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The Boys Season 2 Premiere Review — As Ridiculously Bloody as Ever (2 x 01-03)

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The Boys season 2 premiered on Prime Video, Friday, September 4  with the first three episodes following-up on the insane cliffhanger from last season.

[SPOILER ALERT: Season 1 & 2 details henceforth]

As revealed in season 1, Becca, Billy Butcher’s wife who was believed to be dead, is alive and has been raising the bastard son of Homelander at a secret remote location. After the events of the finale, Billy is framed for the murder of Madelyn Stilwell and must find a way to overcome the overwhelming influence of The Seven and Vought International.

Elsewhere, A-Train is hospitalized, Starlight is working as a mole in The Seven, The Deep is stuck in Sandusky, Ohio, and The Boys are in hiding because they’re on everyone’s most-wanted list.

Will they be able to pull through and pull something out of their butts this time around?

Well, if the first three episodes are any indication of where things are going this season, then strap in for a helluva ride.

EPISODE 1: “The Big Ride” (Rating: 8.5/10)

The much-anticipated appearance of Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian) happens right off the bat as his character is revealed to be Stan Edgar, the big boss above Madelyn Stilwell, who ran Vought International behind-the-scenes and is now at the forefront.

Aside from Esposito’s character reveal, a couple of blink-and-you’ll miss it celebrity cameos happen in this episode with Seth Rogen appearing as a fictionalized version of himself talking about a new superhero movie franchise regarding the fallen Translucent, who was killed by Hughie Campbell in season 1.

There’s also another Star Wars-related reference when Alden Ehrenreich(Solo: A Star Wars Story) is quickly mentioned in a conversation between Hughie and Starlight.

Then Chris Hansen appears as himself as a host of a television report show portraying a poorly re-enacted scene from last season’s finale.

As for the episode itself, it’s a wild ride filled with a couple of twists and turns that reminds viewers just how much the world of The Boys is painted in the gray area of the moral ambiguity of both its superheroes (who most are ironically the villains on the show) and the criminals aka “The Boys,” who are the brutally violent vigilantes trying to fix everything.

The show’s satire on the superhero mythos is still deeply entrenched within its world and has even become worse as the narrative is twisted by Vought International’s PR and damage control.

Aside from the usually messed-up story arcs continuing from season 1, a couple of notable scenes cleverly played out to reference comic book characters as well as introduce new cast members.

One is a new hero named Eagle the Archer (Langston Kerman), who’s an obvious parody of Green Arrow and Hawkeye, who bails a drunken Deep out of jail.

Another is Blindspot (Chris Mark), a Daredevil knock-off, who is killed by Homelander in a dark-humor scene (which is equally disturbing and somewhat hilarious in an off-beat way) by bashing his ears, which renders him useless.

Finally, Gecko (David Thompson), Starlight’s former childhood friend, who has accelerated regenerative healing factor is introduced as an S & M worker for hire who lets people mutilate him for money as a side hustle.

Stormfront Joins The Seven

The episode also introduces the newest member of The Seven, Stormfront (Aya Cash) who first shows up by going on an Instagram Live feed while crashing a commercial shooting with Homelander and Maeve.

Her character is quite endearing, and refreshing at first, as her sarcasm and bluntness don’t conform with the PR and media pandering the other members of The Seven adhere to.

However, she soon takes a dark turn toward the end of episode 3 where she shows violently sinister tendencies.

Other Important Details:

  • CIA Deputy Director Susan Raynor is killed when she pieces together the mysterious appearance of a Super Terrorist with Vought International and it’s Compound V.
  • Stan Edgar lectures Homelander about the real history of Frederick Vought, the founder of Vought International, who’s revealed to be a Nazi geneticist responsible for inventing Compound V, which is implied to have been tested on the Holocaust victims.
  • Hughie Campbell references multiple high fantasy coming-of-age movies as he compares himself to John Conner, Harry Potter, and Katniss Everdeen (who Frenchie is apparently a fan of).
  • Soldier Boy, a new character who is reported to be played by Supernatural actor Jensen Ackles, is mentioned by Stan Edgar.

EPISODE 2: “Proper Preparation and Planning” (Rating: 9.5/10)

After Billy Butcher returns in episode 1, he immediately puts The Boys to work on his latest diabolical plan. This time, however, he tries to keep his motives hidden since his main agenda is to reunite with his wife, Becca.

For guest appearances, Patton Oswalt (Agents of SHIELD) voices the Deep’s gills during a hallucinogenic tea-induced trip that eventually leads to Oswalt and the Deep singing a hilariously sad rendition of “You Are So Beautiful.”

