Review | ‘The Boys’ Season 2 (Episode 7: ‘Butcher. Baker, Candlestick Maker’)

“After this week’s episode, we can bet there’s going to be one hell of a reckoning!”

The penultimate episode of the second season of  ‘The Boys‘ (Has it really gone that quick?) has to be said is an enjoyable and at times, quite funny. It is also at times revealing and shows, for once, why one character is the way he is. It also contains possibly one of the most shocking endings to an episode yet. I will try and avoid any spoilers for those yet to see the episode but be advised, events that happened last week WILL be referenced during the review so fair warning. Stop reading now if you’re not up to date with the events so far and are waiting to binge-watch the season when it reaches its conclusion. If this is you’re preferred way of viewing the season, then major spoilers are incoming. STOP READING NOW!

‘The Boys’ Season 2 Episode 7: ‘Butcher. Baker, Candlestick Maker’ | Amazon Prime Video

The Boys Season 2 Character Posters

The episode opens with a man, awakening every morning and going about his daily routine. He is middle-aged, living with his mother, and is a huge fan of The Seven or more specifically Stormfront. Posters adorn his walls and he has the action figures of the superheroes. One particular morning, he watches on TV as Stormfront addresses a large crowd of fans, supporters, and people opposed to Victoria Neuman, turning it from a rally into a hate-filled rant against what are in reality immigrants that are coming across the border. The scene is extremely powerful after last week’s revelation that Stormfront is the widow of Frederick Vought and used to be a highly regarded member of the Nazi party.

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Stormfront is using her voice and her fame to launch a racial war by using her supremacist views against minorities and those without powers without the crowds realizing it. This leads to the normal guy we met at the beginning shooting the store clerk he visits every morning in the face, killing him after wrongly believing he saw light in his eyes, making him a super-terrorist. Queen Maeve suffers the breakdown of her relationship with Elena which causes her to go out and have a one-night stand with a man, something that Ashley discovers and immediately panics about, Vought having gone heavily into making Maeve the Seven’s face for the gay community.

Butcher and the gang are babysitting Lamplighter who has been convinced to turn against Vought and to testify at the upcoming hearings that are being chaired by Victoria Neuman against them. Grace Mallory and Mother’s Milk realize that they need more than just his testimony and set out to attempt to get the aid of Jonah Vogelbaum, the Vought scientist who created and raised Homelander in a lab. Butcher meanwhile is contacted by his mother who has traveled to New York despite him telling her not to. She tells him that his father has died and she wants to see him. He goes along to see her where he finds out its all a trick. His father, the man he has hated for most of his adult life is still alive, although dying from cancer. This provokes an angry confrontation between father and son when his father uses Butcher’s younger brother’s suicide as a weapon against his son. Butcher comes incredibly close to killing him with his bare hands, only stopping when he is begged by his mother too.

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Hughie is left babysitting Lamplighter, who spends every waking hour watching badly made porn movies that are supposed to depict The Seven in various sexual encounters. However, when Hughie discovers a shocking revelation on the TV, the pair must put aside their differences and leave the safety of the Condo they are staying in. Mother’s Milk and Mallory fail in their attempts to convince Vogelbaum to aid them at the hearings. But after telling Butcher that they couldn’t convince him, Butcher takes it upon himself to ‘convince’ Vogelbaum to co-operate by the only way he knows. He threatens to kill his entire family. This, of course, convinces Vogelbaum to acquiesce to Butcher and to agree to testify.

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In the meantime, Homelander and Stormfront report in front of a crowd that Starlight has been identified as a mole inside the seven and a traitor. After they whip the crowd into a frenzy of rage, they both depart to visit Becca Butcher and Homelander’s son, Ryan. Homelander introduces Stormfront as his girlfriend to his son. The tension continues inside the house as Stormfront attempts to integrate herself into Ryan’s life and his everyday routine, effectively trying to push Becca out of the picture and to take over his life and his environment. Becca confronts Homelander and begs him to allow her to raise their son in what she thinks is the right way.

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The show builds up the tension and has plenty of surprises along the way before the episode ends with a shocking finale. The final shot of the episode focuses on Butcher’s face, the camera pans in on his extremely angry and vengeful expression as the screen fades to black. Karl Urban is completely brilliant throughout his time on-screen during this episode and for once, brings a vulnerability to Butcher that we have never seen before. He does return to his usual self before the end but Butcher here is more human and more emotional. In his eyes, we can see the emotional weight everything is taking on him and at times, we feel that he is on the verge of either a full mental breakdown or a murderous rampage. Or maybe a combination of both. The deeper he goes in his vendetta, the more unstable he appears to become. The rest of the cast play their parts to sheer perfection too but out of them all, it’s Urban that gives an amazing performance. Jack Quaid deserves huge praise as Hughie for his performance this week. Hughie is sometimes the comic relief during the season and here, he gives an incredibly hilarious performance. No spoilers about exactly why but believe it when I say his acting throughout this week’s episode is inspired.

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Verdict:

Next week sees the finale of this season and you can sense that it’s going to be extremely nasty, violent, and emotional for various reasons. It isn’t going to end well for several characters judging by what occurs during this week’s episode but anything can happen. A cliffhanger ending is almost certainly coming our way but exactly what will be coming our way is still up for debate. A shocking death or two? A situation that no-one on either side sees coming? A devastating turn of events? Nothing is off the table at this juncture and we have to start to feel apprehension at what will be given to us by the climax. We already know that a third season is on the way but will all the characters live to see it?

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All I know is that Amazon Studios has given us yet another massively impressive season of ‘The Boys‘ and I’m sorry that we are approaching the finale already. But, after this week’s events, we can bet that there is going to be one hell of a reckoning, a massive confrontation between various characters, and the desperate desire for the third season to debut sooner rather than later, just so we can find out the aftermath and the fallout of what promises to be the finale to end finales. All I can say is bring it on as I can’t wait!

 

The Boys: Season 2 is streaming on Amazon Prime Video NOW.

 

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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!

 

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