Season 2 of “The Boys” took a while to get going, but its payoff has been great so far. So far, we’ve seen the return of Billy Butcher’s (Karl Urban) gang; the release of the existence Compound V, the mysterious chemical that makes superheroes, to the general public; and a brand-new character in Stormfront (Aya Cash), who is far older than she seems and holds the key to superhero company Vought’s past. As is the case with every episode review this season, spoilers up ahead.
This episode focuses on Butcher, Hughie (Jack Quaid), Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso), Frenchie (Tomer Capon), Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) and Starlight (Erin Moriarty), as they head to Sage Grove, a medical facility where Vought is testing Compound V on adult test subjects in hopes of stabilizing it. Butcher, Hughie and Starlight stay behind to keep watch, while Frenchie, MM and Kimiko infiltrate the facility, where they run into Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore), a former member of the Seven with fire powers who used to be the group’s informant inside the Seven. Vought is using Lamplighter to torch the bodies of Sage Grove’s test subjects, and Stormfront checks on the facility frequently, which causes issues with her newfound relationship with the show’s Superman knockoff, Homelander (Antony Starr). The group causes many of the facility’s residents to break out, causing chaos, and leading to a high-powered Supe named Cindy (Ess Hödlmoser) to escape.
The group almost kills Lamplighter, who torched the grand kids of their former boss, Colonel Grace Mallory (Laila Robins), and who Frenchie let escape five years ago. We get some long-withheld backstory in this episode, as it’s revealed that Lamplighter meant to kill Mallory, not her grand kids, and their deaths have haunted him ever since. Frenchie didn’t kill Lamplighter because his best friend was overdosing at the time, and he had to deal with that first. Their arcs come crashing together as Lamplighter decides to face Mallory, who decides to spare his life in a moving and very well-written scene in which Frenchie convinces her that killing Lamplighter will not end her pain, but it will end his.
Meanwhile, The Deep (Chace Crawford) convinces A-Train (Jessie T. Usher), who is facing forced retirement, to join a shady group we don’t know much about called the Church of the Collective, who promise to restore his status as one of the Seven.
The biggest bombshell in this episode was the revelation that Stormfront (formerly Liberty) was the first person to be successfully injected with Compound V, and was once married to Vought’s founder, Frederick Vought, who worked with the Nazis in World War II to test the chemical on human subjects. Vought and Stormfront eventually moved to the U.S., and from what Stormfront tells Homelander, Vought the company was established in order to establish racial superiority by creating supermen, and creating someone like Homelander was their endgame.
Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) is in this episode for a scene, and she reveals that she has a video of her and Homelander abandoning a crashing plane from Season 1, which she hopes to be her way out of Vought. But as the company’s version of Wonder Woman, she might be in too deep.
This is the best episode of the season, hands down, not only because of its revelations, but because it has some excellent character moments that make it hard to look away from. I could have stopped watching this show after Episode 5, but Episode 6 hooked me. I’m not sure where this show is going, and I find that exciting.
This episode further peers into key questions: What is the true purpose of Vought? And what is their end game? The only thing I’m fairly certain about is, it can’t be anything good.
“The Boys” Season 2, Episode 6 gets an 8.5/10