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7 Questions We Have After the Second Season Finale of 'The Boys'

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 12, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 12, 2020 |


Spoilers, you know: Obviously.

Is Stormfront dead? — The big sort-of climactic finish in the finale is when Ryan — the son of Becca and Homelander — uses his superpowers to permanently disable Stormfront, who was trying to kill Becca. Unfortunately, Ryan also inadvertently kills his mother in the process. While we may not see Stormfront again, she’s not actually dead. In fact, according to Eric Kripke, her fate is worse than death because she will have to live out the rest of her long, long life without the use of several of her limbs, which were blown off her body by Ryan. Here’s showrunner Eric Kripke to TVLine on Stormfront’s fate:

No, she’s not dead! She’s Stumpfront! She’s a stumpy little Nazi. She’s actually not dead. What we thought was interesting is, if you remember, she ages very, very slowly. So the best poetic ending for that character is someone who so believed in some kind of pure race finds herself mutilated and having to live with it for potentially centuries felt like a fate worse than death for her. So no, Stumpfront is not dead. Hashtag Stumpfront lives!

That said, I would not expect to see Aya Cash/Stormfront back in anything other than potentially a cameo, because she’s also been scapegoated and publicly vilified by Homelander, who outed her as a Nazi and pinned all the exploding heads on her in exchange for Maeve not releasing video of Homelander allowing scores of people to perish on a commercial airline, because the only thing more powerful than Homelander’s racism is his narcissism.

What were Stormfront’s final words in German? — This reveal, translated by someone on Reddit, isn’t actually that interesting. Basically, Stormfront was simply recalling a better time in her life when she was sitting beneath an apple tree with her Nazi husband Frederick Vought. So, basically, she was fondly remembering a time when the Nazis were committing genocide against the Jews instead of the present world in which we live, where an aggrieved, still-Nazi Stormfront is afraid of white genocide.

So, Becca is dead, then? — Yes. And that’s a shame, too, because I really like the actress who plays her, Shantel VanSanten. Also, I’m perplexed by the decision to kill her off. I haven’t read the comics, but I know enough about them to understand that Garth Ennis regretted the decision to fridge Becca in the comics, where she dies a gruesome, painful death while giving birth to a baby conceived when Homelander raped her. The anguish Billy Butcher feels over his wife’s death is what motivates him in the comics. Eric Kripke does not fridge Becca in that manner on the Amazon series, but he still kills her. The anguish that Billy Butcher feels over his dead wife is still what will ultimately motivate him to take a job with a Supes-hunting team on behalf of the CIA, which is essentially where the story begins in Ennis’ comics. (This is a similar choice made by producers, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, on the adaptation of Ennis’ Preacher, where they basically built a prequel to the comics into the television series).

Obviously, there’s a difference between the choice made in the comics and the one made on the TV series, where Becca was able to hide from Homelander and live long enough to raise her son for several years, but ultimately, I feel like the result is the same: She’s cast off in order to motivate Billy. She’s a more fully realized plot device, but still a plot device all the same.

What will happen to Billy Butcher then? — Well, yeah. He doesn’t officially accept the job offered to him at the end of the episode with the Office of Superhuman Affairs, but he’s totally going to accept the job with the Office of Superhuman Affairs, because that’s what he does in the comics.

Why did Starlight rejoin the Seven? — Beats the hell out of me. She said it was because she could do more good from the inside, but that’s bullshit. I’ve never seen anyone say, “Well, I’m going to join the Nazi party because I can do more good from the inside!” And make no mistake: Stormfront no longer being in the picture doesn’t make Homelander any less of a Nazi himself. I think Starlight rejoined the Seven because it’s a more convenient way to streamline the storytelling in season three.

What’s the deal with Congresswoman Victoria Neuman as next season’s villain? — I think that everyone was surprised by the big reveal in the end, and that it was Congresswoman Victoria Neuman who has been exploding heads. I think, however, that there is a big difference of opinion over whether that was a good twist, because of what Neuman represents, which is basically a progressive Congresswoman in the mold of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

It’s interesting. I love Aya Cash, and I love that she got to play a meaty character who was pure Nazi evil. I also love AOC, and I like the idea that she’s popular enough now that a television show is basing a character on her (and Claudia Doumit will be the first to admit that she based her character, in part, on AOC). But the comparisons are obviously apples and oranges. Aya Cash is a great, fun actress, and playing a Nazi does not make her one. Neuman, however, is doing more than simply representing AOC’s characteristics and mannerisms; she’s representing a progressive political ideology. That’s where it gets potentially problematic.

Roxana, in her recap over on The AV Club, rightfully takes issue with the possibility that The Boys is setting up a false equivalency between the season two villain — a Nazi played by Aya Cash — and potentially the season three villain, a progressive Congresswoman who represents progressive values. I don’t care how extreme you might think AOC is, she’s not as bad as a Nazi who believes that people like AOC are threatening white genocide. If Kripke goes there, that would be disastrous.

I’m not entirely sure that’s the approach Kripke will take. He hasn’t yet revealed the Congresswoman’s motivations, telling TVline that “we will unpack the mystery of her agenda and why she’s doing what she’s doing” in season three. It’s quite possible that the Congresswoman is a good Supe trying to take down bad Supes. Her actions aren’t exactly consistent with that — she murdered some innocent people like Susan Raynor (as well as some morally dubious and also very bad people) — but it’s not out of the question, either. Despite bearing some resemblance to AOC, moreover, her motivations may be completely divorced from ideology — she could be in this purely for power, fame, or money, the primary motivators for most politicians, anyway. I don’t know how political Ennis is in The Boys, but as Jensen Ackles’ number one fanboy, I know that Kripke is not particularly political in his storytelling.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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