The Spice Boys
Welcome! If you need a handy recap before The Boys Season 3 drops on Amazon Prime we’ve got you covered with our full story recap with everything you need to know if you don’t fancy plunging back in and watching two seasons of action.
Feel free to check out the below links to jump straight down to the season of your choice, otherwise let’s begin!
Imagine if the Justice League were real but instead of the crimefighting goodies we’ve come to love, they’re actually terrifying, narcicisstic and outright arrogant villains. That’s what we’re dealing with here in The Boys, Amazon’s gory and bloody brilliant superhero series.
The first season opens with an introduction to Hughie Campbell, a salesman who’s in a happy relationship with a woman called Robin. Unfortunately, a speedster called A-Train runs her down and quite literally leaves her in a splattered mess.
Billy Butcher’s mission
Hughie is understandably distraught and offered a small settlement if he signs an NDA. Hughie deliberates on that and soon meets Billy Butcher, a man who claims to be with the FBI on a special task force. That’s a lie, as we soon find out, and he’s actually a vigilante, working on his own accord with his own team.
He’s on a mission to bring Supes to justice given all the awful deeds they commit, which are all conveniently forgotten, covered up or paid off.
Alongside Butcher, he recruits Frenchie, who happens to be adept at killing supes. He later brings MM (Mother’s Milk) onto the team too.
The company responsible for covering up the horrible deeds from superheroes happens to be Vought, a corporation who manage numerous different heroes. At the top of this hierarchy are The Seven, a group of top heroes who front the company. When one of their members, Lamplighter, retires, they go on the search for a replacement. Annie aka. Starlight is chosen to be part of The Seven.
The true face of Vought
She soon meets The Deep, who happens to be her favourite hero as a child. Only, she’s forced into committing sexual favours in exchange for keeping her place on the team. Homelander is the de-facto leader but his God-like powers make him basically do whatever he wants. Although he’s managed by a woman called Madelyn Stillwell, it’s just a front. No one can really control Homelander.
Back with Hughie for a second. He’s given a top mission from Billy Butcher, which sees him infiltrate Vought under the pretence of signing his NDA. In doing so, he’s to leave a bug under the table so they can record audio evidence of The Seven being absolute dirt bags.
Hughie messes up, dropping the bug in the bathroom. Unfortunately, Translucent (another Seven member who happens to have the powers of invisibility) spots him and follows him back to the electronic store he works in. Butcher shows up, uttering his iconic “well, well, well, if it aint the invisible c*nt” line and electrocuting the guy.
Hughie eventually kills him via bomb placed strategically up Translucent’s ass. With him gone, they turn their attention over to A-Train. Now, A-Train actually happens to be addicted to a strange chemical known as Compound V, which he takes before a big race against a fellow speedster.
While this is going on, Hughie befriends Annie, and the two get closer together. The latter has become disillusioned with life in The Seven, realizing a lot of what they do isn’t actually sincere crime-fighting but staged for social media likes and attention.
Speaking of which, Starlight eventually speaks up about her sexual assault, calling out The Deep by name. With public opinion turning on him, The Deep is demoted out of The Seven and forced to move over to Ohio.
Back with Butcher and the boys. A-Train’s ties with Compound V stem from his relationship with a D-list Supe known as Popclaw. She too takes the drug and in A-Train’s absence, ends up killing her landlord.
Butcher happens to be recording all of this and uses the footage as blackmail to find out more about Compound V. Specifically, the spot A-Train picks the gear up. When A-Train finds out, he kills Popclaw, notices footage of Frenchie and sends Black Noir, a silent but deadly hero on The Seven, to kill Frenchie. However, Frenchie is saved by the strange silent woman he’s freed from a cage earlier in the season who happens to have regenerative powers so she isn’t actually killed, despite Black Noir winning this fight.
Now, one of Vought’s big plans here is get their superheroes into the military but a lot of the politicians are against it. There’s a really shocking and quite chilling scene here involving Homelander and Queen Maeve, who fly up to “save” a plane, only for Homelander to let them all die instead.
