The Boys Season 2, Episode 7 ‘BUTCHER, BAKER, CANDLESTICK MAKER’ (Recap)

The Boys Season 2 continues it’s descent into utter madness in a truly mind-blowing and bloody way….LITERALLY


The penultimate addition to the newest season of The Boys offered an uncomfortable, yet, highly prevalent amount of realism to its complicated narrative. The episode opens with an unnamed citizen as we follow his day to day life. Wake up, go to work, come back, sleep. As his day goes on, we get an unspoken, introspective look into how he interprets the conflicting news narratives presented to him.

The Stormfront narrative: “We need Compound V to fight the Supe-terrorists pouring into our country”. The Congresswoman Victoria Neuman narrative: “Vought must be prosecuted for the unsolicited creation of superheroes”. Our subject, growing more and more confused with what to think, suspect the store clerk at the local liquor store is a Supe-terrorist. This idea is fueled by his race and observation he’s made about the cashier’s eyes. One fateful day, our unnamed subject, confused and fearful, guns down the clerk.

The Boys is known for not shying away and tackling prevalent social issues. This season has already given us a lot to chew on whether it’s about religion, sexual orientation, diverse inclusion, the list goes on. However, this particular opening was being set up from the beginning of the season. The Boys have been building this “anti-foreigner” arc since the introduction of Stormfront, who’s explicitly depicted as a virulent racist. Stormfront has also shown her skill in manipulating the media. - Save on Every Game!

In episode 5, when enlisted by Homelander, she demonstrates how to plant the seed of doubt in the minds of social media scrollers. What starts as a harmless meme spreading misinformation, quickly grows into a detailed conspiracy against systems and institutions. Yesterday’s episode gave us a ground-level scenario on how people interpret the narratives given to them whether it is poisoned by fake news or radically charged beliefs.

The madness and ubiquitous realism don’t stop there. The episode has only started. In the previous episode, we were finally introduced to Lamplighter and we finally know what happened the night Mallory’s family was torched. Mallory seems to have set aside her desire for redemption and works with Congresswoman Neuman to have Lamplighter testify against Vought in the upcoming trial. Just as quickly as we were introduced, Lamplighter escaped any possibility of becoming a recurring character.

However, even though his appearance was short-lived, Shawn Ashmore gave a great performance as the Supe that’s eluded us since the pilot episode. Lamplighter was portrayed as someone who lost his voice. Once a prized member of The Seven, now a puppet for Vought to carry out executions. On a rescue mission to save Starlight, Hughie and Lamplighter break into the Vought HQ building. What, once, was a rescue mission, turned into Lamplighter’s final goodbye to the company that gave him his sense of direction along with the root of all his woes.

Arriving at The Seven’s empty conference room, he sees his statue has been moved and replaced with Starlight’s. In his final seconds, he confesses that he only wanted to make his father proud. Lamplighter turns the lighter on himself and burns alive. Lamplighter’s appearance adds to the show’s list of complicated characters that carry traumatic baggage everywhere they go in life. 

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As I revealed before, Starlight is apprehended by Vought and placed in a detention cell that, according to Lamplighter, is “Supe proof, mostly”. Lamplighter’s words ring true when we see Annie in the cell with her powers obviously muted. In the previous episode, Frenchie tears into Starlight’s neck and retrieves the tracking chip Vought planted into her.

When Annie meets her mother for lunch, Donna reveals to her that she let Vought know she’s meeting Annie there. In the same second, Black Noir bursts through the adjacent window and violently apprehends Starlight. Back at Mallory’s home, Hughie watches as Homelander brands Starlight a traitor on national television, accusing her of conspiring with Translucent’s murderers.

This sets Hughie and Lamplighter on their suicide mission, literally and figuratively, to save Annie. After Lamplighter’s suicide, Hughie continues his mission. The fiery suicide sets off the fire alarms throughout the building, including Starlight’s cell. Starlight’s powers return and she makes her escape. She doesn’t get too far. In a split second, Black Noir returns and brings down a world of pain onto Starlight. A violent fight ensues with Noir having the upper hand over Starlight. Noir has her pinned, with his hands around her neck, Starlight starts to lose consciousness.

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Suddenly, Queen Maeve appears and quickly lifts Noir’s mask and sticks an Almond Joy into his mouth. Yes, an Almond Joy. Noir falls to the ground and pulls out a prescription bottle before Maeve kicks it out of his reach. To Starlight’s confusion, Maeve reveals that “He has a tree nut allergy”. Starlight continues her escape and eventually runs into Hughie, who’s already saved Annie’s mother. Starlight and Hughie share a moment. No hugs or kisses. Just a moment of unspoken introspection.

