Directors: Stefan Schwartz
Writers: Craig Rosenberg
Cast: Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Dominique McElligott, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, Nathan Mitchell, Colby Minfie, Aya Cash, Shawn Ashmore, John Noble, Lesley Nicol, Shantel VanSanten, Ann Cusack, Cameron Crovetti, Charley Koontz, John Doman, Laila Robins
‘Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker’ Air Date: 02/10/2020
The Boys Season Two is currently available to stream via Amazon Prime with new episodes releasing every Friday.
This is a FULL SPOILER review of the seventh episode of The Boys: Season Two, ‘Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker.’ Check back for more coverage of The Boys S2 each week as new episodes release.
Before we get deep into the blood-bath seventh episode of The Boys Season 2, we need to recap some things because last week’s episode came with a lot of shocking revelations. Sage Grove is a facility filled with caged Compound V patients and Lamplighter (Shawn Ashmore) was working there as a caretaker/executioner. Stormfront (Aya Cash) not only knows about the facility but is seemingly in charge of it and growing an army to help regain control of America in a very Nazi way.
With all that in mind and remembering how dire that overall pictures was looking, things did look like they were going to go in favour of The Boys as this week’s episode wrapped up. In the opening moments of ‘Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker,’’ Lamplighter is willing and able to stand in a court and turn on Vought. It all seemed like things were finally coming together. Of course, by the time we reach the explosive head-popping final moments of the episode, things haven’t all gone to plan. But I’ll get to that in a moment.
After an uplifting look at things to come, it all begins to unravel pretty fast as everyone on team Boys gets separated. Butcher (Karl Urban) gets a call from his mother saying his dad has passed away so he goes to visit her. Mother’s Milk (Laz Alonso) and Grace Mallory (Laila Robins) attempt to get Vought’s ex CEO Jonah Vogelbaum (John Doman) to turn and Hughie (Jack Quaid) is supposed to be playing babysitter to a Lamplighter intent on watching The Seven porn videos.
The figurative dominos begin to fall when Annie (Erin Moriarty) goes to visit her mother (Anna Cusack) in a coffee shop. Vought soldiers burst in, now seemingly aware of her betrayal, and capture them both.
The news of Annie’s capture pushes Hughie to go on a rescue mission with Lamplighter. Somehow Lamplighters fingerprints are in Vought Towers system still and them manager to sneak inside, but only for Lamplighter to burn-himself alive in the meeting room of The Seven. Thankfully, Hughie and Annie manage to escape thanks to some help from Maeve (Dominique McElligott), who reveals the big bad secret to stopping Black Noire (Nathan Mitchell) is his nut allergy. Go figure.
Butcher visit to his mother ends up being a lie as his mother has tricked him into visiting his father. A strong guest appearance from John Noble means Butcher’s father is seen as a strong asshole who’s able to stand toe-to-toe with Butcher, even in his weakened state. Although only a short scene it’s the most we’ve got to see into Butchers past and how his relationship with his father obviously affected him growing up and made him into the tough asshole he is now.
That tough upbringing is somewhat poetic when Butcher decides he’ll go visit Vogelbaum himself and talk him into standing trial. Vogelbaum explains the harsh upbringing he instilled into Homelander (Antony Starr). He even confesses that Homelander was a sweet child until he was “forced” to push him into becoming the worlds strongest man. I doubt Butcher feels any sympathy for Homelander, but there’s a look of understanding in his eyes none-the-less.
In the episode’s best scene and Karl Urban’s best performance all season, Butcher threatens to murder all of Vogelbaum’s family if he doesn’t stand trial. It’s a haunting delivery from Urban but it makes you believe Butcher isn’t be bluffing. Vogelbaum believes him as well as it’s a scene or two later we see him entering the courtroom having given into the words of warning from Butcher.
We don’t get much of Homelander and Stormfront this episode but they do have an important visit to Becca (Shantel VanSanten) and Ryan (Cameron Crovetti). This is after Homelander catches Stormfront eyeing off a baby and reminiscing about raising her daughter. Homelander seems to decide now’s as good a time as any to break out the news he in fact as a son and now Stormfront can be Ryan’s mother. The two take Ryan into their own hands, a decision I’m sure heads at Vought were dreading. Becca is going to have to seek out Butcher next episode but I’ll be surprised if getting Ryan back isn’t going to come at a cost.
The episode ends in the courtroom. Everyone on team Boys including Annie’s mother gathers around the TV to watch the hearing and what a show they get. Heads just beginning popping left-right and centre. This is obviously the work of Cindy (Ess Hödlmoser) who escaped at the end of last week’s episode. I’m not sure if she’s killing all of these people our of spite, or because Stormfront has told her too.
With only one episode left, there’s a lot of questions still to be answered but I honestly have no idea where the show is heading at this point. Becca seeking Butchers help seems like the only forgone-conclusion, but other than that I’m out of ideas. If Cindy is working for Stormfront is seems like a set-up to blame it on super-terrorists and that means Stormfront is getting a fractured America and the call to arms. All of which she’s been waiting for.
Of course, I didn’t forget that cold-open. The Boys often glides in-and-out of having a political identity that’s easy for some viewers to ignore, but you can’t ignore, or miss this week’s opening. Watching a white American get radicalised over news reports, podcasts and the internet is a haunting image of what we’ve seen happen time and time again in our real world.