That being said, do not let the title fool you. The first entry into Amazon Prime’s second season of The Boys, “The Big Ride,” is by no means an installment without the lashings of gore, homicidal supes, and Karl Urban’s fondness for the C-word that we’ve come to expect from Season 1.
If you’re about to read on, but want a little refresher on Season 1, check out Flickluster’s Season 1 recap.
Hughie and the Boys are not exactly living a life of luxury. The first time we see Hughie, he’s sleeping in a cupboard. With The Boys in a squalid underground lair, now wanted fugitives, and Billy Butcher in the wind in connection for Madison Stillwell’s death, the group, has hit rock bottom. Despite the bleakness of it all, Hughie remains in secret contact with his on-off superhero love interest, Starlight, where they conspire to poach some Compound-V from the Vought labs.
Talking of rock bottom, The Deep, meanwhile, has resorted to harassing children at water parks, drinking himself blind at bars, and later receiving consultation from a new supe, Eagle The Archer (Langston Kerman). This follows The Deep’s departure from the Seven and subsequent hair-shaving breakdown at the end of Season 1.
The Deep later meets Carol, the Outreach Director for the Church of the Collective, (Jessica Hecht of Breaking Bad fame). Both Eagle the Archer and Carol both offer The Deep a Fresca, and frankly, I’m getting creepy psycho-nanny vibes about Hecht’s character. Something tells me the Deep should not be drinking the Fresca. Why do they keep doing that?
Elsewhere, Homelander, our patriotic, self-righteous sadist of a supe, is becoming ever more unbalanced, following the arrival of new supe Stormfront, dealing with the death of Stillwell (drinking her breast milk, disturbing), and the short-lived Blindspot, to the dramatic showdown with Vought CEO Stan Edgar, (the brilliantly calm and calculated Giancarlo Esposito).
Embittered by the introduction of Stormfront, Giancarlo Esposito engages what I now call Gus Fring Mode. Calm and collected, Edgar gives a chillingly loaded speech to Homelander, simultaneously pitching him down several pegs, calling him out as a man-child, and ultimately proving he is more than a match for the most despicable member of the Seven.
Much like the proverbial child, this sends Homelander to his room to sulk. Or, in this case, a silently enraged Homelander arrives at Becca Butcher’s secret location, wishing to spend quality time with his son. Yeah, this can only end badly.
Despite a lack of screen-time for new supe Stormfront, the trailer promises more of our vlog-happy supe later in the series. Vought publicist Ashley (Colby Minifie), is back. She was cold and heartless in Season 1, but now, I feel bad for her. Not only does she witness Homelander’s savage brutality up-close, but she’s further contemplating the awful task she has to fulfill in replacing the late Madison Stillwell.
“The Big Ride” certainly places The Boys on the back foot. With no allies (poor Rayner), no families, (MM wants to go home), and the imminent threat of a telekinetic super-terrorist, what they need is someone to take charge.
In the final moments, a man tumbles down a flight of stairs, much to the surprise of the Boys, just before Billy Butcher proudly proclaims that daddy is home, as Billy Joel’s ‘Pressure’ plays us out.
For all of its political undertones and slow-burning style of storytelling, there’s a definite sense that the second season is preparing to ramp up massively. For sure, we can expect far more violence, laughter, depraved superhero antics, and Karl Urban’s C-word, and I, for one, cannot wait.