The Hunt Is On
In “Proper Preparation and Planning”, tensions flare between Hughie and Butcher, Starlight’s cover is nearly blown, and The Deep’s “therapy sessions” take a weird turn.
The Boys are on a mission to hunt down the mysterious Super Terrorist from the previous episode, but they are currently at a standstill. Hughie is furious with Butcher for deserting them in season 1, yet Butcher acts as if nothing has occurred. Kimiko attempts to assist the group by writing the word “Boy,” but Frenchie is unable to comprehend her what she’s trying to say.
After attending the funeral of Susan Raynor, Grace Mallory discovers Butcher sitting in the backseat of her car. She informs him that she plans on turning him in for the murder of Madelyn Stillwell, which he denies. His only defense is that he asserts to know the whereabouts of the Super Terrorist responsible for Raynor’s death. Upon returning to The Boys’ hideout, Butcher asserts that Mallory will arrange for the FBI to expunge their records once the Super Terrorist is apprehended. However, the team is skeptical of his claim, particularly Hughie, as they have no other options.
The Boys visit a costume shop in search of any leads on the Terrorist. Kimiko unexpectedly runs into her kidnapper, a member of the terrorist organization Shining Light Liberation Army. In a fit of rage, she dismembers him. As she encounters a second individual, she embraces him. Frenchie realizes that the “Boy” Kimiko was trying to mention earlier is her brother, Kenji. He is the Super Terrorist they have been hunting. Butcher attempts to shoot Kenji, but is tackled by Hughie. Kenji uses his powers to neutralize The Boys and escapes with his sister, Kimiko.
Co-Parenting With Homelander
Homelander is playing catch with his son, Ryan, and it’s a surprisingly endearing scene until one recalls the true nature of Homelander as a monster. He encourages Ryan to utilize his powers, just as Becca reminds their son to finish his homework. After Ryan departs, Homelander argues that their son should be taught to harness his powers, while Becca maintains that she wants Ryan to have a normal childhood, free from the influence of Homelander.
Following Ryan’s piano lessons, Becca drives aimlessly around their gated community, searching for a means of escape. She calls Dr. Park in a state of fury, as she was assured that Homelander would never discover their existence. Dr. Park explains that Corporate feared antagonizing Homelander after he learned of Ryan’s existence. He believes Homelander will eventually forget about Ryan, but Becca is not convinced.
Later, Homelander gives Ryan a phone and tells him he can call him whenever he wants. He confesses that he never had a real family, and explains that the two of them are gods who can do as they please. He tells Ryan he loves him before leaving. Becca confronts Homelander and demands he leave her home. Homelander intimidates her by suggesting how Ryan would feel if he learned he had been lied to his entire life. He references the conversation Becca had with Dr. Park, which he shouldn’t have known about, and makes it clear he won’t simply forget about Ryan and move on.
Girls Day Out
The female members of The Seven have a hectic press day, during which they formally introduce Stormfront to the team. Ashley Barrett is thrilled about the new, female-centric direction that The Seven is taking. However, Queen Maeve abruptly departs due to a supposed “family emergency,” leaving Starlight and Stormfront to fend for themselves.
Maeve visits her ex-girlfriend, Elena, who is hospitalized after her appendix nearly ruptured. It turns out that Elena never removed “Maggie Shaw” from her contact list. Elena is stressed and frustrated with Maeve’s tendency to act affectionately one moment, then coldly the next. Maeve recounts a story of a man who flirted with her once, only to wind up dead with his head missing. Maeve is convinced Homelander killed him out of jealousy, and is terrified that he might do something similar to Elena. Horrified, Elena asks why Maeve is telling her this now, and Maeve explains that she doesn’t want Elena to hate her anymore.
Meanwhile, Starlight and Stormfront are questioned by the media on whether a female hero is better than a male hero. Stormfront is candid when she states that gender should not matter, much to everyone’s surprise. Later in the episode, Starlight tells Stormfront that she supports everything she said, but Stormfront accuses her of being a Vought Barbie spy. Starlight tries to explain that she is not what Stormfront thinks she is. All Stormfront has to say is that Starlight should drop the mask every once in a while, and bite the dick off of anyone who tries to stick it in her mouth.
However, Stormfront is not the only obstacle in Annie’s path…
During the never-ending press tour, a reporter queries Starlight for an update on A-Train’s secret mission (he’s in a coma). Starlight responds that she prays for him every night, but is taken aback when she discovers that he’s standing right behind her.
That’s right – A-Train has awakened and is more furious than ever! Starlight is a bundle of nerves as she knows it’s only a matter of time before he exposes her involvement with Hughie. In private, Starlight reminds A-Train that she was the one who saved him with CPR, hoping that gratitude will be enough to get him to keep quiet about Hughie. Instead, A-Train inquires whether everyone knows she helped Hughie escape, and then he bolts.
To add to her stress, Gecko arrives at the press tour to hand Starlight the sample of Compound V, even though her costume doesn’t have pockets. Gecko doesn’t care and warns her that he’ll rat her out to Vought if she threatens him again. She shoves it into a backpack pocket just as A-Train runs over asking what she’s hiding. As Starlight gets a moment to text Hughie that she obtained the Compound V, she’s confronted by A-Train. He threatens to inform Homelander, so Starlight employs her newfound blackmailing abilities. She claims to have proof that A-Train killed Popclaw. The two have a tense stand-off until A-Train leaves.
Me, Myself, and My Gills
Carol is having a difficult time reaching The Deep during his “therapy” sessions. She claims that his operating perspective is non-existent on a functional level, whatever that is supposed to mean. However, Eagle the Archer believes that The Deep is suppressing energy and needs realignment, or something along those lines. In any case, Eagle gives The Deep a drink made of mushrooms, which is supposed to take him on a “journey”.
The drink causes The Deep to hallucinate, and he has a heart-to-heart conversation with his gills. He admits feeling embarrassed by the appearance of his body. His gills explain that his behavior towards women is not motivated by body insecurity, but rather misogyny. He humiliates women out of fear that they’ll laugh at him. The Deep is deeply disturbed and uncomfortable with this revelation. Screaming, he tries to escape from the room, but Eagle and Carol refuse to open the door.
His gills insist that he deserves to be loved and ask him to take a real look at himself, which he does. He apologizes by admitting that he is the ugly one, not them. His gills start singing “You Are So Beautiful to Me” and The Deep breaks down in tears and joins in the singing. (It’s worth noting that The Deep tends to have some of the more disturbing scenes in The Boys. They feel more wrong than funny.)
The Boys, minus Butcher, agree to let Kimiko leave with her brother, despite the fact that he is a terrorist. Butcher reveals that his wife, Becca, is still alive and has a young son who looks just like Homelander. He admits that his deal with Mallory is that she will help him find and rescue Becca in exchange for him finding the Super Terrorist.
Kimiko has a heart-to-heart conversation with her brother, Kenji. They both express their regret for not rescuing each other earlier. When Kimiko says that they turned her into a monster, Kenji replies that he is a monster too. Kenji tries to explain to Kimiko that the Shining Light Liberation Army is fighting against injustice and that the Americans are the bad guys. Kimiko tries to convince her brother to run away with her, but he refuses. The two siblings get into a fight, but Kimiko gets the upper hand. She puts him in a chokehold that knocks him out.
The Boys arrive in their van and put Kenji in the back. Suddenly, Butcher punches Hughie and warns that he will kill him if he gets in the way of his attempts to find Becca.