrow his body parts. She proceeds to blackmail him with the footage she captured at the motel in exchange for a sample of Compound V.
Elsewhere, Homelander and Queen Maeve are filming a promo with the Marines when they’re interrupted by … the arrival of Aya Cash’s Stormfront! Stormfront is busy livestreaming to a huge audience of her followers as she struts around the set, making backhanded, sarcastic comments about Vought and The Seven. Homelander is less than pleased to learn from her that, as per Mr. Edgar, she’s now the newest member of The Seven (or as a comment in the livestream said, “Homie is shook.”)
Hughie’s argument seems to have swayed M.M., because the Boys pile into their van once more and head to a remote location to meet up with Raynor. After giving her a description of the Super Terrorist from the boat, she goes on to say that she thinks they just handed her the missing piece to a puzzle. She can see the whole picture now, it’s someone from the inside at Vought, she says. She then gets a nosebleed … and her head explodes. Well, that’s a shame.
At Vought, Homelander pays Mr. Edgar a visit and confronts him about not consulting him before adding Stormfront to The Seven. He goes on to flex his importance (“I am Vought”). Mr. Edgar, unperturbed, reflects back on the founder of the company — Frederick Vought. We learn that back in 1939, Hitler appointed him chief physician at the Dachau concentration camp, where he tested Compound V on human subjects. He was later pardoned by President Roosevelt after helping to create heroes to defeat the Germans. Mr. Edgar goes on to explain that Vought is not a superhero company, they’re a pharmaceutical company, and Homelander is not their most valuable asset, their confidential formula for Compound V is. After being embarrassingly put in his place, Homelander takes off. He shows up at Becca’s front door and says that he wants to see his son.
At the Boys hideout, we see them cleaning up and reeling from what happened with Raynor. M.M. is essentially bathing in hand sanitizer, and that’s one big metaphor for 2020 if I’ve ever seen one. They’re interrupted by the entrance guard falling down the steps, and in walks Billy Butcher himself, decked out in … a red and blue velour tracksuit. In the words of M.M., “What the fuck are you wearing?” Hughie is confused, but Frenchie confirms that he called Butcher because they need a real captain. And … he’s not wrong.
“But don’t you worry, Daddy’s home.”
Stay tuned for our recap of episode 2! Episode 4 will premiere on Friday, September 11.