The Boys recap: The family ties that bind
With Billy back in the fold, the Boys make plans to hunt down the super-terrorist who’s arrived in New York — a mission they hope will earn them a reunion with their loved ones. But as is routinely the case in the superhero-populated world of The Boys, nuclear families often prove downright combustible.
“Proper Preparation and Planning” begins with Billy staring at a piece of paper featuring a crayon-scribbled description of Becca’s house. A subsequent flashback indicates that, after visiting that abode with Homelander at the end of season one, he awakened in a New Jersey parking lot, and quickly wrote down details before he forgot them (along the way learning, via a restaurant TV, that he was now wanted for Madelyn’s murder).
Back at their dank basement HQ, Kimiko tries in vain to get Frenchie to understand the “Boy/Girl” writing she’s doing in her English book. Billy informs the crew that he’s going to meet a contact who can help them find the super-terrorist. When Hughie objects — and chastises Billy for leaving them for dead and then reappearing like nothing happened — Billy defiantly reasserts his leadership position and puts Hughie in his second-banana place.
Homelander attempts to bond with his son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) by playing catch, only to learn that the kid — who’s been sheltered from the world by Becca — is athletically challenged, and unaware of his own superpowers. Becca is miserable about having Homelander back in her life, and shortly thereafter drives to the security gate of the secret walled compound in which her house resides (she’s a prisoner), and demands to speak to Dr. Park (Adrian Holmes). Park tells her by phone that corporate has decided to allow Homelander access to Ryan — despite their deal with her to keep her hidden — because it’s best not to antagonize the psychotic supe. As Becca watches Homelander mill around her house on security camera feeds (he’s already found her secret stash of old Billy photos), Park says that, hopefully, Homelander will get bored and move on, which Becca seriously doubts.
Carol finds the Deep to be a difficult Church of the Collective student, so Eagle has him ingest a hallucinogenic drink intended to be some sort of “gateway” to self-understanding. Its effects are harrowing and amusing: Deep’s gills begin speaking to him (in the voice of Patton Oswalt), chastising him for violating women’s bodies because he can’t accept his own. The Deep is naturally freaked out by this recriminating talk from his own torso, but eventually, his gills force him to confront his own negative body-image issues, and they harmoniously duet on “You Are So Beautiful.”
Following Raynor’s funeral, to which he sent an Edible Arrangement (Deluxe Bereavement Bouquet with White Chocolate Dip Pineapple Doves), Billy confronts his mentor and former CIA handler Grace (Laila Robins). He tells her he thinks Raynor was killed by Vought for getting too close to uncovering the truth about NYC’s new super-terrorist. While Grace can’t stand Billy (dubbing him a “cockroach”), Billy convinces her to strike a deal: if they bring her the super-terrorist, the Boys can have their records wiped clean and return to their wives and kids.
Starlight, Queen Maeve, and Stormfront are all stuck at a day-long press junket for their new marketing campaign, “Girls Get It Done.” Maeve bails when she gets an emergency phone call about her ex Elena (Nicola Correia-Damude), who’s had her appendix out. Their dynamic remains tense — since Maeve is both loving and secretive/detached — and after much prodding from Elena, she finally admits why they can’t have a public relationship: Homelander, who’s such a psychotically controlling creep that he beheaded the last guy who hit on her.
While Maeve is gone, Starlight and Stormfront endure a gauntlet of monotonous TV-promo spots and puff-piece interviews, to which Stormfront acts brazenly derisive. Starlight is similarly bored by this tedious work, but her day is given a jolt of tension when A-Train suddenly appears, miraculously healed from the heart attack he suffered at the end of season 1 (during a confrontation with Starlight and Hughie). They play nice for the cameras and share a tense talk at the afterparty. Later, Gecko passes Starlight the Compound-V she demanded. A-Train, spotting the handoff, attempts to find out what she’s received, but Starlight cannily hides it from him in Stormfront’s bag.
Putting Ryan to sleep, Homelander tells his son that they can do anything they want, together, because, “You and me. We’re gods.” Becca lets Homelander know that she’s not happy with his continuing presence in their lives, and he says she’s right to think he won’t become bored with fatherhood (he apparently eavesdropped on her conversation with Park, courtesy of his super-hearing). Thus, a scarily superpowered domestic-abuse scenario is born.
Billy relays his meeting with Grace to the Boys and reveals that he has an address where the super-terrorist might be located. It turns out that place is a Halloween costume store. There, Kimiko finds and savagely beheads a man who’s a member of the Shining Light militia that kidnapped her and murdered her parents. She finds her brother Kenji (Abraham Lim), and they happily embrace. Billy deduces that Kenji is the super-terrorist and aims to assassinate him. He’s stopped by Hughie, but his suspicion is proven true when Kenji — using Force-like powers — brings the store down on their heads, and flees with Kimiko.
Having finished her marketing duties for the day, Starlight returns to her apartment and texts Hughie that she now has the Compound-V. As soon as the text is sent, A-Train suddenly appears with his superspeed and asks her what she’s up to. He gets his hands on the Compound-V and tells her that when Homelander hears what she’s plotting, he’ll peel the skin off her face. Unfazed by this threat, Starlight lets A-Train know that she has proof — via Vought’s buried-for-now medical reports — that he killed his girlfriend Popclaw, and that she’ll leak that damning information to Sports Illustrated if he outs her. Realizing he can’t do anything to Starlight lest he guarantee his own destruction, A-Train lets her have the Compound-V and silently leaves.
On a swing set, Kimiko (using sign language) and Kenji discuss their ordeal of being transformed, against their will, into superpowered “monsters,” and apologize for not protecting each other. On their ensuing walk through the city, Kenji makes clear that Homelander viciously destroyed their village. He’s committed to exacting revenge against Homelander fort this atrocity (which he thinks validates Shining Light’s message), but Kimiko objects. They super-spar, and she eventually knocks him out with a sleeper hold. Following Butcher’s admission to the Boys that Becca is alive, and that he needs their help rescuing her from her sunshiny suburban Vought/Homelander prison — which convinces them to partner with him — they find Kimiko and throw a restrained Kenji in their van.
Before driving off into the night, Billy punches out Hughie, warning him, “You come between me and my missus again, I’ll f---ing kill you.”
- Billy Joel once again makes a cheeky appearance in season 2 of The Boys. Still despondent over his lack of authority in the gang, Hughie sits on the toilet watching a video of “You’re Only Human (Second Wind)” on his phone.
- Thanks to this episode’s bevy of junket materials, billboards, and Halloween store costumes and cardboard cut-outs of the Seven — all of which speak to how superheroes are marketed as celebrities — the series’ world-building continues to be exceptional.
- In case there was any doubt that Carol and Eagle are New Age-y weirdos, the latter’s comment to Deep that “You’re just inhibited by suppressive energy. That’s it. Just gotta realign things” leaves no doubt that they’re members of some cult-ish outfit.
- Cameron Crovetti is the new Ryan, replacing Parker Corno, who briefly appeared as the character in season 1's finale.
The Boys (TV Series)