|Developed by||Eric Kripke|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||13 (list of episodes)|
|Production location(s)||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Running time||55–68 minutes|
|Original network||Prime Video|
|Picture format||4K (UHDTV) HDR|
|Audio format||5.1 Dolby Digital|
|Original release||July 26, 2019 –|
The Boys is an American superhero web television series developed by Eric Kripke for Prime Video. Based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, it follows the eponymous team of vigilantes as they combat superpowered individuals who abuse their abilities.
The series premiered on July 26, 2019. Ahead of the premiere, Amazon renewed The Boys for a second season, which premiered on September 4, 2020 and is running episodes weekly. A third season has also been ordered.
The Boys is set in a universe where superpowered individuals are recognized as heroes by the general public and work for the powerful corporation Vought International, which markets and monetizes them. Outside of their heroic personas, most are arrogant and corrupt. The series primarily focuses on two groups: the Seven, Vought International's premier superhero team, and the titular Boys, vigilantes looking to bring down Vought and the corrupt superheroes.
The Boys are led by Billy Butcher, who despises all superpowered people, and the Seven are led by the egotistical and psychotic Homelander. As a conflict ensues between the two groups, the series also follows the new members of each team: Hughie Campbell of the Boys, who joins the vigilantes after his girlfriend is killed by one of the Seven; and Annie January (whose superhero name is Starlight) of the Seven, a young and hopeful heroine forced to face the truth about the heroes she admires.
|First released||Last released|
|1||8||July 26, 2019|
|2||8||September 4, 2020||October 9, 2020|
|Short film||September 10, 2020|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"The Name of the Game"||Dan Trachtenberg||Eric Kripke||July 26, 2019|
|Hughie Campbell suffers mental trauma after his girlfriend Robin is killed in a high-velocity impact with celebrity superhero A-Train. Lawyers offer a $45,000 settlement, which Hughie hesitates to accept. Aspiring superhero Annie January auditions as "Starlight" and is accepted to join the superhero group The Seven, following the Lamplighter's retirement. Arriving at Seven headquarters, she is greeted by the Deep, who blackmails her into performing oral sex on him. Vigilante Billy Butcher offers Hughie a chance to expose superhero corruption, taking him to a secret "Supes Club" to show him security footage of A-Train laughing about Robin's death. Butcher asks Hughie to take the settlement money and to secretly place a bug at Seven Tower, but Hughie initially refuses. In Central Park, Annie meets Hughie by happenstance and they motivate each other to stand up for themselves and face their challenges. Hughie plants the bug, but Translucent discovers it and confronts Hughie alone at his place of work at an electronics store. Butcher arrives and helps Hughie incapacitate Translucent by using an electrical wire on his carbon skin. Elsewhere, Homelander destroys the Mayor of Baltimore's plane while in flight, killing all passengers including the mayor's son, in response to the Mayor's attempt to blackmail Vought about Compound V.|
|2||2||"Cherry"||Matt Shakman||Eric Kripke||July 26, 2019|
|Butcher and Hughie take Translucent to Frenchie, who makes a meta-bullet to pierce the hero's diamond-hard skin, but it fails to kill him. Butcher turns to CIA Dept. Director Susan Raynor for the "Mallory files", but she refuses. Vought VP Madelyn Stillwell tells Homelander about the evidence Deep found, incriminating him for the plane crash, so she handles it while he talks to Deep. The night Starlight teams-up with the Deep, she promises to kill him if he ever tries to sexually assault her again. Stillwell blackmails Oklahoma Senator Calhoun into allowing a vote that could enable Vought to contract superheros to the military upon enlisting the shapeshifting Supe Doppelganger. Annie stops a rape, unaware she is being recorded. Her agent, Ashley, rages at her because of the negative exposure and legal implications. While Homelander searches for Translucent, Frenchie decides to place C-4 explosives in Translucent's colon, who then fearfully reveals A-Train was with his girlfriend Popclaw before he killed Robin. The Boys learn Homelander is nearby, so they cannot risk killing Translucent with an explosion. Frenchie and Butcher create a distraction elsewhere with another explosion. Translucent escapes and convinces Hughie to let him go, but Hughie changes his mind and detonates the explosives, killing Translucent.|
