In case you want a quick recap of how Season 1 wrapped up, i'll sum it up as quick as possible.
Hughie, MM, and Frenchie teamed up with Stargirl and had a showdown with A-Train at the blacksite they were keeping Kimiko. A-Train has a heart attack, and Hughie saves him before escaping with the gang minus Butcher, who set a trap for Homelander. He had attached a bunch of C4 to Homelanders milk mamma, Stillwell, to get revenge for the disappearance of his wife, Rebecca. When Homelander arrived, however, he killed Stillwell himself for hiding the truth about Rebecca and his child. Butcher tries to blow them both up, but Homelander saves him, bringing him to Rebecca and the child instead.
Episode 1: The Big Ride
Summary: We open up with Black Noir slaughtering an entire compound of terrorists (in a compound that looks very similar to Abbottabad, I'm sure with purpose) before killing the super terrorist we were introduced to in S1, Naqib, while Sympathy for the Devil plays. We see how both Starlight and Hughie have been doing their best to keep up appearances since we last saw them. Starlight is pretending to be a willing member of the Seven while secretly meeting with Hughie to get their hands on Compound V (The substance being used by Vought International to create supes) so they can expose Vought to the world. They do so by blackmailing a Vought research subject (and former friend of Starlight) into getting a sample of compound V for them.
We're then introduced to the newest member of the 7, Stormfront (Aya Cash) who is cool and irreverent, making her instantly clash with Homelander who goes to visit Vought's CEO, Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito) and put his foot down. Edgar tells Homelander rather bluntly that they don't need him, especially since his fuck up (making super-terrorists and inadvertently helping to expose compound V) put them into a load of shit. Meanwhile, the boys (still without Butcher) contact Rayner(their CIA contact from the first season) with the information that a supe terrorist has been smuggled into New Jersey. As Rayner is mentally putting the puzzle pieces together in front of them, her head suddenly fucking EXPLODES in their faces.
The episode ends with Hughie calling Starlight to tell her the blackmail worked, and Hughie lying to her(again) about the situation unraveling with terrorist supe and the CIA. Butcher then mysteriously reappears in the Boys hideout.
Recap: One of the themes I liked a lot about this episode was Hughie trying to come to terms with the fact that he has to be a leader. All the other guys had basically given up home and resigned to living the rest of their lives on the run, but he drew them all back in together with the purpose of bringing the Supes down. We also get some great Homelander action in this episode, and he and Hughie are kind of on parallel paths with respect to how they view power. Homelander assumes that he is in charge because he is the strongest, bullying around the new head of PR and barging into Edgar's office making demands. Hughie thinks he can't be in charge because, even though he is fighting for a good thing, he is the weakest of the group. Hughies power evaporates when Butcher returns "daddy's home", and Homelander's power is stomped on by Edgar, who says the company will be more than ok without his fuckups.
Episode 2: Proper Preparation and Planning
Summary: Butcher wakes up in a restaurant parking lot in Fort Wayne. The restaurant's name, you ask? Tony Cicero's. If that sounds familiar, it's probably because it is the name of the actor who plays one Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri.
After realizing he is wanted for the death of Stillwell, who Homelander vaporized, he goes on the run. The Boys confront him about abandoning them, but he is too ashamed to admit the situation with Rebecca. Meanwhile, Homelander has been visiting Rebecca and their son, Ryan, trying to force him into using his powers. Butcher makes a deal Grace, the former CIA boss from S1, and makes a deal with her. If the Boys find the smuggled-in terrorist Supe and turn them over, their names will be cleared. A-Train re-appears during a PR event and begins threatening Starlight about revealing her involvement with Hughie and the Boys.
During the event, she gets a sample of compound V from her blackmailee, which is inconvenient since she can't hide it from A-Train anywhere. A-Train breaks into her apartment and discovers that Starlight stole it, but she blackmails him into keeping quiet by revealing she knows he killed Popclaw. Meanwhile, The Deep has hit rock bottom, and starts getting therapy from a strange church leader named Alistair Adana who is introduced to him by a fellow superhero named Eagle the Archer, who is basically Hawkeye. He starts having a conversation with his gills (The source of his insecurities (voiced by former LCB guest Patton Oswalt) after doing some shrooms as well.
The Boys track down the terrorist supe, which turns out to be Kimiko's brother, Kenji (his power is basically just the force). When Butcher overrides Hughie and tries to shoot Kenji, Hughie stops him and causes Kimiko and Kenji to run off. In the resulting scuffle, Butcher tells the boys about the situation with Homelander and Rebecca, which is why he is so desperate to catch Kenji. Kimiko tries to convince Kenji to join the Boys in their fight, but he rejects her and runs off. She catches him and knocks him out, with the Boys arriving to take him back to their hideout.
