Nobody knew what to expect from Amazon’s “The Boys” in 2019, especially in a market oversaturated with comic book content, many wondering if the Prime Original could stand out from a year already packed with superhero media.
However, upon its release, “The Boys” proved itself to be a giant breath of fresh air.
The show quickly rose to be one of Amazon’s top rated/streamed shows, making a Season 2 almost guaranteed.
Instead of dropping the entire season in one binge-able dose, Amazon decided to release the first three episodes together and each subsequent episode one week apart.
Season 2 picks up a little bit after last season’s bombastic ending. The titular boys Hughie (Jack Quaid), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Capon), and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) are now all wanted criminals.
If that wasn’t bad enough, their leader, Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) is missing after his attempt to takedown Homelander (Toni Starr).
However, to no one’s surprise, it does not take long for Butcher’s return, as they continue their quest to take down The Seven and their villainous corporate backers, Vought Industries, now run by the stern Stan Edgar (Giancarlo Esposito).
While the boys still have the secret aid of Starlight (Erin Moriarty) on their side, their plates will be full this season as they face off against the newest member of The Seven.
Needless to say, all eyes were on “The Boys” this season, seeing how the last season ended with a lot of loose ends, as well as the fact that the show has already been greenlighted for a third season before these three episodes were even dropped.
Thankfully, just from these three episodes, this season not only delivers many of the promises from the last season, but it’s already on its way to surpass its predecessor. Right from the get-go, Season 2 ups the ante in every way. From the production value, to the performances, to the story, and especially in the visual effects, which already had a high bar set up from Season 1.
While it’s a tad cliché, and often the fault of many second seasons to try and one up the previous season by doing the same thing but bigger, these three episodes are a good example of bigger being better.
The standout here is the performances, with these talented actors being able to play the most despicable of characters, but still giving us reasons to like them. The boys all continue to have great chemistry and their interactions here really sell that they’re growing closer as comrades, even though they may have to be ready to bail on each other if the situation ever goes wrong.
Karl Urban continues to be the bearer of obscenity as Butcher and really works off the more quiet and meek Hughie, who is being set up to slowly be breaking down from everything he’s been put through up to this point.
Toni Starr’s Homelander is still the scene stealer, owning every single second he’s on screen. Like last season, Starr perfectly juggles being a friendly public icon and a vicious, blood hungry sociopath who is ready to laser vision anyone who dares to stand in his way.
While the returning cast is one thing, the new cast also shines and promises to take this season in some remarkably interesting directions. Aya Cash absolutely crushes it as a gender bent Stormfront from the comics. Similar to Homelander, even though we know they are the villains, they play the character so likeable that their turn is genuinely shocking.
By Episode 3, Stormfront cements herself as a terrifying new villain. Esposito also delivers a great, demanding villain role like always, and can still manage to be the most intimidating guy in the room despite standing toe to toe with a homicidal superman. Another element that continues to succeed is the social commentary. In the first three episodes, the season tackles issues like: feminism, cults, LGBTQ+ and body image
Overall, despite only being three episodes in, “The Boys” Season 2 delivers everything the previous season has promised and is set to soar past the already high standard set before it.
This season delivers character growth with plenty of brand-new additions to an already stacked cast, an engaging overarching story filled with its fair share of violent twist and turns, and social commentary more relevant than ever.
“The Boys” season two is a welcomed continuation of an already excellent first season and promises to be even bloodier and better in every single way, and these first three episodes certainly prove that statement to be true.
“The Boys” is available on Amazon Prime streaming.