The real superhero origin story
Another development here comes from Hughie blackmailing a guy called Ezekiel, a preacher from the Believe Expo. Through him, the boys find out that Compound V is being used on babies to turn them into Supes. It turns out all heroes were actually made this way, with Homelander’s “all-American” story a complete fabrication. He was born and raised in a lab, with a super-creepy relationship with Madelyn, who’s more of a mother to him.
The Boys work out what our silent girl (who’s actually called Kimiko) is being used for. Vought intend to use her as a Supe terrorist to force the military into buckling and unfortunately Butcher and the gang get there too late. Homelander enters the military and more gruesome deaths ensue. It’s here we learn Homelander who orchestrated this whole coup, working without Madelyn being aware of this.
In the wake of all this drama, and as the season starts reaching its climax, Homelander learns the identity of Butcher and the boys. Starlight is also shown footage of Hughie and told that he’s been using her this whole time to get dirt on The Seven.
When she confronts Hughie about it, he agrees with her but also reveals that he really does like her.
Starlight VS A-Train
Starlight saves Hughie and the boys from Vought’s goons, leading to an intriguing fight between Starlight and A-Train. However, A-Train’s drugtaking catches up to him and he begins having a heart attack. Hughie is not prepared to let him die though, despite what happened to Robin, and calls in an ambulance. Butcher watches from the shadows.
Now, Butcher’s revenge mission stems from a massive issue he has with Homelander. 8 years back he was happily married to a woman named Becca, who happened to work at Vought as Homelander’s social media manager. When she disappeared, evidence suggests that Homelander raped and killed her.
A shocking reveal
The truth is, Homelander didn’t kill Becca. He’s actually been keeping her in secret raising his son. Just prior to this, Butcher decides to use Madelyn as collateral to try and leverage a deal and get back at Homelander but he lasers her in the face instead.
Following that big cliffhanger, we kick off season 2 with the boys wanted as public enemies number 1. They’ve been blamed for Madelyn’s death, partly thanks to Butcher’s homemade bomb. All the boys go off the grid and lay low.
While this is going on, Homelander’s Compound V plan is called into question by Vought CEO Stan Edgar. He gives Homelander a stern talking to but because of the military contracts The Seven have secured, and how much money they’re making off this, everything stays as it is for now.
Annie begins working undercover from within The Seven, feeding back information to Hughie. With A-Train alive but comatose, and Translucent gone, The Seven need new blood. That falls to Stormfront to pick up the numbers.
Stormfront is a quirky, next-gen hero who knows how to connect with the masses via social media. And after Translucent’s death, they need all the PR they can get.
Meanwhile, Butcher shows up back home safe and sound with the boys. It turns out Homelander let him live, thanks to a deal he’s made with Becca. In exchange for keeping Butcher alive, Homelander is able to see his son. Given this is a Vought compound, and Homelander actually raped her, this is basically hell.
Butcher does show up to try and bust Becca out but given she wants to leave with her son, Billy realizes this is going to be impossible, given how important he is to Vought, and the plan is abandoned. Instead, the boys meet their newest CIA contact, Grace Mallory. She’s actually the original founder of the boys; the one who has been responsible for bringing them all together.
Earlier in the season we saw footage of a strange Supe terrorist causing havoc down on the docks. It’s soon revealed that this is actually Kimiko’s brother, whom the boys manage to bring in to their ranks.
Annie’s work pays off and she manages to smuggle a sample of Compound V out. A-Train wakes up from his coma and tries to blackmail her when he finds out but of course, she has dirt on him too. Namely him killing Popclaw. A-Train gives up, and Annie leaks the Compound V to the media.
However, Kimiko’s brother causes a massive problem that Vought decide to spin in their own favour. With local law enforcement finding the boys out at sea, Stan Edgar decides The Seven should go and save the day. That way, it will stop the public from asking so many questions.
