The Boys S2E6-8 Review: The Only Good Nazi is a Dead Nazi
The only good Nazi is a dead one. Or one that has had their limbs burned off and is left as a gibbering mess living a miserable life for thee rest of eternity. Just how we like our Nazis.
The Boys season 2 far surpassed the first season. Season one was great. But there's something about how this second season went that just made it even better. Just like the first season, season 2 has blown away what the comics have done. It did this be expanding on what worked in season 1. Yes, the over-the-top, gratuitous violence is still there but works more to complement the story instead of being the story. The show has also done a much better job of developing characters to be more than just one-dimensional like in the comics. The first season really added agency to Starlight and season 2 not only continues that but expands by having a really good arc for Maeve. For most of season 2 (and season 1), we’ve seen Maeve held back by the fear of retaliation so it felt good to see her finally shake that, stand up for herself and start punching a nazi in the face.
There's a few things that really stand out about this season, particularly the last 3 episodes:
- The scariest person on this show is Stan Edgar. Part of that is that Giancarlo Esposito plays the role in his typical reserved yet dominating way that it's hard not to believe that he's always up to something. His “I can’t lash out like some raging entitled maniac. That’s a white man’s luxury” line was so damn good and cold. It’s also what makes Stan Edgar so dangerous. Because Stan knows he can’t act in the open, you have to wonder how many things he has working in the background. The fact the he’s got so many seemingly uncontrollable elements under his control (Stormfront, Homelander, the not-Church of Scientology, etc) means he’s the real one to look out for.
- Gender-swapping Stormfront from the comics was brilliant. A lot of focus in pop culture is on the Nazi men and their crimes and very little is spent on the white women that either stood by and supported them or actively participated in their warcrimes. There's something even more insidious watching Stormfront change to a mothering tone while trying to turn Ryan by telling him that he needs to be prepared to fight against "white genocide".
- Episode 7’s opening is probably one of the best openings of a show like this that I’ve seen in a while. It’s not only chillin but sadly extremely relevant to today and a perfect example of why deplatforming Nazis is important. Giving Nazi a platform only gives them an opportunity to radicalize susceptible individuals. Watching Tommy become slowly radicalized by Stormfront’s words and then commit a heinous crime was scary in how similar it is to what we’re seeing today in real life. Add in how Stormfront and Homelander then tried to rationalize Tommy’s actions, it became almost infuriating because it mimicked how some conservatives sounded defending Kyle Rittenhouse
- The last three episodes really drop any illusions that “The Collective” is really the Church of Scientology and I’m here for it.
- Billy Butcher is a terrible person however, season 2 has done a great job of bringing him slightly back from the edge. At one point Starlight mentions that Billy isn't that much different from Homelander and while try at that moment, last few episodes do a great job of bringing Billy back from that edge by making him lean on the people around him. It draws a distinction between Billy and Homelander by having Billy's team be there to support him and having Billy make the choice to protect Ryan while Homelander ends the season surrounded by no one that supports him.
I’m really excited to see where The Boys goes in season 3. Premium members can listen to Ro and I discuss the last 3 episodes and whole season below