In the season 2 premiere of The Boys, Hughie and friends are hiding from the law, and Homelander struggles to reassert control over Vought, which is stronger than ever.
Public Enemy No. 1
Vought International CEO, Stan Edgar, convenes a meeting to discuss incorporating his Supes into the military. He proposes that the Supes report directly to him, rather than the chain of command, and that a casualty allowance of 34% be granted (officially, it’s zero). Additionally, he insists that the existence of Compound V remains a closely guarded secret. Meanwhile, Black Noir travels to Syria and eliminates a Supe terrorist named Naqib.
As for The Boys, they are still on the run, wanted as fugitives following the events of the season 1 finale. Butcher is missing and, to make matters worse, Vought and Homelander have framed him for the murder of Madelyn Stillwell. Hughie, Frenchie, Kimiko, and M.M. are forced to take refuge with the Clarkson Avenue Haitian Kings, an organization with which Frenchie has ties. While Frenchie and his girlfriend Cherie handle the gang’s business, Hughie works as a supply man, and M.M. serves as both a medic to treat wounds and the temporary leader of The Boys. The only positive development is that Madelyn’s son, Teddy, has been found alive, 17 miles (27.36 km) away in a field.
The Power of Blackmail
Hughie pretends to be on a supply run, but in reality, he secretly meets with Starlight. They rendezvous on a subway train, both wearing disguises, and Hughie hands Annie a piece of paper with a picture of a Supe named Gecko. Annie recognizes him from her Capes for Christ days, but agrees to investigate him.
Annie discovers Gecko at a hotel, allowing someone to hack off his arm in exchange for money. The limb immediately regenerates, and he offers to let the person chop off other body parts for additional cash. Annie records the entire encounter and later meets Gecko at a diner. They reminisce about their shared past, and it becomes apparent that Annie feels disillusioned with religion. She requests for him to steal a sample of Compound V from Vought’s lab on the 67th floor. At first, Gecko pretends not to know what Compound V is, then claims it’s impossible to obtain, as he works as a test subject for Vought. Annie threatens to expose Gecko’s gig as an S&M hooker on Facebook. When he brings up their friendship, Annie dismisses it as being insignificant.
The Supes That Were Left Behind
Recall Translucent, the eerie, invisible Supe whom Hughie killed at the beginning of season 1? Homelander finally holds a funeral for him, in the presence of Translucent’s family, including his son, Maverick. Homelander fabricates a story of Translucent being killed by a Supe terrorist named El Diablo and swears to seek vengeance. Following Homelander’s eulogy, Starlight sings a song dedicated to Translucent, entitled “Never Truly Vanish.”
As the funeral is broadcasted on TV, The Deep, tears up while watching it in Sandusky. He becomes enraged upon observing that Vought has removed him from a photograph of him and Translucent together. The Deep subsequently falls into a drunken stupor and starts yelling at small children at a water park, resulting in his arrest. He is bailed out of jail by former Supe, Eagle the Archer, and is taken to his home. The Deep becomes uneasy upon meeting Eagle’s “therapist”, Carol, and attempts to leave, but is offered the chance to rejoin The Seven by Eagle and Carol.
Meanwhile, A-Train survives his heart attack, but remains in a coma, hooked up to a plethora of tubes at a hospital. It remains uncertain when, or if, he will awaken.
New Supes on the Block
Homelander roams around Madelyn’s abandoned office, chugging down a bottle of her breast milk. Ashley Barrett enters, thanking him for securing her Madelyn’s position as Vice President of Vought. She introduces him to Blindspot, a blind East Asian Supe she has chosen to replace Translucent. She also mentions her efforts to infuse some diversity into The Seven, with the aim of appealing to millennials.
Homelander tells Blindspot he’s a true hero for what he’s overcome, then brutally bashes his ears in, questioning Ashley’s decision to include a “cripple” in The Seven. He reminds her that he’s the boss, not her, and insists on handling his own marketing while Ashley’s role is to spy on the 82nd floor, where Stan Edgar works.
Later, Homelander and Queen Maeve are filming commercials for their “Save America” campaign against the Supe terrorists, now rebranded as Super Villains. Stormfront unexpectedly arrives at the set, announcing that she’s the newest member of The Seven. This news surprises Homelander, Maeve, and Ashley. Stormfront is live-streaming her introduction to her fans, forcing Homelander to pretend to be okay with everything until he exits the set.
Homelander enters Stan Edgar’s office, demanding to be consulted on new additions to The Seven, even threatening to walk away from Vought when his contract expires at the end of the year. Unlike most people, Stan has no patience for Homelander’s narcissism and tells him the real story of Vought’s founder, Frederick Vought. He was a scientist who created Compound V for Nazi Germany, and it is implied that he tested the drug on Holocaust victims, which Vought “condemns in the strongest possible terms.” Realizing Germany was going to lose WWII, Frederick fled to America and helped create the first American superheroes and was pardoned by the president.
The story’s point is that Homelander is not Vought’s most valuable asset, as they are a pharmaceutical company, not a superhero company. Their most valuable asset is the confidential formula for Compound V, which, thanks to Homelander, has been distributed globally. It’s only a matter of time before the public learns about Compound V, which would be devastating for Vought. Stan makes it clear that he doesn’t have to consult Homelander on what he does with The Seven, and that the Supe is just as expendable as everyone else. A furious Homelander flies to Becca Butcher’s house to visit his son.
One of the gang members returns to the hideout, gravely injured. Frenchie discovers that the gang he has been assisting has been engaged in human trafficking, in addition to drug and gun smuggling. One of the humans turned out to be a Supe terrorist who attacked the man before escaping. The Boys deliberate over their next move. Hughie opposes the idea of contacting Butcher, instead, he volunteers to lead The Boys. He is evasive when the others ask him if he has been in contact with Annie. All M.M. desires is to be reunited with his wife and daughter. Hughie manages to convince the others to approach CIA Deputy Director Susan Raynor to negotiate a deal that would bring M.M. back to his family.
On their way to Raynor’s office, M.M. reminds Hughie that his actions are putting Annie in danger, and it’s only a matter of time before Homelander discovers her involvement. Raynor inquires about Butcher’s whereabouts and updates them on their families. When they give her the description of the Supe terrorist, she is convinced Vought is behind everything, referring to it as a coup from within, but her head explodes before she can elaborate further.
Horrified and covered in Raynor’s blood, The Boys flee back to their van, completely unsure of what their next move should be.
Back at their hideout, Hughie feels guilty over Raynor’s death, knowing that she had a husband and children. Starlight calls to inform Hughie that Gecko can obtain some Compound V and wants to know which news outlets to contact. Hughie advises her to take their time, but Starlight realizes he is not being truthful with her again. He failed to mention the Super Terrorist or the fact that there is something out there that can make people’s heads explode.
At that moment, Butcher throws a gang member down the stairs of the basement. Frenchie confesses to Hughie that he called Butcher, since The Boys need a strong leader. Hughie remains unconvinced.