Also, the Deep is apparently a huge fan of the Goo Goo Dolls as he plays the song “Iris” in the background when he is locked in a room.

Kimiko’s brother Kenji Miyashiro (Abraham Lim) is introduced in this episode and is shown to possess powerful telekinetic abilities. He is, however, brainwashed by the terrorist group Shining Light Liberation Army, which makes him misguided and dangerous.

This is justified to an extent though because he’s seeking revenge for an unnamed superhero’s attack (presumably Homelander) on his and Kimiko’s home village.

It’s also revealed that he and Kimiko communicate through a unique sign language that only they can understand as Frenchie tries to coax him into teaching it.

In the end, Kimiko is forced to put his own brother in a sleeper hold as he threatened to put himself and the team in danger as he’s being targetted by both the CIA and The Seven as a “Super Terrorist” whose been smuggled into the country illegally.

Other Important Details:

  • A-Train wakes up from his coma and threatens to expose Starlight but she learns to blackmail him back for killing Popclaw in season 1.
  • Stormfront, during her press tour with Maeve and Starlight, delivers this great comedic line:
    • “let’s finish d***-tickling these half-wits so we can finally do our real jobs”
    • She also goes on a long rant about Pippi Longstocking, her favorite superhero.
  • Becca goes to a mysterious gated facility to speak with the mysterious Dr. Park about protecting her and her son, Ryan, from Homelander — her plea is ignored.
  • Maeve confides to Elena about Homelander’s secret violent side.
  • Gecko manages to get a sample of Compound V to Starlight.
  • Homelander gives his son a smartphone so they can keep in touch but Ryan is hesitant to bond with his estranged father.

EPISODE 3: “Over the Hill with the Swords of a Thousand Men” (Rating: 9/10)

The episode begins with the exposure of Compound V to the general public, thanks to the efforts of Starlight and Hughie. However, Vought International manages to deny all ties with the drug and claims Madelyn Stilwell was responsible for its creation and dissemination.

The episode then revolves around Kenji, who was subdued by The Boys during episode 2 and is about to be surrendered to the CIA for protection. Kenji doesn’t trust the word of anyone on the team, however, including his own sister who is trying to look out for his safety. He tries to escape and almost kills the team but accidentally destroys a police helicopter instead.

This, of course, puts them on The Seven’s radar, and the sinister superheroes go after them.

Unfortunately, Kenji’s reluctance to cooperate would lead to his demise as The Seven catches up to his and The Boys’ location and a violent encounter with Stormfront happens where the supposed superhero maliciously murders Kenji and calls him by a racist slur.

Stormfront, beforehand, was also shown to kill innocent African-American bystanders, which strongly suggests that she has racist tendencies that belie her generally relaxed attitude. This characterization, however, stays true to her comic book counterpart who is a Neo-Nazi.

These scenes are definitely not for the faint of heart or those who are easily offended but it works as brilliant satire for the show.

To add insult to injury, Stormfront then spins the story in front of the media by saying Kenji and Kimiko were responsible for the deaths of the innocent bystander. Her actions, however, catch the attention of Homelander who sees her as a threat to the status quo he has maintained.

Stan Edgar then follows-up with a press conference saying that the Vought International family sends their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of the “terrorist attack” further cementing their image management and disassociation with Compound V.

As for clever references, the show once again mentions a few off-hand including a nod to the movie Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is parodied in a movie pitch about The Seven entitled Dawn of the Seven, which is fittingly accented by a Hans Zimmer score.

Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) is also mentioned as the potential voice actor for Translucent and Michael Bay’s Transformers is referenced.

Other Important Details:

  • Billy Butcher kills The Deep’s whale, Lucy, by ramming a boat through it, exposing its guts in all its bloody glory. It’s a particularly shocking scene that’s definitely not fit to be seen by animal lovers. Also, Black Noir is apparently the only member of The Seven with a soft spot as he’s the only one visibly affected by the dead animal.

  • Starlight is almost forced to kill Hughie as Homelander threatens to kill them both if she does not do so. They’re only saved by Kenji, who is released by Billy to momentarily disable Homelander.
  • Homelander pushes his son Ryan off a roof to try and force him to use his powers. He faints upon falling but soon recovers after Becca wakes him up. However, a frustrated Homelander does manage to coax his son’s powers out of him by getting physical with Becca, which prompts Ryan to become angry as he pushes Homelander to the ground.
  • The end scene shows The Boys watching the broadcast covering the events that transpired during their latest encounter with The Seven, and each of them appears to be once again united in seeking vengeance.

