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‘The Boys': Shawn Ashmore on Why Lamplighter Makes His Big Vought vs. Boys Choice

Plus: Ashmore tells TheWrap about Lamplighter’s ”accident“

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for Episode 206 of “The Boys,” titled “The Bloody Doors Off.”)

This week’s episode of “The Boys” Season 2 gave us the long-awaited flashback to what happened between Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) and Frenchie (Tomer Kapon), Butcher (Karl Urban), M.M. (Laz Alonso), and Colonel Mallory (Laila Robins), when the former member of the supe super-group The Seven backed out of his forced deal to help them and killed Mallory’s grandchildren.

It turns out that Lamplighter never intended to burn those kids to a crisp; he thought he was killing Mallory and didn’t realize the mistake until it was too late. In the present, we learn that Lamplighter actually feels crushing remorse for the murders, giving him something in common with Frenchie, who blames himself for not being there to prevent them because he briefly ducked out of surveillance duty to help a friend who had overdosed that night.

During present day in Episode 6, Frenchie, M.M. and Kimiko (Karen Fukuhara) go to Sage Grove hospital to figure out what Stormfront (Aya Cash) is hiding there and find Lamplighter working as a member of her staff who is experimenting on people whose injections with Compound V took a bad turn. By the end of the hour, Lamplighter has decided to abandon Stormfront and her secret mission for Vought and leave with The Boys. So why does he make that choice?

“I think that Lamplighter, since he’s been kicked out of the Seven and he’s not protected by Vought and he’s not famous anymore, he’s not all of these things, I think that he’s finally had to look at what he has done. Most specifically about Mallory’s grandkids,” Ashmore told TheWrap. “And we know that from Season 1 that he’s like the villain to The Boys. He murdered these kids. And then we realize, spoiler alert, that it was an accident. He’s not a good guy, he’s a bad person — but he’s not a villain. I never thought of him as being really evil. He’s a human being, like all the Supes are, who have been given these abilities that nobody really can handle and been lifted up to these levels of fame that are ridiculous. And we see what happens to normal people in our society that get that, most people can’t handle it and freak out. So imagine that you have all these abilities as well.”

“I think that now that he’s out of the limelight and has been rejected and his identity is gone as Lamplighter, the guy in costume who is powerful and successful and famous, he now has to look at all the stuff he’s done and realize he’s being used by Vought,” Ashmore added. “So I think in a way, it’s almost as if he’s looking for an opportunity out and never in his wildest dreams would he assume that Frenchie and M.M. and everybody shows up at Sage Grove and he has to become allies with them.”

Once he leaves with The Boys, Mallory comes to find them and points a gun at Lamplighter’s head. She’s about to kill him, which is what he admits he wants and deserves, when Frenchie convinces her not to and that there is some way he could be useful to their efforts to take down Vought.

“I think he’s looking for an out, and at the end of the episode, he’s asking Mallory to kill him,” Ashmore says. “He gives her the OK to do that. He’s like, I know what needs to be done, I understand, you should do this. He’s not begging for his life, he’s begging to be put out of his misery. So, again, I think he’s reluctantly helping The Boys, but he’s looking for a way out and it presents itself and he goes along with it.”

A new episode of “The Boys” Season 2 launches next Friday on Amazon Prime Video.