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No matter how many times I try to convince my calendar that I have date-changing superpowers, it isn't September 4 yet, which means The Boys Season 2 hasn't crash-landed into our faces just yet. Thankfully, the cast got together for a fun and laugh-filled [email protected] panel that gave fans a surprising number of non-spoilery reveals about what to expect in the streaming series' second season.
Before Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg popped in with the announcement that Amazon had officially renewed The Boys for Season 3, the always wonderful Aisha Tyler asked creator Eric Kripke and the majority of the principal cast all kinds of questions about Season 2 plotlines and character dynamics, often while dropping hard teases of her own. Let's get into some of those bigger highlights below.
The Boys Should Be Very Wary Of Butcher Now
As much as Karl Urban's Billy Butcher was a reckless maniac in Season 1, that was before he realized he had something to live for other than revenge. Now that he knows his wife Becca is not only alive, but also connected to Homelander, Butcher will have his blinders on even tighter in Season 2. That doesn't bode well for the superhero-hunting team he sorta leads. Here's how Urban explained it:
Going forward for him, his objective through Season 2 is to really find Becca and rescue her, to get his wife back. And so if Season 1 was Butcher really focused on blind revenge for the perceived death of his wife, Season 2 really becomes about getting her and saving her. The moral questions that arise from that is, ‘How far is Butcher willing to go? How much is he willing to sacrifice?’ It’s particularly pertinent coming off Season 1 where we see that Butcher would turn his back on The Boys if he could inflict some degree of pain and suffering on Homelander, on The Seven. There's a certain evolution for Butcher in Season 2 where he has some tough choices to make; whether he will be able to do something to achieve that goal to get him closer to Becca. Will he again jeopardize his team?
There are certainly situations that would arise where Butcher would not sell out on The Boys by putting the in harm's way, but if it comes down to Becca or his buds, I can't picture a scenario where Butcher readily chooses to sacrifice the woman he already thought he'd lost. Granted, she might not share those feelings anymore, but would that be enough to make him choose Hughie over Becca?
Hughie Won't Be A Pushover Anymore (Eventually)
Speaking of Jack Quaid's almost-accidental member of The Boys, Hughie Campbell is going into Season 2 without Butcher as a constant devil at one shoulder. (Obviously Butcher used an anal-bomb to kill off whatever angel was on Hughie's other shoulder.) It appears that separation will be good for the character's confidence. According to Quaid:
But something I really found fascinating about what Eric did with Hughie this season is that you know in Season 1, he kind of latches on to a lot of people that tell them what to do and how to navigate his way through this crazy world. And in Season 2, he’s starting to realize how he can do that on his own and he’s starting to realize who he is on the inside and what he wants to do, not just in relation to what people like Butcher or even The Boys or Starlight want him to do.
Jack Quaid specifically pointed to a moment from the Season 2 trailer where Butcher returns and is trying to get The Boys to back him on a plan, saying, 'You'll love it," and Hughie stands up to him with sincerity by saying how little love he ever feels for Butcher's plans. Now, does Hughie's newfound confidence mean that he is impervious to failure, embarrassment, pain or sorrow? Not one bit, but it'll be interesting to see how it changes him.
Starlight Embraces Powers And Has Interesting Pair-Ups
For Season 1, Erin Moriarty's Starlight was in a "fish out of water" story where the fish realizes that the world is now a very unfamiliar and suffocating place. Basically all of her ideals were given the shaft, metaphorically and so on, so the most optimistic member of The Seven is going into Season 2 will walls built up around her, which affects how she maintains her values. In Moriarty's words:
What was fun about Season 2, and what I think people will find satisfying in terms of her trajectory is that she kind of steps into her own powers – she’s kind of forced to – and into her strengths. Her objectives stay the same. You know, it's the same thing as Season 1, Episode 1 when she says she wants to be the best superhero in the world. Her morals stay totally intact, but she's forced to adapt to the dark world that she's become exposed to and her means to attain that objective totally change, and that’s where some really interesting storylines come in.
