(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Episode 207 of “The Boys,” titled “Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker.”)
The penultimate episode of “The Boys” Season 2 launched Friday, ending with a literally explosive scene that threw our heroes completely off guard and sets us up for — possibly — an even more explosive finale next week.
At the end of the hour, titled “Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker,” Hughie (Jack Quaid), Butcher (Karl Urban) and the gang sit around the TV to watch the Vought congressional hearings on C-SPAN, after all of their hard work teaming up with Congresswoman Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) and blackmailing former Vought CSO Jonah Vogelbaum (John Doman) into testifying, after their star witness Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) committed suicide. But just when the proceedings begin they’re short circuited by the sudden mass murder of several hearing attendees, whose heads explode at random with absolutely no indication of how or why the massacre is occurring.
“I think we should let the fans theorize about who did it,” showrunner Eric Kripke told TheWrap. “I think some people– I’ll do it to sound like President Trump right now, ‘Like, some people say that it was Stormfront (Aya Cash). And other people say that it was Cindy (Ess Hödlmose), who was released from Sage Grove. But I’m going to reveal the truth in two weeks, so then you’ll know.’ That’s very Trumpian.”
Yeah, Kripke is of course not telling us who started blowing up heads this week, but he did say this turn has made The Boys realize “they can’t rely on the government or the law or doing any of this the right way, especially Butcher, leading that charge.”
“And it really sets up for the finale– I think Butcher has an angel and a devil on his shoulder,” he continued. “I think his angel is Becca (Shantel VanSanten) and his devil is his dad, which you see in this episode. And so now that the chips are really down, what side is Butcher going to listen to? Is he going to do things the right way, or is he going to do things the wrong way. And he tends to lean toward the wrong way.”
Speaking of Butcher’s angel, Becca dealt with some devils this week in the form of the rapist who fathered her child, Homelander (Antony Starr) and his new Nazi girlfriend Stormfront. Homelander repaid Stormfront for revealing her Third Reich CV by bringing her to Becca’s house to introduce her to his young son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) — and to tell him his life has pretty much been a lie, with Vought sheltering him and his mother from the real world.
“It’s a really dangerous situation that Ryan finds himself in, as well as Becca,” Kripke says. “This season has always been like a family drama with life-or-death stakes for millions of people. Because if Ryan is raised to be another Homelander, which is what Homelander wants, then that’s obviously really, really bad for the planet. And I might argue that it’s even worse, because if Stormfront is his stepmother and raises him with her ideology, that could be truly catastrophic. And Becca needs to figure out a way to get that kid back because, yes, she wasn’t being completely straight with him, but she was on the path of raising somebody who maybe one day could fight Homelander. So the kid represents an incredible amount of stakes in this world of, ‘So goes the future of the kid, so goes the future of the world.’ It all kind of is coming down to that focus in the finale.”
OK, that’s pretty heavy stuff, so let’s turn to one darkly comedic moment from Friday’s episode: The reveal that super badass supe Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) has a super bad tree nut allergy that Maeve (Dominique McElligott) uses to cripple him when he attempts to kill Starlight (Erin Moriarty).
Kripke says the idea behind this started with the fact that Mitchell actually has a “severe” nut allergy.
“Like, Nathan cannot touch nuts, he cannot be near nuts, if anyone has nuts in the room with him, he’s gotta leave the room. He’s *that* guy with nut allergies,” Kripke said. “And I think it was Karl, when we were kind of laughing [at San Diego Comic-Con for Season 1] and Karl was like, ‘You need to make that Black Noir’s weakness. Because isn’t that amazing that for someone as powerful as this, his kryptonite is f—ing nuts?’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s the most brilliant idea ever.’ And we used it, and that’s where it came from. And I just love the idea that a lot of these heroes have kryptonite, but the one that he has is just one that hundreds of thousands of people have and it’s a very normal kryptonite.”
“The Boys” showrunner says they planted the seeds for Black Noir’s weakness towards the beginning of Season 2.
“If you remember back in Episode 4, Anika (Ana Sani) is eating an Almond Joy in crime analytics and Noir comes up and his very first move is he takes out a garbage can and he’s like, throw it away,” Kripke said. “So we set up his tree nut allergy as early as Episode 4.”
“The Boys” Season 2 finale launches next Friday on Amazon Prime Video.