|3||3||"Get Some"||Philip Sgriccia||George Mastras||July 26, 2019|
|As Frenchie and Butcher clean up Translucent's remains, Hughie leaves his home after finally telling his father how he truly feels. Starlight gains positive publicity for stopping the rape. She subsequently learns Stillwell wants her to wear a revealing costume. She declines, but Stillwell forces her to wear it or lose her job. Butcher brings in his former friend, Mother's Milk, to run surveillance on Popclaw. Hughie installs spyware on her computer, and they learn that A-Train takes a performance-enhancing substance known as Compound V. Butcher wants to expose them before supers can be allowed into the United States Armed Forces, but he needs a vial of Compound V from A-Train's upcoming race with another speedster, Shockwave. Beforehand, Hughie meets Annie as Starlight, inviting her to lunch. The two open up to each other, and they exchange phone numbers. A-Train uses a vial of Compound V to win the race. He publicly announces he is single, breaking his promise to Popclaw. With MM deducing Popclaw swiped some vials, they find her heartbroken, high, and in the midst of killing her landlord during hypercharged sex. Butcher uses this opportunity to blackmail Popclaw as an informant. At Vought headquarters, Homelander reveals Translucent's remains to Stillwell along with Butcher's message "Coming for you."|
|4||4||"The Female of the Species"||Frederick E.O. Toye||Craig Rosenberg||July 26, 2019|
|Following Popclaw's tip, the Boys find a Triad hideout which holds an imprisoned Japanese woman called the Female; whom Frenchie frees. After she kills her guards and runs off, MM finds evidence the Female was a test subject. When Hughie meets Starlight while bowling, Butcher has him bug her phone. With the Compound-V supply compromised, A-Train has Popclaw go into hiding while he searches for the Female. Stillwell sends Homelander and Queen Maeve to save the hijacked airliner Flight 37. When the rescue plan fails due to him accidentally destroying the controls, Homelander unapologetically abandons the plane and its passengers, forcing Maeve to abandon them and leave with him. The Female then visits a nail salon and kills a woman associated with her captors. Frenchie finds evidence leading to Penn Station. He makes a momentary connection with the Female but loses her in the crowd. They corner her on the tracks, where A-Train arrives and tries to kill her. Frenchie attracts a crowd to distract A-Train, allowing the Female to escape. The Boys corner her again, and Frenchie tries talking to her. She attacks them, so Butcher uses knockout gas. Stillwell is pleased to see Homelander use the tragedy to push for militarized supers, rousing the crowd with a heartfelt speech while Maeve grieves for those she allowed to die.|
|5||5||"Good for the Soul"||Stefan Schwartz||Anne Cofell Saunders||July 26, 2019|
|At the "Believe Expo", Starlight talks with some teens while being quietly directed to push the Vought agenda while Butcher has Hughie meet Ezekiel, the Expo host and their next lead. Maeve feels guilty for letting Flight 37 crash and visits her former romantic partner Elena, but leaves before explaining herself fully. Butcher takes time to talk with Rachel, his sister-in-law, over putting a tombstone to Becca. A-Train kills Popclaw for betraying him and finds surveillance footage of Frenchie. After Homelander exits a meeting with Ezekiel, Hughie extorts the latter for information about Compound-V. Homelander rallies the crowd with an impromptu hardline speech. Starlight breaks script to speak candidly on Christianity, her sexual assault, and the compromises she made for her corporate employer. Hughie later comforts her and sympathizes with her plight by telling her about Robin's death. Butcher and MM discover that Vought is using Compound-V on infants in order to manufacture supers where they use one with laser eyes on some guards. Frenchie discovers Black Noir is looking for him. Attempting to escape, he is told to leave the Female behind, but releases her out of sympathy. She seemingly dies protecting him from Black Noir, but then awakens and her wounds immediately heal.|
|6||6||"The Innocents"||Jennifer Phang||Rebecca Sonnenshine||July 26, 2019|
