The Boys Season 2 – Episode 8 “What I Know” Review

Starlight’s past is leaked as Maeve takes a stand against Homelander. A-Train is reinstated into the Seven, leaving The Deep dismayed, and while Butcher, Becca, and the Boys put a plan together to rescue Ryan, the identity behind the head-exploding assassin is revealed. It’s an action-packed finale, to say the least, as Season 2 comes to a close. 

Becca escapes the compound and reunites with Butcher and The Boys, putting together a plan to rescue her son Ryan from Stormfront and Homelander. As preparations get underway, Butcher makes a secret deal with Vought’s Stan Edgar (Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito, on top form as always) to take Ryan away to a safe, undisclosed location, but with one catch. 

Becca stays with Butcher. Naturally, that won’t go down well. Butcher later goes back on his selfish ways and decides not to sell the mini-Homelander out for the sake of keeping his missus. 

In some of the most dramatic moments of the series thus far, Queen Maeve, Kimiko, and Starlight go ten rounds with Stormfront, in a fight scene reminiscent to the final scene from Tarantino’s Death Proof, in which Kurt Russell’s deranged stuntman driver is kicked to death by three women. Stormfront survives this attack but meets her maker at the hands of Ryan, Homelander’s son. 

For the first time, Ryan uses his eye-laser powers, killing Stormfront, and tragically killing Becca in the process. It’s a testament to Butcher’s character. Despite his wife’s death, he’s still able to forgive Ryan and protect him from Homelander, obeying his wife’s dying wish that it wasn’t Ryan’s fault. 

On the subject of Stormfront, I was surprised by the decision to kill her off, as it felt earlier in the season that she had far more to give the show. 

At long last, Queen Maeve takes a stand against Homelander, threatening to leak the footage from aboard the downed plane in Season 1 that Homelander refused to save from disaster. It’s been long overdue and I’d always invested hope in Maeve’s character to become good despite her reluctance earlier in the season. 

So, Stormfront is dead, and Ryan is in the custody of the CIA, and while Maeve’s blackmail successful, at least for the time being, it leaves the question: what will Homelander do next?

In some genuinely heartfelt moments between Homelander and his son, it started to make me think that the character, while undoubtedly irredeemable considering his heinous actions over the past two seasons, had some heart to him, and for all of his faults (atrocious as they are), he had affection for his son and cared for him. That was real. 

The Boys Season 2 - Episode 8 Review - "What I Know"
Poor Becca. (Picture: Amazon Prime).

By the end of the episode, he’s lost the two most important people in his life, and he’s been told to play nice, or else. In a scene initially cut from the second episode of Season 1, Homelander stands atop a skyscraper and… masturbates, proclaiming that he can do whatever he wants. Then again, who would stop him? With Stormfront dead, the show reminds us that Homelander is the most dangerous threat of them all. 

In the final moments of the episode, a big question is answered. The identity of the head-exploding assassin first teased in Episode 1, and last week’s massacre at the judicial hearing, is revealed. The assassin is Congresswoman Victoria Neuman. Following a phone with Alistair Adana (the underrated Goran Visnjic), he sits back in his office to crack open a can of Fresca and boom! His head explodes. It’s made worse as Hughie takes a job with Victoria Neuman, little realizing the threat he’d be facing if he finds out who she really is. Roll on Season 3. 

Matt Bailey

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