San Diego Comic-Con@Home: The Boys Season Two Panel Recap

The Boys were back in town on Thursday, sort of, for a return trip to Comic-Con after premiering the series their last year. Participating in The Boys Comic-Con@Home panel were showrunner Eric Kripke and returning cast members Karl Urban (Billy Butcher), Jack Quaid (Hughie Campbell), Anthony Starr (Homelander), Erin Moriarty (Starlight), Jessie T. Usher (A-Train), Laz Alonzo (Mother’s Milk), Chase Crawford (The Deep), Karen Fukuhara (Kimiko), and Tomer Capon (Frenchie), as well as new cast member Aya Cash (Stormfront). Executive producers Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg appeared at the end of the panel to announce that Amazon Prime has already renewed the series. “Because this show has fans, and is watched by people like you, they have decided to renew it yet again for a third season. So, if you like The Boys, you got more of it. Thank God,” announced Rogan. “When can we shoot season three? That’s anyone’s guess. I hope it’s in this decade,” he joked. 

The panel began with Kripke giving fans a sneak-peak at season two. “When we pick up season two, it’s a lot more intense. We worked hard to make season two crazier, but also more emotional and with higher stakes. So, everyone is in a really tight spot. The Boys are fugitives off of last season. They are hunted, and they are doing their best to fight back. Conversely, Homelander killed the only person that can control him, so he is increasingly out of control. So, I think everyone is pushed to the limits in season two.”

Last season ended with Billy Butcher finding out that his wife is still alive, and that the man he thought killed her, Homelander, is the father of her child. Karl Urban talked about how Billy will handle this revelation in season two. “The end of season one was a gamechanger for Butcher,” he explained. “It changes everything going forward. His objective through season one was really looking for revenge for the perceived death of his wife, and season two really becomes about getting her and saving her. The moral questions that arise from that is how far is Butcher willing to go, and how much is he willing to sacrifice? There is a certain evolution with Butcher in season two where he has some tough choices to make. What will he do to achieve that goal of getting close to Rebecca, and will it once again jeopardize his team? That was a lot of fun to play and I think season two has some really fun team ups. I think that is something season two does really successfully. Throwing different characters together to see how they react and grow.”

The end of season one saw Homelander kill his mother, Madelyn Stillwell played by Elisabeth Shue. Anthony Starr showed the home audience a photo from season two of Homelander drinking a bottle of milk belonging to his mother, and the actor talked about his character’s direction in the new season. “We’ve seen through season one that this guy is lonely and craving for connection. Part of that was Stillwell, but she wouldn’t let Homelander expand and fulfill what he is capable of, so he dealt with that and a lot of season two has been him trying to find his place. Season one was external, and season two is internal, and I guess there is nothing more internal than milk. So, between season one and two, in order to bring Stillwell back in to his life, he finds traces of Stillwell and reconnects that way, by me drinking breast milk.”

Jack Quaid, who plays Hughie Campbell, was asked how his character is adjusting to the team in season two, now that Butcher is gone. “Butcher essentially betrayed everybody, so now Charlie has kind of been left there and feels very alone, the actor explained. “He feels terrible about lying to Annie all of season one. He is super alone and just has nothing. At a certain point he realizes that he needs to keep this thing going because he doesn’t have anything else and that it’s the right thing to do. In season one Hughie latches on to a lot of people that tell him what to do, and in season two he is starting to realize how he can do that on his own. He is starting to realize who he is on the inside and what he wants to do, and not what Butcher, the Boys, or even Starlight wants him to do.”

Erin Moriarty was asked to discuss her character arc as Starlight in season two. “What was fun about season two that I think people will find satisfying in terms of her trajectory is she is forced to come into her own power and strength,” said the actress. “Her objective stays the same as the first episode where she says she wants to be the best super hero in the world. Her morals stay in tack and she is forced to adapt to the world that she has become exposed to. Her means to obtain that objective totally changes and that’s where some really interesting storylines come in. So, her objective stays the same as season one, but she’s hardened a lot. What I found interesting to explore was that a very thick wall goes up for her, which is inevitable when you take someone that is really earnest, and they have their heart broken by everyone they love. So, she built up a wall that is almost too thick to compensate for, so the beginning of season two she is doing the same thing and trying to save the world, but she is not as accessible. I think she begins to learn how to drop the wall, so she can balance the line between being informed and finding herself again.”

Season one ended with A-Train having a heart attack and losing his place in The Seven, so Jessie T. Usher talked about what fans can expect from his character this season. “A-Train is in bad shape in season two. He has so many things that he has been running from for so long, but now he is in the place where he has to stop and face these things. He’s fueled by this hate and rage and a lot of it is self-inflicted. Everywhere he looks he feels betrayed or hated. He’s attaching negative emotions to every part of his life and now he has to turn around and deal with these things all at one time, and that is a lot for him to do.”

Next, Chase Crawford, who plays the aquatic character of The Deep, took a pre-recorded question from a fan. That fan was an actual dolphin, and Crawford seemed to understand everything it was saying. The actor also discussed his character’s journey in season two, after being exiled to Ohio by The Seven at the end of season one. “I think being in Ohio was tough for him,” he explained. “He started out making margaritas and then he was drinking from the bottle. He is in a very dark place. I think with someone like The Deep, he’s not very self-aware. I think he was finally confronted with his own inner turmoil and trying to figure out who he is. So, he was very ripe for getting pulled into a very special spiritual journey. He goes on a few quests to find love and connection in that way. But I think he still wants to be back in The Seven.”

New cast member Aya Cash, who plays Stormfront, discussed what she likes about The Boys and why she was excited to join the show. “What I love about The Boys is that it allows us to look at current issues with some sort of distance that allows us to see them clearer,” the actress stated. “Because when we talk about current events often people take things very personally and when watch something that is a fantasy in a heightened world, you end up being able to listen better and learn new things in different ways because you are out of your personal context. So, I was really excited about joining the show. Not that there weren’t difficult moments of playing a character that I violently disagree with, but my job as an actor is to find the humanity and go to the gross sides of ourselves. Eric (Kripke) and I have tried hard to allow her to have humanity and also, hopefully, punish her.”

The panel shared one scene from season two, which involves that Boys in a speed boat, racing to shore while chased by sharks, when they are stopped by The Deep on the back of a whale. Against Hughie’s wishes, Butcher steers the boat directly towards the whale’s body, impaling and killing the animal, knocking The Deep to the ground in defeat, and covering the Boys with blood and whale guts. Finally, it was announced that season two will also feature a new after-show called Prime Rewind: Inside The Boys, hosted by Aisha Taylor. The series will be available each week along with the latest episode of The Boys and feature the comedian/actress discussing the most recent episode with cast and crew from the show. 

Written by
A graduate of Emerson College, Jami Philbrick has worked in the entertainment industry for over 20 years, and most recently was a Senior Staff Reporter and Video Producer for Mtime, China's largest entertainment website. Before that, Philbrick was the Managing Editor of Relativity Media's iamROGUE.com for 4 years and has written for a variety of magazines and online publications including Wizard Magazine, Nerdist.com, and Collider.com. Philbrick has also been a contributor on Fox News, News 12 Westchester, AMC Movie Talk, and the PBS movie review series, Just Seen It. Philbrick was the 2019 recipient of the International Media Award at the 56th annual ICG Publicists Awards, and has interviewed such impressive talent as Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Bill Murray, Al Pacino, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis, Mark Hamill, Spike Lee, Frances Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Stan Lee, and Kermit the Frog.

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