*Major spoilers to follow for Amazon’s The Boys*
Are you totally caught up on all the ass murders and dolphin heists that season 1 of The Boys had to offer? Amazon’s adaptation of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson‘scomic series is one of the best new TV shows of 2019, a razor-sharp look at superhero media that manages to be timely while also making room for plenty of blood, guts, and Karl Urban killing a room full of people with a laser-eyed baby. My biggest complaint about the show’s first eight episodes is the fact the story ends a bit bluntly, mid-action, leaving more than a few superpowered threads left hovering off the ground.
Luckily, showrunner Eric Kripke—who adapted the comic with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg—knew for a while that Amazon was picking The Boys up for a second season. Speaking to EW, Kripke dove into the mindset surrounding season 1’s ending, and what it means for the show’s future. First up: That massive cliffhanger involving Billy Butcher’s (Urban) long-lost family.
In the show, Butcher’s vendetta against the world’s superhumans stems from the disappearance of his wife, Becca (Shantel VanSanten), who vanished after being raped by Homelander (Antony Starr), leader of The Seven. Season 1 eventually reveals that Becca died while trying to deliver Homelander’s child, before upending its own reveal in the season’s final moments. Homelander delivers Butcher to a suburban front lawn to reveal that not only is Becca alive, but so is the child conceived during the sexual assault.
Kripke explained why introducing the child was key, especially considering the character and Becca both die during this moment in source material:
“You have this kid who’s half human and half monster; half the person Butcher loves most in the world and half the person Butcher hates most in the world. That’s just too perfect a character to not keep alive.”
The showrunner also noted that flipping Butcher’s backstory on its head also has juicy implications for the character’s relationship with “Wee” Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid). Originally, Butcher was able to find common ground with Hughie through a similiar loss of a loved one at the hands of a “supe”. In season 2, Kripke said, the two men will discover they don’t have as much in common as they thought.
“Is there a way that we can still honor the comic but then pull the rug out to say they don’t have the same backstory at all, they just thought they did? And if we could throw a left hook like that, we could really shock readers of the comic but also present this notion of, though these characters have so much in common, suddenly they find themselves in two different spaces. What does that do to them heading into season 2?”
As for season 2 specifics, we do know for sure that You’re the Worst star Aya Cash is joining the cast as the bigoted superhero Stormfront. But Kripke also teased the arrival of one comic character than many viewers (see: me) were enraged to discover only had a brief flashback appearance in season 1: Terror, Butcher’s trusty bulldog companion. Said Kripke:
“We felt, as the writers, the fans need him. We had to bite the bullet and have one fucking pain-in-the-ass episode to shoot with the dog, and then at the end the dog will return to the safe and comfortable place it’s been. But it does come out of retirement for one more mission with Butcher, and so we can at least put Butcher with Terror for one big episode.”
The Boys season 1 is streaming now on Amazon Prime. For more on the series, check out the links below:
- ‘The Boys’ Review: Amazon’s Razor-Sharp Superhero Satire Is ‘Watchmen’ for a New Age
- Karl Urban on ‘The Boys’, Having a Blast as Butcher, and Fighting an Invisible Man
- ‘The Boys’ Co-Creator Eric Kripke on Not Having to Restrain His “Filthy” Humor for Streaming