|Now informed, the Boys know Vought has used super charities to smuggle Compound-V disguised as vaccines and make super-babies since 1971. Annie learns that Ashley was fired, and Stillwell demands she comply with her designed image. Annie refuses, remarking that firing her after reporting a sexual assault would hurt Vought. Aware it was Deep, Stillwell has him apologize publicly and transfers him to Sandusky, Ohio, for a sabbatical. Butcher brings Hughie to a collateral damage survivors support group, but leaves after yelling at them for doing nothing to get justice. Alone, Butcher explains to Hughie that Homelander raped his wife, who went missing shortly afterward. Frenchie and MM get help from Mesmer, a telepath, to see into the Female's mind, learning her name is Kimiko and that she was kidnapped by the Shining Light Liberation Army terrorist group. They also learn that Vought is making Compound-V boosted terrorists to push their agenda to militarize supers. Butcher tells Raynor, but when she refuses to target Homelander, he calls off the deal. After calling child services to have them watch over his daughter, Mesmer gives Homelander surveillance photos of the Boys. Hughie and Annie share a kiss, but Butcher finds out, warning him not to fraternize with the enemy and threatens to tell her about Translucent.|
|7||7||"The Self-Preservation Society"||Dan Attias||Craig Rosenberg & Ellie Monahan||July 26, 2019|
|Hughie and Annie book a hotel room, where they have sex and he agrees to introduce her to his father. Deep finds his transfer to Sandusky, Ohio dull after Vought's representative Jeff. He brings a fan to his apartment, but she puts her hands in his gills while developing a fetish for them. Homelander holds a meeting to discuss Hughie killing Translucent, extorting Ezekiel, and A-Train killing Robin. He angrily accuses Starlight of co-conspiracy, but Maeve defends her. When A-Train calls Hughie, claiming he is holding his dad hostage, the Boys realize Mesmer betrayed them; an enraged Butcher later murders Mesmer at the terminal. Hughie obtains some Compound-V to distract A-Train and allow Kimiko to cripple him. Homelander asks Vought scientist Dr. Jonah Vogelbaum about Becca Butcher, who informs him she was pregnant with his child, but both died and Vought covered it up. Questioning the revelation's timing, Vogelbaum expresses regret raising him in a lab, calling Homelander his "greatest failure". Butcher asks Raynor to protect Hughie's and MM's families in exchange for evidence. As Raynor charges Stillwell and Vought, she learns of the superhuman terrorist "Naqib". Annie confronts Hughie, who explains Vought's use of Compound-V before Butcher arrives to exfil him and shoots her.|
|8||8||"You Found Me"||Eric Kripke||Anne Cofell Saunders & Rebecca Sonnenshine||July 26, 2019|
|The Pentagon classifies Compound-V as a controlled substance and lists the Boys as fugitives while Annie confronts her mother. Deep is told by Jeff that Stillwell has denied his return to the Seven, causing him to suffer an emotional breakdown. Angry at being racially profiled while out of costume, an injured A-Train rebounds to Compound-V. Butcher takes Hughie to Mallory, who refuses participation, but informs them about Stillwell and warns Hughie about Butcher's craving for vengeance. Hughie leaves to ask for Annie's help, but she refuses out of distrust. Maeve opens up and asks Starlight to be herself again. Homelander privately confesses to Stillwell that he secretly made the super-terrorists and they have sex. At a black site, Hughie helps Frenchie and MM free Kimiko. Starlight rescues them and when A-Train arrives, she and Hughie fight him until the speedster suffers a heart attack. Hughie applies CPR, but Starlight takes over so he can escape. Butcher takes Stillwell hostage and fits her with explosives to bait Homelander. After revealing he tortured Vogelbaum for the truth about Becca, Homelander kills Stillwell himself, saves Butcher from his suicidal explosion, and shows him where Becca has been secretly raising Homelander's son, stunning both Butcher and Becca as Homelander meets his son.|
|Title [a]||Directed by||Written by ||Original release date|
|9||1||"The Big Ride"||Phil Sgriccia||Eric Kripke||September 4, 2020|
|The Boys become wanted fugitives, with Butcher framed for Stillwell's murder. In hiding together, Hughie, MM, Frenchie, and Kimiko learn that a superpowered terrorist with telekinetic abilities is on the loose. They attempt to inform Raynor, but she is killed by an unknown assassin. Against Hughie's wishes, Frenchie contacts Butcher to again lead the Boys in facing the new threats. Hughie and Starlight extort Vought test subject Gecko into stealing a Compound-V sample. Homelander's power over Vought is challenged when CEO Stan Edgar has superhero Stormfront join the Seven without his approval. When Homelander fails to intimidate Edgar, he returns to Becca's house to see Ryan. The Deep joins the Church of the Collective in an attempt to regain favor with the Seven.|
