We all love superheroes, right? The Boys season two is, now streaming on Amazon Prime, this is our review. It presents an inverted – and really perverted – take on the traditional superhero story.
In Season One…to put it one way, things got real. In Season two? Things get more real. And crazier. But ultimately more real. Hughie and Starlight’s relationship gets more intense. Then it breaks off. Then it gets back. A-Train wins but pays the price, then ultimately loses. The Deep…his life just keeps sucking, and then he finds salvation in a cult. And then that cult decides he isn’t worth it.
And Homelander? Well, Homelander keeps on doing his Homelander thing.
So let’s get back into the swing of things, dear reader. Let’s take a dive into Amazon Prime and its standout Season Two of The Boys.
SPOILERS: Just in case you aren’t sure: there are spoilers here. If you don’t want to know what happens, turn away now.
What happens? What’s it all about?
Guys…Homelander is a massive dick. Like for real. He is seriously the worst.
Homelander was supposed to be the best of all of us. He stood for truth, justice, and the American way! Or he was supposed to do that, right?
Well I mean…The Boys is essentially a satire. It’s a satire on superheroes, but even more so on the American Exceptionalism that pervades the milieu of the current world environment. And in that sense, he is what America is to so many other countries. We as Americans think we’re the great purveyors of peace and justice. We make things right. As such, Homelander also thinks he makes things right and what thinks is right is what’s best for everyone. But really he just pushes his agenda on everyone around him, sometimes to an incredibly violent and crazy extent. And as such, he – like the country he claims to defend and represent – is just a little bit of an asshole.
Sorry there. Went a little bit too far into the commentary piece. And besides, Homelander is getting his own article soon enough…so let’s backtrack.
Long story short, Homelander showed his true colours at the end of Season One. He and Maeve could have saved a plane full of civilians from a terrorist attack at the end of Season One, but because he couldn’t save everyone he decided to save no one. And he made Maeve save no one with him. Because of that, everyone on board the plane died…but Homelander spun it into a narrative that made the victims look like American Martyrs and turned the hijackers into the worst kind of terrorists. But the fact is, Homelander could have potentially stopped them but sacrificed the lives the many for the glory of the few. And by “the few” I mean “Homelander.”
But that’s not the only time he did that.
At the end of Season 1, we learned that Billy Butcher was right. He thought that The Seven were the villains and that Homelander was behind the disappearance of his wife. People thought he was crazy to believe that, but Homelander didn’t think twice about proving that he had kidnapped Billy’s beloved Rebecca and hidden her behind enemy lines with their son (!!). No one would believe that Homelander would have done something to destroy someone’s life as he did with Billy Butcher. But you see, he did. He destroyed Madelyn’s life by killing her off (and stealing her baby) when she didn’t serve a purpose for him. Just like he destroyed anyone who opposed his reign of terror and iron grip he had over The Seven and Vought Enterprises….
Who almost steals the spotlight from Homelander?
…but in Season Two, Homelander met his match in the form of two characters.
The first is Stormfront. She is the newest addition to The Seven and…basically just the worst. Like even worse than Homelander. She is essentially Donald Trump but less subtle and with a worse haircut and more charismatic. If Hitler was a pretty girl, it would be Stormfront…or as she was previously known, Liberty. Except she tests well with the public and threatens Homelander’s standing as America’s most popular superhero.
So of course, she and Homelander hook up. Like a lot. And even when she threatens his standing as America’s Favorite’s Superhero, they still keep going at it. Because she keeps drawing ratings and bringing up money, even if she’s a horrifying person who espouses divisive racial ideology. She tests well with the audience, she brings in money for Vought, and Homelander can’t keep his hands off her. And for that, she is essentially the second biggest villain in Season 2 of The Boys.
We’ll get to Threat #1 soon enough, though. But let’s focus on Stormfront for a little bit longer. As Season Two goes on, we learn that she is essentially in charge of a secret program to train new super…people. Not heroes, necessarily. But super-people. If they don’t meet the criteria she sets out, they’re destroyed by the recently-retired-but-somehow-still-active Lamplighter (who was replaced by Starlight in The Seven). When Stormfront and Lamplighter can’t contain the new supes after being confronted by The Boys…well, one thing leads to another, and Lamplighter kills himself in Vought Towers in front of Hughie. Hughie eventually saves the day and negates Homelander’s awful influence but…does he really?
Because we haven’t talked about Mr Edgar yet. He is the ultimate bureaucrat, yet evil. He is the man in charge of Vought, and he is played by the inimitable Giancarlo Esposito. If you don’t know who that is, watch Breaking Bad all the way through and tell me your thoughts about Gus Fring and “El Pollo Loco.” Giancarlo Esposito is, at this point in his career, a cheat code for “horrifying sociopath villain who doesn’t seem like it.” And he is the same way in Season Two of The Boys.
No one other than Mr Edgar is able to contain the danger that is Homelander. Mr Edgar is the ultimate terrifying bureaucrat. He gums up the system for superheroes to make an impact but gets results nonetheless. When he is on screen, you know that danger is afoot…but you don’t know all the details, because that’s in the paperwork and it hasn’t all been fired yet.