Recap: One of the cooler parts of this is the developing of Stormfront as a badass character. She hates the fakeness and manicured existence of the 7, especially that of Starlight. Butcher has kind of gone from a "reasonable" psychopath to an unhinged one. The job is incredibly personal for every member of the boys, but Butcher is clearly letting both his hatred for Homelander and desire to find his wife cloud his judgement.
Episode 3: Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men
Summary: The episode opens up with Hughie watching the music video for Billy Joel's "You're Only Human" (a banger btw) while out to sea on board My Big Wet Dream, a yacht that Butcher stole to hide Kenji in for CIA retrieval. A NYPD helicopter arrives to stop the stolen yacht but Kenji, who had just escaped being tied down, accidentally blasts it out of the sky after his force blast is redirected by Kimiko. Homelander is still trying to force Ryan into using his powers, and this time he tries to do so by throwing him off the roof to make him instinctively fly. He survives, but retaliates against Homelander using superpowers(to his delight).
Stargirl has leaked Compound V, and the fact that it was administered to children against their will by parents paid off by Vought, to the press. A-Train confronts Starlight for doing this, basically saying "Why would you fuck with our money like that". Starlight says "There is more important things in the world than money", to which A-Train gives the great reply of "The only people who'd say that are the ones who grow up with money". Edgar assures the 7 that he has everything under control, but Homelander basically says "Fuck you, and fuck Vought. We're the talent and we don't need you." before setting off with them to capture Kenji and the Boys. Stormfront seemed basically turned on by this moment of authenticity, and I'm pretty sure they're gonna hook up sometime in the next few episodes.
The Boys are attacked by the Deep while trying to boat their way to a CIA safehouse. The chase climaxes with them T-boning the Deep's whale, Lucy, while running aground at the safehouse. The run into a storm drain as the rest of the supes arrive to find Deep and his dead whale. Homelander is openly discussed by Deep openly showing his gills and tells him to cover up before they give chase to the boys. Starlight finds Hughie in the maze, but blasts him because Homelander is watching. He threatens to kill both of them if she doesn't kill Hughie right then and there. Luckily, Butcher shows up with Kenji, who buries Homelander with a landfill. He and Kimiko run off, but are blasted into an apartment complex by Stormfront, who proceeds to kills every witness she sees in her pursuit of them.
She corners Kenji on a rooftop, breaking his hands off at the wrist and brutally torturing him before calling him a racial slur (which is similar to one Captain America infamously yelled at a Japanese soldier in a comic book , I'm not sure if that was the intention) and snapping his neck. Kimiko escapes, and later her and the Boys watch a press conference where Edgar blames the compound V program on Stillwell, who he claims had gone rogue. He assures the public that this disaster is proof Supes are necessary to protect regular people, while Stormfront steals Homelanders leading shine and claims that regular Joe's are the real heroes.
Recap: The heel turn revealing Stormfront as an egotistical and ruthless sadist basically reveals Stormfront as the Alpha to Homelander's Omega moving forward. I loved that, and like the idea of this three way power struggle between Edgar, Homelander and Stormfront moving forward. MM has a great moment where he tells Butcher that he "lost his canary", in other words he had gone too deep into his pit of revenge or whatever you want to call it. Something to note about this episode is that Grace mentioned an old supe named Liberty, which she looks at on an old Bud heavy ad and insists has something to do with everything going on.
Here is my questions and thoughts moving forward:
- What is the significance of the Fresca that Eagle and the church lady kept getting?
- I want to know a LOT more about Alistair Adana and said church/cult. Are they indoctrinating supes into a religious cult?
- Who is Liberty?
- When will Starlight openly join the Boys, and will other 7 members like A-Train, Black Noir and Queen Maeve join her? The Deep because he is sick of being judged? Or maybe even some of the tertiary heroes like fake hawkeye?
- What is Queen Maeve going to do moving forward? She clearly hates Homelander for forcing her to be like him and ruining her personal life. Will this end with every supe against Homelander and Stormfront?
- Ryan will have a part to play moving forward. Will he actually fight Homelander?
- Rebecca is clearly trying escape Homelander, but what lengths will she go to in order to do it.
- Who the fuck blew up Rayner's head a la Law Abiding Citizen? Liberty, maybe?
Tweet me whatever theories, questions and comments you have because I want to see what you guys think is gonna go down. Unless you read the comic books and just wanna spoil everything. Don't do that.