SAVING (PRIVATE) RYAN: THE BOYS’ LATEST SEASON COMES TO A SATISFYING END TAKING SOME CHARACTERS ALONG WITH IT.
***WARNING THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE BOYS SEASON 2 FINALE***
If The Boys has demonstrated anything, it’s that its bloody and violent nature makes for some intense stakes. No one is safe from a dark and brutal demise. This recent episode teased and toyed with the idea of multiple characters’ deaths. However, in the end, we were dealt a heartbreaking accident, an incredibly satisfying deep-fried carcass, and yet another head explosion.
The finale saw the truly heartbreaking demise of Becca. The spark that lit the blazing fire that is The Boys and Butcher’s personal motivation towards Vought’s downfall reached a tragic end. Watching Butcher tearfully cry out for help, put our waterworks on overdrive. Karl Urban’s performance as Billy Butcher has given us an endless amount of charm and charisma that truly proves he was born for this role.
However, the desperation and heartbreak conveyed in Urban’s eyes as he mourns his onscreen wife gave us a side of Butcher that has eluded us. With Becca’s death, will Butcher continue down his path of redemption? In an attempt to save his mother, Ryan’s powers make a last-minute return. Becca was unfortunately caught in the line of fire, literally. Her death is another incident added to the pile of tragedies that fuel Butcher’s hate for superheroes. In the end, Mallory offers her condolences to a forlorn Butcher along with a job offer.
According to Mallory, a new organization is formed within the White House that will specialize in keeping supes in check. When offered, Butcher remains silent. He puts his sunglasses on and walks away.
What does Becca’s death mean for Ryan? In honor of his wife’s final words, Butcher swallows his hate and keeps his promise to protect Ryan from Vought. In the final scenes of the episode, we see Ryan being transferred to the care of Mallory and her people. Away from Vought and away from Homelander.
With the loss of his mother and the brief influence of Homelander and Stormfront, I guess a better question would be: does Ryan have the fuel to become the next Homelander? As damaged as Homelander is from an improper upbringing, let’s hope Mallory and Butcher do their best to provide the parental influence Ryan needs. Butcher has already given Ryan a small piece of advice…
Seeing Stormfront’s limbless, burnt to hell body as she mumbles something in German was the end she deserved. It was The Boys’ Joffrey moment, their Gus Fring moment, their Kilgrave moment. Absolutely perfect. However, I was blindsided by what followed Stormfront’s brutal end. Watching Homelander come back to Earth, covered in blood and heartbroken was quite mesmerizing. It was this scene in the first trailer that intrigued me.
Anthony Starr has built his performance on facial expressions and silence. We aren’t given voice-overs or flashbacks to detail how complicated his character is. You see it in Starr’s eyes; his pain, his sadness, his evil intent. Everything is contained in Starr’s expressions. As Homelander comes closer and closer to Stormfront, we are given a close-up of Homelander displaying misery and disbelief, a bold display of emotion for an evil character like him.
Before Homelander can kill Butcher for seemingly turning his son against him, Queen Maeve arrives with the proper weapon to win against Homelander. The recovered video evidence of what truly happened on Flight 37. Homelander now has to make a choice. Get his son back and a chance at redemption for Stormfront, or his ego and public image. Maeve’s blackmail results in Butcher and Ryan walking right past a completely powerless Homelander.
With Maeve’s upper hand over Homelander, it caused him to go back on his words. He had to publicly denounce Stormfront’s influence and reinstate Starlight’s place in The Seven. Has the blackmail finally muzzled Homelander? Or is it a matter of time before Homelander breaks and abandons any hopes of public love?
With the loss of Stormfront and Madelyn, Homelander only has the love of the American people left. Maeve’s video over Homelander has put him in a situation he hasn’t been in before. He no longer has control. He only has control over his own body, as his final scene suggested. Yes, everyone, THAT scene has finally made it to the screen in the most uncomfortable, yet, poetic way.
In an ending that completely caught me off guard, we saw our mystery head exploder take their last victim of the season. Alastair Adana turned out to be in cahoots with Victoria Neuman, working against Stan Edgar and Vought. It was revealed Neuman enlisted in Adana’s archives to use the information about Stormfront’s past. After making some demands for his help to Neuman, she takes on a full Evil Morty persona and erases any tracks that lead back to her.
After the call ends, the church leader’s head bursts, revealing Neuman as the elusive head exploding Supe. But why??? It seems Victoria is deep in Edgar’s pocket, working in plain sight. Victoria has done a great job staging a terrorist attack on the day of Vought’s trial, resulting in a reinforced fear of super terrorists, resulting in a heightened need for Compound V. Modeled after AOC, The Boys continues its streak of satirical realism in its narrative. With Victoria’s true intentions and her new position as the head of the new White House Supe Task Force revealed, Vought has a stronghold on the public and the politics working against them.
So what loose ends are left for season 3 to deal with? The Boys have achieved full acquittals of their crimes. M.M. has returned to his family, Frenchie and Kimiko can live a life without fear and full of dancing, Butcher and Mallory have Ryan to look after, and Hughie goes to Victoria asking for a job to continue his fight against Vought.
With Homelander neutered (figuratively, thanks to his final scene we know everything works down there), the distribution of Compound V halted, and The Seven’s lineup’s dramatic decrease in numbers, reducing the team to Homelander, Maeve, and Starlight, it seems like any immediate threats have been eradicated.
However, with Vought’s deep pockets containing the public and the White House, Mr. Edgar more than likely has plans to achieve full world domination. Butcher mentioned to Mallory that “Vought’s gonna want him [Ryan] back”. Will Homelander enlist in Edgar’s help to get his son back?
It was revealed to Homelander that Edgar worked with Butcher behind his back to retrieve Ryan from his clutches, has this created a divide between the head of Vought and their greatest creation? What kind of plan do Mallory and Butcher have to ensure Ryan doesn’t turn into a maniac like his father? During Vought’s press conference, Homelander revealed Stormfront is in their possession and held in an undisclosed location. Is this teasing Stormfront’s return?
On October 8th, The Boys cast and creators hosted a panel during their appearance for New York Comic Con. The panel revealed filming for season 3 will begin early 2021. Before the Season 2 premiere aired, it was revealed Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, Smallville) has joined the cast as Soldier Boy. With Ackles’ absence in season 2, it seems The Boys’ showrunners have plans for Soldier Boy’s debut in season 3.
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