Superheroes may be all-powerful and can save the world…but if they don’t meet the approval of those in management, they can’t do anything. And that leads to the ending scene of Season 2 of The Boys, perhaps one of the most hilariously satirical moments in recent TV history. Homelander stands atop a building, like the Batmans and Supermans before him, stating his dominance. But he has no real dominance because Mr Edgar hasn’t approved it yet. And so all he can do is…jerk off into the night sky, proclaiming his dominance over nothing but his own member.
Are there any real negatives?
No. Season Two is essentially perfect. Maybe there could be less focus on the bureaucratic nature of being a superhero? Is all the red tape getting into the way of the crime-fighting? But really, that’s the point of this season: if superheroes were real, they’d abide by the same rules as the rest of us. And that’s what makes it both great and terrible.
A summary and rating
Season 2 of The Boys gets top marks. It’s amazing, satirical, full of action, but most importantly it focuses on the human side of the job. And in so doing, it makes someone like Homelander seem like a combination of sociopath and disgruntled employee: he wants to save the world, but only on his terms. But only if those terms are approved by management.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 10/10
Thank you for reading our review of The Boys Season Two. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Catch our review of The Boys season one HERE.
Read IMDB information about The Boys HERE.
10 Years Of Game Of Thrones
Since it first aired on 17 April 2011, Game of Thrones has captured the imagination of many fans from start to finish. But, after the lacklustre and rushed ending of this epic fantasy series in 2019, we find ourselves wondering: has its legacy been completely ruined? After 10 years is it worth looking again at the legacy of Game of Thrones? After all, like the fallen Ned Stark once said: “some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word”.
Have Game of Thrones fan’s been hit too hard by the hurried and unjust ending? Are there storylines and characters within the eight seasons that make up for the less than favourable ending?
After looking back through the seasons, below are what we think are some of the best and most redeeming moments and characters within the series. These could be the reason why fans stay loyal to Game of Thrones and even get excited about future prequels or sequels. We already have next year’s Game of Thrones – House of Dragons series to expect.
WARNING: Only read on if you have watched the entire series as there are spoilers.
Sansa Stark becomes Queen of the North
We ended the series with Winterfell once again being led by a member of the House of Stark. Queen Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who regained The North as an independent Kingdom. This decision from the writers is easily the most satisfying conclusion to come out of the finale. And easily one of the best beginning to end character arcs in all Game of Thrones.
Starting out as quite an unfavourable character and the least liked Stark of the pack, mainly due to her spoiled and brattish behaviour. Sansa ended up being the character we were all rooting for. Especially when it came to regaining the north and standing her ground with Daenerys Targaryen – “What about the North”.
But it wasn’t an easy road for her to get to that point. She had to endure a lot of horrific scenes, storylines, and marriages which shaped her character from a little bird to a Queen. But as Sansa said herself, whilst talking to The Hound/Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann), “Without Little Finger and Ramsey and the rest I would have stayed a little bird all my life”. We’re glad she didn’t stay a little bird and became the Queen the North.
Arya Stark kills the Night King
When it came to the death of the Night King there were only a handful of characters who could do the deed. But, if you were anything like us, we had our money firmly on Jon Snow (Kit Harington). But, it was his kick-ass little sister, Arya Stark (Masie Williams), that ended the long night. With a fatal blow to the Night King’s heart with her Valyrian Steel Dagger.
In this episode, there was hardly any dialogue, especially in the last 30 minutes, which made the whole cinematography of the final scenes so much more poignant. From the camera angles to the incredible score which was accompanied only by sound effects and the odd fighting shout of pain. It left us in suspense and just as we thought all hope was lost, as the Night King approached Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and fans started to believe that Game of Thrones was going to take another huge twist, winter was here to stay. Out came our hero from the dark, the epic shot where Arya was flying through the air will always be one of our all-time favourites.
The night before winter came
Another part of the final series that I think deserves some props, was episode two (mainly the last 30ish minutes). This episode was the calm before the storm. But it was also very well done, from this point, as a viewer we didn’t really know who was going to survive and who was going to die. Something that we were never sure with when watching Game of Thrones.
We managed to get some nice send-off scenes for most of the characters which kept the suspense alive. We saw Sansa and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) meet again, Arya and Gendry (Joe Dempsie) finally ‘get together’ but most notably there was a comical and heart-warming meeting by the fire with Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Brienne of Tarth (Gwendolin Christie), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman).
There were jokes, Brienne got knighted and we even got a song from Podrick. Which was made into a satisfying montage for other characters around Winterfell as well.
Arya Stark and the house of Frey
The demise of the House of Frey was indeed a good and a well-justified one. Positioned over the last episode of season six and the first episode of season seven. Arya Stark used her new newly found face-swapping abilities to first bamboozle Walder Frey (David Bradley) into eating a pie. Food made from his sons and then again to become Frey to poison the rest of the house.
