The Boys nailed the landing with What I Know, a terrific conclusion to this season’s big arcs with some extremely satisfying payoffs to the big subplots and one shocking reveal. Essentially all the concerns I raised from last episode were addressed with probably the best case scenario for Billy and The Boys.
After the attack at Congress, Vought had everyone right where they wanted them with the president signing off on the superhero creation bill. And there may even be a spot back in The Seven for The Deep and A-Train. Deep is a go, but not A-Train. Stan and Alistair have a meeting where Stan subtly tells Alistair why Stormfront has a problem with A-Train, which has ties dating back to the founding of The Church of the Collective.
Remember way back when she said she used to be a part of the group before they started letting “anyone” in? I loved Stan’s parting shot at Fresca, which he called the unofficial drink of the Church “awful stuff.” Giancarlo Esposito has been great in every scene this season and his showcase this episode really made for a high quality conclusion. A-Train overheard all this and finally figured out a way to get some payback.
With Ryan stolen, Becca escaped Vought’s secluded compound and sought Billy’s help. The deck was definitely stacked against them, but Hughie and Starlight wanted one last try to do something besides a suicide mission against The Seven.
Starlight knew this was a sucker bet, but Hughie explained he was always trying to see the bright side of things because his mother abandoned them when he was young. That’s a nice character tidbit for Hughie and explains his actions through the two seasons. Maeve isn’t willing to testify, which would be crazy after what happened last time, and Starlight and Hughie realize their Hail Mary didn’t get answered…or did it?
A-Train delivers all of the files showing Stormfront’s Nazi ties, which gets Stormfront the full media blitz and meme treatment she’d so successfully weaponized all season. To sorta quote A-Train “F that Nazi b!$@” Yes indeed, sir.
Billy has a convo with Stan and offers to take care of Homelander and get Ryan out of his clutches. Butcher is confused why Stan would align himself with Stormfront. “She makes people angry and angry people raise Compound V’s stock prices. I can’t lash out like some raging entitled maniac. That’s a white man’s luxury.” I’ve got Michael Kenneth Williams winning the best supporting actor Emmy for Lovecraft Country, but Esposito probably should get a nomination.
Billy doesn’t want to have to deal with Vought coming after Ryan, the only commodity Stan cares about, and offers a deal where he gets Becca and Stan gets Ryan. He’s a bastard, but Billy understands how to play this game. Becca seems to have a deep understanding of her husband and makes him swear to keep Ryan safe so he doesn’t grow up to be like Homelander.
With Stormfront occupied, it’s time to get Ryan. Homelander gets distracted by sonic devices Frenchie whips up and they’re gone…right until Stormfront stops the getaway.
This leads to one of my all-time favorite superhero fight scenes with Kimiko, Starlight and Maeve kicking the absolute crap out of the Nazi. Seriously, this is the kind of comeuppance I’ve been waiting for ever since she killed Kenji and it was worth every second of it.
Stormfront knows when she’s beaten and flies off to get Ryan. As she throttles Becca, Ryan finally taps into his powers — that dismember Stormfront and leaves her speaking in German while Becca slowly bleeds out. The Boys has never gone big on emotional scenes that resonate. Most character deaths are in the form of shock value. This was the opposite and while Becca was never the most effective character, her death had real meaning.
Billy considered beating down the shellshocked Ryan, but Homelander swooped in. Maeve saved him again, by threatening to leak the recording of Homelander and Maeve abandoning the plane’s passengers. I’m really glad that scene continues to have such impact.
Homelander has been the delusional hero, but that was his cruelest act of the series and it needs to stay hanging over his head even if he doesn’t feel a trace of remorse. No, for Homelander it’s more what the recording means — that no one will ever love him again.
The epilogue is as close as this series will get to a happy ending. At a press conference, Stan announces Compound-V is shelved for now and Homelander makes a big showy speech saluting the bravery of his good pals Maeve and Starlight, who’s back in her classic costume again. That was a nice touch. Alistair knows A-Train leaked the documents and saluted his creativity. He’s back on The Seven, but Deep has to wait. While his outburst probably would have led to a big expose, Deep wouldn’t have to worry about that soon…
Victoria Neuman has set Mallory up on the office of superhero affairs as well as an off the book group to keep tabs on supes (i.e. The Boys). Billy isn’t interested for now, but makes sure Ryan is taken care of by his old boss.
Neuman wasn’t finished making moves as Alistair revealed all his plans to blackmail a slew of supes right before his head exploded. Neuman was the supe making everyone’s head explode!
That explains why she didn’t killed in the attack since she seemed such an obvious choice. And now Hughie wants to walk the straight and narrow again and work in her campaign office. This sets up for a very exciting Season 3.
I had some doubts, but they were completely unwarranted. This might have been the best episode of the series and a superb way to wrap the season. How long until we get Season 3?
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: Amazon Studios