If you thought the first season of The Boys was intense, you haven't seen anything yet.

When EW gathered series creator Eric Kripke and the stars of the Amazon superhero satire for an episode of Around the Table to preview the second season (premiering Friday), he warned that the new batch of episodes is "weirder, stranger, deeper, and more over-the-top" than everything that happened in season 1.

"The thing about this show that l love is, yes, there is a lot commentary about society, but we really start character first and where are they emotionally and what do they go through," the showrunner says. "Honestly, we played a mental game with all the writers of what was the single worst thing we can put every single character through, and that's how we started the story."

Kripke also jokes that "the world is giving us lots of material" right now "in terms of the issues" they wanted to tackle in season 2. "We wanted to get into this season, there's some white nationalism that we target and try to expose, some systemic racism, xenophobia, how so many people in power make you afraid of someone coming over your border when really the person you should be afraid of is the person standing next to you," he teases. "We really wanted to get into what we see as a lot of issues that are unfortunately really happening in the world right now."

So where do all the fan-favorite "Boys" and "supes" start in the second season? According to Karl Urban, who plays MIA Boys leader Billy Butcher, "At the end of season 1, the Boys were in a pretty bad state. Butcher discovers that his wife, Rebecca [Shantel VanSanten], is not in fact dead, is alive, and has a supe son from Homelander [Antony Starr], so that really sets up Butcher's journey for season 2."

Meanwhile, in Butcher's absence, Hughie (Jack Quaid) is going to be grappling with where he really fits in with the Boys-vs.-supes war. "When we first see Hughie in season 2, he starts off with even less than the end of season 1," Quaid says. "He's in hiding, his mentor figure to him utterly betrayed him, and he feels really, really bad about lying to Annie [Erin Moriarty]. He feels so incredibly alone. This season was really cool because it was largely about discovering what Hughie wants out of this. But we really do meet him in a very, very low place at the beginning of season 2, and it's up to him to pull himself out of that, little by little."

As for Homelander, the leader of the corrupt Seven may have more power than the Boys, but he'll also be dealing with his own demons this season. "Homelander at the end of season 1 has really taken matters into his own hand, gotten rid of his Oedipal mommy figure, and has really tried to branch out all over the world," Starr says. "And then season 2 is really about dealing with the repercussions, maybe a little parenting here, a little bit of foul play there. It's a really interesting season and very much a journey into the dark parts of his soul."

On top of that, Homelander will have an unexpected problem on his hands when a new supe joins the Seven: Stormfront, played by Aya Cash. "What I can tell you about Stormfront is that she is a new member of the Seven who comes in and causes waves with everyone, but especially Homelander," Cash hints. "She bad. She real bad."

Watch the full roundtable above to see what else Kripke and his cast had to say about season 2, including more infighting among the Seven, the Deep's (Chace Crawford) path toward potential redemption, the backstory that finally gets revealed about some of the Boys' past trauma, and even some season 3 teases… but stick around for the hilarious story of how Quaid had to get a dog to hump a toy on camera.

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