The Boys is exclusive on Prime Video with new episodes to be released for streaming on Fridays.

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Lorenz Bacani is a pop-culture enthusiast who's trying to watch as many good comic-book movies and TV shows as superhumanly possible. He received a bachelor's degree in Journalism and New Media at California Baptist University. Wrote for a news tabloid, worked for a couple of non-profits, and dabbled in some photography (mostly for Instagram purposes). He is probably currently binge-watching an old TV show for nostalgia.

Walker

Walker Series Finale Review – See You Sometime (413)

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Walker Series Finale Review See You Sometime Season 4 Episode 13

Walker concluded its four-season run on Wednesday, June 26, on The CW—but while many elements lent themselves to a series finale, overall, it was evident that the creative forces weren’t anticipating that this would be their final season (despite all the upheaval and uncertainty at the network as of late). 

For one thing, the final scene of the episode sparked widespread confusion amongst audiences, as it was a rather strange ending to introduce a brand-new character without any additional information, though, according to Jared Padalecki (Cordell) via TVLine, James Van Der Beek (a legend and OG The WB star) is a good personal friend who was going to “stir up” trouble as a cult-leader neighbor renting out the next door Davidson property. And, quite frankly, I’m kind of bummed that we won’t ever get to see that. 

There was so much more story left to tell when it came to the Walker’s—and for once, they were all finding their footing and the pieces were beginning to fall into place, leaving much to be desired from another season. Heck, I’d even settle for a few more episodes to wrap it all up. 

What about a time jump that allowed us to see Cassie in her new role as Lieutenant while also seeing her move on and finally find that happiness with Trey? The chemistry between them has been evident for awhile, even if the series took a bit of a detour to give her a romance with Detective Luna (Justin Johnson Cortez), who, quite frankly, was killed off the show too early. 

We know Cassie will be all right—she’s a resilient badass who can handle anything life throws her way, but it’s unfortunate we won’t be able to see the come-up after suffering such a major loss. 

During the battle for the promotion, it was Cassie versus Trey, which could’ve lent to some really great moments between the two finally coming to terms with their feelings for each other. It made sense that the role went to Cassie, as she showed that even in the darkest of days, she’s still a leader and a good ranger, but Trey absolutely deserves his moment down the line as he’s proven himself since joining the team. 

I assumed Cordell took all of his recent experiences and folded them into the decision to resign, especially considering how much being a ranger took from him, but I guess a leave of absence makes more sense if they thought the series would continue on. If it were up to me, he’d turn over his badge (or become a consultant) while going all-in with Geri on the Side Step 2.0. 

His most recent near-death experience was eye-opening, however, in the sense that he needed to be a more present father. His kids may be grown, with both of them flying the coop and heading off to college, but it’s never too late, and this may be one of their last opportunities for a solid family vacation. 

Again, it’s unfortunate that we won’t get to see the second phase of their life, with Cordell finally accepting his relationship with Geri and taking the next step by letting go of Emily and choosing to propose. Heck, we didn’t even get to see the proposal, which is upsetting in and of itself. There’s so much we got cheated out of—it would’ve made more sense for this to be a 2-hour finale so we could get all these last-minute touches. 

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Geri was always more invested in the relationship than Cordell, simply because he was still trying to figure out how to move on without disrespecting his late wife, but I’m glad he’s finally arrived at a place where there’s no more guilt. 

We didn’t even get any context as to what Liam’s role with the governor would be, or why the secret agents just arrived at his home mere moments after that mysterious phone call. Liam started the series as a go-getter lawyer before losing his way, and his ambition, for the next few seasons, but it’s nice to see him finding his place again. I just wish we could stick around to see it unfold. 

The only storyline that really seemed to get the closure it deserved was Bonham and Abeline’s. They know that their son is going to be alright, she has her business, and they are finally on the same page about making the most of their retirement—with the wind in their sails… and hair. Seeing them embrace this time together—so well deserved, might I add, after sacrificing so much for their family over the years—was worth it. 

What did you think of the finale? Did you feel cheated in the same way I did? Why didn’t we get more from Larry and his wife?

Do you agree with Padalecki when he says The new CW is just looking for the easy way out with “really easy, cheap content that they could fill up time with“? Because it sure seems like he’s right on the money when it comes to canceling all of our favorite shows without a second thought. 

