WARNING: Season 1 Spoilers ahead.
When we last left “The Boys” and their fearless leader Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), their world was turned upside down. Hughie (Jack Quaid) managed to break the rest of the boys out of jail, while Homelander (Anthony Starr) shows Billy the family that he stole from him. It was a shocking and emotional cliff hanger to a show that relished in the over the top culture of superhero entertainment. When we pick up in season two, “The Boys” are scattered from their fearless leader and on the run from Vought International and the very government that they may influence. Though that does sound rather dower, these first three episodes still deliver on the gory thrills fans expect from the first season. Some of the particular new additions to the show add some great tensions and laughs in unexpected ways.
The entire group of “The Boys” has a comradery that feels amplified and hits a stream of laughs that I didn’t see coming. They don’t come from what is necessarily said, but how the likes of Urban say it. They walk a fine line from wannabe enforcers or in this case outlaws but keep you locked to the screen in watching what they’ll do next. On the other hand, the Seven also get rather fleshed out and essentially set the stage for what's to come. Starr is great as Homelander like you’d expect, walking a fine line of menace and charm, but it’s the supporting group of characters that stole the show for me in these first three episodes. Returning stars Chace Crawford as “The Deep," Karen Fukuhara as “Kimiko'' and newcomers Giancarlo Esposito (“Breaking Bad”) and Aya Cash (“You’re the Worst" and “Newsroom”) steal the show.
Much like his season one role, we follow “Deep” and his existential crisis of being a lame “hero” further in season two. Crawford plays the role with a funny and sad unpredictability that made the performance so engaging. No spoilers, but out of the three episodes there is a particular moment with him that had me bursting into tears. Fukuhara playing a silent character is given a great emotional story arc in these three episodes that’s always engaging. Esposito brings his usual quiet menace (most notably from “Breaking Bad” and “Mandalorian”) and creates a real threat for Homelander. It’s an interesting role because it’s the first time we’ve seen Homelander as a villain, and actually have another viable threat besides the Boys. Replacing "Deep," Cash is the new member of the Seven as Stormfront goes in unexpected, scary and exciting directions.
“The Boys” is a show that essentially gives a finger to the superhero culture that we currently find ourselves in. Though in this season, it does more by talking about the perceptions of celebrities in the media. The mere idea of the people on TV not necessarily being who they say isn’t the freshest idea, but the style given made me forgive it. Actors like Urban and Starr light up the screen by giving the audience a sense of unpredictability. With a consistent entertainment factor that transfers over from the first season, the threats of season two equally match up. In these first three episodes, the gore and humor get turned up a notch which may not be to everyone’s liking. However if you are like me, it will make for some of the most entertaining TV this year! My only real gripe is that I can’t watch the rest of the season right now.
Watch the trailer here.