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.
Loki Episode 6 – Review
Episode six of Loki from Marvel is here, streaming now on Disney Plus. It’s time for the series finale. Here’s our review.
SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.
More to come
The post-credit scene showed that a second series has already been ordered, meaning this finale is essentially the end of Part One. Thank goodness it is. Because if this was the denouement of the entire Loki story then there’s a good chance it would go down in television infamy as one of the more unusual series endings.
Introducing the big bad
We pick up from Sylvie and Loki’s defeat of The Alioth as they look at the citadel upon the rock at the end of time. They make their way to the entrance, and upon being invited in they’re met by Miss Minutes. It’s been widely predicted that ‘she’ would be an agitator in this series. And at last her role has been revealed. She is an emissary of Kang The Conquerer, embedded within the TVA.
She offers Loki the earth, almost literally, as she tries to coax him to betray Sylvie. Her offers of infinity stones, defeating Thanos etc. Happily, Loki rejects all the trinkets that she offers. Instead, he and Sylvie head into the lift where they meet ‘He Who Remains’ aka Kang The Conquerer. A 31st-century scientist and the true timekeeper.
Sylvie attempts to kill him but he quickly demonstrates some of his powers by dodging and weaving her before she gives in and the three of them sit down for a very long discussion. To sum up what was a lengthy and occasionally fairly tedious scene. He Who Remains (HWR) asks Loki and Sylvie to kill him and take over the role of controlling the timeline. Loki is extremely reticent but Sylvie, angry at what HWR’s meddling has done to her life, is desperate to do so.
Meanwhile, back at TVA HQ, Renslayer is informed by Miss Minutes of HWR’s plan. Showing her dual role and playing on Renslayer’s desperation to keep the TVA active and relevant.
Loki and Sylvie get into a physical fight over what to do with HWR. With Loki recognising how the timeline will fragment with branches springing up all over the place. But Sylvie is consumed by her rage and eventually overpowers Loki, sending him back to the TVA and then kills He Who Remains.
Setting up season two
Loki finds Mobius and tries to explain what has happened. But then discovers the terrible effects of what Sylvie has done by apparently killing HWR. Mobius has no idea who Loki is. This situation is then made worse when Loki looks out to see a statue of He Who Remains adorning TVA HQ. Loki realises that he is in a different timeline branch. One where HWR or Kang is in control of everything. Sylvie has been manipulated into apparently killing him which has enabled him to increase his power further.
Jonathan Majors was masterful as He Who Remains. Which is what you’d expect from someone with a Masters in acting from Yale. He was flamboyant, powerful and mesmerising, which is exactly what you want from a major villain. He will be back in AntMan 3 as Kang The Conquerer and is set to be the key villain in the next phase of the MCU post-Endgame and Thanos.
I have been extremely positive about this series, as I think it has been the strongest and most cohesive of the Marvel series so far this year. But I can’t disagree with anyone who felt short-changed by this finale. My 11-year-old son was pretty vocal in his disappointment the moment the credits rolled, and he was absolutely right. He is one of the most obsessive Marvel fans around and if he was underwhelmed, I feel pretty sure he was reflecting the majority view. Nothing I’ve seen online since has dissuaded me from that either.
Phase 4 groundwork
It seemed that the finale was essentially an exercise in introducing He Who Remains or Kang to our screens ahead of AntMan 3. While this isn’t necessarily a problem, it meant that the focus shifted away from being the climax of this series. Instead of being a prologue for the next phase of the MCU, which does seem a peculiar decision.
There are those who feel that the series original premise of Loki and Mobius teaming up to find Variants dotted around time and space was dropped after the first two episodes. Instead, it was replaced with a love story between Sylvie and Loki and a voyage of discovery with Mobius reduced to a bit part for the rest of the series.
But, the cliffhanger at the end of the series as Loki returns to the TVA does give me hope that Series Two will be an even better follow up.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 6/10
Thank you for reading our review of Loki episode six. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read our Loki episode five review HERE.
Read IMDB information about Loki HERE.
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