|10||2||"Proper Preparation and Planning"||Liz Friedlander||Rebecca Sonnenshine||September 4, 2020|
|Butcher, who woke up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, arranges a deal with Mallory to capture the superpowered terrorist in exchange for Mallory finding Becca's location. The superpowered terrorist is revealed to be Kimiko's younger brother Kenji, whom the Boys manage to subdue. A-Train threatens to expose Starlight's involvement with the Boys when he awakens from his coma, but Starlight keeps him quiet with the knowledge that he murdered Popclaw. Becca is revealed to be living a secluded facility with her son, which Homelander forces himself into to become a father figure for Ryan and teach him about his powers. Drugged by the Church of the Collective, the Deep hallucinates his gills encouraging him to value himself. Maeve reveals her fear that Homelander will kill Elena if he becomes aware of their relationship.|
|11||3||"Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men"||Steve Boyum||Craig Rosenberg||September 4, 2020|
|Homelander pushes Ryan into using his powers, which culminates in Ryan attacking Homelander to protect Becca. Using the sample she acquired from Gecko, Starlight secretly leaks the knowledge that Compound-V is responsible for giving superheroes their powers. Frenchie learns from Kenji that Kimiko's sign language was what they invented when they were young. Edgar responds by sending the Seven after Kenji when he is spotted by the police. The Deep assists them upon being dispatched by Carol on Alistair Adana's behalf. The Boys attempt to bring Kenji to a CIA safehouse, but the arrival of the Seven results in Kenji escaping. Disobeying Homelander's orders, Stormfront kills Kenji, calling him a "yellow bastard" while doing so, slaughtering 51 civilians in her pursuit, framing Kenji for their deaths. Edgar uses the destruction to argue that superheroes are necessary to prevent such incidents, while casting Compound-V as the work of rogue scientists led by Stillwell. Stormfront's actions earn her the ire of Kimiko and Homelander.|
|12||4||"Nothing Like It in the World"||Fred Toye||Michael Saltzman||September 11, 2020|
|Mallory provides Butcher with information on a superhero known as Liberty and Becca's location. Butcher infiltrates the facility, but Becca refuses to leave because Butcher will not accept Ryan. Black Noir discovers Butcher's infiltration. Threatened by Homelander, Starlight joins Hughie and MM in investigating Liberty. The three learn that Liberty is Stormfront, who committed a racially-charged murder in the 1970s. Starlight leaves Hughie, fearing that they are becoming comfortable with the danger surrounding them. Growing more unstable from Stormfront usurping his popularity, Homelander puts A-Train on medical leave from the Seven, outs Maeve on live television during an interview with Maria Menounos, and kills Doppelganger when he tries to seduce him using Homelander's own face instead of Stillwell's (per their arrangement). Meanwhile, the Church of the Collective enters the Deep into an arranged marriage.|
|13||5||"We Gotta Go Now"||TBA||Ellie Monahan||September 18, 2020|
|TBA||TBA||"The Bloody Doors Off"||TBA||Anslem Richardson||TBA|
|TBA||TBA||"Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker"||TBA||Craig Rosenberg||TBA|
|TBA||TBA||"What I Know"||TBA||Rebecca Sonnenshine||TBA|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|"Butcher: A Short Film"||Liz Friedlander||Rebecca Sonnenshine||September 10, 2020|
|On the run after being framed for Stillwell's murder, Butcher seeks help from his old friend Jock.|
On April 6, 2016, it was announced that Cinemax was developing a television series adaptation of the comic book. The production was being developed by Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen. Kripke was set to write the series while Goldberg and Rogen were set to direct. Executive producers were reported to include Kripke, Goldberg, Rogen, Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty, Ori Marmur, James Weaver, Ken Levin, and Jason Netter. Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson were set as co-executive producers. Production companies involved with the series included Point Grey Pictures, Original Film, and Sony Pictures Television.
