Review | ‘The Boys’ Season 2 (Episode 8 ‘What I Know’)

“The writing throughout this season has been exemplary and the writers must take huge credit for what we have enjoyed this season”

So, here we are, the final episode of the second season of ‘The Boys‘. Over the past few weeks, we have had fun, action, violence, a lot of strong language, drama, and heartbreak. It has been a fantastic ride from the start but can the finale live up to the promise that has been made by the previous seven episodes?

‘The Boys’ Season 2 Episode 8 ‘What I Know’ | Amazon Prime Video

The answer is a full-on YES! This is it, folks, the big ending we were hoping for has been given to us. And although I will avoid spoilers through the review of the final episode, I can confirm that it is a satisfactory finale, with plenty of action, violence, bad language, and shocks and surprises all the way through. Some people get what they deserve, others are still waiting for their comeuppance while others show their vulnerabilities finally. Of course, we know that there is going to be a third season but don’t let that fool you. NO-ONE is safe in this finale. And I can confirm that we do get a cliffhanger ending and we get one hell of a shock along the way.

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After last week‘s shocking and gory finale to the episode, we open on the aftermath. The world watched in horror as events played out at the hearings into Vought. They witnessed live the gory deaths of several people on their TV sets, phones, and other devices. The inquiry into what happened is ongoing as the episode begins. Everyone including us, the audience, is looking for answers and the cause of what happened. Is it super-terrorists? Is it something else? Or could it be someone else entirely? Not even the superheroes in the room know the truth but Homelander does ask Stormfront if it was her behind the attack on the hearing. She asks him the same question. Neither of them knows if the other is telling the truth or is actually behind the slaughter.

Meanwhile, Billy Butcher and the rest of the crew are gearing up for an assault on The Seven and are arming themselves with some serious hardware. Their plans are disrupted, however, with the arrival of Becca to their camp underneath the pawnshop with the news that Homelander and Stormfront have taken her son, Ryan away from her. Starlight and Hughie take a trip to Queen Maeve‘s apartment in an attempt to get her to testify against Vought, a request that Maeve angrily refuses, telling Starlight that she’s already saved her life and owes her nothing.

Butcher organizes a plan to get Ryan back from Homelander and Stormfront, a plan in which all the team will play an active part in. Unknown to all the team, however, Butcher has an ulterior motive, one which he hides away from everyone and keeps very much to himself. All he wants is to hurt Homelander, steal away his son and ultimately reunite with Becca and once again become husband and wife. Stormfront and Homelander are holed up in the cabin in the woods from earlier on in the series, while Ryan is pining for his mother. Both superheroes are trying to get Ryan to use his powers without success, even when Stormfront tries to stir up the boy’s emotions by using a racist tinged speech to inspire him.

Butcher and the team locate where Ryan is.  They manage to get Stormfront out of the way by releasing information on her online, information that is seriously and possibly fatally damaging her reputation as the truth about her is finally revealed to the world, leading to the public turning against her. Homelander is lured away from the cabin by a distraction allowing Becca and Butcher to take him away, with Becca introducing Butcher to her son as her husband.

Review | The Boys

The plan is working perfectly until the team is about to make their escape. Butcher sends Becca and Ryan away with Mother’s Milk when Stormfront returns suddenly. She uses her powers to crash the car the three are traveling in causing Butcher to charge in to make sure they are ok. While Billy is helping his wife, her son, and MM, the confrontation that has been coming for a while finally happens as Starlight and Kimiko go toe to toe with Stormfront in a battle for the ages. Stormfront takes out Hughie and Frenchie and destroys the team’s arsenal of weapons before she once again turns her attention to Kimiko and Annie again. Stormfront gets the upper hand in the fight before a surprise manages to turn the tide.

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A-Train discovers that Stormfront is a nazi and a racist and attempts to come up with a plan or a way to take her out of the seven and he can reclaim his place in the team. The Deep is also expecting to be recalled back into the seven and both exiled heroes sit ready for the call to return. The pair sit still inside The Church Of The Collective, watching, waiting, and viewing things as they play out, hoping to gain an advantage in their quest, not only against the rest of The Seven but against each other. By the end of the episode, one will be smiling while the other will be filled with rage.

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To be completely honest, I think that both characters this season have been given the short shrift. Last season, both A-Train and The Deep were vital characters to the plot and deserved their spots in the show. This season, however, I think both have been sidelined and have been given little to do. The Deep, apart from his epic and quite hilarious turn in the third episode of the season, has been pretty much sidelined and his participation in the season is, to be honest, not been worth it. The writers need to change this in the third season of the show.

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The cast, as always, are completely brilliant in their roles. Karl Urban excels once again as does Antony Starr but Jack Quaid and Erin Moriarty, in this season, have grabbed their characters and together made them both a vital and unmovable part of the matrix of the show. Laz Alonso, Tomar Capon, and Karen Fukuhara make us actually care for their characters and we do find ourselves fearing for their fates. Chace Crawford and Jessie T Usher though have been wasted, Crawford more so.  Colby Minifie as Ashley has done a wonderful job holding the team together in place of the departed Madelyn Stillwell and is an amazing part of the show. The same goes for Giancarlo Esposito as Stan Edgar, the slimy and quite self-centered head of Vought while Laila Robins as Grace Mallory and Shantel VanSanten as Becca Butcher hold their own in their roles and light up the screen when they appear on it.

But the highest praise has to be reserved for both Aya Cash as Stormfront/Liberty and Dominique McElligott as Queen Maeve. Aya Cash is a newcomer to the show but she fits in so well, one would be mistaken for thinking she has always been a part of the show since the start. Her turn as the racist and evil Stormfront has been one of the highlights of the season. The way she easily slips on her skin and her turn as the manipulative superhero is deserving of an Emmy nomination at the very least.

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Dominique McElligott has been completely outstanding as Maeve. Her role in this season has been one that shows incredible versatility, dramatic, moving and heartfelt side to the character. The way Maeve feels conflicted and tortured by her actions in the first season and the way it affects her personal life in the threads of the show is inspired and played to perfection. Maeve is forced out of the closet by Starr’s Homelander during the season and McElligott brings such human warmth and vulnerability to the character that she too, surely has to be nominated for all the awards she can qualify for.

Verdict:

The writing throughout this season has been exemplary and the writers must take huge credit for what we have enjoyed this season. Some of the putdowns, most from Butcher admittedly, have been inspired. One minute, we are hooked and drawn into the drama and are on edge, the next find ourselves crying with laughter at some quip or some putdown which eases the tension and brings us fantastic entertainment. With the exception of a few characters being sidelined, the entire season has been a wild ride and one that I will take again, the same as I did after the first season. This time, however, I will binge-watch both seasons back to back, it really is that enjoyable.

The wait for the third season starts right here, right now. Of course, we may have to wait for the third season to actually debut or even begin filming due to the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions that they face. But after this stellar second season and the way it ends, I believe that it will be worth the wait. When it arrives, we can refer back to something Butcher said at the end of the first episode of this second season.

“Daddy’s home!”

 

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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