Amazon Prime released the highly anticipated second season of their smash hit original series “The Boys” on Friday, Sept. 4. The first three episodes of Season 2 were released on Prime Video. If you were a fan of Season 1, these first few episodes will not disappoint. Season 2 returns with all the great character moments, violent action sequences and genuine laughs that made the first season work so well.
Based on the graphic novel series of the same name, “The Boys” seeks to answer the question of what the world would be like if superheroes actually existed. Shaped by this cynical realism, the show depicts a world where superheroes are incredibly famous public figures, each with their own contracts, merchandising, movies and PR teams; the most prominent example being our main antagonists, the Seven, a team of the most powerful superheroes in the world. Their managers, a shady conglomerate called Vought International, allow them to get away with all kinds of atrocities against the people they’re sworn to protect, so long as the money keeps rolling in. Our titular protagonists, the Boys, are a team of non-superpowered individuals who work to prove to the public how evil Vought and the Seven truly are. The original premise of the show allows the writers to explore real world issues in a complex way that is typically absent from superhero stories.
What immediately sticks out about Season 2 is the darker tone the show has leaned into. When we last left our characters in the first season, Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) had become involved with the murder of Vought Vice President, Madelyn Stillwell. Now he, along with his team, are the targets of a nationwide manhunt by both Vought and the FBI. The Boys are in the worst situation we’ve seen them yet and the toll this takes on the team creates some incredibly tense moments.
Hughie’s (Jack Quaid) journey in these first few episodes sticks out as particularly interesting. With each passing episode we see Hughie become more unraveled by the chaos that has overtaken his life since he joined Butcher’s fight. Season 2 also offers strong plotlines for both Annie (Erin Moriarty) and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara). Since rescuing Hughie at the end of Season 1, Annie is on incredibly thin ice with the other members of the Seven. Without giving too much away, the show goes deeper into Kimiko’s backstory than anything we’ve seen so far to create one of the more emotional plotlines of the season. “The Boys” has always excelled at developing side characters the audience can really connect with, and so far, Season 2 hasn’t disappointed.
Antony Starr once again brings his A-game as Homelander, the sociopathic, Superman-esque leader of the Seven. Starr delivers a chilling performance as the show’s main villain. Homelander’s interactions with his son expertly demonstrate the frightening implications of an omnipotent superhero and leave the audience with a bleak sense of helplessness.
Season 2 of “The Boys” kicks off with three explosive episodes that will leave you wanting more. It definitely lives up to the quality and style that the fans have come to expect from the show. The rock-solid writing and acting deliver a tense, action-packed story that succeeds at getting the audience invested in the characters while cleverly commenting on real issues that face our society.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5