On November 8, 2017, it was announced that Amazon Video had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of eight episodes. The series had reportedly been in development at Amazon for a number of months preceding the series order announcement. It was also reported that the previously announced creative team was still attached to the series.
Kripke wanted to retain a sense of reality to the show, and to keep the writers disciplined decided "Anything that comes out of this drug is viable, and anything that doesn't we're not allowed to do". He did not want to fall into the overused convention of killing off female characters to motivate the heroes and also saw an opportunity to surprise readers of the comics by changing the story of Butcher's wife Becky.
Ahead of the series premiere, on July 19, 2019, it was announced that Amazon Video had renewed the series for a second season. The eight scripts for the second season were completed by November 2019.
On December 18, 2017, it was announced that Erin Moriarty has been cast in the lead role of Annie January/Starlight. On January 17, 2018, it was reported that Antony Starr, Dominique McElligott, Chace Crawford, Jessie Usher, and Nathan Mitchell had joined the main cast. In March 2018, it was announced that Laz Alonso, Jack Quaid, and Karen Fukuhara had been cast in series regular roles. On April 5, 2018, it was reported that Karl Urban had been cast in the series' lead role of Billy Butcher. On May 16, 2018, it was announced that Elisabeth Shue had been cast in the series regular role of Madelyn Stillwell. On June 25, 2018, it was reported that Tomer Kapon had joined the main cast in the role of Frenchie. On August 30, 2018, it was announced that Jennifer Esposito had been cast in the recurring role of CIA Agent Susan Raynor. On October 5, 2018, it was announced during the annual New York Comic Con that Simon Pegg had been cast in the role of Hughie's father. According to the artist Robertson, Hughie was drawn in the comics to resemble Pegg after he saw Pegg in the sitcom Spaced, but Pegg thought he was too old to play the role of Hughie in the TV series.
On September 5, 2019, Goran Višnjić and Claudia Doumit were cast in recurring roles for the second season. A month later, Patton Oswalt was announced in an unspecified role. Aya Cash was confirmed to be portraying superheroine Stormfront in March 2020 following contract negotiations that began when the second season was announced. On August 10, 2020, it was reported that Shawn Ashmore was cast as Lamplighter for the second season. A week later, Jensen Ackles joined the cast for the third season as Soldier Boy.
Principal photography for the first season began on May 22, 2018, in Toronto, and was scheduled to last until September 25, 2018. Principal photography for the second season took place from June 17 to November 13, 2019, in Toronto. Filming for the third season is scheduled to begin in 2021.