They both share a smile, happy to see each other. The Boys never once employed voice-overs, or ridiculous dialogue filler to explain the characters’ thoughts or feelings. Every emotion is conveyed through facial expression and decision-making. Every character’s souls are beared through heated fits of anger, brief moments of depression, and like in moments like these, silence.

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Homelander and Stormfront keep busy as they attend rally after rally instilling an anti-foreigner sentiment in their supporters. During one of these rallies, Homelander observes Stormfront’s longing looks at a nearby baby. This prompts him to take Stormfront to visit Becca and Ryan. In the middle of their visit, Stormfront and Homelander start explicitly floating the idea of Ryan seeing the outside world. “Sleepovers and baseball games and visits to Vought Land.” Becca expresses her objections to Homelander. She pulls on his heartstring by telling him she wants to give Ryan a motherly figure before anything else.

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Something Homelander never got when he was a child. Homelander seems to understand Becca’s objections and finally agrees. However, later in the episode, Stormfront and Homelander blindside Becca. It’s revealed that Homelander shows Ryan the truth about the bubble he’s living in.

This causes Ryan to turn on his Mother, calling her a liar before he zips away in Homelander’s arms. Watching the episode, we definitely thought Homelander tapped into the 1% of humanity he must have and respected Becca’s wishes. But it seems Stormfront has a stronger hold on Homelander than we thought. As I mentioned before, Homelander longs for the motherly figure he never had. That’s why he clung to Madelyn, that’s why he’s strapped to the palm of Stormfront’s hand. 

We are 10 minutes to the end of the episode and the day of Vought’s trial has finally come. Despite losing Lamplighter’s testimony, thanks to Butcher, the prosecution has found their new witness in Dr. Vogelbaum, Vought’s former CSO. Everyone gathers in the courtroom from Homelander to Mallory. The trial has started and in comes Dr. Vogelbaum, 5 minutes left in the episode.

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The judge calls the court to order and before Vogelbaum even opens his mouth, all hope is lost. Our triumphant, yet unknown, head exploder makes a grand return. The judge’s head bursts like a balloon. In the same second, Vogelbaum’s explodes as well. Absolute pandemonium ensues as our “mindblower” starts taking victims at random.

As the courtroom erupts in an epic panic, Homelander stands utterly confused as blood flies and takes residency in the air. Back at the hideout, The Boys watch in horror as the carnage is broadcast on live television. When the feed cuts, Butcher stands in disbelief as a subtle smile creeps across his face. In true The Boys fashion, the episode ends with equal attention to narrative as well as character. 

So what are we left with, other than blood-stained eyeballs? The episode left a lot of loose ends for us to contemplate before the show returns with its finale next week. Well, first, Ryan is now in Homelander and Stormfront’s possession. Will Homelander once again take matters into his own hands to save Vought by revealing the first natural-born Supe? Has Vought once again instilled its need for superheroes in the American people after the courthouse bloodbath they just witnessed? Becca’s son has turned against her and is on the same path Homelander was once on? Will she enlist the help of Billy butcher to get him back?

Is Black Noir finished? Have the showrunners really trolled us and decided to end Black Noir in a truly bizarre way? What does this mean for Maeve? Will she face Homelander for her crimes? She rejected Starlight’s offer to escape with her, so does this mean she has a plan? If season 2 has shown us anything about Maeve, it’s that she’s done being a bystander. She’s ready to take action against Vought and most importantly, Homelander. With the exit of Elena in this episode, it seems Maeve is ready to do something drastic.

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It’s also revealed that A-Train has opened up to joining The Church of the Collective. In one scene, Alastair Adana reveals to The Deep and A-Train, he has a meeting with Mr. Edgar very soon. Reigniting the possibility of The Deep and A-Train rejoining The Seven. What does Alastair Adana have planned for Vought? Will this possibly get Vought out of the trouble they are in right now? Will the Church of The Collective have a hand in maintaining the use and testing of Compound V?

So much is left up in the air. We can only hope our questions will be answered in the single remaining episode we have left. The season 2 finale of The Boys will air on October 9th exclusively on Amazon Prime. Check back here on The Nerdy Basement next week for a full and complete breakdown of the finale to come.

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