Now that Starlight has had tar poured over her rose-colored glasses, it sounds like she might be confronted with more situations that align her with behavior akin to what The Seven is often guilty of. But that attitude shift should help when she gets paired off at various points with Butcher and A-Train. Karl Urban talked about enjoying getting to spend time opposite Erin Moriarty for certain scenes, and both the actress and Jessie T. Usher talked about Starlight and A-Train have an interesting, though toxic, relationship given their mistrust for each other.
An Actual Whale Prop Was Built For That Gross Scene
The Boys' [email protected] panel also featured the debut of a wonderfully bizarre sequence that was teased in the Season 2 trailer. Basically, Butcher and The Boys are zooming along in a boat aimed for The Deep, who is standing atop a large beached whale. And then, you know, they drive the boat straight into the whale's body for a shocking and hilariously disgusting stunt. And shame on anyone who thought it was a digital effect, because that whale was a real prop. Karl Urban and Eric Kripke talked about the amazing (and hot and smelly) beast of a prop.
URBAN: Yeah, they actually built a huge prosthetic whale and it was on the beach. And it was very practical. We actually end up inside the whale, without giving too much away. It was a pretty surreal experience, and pretty hot and stinky in the Canadian summer. It was great. [Laughs.]
KRIPKE: I want to add to that that one of the best professional moments of my career was when I told the production crew. They're like, ‘We're not really building this whale, right?’ Arv Grewal, the production designer, and I said, ‘Yeah, yeah, we're building a fucking whale. And it's gonna be 40 feet long and 11 feet high. Long before we started shooting Episode 1, we were deep into building that whale because we knew it was such a huge project. And so expensive, too. It was such an expensive whale. And it makes the scenes work, because they’re there interacting with this real thing with an exploded belly. It’s not just a CG effect.
It obviously wasn't the kind of prop that one can just use over and over and over again, which is almost definitely a good thing for the cast members who had to go through those faux whale guts in the heat of the summer sun. But that whale is a prop you absolutely want to be able to use once, so let's all applaud Eric Kripke's dedication to grossing fans out with practical effects.
The Deep Tries To Make Human Connections Again
Of all this show's sordid characters, Chace Crawford's The Deep perhaps came the closest to finding a form of redemption and poetic justice, which puts him in an interesting place when Season 2 starts. Granted, he'd been absolutely miserable being exiled to Ohio where he was living a pretty solitary life, but that seems likely to change as his story continues. Here's how Crawford explained it:
You know, he goes on a few different quests to find to find love and to find connection in that way. And there's some humor interlaid in there. You see that with the whale. I think he still wants to be back in The Seven. . . . Someone joins him from his past and yeah, it’s a very interesting storyline he goes on.
Will The Boys fans, or characters, be comfortable with The Deep finding a genuine romantic relationship after his Season 1 arc? What could it be from his past that returns, and how will that person (or sea creature) shake things up?
Mother's Milk Becomes The Show's (Only?) Moral Compass
In certain ways, Laz Alonso's Mother's Milk is a polar opposite of Butcher. Mother's Milk is far more of a traditional family man, even compared to when Butcher was in a happily married state. But in that same vein, Mother's Milk is also the kind of person who would leave his family behind and sacrifice that connection if it meant taking on some form of heroic act. In that way, Alonso said that his character is addicted to the feeling of freedom-fighting in the same way the comic character was born addicted to Compound V. Speaking to his moral code, Alonso said:
There was a tremendous amount of emotional intelligence that I had to bring to this character because what he had to be within this group was the voice of morality to keep us from going so far over the edge where we might become as dark as the Super. So that we don't forget why we're here and what we're fighting for. So that's kind of the line that I try to to always measure is, when we have a scene together as a group and and we're planning what we're gonna do, is, morally speaking, ‘What would Mother's Milk do?’