All music is composed by Christopher Lennertz.
|5.||"On the Trail"||0:55|
|6.||"Homelander and Stillwell"||2:16|
|7.||"Race of the Century"||1:04|
|9.||"Hughie Stalls Starlight"||1:23|
|11.||"Start the Race"||2:00|
|17.||"Hughie Trashes Room"||1:29|
|18.||"Translucent Visits Hughie"||1:13|
|19.||"Planting Bug Plan"||0:51|
|21.||"I'm the Hero"||3:15|
|23.||"Starlight Teams Up"||0:43|
|24.||"Frenchie's First Kill"||1:35|
|26.||"Butcher's Pep Talk"||2:28|
|27.||"Rescue the Female"||1:35|
|28.||"Frenchie Lost Female"||1:46|
|37.||"Black Knight Not"||1:07|
|40.||"Mesmer and Homelander"||1:36|
|42.||"Butcher Tells Hughie"||1:53|
|43.||"Hughie Kisses Starlight"||1:03|
|46.||"Always a Choice"||2:39|
|48.||"A-Train Shows Up"||1:34|
|50.||"I Got Teddy"||2:40|
On September 26, 2018, the official poster for the series was released. On October 5, 2018, in tandem with the series' panel at the annual New York Comic Con, a teaser trailer for the series was released. On January 24, 2019, another teaser trailer was released via Seth Rogen's official Twitter account. The series premiered on July 26, 2019, after another teaser was released. On July 22, Slipknot released a new single called "Solway Firth" with an accompanying music video which featured clips and audio from the show. On June 26, 2020, it was announced that season two will debut on September 4, 2020, with the first 3 episodes available and the rest debuting on a weekly basis. The second season's official trailer was released on August 4, 2020.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 84% based on 101 reviews, with an average rating of 7.65/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though viewers' mileage may vary, The Boys' violent delights and willingness to engage in heavy, relevant themes are sure to please those looking for a new group of antiheroes to root for." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 74 out of 100, based on reviews from 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Christopher Lawrence of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote: "Irreverent, deliciously cynical, The Boys follows the greed and corruption behind the superhero industrial complex." Matthew Gilbert of Boston Globe wrote: "The cast is fine, particularly Shue, who is icily effective; Quaid, whose neurotic but brave fumblings are endearing; and Urban, who is Hughie's gonzo guide." Kristy Puchko at IGN gives the first episode a score of 7.2/10 and appreciates how the story comes from the comics but with clever changes. Puchko praises the cast, particularly "Moriarty brings a nuance to her performance that refuses to let Starlight feel like a two-dimensional damsel. She's not naïve. She's hopeful. And she's a fighter. The Boys makes all of that clear in short order." She concludes "The Boys could still be a thrilling ride as it subverts the expectations of the family-friendly genre, with dark twists and unapologetically graphic scenes of sex and violence. The premiere ep has a lot of heavy lifting to do in exposition, yet Kripke works in some stunner moments, jolts of fun, and stellar action sequences." Liz Shannon Miller of AV Club wrote: "Karl Urban proves to be a thoroughly committed performer as Billy Butcher, whose dedication to taking down "supes" of course has a personal edge, but then again, when you see what men like the blatantly fake and evil Homelander (Antony Starr) are getting up to it makes sense that he's devoted his life to taking down the cause."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season holds an approval rating of 98% based on 80 reviews, with an average rating of 8.11/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Boys comes out swinging in a superb second season that digs deeper into its complicated characters and ups the action ante without pulling any of its socially critical punches." On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 81 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". On Amazon the series saw initial review bombing with 49% of 1400 reviews left by September 6, 2020 providing a one star rating, most of which praised the available episodes while voicing criticism of the season's staggered release schedule.
In October 2019, Nielsen announced it had begun tracking viewership of Amazon Prime programs. It said The Boys had attracted 8 million total viewers in its first 10 days of release, making it one of the most successful original programs on Amazon Prime.
Are you a part of Season 2 of The Boys, at all? PEGG: No. They got me out of the way. I did my little bit. It was very fun to do that show. I was pleased to be a part of it.
Kripke wanted to also avoid 'fridging,' which sees women being killed off as motivation for male heroes.
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