This was the revenge we wanted for the fallen Starks of The Red Wedding and Arya was just the person to serve it! Because the revenge plot was separated between the two seasons it almost confused us fans. When we started to watch season seven and saw that Walder Fray was still alive the quick-minded ones of us straight away realised what was happening. Yet, there was a handful of us who looked just as confused at Frey’s wife/daughter who was standing next to him. That was until Arya took Walder Frey’s face off.
Cersei Lannister blows up the Sept of Baelor
Another example where the series utilises an amazing music score is in the last episode of season 10. Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) finally goes all out with her vindictive evilness and blows up the Sept of Baelor. With her daughter in law Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) and a host of other people she didn’t like, locked inside.
The whole scene lasts about eight minutes and also includes Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon), having his tendons slit by one of Lord Varys’s (Conleth Hill) little birds, so he couldn’t stop the destruction which was about to happen. There was also the violent demise of Pycelle (Julian Glover), once again by Lord Varys’s little birds. Which was orchestrated by the crafty Qyburn (Anton Lesser).
Whilst this is happening a very smug Cersei watches over the chaos, with a glass of red. But, one thing Cersei didn’t account for was after the acknowledgement of his new bride’s murder, her son, King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) walked himself out of the window to his death.
Battle of the B**tards
Most of the battle scenes in Game of Thrones are pretty epic, but The Battle of the B**tards was by far one of the best. Accompanied by a killer soundtrack and great sound effects this battle was both jaw-dropping and breathtaking.
From the moment Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) was killed by Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon) to the moment Sansa sets Bolton’s dogs on him, there was action scene after action scene that captivated all of us and also gave us the Winterfell redemption story we needed. The death of Ramsey Bolton was also the most satisfying death since that of King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson).
In this section of high intercity scenes, we get to see Little Finger/ Lord Peter Baelish (Aidan Gillen) do something useful for once by bringing the Vale Knights of House Arryn to save Jon Snow from dying… for a second time.
Daenerys Targaryen and the unsullied
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) was a fan favourite from her first scene. But the admiration for her character grew and grew throughout the seasons. One of the most defining moments was when she visits Astapor on the search for an army to aid her in reclaiming the throne.
After meeting the hostile and pig-headed Kraznys mo Nakloz (Dan Hildebrand), Master of Astapor, Slaver and Unsullied overseer, who taunts Daenerys, believing she didn’t know how to speak Valyrian, he agrees to sell her all 8,000 Unsullied members for one of her dragons.
As most of their communications were through his servant Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) he believed Daenerys didn’t hear all the things he was saying. Which made the end scene so much more satisfying. Once the exchange is done, she has the Unsullied whip in hand and Krazny is trying to hold on to the dragon on a chain. She speaks to the Unsullied in clear Valyrian and finally tells Krazny who she is – Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen the blood of old Valyrian.
The moment she tells the Unsullied to slay the masters and uttered the word Dracarys, will forever be the day when we truly started to see how badass she really is!
The red wedding
As horrendous as it is to watch it’s clear that the Red Wedding is still a highlight of season three and indeed the series.
Yes, we already knew by now that anything could happen in Game of Thrones. And blood and gore was a regular occurrence. But this scene took things to a new level with a blood bath no one saw coming… Not even King of the North Rob Stark.
This heart-stopping 10 minutes of cushion grabbing TV, not only saw the death of two of the most loved Starks Rob and Catelyn Stark but also the death of Rob’s wife and unborn child. As well as the betrayal of Roose Bolton a supposed friend of the Starks (Michael McElhatton) and the house of Frey.
This scene cemented for us that no one can predict what is going to happen when you play the Game of Thrones. You win or You Die, there is no middle ground.
The two most sassy characters
When it comes to Game of Thrones, I think we can all agree that the one thing they got right, time and time again was the casting. And this never rang truer than with Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) and Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg). They didn’t have the biggest parts within the series, but boy, did they make their presence known. It got to the point where we were just waiting for their scenes to see what would come out of their mouths next.
Who’s the most impressive pre-teen in the whole of Westeros? That’s right Lyanna Mormont. Even at 10 years old I wouldn’t mess with her. Through the whole three seasons she was in, she demanded and captivated the audience. She said it how it was, and she wasn’t scared of a single thing. She came in like a warrior, back chatting Jon Snow and Sansa and acting like a total boss. Finally, she went out like a warrior taking a giant walker down with her.
The original, potty-mouthed grandmother Olenna Tyrell had line after line of roasting stingers. No one was safe from her sharp-tongued antics. But the one person that was firmly on her radar was Cersei Lannister. Especially after Cersei killed her family in the sept. In true Olenna style, even after she had been fatally poisoned, she still had the last word, admitting to Jamie Lannister that it was her that killed his and Cersei’s son, King Joffrey Baratheon.
There you have it, some of our favourites and redeeming scenes from Game of Thrones after 10 years, what do you think? What are your favourite scenes or storylines? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our seven lost plot threads from Game of Thrones HERE.
Read iMDB information on Game of Thrones HERE.
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