Rolling in The Deep
Given it’s out at sea, it’s the perfect time for The Deep to make his return. After hitting rock bottom last season, he’s recruited to the Church of the Collective and eventually rides in on a whale to save the day and improve his PR image. Butcher and the others crash straight through the mammal though, leading to an incredibly bloody scene.
With the boys surrounded, Homelander forces Starlight to kill Hughie to show she’s not a traitor. Kimiko’s brother drops a train on Homelander though, leaving it up to Stormfront to stop things. She’s even more insane than Homelander, wrecking an entire apartment building and killing Kimiko’s brother in a pretty brutal scene.
All the memes
Off the back of this, public opinion swings in favour of Stormfront. This isn’t helped by footage of Homelander surfacing of him causing civilian deaths. After a gnarly dream sequence of Homelander slaughtering thousands of people with his laser eyes, he bites his tongue and manages to save face. In fact, Stormfront helps Homelander swing his persona around and he goes back to being loved by the masses.
Meanwhile, the boys (and Annie) find out that Stormfront used to be known as Liberty back in the 60’s. She’s a massive racist, doesn’t age and is actually a Nazi too. So yeah, she’s worse than Homelander. Not only that but she also has a secret facility full of different Supes with powers. Stormfront is trying to stabilize Compound V so she can use it on adults rather than babies but the results have been… unpredictable to say the least.
Lamplighter’s last light-up
One of the Supes there happens to be Lamplighter, whom we thought had retired at the start of episode 1. Now Lamplighter is willing to testify against Vought at the upcoming Congressional hearing.
However, Lamplighter kills himself before that happens, leaving it up to the old Chief science officer (Butcher’s trump card) to testify following a menacing visit earlier in the season.
However, a Supe with the powers to explode heads (something we witnessed earlier in the season courtesy of Butcher’s previous CIA contact being murdered) manages to stop the whole hearing and it’s cancelled.
The two-Supe power-trip
Stormfront and Homelander end up in a Supe relationship, and together they take off with Becca’s son. Becca pleads with Butcher for help, who ends up striking a deal with Stan Edgar. In exchange for leading Homelander away from his son, Edgar can swoop in and take the kid. That way, he and Becca can ride off into the sunset, Homelander can be stopped temporarily and the child can be saved.
Meanwhile, Annie and Hughie are given help from an unlikely source, A-Train! He’s been kicked off The Seven thanks to Stormfront’s racism. They’re not a team, obviously, but he helps them leak her Nazi photos.
Public opinion turns on Stormfront, leading to our big fight at the end of the season. Stormfront is attacked by Starlight, Queen Maeve and Kimiko in a 3-on-1 beatdown.
The final fight
Stormfront flies off and attacks Becca, but her son (who hasn’t been able to use his dormant powers all season long) completely destroys her, leaving the diabolical villain a toasty mess on the floor. Unfortunately Becca is killed too but before she dies, urges Butcher to raise her son and make him one of the good guys.
Homelander is understandably not happy when he finds out. Queen Maeve shows up and manages to blackmail Homelander into submission, with footage of him forcing her into submission for fear of outing her sexuality and secret relationship. This leads to a very uneasy stalemate between Homelander and Starlight/Maeve.
Setting up season 3
Homelander’s boy is taken off with the CIA to be raised while Mallory is reinstated and the boys are officially not wanted anymore. They’re free to head home and see their families, with Frenchie and Kimiko starting what appears to be a romance. Likewise, Annie and Hughie get closer too.
A-Train is reinstated to The Seven… but takes The Deep’s place, so he’s back to square one. Meanwhile, the head exploding Supe? Well, it turns out that’s actually Congresswoman Victorian Neuman! If that wasn’t enough, Hughie is now working for her too.
So that’s the entire story of The Boys from Season 1 up to the end of 2 in a nutshell. There’s a lot more going on here – including lots of individual fights and crazy moments – but hopefully this is enough to get you up to scratch in time for season 3!
What did you think of The Boy’s story? Have we missed any crucial details in this recap? Do let us know in the comments below!