Granted, the moral code within The Boys is a few tiers lower than it is in other comic book groups, but you take what you can get, right? Here's hoping he'll be able to steer them away from Butcher's mad plans and mad dog in Season 2.
Kimiko Gets A Deeper Backstory, Still Won't Talk
One of The Boys' most unique characters is Karen Fukuhara's Kimiko, whose silent-but-deadly introduction and Season 1 arc left a lot of questions about the character's past and what's going on inside her head. It sounds like we won't have too long to wait to get more insights, either. When asked about taking on a non-speaking role like this, Fukuhara mentions how much more audiences will learn about her mysterious character in Season 2.
It's nice not having to learn [dialogue] but it's definitely a challenge as an actor, because I've never done a role like this before. Even in Season 2, we kind of dive into more of her psyche and her emotional state, more so than her physical side. So definitely a challenge, and fulfilling in the end. . . . Her relationship with her history that we find out in Season 2 also alters the relationship that she has with Frenchie a little bit, and it’s It's interesting to see different sides of her come out. Not so much the feral, animalistic side, but her growing into her own womanhood and individuality, I guess.
It's probably safe to assume that whatever her history is, it won't be one filled with happiness, compassion and loud singing voices. Aisha Tyler hinted that Kimiko's backstory may well indeed reveal exactly why she can't, or doesn't, talk.
Frenchie's Real Name Will Be Revealed
It's easy to forget that Frenchie isn't the actual name of Tomer Capon's emotionally charged thief and marksman, but rather just shorthand for The Frenchman. Of course, there are a lot of things about Frenchie's personal life and past that fans aren't clued in on just yet. So it's awesome Capon has revealed that Season 2 will dig deeper into his own past just as it will for Kimiko.
In Season 2, the fans and the audience do get a chance to peek through the window, the door, to all kind of different characters, including Frenchie. You’re gonna get a sneak peek of the origin story. Those things to me, as a kid being a comic book fan, I love this stuff so much, the chance to get to know a character. You’re gonna get to know how Frenchie got into The Boys like other characters did. Might even get to know his real name, which is really interesting.
Frenchie was a member of the original Boys unit that was headed up by Laila Robins' Grace Mallory, but left after everything went kaput there. So if Season 2 is going to shine a light on how he first teamed up with Butcher and others, you just know it's going to be the wildest introduction ever.
A-Train Is In Bad Shape, Will Probably Keep Making It Worse
Jessie T. Usher's A-Train is perhaps the most guilty of self-sabotage of anyone on The Boys. For various reasons both superficial and deeply personal, the character cannot turn away from his Compound V addiction, no matter how destructive the addiction is. And even though A-Train's heart attack in Season 1 should have been a big wake-up call for him to make changes, the character only digs himself into a deeper pit of denial and paranoia. According to the actor:
Physically, A Train is in bad shape. He's abused Compound V and it's taking some very long-term effects on his body. And him being an athlete, that's very much in the forefront of the issues that he has to deal with. But A Train has so many things that he's been literally running from for so long, now he's in the place where he has to stop, turn and face these things, and it's tearing him apart. He's fueled by this hate and this rage and a lot of it self-inflicted, even though he's kind of pinning it on other people. Everywhere he looks, he just feels betrayed or hated or something. He’s attaching negative emotions to every aspect of his life and now he has to kind of turn around and deal with these things all at one time, and it’s a lot for him to do.
In the way that A-Train blamed Hughie for his girlfriend's death while denying all personal responsibility, Jessie T. Usher says that his troubled superhero will find someone new to put in his crosshairs for Season 2. Regarding the entry earlier about Starlight, could she be the one that A-Train tries to run all over when the show returns? If so, I gotta say he was way better off targeting a regular ass human.
The Boys Season 2 will kick off on Amazon on Friday, September 4, with the first three episodes going live that day. After that, new episodes will be streaming weekly on Fridays. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more coverage, and head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to see what other shows are debuting in the coming months.