Everything You Need to Remember for THE BOYS Season 2

The Boys, Amazon Prime’s darkly satiric take on superhero tropes, took the world by storm last summer. Created by  Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the series is coming back for season two in September. Needless to say, quite a lot happened in the show’s eight episode first season. So we are here to remind you of everything you need to remember before the super violent,  super powered weirdness returns.

The Premise
The Seven line-up

Amazon / Sony Studios

The Boys takes place in a world where a team called “The Seven,” a thinly-veiled analog of the Justice League, are the planet’s most famous superheroes. And they’re also its biggest celebrities. Run by a mega conglomerate called Vought International, the Seven’s ambitions go way beyond celebrity endorsement deals. They are also trying to push the Seven as government contractors, supplying so-called “supes” into the United States military.

The Seven are mostly amoral and power hungry, none more so than their Superman/Captain America mash-up named Homelander (Antony Starr). The team also includes Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), a troubled Wonder Woman stand-in; the Deep (Chace Crawford), an Aquaman type who is a sexual predator; A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), a Flash style speedster; the invisible man called Translucent (Alex Hassell); and Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell), a Batman-esque member covered in  head-to-toe darkness.

The Boys gather around a screen

Amazon / Sony Studios

When A-Train kills his girlfriend in a moment of pure criminal negligence, a young retail clerk named Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) becomes hell-bent on revenge. Hughie gives in to feelings of embitterment when he sees the way so-called “supes” are able to destroy the lives of ordinary people with seeming impunity. Soon Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), whose life mission is to punish corrupt supes—especially those that are members of the Seven—recruits Hughie.

The Plot
Queen Maeve and Homelander wave

Amazon / Sony Television

Butcher soon reveals his own reasons for hating supes. He confesses to Hughie that he believes Homelander sexually assaulted and later killed his wife Becca eight years earlier. He soon introduces Hughie to the other so-called “boys,” a C.I.A. sponsored team of vigilantes with designs on ending the threat of super powered heroes. The Boys includes munitions expert Frenchie (Tomer Capon), and group organizer Marvin (Laz Alonso), a.k.a. “Mother’s Milk.” Together, they plan on exposing the Seven and Vought International for what they really are.

The Boys take steps to target the Seven and expose their secrets. However, complications arise when Hughie meets and falls for Annie January (Erin Moriarty). She goes by the supehero name Starlight. A new recruit into the Seven who hails from small town America, she’s an actual honest-to-goodness hero in the Supergirl mold. Appalled at the moral compromises she has to make to be a member of the Seven, Starlight slowly turns against them. Things get even more complicated when Translucent tries to kill Hughie for planting a bug in the Seven’s HQ, but he ends up incapacitated. The Boys capture him.

The Boys look confused

Amazon / Sony Television

The Boys ultimately kill Translucent, which puts them on the Seven’s powerful but sociopathic leader Homelander’s radar. Homelander is completely amoral. He has no problem killing innocents if they interfere with the Seven’s agenda or their public standing. He is kept under control only by his perverse relationship with Vought International’s Vice President, Madelyn Stillwell (Elizabeth Shue). Although totally human, she is just as amoral and conniving as the “heroes” in her employ. Much of the first season sees her wheeling and dealing to get the U.S. military to contract supes.

The Boys install spyware on the computer of the superhero Popclaw, who is dating A-Train. Because of this, they discover that she and A-Train take a performance-enhancing dug called “Compound V.” The Boys’ investigation leads them down the Compound V rabbit hole. They eventually discover that Vought International has been using charities to smuggle the compound by disguising it as vaccines. Vought’s been doing this as part of an ongoing effort since 1971 to make super-powered babies. Then, these children would grow up into super powered individuals which Vought would then control.

Hughie and the Butcher

Amazon / Sony Television

The Boys also discover a woman who at first was only known as “The Female,” but later revealed as Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara). They find her locked in a cage in a basement under high security. They soon realize that she has powers too, created as part of Vought’s efforts to make super villains in other countries. The idea here being that a world filled with super powered terrorists and criminals would encourage the U.S. Military to bring in supes to deal with these threats.

How Season One Ended
Homelander soaks in attention

Amazon / Sony Television 

In the season one finale, Starlight helps Hughie free his fellow Boys from capture. But when she’s given the choice to help A-Train recover from a heart attack, Starlight takes it. Barely escaping, the Boys become fugitives from the law. Billy Butcher’s plan for bringing down the Seven also goes into effect. He plans to kill Madelyn Stillwell and Homelander at the same time, but Homelander beats him to it. Homelander murders Madelyn  In an act of desperation, Butcher tries to blow himself up along with Homelander.

However, Homelander winds up saving himself and Butcher. The hero takes Butcher to an undisclosed suburban location. The finale reveals that Butcher’s wife Becca is alive and living in suburbia; she’s raising the  child conceived after Homelander’s assault. This is a big deviation from the comics, where she died in childbirth, and Billy Butcher kills the child. After the death of Madelyn Stillwell, her superior (Giancarlo Esposito) takes over Vought International operations.

How Close Is It to the Comics?
A-Train, Queen Maeve, Homelander, and Starlight

Amazon / Sony Television

The Boys is based on the 2006-2012 comic book series by Preacher’s Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. So far, the live-action series has remained relatively faithful to the comics, but with some big deviations. The character of Madelyn Stillwell (Elizabeth Shue) is a man in the comics instead of a woman. And all of the comic’s characters are even darker and grittier and a lot less sympathetic. Lastly, the Boys themselves take Compound V to gain superpowers, placing them on an even keel with the Seven. This doesn’t happen on the show—at least not yet. It will be interesting to see if the idea of the Boys taking Compound V to be on more even ground with the Seven shows up in season two.

The Boys season two drops on Amazon Prime on September 4, 2020.

Featured Image: Amazon Prime

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