I guess all good things must come to an end, and as we grieve Walker, we must also underscore that it might be one of the last remaining shows on The CW to ever represent what The CW meant to so many people, right along with the faces, like Padalecki’s, who have made the network a household name for so many years. 

Share your thoughts about the Walker series finale, titled “See You Sometime,” below!

Vanessa Morgan Is Finally Getting the Recognition She Deserves With ‘Wild Cards’

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Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season Finale Review – Final Exam (208)

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Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season Finale Review - Final Exam (208)

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School concluded its sophomore run with a gripping finale—tensions were at an all time high, regardless if you like the outcome—that unmasked Bloody Rose and Archie Waters… kind of. 

PLL: Summer School Season 2 Episode 8 had a handful of bombshell reveals—and as it turns out, we owe Christian, Johnny, and, especially, Jen, a huge apology for ever doubting their motivations. 

I say especially when it comes to Jen because up until the scene where Noa calls her to ask how to hotwire a car, I was convinced she was somehow involved with the Bloody Rose mess. There was even that scene where Jen suggested maybe Christian or Johnny can’t be trusted, which felt like she was trying to get the scent off of her and divert attention to someone else, but it turns out, she was simply trying to help Noa and the liars pinpoint the murderer. The writers wanted her to be a red herring, and we all fell for it. There’s obviously still qualities about her that are concerning, but maybe we all misjudged her just a wee bit?

It didn’t take long for Tabby and Imogen to turn against Christian and Johnny either—part of Bloody Rose’s plan—as Tabby found the mask of Davie in Christian’s drawer while Imogen saw a bunch of dead bodies and assumed Johnny was the culprit. She literally locked him in the freezer (where I was sure he’d perish), but I’m so glad they showed us how he got out of there… otherwise, it would have been another PLL mom’s basement mystery keeping me up at night. 

Bloody Rose ended up being—SPOILER ALERT—Mrs. Langsberry, Chip’s vengeful mother,  which doesn’t come as much of a surprise, honestly, considering she was unhinged for much of the season, casting blame at Imogen and Tabitha for soiling her son’s good name. When they confronted her earlier in the morning and assumed she could be crossed off the suspect’s list because she had fresh flowers—BR’s calling card—it was simply a way of getting them off her trail. 

It’s actually hilarious to think that Chip’s mother thought she was avenging her son’s death by brutally murdering, torturing and tormenting people all over town, but I guess it explains why Chip was so messed up in the first place. His home life couldn’t have been healthy if that’s how she’s rationalizing her grief. 

Bloody Rose didn’t act alone, however, as her accomplice was none other than Wes, who ended up being the whole mastermind behind everything. He bonded with Mrs. Langsberry following Chip’s death and saw this as his perfect opportunity to get revenge—because it’s so hard for a white guy nowadays—but also to make the ideal horror movie that actually involves murdering someone in real-time. His subject was none other than final girl Tabitha because, well, she’s always been the one to stand up to him and put him in his place. We always knew something was off about Wes, but Christians seemed to pick up on all the red flags this season immediately. 

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season Finale Review - Final Exam (208)

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season Finale Review – Final Exam (208)

Tabitha proved that she’s not only a lover of the horror genre, she’s also quite a fighter. When she was surrounded by Wes’ proxies in masks with no obvious exit out of Pastor Malachi’s church, she jumped through a window to escape, before singlehandedly taking on all the proxies and then Wes himself. Tabitha reimagined what it means to be a Final Girl in a truly empowering way; as did the rest of her friends who fought tooth and nail to get to her. 

When Tabitha came face-to-face with Wes, holding a pitchfork, nonetheless, he assured her that she didn’t have the guts to end it, but before he could even finish his sentence, she proved him wrong. 

Wes was an obvious villain choice, much like Mrs. Langsberry, but it was also a lame choice as they could’ve done so much more with his character. He was a main suspect in season one, and they figured we wouldn’t consider him again, so they planted him as the big bad, but it just felt like a cheap shot.

It was also pretty lame and unbelievable that Wes somehow survived being stabbed with the pitchfork (and then punched by Imogen during that very rude jump scare)—I was surprised when Dr. Sullivan said he was in prison alongside Mrs. Langsberry. I guess you really can never get rid of the devil. 

And, as we’ve seen, prisons don’t actually keep the monsters locked up for good. They always find a way of sneaking out… like Archie Waters did. 

While everyone was led to believe that Archie was killed in a prison riot, he quietly snuck out and waited in the shadows before claiming his next victim—someone he’s been keeping an eye on for quite some time. Dr. Sullivan, who was tormented by Archie, and who, in her last moments begged to find out if he was the one who killed her son Sebastian, was brutally murdered in the final moments, though it was kind of hard to feel bad considering we saw her real side—the one that sold her book on childhood trauma and called the liars “narcissists.” I guess some might say she had it coming this whole time for being a shady lady. 

But Tabitha’s desire to leave the Waters family in the past might be wishful thinking considering the actual bogeyman is still out there likely gearing up to strike again. 

Thankfully, at least for now, they all have a bit of a break, passing their Keystone exam (finally) and embracing their Final Girl Energy, knowing that they can survive anything that life throws their way.

And maybe come next season, Johnny will get over the fact that Imogen almost killed him and they’ll get another shot at love together. One could only hope as they made a cute couple and it was one of the more promising developments in her life. 

As for Kelly, she also survived Bloody Rose’s attempt at drowning her and made amends with the liars, while, hopefully, putting all the culty church stuff in the past. 

I was a bit surprised that neither Ash nor Greg appeared in the finale, which makes me wonder how much we can still trust them. Wouldn’t they be around in some capacity to check in on their girls after what they went through? 

What did you think of PLL: Summer School and the finale? Did you like how the ending was set up? Did you think the killers were too obvious? Do you think the masked liars from Tabitha’s movie tease might be season 3’s villains? Maybe it’s someone impersonating them to torment them?

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Walker

Walker Review – Let’s Go, Let’s Go (411)

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Walker Review Let's Go Let's Go Season 4 Episode 11

Walker and his team suffered a major blow during their hunt for the Jackal on Walker Season 4 Episode 11. 

If I’m this frustrated with a case, I know that they are over with how this serial killer keeps outsmarting and evading them. It’s taken so much from them in terms of sanity, time, and even loved ones, as we saw James spiral back into old habits that once again put his home life with Kelly in the crossfire, and Walker’s hallucinatory dream showed that one of his biggest regrets in life was not being there for his family enough; for the big and small moments. 

As the Jackal pumped up Walker with drugs, the hallucination began like a dream as Cordell finally had his wife back. In reality, Cordell was living through a nightmarish situation before being buried alive. 

I’m typically not a fan of hallucination/dream episodes, but this one was interesting as it examined Cordell’s life and motivations through the lens of his funeral. It was his subconscious bubbling to the surface, but it was showing him how his absence made others feel. The message was loud and strong, though he wasn’t entirely open to receiving it, even when Emily urged him to let it go and get back to reality.

The drugs pumped into his system were so strong that if it wasn’t for Cordell’s team tracking him down, he would’ve suffered the same fate so many of Jackal’s victims have over the years. I guess it’s slightly reassuring to know that they have no idea of what’s going on in their final moments of life, but it still doesn’t make the situation any better, especially knowing that Jackal almost killed two rangers as they were on his tail. 

While they got to Cordell just in time, David Luna didn’t have the same amount of luck—and it was honestly the most heartbreaking development in this season-long case. 

When I say the Jackal took loved ones, I also mean physically, as it seems Luna succumbed to his injuries and died in Cassie’s arms, which we know is going to absolutely destroy her as she was just coming around to admitting that she loved him.

I’m hoping that maybe there’s a reality where Luna still has a pulse and is spared, but it’s not looking good for him. Their pursuit of the Jackal meant that he was getting sloppy and needed to tie up loose ends, which included Luna as he took his eye off the prize. 

I knew it wasn’t going to bode well for him when he made that overly long phone call to Cassie, which was super sappy, and she hesitated to say the “L” word, something we know she’ll come to regret if he doesn’t make it. 

They could’ve saved that conversation for another time so that neither of them lost focus and allowed themselves to be ambushed by the Jackal. And if I’m being realistic, I don’t think this is a one-man show. One man wouldn’t be able to take out David Luna all while moving Cordell and burying him in a shallow grave. I think there’s a team working here, which is how they’ve been able to stay ahead of the police. 

Either way, the desire to stop and capture the Jackal is only growing stronger now that he’s targeted two of the Rangers’ own men. And maybe it’s time to bring in backup because this isn’t something they can handle on their own. 

As for Cassie, I hope she hasn’t lost the love of her life in such a senseless way—she deserves a shred of happiness. 

And with only two episodes on the horizon, I hope this case helps Cordell reframe what’s really important in life, and that includes slowing down and appreciating all the love he’s surrounded by, including his new romance with Geri. Maybe it’s time he stop running by leaving the rangers behind? 

What did you think of the episode? Do you think Luna’s really dead?

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